Nigerian women have literally gone crazy for an Indian romance soap opera, Pavitra Rishta (Sacred Relationship). The soap which airs from Monday to Friday, between 1:30 and 2:30pm, on a popular television network, ONTV, practically grounds all domestic activities for one hour once it begins. Mothers, fathers and even children don’t want to miss a scene. Children and wards suspend errands; even neglect school assignments while their parents halt other activities and rush home just to watch the programme which reached its 1304 episodes on Friday, May 9, 2014. In a special investigation conducted by YES INTERNATIONAL!, anytime there is power outage, most families converge on their neighbours’ homes to watch the soap. According to Mrs. Hamzat Arike, “The drama is so emotional. I feel like crying most times when Archana (female lead character) is being set up, molested, embarrassed and ignored to cry alone. She is very gentle and respectful and this makes it difficult for her to live with a mother-in-law who is so treacherous and a bully. The soap is very emotional and above all, full of intrigues, lies, betrayal, love, respect and suspense. You will always want to know what will come in the next episode? What happens next? That’s the reason I prefer to fuel my generator so as not to miss the episodes”. Another lover of the drama, Olasunbo Akinkuolie, revealed to YES INTERNATIONAL! that: “I was not opportuned to watch the series from start because I had no access to ONTV, where it’s being aired in Nigeria and I believed that it had started for so long. But, since the day I had the opportunity, I’ve not missed an episode. In fact, if you start following from any episode, it will look as if they just started that day. The sequence is perfect. The English subtitle also makes it easy to understand and will always keep you glued to your chair. I love the suspense and I’m looking forward to a first Nigerian movie in this form”. Pavitra Rishta originally aired on Zee TV. It premiered on June 1, 2009. Written by R.M Joshi and Shirish Latkar, produced by Ekta and Shobha Kapoor of Balaji Telefilms and directed by the duo of Sangeita Rao and Meghana Amal, with its locations in Mumbai and Kolkata, Pavitra Rishta portrays the story of two common middle-class Maharashtrian families in the city of Mumbai and their day-to-day life. It particularly focuses on the journey of the couple, Manav (Hiten Tejwani) and Archana (Ankita Lokhande) who had a strong emotional bond. This interesting saga brings in the flavour of the mother-daughter relationship and a mother’s search for a desirable match for her daughter. It depicts this in a modest environment devoid of any glamour and grandeur. It also chronicles a middle-class household’s routine and lifestyle. In the soap, Archana, was not highly-educated, but handles the entire house work impeccably. Though everyone is dependant on her, no one really values her importance, except her brother and mother. Her mother has a sole aim of getting a good, well-educated boy, drawing a good salary, for Archana. Because of her wish, Archana’s marriage plans have always been full of obstacles. Simultaneously also, runs the story of Manav (male lead character), a garage owner, who gets besotted by Archana at first sight. Destiny and circumstances make his marriage proposal reach Archana, but to be accepted, he has to lie about his credentials. The marriage takes place, but the moment Archana comes to know about the lie, she refuses to go with Manav. The story proceeds from here – finally bringing the made-for-each-other couple together. But the suspense continues as Nigerian women have vowed to see and savour the concluding episodes.
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