New Delhi: Even before the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts entered the lives of Indian kids in early 2000, there was Shararat, the sitcom that brought a whole new world of magic and fantasy into their lives.
This coming-of-age show centered around the lives of three generations of friendly witches, and held a special place for those growing up in the 1990s and early 2000.
The quirky tale had Farida Jalal as ‘Nani’ aka ‘Sushma’, Shruti Seth as ‘Jiya, Poonam Narula as ‘Radha’ and Mahesh Thakur as ‘Suraj Malhotra’ who played the lead characters.
‘Shararat – Thoda Jaadu, Thodi Nazaakat’ aired on Star Plus from 24 January, 2003 to 17 November, 2006. The show’s plot was loosely based on the American sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Fans of the show still recall its magical mantra.
“From what I remember, Nani used to help Jiya because her magic skills were not perfect. They used this mantra ‘Shring bhring sarvalin, bhoot bhavishya vartaman badling’. When we were kids, we tried to wield our own magical powers by repeating the mantra but obviously, it did not work,” Siddhi Gunde, 23, a human resource executive in Mumbai, told ThePrint.
Rani Sharma, 22, a commerce student, in Mumbai, similarly recalled how it was one of the best comedy series of the time.
“Shararat was light-hearted and refreshing. The story is about how different people in the family adjust to the powers of naani, her daughter and granddaughter, all of whom use magic for their needs. Jiya, the granddaughter, always ends up in trouble and nani has to help her out. Jiya was my favourite character from the show,” Sharma told ThePrint.
In an interview with The Times Of India, Seth had said that Shararat was one of the “most special projects” of her career. She also said how the cast of the show remained in touch long after it was over and added that Jalal was like a mother to her.
Jiya’s world of magic
The show opens on the occasion of Jiya’s 18th birthday. As her parents Suraj Malhotra and Radha discuss arrangements for the big day, Sushma, her maternal grandmother, makes a magical entry.
Jiya’s 18th birthday is also special because she inherits magical powers from the maternal side of her family. Her great-great-great-great-grandmother Rani Devi was blessed with magical powers which is passed down to the first girl child of each generation in her family on turning 18.
The men in the Malhotra household are Suraj and Jai (Jiya’s little brother, played by Suhail Jaffer).
Jiya also has college friends and acquaintances like Dhruv (played by Karanvir Bohra), a basketball player on whom she secretly has a crush. Then there is Meeta, Jiya’s best friend, played by Addite Shirwaikar Malik, who is in love with Raja (played by Harsh Vashisht).
As the story unfolds, the three women in the Malhotra household make good-intentioned use of their powers but these often give rise to comical situations. The story ends as Dhruv proposes to Jiya, and they marry.
Coming-of-age story of a girl on Indian TV
Shararat was one of the original coming-of-age stories of a girl on Indian television, becoming a classic cult at the time.
After going off air, reruns of the show started on channels such as Star Utsav, TV Asia, Star One and Disney Channel India. That in itself is a testament to the fan following the show had. It was also made available on Hotstar on 26 June 2019.
The show has an IMDB rating of 7.4 stars and people on social media are still seen reminiscing about the good old times spent watching the series.
There was a time i used to watch these show ❤✨
— Garima💞 (@niaupadhyay) August 4, 2021
when lyf was surrounded by these shows😭
— AngelShruti❤ (@Lovelif2499) March 7, 2018