Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
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|Sarabhai vs Sarabhai|
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai title card.
|Created by||Hats Off Productions|
|Written by||Aatish Kapadia|
|Directed by||Deven Bhojani|
|Country of origin||India|
|No. of episodes||70 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Jamnadas Majethia & Aatish Kapadia|
|Original network||Season 1 - Star One Season 2 - web series Hotstar|
|Original release||November 1, 2004– April 16, 2006|
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is an Indian sitcom featuring a quintessential upper-class family in Mumbai. The show, broadcast from 2004 to 2006, on STAR One, received a positive response from the critics and public alike and enjoyed one of the best TRPs for an Indian comedy show. In the final episode, the principal characters are seen stating that there would be another season of the series. However, in 2012, Deven Bhojani denied that the series would return. The series gained a cult following. The Sarabhai cast reunited in June 2016 and producer Jamnadas Majethia promised some good news for the popular show's fans.  Recently, the actors of the show confirmed the new season of the show and it is reported that it will come back as a web-series.
The family consists of Indravadan Sarabhai (Satish Shah) and his wife Maya (Ratna Pathak), who live in an apartment with their younger son Rosesh (Rajesh Kumar). Their older son Sahil (Sumeet Raghavan) and his wife Monisha Sarabhai (Rupali Ganguly) née Manisha Singh live in the apartment across the hallway. Maya considers the name Manisha middle class and renames her Monisha before their marriage. Monisha's middle-class habits irk Maya. Monisha, on the other hand, does not appreciate Maya's snooty and snobbish behaviour. Indravadan constantly derides Rosesh for being tied to his mother's apron strings and for writing bad poetry. Maya and Rosesh consider Indravadan's attitude towards Rosesh and his gregarious nature boorish. The ensuing conflict and comedy becomes Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. Much of the humour is derived from the fake, artificial and shallow interactions among the city's elite and their perceived notions of the shortcomings and failings of middle-class society.
- Indravadan Sarabhai aka Indu (played by Satish Shah): A rich, ex-director of a multinational company, he constantly amuses himself by making fun of his wife and picking on his younger son, Rosesh. He always sides with his daughter-in-law Monisha in case of a brawl between her and his wife Maya, which always turn out to be very funny. He often brings Dushyant into the fights and also makes fun of Rosesh with him, accusing the latter of being a "Momma's boy" and many times imitating him. He also never listens to his wife and does what he wants. He is mischievous and still a child at heart.
Comic side: He likes playing pranks at Rosesh's expense that annoy Maya to no end. He can't keep a secret and usually instigates or pits two people against each other. These traits of his earn him the moniker Nārad Muni.
- Maya Sarabhai née Maya Majumdar (played by Ratna Pathak Shah): She is Indravadan's wife and likes only the creme de la creme in every aspect of her life and her family. Her bone of contention is her daughter-in-law, Monisha, who is from a middle class Punjabi family. The confrontations with Monisha are always very suave and sugar-coated. She is also very talented, she wants to be very sure that her second son, Rosesh doesn't do a Sahil and marry someone who is middle class. As a result, has trouble finding a girl his "Momma' will like. She also tries to "save" Sahil from the "middle class" acts of his wife, Monisha.
Comic side: Teasing and correcting someone when he/she behaves in an unsophisticated or less sophisticated manner. Her constant refrain is "It's so middle class!" Her victim is mostly Monisha. She says snide, rude or patronising things to Monisha, but covers up by saying, "Don't mind huh beta, I am just joking" or "Don't mind huh beta, I'm just using you as an example", in the end.
- Saahil Sarabhai (played by Sumeet Raghavan): The cosmetic surgeon and Maya's eldest son, and Monisha's husband. He is soft, noble, wise and very attached to both his mom and wife. He dislikes hurting anyone. He is the quintessential 'Indian male sandwiched between his wife and family'. He is perhaps wiser than his father Indu when it comes to matters between his wife and mother and always tries to make them get along with each other. But in case of his younger brother, Rosesh, he has a funny bone and like his father, likes to tease him.
Comic side: He is always sandwiched between his mother and wife resulting in disturbance in his family life.
- Monisha Sarabhai née Manisha Singh (played by Rupali Ganguly): The middle class girl, she is the daughter-in-law of the Sarabhais. Her father was a detective and she seems to have got the same inquisitive genes in her. Committed to her husband, she hates the fact that Maya constantly belittles her, though she respects her, but she never lets an opportunity to get back at Maya go. She is most careless, sometimes idiotic in the whole Sarabhai family. Also, she never tidies her house, which is always in a mess. She was earlier known as Manisha, but Maya made her change her name insisting that Manisha was too middle class. She consistently sides with her father-in-law Indu.
Comic side: She behaves like a typical middle-class woman, always trying to save as much money as possible running after sale offers, tries to make efficient use of everything, but failing miserably. She threatens Sahil that she will leave the house when he does not take her side or when she gets angry on Maya.
- Rosesh Sarabhai (played by Rajesh Kumar): He is the second son of Maya and Indravadan. He is a theatre artist, wannabe actor, and a poet. He is the favorite of his mom Maya. He disapproves of his father and is very loyal to Maya. He is very stupid and his poems are always bad, but funny.
Comic side: Acts/speaks like a kid. Truthful by nature, but Indravadan disrespects him for being a "Momma's boy". Tries to pour his emotions into his 'poetry', and recites those 'poems' at the expense of others' embarrassment and irritation except Maya. Maya does not like his poems either, but she loves him too much to hurt his feelings.
Most episodes involve the five members of the immediate family. Members of the extended family and friends make regular appearances and plots of some episodes are centred around these characters as well.
- Sonya Sarabhai (played by Kshitee Jog / Shital Thakkar): Sonya is the second child of Indu and Maya. She is married to Dushyant and presumably lives somewhere close to the Sarabhai residence. She does exhibit some of the hypocrytic socialite attitude of Maya, but to a lesser degree. She is heavily into the occult and specializes in reading the Tarot which puts the Sarabhai family in Paranoid.
- Dushyant Painter (played by the director Deven Bhojani): Dushyant is Maya's son-in-law, married to her daughter Sonya. He makes more appearances than his wife and is much despised by the rest of the family, even by the normally affable Monisha. He has a morbid fascination for various electronic appliances from toasters to tube lights to refrigerators to elevators. When the rest of the family is busy contemplating on some serious matter, he creates much chaos by quoting facts about various electronic brands and their technical details. He seems to be an in-house mechanic and electrical expert, going to great extents to explain the working of electrical goods and often using Rosesh as a guinea pig to explain the working of appliances.
- Ilaben (played by Rita Bhaduri): She is Indravadan's sister. She laughs a lot. She often visits Indravadan & Maya's house and helps them in some issues. She is married to Madhusudhan and is extremely affable. She is the only one able to communicate with her deaf husband, Madhusudan through hand gestures.
- Madhusudan (played by Arvind Vaidya): Madhubhai is Indravadan's brother-in-law, married to his sister Ilaben. He is hard of hearing and refuses to use a hearing aid. He usually does not acknowledge the fact that he cannot hear and blames others for speaking too softly. He is particularly bothersome to Indu and interjects almost always with a "hein?" A lot of humour is derived from his misinterpretations and the difficulty that people have in explaining things to him. His wife Ilaben is often amused by this.
- Baa (Pankorben Sarabhai) (played by Tarla Joshi): Mother of Indravadan and Ilaben. She has been dead for five years. She is often mentioned by Maya and Indu. She appears in flashback scenes. She ridicules Maya for being snooty and always reminds Indravadhan of his marital mistake by saying that, "Bakuda, meine tujhse kaha tha kisi chotte ghar ki ladki se shaadi kar..."
Other characters include the maid Radhabai, the manservant Vitthal (played by Ghanashyam Nayak), Maya's socialite friends Baldev (played by Gurpal Singh actor) and his wife Sarupa, Sarita and her husband Dinesh, and Maya's distant cousins Videesha (played by Usha Bachani), an NRI sister of Maya who has several Short term boyfriends and plans to get married but ends up being alone and Nayesha NRI sister of Maya from Spain who has several divorces (played by Sumeet Raghavan in a double role) who falls in love and marries with Monisha's villager cousin Jugal Kishore (played by Gireesh Sahedev).
- as Simple Killawala
Although each episode in the show had an independent storyline, like most sitcoms, several running gags contributed to much of the humour.
- Middle-class Monisha: Monisha exhibits several traits that Maya brands as being 'middle class'. These traits include a love for bargaining, speaking in an excessively loud voice, watching soap operas that make little sense, keeping vegetables in random places around the house and lack of refined language. One particularly refined gag is Monisha's cooking as she always manages to mix something completely irrelevant into the food, for example switching the detergent for 'Garam Masala' in her biryani thus turning it inky black. Maya breaks into a list of Monisha's shortcomings which continue till other characters, usually Indravadan or Saahil, intervene. Humour often arises from the fact that despite pointing out her errors, Monisha always continues to defend her actions.
- Rosesh's poetry: Rosesh takes pride in his skills at composing poetry; however, his poetry is ridiculed by much of the family, especially by Indravadan and Sahil. The topics he chooses for his poetry are bizarre like a toilet tank and the broken engine of a scooter. With additions of illogically rhyming words and his irritatingly shrill voice, his poetry is dreadful to everyone but Maya.
- Maya's sophistication: Maya is portrayed as a typically snobbish socialite, who often goes for charity auctions, exhibitions, art performances and tea parties with her socialite friends. She often thinks of herself as a social activist, who works to uplift the downtrodden, when really she just throws elite parties. The irony of her criticism of the less fortunate and her self-acclaimed social activism for their betterment bring about much humor. One such instance is when she raises funds for helping street children who are victims of alcohol abuse by hosting a cocktail party where she sells alcoholic beverages to her socialite friends. She dejects Monisha's middle-class attitude and most often ends up listing her shortcomings despite the fact that the problem was something else in the first place.
- Indu's hatred for Rosesh: Indravadan despises Rosesh on almost all counts, especially his poetry. He often harasses Rosesh, who is a momma's boy and exhibits much immaturity. Indu criticises Rosesh's poetry and plays and never exhibits any sign of acceptance of Rosesh as his own child. Ironically, in one of the episodes, it is shown that Rosesh may have inherited his poor skills of poetry from Indu himself.
- Indu's childish antics and behavior: Indravadan is usually at his childish best be it hiding chocolate chip cookies or selling his sports shoes on the street to have pani puri. His defiance towards Maya when he refuses milk and constantly enjoys a street snack, vada pav, is extremely entertaining.
- Sonya's tarot reading: Sonya often makes predictions that puts the Sarabhai family in extreme paranoia.
- Dushyant's technicality: Dushyant is shown as a person who is obsessed with tools. Everyone in the family despises him for his technicality. He often uses Rosesh as a guinea pig to explain himself. He also makes wrong comments at the wrong time.
- Yatin Karyekar as writer Nagesh in Episode 1
- Kishwar Merchant as Dr. Kiran in Episode 4
- Usha Bachani as Videesha in Episode 11
- Mandira Bedi as Cookie Sharma in Episode 14
- Manini Mishra as Dinky Chakravarthy in Episode 22
- The Khichdi (TV series) Family from the Khichdi Crossover Episode (Episode 25 of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai and Episode 25 of Instant Khichdi).
- Mallika Sherawat as Sunehri to promote her movie Bachke Rehna Re Baba in Episode 28
- Vaishali Thakkar as Neelima Verma in Episode 30
- Parvin Dabas as Sudhanshu Khan in Episodes 32 & 33
- Makrand Deshpande as Siddharth in Episodes 39 & 40
- Roop Kumar Rathod & Sunali Rathod as themselves in Episode 41
- Aamir Ali as Patang Mahajan in Episode 52
- Aatish Kapadia (Show Writer) as Anirudh Mehta urf "kaccha kela" in Episode 53
- Parmeet Sethi as Detective Omkar Nath to promote the Star One show D.O.N. in Episode 67
- Mallika Nayak as Maya's friend, seen in many episodes.
- Rohitash Gaud as Mr. Cindolin, the mystic who shows Sarabhai family their future in the last episode
- Best Serial, Comedy (Jury)
- Best Director, Comedy (Jury) - Deven Bhojani
- Best Actor, Comedy (Jury) - Satish Shah
- Best Actress, Comedy (Jury) - Ratna Pathak Shah
- Best Dialogues (Jury) - Aatish Kapadia
- Indian Telly Awards 2005
Producer of the series Jamnadas Majethia has expressed interest recently in the future of the series. Majethia said, "We have received so much support from fans online some of whom have even volunteered to finance the show if it returns. During the discussion we agreed that none of us wanted a never-ending TV series but a shorter term online was a good idea. Once I return from my vacation, I will finalise the script and we will move on from there." Satish Shah, who played Indravadan Sarabhai, also confirmed it, adding, "Naseer doesn't usually attend parties but he was also celebrating with us till 4 am and said he'd love to come on the show as a guest. The only reason we are being so careful is because we don't want to do anything rash. Sarabhai is not about individual characters, we are an iconic family." Ratna Pathak Shah, who played Maya Sarabhai in the show also spoke about it, "I would love to play Maya, but being an iconic show the quality has to be better than the earlier series."
- "'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' won't come back: Deven Bhojani". Times of India. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai cast promises good news; is second season in the making?". celebsandcinema.com. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "Exclusive: Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai a web series? Rupali Ganguly aka Monisha Sarabhai reveals some". celebsandcinema.com. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "Sarabhai vs Sarabhai shoot to begin soon: JD Majethi".
- "Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai to Return as Web-Series Soon".
- "Aila! 'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' to Return as a Web Series This Year".
- "The Hero Honda Indian Television Academy Awards 2005". IndianTelevisionAcademy.com. Retrieved 12 Jan 2012.
- "Star One sweeps Telly awards". Rediff.com. 7 Nov 2005. Retrieved 12 Jan 2012.
- "It's Confirmed! Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Is Coming Back, This Time As A Web Series". Retrieved 2016-09-20.
- "Here's why Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Hip Hip Hurray returned as web series". Hindustan Times. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- "Sarabhai vs Sarabhai to return in May. Here's its cast then and now". The Indian Express. 2017-03-15. Retrieved 2017-03-25.