Roopa Awasthi (Krystle D’Souza) is a clumsy housewife who is married to the high-handed Amarnath (Dheeraj Sarna) in a typical Indian household. But there is more than meets the eye in this domestic set-up in Colors TV’s upcoming comedy Belan Waali Bahu.
Co-produced and written by Sarna, Belan Waali Bahu tells the story of Amarnath’s ghost, who stays back to stick around his wife after his tragicomic death. “Our show starts where other shows usually end: with death,” Sarna said in an interview. “The show is about Roopa and Amarnath. His character is that of a typical man in the household, who never appreciates or acknowledges his wife’s hard work or presence. He is not an irritating husband. He loves his family. But he is busy with his work and has no time to realise how hard his wife toils in the house. And one day he dies and eventually becomes a ghost. That is how the show starts.”
Also starring Sudhir Pandey, Sunayana Fozdar, Sikandar Kharbanda, Bhavana Balsavar and Mushtaq Khan, Belan Waali Bahu will be aired from January 15.
Sarna remained tight-lipped over the reason behind his character’s demise, but assured that it would be more funny than tearjerking. “We created the show with just one line in mind as a concept: a deceased husband’s ghost staying with his wife,” Sarna said. “But it was a little difficult because death is a tragedy. Making a comedy show out of a tragic incident was very difficult. It could have sounded insensitive as well. That was quite challenging. But we brainstormed a bit and created funny characters.”
The rolling pin, or the belan of the title, is a character by itself in the show. “The story in the show moves because of the belan, which changes the life of the couple,” Sarna said. “The things that happen because of the belan in the show are funny and shocking at the same time.”
Sarna made his acting debut with the Hindi soap Kaahin Kissii Roz (2001). He has written and produced numerous TV productions including the popular Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii (2000). “Initially I tried both acting and writing, but soon acting took a back seat,” Sarna said. “When I wrote this role, I never imagined that I would do this. We held a couple of auditions as well. But when I narrated the story to the channel and the team, they suggested that I act in the show.”
Television formats are changing to keep up with evolving tastes, and audiences are open to new forms of entertainment, the writer and producer added. “On every channel, there are 10 to 15 shows everyday, so naturally they [the audience] want to be entertained every second,” Sarna said. “Nobody has the time to sit and watch an entire episode unless it is engaging. If they are not engaged for even two seconds, they will change the channel. This has caused our writing to change as well.”