Kasautii Zindagii Kay, (with an extra i ) arrived amidst grand promotions and a high induced thanks to 90s nostalgia, times when Anurag Basu and Prerna Sharma were household names across the country. You can call this a reboot, a remake or a modern retelling, but the primary audience for this show for now are the kids from those times. People like me , who won’t leave any stone un-turned to catch a few lost moments from their childhood, even if it means watching a show that was loved by our mothers while we scoffed at them.
Ekta Kapoor’s shows have always been more about building a relationship with her audience than anything else. The pulse points were identified long back and have been used successfully for years to keep the viewers loyal even when story-lines have weathered away.
So it’s no surprise that KZK opens up with auspicious Ganesha chants and the story begins during Pujo in Kolkata. Gods & Goddesses take major air time in the premiere, sending a message of a pious start of a long lasting relationship to the audience.
The sets are grand and bright colours tempt your senses almost immediately into this make believe world that is about to unfold. Introduction to Basus and Sharmas run parallel (hinting in advance at the future love story that will run like lines that don’t meet?), worshiping Rama & Ganesha respectively against a stark contrast in their backgrounds. Basus are rich, live in a palatial mansion & have servants milling about while they join the morning Aarti led by a handsome & shirtless Anurag. One by one, the names of the Basus are flashed on the screen as they join this grand display. No time is wasted in establishing the major obstacle in the future love story, the Basu Mamma – Mohini, dressed as all Kapoor mammas do- ostensibly in expensive jewellery and flashy saris. Apart from the Blue bindi and occasional Bengali sentences, you notice haughtiness, arrogance and an unhealthy obsession with her son in the first few minutes while Papa Basu is funny, demonstrates a good heart and is seen already eying Prerna as a future daughter in law.
The humble Sharmas on the other hand dote on their sweet tempered daughter , who is late to the Ganesh Aarti, as she had been stealthily packing stuff for her mother’s Pujo Stall all night. The contrast does not limit to the households though, as Anurag’s punctuality is pitted against Prerna’s tardiness.
As the episode progresses, you get to know that Anurag and Prerna share a common college where he is the campus hunk, lusted after by girls ( no surprises there) . Prerna is the only girl he talks to as their families know each other, even though the conversations have been limited to “How’s the weather” for the past decade. There’s a light moment when coerced by her friends’ interest in Anurag, a very nervous Prerna asks him about his sexual orientation, only to see a snarky side to him- where he misleads her into believing he is gay, enjoying her discomfort. However the fact that sexual orientations are being discussed without any judgements in a family show is quite avant- garde for Indian TV.
Full points for how the episode ends- the Pandaal Pandit describes the MahishaSur Mardini story to a curious Sharma sibling, which is juxtaposed with the shadowy entry of KZK’s Mahishasur – the future villain with devil red shoes and a cigarette that causes a fire in the crowded Pandaal. As the fire starts to rage, a red dupatta falls over protectively on our protagonists, bringing in the iconic scene that has long been identified with the show.
So pour moi, a well done premiere and I will be revisiting this review after the show runs for a fortnight to continue on my two cents. Till then happy watching!
Image source : Google ( No copyright infringement intended)