What drives Indian TV’s longest-running soap?

Producer Rajan Shahi reveals how Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai managed to keep the audience hooked even after 3,000 episodes

By Author  |  Published: 16th Sep 2019  4:01 pm
longest-running soap

The popular television series Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai recently completed 3,000 episodes, creating history on Indian television. Producer Rajan Shahi says the show managed to stay relevant with changing times for almost a decade primarily because the makers never allowed stagnancy to set in.

“I strongly believe it is not a success of our team or the channel. Running a show for almost 10 years with 3,000 episodes is historic for the entire television industry. It is a collective achievement of the people who loved the show for years, as well as the storytellers, who followed the pulse of the audience,” Shahi said.

For a daily soap, Shahi reasons, the magic of the soap never faded because of the flexible nature of its theme and plot. “I think our creative team never allowed stagnancy to set in and disturb the flow of the show.

That is the main reason we managed to keep it relevant. Of course, in a daily soap, we have to maintain the core texture of the show but we change the dynamics between the characters without losing the essence of the script,” Shahi added.

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai premiered in 2009 on the Star Plus channel and featured Hina Khan and Karan Mehra as the lead in the early seasons. Like most successful television series in our country, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai has always banked heavily on the great Indian family.

The show revolves around a large Marwari joint family based in Udaipur. However, the show, along with its cast, has changed over the decade, to accommodate changing times. Perhaps, that is where the winning formula lies — in retaining its old core values in an ever-changing set-up.

Over the years, as Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai steadily headed for its record, it outstripped Ekta Kapoor’s long-running blockbusters such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (with 1,833 episodes) and Yeh Hai Mohabbatein (1,836 episodes).