Pavitra Rishta, the show that has consistently topped the TRP game on Indian television, will complete a glorious run of 500 episodes on Zee TV on Tuesday, 19 April 2011. The show which tells the heartwarming story of a lower middle-class Maharashtrian family staying in a suburban chawl of Mumbai has laid claim to hearts of viewers and critics alike. In times when shows swing up and down on popularity charts on a weekly basis and fade into oblivion without as much as making a mark, Pavitra Rishta has ruled the roost at 9 PM across all GEC's, making actors Sushant Rajput & Ankita Lokhande who essay the roles of lead protagonists Manav and Archana the most sought-after dinner table companions on the tube!
Beaming with pride, Sushant Rajput reveals, "The most gratifying aspect of being a part of Pavitra Rishta is the passion with which the junta advises me on what to do next and what not to do, as if I really am Manav. This happens to me practically every time I step out into a public place. It speaks volumes about how real the show is, how closely the audience relates to all its characters and cares for them as if they were real people!"
Pavitra Rishta focuses on the life of the virtuous and self-sacrificing Archana. Being the eldest daughter in her family, she chooses to take on the responsibility of her siblings rather than focusing on her own education. As Archana grows up to a marriageable age, her mother realizes that her daughter has been deprived of all the good things in life during her younger years. She vows to get Archana married to a well-educated and sophisticated guy. But destiny has other... perhaps, even better plans for Archana! In Manav, she meets a soul-mate who completes her in every way and soon begins a tender romance that blooms into a meaningful relationship. Despite being a man of modest means, Manav wins over the hearts of Archana's family members and the two get married … quirks of fate and vagaries of the Indian middle-class existence see the two separate. The solitude in their lives without each other and their strong undying love re-unite the two. The show now follows the challenges thrown in Manav-Archana's path as they walk hand-in-hand through life!
So, what is it that sets Pavitra Rishta apart from the clutter of mediocrity on Indian television? "It's beauty lies in its simplicity," says Mr. Sukesh Motwani, Fiction Programming- Head, Zee TV. "There is no melodrama, no excess negativity, just a simple yet inspiring story of struggle and love. If the characters are relatable, the casting is impeccable. Apart from Manav-Archana, Usha Nadkarni and Savita Prabhune as their mothers add an extremely realistic touch."
Apart from all the love and appreciation from ardent TV viewers, the show has also received many accolades over the last 2 years that include the much coveted Jury's Special Prize & the Best Foreign Drama award at the Seoul Drama Awards and The International Drama Awards respectively. The most recent feather added to the show's cap are the awards across categories of Best Actor and Best Show at FICCI Frames 2011.
So, how long can we expect to have the soap on air? "There's no time limit we've set to Pavitra Rishta," says producer Ekta Kapoor. "There is a lot more to tell. We are following the natural course of events in the couple's lives. Each time we go through an issue, it throws us to the next turn of events." God bless Manav and Archana and keep their Pavitra Rishta alive!