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    Feb 2010


    Default A break from bahus, Zee TV's Jamai Raja to laud all jamais

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    Forever, you’ve seen bahus on Indian television step into the sasural and bring in a sense of harmony and warmth into their new family … we have been accustomed to viewing the lady of the house as the soothing salve meant to heal wounds and bindn people together … Zee TV’s latest primetime offering ‘Jamai Raja’ breaks the covention and asks – If bahus have done it all along, why can’t the jamai? The son-in-law, without a doubt, is accorded great importance in Indian culture which perhaps explains the phrase - Jamai ‘Raja’. While the picture of the girl’s relatives lavishing a visiting Jamai with utmost hospitality is common, one rarely, if ever, speaks of his responsibilities towards the wife’s side of the family. In stark contrast to this view, ‘Jamai Raja’ has its male protagonist proactively take on what has been otherwise considered a woman’s prerogative, and embark on a journey of setting right the discord between his wife and mother-in-law after marriage and filling their world with love and happiness!

    The show is set against the swish backdrop of South Mumbai’s upscale Cuffe Parade. The story captures how Siddharth, despite being a jet-setting hotelier with a growing empire to tend to, takes it upon himself to repair the estranged relationship between his wife Roshni and mother-in law Durga Devi (DD). While DD has seen the trials and tribulations of poverty and struggled her way up to riches, she has hardened over the years and developed a somewhat condescending view of the middle class. She has no tolerance for laziness and mediocrity. An enterprising jewelry magnate, she is constantly on the move, has a razor sharp mind and a tongue to match. Daughter Roshni, on the other hand, has a rebellious streak. With an independent mind of her own, she isn’t about to treat DD’s ideologies as the Gospel truth. Born in the lap of luxury, she hasn’t let her riches spoil her silly. She, in fact, feels strongly for the underprivileged and actively works for their welfare through an NGO she runs. With such strong, opposite personalities under a roof, sparks are bound to fly. Clearly, our Jamai has quite a task on his hands …What are the lengths he will go to in his endeavor of bringing them closer emotionally and will he succeed in bridging their emotional distance? Only time will tell!

    Starring the handsome Ravi Dubey as Siddharth & the promising Nia Sharma as his leading lady Roshni, ‘Jamai Raja’ boasts of an ensemble cast that includes veteran actors Achint Kaur playing the sophisticated South Mumbai mother-in-law and Apara Mehta as the uber cool Naani. Don’t be fooled by Achint’s casual sleeveless blouses, trendy sarees and branded sunglasses … she is, indeed, the mother-in-law in the show. Move over, typical sasu maas with ornate sarees and heavy jewellery … make way for the most stylish saas in the world of soaps – DD neither has copious tears nor an over-worked, scheming mind in store for you. She’s a hard-as-nails, tough nut to crack! Apara’s portrayal of the hip naani is also a complete departure from anything you’ve seen her do in her career. This naani, along with being traditional and praying every morning, is also into nail art and visits the spa regularly. What’s more, granddaughter Roshni lovingly calls her ‘Sexy’! Popular faces Delnaz Irani and Shruti Ulfat will be seen play significant parts in the show. Jamai Raja will be producer Ashwini Yardi and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s first television project under the banner Grazing Goats Pictures. The duo is co-producing the show with Sagar Pictures.

    Namit Sharma, Programming Head - Zee TV says, “After the success of our previous launch Kumkum Bhagya that is only moving from strength to strength each week in the 9 PM slot, we’re happy to present a very interesting show that defies stereotypes at 8:30 PM. Television viewers are used to seeing a bahu as the binding factor that strings her new family together after marriage and is often called upon to smoothen out differences and mend bridges between family members who can’t see eye to eye. Our new show ‘Jamai Raja’ breaks away from this stereotype and showcases an interesting reversal of roles where instead of the bahu, it is the jamaai who attempts to repair the estranged relationship between his wife and mother-in-law with the deft use of a sharp mind, his understanding of human nature and his endearing ways. It is a look at how men are increasingly turning more progressive and willing to enter domains that were for the longest time considered a female prerogative.”

    Ashwini Yardi, who has spent a significant span of her career with Zee TV is proud to be launching her maiden television production venture on the channel. She says, “I have some extremely fond memories from my stint at Zee TV. I will always cherish the team I was a part of and the projects I’ve worked on. Since my years at Zee have laid the foundation for the career I have built, when it came to my own first television production venture, I knew it had to be Zee TV. Jamai Raja is set against an interesting urban canvas, a progressive premise and has strong, well-defined protagonists. We’ve worked extremely hard towards getting the casting perfect and pushed the envelope as far as production values are concerned. I believe we have a great product in hand, we look forward to the audience response!”



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