The newly launched Life OK, a replacement of the youth-focussed Star One, has quite the varied programming portfolio – the most high profile ones from its line up being the issue-based serial Saubhagyavati Bhava, which depicts the life of a domestic violence victim, the mythological serial Devon Ke Dev …Mahadev, which narrates the love story of Sati and Shiv, Meri Maa, a serial that explores the bond between a mother and her lost child, and the second season of Sach Ka Saamna, the reality show hosted by Rajeev Khandelwal that gives people a platform to pledge their fight against corruption on. However, today let’s have a look at one of the more light-hearted features on offer from Life OK – Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki, which airs on the channel everyday at 9.40pm.
Unconventionally for a serial heroine, Lakshmi (Shraddha Arya), is a girl obsessed with money. At the age of 9 she zoned in on Arjun Aghnihotri, son of the richest family in Kanpur, as the prince she will marry one day so she can have lots of money at her disposal. You’d think over the years this thought would have been forgotten as a childish whim but instead, if possible, the idea seems to her even more plausible now. On hearing that Arjun (Sudeep Sahir) has completed his studies and returned from London to handle his father’s business she lands outside the gates of his mahal-like house hoping for a meeting. One nazar is all that’s needed for him to become fida over her, she reckons. Sounds like a gold-digger you’re thinking, but her characterisation isn’t as judgemental as that. Lakshmi thinks that everyone deserves to live a better and bigger life. She has indeed successfully encouraged many in her town to aim higher. Her own dreams of becoming rich one day are also not limited to luxuries for herself – she wants to give her family all the happiness in the world, though ofcourse in her head this means showering them with material gifts.
Initially Lakshmi’s constant gyaan-giving about dreaming and working hard to chase those dreams seems a bit off-putting because you wonder why she isn’t working hard herself instead of standing around waiting for a rajkumar to drown in her eyes. But slowly you realise that she isn’t one for inaction. With the money she earns from her dance classes she’s going to gift her accountant sister and journalist jeejaji-to-be a car. By investing in carefully chosen shares she has doubled her income to better help with the daily expenses of the house. She and her sister help their buaji with the daily chores of the house and are vigilant about being economic in their kharcha-paani. Not as air-headed as one may initially have thought, then. In fact, the serial takes pains to establish Lakshmi’s entrepreneurial credibility – first by having her give share market advice to the hero, someone who holds a management degree from Oxford, and having the hero acknowledge it to be sound, and then through a track where she wishes her father to invest in a plot scheme and the audience suspects the family will end up losing their money over it but it turns out she was right, though her father (understandably) didn’t have the courage to undertake the risk.
Aside from the characterisation of its heroine MLTAK is worth watching for its adorable romance. Arjun and Lakshmi are an interesting pair. He’s smitten the moment she goes all Miss Latar Patar on him and she makes it clear, to his surprise and delight, that she’s about to get married to The Arjun Aghnihotri so he better not get any ideas. Ofcourse Arjun wants her to love him for himself and not his money so he decides to win her heart as Ajay Sharma first. Watching Arjun woo Lakshmi and seeing Lakshmi realise that what she has right now is more precious than the pots of gold she’s always chasing after is bound to be an enjoyable journey. It’s very fairytale filmi ofcourse – she thinks Arjun will fall for her as soon she comes in front of him …and conveniently enough he really does, but who doesn’t love a good “happily ever after”!
If MLTAK continues in its current vein, as a melodrama free, light-hearted and breezy romance along with some slice of aam zindagi moments it should do quite well. Time is money, they say. Well, your time watching this show would be well spent in that case 😉
For more of guest blogger Nakhrewali’s opinions check out her blog: Serious About Serials