Ishqbaaaz – A Spectacular Serial
Flashback to the beginning of 2016, the Hindi TV industry is in a creative crisis. With supernatural sagas and melodramatic family dramas being cloned around the clock, the industry is in dire need of a saviour. Come June 2016, promos role out for Ishqbaaaz. At first, it appears to be a tale about three brothers (*laughs if the name wasn’t a giveaway). With no female lead in sight, viewers gear up for the launch. Flash forward to today, 4 years later, Ishqbaaaz is a legacy. Ok, hold up. Wait… What happened in between? Wondering how another “family drama” went onto becoming a legacy? Well, you are in for a treat folks. So get ready because we are about to go down memory lane!
Firstly, it all began with the impeccable writing team. For those that don’t know, Ishqbaaaz was in preproduction for nearly two years. In this period, the makers carefully etched out the detailed premise and arcs for all of its characters. Therefore, it is the act of good writing that allowed audiences to engage far deeper with the show. Since each character was layered and had a clear trajectory it allowed for a seamless viewing experience. Furthermore, all the primary characters alluded to Hindu Texts such as the Ramayan and Shiv Puran. The use of puranic stories as inspiration blended with the modern way of storytelling is what set Ishqbaaaz apart. Moreover, if we discuss character development, then Shivaay’s romantic development stretches to over 400 episodes, a one of its kind. No wonder it went onto becoming a hit proving that audiences do love to watch new and innovative content.
When one thinks of development, the word Shivika comes into mind. Shivaay and Annika’s love story was beautifully developed by the writers. Not only were they anchors of the Oberoi family protecting their loved ones from the wraths of the villains but the best lovers. Shivika were the soul of Ishqbaaaz and it can be rightfully said that Shivaay and Annika’s romantic arc is one of the best, if not the best on Indian TV. From their initial non-jhok’s to falling in love and then dealing with all problems they faced, Shivika have certainly lived up to the word “Ishqbaaazi”. Despite the countless trials and tribulations they faced, they stood by each other and overcame it together (Did someone just say #CoupleGoals!) Thus, Shivika represents the eternal hope proving that love will emerge victorious. Shivika were iconic and will continue to rule our hearts forever. Shivika’s story extends beyond the realms of fiction and who better to credit than Nakuul Mehta and Surbhi Chandna who breathed life into these characters with their impeccable and performances.
Moreover, Ishqbaaaz revolutionised the way Hindi Serials were edited. Without having a constant “dhumtana” in the background, the technical team amplified the drama in several other ways. This was primarily achieved with the use of shots, angles and camera techniques elevating the standard within the industry. (Fun fact: Ishqbaaaz was one of the few shows to have a multi-camera setup. Can you feel the grandeur already?) Also, since we are on the topic of innovation, it goes without saying that Ishqbaaaz’s art direction was unlike no other. Each and every scene on the show was a visual treat. From the very first episode, Ishqbaaaz set a benchmark in terms of art direction. The innovative use of flowers, lights and drapes were beautiful and thinking about the same transports one back to those spectacular moments.
Do you folks know what else is beautiful, or stunning as I should rather say? The costumes. Yes. The innovative outfits are what made the viewing experience all the more enjoyable. The use of different prints, textures and colours combined with western and eastern fashion trends elevated the standard within the industry. Svetlana and Annika’s outfits, in particular, changed the game on how villains and protagonists should be styled. (Even in terms of accessories Annika’s moon bracelet and mangalsutra became an overnight sensation.) With Ishqbaaaz’s arrival gone were the days when female leads had to be veiled in 50 yards of fabric. Besides the female characters, Shivaay’s wardrobe changed the game for male characters, especially leads. After seeing countless male leads in desaturated colours, Ishqbaaaz gave a new lease of life to the wardrobe of its male leads. Shivaay’s bright suits and cartoon jacket linings is certainly a style statement. Well, now you know where to go for style inspiration folks!
Needless to say, the performances of the show truly ties everything as mentioned above. Despite the limitations of the daily format, all actors essayed their roles with sincerity. One certainly does get a sense that they are watching the best of the best. Alongside the performances, it is the chemistry and cast bonding which worked incredibly well for the audiences. The off-screen bonding was surely the primary catalyst for the wonderful screen presence each actor had with one another. Asking Shrenu Parikh on what she thinks the audiences found appealing about Gauri’s character, she believes it’s
“her simplicity, modesty, rawness and strength.”
I then asked the fellow actress what comes to her mind when the word Rikara is mentioned. To which she responded
“Omkara and Gauri were Lord Shiva’s made Jodi. For me Rikara is always going to stay close to my heart as we have had some of the best moments between us… be it the Shaadi, be it the confession, be it the English classes, or when I become a Sardar and Chulbul it’s just been magical.” She adds, “More than us I feel our fans have loved and lived Rikara… typing about it only makes me emotional now! So, I’m going to keep it short!”
Well doesn’t that warm all of our hearts up?!
Another reason for Ishqbaaaz’s legacy is the underpinning Indian values it depicted. Asking Leenesh Mattoo on the same, he responded with
“Ishqbaaaz showed the true essence of relationships within a family; between brothers and different couples, along with some very interesting plot twists.”
I further asked him about what he thinks appealed to the audiences about Rudra’s character. To which he responded,
“The realness of the character, I’m sure every pampered little brother in the family related to the character. His innocence and silly antics along with a sudden burst of wisdom.”
Well, one can certainly agree as Ishqbaaaz’s success lies in the strong family values it has depicted. The dynamics between the family members was authentic and showed the true meaning of “Ishqbaaazi”.
Last but not the least, the audience has and will continue to play an integral part in Ishqbaaaz’s legacy. It is this loyal audience that kept the show on-air for nearly 3 years and played a huge part in getting the show 39+ awards. Furthermore, the show’s popularity led to the spin-off Dil Bole Oberoi which acted as a pioneer for spin-offs within the industry. To top it up, Ishqbaaaz was and still is being syndicated internationally proving that its audience is not restricted to India. By consecutively winning the AVTA and trending globally on multiple occasions, one can see that the legacy Ishqbaaaz has left is incredible.
Wait… we are not done yet. Keep reading folks!
In contacting Nakuul Mehta, we asked him what he believes made Ishqbaaaz a legacy. To which he responded with,
“Well, I think it’s hard to sort of put a finger to what made it so special but I think it was the coming together of the right cast, crew, story, creatives and audiences which embraced it and made it their own… even being associated with the right network and producers.” He further adds, “I feel more than that it had the right amount of romance, great relationship drama and even great family drama as well as the right emotions which touched everybody the way it did at the time it was made. Some things are best left unexplained and I think that’s what the legend of Ishqbaaaz will always be… very special for me personally.”
Well, we certainly agree. It is a truly special show for all.
Well, there you have it folks, my take on Ishqbaaaz – a lasting legacy. Stay tuned to UrbanAsian and I shall be back with a new article soon.