'Amanat' bids adieu tonight after marathon run

MUMBAI:Amanat, the show that had pride of place in Zee's programming and led one of the longest and most popular runs on Indian television, winds to a full stop today.

The last episode of the saga of a father bringing up seven daughters single handedly will be telecast today. Directed by Sanjiv Bhattacharya and later by his wife, Sapna, Amanat that began in 1997, was able to hook viewers with its sentimental storyline of a close knit family that faces a stream of trials and tribulations. It was Amanat which, rival Star admitted much later, that had a relatable backdrop and an identifiable narrative, was socially correct and portrayed some cherished emotions - elements that that were later incorporated into the making of successes like Kyunkii and Kahaani.

Amanat held its own in subsequent years on prime time, at one time notching TRPs as high as 19, says Bhattacharya. Post 2000, however, the weekly serial was, along with the other popular Zee serial Koshish, a victim of the Kaun Banega Crorepati onslaught. Although Bhatttacharya says she intended to wind up the serial last year itself, Amanat continued at the channel's behest.

In May 2002, the channel again asked Bhattacharya to fast forward the storyline 20 years, in a bid to woo back a declining viewership. Finally, a decision was taken to end the serial gracefully in the first week of September. The medium budget serial was able to establish a rapport with viewers, says Bhattacharya, as it portrayed every day Indian life and Indian culture in a way other serials did not.

Amanat in fact proved to be a stepping-stone for Gracy Singh, one of the sisters in Amanat, who later bagged the lead role in Aamir Khan's Lagaan.

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