Review | Saas Bahu Achaar Pvt Ltd: A Domestic Pickle

Saas Bahu Achaar Pvt Ltd is ZEE5's latest web series starring Amruta Subhash, Anuup Sonii, Yamini Das amongst others. This 6-episodic comedy-drama series is directed by Apoorv Singh Karki.

General Rating

In a nut-shell:

A Domestic Pickle

Director Apoorv Singh’s storytelling is like the long and laborious process of pickle making. 

For the pickle that he wants to ultimately serve, he has to first pick the perfect mangoes, gather the ingredients and toss it all together in the right proportion. Along with co-creator Arunabh Kumar and writers Abhishek Srivastava, Swarnadeep Biswas, Akash Gaur and Manan Madaan, Apoorv picks Suman (Amruta Subhash), the divorced mother of two, as his main mango. Other important ingredients are her hurt and grouse with ex-husband Dilip (Anuup Sonii) who has moved on in life with pretty new wife Manisha (Anjana Sukhani). Stir in a heavy mother-in-law (Yamini Das) who’s on Suman’s side but resides with Dilip and Manisha, a platonic business partner called Shuklaji (Anandeshwar Dwivedi) and three kids – Manu Bisht (Juhi), Rishu (Nikhil Chawla) and Vivaan (Shreyansh Kaurav).   

The jar’s ready to be shaken.

Second wife’s son Vivaan from another marriage and Suman’s Juhi and Rishu are all with Dilip and Manisha.

Suman has vowed to take back her kids after a year.

She’s in a bit of a pickle herself because Shuklaji, the man next door who has promised to sell her stuff to multi-nationals, is actually peddling her pickles on ST buses.

Suman in a huff (which is frequent) decides to do it herself with mother-in-law in tow.

The roadblocks and downs are like weeding out bad mangoes from the good before you can move further. And her eventual teaming up with Shuklaji is as predictable as the taste of salt and oil in the pickle. The one spark Suman shows is when she decides on a modus operandi to get people to taste her pickles and raise curiosity over who’s making them. It breaks the wall of resistance and the fat cheques begin to pour in. Suman’s rise and Dilip’s career-dip are connected but he’s clueless.  

A housemaid network to sell pickles in a somewhat dubious manner to the homes where they work, Suman, Shuklaji and ma-in-law taking turns at offending the very restaurateurs whose patronage they need, Rishu’s serious problem that’s casually traced to ghar ka mahaul, and Manisha being the slave who cooks, serves, wakes up people and drips honey-treacle even when wronged, make it seem like yesterday’s story with a today’s message. 

Add to it tedious monologues where every character takes the floor to explain his/her situation. Shuklaji pontificates on the terrace, Suman and Dilip get to explain his and her stance, Manisha spouts her own reasons for marrying Dilip, even the omnipresent mother-in-law gets to sigh several lines to register her righteousness.  

Okay, we understand it takes a long time for the flavours to settle in but do hurry up, please. 

Sympathies would be with any wife ill-equipped to cope with the world when her husband falls in love with another and she finds herself the outsider. But stock situations like the one where she drops Rishu home with a sad song wailing in the background, a diya going off, she in the rain outside, Manisha on the other side, are hardly stirring. 

And, is Shuklaji repeating, ‘Never fear when Shukla is near’ humour? Spare me, oh my dear. 

There’s confusion too. Is Mahadev steering Suman’s life or is she so upset with God that she won’t step into a temple? 

But there is much to like as well. Juhi’s growing attachment to her new mother Manisha is a refreshing thought. The two wives meeting and complimenting each other which is every man’s dream moment is important to let go of rancour.

It’s the end where Suman breathes freedom from not clinging to old yearnings for people (husband, daughter) who’ve moved on in their lives that makes the pickles taste yum. The end line, ‘For all mothers who found their calling despite odds’ is also worthy. And so Apoorv, the pickles you finally served were finger-licking. But wish the process was a bit more chatpata.

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A Domestic PickleReview | Saas Bahu Achaar Pvt Ltd: A Domestic Pickle