Saturday,9.30 pm,Zee TV
Cast: Narayani Shastri,Varun Badola and Gulki Joshi
Gulabiya,played by Narayani Shastri lives with her two brothers,their wives and her daughter,Sugni. Gulabiya is an ageing dancer who is the illegal partner of Jwala Thakur. The Thakur did her sar dhakayi,fathered a child who he doesnt even know and remember. The Thakur continues to live with his wife and children in the haveli while Gulabiya is left alone to fend for her family. Her brothers,especially the older one,lives off her and hopes one day,Sugni will take on her mothers role. Sugni,on the other hand aspires to go to Delhi,work hard and make a life. But the situation at home has worsened with no money and Gulabiyas health deteriorating with each passing day. At the time of writing,Sugni makes the tough choice of becoming a Raai dancer and prepares for her big night for a ceremony in the haveli!
Meanwhile,a young Thakur has returned to his homeland and is Jwala Thakurs bete noire. Its an interesting premise. Its about the hundreds of women who know nothing better but dance to fend for their families. Their men only hope they win over some wealthy Thakur who will shower them with money and a mangalsutra which is nothing but a token. It still keeps them on the periphery of the havelis and the Thakurs lives.
The execution of the show is far from realistic. It is difficult to see a supposedly anaemic Gulabiya wearing chunky silver jewellery and looking healthy with the heavy make up.
The performances are near-perfect. Narayani Shastri as Gulabiya may not look the part but pitches in a decent performance as the helpless mother torn between her role as the provider and someone who wants a different life for her daughter. Gulki Joshi makes a confident debut as Sugni though she overdoes the chirpy act. Ravindra Mankani as the arrogant Thakur and Nimay Bali as the good-for-nothing older brother of Gulabiya are well-cast. Varun Badola as Thakur Vikram Singh,who makes yet another return to television,is a treat to watch. He is effortless as the younger Thakur. He brings the right amount of attitude and sensitivity to his part. It would be interesting to see his relationship with Sugni unfold. As it is,a few of their encounters have been interesting with sparkling chemistry.
Phir Subah Hogi has taken off to a good start,now we can only hope it stays that way. And yes,if the makers could go easy on the look of their female characters!
Verdict: Watch it for Badola and Shastri.