I’m feeling like a newcomer right now, ready to take on a challenge,” says producer Rajan Shahi, whose first-ever daily soap, Sapnaa Babul Ka Bidaai, goes off air this weekend, following a two-hour long Maha-episode. “I’m a bit tired, running around and figuring out all the star performances for the last episode of Bidaai. I really want each one to go off well.”
Shahi will go on a family holiday before kicking off two of his big projects, rumoured to be for two leading channels. “When Bidaai went on air, I had promised to take my daughter for a holiday the day it ends. She is on school vacation. So we can take off immediately,” he says. “As for the new shows, I can just tell you that I’m ready to prove my worth as a writer and director once again, apart from being a producer. The shows will be innovative family content that I can watch with my little daughter in the same room.”
After spending 17 years in the industry, he admits that repeating Bidaai’s triumph will be impossible. “My next works may not go beyond Bidaai. But I’ll try to live up to the standards set by it,” he adds. Gulaal, produced by his one-time boss Sunjoy Wadhwa, will replace Shahi’s show in the slot and he’s not complaining: “I’ve directed two shows for Sunjoy. And his show replacing mine is like an extension of me. I couldn’t have been happier.”
October 2007: Bidaai launches with 4.6TVR, replacing Meri Awaaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni.
December 2007: Rose to 5.4 TVR starting with the episode of Ragini’s marriage breaking up.
March 2008: Reached 6 TVRs with Sadhana and Alekh’s (Sara Khan-Angad Hasija) wedding.
October 2008: Touched 8.8 TVRs with the Taj Mahotsav event featuring Hema Malini’s dance performance.
October 2008 – January 2009: Ratings continue in the 6 to 8 TVR range.
January 2009: Soared to 9.6 TVRs with Ragini-Ranveer’s (Parul Chauhan-Kinshuk Mahajan) wedding.
June-July 2010: Seven-year leap. Ratings began to dip, the range was 2 to 5.
October-November 2010: Show stays between 2 and 3 and wraps up.