The message of ‘Pandian Stores’

A peep into the sets of Vijay TV’s serial

The joint family set up might have vanished, well almost, in real life but it continues to be the canvas for TV soaps. “Pandian Stores” of Vijay TV, 10 p.m. is one of them. Marching towards the 300-episode landmark, the serial is a favourite among addicts.

The story, as the title suggests revolves round a grocery shop run by four brothers. The eldest daughter-in-law, Dhanalakshmi is the pivot of the household, kindness personified. Challenge for the brothers comes in the form of Janardanan, father of Meena, another daughter-in-law. Harbouring an old grouse against the family, he gives the brothers trouble in running the shop. The episodes are centred on this shadow boxing and developments on the home front. This writer caught up with some of the leading members on the shooting spot.

Personal experience

His experience of living in a joint family triggered the idea in director Siva Sekar. “I lived with my parents and two brothers, who are married. And I loved it. My vote is for the joint family. When I suggested the idea, Vijay TV, which was in fact looking our for a story on the subject agreed. The script was shaped with the help of my story and dialogue writer Priya Thambi. We are happy with the way the serial is shaping up. With the dialogue provided by the writer, I create the scenes, which only reflect real life. I was an assistant to director Vasanth Sai and know both these mediums. We are careful not to make the serial a tear-jerker. The idea is to make the viewers think. It has, if the feedback is any indication, and that is encouraging,” he says.

In the story, Sathyamoorthi (played by Stalin) is the eldest brother, who takes care of the others and runs the stores. Stalin was introduced by director Bharathiraja in his serial ‘Thekathi Ponnu.’ “I have also acted in 15 films and some of the serials produced by Vijay TV such as ‘Saravanan Meenakshi’ (Season 1 and 3), ‘Andal Azhagar,’ ‘C7’ and ‘Maappillai.’ I’m sure that people will decide in favour of joint family after seeing the serial,” he says.

Saravanan Vikram, acting as one of the brothers is enjoying himself. “This experience is making amends for what I’m missing in life,” he says. “I love the bonding of a joint family but at present live with my mother and sister,” adds Saravanan, who hails from Kambam. His father has a job in Hosur. “I got to act in one episode of ‘Chinna Thambi’ serial. This is my first mega serial ,” says a visibly happy Saravanan.

Venkat, who is acting in the role of Jeeva, comes with an experience of 13 years. ‘Roja’ of Sun TV is another serial he is acting in. “Joint family is a joy,” says Venkat, who is aiming for a break through in silver screen.

“I like the joint family set up. My husband and myself live with his mother and sister. So this serial is a boon to me,” says Hemalatha Rajkumar, who plays Meena. “In a united family, they face a crisis together. One can always reach out to the other for help, especially when you are ill,” says the actor.

Hemalatha’s sentiment is echoed by Sujitha, who plays Dhanalakshmi. She is a veteran with 50 serials in four South Indian languages under her belt. “My married life started in a joint family but now we live separately. However, I favour the joint family system, where the younger members can turn to the seniors for guidance and basically they all take care of each other. It was this theme, which attracted me to the serial. The director and writer have contributed a great deal to the success of the story. It is sad that the system is breaking down. If the trend continues, young people in the next generation will find themselves left alone, not a nice prospect to visualise,” says Sujitha before moving to the floor, where everybody is in position to shoot the scene for another episode.

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