One of the longest running soaps, Balika Vadhu, is finally coming to an end. The serial that has been on air for eight years – it started on July 21, 2008, and entered the Limca Book Of Records for the highest number of episodes will breathe its last on July 31. The serial that dealt with social issues like child marriage, widow remarriage, adult education and female foeticide underwent several twists and turns. There were multiple leaps and replacements – lead actors – Pratyusha Banerjee, Toral Rasputra, Shashank Vyas and Siddharth Shukla quit the show. Currently, Mahii Vij and Ruslaan Mumtaz are playing the lead roles.Mahii who made a comeback to fiction TV after three years is highly disappointed that the show is ending. “It’s only two-and-a-half months since I started doing the show and feel the end is too soon. They should have given it more time. I had rejected a lot of shows for this and to know that it’s suddenly going off air is disappointing. I think the change of time slot (it shifted from 8 pm to 6.30 pm) worked against it. Plus, it had competition from IPL, which affected the ratings,” she says. What she will miss the most are the people with whom she had bonded on the sets. “Ruslaan whom I met in the show for the first time has become my best friend. Every single day we used to have our lunch together. Then there’s Farah, my hairdresser and Zakir a person from the production team whom I have become close to,” she reveals.Even Ruslaan is sad that he will not be able to meet Mahii. “When you become friends with your co-star the working experience becomes that much more fun. She would make special things for me and even I made sure that I would get the kind of food she likes, from my home. When the serial gets over, both of us will move on to other things. Both of us are married and have our own family lvies. The disconnect is going to happen, but I will always remember this as we had a great time,” says Ruslaan.
Ask him what went wrong with the show and he says that people did not accept the new Balika Vadhu. “It was too modern for them. It the channel had launched it as a brand new show – a love story about doctors, it would have been easily accepted, but here it worked against it,” he says. He also regrets letting go off several small-budget movies for the serial. “Now, most of them have got other actors and the shoot has started. I did this show thinking that it will give me more visibility. Anyway this happens in our field and I am ready to move on,” he concludes.