Case of the 'dramatic' language

Last Updated 16 October 2013, 16:07 IST

It is often easy to emulate a success formula. We’re talking of region-based television serials. From Ekta Kapoor making West Bengal her forte to showcase Bengali culture to JD Majethia bringing a touch of Gujarat in almost all his productions.

From Punjab to Gujarat – a lot of regions and especially the two-tier cities have become popular due to their portrayal in one or the other TV scripts. The question that crops up is whether these serials are authentic vis avis the language of the region they portray.

While some Rajsthani viewers feel that there is hardly any soap apart from Balika Vadhu which depicts language correctly, viewers like Meenakshi Arora, a die-hard serial lover feels that, “the shows bring out only the flavour of a-specific region rather than being true to its overall location. It is important for the viewer to hear correct language to be able to relate to the show. Balika Vadhu and Pavitra Rishta have managed to remain authentic till date but otherwise many region-based TV shows start on a good note but few episodes use Khari boli.”

Many feel that the dialogues of Balika Vadhu are close to real. “The actors speak a very polished tongue,” adds Meenakshi. Purnendu Shekhar, the writer of the popular soap expresses that in order to “write anything about a particular region, one needs to know it as good as one’s palm.”

Since he belongs to Rajasthan, it was easier for him to reproduce his culture and language onscreen. “In the initial episodes, I used to read out the dialogues to the actors,” he reveals adding that the person creating the show needs to be, “aware and alert about a region.”
But viewers feel that this kind of dedicated approach is not replicated across board. “If a serial shows a story based in Mumbai then it somewhere needs a Tapori accent typical of the chauls,” suggests another viewer Shikha Tyagi, who says that the language used in Madhubala doesn’t do justice to its region, Mumbai. “A lot of serials based in small towns use regular Hindi.”

To this, Vandana Tewari, who has penned the story-screenplay for Ek Ghar Banaunga says, “Our shows are for a pan-India audience. It is essential for us to use a language that reaches the masses because our show promotes a message and not a region.”

Lack of time given to writers of TV serials leaves them without an option to explore the nuances of language. Because if narrating a story was the only objective, why would stalwarts like Sanjay Leela Bhansali be investing money, time and effort in bringing authenticity to Saraswatichandra?

Its true, ‘Even to copy, one needs brains’. Unfortunately, makers are overlooking the significance of research in order to stick to deadlines!  

(Published 16 October 2013, 16:07 IST)

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