A beautiful ghazal sung by a ghazal maestro for the title song, stellar performances by the main and second leads, superb direction and brilliant script writing are some of the highlights that make Sailaab a popular and unforgettable show. This 1995 classic, that was first shown on Zee TV remains one of my top few favourite shows among all times.

Sailaab can be called as TV’s own Silsila because the story is about two ex-lovers who meet again while they are married to other persons, decide to ponder upon their feelings for each other, realise that time has taken them onto different paths and finally return back to their respective spouses.

The similarites also extend to the fact that both in the movie and TV versions, the male protagonist is a writer and the husband of the female protagonist is a doctor. But then, the similarity ends there. Sailaab is given a totally different treatment. Feelings of helplessness, revolt, jealousy, possessiveness – all so delicately handled by the director, Ravi Rai.

Narration of the story is quite gripping. It starts with Rohit and Shivani meeting after a gap of five years. From there, the story keeps shuttling between the past and present, gradually unfolding the events of the past and their effects befalling on the present events. And as the story moves to and fro between the two eras, Jagjit Singh’s ghazal, ‘Apni marzi se kahaan apne safar ke hum hai …’ accompanies one throughout. Penned by Nida Fazli and composed by Talat Aziz, this beautiful ghazal, mirrors the emotions that the protagonists go through while contemplating the matters of their hearts.

Not only this, there are a few more songs that are unforgettable, like ‘Jeevan kya hai’ sung by Jagjit Singh, ‘Koi kisi se door hai, koi kisi ke saath …’, sung by Talat Aziz

Surrounded by these beautiful tunes, Sailaab takes its own shape, Story and screenplay is by the director, Ravi Rai, himself. He provides some very thoughtful lines throughout the series. His narration, as the story develops, is quite crisp.

Stars of the show are surely the protagonists Renuka Shahane who plays Shivani and Sachin Khedekar who plays Rohit. They pour their heart and soul into their respective characters, expressing their pain and helplessness with utmost ease. Not far behind are the actors who play their respective spouses, Mahesh Thakur as Avinash and Prajakti Deshmukh as Gayatri. Their contribution is exemplary. I was surprised to see Mahesh Thakur excel in some highly emotional scenes. Before this, I had seen him only in the hilarious sitcom, ‘Tu tu main main’ and had no clue that he could execute very contrast scenes so well.

The rest of the cast boasts of a very talented team that includes Rohini Hattangadi as Rohit’s mother, Raju Kher as Shivani’s brother, Nandita Puri as Shivani’s sister-in-law, Sucheta Trivedi as Rohit’s sister, Ninad Kamat as Gayatri’s brother, etc. Of course, the cast and crew team as a whole has worked together to create a beautiful series, that one can remember for a long long time.

All the pictures and videos are credited to the uploaders. A huge thanks to them for helping me watch this series once more and letting me revisit that era once again.


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