The audience is still under the spell of Aamir Khan’s portrayal of Mahavir Phogat in Dangal, who dedicated his life to turn his two daughters into world-class wrestlers and eventually lived his dream through his children. While the film continues to break every existing record in Bollywood, Indian television is planning to tap the Dangal fever and translate it onto the small screen too.
The audience is in for another ambitious father, this time on television. An upcoming slice-of-life drama, ‘Meri Durga’ will show the dream and struggles of a school peon, who aims at providing the highest education to his daughter.
Yashpal Chaudhary, like Phogat, hails from Haryana, a state which is known for gender inequality. His only passion is to see Durga, his child, excel in academics and grow up into an independent, working woman. From the story to the backdrop, the upcoming Star Plus drama has many similarities with the blockbuster, but the show was conceptualised two years ago, the team of the drama told indianexpress.com during an interaction.
“We began working on Meri Durga in 2015 and the similarities between Dangal and the show are co-incidental. In fact, when Dangal came we joked that this is like our story. It is just that the show is coming after the movie,” said director-producer Ravindra Gautam.
The show’s plot, is in fact, closer to that of Anand L Rai-produced venture Nil Battey Sannata. Ravindra said that even though both the stories are similar, the fact that his show has a male protagonist makes it refreshing and different. “We hardly see stories on television from the perspective of a man, leave alone a father. The audience has seen a lot of mother-daughter bonding but I feel, father is the most understated entity in a house and I really wanted to explore the relationship a father shares with his children and the struggles he goes through in raising them,” the producer said.
The show stars Vicky Ahuja and child actor Ananyaa Agrawal. Vicky, who has mostly done negative roles on television, sees Yashpal as an opportunity to prove his versatility as performer. “I have done a lot of characters with negative shades but this is an out-and-out positive role. This father is very passionate and he feels that dreams can come true despite harsh realities of life. He is not bogged down by any hindrance that his surroundings bring in. It is an inspiring character and story, and I hope we are able to inspire people to encourage girl education.”
Meri Durga will soon go on air on Star Plus.