“Pehle pita ka naam, baad mein pati ka naam, to khud ka naam, wo kaha jata hai”, a 10 year old girl confused about her own name!
This was how Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Naamkarann’ placed its first steps into the silver screen! It was hitting all the right cords, right from the question of identity that struck the heart of every girl who has come across the promo, the beaming innocence in Arsheen Namdaar, followed by an amazing audio track featuring the likes of Arijit singh, Palak Muchal and Aaryan. And most importantly the return of Mahesh Bhatt and Reema Lagoo into silverscreen!
‘Naamkarann’ broke all the stereotypical notions of a daily soap, with a content told from the point of view of a 10 year old girl, Avni Ayesha! The little girl born to a Muslim mother and a Hindu father born out of wedlock, a girl who was a mother to her mother at the age of 10, who had to come in the limelight by the word “najayaaz”! With all the unconventional yet heartbreaking plots brought out in the open through this little Avni, ‘Naamkarann’ indeed created an entirely new niche on TV!
If Avni redefined a girl’s strive for identity, Neela redefined motherhood and how a stepmother is. Neela raised Avni as her own, she gave her the strength she had lost at one point, she taught her the values of being bold, independent and being kind.The little girl fled with her Neelama but only to return 15 years later. She was back to face the demons of her past, and enters her alter avatar, the bold and beautiful Ananya Verma with the hidden lady robin hood identity in her! With the lady robin hood out on loose, entered Neil Khanna, the suave police officer. ‘Naamkaran’ never looked back since!
Introduction of Zain Imam and Aditi rathore as the protagonists, changed the vibes of the show, gave new lives to it, not only in terms of it in the TRP game but also in the hearts of people! The righteous self made police officer, always standing up for truth, up to the point that he would go against his family even ! A perfect combination of Ice and Fire they were, Avni and Neil! Even with the walls of a police and thief between them, Avni and Neil ventured out, from suspicion to hatred to betrayal to sympathy to empathy to concern to love! When we were used to seeing the ‘angry young man’ male lead calmed down by the female lead, ‘Naamkarann’ turned it all around, Avni who was ‘fire’, calmed down only by Neil who was her ‘water’ !
An iconic character that he turned out to be, the exemplary self made IPS officer of a rich businessman he chose to change the society, change the mindset of criminals by giving them a chance instead of punishing them. Neil Khanna may be the only “feminist” male lead brought out on TV. Neil questioned his family’s and the society’s take on why it has to be the girl who has to undergo the “agnipareeksha”! He stood by his wife’s decision in thick and thin, he let his wife be with him in his missions, he stood by her when his family and society threw the illegitimate tag on her time and again, he won over the fierce,incorrigible and unruly Ananya back to Avni, he gave the normal perfect happy family to her which she craved since childhood!
Avni Ayesha! A character with so much layers at different phases of her life. Faced with betrayal right from her childhood from her own father, Avni was unlike any other child of her age. She grew up to become a fighter! She was calm as the breeze when it comes to loving her family, she was a hurricane when it comes to fighting the ones who tried to destroy her perfect family! Epitome of selfless love and kindness, she had the alter face of being the brave fierce girl that she is, never the damsel in distress,she fought for herself,she never needed a man in any of her struggles! A karate black belt and taichee expert female lead speaks volumes about Avni Ayesha!
‘Naamkarann’ yet again brought out quintessential characters like Neela, who broke all the norms of a stepmother, she not only proved out to be the best mother but also the best mother in law as well.The show also changed the face of the typical father in laws and the notion of the cliché ‘a girl and a boy can’t be only friends’ through characters like Prakash and Ali.
‘Naamkarann’ indeed had left a lasting impression on all its viewers because of its simple, relateable, realistic storyline, nothing larger than life- be it the sets, the costumes or the emotions portrayed by the characters! As a feather to the cap, the exemplary performance of its wonderful cast, led by Zain Imam and Aditi Rathore made it more beautiful in the minds of the viewers! Donning the different layers of the character, Aditi Rathore has been extraordinary as the fierce Ananya verma, the ever loving wife Avni Neil Khanna, and the scared silent Neilanjana! Equally magnificent was Zain imam who brought out the different shades of Neil Khanna, with so much conviction that one couldn’t wonder if he was living the character!
Very rarely does a TV show leave the minds of its viewers brimming with true emotions, a tug at your heart for the characters and the story. Very rarely does a TV show throw light to socially relevant topics like illegitimacy and single mothers. The righteous Neil, the bold independent Avni, the ever loving stepmother Neela; they will all be etched in our minds forever, because they made us think, they made us change our perceptions. Rather than any award or accolade this show gets, this would define its success, the impact it had on the mindset of the people! Never again will the word ‘illegitimate’ be stamped upon badly on a child by anyone who had glimpse of Avni Ayesha! If it has been able to change at least one person, it defines the success of ‘NAAMKARANN’.
Ending with one of the best dialogues of ‘Naamkarann’, “insaan ko apne pehchaan apne naam se nahin kaam se milte hai” (a person should make his identity not from his name but from his work).
Yes ‘Naamkarann’ has left its mark with its ‘kaam’ not with its ‘naam’!
Written by Thimbu, a fan of ‘Naamkarann’ for BizAsiaLive.com .