Brand 'Bahu'

 | September 20,2010 12:57 pm IST

There is an entire gamut of experiences ranging from scheming seductress devising plots to outplay the rival "sabki pasand - Bahu" to the occasional sprinkles of happiness, fun, laughter and sorrow. All is well that ends well, and though these serials never end, the momentary pauses where one seductress is punished till she temporarily loses her vitality only to emerge later with regained vivacity to "avenge upon the good family" while in the process she is replaced by another one.


"If they can do it, why cant I?" syndrome also legalizes the trivial gossiping and harmless indulgences that an average housewife associates herself with. A glimpse into the starry world of the rich men, their fate and the turbulent twists and turns which governs their daily routine helps the middle class restore faith in their life.

The "bahu" concept is successful and it is basically due to its characterization. The audience responds to their pain and sufferings, they live the same situations, which the characters in phony situations artificially live for them. It is real, it exists and people relate to them just like they relate themselves with the neighbours living next door. The success could also be attributed to the prime times that they capture in the prime channels.


And believe it or not, the serials have some magnetism that propels the viewers into watching them over and again so as to what unfolds next. It is a wholesome experience - adventure, fun, joy, tragedy and strategy. Besides, the aftermath of watching these serials seems to be dramatic on the audience. They are left with an aspirational and happy note and an enriched experience of the blend of a variety of emotions that spurs them to take the challenges of the world head on and also gears them for the subsequent coffee table discussions. One couldn't ask for more, can one?


But is it actually a brand?

I firmly believe it is. The following reasons could justify my conviction.

The concept bears consistency. The same theme of an opulent Indian family is coherently spread across all the serials and with such a crafty distinction that people still are able to demarcate one from the others without goofing up with the characters. There is a careful observed succession of events, which sets one serial apart from the other. If there is a death in one family and the bahu is temporarily barred from the privilege of her gorgeous outfits, then the other serial customarily has a wedding that presents women dressed like Indian brides devising schemes for each other's pitfall. But the overall, theme still remains the same - the roller coaster ride of an Indian family that is rich, powerful and well known. In essence the serials depict an asynchronous product life-cycle guarding against the monotony of the same topic used and overused.


The concept has physical manifestations in the form of apparels, jewelry and attitude.
The concept has an emotional appeal of its own. The characters are real and it seems they almost have an existence that coincides with the pattern and format of our lives. People relate to them, they cry at the family deaths and participate in their family functions.


The concept has a personality of its own. It portrays the country at its best - rich, happy, powerful, yet possessing all the ingredients that could ignite the taste buds of the "gossip recipe starved Indian women".


A Final Word

The serials are unending and this incorporates a fatigue element in them. However, the way they are spiced in measured intervals helps retain and revive the interest of the audience. Amidst all these caricature and stereotyping of already hackneyed Indian tradition, the serials have a freshness that never seems to fade. And thus, in the process it creates one of the most successful abstract brands of the country.