India's Naagin story!

By HT

New Delhi, April 21 -- When witches and demons featured in TV serials in 2015, many thought it was a fad. Surprisingly, audiences lapped up plots featuring daayans, chudails, naagins and shaitaans.

Supernatural element is popular among TV serials. Producer Ekta Kapoor's five-month-old weekend serial, Naagin has broken TRP records to become the highest-grossing TV show so far. The series will soon be replaced by Mona Singh's new serial Kavach about a woman who is possessed.

Mouni Roy, who plays the lead in Naagin, says, "The fantasy-fiction genre attracts a lot of young viewers, and it takes you away from the mundane. That's why historical and mythological dramas work. Supernatural elements are part of our culture. In the west, there are vampires, witches and werewolves. Here, we have naagins."

So, Hamari Adhuri Kahaani has a naagin and a dayan, Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum features a man who can turn into a tiger, and Vishkanya is about a woman whose blood is poisonous.

"I personally don't think urban audiences watch a lot of TV. On the other hand, our target audience has grown up on such stories," says Ekta, who knew that because Naagin was a weekend show, it had to be "more dramatic and over the top." "You can have a mother of dragons in Game of Thrones, but not many will watch that in India," adds Ekta.

However, there are those who feels the shows are regressive and encourage superstition. Shruti Kakkar, a mother of two, says, "How can we in the 21st century show chudails and dadaayans. What message will it send our kids?"