Meri Maa



Monday to Sunday, 9.00 pm, Life OK

Cast: Neena Kulkarni, Parikshit Sahni, Sayantani Ghosh, Avneet Kaur

Meri Maa is like one of those '70s melodramatic films when the heroine would lose her child in a mela and then weep copiously for the rest of the film, singing her favourite lullaby even as the child would suffer from the separation pangs. Not to forget the barbs, the mother would have to hear from her family and others for being an irresponsible parent.

In this show, Pratibha has lost her first born, a daughter, Pari in a Ganpati mela. Her mother-in-law holds her responsible while the men in the family, her husband, her father-in-law and brothers-in-law think the incident should be forgotten as an accident and Pratibha should move on. Pratibha wallows in self- pity, something that irks her mother-in-law who has now taken her grandson (Pratibha's second born) under her wings. She doesn't allow Pratibha to even touch the child or take him anywhere, lest she 'forgets' him too!

Meanwhile, Pari is now Jhilmil, a petty thief, a little Miss Robin Hood. Her new 'mother' has not told her the truth of her birth while the girl keeps getting flashes of her past.

The show thrives on melodrama. Pratibha cries endlessly and there are many times when you want to shake her up and get her out of her teary daze. To make the Maharashtrian setting authentic, the characters address each other as Vahini, Aaji or Aajoba (which they irritatingly pronounce as Aa'joe'ba), the women wear typically Maharashtrian saris with gajras in their hair all the time (we wonder how many Maharashtrian women wear mogra gajras every day?). The men are reduced to puppets while the women scream and screech endlessly.

On the upside is Avneet Kaur as Jhilmil. She is the star of the show. Though we take serious offence at her and her pack of little thieves calling the cops mamu and pandu, and the stereotypical portrayal of the men in uniform (pot bellied, cracking a joke or two, you get the drift).

... contd.

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