Indian tv stars are more popular with NRIs than at home. A besotted group from Holland, SA, UK and US, invited by Star Plus to Mumbai, spoke toD Kaushikabout why they bond with certain characters
Anyone who saw Vasanti, an NRI from South Africa, roaming at Haaji Ali in Mumbai, arm in arm with their friends, would not have believed, that ten days before, she was struggling in a hospital bed.
She considers her recovery, “miraculous” and says, “It was the love for Gopi, Ahem, Khushi and Arnav that gave me faith. Even doctors, back home in South Africa were surprised by my speedy recovery. It is my fourth time to India. I never enjoyed myself this much before.”
All those crazy about coy, wailingbahusand shrewd saas on tv would definitely know Khushi, Arnav, Gopi and Ahem.
They might even share some of Vasanti’s sentiments.
For the rest, in case you weren’t clued in, Gopi and Ahem and Khushi and Arnav are popular characters from serials likeSaathiyaandIss Pyaar Ko Kyaa Naam Doonon Star Plus.
This might tell you something about the reach of popular Indian soaps and their global appeal. It appears NRI’s around the globe are more interested in Indian serials than Western ones. And they are ready to pay any price.
Star Plus seems to rule, with popular shows likeSasural Genda Phool, Pratigya, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata HaiandEk Hazaron me Meri Behena Hai.
Vasanti, a passionate fan, said, “For me, Gopi is the ardent perfectionist. She has the drive to learn new things.
Ahem is the ideal son. He wants to acquire what his father could not. He is also very respectful towards his mother,”
The characters from such daily soaps are part of many families, globally.
Not only do they seem to love talking about them.
They also dress like them.
As part of global promotional plans, Star Plus ran a contest and selected people from across the world to visit Mumbai and meet their popular actors.
Vasanti was part of a group.
The rest were from Holland, US and UK.
They had made big plans for meeting their favourite actors.
“When I learnt I was the lucky one,” shared, Ragini, who belongs to Holland, “I began crying. I spent many evenings with these serials and characters. As an Indian, it is good too see these close-knit families and participate in issues the shows deal with.
:One example is,Diya Aur Baati Hum, which is the story of a supportive husband, Suraj. His qualification is ninth grade pass. Against his family’s wishes, Suraj encourages his wife to study and make a place for herself in society.”
Deepa, another fan, was in love with romantic tales that are increasingly part of Indian tv. To her, some resembled fairy tales.
They also relayed message of family bonding. Star Plus is particularly strong on family ties. TakeEk Hazaron Me Meri Behena Hai.
“There is a love story and something about family life,” said Deepa, who loves Akshara fromYeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai.
“She is my every woman. The ideal wife and daughter. I am sure she will be a great mum.”
Gonnie from South Africa said the contest helps, “draw us closer to our motherland.”
Adding, “In the West, there are just nuclear families. These shows present ideal Indian families.”
The fans shot a show with favourite Star Plus characters.
It will air on March 24 before the Star Parivaar Awards. A 3D stage was created for the event.
Source: The Daily Pioneer