Show Title: Naamkaran
Timings: Monday to Friday 9 pm
Naamkaran is Star Plus’s new show that replaced its long-running serial Diya Aur Baati Hum. There has been a lot of buzz around Naamkaran since its launch. Its plot is inspired by Mahesh Bhatt’s critically acclaimed movie Zakhm and the first episode evidently proved so. So let’s have a look at the written update of its first episode and see if it managed to create a good impression.
Avni is sitting alone on a bench compeletely drenched in the rain. She has a fresh wound on her forehead. She looks dazed and is murmuring something to herself. Her mother, Asha (Barkha Bisht Sengupta) is looking for her everywhere when she spots Avni sitting on a bench all alone. Asha looks at the wound on Avni’s head and asks who did that to her but Avni is lost in her thoughts and doesn’t answer her mother. When Avni finally looks at her mom she says that she (Asha) caused the wound. Asha looks surprised. Avni finally asks her mom, “Who am I” and runs into her house before she can get an answer. Asha looks worried and runs after her daughter who is now protesting by chucking her shoes at home and emptying her mother’s wardrobe on the floor. Asha comes home looking for Avni who has locked herself in the wardrobe. Asha is constantly asking Avni the reason behind her behaviour. Avni refuses to talk to her mom and says she will only talk to her father.
Ashish Mehta (Viraf Patel) is a top-shot film director. He is discussing the schedule for his next shoot in Kashmir with his manager. His producer Mr Malhotra is waiting for him, while having drinks, in his green room. He offers Ashish a drink to which he tells Malhotra that he is well aware that he doesn’t drink but will still continue offering. Malhotra tells Ashish that he has completed his Mumbai shoot earlier than planned and should celebrate with a drink. Ashish politely asks Malhotra to leave. As Malhotra leaves a young girl named Divya enters the room and Malhotra checks her out lecherously. Divya has been sent by Nilesh bhai for an audition with Ashish. Ashish is looking for the script when she starts to throw herself at him. He is astonished and asks her what exactly she is trying to do. She looks at him suggestively and tells him that she is willing to do anything to bag a role in his movie. He asks her what kind of an audition has she come here for. She says that Nilesh bhai had asked her to get cosy with the director to bag the role. Ashish angrily summons Nilesh to his room and slaps him for misguiding the girl. He walks up to Divya and tells her to not follow the advice of such licentious men. He adds that only her talent can help her survive in this industry and asks her to do what she had come there for i.e. give an audition.
Avni runs to the landline and dials her father’s number. Asha stops her saying that her father is busy at work and that she shouldn’t disturb him. Asha yanks the phone from Avni and disconnects the line. Avni is annoyed and she stomps her way to the sofa. The landline buzzes and Ashish is on the line. He asks Asha the reason behind the last call and inquires if everything is fine at home. She says that everything is fine but just then Avni screams in the background that her mom is lying and nothing is fine at home. Ashish tells her to hand over the phone to Avni. Before passing the phone to Avni, Asha warns her from saying anything to her dad. On the phone, Avni asks Ashish if he loves her to which he replies that he doesn’t just love her but loves her ‘a lot’. She asks him to prove his love by coming home in 5 minutes. Asha quickly grabs the phone from her and tells Ashish to not take her seriously and that he need not come home leaving his work. He calmly tells her that he will be there in sometime.
Avni is sulking when Asha tells her that her dad will be home soon. Avni is happy and Asha too cannot conceal her excitement. She plays an old song ‘Aapki Nazro Ne Samjhaa Pyaar Ke Kaabil Humein’ on the music player. Avni notices that her mother is shutting all the windows of the house and pulling all the curtains (Such a heavy reminder of Zakhm. At this point, I actually started humming ‘gali mein aaj chand nikla’).
Avni brings her mom a saree and asks her to get ready to welcome her dad. Asha is busy applying kajal to her eyes as Avni, still grumpy, looks on at her mother when the doorbell buzzes. Asha runs to open the door and finds Ashish leaning on the door frame staring at her admiringly. As they stand at the threshold, passersby eye them suspiciously. Asha feels awkward and quickly invites him in. Ashish enters the house and showers Asha with praises for her beauty and then informs her that he will be gone for around seven days for a shoot to Kashmir. He holds her in an embrace and asks her if she and their baby in her womb are doing fine. She nods to which he asks if Avni is doing fine too. She replies that Avni is in a very bad mood. Ashish then goes to meet his daughter and kisses her on her forehead when he notices her wound. He asks her the reason why she called him so angrily. She tells him that her school’s sports day is fast approaching and asks if he can be there to see her participate in the 100 metre race. Asha shouts at Avni for her unreasonable demands and that screams that her dad is too busy to attend her school event. Ashish interjects asking Avni to talk to him at which she gets angry and tells him that nobody in her school believes that she is the daughter of the famous director and that they all tease her for her family not being normal. The wound on her head she says is the outcome of a fight with a girl who teased her.
Asha tries to explain that their family is normal but she disses her saying that their family isn’t normal because normal families are those where the mother and father live together under one roof. The mother doesn’t have to close the house’s windows and door at the father’s arrival. Father doesn’t park his car away from the house. Father comes home every day from work in the evening and spends the night at home with his family. Her father, however, does none of these and so their family cannot be normal.
Ashish then pretends to talk on the phone with producer Malhotra and tells him to re-schedule his Kashmir shoot as he wishes to return early for his daughter’s sports day. Avni is delighted to hear that and runs out to tell this news to her friends. Asha tells Ashish that he hadn’t to do that and she would have somehow managed to calm Avni down. Ashish replies that it’s been 11 years that Asha and Avni have been living in hiding. Despite being a couple Asha and Ashish haven’t yet married each other which is why they have to frequently shift houses fearing people’s gossip. He decides to take things in his hand and finally speak to his mom about his family and that she will have to accept Asha and Avni at any cost.
Ashish goes to his house where he lives with his mother. His house is humongous like a palatial palace. As he goes to meet his mother (Reema Lagoo) in her room, he hears her breathing heavily. He rushes in and sees her gasping for breath. He offers her medicine to which she says that she is a ‘vaid’s’ (herbal medicine maker) wife and that these English medicines have no effect on her. She then asks him the reason for his visit. He says there’s no specific reason and that he just came to see his mother. She says that he has returned home after three days and that there has to be some special reason for him to see his mom. He feels nervous and quickly changes the topic. He offers her medicine but she instead asks for a kiss on her forehead.
He leaves the room to fetch some warm ginger water for her. While he is gone his phone buzzes with Asha’s name flashing on the screen. Avni is too excited to tell her dad that her mom will be wearing Gujrati style saree for the sports day. But Ashish has left his phone in his mother’s room and she answers the call. Avni hears her voice and gives Asha the phone who is stunned to her voice and disconnects the line immediately. Ashish’s mom asks him who this Ashudi was and he lies that she is someone he works with. Asha is worried and unable to sleep. Avni senses her mother’s restlessness and sings a sweet lullaby to put her to sleep.
First Episode First Impression
What was hot?
Barkha looks simply stunning on the show despite her simple outfits. Her chemistry with Viraf is palpable. They look just too good together. The promos boast of romantic scenes between the couple and from what I have seen I must say I am impressed. Highly impressed. And after seeing the first episode, I know I won’t be disappointed on that front.
The shows OST is melodious and soothing. ‘Aa Leke Chalu Tujhe’ is the song Avni sings for her mother and I fell in love with the song the very first time I heard it.
I am so glad that the makers of this show have recorded some really good songs and I am looking forward to it. Though the story is similar to that of Zakhm, the competent cast is what makes the show so interesting.
What was not?
Well, I enjoyed the first episode. I have absolutely no complaints from the show.
It was good to see show makers take its audience seriously and not leave any evident loopholes in the first episode itself. Naamkaran has lived up to my expectations and I would definitely recommend watching this show.