Remember the yesteryear hit film Do Kaliyan in which Neetu Singh as a child actor played a double role, and tried to bring her estranged parents together?
Currently, this plot is being revisited on the small-screen in a big way. Parichay, in fact, is playing out the same story albeit with twin boys, who were shown to be separated at birth when their parents split — each ending up with one parent. When the boys (both called Anand) land up studying in the same school, they discover that they are brothers and swap places in an attempt to reunite their parents. In Bade Acche Lagte Hai, a little girl Pihu — all of five years — is innocently playing matchmaker to her estranged parents. Then there’s Hitler Didi in which, again a little girl will unwittingly bring her parents together and last but not the least Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki has a six-year-old girl trying to set up her father with a woman who looks like her deceased mother.
This new trend has worked for TV shows, as the ratings have gone up significantly. For instance, ratings for Bade Acche... that were hovering between 2 .4 to 3.4 have soared to 4.5 after the leap and the entry of Pihu. Even Hitler Didi, which was trailing behind managed to better its ratings when little Indu came into the picture. Says Ila Bedi Dutta who scripts and produces the serial,
“The child was part of the story progression but the idea was to bring her separated parents together through her. And Indu, as the little firebrand, has become hugely popular.” Sakshi Tanwar, who plays single mother Priya in Bade Acche Lagte Hai says, “A child has a way of touching viewers' hearts. There's an instant connect between the audience and the child artist. The charming and adorable Pihu has struck a chord and the audience is now looking forward to her bringing her estranged parents (Ram and Priya) together.”
According to Sumeet Mittal, producer, Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki, children are an integral part of Indian psyche. “If told nicely, emotions and family relationships normally work with the audience. However, there can never be any guarantee for TRPs (television rating points). Kids work for a serial only if they are an integral part of the storyline.” And if these kids are playing Cupid for the parents, it makes them all the more endearing, right?