|From Utpal Borpujari, New Delhi:|
|(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, on 20-01-2009)|
|Like Indians, Brazilians, too, are known for their addiction towards emotional TV soap operas. So, imagine what will happen if one takes inspiration from the other.|
Starting January 19, Brazil’s leading channel TV Globo will air a lavish soap opera set in two fictitious Indian towns, replete with the symbols Westerners identify India with—chaotic traffic, palaces, temples, mystics, et al. The channel authorities hope that the serial, Caminho das Indias (Path to India), will help it to retain its number one position in the fiercely-competitive Brazilian television industry. With each episode costing $108,000, this is one of the most expensive TV serials to be telecast in Brazil. The channel plans to telecast 180 to 200 episodes that will run from Monday to Saturday every week till September, reports said. TV Globo has led the market since the early 1970s.
Based on Gloria Perez’ novella by the same name, the serial is aimed at attracting the attention of around 30 million viewers. While a 40-member crew shot for about 20 days in India in 2008, the main schedule is going on in two “Indian towns” constructed at the channel’s production centre in Rio de Janeiro.
Perez, who has written scripts for a number of TV serials, said that her story, starring known names in Brazilian television like Juliana Paes (as Maya Meetha), Márcio Garcia (Bahuan) and Rodrigo Lombardi (Raj Ananda), represents an “impossible love” set in the backdrop of caste conflicts.
“Maya, the protagonist, is a typical Indian woman and has to fight a lot to get what she wants. The incompatibility of caste is something you cannot change throughout your life. Maya’s character brings strength, joy and beauty,” she said in an interview given to the Brazilian media.
The Brazilian media seems to have been taken in by the concept of the serial with some reports saying it would help Brazilians “to dive into a world full of culture, fantasies, emotions and real conflicts – all the magical aspects of India”.
Perez’ work is said to have merged doses of realism to avoid stereotypes. “It is certain that the Brazilian viewers will get a very good picture of India and its customs, culture, religion, traditions and contradictions (through the serial),” the Brazilian media has said.
January 20, 2009
Now, Brazilian soaps set in India