Mon to Fri,8:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Whats it about? Its a fail-safe formula: pick a story out of the treasure chest that is Indian mythology and run with it in terms of costumes and pious facial expressions. Play a few bhajans and you have a winner. Never mind that the shows never explore the rich complexities in these tales and what we see on TV are highly sanitised versions of the originals.
Ganesh Leela runs along the same lines. It tells the tale of Indias most loved deity,the single-tusked,elephant God,Ganesha. Mother Parvati finds her meditations interrupted by images of a child,crying out for his mother and disturbed,she goes to her husband,Lord Shiva. There she confesses to him that its maternal yearnings that are giving her these visions. Shiva suggests that she do a year-long penance that involves meditating and chanting the appropriate shlokas while standing in an ice-cold lake,in a rainstorm and even inside a ring of fire. Parvatis unswerving resolve is rewarded when God Paratpar appears to her and says that he himself will be born as her son.
Whos in it? Young Aakash Nair plays Ganesh and you cant help feeling a little sorry for the little tyke,whos expected to act as though its quite normal for him to have a trunk attached to his face. His parents,Shiv and Parvati,are played by Mukesh Solanki and Priti Gandwani and his brother Kartikeya is played by Adityansh Shivshankar.
Whats hot? Quite frankly,even a viewer with religious inclinations might find it a little tough not to get bored with the show. But that doesnt mean its irredeemably bad. At least the snake thats wound around Lord Shivas neck is real. And the actress playing Parvati does a very convincing job. She acts more like a woman,slightly insecure and not always in control of her emotions,than as a goddess and that is very refreshing indeed.
Whats not? There is much about this show that is annoying. The tactics used to extend the running time of each episode are quite tiresome. Its all here from the overlong opening credits to the incessant reaction shots. For a show based on Indian mythology,theres surprisingly little action. Its also weighed down by some seriously bad acting. The dialogue delivery is stilted and for some unfathomable reason,everyone feels the need to smile beatifically all the time. Moreover the editing is quite shoddy. In one yagna scene,a crew member holding a prop is clearly visible before the camera zooms in for a tighter shot. And the less said about the special effects,the better.
Should you be watching it? If the camera techniques perfected by the K serials gave you the pip,give this one a miss. Youll find an Amar Chitra Katha far more entertaining. As for the more patient viewers,they may find that sticking through might yield richer dividends than expected. At least,we hope so.