Pand Puraan on SonyLiv is a rare moment in Indian entertainment because it talks of pet parenting. In an age where activists are still trying to convince people to “adopt, dont’ shop”, the six-episode series is a refreshing take on how an increasing number of married couples are choosing to opt for not having children and parenting pets instead.
The show looks at the entire issue in a lighthearted manner, with moments that don’t just warm your heart but ask some crucial questions too. The Marathi web series has been created and directed by Dnyanesh Zoting and written by Zoting and Digant Patil. It is full of situational comedy and romance, and makes for a feel-good watch.
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Children or pets?
Chef Atul, played by Lalit Prabhakar, and Aditi, his wife who is a finance executive, played by Sai Tamhekar, have been married for four years. Their Brahmin-Maratha marriage is happy, but there is the usual clamour from both families—’bacha kab karoge?’ And it reaches a crescendo as Aditi’s younger sister gets pregnant.
The couple don’t want children, but in very well-thought-out moments, Aditi almost bows to the pressure, before Atul manages to convince her otherwise. He addresses an important question–liking children is not the same as bringing a child into the world as the latter involves a lot of responsibility. It should not be a decision taken under parental pressure.
Their first brush with a pet is when they have to foster the pregnant cat of their friend, Parag, played by Rushi Manohar. He is the kind of pet parent who chooses his cat Godakku, over his girlfriend. Atul and Aditi then go on a quest to find the perfect pet, before finally getting Baku, a kitten and Vyanku, a rescued Golden Retriever.
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Two-legged and four-legged
Aditi and Atul are wholesome, modern and very relatable as they negotiate parents, bosses, and even landlord problems. From being extremely self-reflexive as they understand their own attitude towards ‘pedigree’ pets to how even having pets is a crucial responsibility, the couple constantly grows.
The show felt extra special to me because I have two rescued cats of my own, and had an array of animals I would take care of all through childhood. petpuraan throws light on “unconditional love.” Sai says she learned what unconditional love is, from being a part of the show, talking about how animals love you for who you are, without any ulterior motive.
Lalit Prabhakar, who plays Atul says, “If a show can evoke questions, it means it has done something right.” petpuraan does it well and with a very sincere heart. It alludes to problems couples face when living-in or when they elope and face social pressures. Lalit says director Dnyanesh infused a lot of elements from his personal life into the story, and nearly all members of the crew were pet parents, helping create an organic shooting experience.
Baku and Vyanku are undoubtedly as big stars of the show as the two leads, and will definitely steal your hearts, as they do of the mothers of Aditi and Atul. From being opposed to throwing a naming ceremony for the two pets, the older generation too eventually comes to accept that pet parenting does not have any lesser challenges than parenting human babies.
Sai, who plays Aditi, says, “I think I have learned to be even more sensitive towards animals and their sufferings after the show.” From how pets are abandoned, to the struggles of finding a pet that best suits your needs and you theirs, the series is also a call towards choosing wisely. It has to be a well-intentioned, and well-researched choice, not simply an impulse buy.
petpuraan is a show you will want to watch in one go, and be left with a fuzzy, warm feeling and a smile.
Views are personal