Themes and Issues
The soap opera is a constantly evolving form that has to be developed, expanded and renewed. Shailja Kejriwal, with long experience in developing soap stories, said, “since soaps have a never-ending narrative form, it enables us as producers to respond to the development of stories and characters. They have to evolve to remain relevant and they also have to respond, in some way, to social realities of the time.”1 Indeed, as Dorothy Hobson (2003: 107) points out, “all soap operas refl ect the time when they are conceived and are fi rst produced, but their capacity to evolve is the secret of their longevity. The fi ctional reality which is created comes from the ideas which are incorporated into the programme when it is fi rst transmiĴ ed, and the reality that constitutes that programme comes from that time.” Kyunki and Kahaani were concept driven soaps introduced during an economically lean period at the time of the IT dot com crash. Saat Phere and Bidaai deal with the continuing obsession we have in India about a fair-skinned girl. Soaps are thus “… both a diachronic and synchronic approach to the representation of reality and fi ction. The historical reality is the history of the soap opera, of the fi ction, as well as of the world which is represented” (ibid.).