Anurag Basu, with so many old shows returning to TV, can we please have ‘Love Story’ back?

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We all will agree to the fact that the majority of soaps on Indian television are pathetic. There I said it. Yes, our serials may run for more than a decade but when it comes to the content, logic is thrown out of the window at the drop of a hat. These days, thanks to the lockdown, several popular shows of the 80s and 90s are making a comeback on the small screen. And just like everyone else out there, I too went into flashback mode and reminisced about Anurag Basu’s ‘Love Story’.

Unlike other shows that are going to be re-telecast now, ‘Love Story’ aired in the 2000s and if you are still wondering which show I am talking about then let me tell you its one of the most criminally underrated show on the Indian television. Hence, chances are that you never heard of it before.

Now that everyone is talking about popular TV serials and gushing about the good old days, here I am with an appreciation post for Anurag Basu’s brilliantly executed romance-drama. Our Hindi serials rarely succeed in portraying reality the way it is. But this show, which was created by Basu, succeeded in all the departments.

We all often complain that Indian serials are over the top and full of melodrama but then the audience is to blame when serials with some of the best plotline have to go off-air due to low TRPs. ‘Love Story’ is one of those serials which fall in this category. The series aired on SAB TV from April 2007 to January 2008. And it was a heartbreaking moment for fans like me when the makers ended it abruptly.

The campus-romance-drama starring Mishal Raheja (Akash) and Payal Sarkar (Shruti) in the lead was way ahead of its time and it was a complete package. Action, romance, drama, soulful songs -almost anything that’s needed to keep the viewers hooked, was there in this show. The show’s story revolved around the love story of Akash and Shruti, two star-crossed lovers.

It’s always alluring when in a relationship it’s the girl who chases the guy and not the other way round. And that’s exactly what Shruti does in the show. She falls for the broody Akash. It was love at first sight for her.

Halfway through the show, Shruti tries every possible trick available in the rule book to woo Akash. But she does it in a non-threatening way. She makes fun of him, pulls his leg and even sings songs for him, but Akash is very sceptical about relationships thanks to his parent’s divorce. It takes every ounce of him to not fall for Shruti. But he has turned cold-hearted due to his parent’s separation and doesn’t believe in love.

Ultimately, Shruti tries to get closer to Akash through his friends Dev (Ajay Chaudhary) and Bhatti (Rohan Tiwari). Unlike Akash, Dev is spot-spoken, mature and understanding. He observes closely how Akash is being unkind and cruel to Shruti’s advances. Dev falls in love with Shruti and then begins the ultimate love-triangle full of drama, betrayal, heartbreak, and even death. I don’t want to give away spoilers for those who haven’t watched the show and hence would refrain from revealing who dies.

The show had handled the turmoils of being star-crossed lovers in the most beautiful way. Then there were several heart-touching love songs that the lead characters sing for each other. One of them is ‘Teri Yaadein’. I don’t have enough words to express how close this song is to my heart. We used to rush home from college just so that we didn’t miss its opening song.

‘Love Story’ indeed was fiercely passionate, honest in its portrayal of campus politics (it was set in Delhi). This Ravi Davala’s directed show had a terrific ensemble cast as well. Harsh Chhaya and Roopa Ganguli played Akash’s parents, whereas Uday Tikekar played Shruti’s uncle. It also starred Deeya Chopra, Mohit Dagga, Vineet Kumar and Jyoti Makker.

Shot in a non-linear format, the entire show was narrated in a present and flash-back mode. Anurag is a gifted filmmaker and he has this special knack of telling even simple stories in the most engaging way.

With so many old serials making their way on the small screen again, I urge Basu to please re-telecast this show once again amidst this lockdown period. And I am pretty sure, there are many souls out there who would love to watch this show all over again.

Anurag Basu, are you listening?

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