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Baa Bahoo Aur Baby: A realistic serial

Baa Bahoo Aur Baby is a serial that is pretty different from the other serials that come on the various TV channels; and especially very different from the K serials of Balaji Telefilms. There are many similarities:
– This also has a family situation like the K serials
– There is a Saas and various bahus in the serial like the K serials
– The saas is the head of the household and everything runs according to her (atleast that’s her wish)

However, there are very many differences that make this a unique serial:
– The serial is about the middle class as opposed to the rich people of the K serials
– The saas is not evil, nor are any of the characters shown as deliberately mean unlike the K serials where there will be one or more characters who are shown as mean from the beginning
– The serial does not seem to want to suddenly jump by 20 years as opposed to other serials that jump by 20 years, maybe more than one
– The people in this serial look real, and when they wake up, you don’t see them still immaculately dressed or painted in full make-up

Okay, now that we have established that this serial is unlike any of the K serials, we can talk about the serial. The serial is about a matriarch, Godaveri Thakkar, who runs the household and has a total of 7 children, 5 of them sons and 2 daughters, and most of them have a family of their own. Most of them live with her in the same house, donated to her by her her sister-in-law Gurvanti. Godaveri has her husband also living in the same house, Labhshanker Thakkar who is a good-for-nothing alcoholic and does not contribute significantly to the running of the house. Godaveri is not a dictator, but her word is law and in most of the cases, her decisions seem to be based on some logic, although there is the usual resentment among some member of the family or the other depending on who got affected by what decision.
Her family has a number of different characters, whether they be among her sons or her daughter-in-laws. He eldest son Arvind for example, is a boring character, but very responsible. His wife Leela is a jovial person, but very fond of daydreaming. Similarly, her other characters in the household such as sons Pravin (fond of money and a tight-fist), Pravina (Pravin’s wife and a prankster, but about whom Baa always finds out), Subodh (an actor), Meenakshi (Subodh’s wife and fond of fasting and crying), Harshad (a doctor and who lives outside the house, but is now reconciled with Baa), Shilpa (Harshad’s wide and a doctor), Charubala (daughter of Baa and egoistical), Gopal (known popularly as Gattu, he is retarded and hence not capable of behaving like a true adult; he is very popular, my young nephew only knows him from the serial), and Radhika (known as Baby, she has polio and crutches, but is very strong-willed).
These are not rich people, and yet have a strong sense of pride. The serial is particularly middle class, and these people do not have a business that is making them lots of money. The men work outside and make a living from that. An episode or a series of episodes talk about mini-stories that are captivating to some degree; such as the quest to get a husband for Baby and the issues related to her polio affecting the types of boys coming to see, such as the historical background for why her daughter is now being refused by another family, or their relationship with the estranged son Harshad and how his dying son is bringing them together again.
People who watch this serial regularly can identify with a lot of the issues that they face, even the jealousy between the different family member is not a killing jealousy, instead they have their issues which eventually gets worked out.
The serial started in 2005, and is fairly popular for the reason that the scenarios described are realistic, there is no vulgarity, you can watch it without suddenly seeing cars braking or doing full speed chases, or a villain trying to seduce a young girl and so on. The serial is on Friday to Sunday on Star Plus at 10 PM. Also, the serial is directed by Deven Bhojwani who also plays the retarded ‘Gattu’.
For a lot more detail about each character and some of the stories, refer to Wikipedia.

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