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Why real-life issues rule TV today

Rajita Sharma, the writer of Tere Mere Sapne, explains the relevance of the concept of migration.

tv Updated: Oct 21, 2009 21:15 IST

When the creative team of Star Plus asked us to develop their concept of ‘migration’ into a story, it struck a cord instantly. The mention of migration conjures up faces of the young who venture into the city, in search of a better future. What intrigues me the most is their quest for survival away from the reassuring blanket of love and support of their families.

Tere Mere Sapne is set in a remote village in North India. Sarju, a farmer’s son, is restless and adventurous. He epitomises today’s youth — self-assured, unapologetic and ready to conquer the world. He has a killer instinct that makes him want nothing but the best.

So, when the going gets tough, he does not bow down to his fate. Instead, he tries to change his destiny by migrating to a bigger city. His wife Radha is his only connection with his roots. He ventures into unknown lands and conquers new territories while she looks after their home.

Through the story, we salute the spirits of Sarjus and Radhas in society who are brave enough to fight injustice. We will also explore the dynamics of displacement, the pain of separation and the emotional turmoil of being a refugee in a foreign or alien land. But above all, it’s about the acceptance of change.

But will the city youth be able to relate to this? Why not? After all, we’re all migrants in some way. Migration is a departure from our origin. It’s painful. Often, we are filled with vivid nostalgic moments and we pine for the original.
In Sarju’s case, it’s also a departure from his innocence, carefree attitude, beliefs and faiths. This psychological departure is as interesting to explore as his geographical departure, which forms the crux of the story.

‘Identifiable’ is the top search word in television fiction shows now, even though some may argue that the saas-bahu dramas lacked that element. According to Aristotle, the ultimate aim of any storytelling is catharsis. The saas-bahu sagas were no exceptions in this regard.

The makers tapped the hidden fears and emotions of the female viewers who loved to identify themselves as the dutiful, pain-enduring bahus and liked to view their mothers-in-law as monsters. The reverse was also true.

Now, people want a more realistic treatment of characters. They are more accepting of their own grey shades and want a slice from their own lives rather than larger-than-life characters and dramatic plots. This has made wholesome characters, simplified narratives and examples from life acceptable. Perhaps, that’s the reason real-life issues rule TV today.