Zee's New Show

Actor Arjit Taneja and debutant actress Aditi Sharma play the leads in Zee TV's new show “Kaleerein.” It is the story of Meera, a small-town girl from Punjab, who chooses to assert her individuality against the reality of bride-grooming schools that are mushrooming all over Punjab. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—Zee TV questions why a bride should have to enroll in a grooming school and change herself before she gets married through its new offering “Kaleerein,” that premieres on Feb. 5. The show was launched at The Leela on Jan. 31.

It is said that marriage is not a destination but a journey two people set out on together. It is all about finding perfections in each other’s imperfections rather than getting your partner to change as per your own personal preferences. So why should any girl change herself or portray herself to be someone she is not, only to land a suitable match in the marriage market?

If the foundations of your relationship are laid by saying that you can swing a party for 15 guests at home at an hour’s notice or by claiming that you are proficient at 19 different cuisines or pretending that you do not wear western outfits or that you have no career aspirations and are content with just tending to the upkeep of the entire in-law clan, you are just setting yourself up for failure.

Drawing from this concept, Zee TV is set to launch its new fiction offering, “Kaleerein,” the story of Meera, a small-town girl from Punjab, who chooses to assert her individuality against the reality of bride-grooming schools that are mushrooming all over Punjab – schools that prescribe a bucket-list of must-have qualities for a bride to land the perfect groom.

A free-spirited girl who wants to live life on her own terms, Meera values her uniqueness and is in search of a suitor who will accept her for the person she truly is. In keeping with its brand philosophy “Aaj Likhenge Kal (We will write our tomorrows today),” Zee TV continues to provide a glimpse into the life and aspirations of the common man and the stereotypes they break to shape an extraordinary tomorrow. Co-produced by Nikhil Sinha and Priya Mishra of Triangle Films, it goes on air on Feb. 5 on weekdays.

Making her debut as Meera will be debutante Aditi Sharma, while popular actor Arjit Taneja will be seen as the male protagonist.

Deepak Rajadhyaksha, deputy business head, Zee TV, said, “We started 2018 on a high note with the launch of ‘Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se,’ a mature, unconventional love story that has been received well by audiences. Keeping the momentum going and upping the ante on entertainment, we are excited to bring to our audiences another progressive concept that is in keeping with our brand philosophy ‘Aaj Likhenge Kal.’”

He added, “The most basic question our show throws up is that if a man doesn’t need to undergo any form of grooming to be a bridegroom, why are we commoditizing brides through bride grooming schools? Meera’s intriguing story will highlight how getting married to an ‘ideal’ groom is the beginning of a new and very crucial chapter in a woman’s life that should be built on the foundation of transparency and mutual understanding rather than pretense and hard-sell.”

Rajadhyaksha went on, “The message we wish to put out there is that that the institution of marriage should not come with a tag of ‘demands’ for a bride but should signify ‘freedom’ and ‘happiness.’ Girls should not have to change themselves in order to find their perfect match. We urge young brides to take charge of their destiny and find a groom of their liking, who accepts them for who they are and not for who they are forced to become.”

Co-producer Mishra said, “Marriage is undoubtedly the most sacred bond shared between two individuals; it is based on love, trust and honesty. Every girl dreams of having a perfect married life. This inadvertently pushes them to make many sacrifices and adjustments as they start a new chapter in their lives. But that does not mean that she needs to change everything she stands for and believes in to become the perfect wife.”

Mishra continued, “Through its light-hearted narrative, the show analyses societal pressures put on women to change themselves in order to bag the perfect groom. The show will showcase Meera’s approach to various situations from a very different lens and how she handles the pressures put on her to get married. We have consciously named the show “Kaleerein” because it signifies good wishes and a happy beginning for a bride and not a ploy to rob her of her identity. This show is our first outing with Zee TV, and we are looking forward to a great start to our association.”

Sharma, who essays the lead, said at the launch, “In our country, girls are expected to groom themselves and imbibe ‘expected’ qualities and skills before they embark on this new journey with their man. Meera stands out from the rest because she refuses to lose her identity in this whirlpool of societal pressures surrounding marriage. Meera’s character is very real; she is the modern millennial Indian woman who doesn’t wish to conform to the stencil of the perfect Indian bride, refusing to put up an act that will impress the ideal suitors. These ideologies resonate very strongly with me because, just like her, I too believe in living life on my own terms without giving in to societal pressure. Meera’s independent and individualistic demeanor are what attracted me, and I hope that I am able to drive a positive change in the viewers’ mindsets.”

At the launch, Taneja added, “My character, Vivaan, is an NRI hailing from Punjab who has certain expectations from his life partner and wants his wife to meet them. A shrewd businessman, Vivaan’s character is very intriguing and quite different from the roles I have played in the past. I am looking forward to this exciting experience and hope that the audience will accept me in this new endeavor.”

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