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Thursday, January 21, 2010


NDTV Imagine’s Devi, has got off to a promising start. Even though the rural poverty-stricken setting is similar to what is being depicted in a large number of other serials, the dramatisation and characterisation on view is totally different. The story begins with the birth of a girl child to poor farmer Ghasita and his wife Suhagi. The infant girl, a second girl child for her parents, is abandoned by her father who is unable to take proper care of his wife, sister and his first born. The thought of having to provide for another mouth is enough for Ghasita to take this drastic step. He abandons the child at the temple.

Call it coincidence or destiny, the birth of this baby girl ushers in the dark rain bearing clouds to this drought hit village. The eventual downpour convinces the local priest that the birth of this baby is auspicious for all - he in fact proclaims her to be a reincarnation of Mother Goddess. Her confused father brings her back home, uncertain as to what to do with a burden so precious. Ghasita’s elder brother Paltu, a wily and shrewd character, seizes this golden opportunity with both hands. On the sly he plants a snake in the house of the village money-lender and pretends that it is the wrath of the child-goddess that has befallen on him. The money lender scared out of his wits goes out of his way to please the angry Goddess. He pays the villagers their right price for their produce, a first in the history of the village. This sets off Paltu’s devious mind into motion.

He sees in his little niece a golden opportunity to mint money. With careful planning he sets about to create the myth of the Goddess around the innocent infant. Dragging her out at all hours, under the relentless heat of the sun as she cries in hunger, Paltu sets about making money. Ghasita too by this time has begun to believe that his little girl is indeed divine and thus while there is milk for her, the older child is asked to go outside and play when she asks for some. Caught in the trap of poverty and superstition Ghasita is unable to see his child for what she truly is - just a newborn baby. The entire process of myth building that Paltu conjures up around the little girl is interesting to watch as it offers a true insight into some people go about fooling others in the name of faith and divinity. In its first few episodes, Devi has promised a lot to it viewers and if it is able to live up to its potential, NDTV Imagine and its viewers surely will have a lot of reason to rejoice in the coming weeks.

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