On Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s birthday, revisiting his debut show, Saraswatichandra, which tried to add grandeur and freshness to television.
as soon as i heard the name Sanjay Leela Bhansari, people tend to imagine grand movie sets, big song and dance sequences and, of course, big name movie stars. Little is known, however, that in 2013, the filmmaker joined the Star Plus TV bandwagon with Saraswatichandra. The show stars small screen stars Gautam Rode and Jennifer Winget, while newcomers such as Anshul Trivedi, Varun Kapoor and Shiny Doshi find a platform to showcase their talents. Controversial actor Monica Bedi also plays a major role in the series adaptation of Govardhanram Tripathi’s novel of the same name. Production on the show began in May 2012 and aired in February of the following year. The cost of set design and production was said to be as high as Rs 55 crore, which was a lot not only at the time but for any TV show, even now. It’s also a rare case for a show to be named after a leading man rather than “Bahu,” who is responsible for telling the story.
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While the show was designed and created by the filmmakers, and was even sold under the SLB banner, in just six months, it changed hands. The TV business is different from the film business in that it uses a daily rating system that comes from dramas rather than dramas. In just six months, the channel met with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and together they decided to part ways. The show ran for about a year after Sphereorigins took over. Given that the setting is based on SLB’s vision, the new production team also managed to keep the same look and feel. However, they picked up the pace and added more dramatic moments to the storyline. Also some unrealistic “typical repertoire” is brought in and the story deviates from the novel. This disappointed fans who were expecting to watch SLB Magic on the small screen.
Anshul, who plays villain Pramadan, recalls his days with Saraswatichandra, sharing how he bagged the show while filming for Ram Leela.exclusive speech Indian Express Networkthe actor said he had a small role in the play Ranveer Singh–Deepika Padukone Movies when he was offered the gig. “Mr. Sanjay must have seen something in me and gave me this strong character. I still remember the TRP skyrocketing with the addition of my character.”
Anshul added that he had no idea that SLB himself had chosen him for the role. The one who gave him the information was the former president of the production company. “I was very humbled when I found out about it. Honestly, I was so naive and raw as an actor at the time. It was only my second year as an actor. This show is very important to me, Gave me visibility, made me a household name. I am what I am today only because of the one chance that Maverick gave me. I owe him my life. I hope that in the future I will be an important part of the magic he created on celluloid. To me, he is nothing less than God. I wish him good health and creativity on his birthday. More power to this magician,” said the actor.
So what happened to Saraswatichandra?
The show opened with an introduction by Dubai nobleman Saraswatichandra aka Saras (Gautam Rode). After the death of his mother by suicide, the young man’s relationship with his father Laxminandan (Chetan Pandit) and stepmother Ghuman (Monica Bedi) is strained. He learns that his father has arranged his wedding to an Indian woman, Kumud (Jennifer Winget). Not ready for the game, he returned to Gujarat to inform Kumud’s family of his decision. But he soon fell in love with her, and the two decided to marry. However, days before the wedding, Salas learned that his mother had committed suicide because of his father, causing him to call off the wedding.
In order to save the family’s reputation, Kumud hastily married Pramad (Anshul Trivedi), the son of a local politician. Shortly after the wedding, she realized he was an alcoholic and abusive man. However, she vows to change him, but he continues to cause her trouble. Seeing Kumud’s connection to his father’s party, he plots to kill her but is saved by Saras. She separates from him and returns to her family.
Later, Kusum (Shiny Doshi), Kumud’s sister, marries Danny (Varun Kapoor). Since Pramad brokered the divorce, Kumud and Saras got married and she helped him reconcile with his father. Not long after, Laxmiander has an accident and collides with a car driven by Kabir (Ashish Kapoor). Through Kumud, we learn that Kabir is trying to avenge Ghuman by pretending to assist her plan. Then we learn that Saras’ mother, Saraswati, gave birth to a stillborn 21 years ago. After she was accused by her husband, she committed suicide. Kumud and Saras went hunting and found that Ghuman had exchanged Saraswati’s child and placed him in foster care. It was revealed that Saraswati’s son and Salas’ younger brother was Kabir, who had returned to avenge the separation from his family. Ghuman tried to kill Saras, Kabir and Kumud again, but they were saved. Laxmiander also woke up from a coma and severed relations with Guman after learning the truth.
Near the end of the show, Kumud and Saras can be seen Mumbai for a commercial project. Once there, they encounter a stalker landowner who is obsessed with Kumud. They were also attacked by an unknown man, leaving Salas in the hospital. It was revealed that Guman’s return made the couple’s life hell. After being caught, Guman pretended to be mentally unstable and was sent to a mental hospital. Once there, she was shocked to see that Saraswati was still alive. As Kumud learns more about the incident, she helps her mother-in-law regain her memory. The family is reunited, Guman is sent to prison, and the episode ends with Kumud giving birth to her first child.
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