Three days after the curtains come down on Ek Akasher Niche, one of the most popular soaps on the Bengali beam, yet another mega-serial with two fresh faces in the lead (Rishi Koushik and Aparajita Ghosh Das) will grab the eyeballs at 8 pm on Alpha Bangla. Ek Din Pratidin brings home the trials and tribulations of Mohor, a middle-class girl of modern upbringing, and the conflicts that arise when she is married into an aristocratic family.
'We start with a passionate love story and then get into the intricacies cropping up from of the cultural differences of the two families,' says director Anindya Banerjee, who took over the directorship of Ek Akasher Niche from Ravi Ojha. 'But while Ek Akasher Niche was the story of one family, here you have two set-ups of different orientations ' Mohor's parents who are upwardly mobile with a modern mindset and her in-laws who are conservative and proud of their blue blood.'
'My character is essentially an introvert and mature, unlike her tomboyish sister,' says Aparajita, whom you may have spotted beside Soha Ali Khan at the vaishnav akhara in Iti Srikanta. The master's degree-holder from Rabindra Bharati University has just started her small screen journey with a few five-episode serials and telefilms.
Though the lead pair is new, the cast will be fortified by familiar faces like Parambrata Chatterjee, Rwita Datta Chakraborty, Sudipa Basu, Bharat Kaul, Kushal Chakraborty, Arindam Sil and Santu Mukherjee.
To perk up the gloss quotient of the serial, the producers of Ek Din Pratidin have set up a lavish two-storeyed set (picture by Pradip Sanyal) at a cost of Rs 18 lakh at Bharat Lakshmi Studio in south Calcutta. The residence of Mohor's in-laws has been designed on the lines of Lahabari, complete with thakurdalan, open courtyard and a long corridor with iron railings. 'The set stands on an iron structure and there is enough space to use trolleys and tracks. We have done up the rooms with old furniture from Cornwallis Street to give an antique feel,' says art director Arup Ghosh. On an adjacent floor, Ghosh has built a posh apartment with French windows and wrought iron furniture, which would be the setting for Mohor's maiden home.
'Sets for TV serials don't cost more than Rs 5-6 lakh normally. But our budget is more because we are competing with the Hindi channels. Right now, we are targeting 520 episodes over a period of two years,' adds producer Deepak Bajaj. With music scored by percussionist Bikram Ghosh, Ek Din Pratidin airs from January 31.