Sony SAB launched the reboot of 80s popular series Wagle Ki Duniya earlier this week. Titled Wagle Ki Duniya – Nayi Peedhi, Naye Kissey, the series brings back Aanjjan Srivastava and Bharti Achrekar to reprise the roles of Srinivas and Radhika Wagle, while Sumeet Raghvan and Pariva Pranati essay the role of the new generation leads Rajesh and Vandana.
Having watched the first few episodes of the Hats Off Productions’ series, one can easily say that the makers have tried to keep the new version as close as possible to the original. The simple setting and relatable characters who are dealing with everyday issues and imparting important life lesson with humour, the show will take you back to R K Laxman’s “common man” world.
The first episode opens to introducing the ‘duniya’ of the Wagles. The audience is informed that Rajesh Wagle has bought a new house for his parents as he wants them to live near him, and his kids. Like most elderly people, Srinivas Wagle is not keen to leave his old nest, or his belongings. Reluctantly he comes only to see that his son has designed the new flat exactly like his old house. Much to their delight, Rajesh informs that while he wanted his parents close to him, he didn’t want them to move out of their comfort zone.
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The following episodes further chronicles the journey of the senior couple trying to adjust in their new surrounding. Not getting any sleep, Srinivas Wagle is left troubled, which in turn leaves the entire family worried. Wanting to keep his memories close, the next story focuses on the family trying to source a tape recorder to help him listen to his old cassettes. The fourth episode further talks about the importance of housewives, and how they are left craving appreciation from the family.
What works for Wagle Ki Duniya – Nayi Peedhi, Naye Kissey?
Firstly, brownie points to the production team on getting Aanjjan Srivastava and Bharti Achrekar to reprise their roles. Seeing them on screen instantly creates a connect, and will even make you remember the good ol’ days of Wagle Ki Duniya. The makers, especially the writers, have paid close attention to include intricate details that touch your heart.
The relationship between parents and kids go through many transformations, and Wagle Ki Duniya beautifully depicts the same. Rajesh may have become a father, but he seems to not have outgrown his parents. The way he demands their attention is heartwarming to see. His wife rightly comments in a sequence that while families are moving apart during the pandemic, he in turn is trying to get everyone together. On the other hand, the senior Wagles also take it upon themselves to give their son the much needed space with his own family.
What really made me smile was when Srinivas held the phone up to his ear, even while he was on a video call and when he called a cupboard “Kapat”. And Rajesh’s son Atharva (Sheehan Kapahi) ate a spoonful of ketchup because his father told him to eat fruits in any form (been there, done that). Also, Rajesh Wagle, who has a tough time deciding anything, has a cute quirk of asking his wife to pick a finger to help him finalise an option. Most Indians have or at least have seen someone done that. The relatable factor is actually the beauty of this show
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Where it falters?
In times of fast-paced and thrilling storylines, Wagle Ki Duniya might not get many takers. While it would interest the elders in the house, the kids may not fancy its languid storytelling. The makers have also added overly dramatic side characters- the society secretary who lives by the rule book and the house help, who could shame a mime actor with her over-the-top expressions. In case it’s to break the linear graph of the simple lead characters, well, tone it done, please. For it comes like a jolt while you are busy enjoying the light breeze.
Apart from that, what really looked a little bizarre that while the show began with the talk of the coronavirus, we soon saw them involved in a crowded puja celebration. The parents and even the workers forgot to put on a mask while moving to the new house. It was only in the third episode that suddenly everyone was taking about the importance of taking precautions during these times.
The makers, in a bid to gain attention, try to push too many emotional buttons. Every episode doesn’t necessarily needs to end with tears, or have loud background scores.
Wagle Ki Duniya – Nayi Peedhi, Naye Kissey is highly relatable and would make for a fun family watch. Seeing the grandparents struggling with smartphones, issues at work or home, to today’s kids impressing parents with their intelligence, it’s almost like reliving our middle-class lives on screen. However, given the serial is all about depicting everyday issues, it would be an uphill task for writers to create entertaining drama with such ‘common stories’.