afaqs!

Humour and satire find a new meaning with SAB TV's Lapataganj

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 21, 2009
The show is based on the writings of Sharad Prasad Joshi, an eminent Hindi satirist and writer

SAB TV is once again finding inspiration in the written word as it gets ready to mount its new show, Lapataganj, based on the writings of eminent Hindi satirist, Sharad Prasad Joshi.

Earlier, the family comedy channel entertained viewers with the show, Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma, inspired by Gujarati writer Tarak Mehta's popular comic book by the same name.

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Lapataganj, as the name suggests, is the story of a small town which is bereft of basic infrastructure needed for day to day living. The characters and their lives represent a humorous and satirical take on the deficiencies that have crept into our system.

Speaking to afaqs!, Anooj Kapoor, business head, SAB TV, says, "Joshi's work was picked up because it has the essential elements of humour and family at its core. His stories fit in perfectly with the political and social context in a day and age in which, in some places, things really refuse to move."

Moreover, Kapoor stresses that Joshi is a well known name in the world of satirical writing and enjoys immense popularity and fan following across North India. Thus, the work based on his writings will find resonance with the audience.

With Lapataganj, SAB TV attempts to make further inroads into the Hindi speaking markets (HSM). In comparison, Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma proved to be more popular with audiences in the western part of the country.

Laptaganj is being directed by Manjul Sinha, who has to his credit shows such as Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi and Nukkad in the Doordarshan era. He shares that in the past, he and his team tasted success with Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, which was written by Joshi and once again, the effort is to create new milestones with the author's name.

Surendra Sharma, fellow humorist, Hindi poet and friend of Joshi, sees the show as an exception among the current comedy shows, which are more about hitting below the belt and cracking obscene jokes rather than delivering a social comment in a lighter tone. He says that Joshi's work is engaging as it is a comment on individuals and things happening around us, making one sit up and take note. His humour and observation are just not about raising a laugh but about sounding an alert to correct things that are wrong.

Beginning October 26, the show will be aired on Monday-Thursday at 10 pm. It will also have a repeat telecast at 7 pm in a bid to reach out to a larger audience. It is being promoted through hoardings and print.

SAB TV is advertising the show heavily through local newspapers and magazines targeting the Hindi heartland. The media mix in print includes magazines such as Grihashobha, Meri Saheli and Sarita.

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