Friday, August 02, 2013

Now TV serials inspired by Books

I am a big fan of Bollywood gossip, but I avoid reading about TV stars. I don't recognize most of them. So, yesterday I almost didn't read this article [see pictures on the right and below] about how 'the Twentieth Wife' by Indu Sundaresan is being adapted for small screen. The serial is called 'Malikaa'. All I could find on the net was these pictures from the launch of the serial.

I am a huge fan of the book 'The Twentieth Wife', and Indu Sundaresan's writing in general. 'The Twentieth Wife' is the first book in a trilogy based on Mughal era [predominantly the story of Noorjahan]. The second and third books are called 'The Feast of Roses' and 'Shadow Princess' respectively. I have reviewed 'The Twentieth Wife' and 'The Feast of Roses' on my Book blog


I am ok with a movie based on a book. It is interesting to see how a book is adapted for celluloid but I am extremely wary about such wonderful books getting adapted for TV serials. Many serials are started with a basic idea. Usually the idea is novel and exciting but you cannot dole out a daily serial out of one novel idea for a couple of years, which is the usual duration favoured by production houses. It loses steam after sometime, and since it has good TRP, the makers would want to make the best out of a winning serial on hand. Unnecessary, unreasonable and illogical twists and turns eventually spoils the essence of serial. I would hate that to happen to my favourite book :-( 

Ammaji [Meghna Malik]
Image courtesy: india-forums.com
Of what I have read, Noorjahan or Mehrunissa was a powerful and intelligent woman, but this is not how I have ever pictured her. That posture is too masculine [see picture above on the left]. Why must a woman need to behave like a man to claim power? Is that the assumption with which we are starting this serial? I am already depressed. I know, I know, I am sounding too cynical without having seen anything of it, but still. Moreover, if you look at the book cover images, they show a beautifully decked up, very feminine woman. So, I find a disconnect. And that posture reminds me of Ammaji of 'Na Aana Is Des Meri Laado' [see picture on the left].
The Twentieth Wife
by Indu Sundaresan
Image courtesy: flipkart.com

I don't watch TV so I am not going to watch it anyways but I will be looking out for the reviews and friends' opinions. I have written only about 'Malikaa' but the newspaper article says quite a lot of serials are taking inspiration from books due to the dearth in new ideas. For example, Saraswatichandra is an Indian soap opera currently airing on Star Plus & DD National. The series is based upon the Gujarati novel Saraswatichandra by Govardhanram Tripathi [source: Wikipedia]. To me, it looks like a cross between Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas. 

So, what do you think about this new trend?

11 comments:

  1. ohhhh I am so much with you on this.. i don't like this book inspired serial idea one bit...i didn't know they were doing this... Tcha hope they keep the reputation of the books intact...really!!

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    1. I hope so too. In any case, I am not gonna watch ha ha. Atleast it will help the sale of this wonderful book.

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  2. I have read "The feast of roses” But not the other books by Indu Sundaresan . Now as you recommended it, will definitely going to order “The twentieth wife.
    Yes truly said, not only TV serials even adaptations into movies really spoil the magic of literature. Five point someone, slumdog millionaire, to kill a mockingbird, Eat, pray, love to name a few. Lets see how this will turn out.

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    1. Absolutely must read that book. You didn't like 3 Idiots based on 5 Points someone? I loved the movie Namesake though. The movie 'Hello' based on 'One Night at Call Centre' was as mediocre as the book.

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  3. Like you I do not trust TV Series!! I am sure that ultimately it will turn to a saas bahu saga as it always does!

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    1. Because saas-bahus love watching saas-bahu serials ha ha!

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  4. I have lost all hope in Indian television soap operas. I tried hard to follow some show regularly, but none were worth the time or effort. Even if they start on an interesting note, they degenerate to saas bahu sagas within no time. Take, for example, the serial Jodha Akbar. In one episode, they showed Akbar spending a whole day at a "Meena Bazar" organized by women in his harem - the whole episode centered around the politics played between these women to get Akbar to buy things from their own stalls!! Akbar kept grinning through the whole episode in a silly manner. If our soap operas can do this to such an important figure in Indian history, I can't even imagine what they would do to regular characters from regular novels. I wrote about my love-hate relationship with Indian TV here:
    http://over-cup-of-tea.blogspot.in/2013/07/on-indian-television-regression-and.html

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    1. That's hilarious. Sometimes there one day is not complete in a week. I joke with my husband that soon they will start showing them getting uo brushing their teeth, asking 'aaj khane mein kya banao?', going to market to buy subzi, then one serial will be only for the haggling with sabziwala, so on and so forth.

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  5. I have never read Indu Sundaresan. heard a lot about her books but never get a chance to read one..guess this will be my next purchase :-)
    I too don't watch TV except movies ..its hopeless and demotivating to watch these serial in which every saas is queen and every bahu is maid.

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    1. Ha ha ha Rashmi, you are too funny. But you must read this author's books. They are fab :-)

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  6. oops!!My apologies..my mind is all messed up..i was talking about "one night in a call center..& rather 3 idiots is one of my bests.

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