Show Title: Shani
Timings: Monday To Friday 9pm
Karmaphaldaata Shani Dev is the new daily serial on Colors channel. The show is about the Lord of Karma, Shani Dev who is known to be fair and just. He punishes the evil and rewards the good. Let’s have a look at the first episode synopsis and see if the show manages to generate any interest or not.
The show starts with a voiceover describing the Karmaphaldaata Shani Dev. Lord Shani is an unbiased and fair God who has no friend or foe. For him everyone is equal. He punishes the bad and rewards the good. There is a reason why he was brought into existence as the karmaphaldaata and the show goes on to show how. Billions of years ago, much before the earth and humans came into existence, somewhere in space the Devas (Gods) and Danavs (Demons) were at war. Indra Dev led the God’s army while the asuras were led by Shukracharya. In the battlefield, Indra Dev (in a very Sunny Deol-ish voice) tells Shukracharya to give up as he stands no chance of winning against him and that only Devas have a right to swarg (Heaven). Shukracharya reminds him that the asuras are also sons of the same father as Indra Dev and that they too hold equal right on swarg. Indra Dev mocks Shukracharya for his audacity and flings him with his divyashastra (divine weapon) that sends Shukracharya flying over a heap of large rocks. In reply, Shukracharya launches himself at Indradev kicking him in the gut that causes Indra Dev’s crown to fall. Shukracharya then screams that one day Indra Dev’s crown will be his. Indra Dev continues to mock Shukracharya and vows to get rid of him and all the danavs from the entire universe. And the war continues.
Meanwhile, in Suryalok, the Sun God, Suryadev (Salil Ankola) asks to see his wife Devi Sangya who is busy tending to her two children Yam and Yami. As soon as she receives the message to visit Suryadev she starts to quiver. Suryadev asks her to do his abhishek as he has to leave for the war and cannot afford to be late. She is trembling before him but he looks unaffected. When she touches his forehead, her hand gets blistered owing to his strong body heat and she winces in pain. Suryadev notices her pain but tells her that he can’t do anything about it and that she better learn to bear his heat. She tells him that she has been trying to get accustomed to it but nothing seems to work. She requests him to tone down his heat for her sake but he refuses and scoffs away. Devi Sangya is now determined to find a solution to this by herself.
At the battlefield, Shukracharya summons a big beast who erupts from the ground and disarms Indra Dev with his burning whiplash. Just as he is about to attack Indra Dev, the beast is distracted by the arrival of Surya Dev who arrives in his chariot killing several danavs on his way. Meanwhile, Indra Dev retrieves his weapon from Shukracharya. Surya Dev tells Shukracharya and his army they are able to survive because of the heat Sun provides and that today his life-sustaining heat will burn them down. Just then the huge beast comes running towards Surya Dev with a big boulder in his hand and throws it at him. But the rock is reduced to shambles as Surya Dev strikes it with his weapon. Surya Dev’s weapon’s light can be seen from afar by his wife Devi Sangya who is on her horse visiting her father, Vishwakarma.
Vishwakarma is stressing over a weapon that he has been working on for Indra Dev when he sees his daughter in his house. Sangya pleads him to help her with her problem of being unable to bear her husband’s strong body heat. He tells her the only solution to this is severe penance for which she will have to live away from her husband and children for several hundred years. She is disheartened by an almost impossible solution and begins to leave when she hears her father scream eureka over a new discovery. She hears him say that he has finally found a potion that can replicate any living or non-living thing by running over its shadow. Sangya gets an idea to use this potion and steals a bottle from her father’s possession.
In the battlefield, the fight between devas and danavs get heated and Lord Shiva is forced to appear in the sky to cease the war. Indra Dev requests him to get rid of all the danavs at once to which he replies that it isn’t in his hands to do so. Devas and danav continue to blame each other for the war when Shukracharya asks Lord Shiva for the wish fulfilling cow Kamdhenu in lieu of swarg at which Indra Dev again mocks him and tells him to never even think it. As they argue over it, Lord Shiva furiously screams at them to stop the verbal fight. He scolds them for being blinded by their greed for power and riches. Shukracharya then requests Lord Shiva give them his final decision and put an end to the fight. The huge beast then murmurs that there is no use asking Lord Shiva’s help as he will eventually side the devas as he himself is one of them. Infuriated by his comment, Lord Shiva raises his trishul (trident) but stops just before striking him with it. He then informs the devas and the danavs that soon a being will be born who will decide what is fair and unfair and will judge people based only on their karma. Till then the war will have to stop.
In Suryalok, Devi Sangya contemplates over using the magical potion stolen from her father when she sees her husband Surya Dev arrive in his chariot. Surya Dev visits his wife and two kids. He plays with his kids and then walks over to his wife who appears too terrified to speak to him. He informs her that the war is over. He also tells her that he is aware that she might be upset over what happened in the morning but he really cannot reduce his body heat for her. He gently places his hand on her shoulder and notices that she stands unaffected by his touch. He asks her the reason behind this sudden immunity to his touch but she stands transfixed unable to utter a word before him. We then see that the woman standing before Surya Dev is a duplicate of his wife and that his real wife Devi Sangya is actually hiding behind the curtain seeing her husband talk to her shadow. She comes out of hiding as Surya Dev leaves and we see that she had poured her potion over her own shadow that gave birth to her replica. Since her replica is a mere shadow of hers, she is easily able to withstand her husband’s body heat. She names her replica Chhaya which means shadow and is glad that she can now go observe her penance while her replica looks after her two kids. However, she warns Chhaya to keep her distance from her husband Surya Dev. Devi Sangya clearly tells her that she is here to fulfil her duties and not hijack her rights and that she has no right over her husband, Surya Dev. Chhaya agrees to stay away from Surya Dev and Devi Sangya leaves the house.
We then see that Chhaya is busy playing with the two kids when Surya Dev visits her. He tells her to take some rest to which she says that Yam hasn’t fallen asleep yet. He tells her that she may be a dutiful mother to her kids but she also has some responsibilities towards her husband. He then asks her to see him in his room right away. Chhaya is hesitant at first but eventually decides to give in to Surya Dev’s wishes and walks into his room.
Some time later we see people celebrating the birth of Surya Deva’s son in the palace. Chhaya comes with her son before Surya Deva who asks her to see their son so that he can name him based on his shine. However, when Chhaya unveils her son Surya Dev is shocked to see a dusky kid. He refuses to accept the kid and walks off on her and his son.
First Episode First Impression (FEFI)
Though the introductory episode was an hour-long it was quite engaging. There is no dearth of mythological stories in India, which is why you will see almost every channel have at least one God story. There hasn’t been much shown about Shani Dev on television and Colors has very efficiently used that fact to publicise this serial. The first episode gave a good background of the circumstances under which Shani Dev was born and the reason behind his birth. The screenplay for the first episode was effective and the editing was smooth. Juhi Parmar was good as Devi Sangya but the show stealer for the first episode was Salil Ankola who plays the powerful and dominating Surya Deva. His built and voice makes him perfect for a strong character like the Sun God.
What looked nice?
The computer effects were neither great nor poor. It was average and decent. At least it wasn’t hurting my eyes. The actors did a good job too. I especially liked Indra Deva’s (Kunal Bakshi) performance. The sneer on his face when talking to Shukracharya was so good I almost imagined Lord Indra to look and react like him. The story of Shani Dev is unheard of and that is what raises the curiosity quotient for this show.
What did not look nice?
There wasn’t much to complain about in the first episode as it clearly created the premise for Shani Deva’s birth and also laid the principles he will be following as the karamphaldaata. The introductory episode was good and well presented.
Shani is a treat for those who wish to know more about the Lord of Saturn. Shani seems good and promising for a mythological show.
In case you missed the first episode then watch it on Voot.