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Saathii Re on Star One: Ended on 9th August

There used to come this cute serial on Star One at 9 PM called Saathi Re. This was a serial with a fair amount of drama, but not with the saas-bahu kind as seen in the Balaji Telefilms kind of K serials. One thing was common though, there were people who were portrayed as evil and vicious. And for those watching the serial Woh Rahne Waali Mehlon Ki on Sahara One, there was a common factor in the sense of a guruji predicting death after marriage, and hence a character doing a false marriage to get around it.
Why do I write everything in the past tense ? Well, could be because the serial is over, it ended on 9th August after around one year of operation, which is a fairly small period of time. The rumour is that the serial was stopped as the direction was planning to move to film direction, but there is no confirmation on this.
The serial principally starred the following characters: Indira Krishnan as Rajeev, Parakh Madan as Suman. The story is fairly simple. Suman wanted to marry Prem, her love; but as her sadhu had told her that her husband would die within 6 months of marriage, she refused to marry Prem and instead married Rajeev. Calculation was that when he would die, she would then marry her true love. But this is an Indian serial. Over a period of time, she fell in love with Rajeev (who played a soft, strong and gentle voiced man). But Prem refused to go away, instead he wanted to play a role in her life again.

Suman was absolutely not ready for this. She had a steady and good family life and she did not want Prem to cause disturbances in this life, especially since she had never been able to tell Rajeev about this background. Prem, having a charming personality (seemed a bit slimy to me though), eventually got Suman’s sister, Chaitali, to marry him. So now he is close to Suman, even though now all she wants to do is play the part of a good dedicated and supportive wife.
At the same time, the other daughter-in-law Shalaka does not like Suman and wants a better share of the household and business operations, and makes Suman’s life miserable. Eventually, things boil over. Prem rapes Suman, and when Rajeev finds her in this state, he goes after Prem. Too late, in a quirk of fate, a snake has bitten him and he dies. Chaitali tells all at this time about the background between Suman and Prem, and now Rajeev is shocked. He asks Suman to leave the home and announces the end of their relationship.
Suman leaves, but then Rajeev gets to know that she was telling the truth. In between, in a massive show of faith and devotion, Suman, after having left, goes to the Sadhu’s ashram and does a rigid penance to remove the clouds hovering over Rajeev. Coincidentally, Rajeev had also been bitten by a snake, and this penance by Suman is supposed to have saved her (such a massive show of devotion, by standing for a long time in flowing water in ill health, but a very string display of superstition as well). He gets better in hospital, and then eventually comes searching for her. They finally meet; at the same time at home, Shalaka gets found out about the ill-treatment she had been doing of Suman, and after a few slaps and shakings and screamings from her mother in law and then husband, she gets reformed. A happy ending for all, except the cast who will now have to hunt for new serials to appear in.
Parakh Madan (Suman) is actually trained in Kathak, did her graduation in NIFT, and did a fair number of shows as part of a modelling career before moving to the television industry.

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