chapter  1
33 Pages

Introduction

On 3 July 2000, a soap opera, with liĴ le known actors, debuted on prime time on a struggling television channel. That soap opera was Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (Because the Mother-in-Law Was Also Once a Daughter-in-Law, henceforth Kyunki), the production house was Balaji Telefi lms, and the television channel was Star Plus. A few months later, on 16 October 2000, Balaji Telefi lms launched their second prime time soap on Star Plus, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii (The Story of Every Home, henceforth Kahaani). At that time, no one expected what came to be termed the “saas-bahu sagas” (mother-in-law-daughter-in-law sagas) to become the chhotey parde ki bari baat (the big thing on the small screen), transforming the fortunes of the production house and the television channel, making their leading stars household names, and millions of Indians, both in India and overseas, part of the extended Virani (Kyunki) and Aggarwal (Kahaani) families.