By Sugandha Rawal
Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) She is a daughter-in-law, a great cook, a perfectionist, can do everything, but she is a robot -- that's how Indian television's Rajinikanth 'bahu' is.
"Bahu Humari Rajni_Kant" -- a light-hearted show, which narrates a story of a genius and a female robot, was launched here with music, dance, fanfare on a grand scale just like superstar Rajinikanth style.
With Karan V. Grover and debutante Riddhima Pandit in the lead, the show revolves around a loving but dysfunctional family, with their cultural differences. Shaan Kant (played by Karan) is a genius, who has immersed his life in science and robotics.
The story takes an interesting turn when Shaan makes a humanoid, and introduces her to his family as his wife. That's when the fun riot starts as Rajni (Randomly accessible job network interface) embarks her journey as a married woman.
The show, which will make it way to the small screen through Life OK from Monday, was introduced at Aurora Theatre on Monday here.
With a 32 foot high cutout of Riddhima's character with a huge garland, the launch event tried to replicate southern superstar Rajinikanth's stature and aura.
Rajinikanth backed with his acting talent and gravity defying stunts in films have made an impression that the star can even do the impossible.
Writer and debutante director Sonali Jaffar said the show is from a man's point of view, and also brings forward a funny clash between Punjabi and Bengali culture.
And the Punjabi side of the family was introduced at the event on the beats of bhangra and dhol, while the Bengali side came forward on their culture's rhythms.
Karan asserted that with the show they are not trying to encash the popularity of the southern superstar.
"Our intention is not to draw comparisons and encash it. But it is our attempt to show a humanoid with its qualities and perfection to remind of Rajni sir," Karan said, adding the only name to come into mind with the thought of a person who can do anything and everything is Rajinikanth.
While Riddhima feels "privileged" about the "slightest" connection with Rajinikanth with her first show.
Karan, who took the plunge to the silver screen last year with debut film "Wedding Pullav", also said he "genuinely like robotics".
"I really believe that we will have robots roaming around us in next 30-40 years. When Sonali and team shared the concept of a family with youngest son being a genius and not understand anything expect for technical stuff, I liked the story. Shaan doesn't have a physical urge or emotional need of a partner. And the riot of fun starts when he introduces Rajni as his wife," Karan told IANS.
The brain behind the hit TV show "Ye Hai Mohabbatein" Jaffar has overseen the writing process, as well as forays into production with "Bahu Humari Rajni_Kanth".
"We have explored almost everything on TV and I thought that in today's world for any women to survive she needs to act like a robot of the house. I realised from my experience in house as I'm caught with household chores, kids, meeting and then work," Jaffar told IANS.
Taking a new face as female protagonist is a big and risky step, but Jaffar notes that she always wanted a debutante for the role of Rajni.
"I didn't want a person with Abaggage to play the role because then people can relate her with her characters from other shows. I wanted a fresh face," she said.
The plot of the new daily soap has a stark resemblance with an international show "Small Wonder", in which a girl was a robot and a couple treats her like their daughter.
Ask Jaffar about taking inspiration from the foreign show, and she declines the idea saying "It was is in children's space, our show has a lot of other things like mother in law, and other family affairs".
One would expect that the show's budget would have gone for a toss with the science angle, but Jaffar shares that "it is not an expensive show. We are hitting more on emotions than on gimmicks".
Riddhima, who has appeared in a number of advertisements, is on cloud nine over her launch vehicle.
She said: "I think this was my third or fourth audition for a TV show. And for a role of a robot, the audition was new to me. I remember when I got down I thought I should go up and give a better take but they found Rajni in me so I am very happy".
The show also stars Vahbeez Dorabji, Tanvi Thakkar, Pallavi Pradhan and Rajendra Chawla.
(Suggandha Rawal is in Mumbai at the invitaion of the Life Ok TV channel. She ccan be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)