Show Title: Piyaa Albela
Channel: Zee TV
Timings: Monday to Friday 8:30 pm
Piyaa Albela is a spiritual romantic drama presented by Rajshri Productions. The show stars Marathi actor, Akshay Mhatre and newcomer Sheen Dass in leading roles. The show is about Naren who is not interested in worldly pleasures and wishes to live a detached life. His father hires Pooja to help Naren out of his reclusive life and open his mind to the bigger world. I watched the first episode and here is the first episode written update and review.
Piyaa Albela (2017)
Doon Valley College, Dehradun, we see Pooja’s uncle and cousin Anuj make a haste to deliver Pooja’s musical anklets before her performance. Meanwhile, college trustees Supriya and Harish Vyas have arrived for the college event and light the traditional lamp before taking their seats as guests for the show. Harish receives a call and excuses himself to answer it. Pooja is ready for her performance and starts to leave the green room when the lights suddenly go off. Pooja’s uncle and cousin see a hooded figure run into the green room and rush to the room when the hooded man comes flying off the room as Pooja hits him for attempting to steal. Pooja’s uncle holds her and asks the hooded boy to run before Pooja hits him. He then gives Pooja her musical anklets and she runs to be on time for the performance. All this is witnessed by Harish who has been talking on the phone.
Pooja performs a traditional dance and the audience look awestruck with her performance. Referring to a previous conversation Harish tells his wife Supriya that Pooja is suitable for that ‘work’ but Supriya doesn’t look happy with his choice.
Harish and Supriya are called upon the stage to give away the ‘Student of the Year’ award. And as expected Pooja’s name is called out as the winner. Harish looks impressed with her as Supriya presents the award with a smile on her face. Supriya congratulates her and Pooja tells her that Supriya has inspired her to do her best and that she would be happy to be of any use to her. Supriya then introduces her husband Harish to Pooja who also congratulates her for her achievement.
Pooja shows her prize to her students at the dance school and says that all of them should bring a prize like that. A little boy Raghu says that he cannot do so as he isn’t a good dancer like her. Pooja suddenly hurls balls at him and he catches each one of them. She then uses his actions as dance steps. She repeats the steps with her students and Harish and Supriya observe her from outside her class.
Harish tells Supriya that Pooja knows to handle situations and that not only is she smart but she is also very sweet. Supriya looks tensed and asks him if there could be any other way and he replies that Naren has left them no other option. He then asks Supriya to find out Pooja’s personal details and stresses that she has to do it discreetly.
On reaching home, Pooja fights with Anuj for going back on his words and not giving her a gift and he says that since she didn’t give him a treat he too won’t give her a gift. She says it’s ok if he doesn’t gift her anything as his father has already gifted her a pair of earrings and her uncle hushes her as someone inside might fight with him over her gift and we see a woman inside the house offering prayers. Pooja’s aunt Kusum looks annoyed as Pooja enters the house noisily wearing her shoes. Her uncle takes Pooja’s award and places it at the feet of Lord Ram’s idol and Kusum remarks that they do not place outside things in the temple. Pooja takes her award and leaves the room. Kusum lovingly scolds Anuj for only celebrating others success and never winning a trophy himself. She then tells him to go and have the sweet that she has prepared for him. Anuj looks highly disappointed with Kusum’s differential treatment but says nothing. (Oh no. Same old story. Poor little orphaned girl lives with her uncle and aunt. Uncle dotes on her while evil aunt hates the sight of her. Why am I still watching this show :()
Pooja’s uncle requests his wife Kusum to be tad more considerate with Pooja and she screams that she is fed up of being nice to her. She yells that first four years she tended to his ailing sister and now she has to look after her daughter. Kusum complains that she has been trying her best to reduce expenses so Anuj can have special tuitions but he is busy buying gold earrings for his niece. She says she accidently found the bill and that she doesn’t know how much he has been spending on his niece and his sister. He tries to reason out but Kusum leaves the room in a huff.
Pooja teases Anuj for slacking with his studies. Anuj however, gifts her the form to a dance academy. She is happy to have the form and offers him a treat at a place of his choosing but he says that she can treat him when she completes her dancing course and has a dance school of her own. She pulls his ears for acting all grown-up with her and we see Harish and Supriya secretly observe her from a distance. (What? They are stalking a girl. Like seriously?)
Harish tells Supriya that he now has enough information about Pooja and her uncle and that he will take the initiative tomorrow itself. Supriya looks tensed and Harish pacifies her saying that he is aware of her attachment to Pooja but she shouldn’t think of Pooja above her son Naren.
Supriya stops by a temple and prays for forgiveness from the Almighty as her love for her son is making her put an innocent girl in a difficult situation.
Cut to, Naren is in the hills near a waterfall with his friends enjoying a bottle of beer. After chugging two bottles his friends ask him if he has experienced the ‘high’ and he says he hasn’t as the bottle is ‘innocent’. (Huh. Whatever that means)
First Episode First Impression
I cringed when the audience chanted ‘Pooja, Pooja’ for the best student award because I knew from that there onwards I will be seeing an ideal multi-tasking girl walking on a path full of thorns with a smile on her face. And as expected Pooja is shown to be a hardworking ambitious girl who lives with an evil aunt who refuses to accept her as a part of the family. The plot of the show may be different but the treatment of the story is very stale. Side-characters are all predictable and clichéd. The first episode did not leave a huge impact on me. However, I am interested to know more about Naren who for now looks like Sage Vishwamitra to me while Pooja looks like apsara Menaka. I am slightly interested to know how Naren will fall for Pooja and why he is the way he is.
What looked nice?
Despite the clumsy moves, I liked the idea behind the traditional dance where Pooja tries to entice a sage with her dance because this is what the show deals with. Harish sees her perform and probably gets the idea of selecting her for his celibate son.
Apart from that, the mystery behind Naren’s nature is what is intriguing about the show. The whole idea of a detached boy falling for a sweet but strong girl generates curiosity. I hope the show makers focus on the couple and not drag the show by adding unnecessary family angles.
What did not look nice?
The typical storyline of the girl being an orphan living with an evil aunt is used and overused for centuries now. Is something wrong with a girl if she hails from a regular family with parents and siblings? Why does a girl always have to be so helpless? Indian television….please grow up. Stop playing the emotional card on us. Not everyone buys that anymore you see.
Pooja and Naren’s love story seems compelling. Watch this show only for the interesting love story and ignore the clichéd family drama.