[Photo Source: Hotstar.com]
Indian television comes with its own set of dramas—literally. The crying, the saas-bahu sagas and the myriad familial relations—it can never ever get old, even if it gets real boring real fast. Amidst all of this ridiculousness, the shows that truly leave an impression are the ones that really impacted its audiences. “Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai” is probably the leader of such stand-out shows.
As if March 16, it has now been 10 years since the comedy, which began in 2004, was taken from us (a bit too soon) on March 10, 2006. For the two years it was on television, “Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai” created an extraordinary journey for its audiences. There was crying (in the sense that there were tears of joy), and the saas-bahu narrative wasn’t soapy and dramatic; instead, it was hilarious and refreshing. The familial relations even mirrored those similar to the actual lives of its audiences.
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Each character of the Sarabhai family—Indravadan (Indu), Maya, Sahil, Monisha, and Rosesh—has become an icon in true standing as a result of the comedic genius of the show’s actors—Satish Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Sumeet Raghavan, Rupali Ganguly and Rajesh Kumar—plus excellent writing by the makers of the show, JD Majethia and Aatish Kapadia, and even the recurring characters, such as Dushyant (Deven Bhojani) and the deaf uncle, Madhusudhan (Arvind Vaidya).
The cast reunited a couple of months ago to celebrate the show’s anniversary at Raghavan’s house. Their party included singing the beloved title track together and, of course, watching episodes of the show together.
On account of its 10th anniversary, we rounded up the best 10 episodes (as tough as it was to just pick 10!) that really represent the best of “Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai.”
Episode 6: “Popat Lal”
In this episode, Maya’s relative, Popat, passes away in Los Angeles after being sick for a while. The family cancels their trip after his death and decides to have a funeral at home. Maya decides to fulfill her relative’s last wish by singing at the funeral. This plan goes awry when she eats food made by her daughter-in-law, Monisha, who is famous for her laziness and poor cooking skills—and loses her voice. Monisha steps in and decides to sing instead.
The best part of the episode is when Sahil and Indravadan prepare for the funeral and Indu decides to modernize the music by singing some seriously wacky songs to the tune of Bollywood hits.
Episode 10: “Scrabble Competition”
This episode involves our favorite couple, Maya and Indu, going head to head to figure out which of the two is better at the intellectual, word-making board game of Scrabble. After Maya wins a competition, they challenge each other. Of course, momma’s boy, Rosesh, helps her train while the other two help Indu.
The best part obviously comes when the winner is declared—and trust me, it’s a very close call.
Episode 20: “Love is Blind: Part 1”
Anyone who knows Sahil and Monisha knows that in spite of their humorous chemistry and true bond, they make quite an unusual pair. The first part of this two-part episode gives us the backstory of how they met. We find out that Sahil, being the good guy he is, helped Manisha (yes, that’s her real name!) and fell for her quirky nature. His mother, however, wants him to marry her best friend’s sophisticated daughter, whereas Indu encourages him to follow his heart.
Episode 21: “Love is Blind: Part 2”
As the episode continues, Sahil decides to pursue Manisha—only to realize that now she is engaged to someone else. Manisha also likes Sahil though, and makes her fiancé jealous because of all the time she spends with him. In the end, their love prevails and Maya has no choice but to accept, on the condition that Manisha becomes ‘Monisha’.
Episode 26: “Maya’s Guests and Dipender”
What the Sarabhai family always needed was a dog, right? That gets tested when two of Maya’s friends, whom she really wants to impress, leave their precious pet, Dipu, with the family when they go out of town. It turns out, though, that Dipu is a runner and takes his chance to sprint when Indu takes him out for a walk at night. They search in vain to find him—finally, Maya writes an apology letter to her friends to avoid confrontation.
The best part of the episode is when Rosesh tries to imitate the dog, especially because Kumar, who plays Rosesh, was so good at impressions and funny voices.
Episode 28: “Sunehri”
Malika Sherawat guest stars in this episode to promote her film “Bachke Rehna Re Baba.” She plays Sunehri, a woman the family takes in from a care facility as a maid. She works for both Sahil and Indravadan’s houses and cleans them— literally, she cleans everything from their homes. She’s an imposter and not the actual Sunehri the family was expecting. By flirting with them, she cons Rosesh and Indu and they end up giving her money with which she runs away.
The best part are the interactions between her and the Sarabhai boys as she tries to flirt with them, and their interactions are hilarious!
Episode 29: “The Gadget-Freak Dushyant”
One of the funniest episodes of this show, this one features appearances from all our favorite recurring characters—Dushyant, Madhusudhan, Phupha, and his wife. When the refrigerator at Maya’s house is broken, her son-in-law, Dushyant—a borderline crazy person when it comes to gadgets—comes to repair it. In trying to do so, he accidentally turns the fuse off and the family is without power. Also, Madhusudhan is around and since he reads lips to hear, he follows Indu around everywhere which leads to lots of funny moments.
Episode 43: “Rosesh Kidnapped”
When Maya gets involved in a protest, a couple of goons decide to kidnap Rosesh to teach her a lesson. At first, Rosesh is scared and his eccentric demands and behavior annoy his kidnappers—but they soon fall for his cute charms. Indu and Monisha, on the other hand, try to bargain with the kidnappers for the ransom amount, which hurts Rosesh and he decides he doesn’t want to return home.
The best part is when Rosesh starts bugging his kidnappers by demanding particular food items and other luxurious goods.
Episode 53: “Poetry Competition”
You know Rosesh’s superiorly poor poetry writing skills that anger everyone except Maya? It turns out he gets that from Indu! In his younger days, Indu himself was a poet. They decide to find out which of the two is better (or worse?) and hold a competition in their house—and even invite other poets. Kapadia, one of the makers of the show, guest stars as the judge. This is followed by a few poems that are so bad you can’t help but laugh.
All of these poems turn out to be the best part of this episode.
Episode 65: “Monisha’s Makeover”
Maya’s wish finally comes true when Monisha inherits money unexpectedly and decides to transform herself in a way her mother-in-law would appreciate. She becomes fancy, sophisticated and rich, which actually ends up bugging Maya. In the end, she finally realizes her daughter-in-law is best as she is: a little foolish and lazy but good-hearted.