A Retrospective Study: Surprising discoveries on Why Indian Women aged 50 and above, worship “Vani Rani” and an attempt to fathom their 21st century spiritualism called Radhika-ism.

If a parent’s worry about their kids reaching teenhood is acceptable, what can be more worrying as  our parents reach the biggest 50? Menopause, their behaviour changes, their ¾ life crisis blossoms, nagging festival galores- as children of parents reaching 50, we have all rights to worry about them. What worries us more when we know that our INDIAN parents are hooked to a particular TV series?  
 All of us are addicted to some sort of TV shows, right? Netflix shows, FRIENDS series, Games of Throne, Descendants of the Sun. We did stay awake till 3am to watch the EURO cup finals. Similarly, Indian ladies aged 50 and above, particularly, are addicted to Vani Rani. Rather than just simply labelling them as serial addicts, let’s try to understand what made them one.

Fret, not. This happens in every household. What made me study, analyse and write this research? I was talking to my colleague a few months ago, or rather sharing my worries about the above-mentioned symptoms displayed by my parents and she told me something very surprising about her parents.

Her mother watches “Vani Rani” on youtube every morning while carefully applying her eye-liner simultaneously, without losing focus on both the tasks. What is even more shocking is that her father watches the series with her mother and he totally enjoys it.

Another case- One of my aunties, indeed, became very agitated one day as her husband was driving the car. This may be seem like a common act by any woman in the world. The reason for her frustration was that my uncle was driving the car too slow and she became angry that she would not be able to reach home on time to watch “Vani Rani.”

3rd case- I was on a holiday recently with my parents. My mum became extremely restless whenever the wifi didn’t work. She sat near the wifi router. Little did I know, that she could only function properly after watching Vani Rani. There were days when she woke up early to catch the series on youtube.

All these strange acts by Indian aunties and mums happen for a reason. The quest to find the answer, led me to find the Columbus-discoveries behind this entire phenomenon and Radhika-ism that was religiously followed by these women. Just like how Morgan Spurlock conducted an unscientific experiment on himself in SuperSize Me documentary to discover about Macdonalds food and its effects, I went through a similar experiment a few months ago.

  I watched about 700 Vani Rani episodes in 3 days.

Worshipping Radhika

If you ask your mum or aunty who watches Vani Rani, “how do you feel seeing Radhika on the tv screen?”

Their answer would definitely be, “Neruppu da!”

For the Indian ladies (and some of their husbands), seeing Radhika on the small screen is a Neruppu da moment. It is the kick that keeps the ladies hooked on, to the series. When Vani, in this serial, screams, “Aai!”, it is on par to that of Rajinikanth walking with sparks under his shoes. What Rajini brings to the big screen, is exactly what Radhika has been doing on small screen. Her dominance and screen presence are something that no other TV actress has achieved. If given a chance, our mothers probably would do milk abhishegam and throw flowers to the tv screen, to show their devotion and divine love towards this lady superstar called Radhika.


I am Vani, I am Rani

So, Vani is the well-educated lady who is a lawyer. She is brave. She fights for everyone’s rights. She is loving. She makes sure the huge family is happy. When I say huge, it is really a village. Vani has 2 grown-up kids. Rani, who is her twin sister, has another 3 grown-up kids. There are about 9 characters living in the house initially. And then, introduction of another 2 dozen characters in the name of mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, came along.


And our mothers and aunts know exactly all the character names from the serial.

In the first episode, there was this dialogue that Vani said- Even if I am at work, I only think about the family.

JACKPOT! This is when our mothers and aunts jump in joy and do somersaults, “Naanum thaan. Naanum thaan!”

 That totally resonates with Indian mums and aunts. Instant Connection to Vani Character Achieved.

Rani is the uneducated and innocent one who is more of the home-maker and her only mantra in life is to keep the family…village happily together. However, then, many misunderstandings and separations occurred. Now at the 1000th episode, everyone is everywhere.

Placing the two characters on the extreme ends of a spectrum makes every our mothers and aunts relate to both Vani and Rani, proudly crowning themselves as the “most bravely vulnerable woman of modern history."

Saree ke fall sa kabhi match kiya re

The unexplainable love unveiled by VaniRani addicts- their attraction towards the sarees worn by both Vani and Rani. The surprising discovery is that there is a saree shop where you can buy the exact designs worn by Vani and Rani.


Making the effort to stay connected with the audience


 The reason why VaniRani stands out strong among the other 447 serials telecasted in 234 Tamil channels is that everyone in this serial makes the effort to stay connected with their viewers. Most probably, VaniRani is one of the very few serials that has a wide range of audience from a few continents who follow the serial in youtube. Every episode is uploaded within hours after its orginial telecast on television. Every episode has atleast 150,000 views within hours and it is not surprising that hundreds of comments pour. 

RadaanMedia channel creates a platform for live Q/A session with the actors and actresses where viewers ask questions. Actors and Actresses interact with the viewers on a regular basis. Something which no other production house has done. One interesting moment was when a 13-year-old boy who was born and brought up in Canada, going in a euphoric state seeing Dimple, one of the daughter-in-law characters.


They upload many behind-the-scene shots. For its 1000th episode, there were celebrations and other forms of triumphant moments shared in their youtube channel.

Respecting the Audience

Just like many serials, there are overdose of violence at times. Slapping one another seem to be their pastime. Overly-dramatic. Frequent-editing of the zoom-zoom-dish-dish effect infects the eyes, the mind and the soul. 

However, the viewers comment about that too, in their youtube channel. And the best part is that the RadaanMedia Creative team takes viewers’ point in consideration. The story travels after hearing feedback from the viewers. Am sure many of the aunties that we know, comment as well. 

When there are times that our mothers and aunts feel that no one listens to them at home, they feel all empowered that Radhika listens to them.

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Thus, next time, your mum or aunt asks you to do some household chore and if you are finding a way to escape, all you need to say is,

“Ma, wait! I am watching VaniRani on youtube. I don’t understand why this Gautham is doing this to Dimple?”

If your mum showers extra care and love from that moment which means that she has finally and whole-heartedly accepted you as her daughter, then thank VaniRani!

Comments

  1. Hahaha....interesting research.actually I m also vanirani fan.due to my busy schedule,I dnt watch it daily but will record it n will enjoying watching weekly.I felt that in vanirani,there are many msg for ladies.especially how to be alert in every matters.good mdm radika n her team.keep going.looking forward more interesting turning point.god bless all.

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  3. VR is my favourite serial and I am a die hard fan of Radhikaa mam..Vaani Rani is the best serial among all the serials in sun tv

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  4. Hahahaha...Good observation! I also used to wonder why moms are glued to the TV and still continue to watch Radhika serials season after season. So much so that even reality shows after a couple of seasons gets boring. Interesting point is that these serials seems to attract the men in the household too (like my FIL watches more serials than MIL). I am appreciative when moms dont't get worried about missing the usual episode time on the TV or prioritize to spend time with the family and catch up on it when they are relatively free later.

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