History is made as much by people as by the events that it depicts for us. The events in themselves would possibly be meaningless acts, which would never come alive unless we were able to identify with the major players shaping them, and in any way integral to them. So it is with iconic couples, both real and on-screen. In fact, the only way most of us can ever be acquainted with real life people who become legendary through their deeds, is by watching them portrayed, and for this generation, it is mainly films or television that brings them to life.
Romeo and Juliet, Heer and Ranjha, Shireen and Farhad and countless others who forge immortal love stories, that survive through the ages and inspire future generations, becoming in themselves, a milestone of sublime love, have always had a place in our hearts and minds. Amongst these, it is easy to believe that Shiv and Sati were their forerunners. The Lord of the Gods and his human “other half”, not self-realised of her own previous being and neither evolved enough to satisfy the demands of being married to a deity like Mahadev, are the very embodiment of an epic love story. This is what Devon Ke Dev, Mahadev, promised to bring us, and it has certainly delivered a wonderful portrayal of the “Universe’s first love story”.
Most of us have become addicted to the Shiv and Sati, we see almost daily on our screens. We have come to love these characters, this goes way beyond the worship inspired by our well-known and well-loved Gods we have heard of since childhood, we have come to identify with them as though they were “real”, removed from the usual barrier that generally stands between the mundane and divine. Many factors undoubtedly contribute to this, the makers of the show have done a truly wonderful job with their treatment of the script, molding the complex myths and presenting them so uniquely, but a major share of that credit must go the main protagonists.
You will have become used to us waxing lyrical about Mohit Raina as Shiv in every respect, the show, some of its subliminal messages, and recently about Mouni Roy’s numerous talents, all of which are infused to bring us what we see in a half hour slot five days a week. However, it is probably the right time to reflect on the joint effect that the two multi-talented actors playing Shiv and Sati have brought to the show, at this juncture in the script, where ironically, a drastic and fatal separation is due for Shiv and Sati. We all know it is coming and most are going to be shedding many a tear, despite the fatalistic acceptance that Sati must die. It is after all, only after this tragedy, that eventual hope will stir for Shiv, in the form of Parvati, Sati’s later self who will be imbued with an understanding of her true being and therefore, able to succeed where poor Sati was bound to fail.
As much as we will miss Sati, we are equally pained at seeing this superb couple split, even though it is on-screen and hopefully temporary, to be relieved by the entry of Parvati. Mohit and Mouni had their own very difficult roles to essay but unless they made us fall in love with their pair, whilst they were shown falling in love on air, the story would never have gelled together the way it has. Oh, I know that Devon ke Dev Mahadev is more than just a love story, it covers a far wider brief than that and spans a wealth of legends and stories, all in themselves tales to tell. However, the defining crux of making Shiv “human” is no more visible than through his relationship with Sati, and here Mohit and Mouni, set fire to the screen and ignite passion in all of us. Their chemistry must be acknowledged to be amongst the best ever seen on Indian television; each is a master of their craft and together they are divine. We have recently seen even more glaring evidence of this whilst Sati has come to form as Devi Shakti, how could we fail to be mesmerised at this transformation of the avenging Goddess, beautiful yet fearful in her angered state? This was then beautifully offset by a calm, smiling and serene Shiv, so proud of his wife but still approaching it all with his famed composure.
That is but one example. Their astounding scenes are myriad, be it Sati delightfully shy as a newly-wed and Shiv, also amorous, but concerned about any impact on his literal soul mate. Again, it all comes down to that connection, sometimes easy to feel but extremely challenging to demonstrate, especially through media of any form. Yet, our talented pair makes it look as effortless and natural as breathing. I have heard numerous members from our Fan Club agree that were they to close their eyes and try to visualise Shiv and Sati, they would see Mohit and Mouni, most possibly in the promo shot aired of them sitting together on Kailash, with beatific smiles gracing their stunning countenances. She is yin to his yang, the fire to his ice and vice versa, all in all, they are Shiv and Sati to us. At the time of writing, I hear news of an entry for the young Parvati but the identity of the grown up Parvati seems, as yet, to be a closely guarded secret. I have no idea whether Mouni will be continuing but I would say that I sincerely hope she does. This may be my biased view but I make no apology for it, the pairing works so astoundingly that it seems a waste not to let it develop further. I do hope we shall have opportunity to write yet more about how Mohit and Mouni complement each other in absolute symmetry and I very much look forward to the next phase of this wonderful show, despite the sadness we shall soon have to face with our beloved Mahadev and his soon-to-be-lost Sati.