After a long time, I am coming across a desi TV show that is neither saas bahu nor daayan chudail — the new Zee TV presentation, Hamari Bahu Silk.

It is an interesting story of a young, street-smart gal, Pakhi (newbie, Chahat Pandey), who does what it takes to get her way. She uses her silky voice quality to entice her cheating uncle who had duped her dead dad. He has also taken over their house, making her mom slog like a slave.

Cut to the other lead, we have attractive cum attitude-galore actress, Natasha (Reeva Chaudhary). However her biggest drawback is her husky voice which puts paid to her efforts to get launched by big film producer, Kapadia (Rajesh Kumar).

The latter clearly tells Natasha’s manager, Akash (Manas Shah), that he can sign her only if they get a voice to dub for her. Accordingly, they hold an RJ competition where a desperate for a job Pakhi also turns up. Here too, she pulls a fast one to get ahead in the long line of wannabe contestants (reverses her token number from 221 to 122).

As Akash and Natasha insult her regarding the racy audition lines, she puts up a perfect act, but then walks out.

Natasha and Akash love her voice but she is nowhere to be found. The real 121 had a bad voice.

As fate is to have it, Pakhi finds a job as personal assistant with Natasha, who entrusts her with the job of finding the missing voice. Pakhi is adamant on not helping Natasha out, but needs her salary, so plays along.

The male lead is budding photographer, Naksh (Zaan Khan), who is being forced by his eccentric granny, Ba (Sarita Joshi), to give up his passion and take over the family catering business. Natasha’s car crashes into Naksh’s set of wheels, and Pakhi uses that to curry favour with the actress.

Pakhi keeps bumping into Naksh, who she again uses (calls him a husband to get a car for Natasha). To make matters worse, she and her mother become tenants in his house by impressing Ba.

Natasha pulls every trick in the book to force Kapadia’s hand, even hires women to smear ink on her in an attempt to get publicity. Pakhi unknowingly scuttles the plan, but then helps get more media mileage, courtesy a well-orchestrated drama at the press conference, which the fourth estate very easily swallows.

Unable to wait any longer, Kapadia chooses another talent. Upon hearing this, a very enraged Natasha drops in at his office and manhandles the new gal. The assault video goes viral and an angry Kapadia reads Akash the riot act.

By then, the penny has dropped on Akash about the token change, but even here Pakhi moves a step ahead, dropping ink on the register, so her name is not legible.

In the meantime, Pakhi who was fooling Naksh, helps him win a competition.

Akash finally finds out the truth about Pakhi; that is where the story stands for now.

The makers (Devyani Rale and Sudhanshu Tripathi’s Klay Pictures) have set up the initial plot well, and now have sufficient tracks to play around with.

Coming to the cast, Chahat is doing a good job as Pakhi, but should they have not shown her battling her internal demons, at least when the pulling wool over Naksh’s eyes? Also, her audacious act of cheating her uncle could have had disastrous consequences. Hope these are also dealt with. We know the lead can’t lose, but yet…

I am more impressed with Reeva, it is not easy for a girl to accept a character with such a manly voice. She is playing a typical film star with aplomb. However, being projected as lead, should she not have been given some redeeming features?

Akash comes across as a good guy who will eventually convince Pakhi to lend her voice to Natasha. Manas is doing what is required of him and more.

Rajesh also impresses us as the loud but shrewd producer, something quite different from Roshesh, his earlier Sarabhai avatar. Let’s see if his cameo appearance is extended or not.

Zaan is also bringing out the frustration and anger at being constantly used by Pakhi. He is also up to his ears with his granny. Saritaji is spot on as a lady who can’t think beyond moolah. The scene where she makes Pakhi’s mother climb up and down the stairs as she plays ludo was full of pathos.

There is one major issue though, I have still not got the title. Does this mean the writers have kept a plan B of making the show a typical family drama if numbers don’t come through? Things don’t augur well as second week ratings are just 0.9.

I like the current non saas bahu take and will move away if they deviate. Not sure of the rest who actually might like the beaten track though.

2.5/5 is our rating for Hamari Bahu Silk.