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Saat Phere, Saloni Ka Safar: Good start, but ..

Why is that I get disappointed in serials so early. When the ads for Saat Phere, Saloni Ka Safar started coming on Zee, they seemed somewhat different from all the saas-bahu serials, maybe as a breath of fresh air. The concept of a women struggling because of her skin colour is something that is very intrinsic to Indian culture, one that we do not recognize as racism. I had some hope that this would be a more realistic story.
So, when the serial started in the third quarter of 2005, initially things were good. This had a good girl (Saloni played by Rajshree Thakur) playing the role of a dedicated daughter fighting against colour based discrimination. The initial portrayal was realistic, with family not sure about her future, and she hoping for the best. Her younger sister was also fairly realistic, having been pampered due to her good looks, and feeling the pride in it.

Then Saloni is preferred by the family of Nahar, a very eligible bachelor from a rich family. Feeling for Saloni’s character, you could understand that she had been chosen because of her good values. So far so good. But things start to unravel after that. You would think that a serial should terminate after that, so that it leaves when a good feeling is still there. But no, the pressure of money will prevent soaps from ever ending.
So you have endless twists where the realism goes away, with pure evil characters such as Saloni’s bhabhi (Kaveri) and then Devika / Chandni (Kirti Gaikwad). This character has an interesting story. She is married to Saloni’s husband in real life; so after they terminated her character Chandi earlier, it seems that they brought her character back in the form of Devika so that the husband-wife team can continue acting together.
Some of the twists are: Earlier marriage of Nahar (Saloni’s husband), Change in nature of Tara, Dispossesion of property of entire family, Samar’s blindness, Neel turning evil, and so on. The other major problem that I see is that they show some characters as black or white: Saloni, Kaveri, Neena Gupta, all these are characters without any shade of grey. Either very good or very bad, and that is certainly not realistic.

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