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If one were to go by the name of the serial, Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh, the expectation that the story would truly live upto its title is high. There have been innumerable serials in the past that have dealt with this premise of an unsuspecting wife living in the artificial bubble of happiness that the conniving husband has created, only to wake up one fine day and find that the bubble has burst. What Ajeeb…will unfold in the coming weeks remains to be seen though.
Shobha, (Sonali Bendre Behl) plays the wife of an influential politician, Samarth Sachdev (Harsh Chhaya). The story —set in Delhi where, ‘winds of change can change seasons and lives’— begins with the couple celebrating nine years of togetherness. It has a very contented Shobha basking in the happiness of a loving family consisting of two children, a mother-in-law and sister-in-law. The bahu and saas plan a surprise party to celebrate the anniversary, with a special audio-visual collage of memories put together by Shobha. And even as a toast is raised to the happy couple, the police arrive with an arrest warrant for Samarth, who is embroiled in a sex tape, besides being caught for selling confidential defense documents. Shattered at the turn of events, Shobha is in a state of shock when she realises that indeed her ‘doting’ husband has been unfaithful to her. As she tries to pick up the fragments of her life torn asunder because of this deceit, the fiesty woman, instead of wallowing in self-pity believes in moving on. Shobha manages to get a job as the personal secretary of Vikram Ahuja (Apurva Agnihotri), a cafe shop owner, who regards women with disdain.
The story begins with the basic premise of a good wife and a happy family, the manner in which the plot develops makes it interesting to watch. The narrative moves at a steady pace, without getting into high drama.The characaters are very well etched, especially the healthy nok jhok between the saas-bahu— a far cry from the usual fare of a tyrant saas and docile bahu or vice versa that one gets to witness in every second serial telecast on television these days. The direction is flawless, and Bendre who makes her debut in fiction with this serial becomes the epitome of the modern Indian woman, who believes in marching ahead despite the hiccups that life has to offer. After all, ‘life needs a small pause to figure out what happens next’. And the song, Ajeeb daastaan hai yeh, (from ’60s film Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai) that is played at significant moments poignantly accentuate the storms that the protagonist battles in her life.
Verdict: A refreshing look at relationships.