Indian television

A snip in the wrong place wrecks a marriage in TV comedy ‘Meri Hanikarak Biwi’

Starring Karan Suchak and Jiaa Shankar, the &TV show explores vasectomy through the prism of comedy.

Hand pumps fail to function, television signals are weak despite an upright antenna and the samosa’s stuffing goes missing. In &TV’s upcoming series Meri Hanikarak Biwi, everyday objects come handy to depict inhibited sexual performance among men.

Featuring Karan Suchak and Jiaa Shankar, Meri Hanikarak Biwi is about Akhilesh, a village simpleton whose world turns upside down when his doctor fiancée accidentally performs a vasectomy procedure on him before their wedding. “The message of the show poses a question to the audience: who is truly considered a man?” said Sonali Jaffar, the show’s writer and producer. “Procreation does not make a man. A protector and a provider are what make a man. It is not just the ability to have children.” The television will be aired from December 4.

Play
Meri Hanikarak Biwi (2017).

While the trailer does not give away the cause for the bizarre accident, Jaffar assured that the show would bust stereotypes. “It is a comedy about a man’s man, a beefy recovery agent in a small town,” she said. “I don’t think television is a medium for heroes. It is the women who run the shows. People usually think that nobody is willing to give an arm and a leg to be part of a television show as a hero. But we are aiming to break that perception. We are trying this as an experiment like always. Hopefully it works.”

Jaffar and her team did not have to spend much time on research as they had a physician on board as a dialogue writer. “Whenever we went a little overboard with the exaggeration, he would keep us on track by telling us not to serial-ify it and keep intact the authenticity of the show,” she said. “One of my writers and I were joking about vasectomy and how a person would react if it was performed accidentally. So we decided to weave a story around it and that is how the show came about. The title is a clear grabber. Every man thinks his wife is hanikarak [harmful], but wait till he hears our hero’s story.”

The series tackles a sensitive issue, but Jaffar feels that comedy is the way to tell Akhilesh’s story. “If we made it very serious, it wouldn’t really work because it would become really preachy,” she said. “People do not like to be sat down and spoken to.”

Play
Meri Hanikarak Biwi (2017).

Sonali Jaffar has written for such hit romantic soaps as Kasamh Se (2006), Kya Huaa Tera Vaada (2012), Yeh Hai Mohabbatein (2013) and Beintehaa (2014). Having recently turned producer with her company Full House Media,she aims to deliver fresh ideas to viewers. Her most recent production was Bahu Hamari Rajni Kant, a comedy about a humanoid robot daughter-in-law.

“I used to write many romantic, run-of-the-mill stories and the only complaint I used to get from fans was that the television content was monotonous,” Jaffar said. “When I started producing, I decided that we will only do shows that have something different to give, in their own little ways. I am just putting my money where my mouth is.”

Play
Bahu Hamari Rajni Kant (2016).

Meri Hanikarak Biwi is a big gamble, especially since it has not been tried before and vasectomy is a prickly topic. “We do not know whether the audience will accept it or reject it, but you have to take some risks,” she said. “Also, because of the novelty value of the subject, we did not have to do something extra to make the show look different. The flow of the storyline came together really well and easily.”

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