Sarabhai vs Sarabhai

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Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.jpg
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai title card.
Created by Hats Off Productions
Written by Khushboo Goyal
Directed by Deven Bhojani
Starring Satish Shah
Ratna Pathak
Sumeet Raghavan
Rupali Ganguly
Rajesh Kumar
Deven Bhojani
Arvind Vaidya
Rita Bhaduri
Country of origin India
No. of episodes 70 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Jamnadas Majethia & Aatish Kapadia
Original channel STAR One/TV Asia (sydication)
Original run November 8, 2004 (2004-11-08) – March 10, 2006 (2006-03-10)

Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is an Indian anthology sitcom featuring a quintessential upper-class family in Mumbai. The show received a positive response from the critics and public alike and enjoyed one of the best TRPs for an Indian comedy show. In the final episode, the principal characters are seen stating that there would be another season of the series. However, in 2012, Deven Bhojani denied that the series would return.[1]


The show revolves around the life of an upper class Gujarati family, the Sarabhais, who live in a luxury apartment building in the upmarket Cuffe Parade area of South Mumbai.

The family consists of Indravadan Sarabhai (Satish Shah) and his wife Maya (Ratna Pathak), who live in an apartment with their younger son Rosesh (Rajesh Kumar). Their older son Sahil (Sumeet Raghavan) and his wife Monisha Sarabhai (Rupali Ganguly) née Manisha Singh live in the apartment across the hallway. Maya considers the name Manisha middle class and renames her Monisha before their marriage. Monisha's middle-class habits irk Maya. Monisha, on the other hand, does not appreciate Maya's snooty and snobbish behaviour. Indravadan constantly derides Roshesh for being tied to his mother's apron strings and for writing bad poetry. Maya and Roshesh consider Indravadan's attitude towards Rosesh and his gregarious nature boorish. The ensuing conflict and comedy becomes Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. Much of the humour is derived from the fake, artificial and shallow interactions among the city's elite and their perceived notions of the shortcomings and failings of middle-class society.

Principal characters[edit]

Main characters of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai; from left to right: Indravadhan Sarabhai (Shah), Sahil Sarabhai (Raghavan), Maya Sarabhai (Pathak), and Monisha Sarabhai (Ganguly).
  • Indravadhan Sarabhai aka Indu (played by Satish Shah): A rich, ex-director of a multinational company, he constantly amuses himself by making fun of his wife and picking on his younger son, Rosesh. He always sides with his daughter in law Monisha in case of a brawl between her and his wife Maya, which always turn out to be very funny. He often brings Dushyant into the fights and also makes fun of Rosesh with him, accusing the latter of being a "Momma's boy" and many times imitating him. He also never listens to his wife and does what he wants. He is mischievous but still a child at heart.
  • Maya Sarabhai née Maya Majumdar (played by Ratna Pathak Shah): She is Indravadan's wife and likes only the creme de la creme in every aspect of her life and her family. Before her marriage, she was Maya Majumdar. Her bone of contention her daughter-in-law, Monisha, who is from a middle class Punjabi family. The confrontations with Monisha are always very suave and sugar-coated. She is also very talented,she wants to be very sure that her second son, Rosesh doesn't do a Sahil and marry someone who is middle class. As a result, has trouble finding a girl his "Momma' will like. She also tries to "save" Sahil from the "middle class" acts of his wife, Monisha.
  • Sahil Sarabhai (played by Sumeet Raghavan): The cosmetic surgeon and Maya's eldest son, and Monisha's husband. He is soft,noble, wise and very attached to both his mom and wife. He dislikes hurting anyone. He is the quintessential 'Indian male sandwiched between his wife and family'. He is perhaps wiser than his father Indu when it comes to matters between his wife and mother and always tries to make them get along with each other. But in case of his younger brother, Rosesh, he has a funny bone and like his father, likes to tease him.
  • Monisha Sarabhai née Manisha Singh (played by Rupali Ganguly): The middle class girl, she is the daughter-in-law of the Sarabhais. Her father was a detective and she seems to have got the same inquisitive genes in her. Committed to her husband, she hates the fact that Maya constantly belittles her, though she respects her, but she never lets an opportunity to get back at Maya go. She is most careless, sometimes idiotic in the whole Sarabhai family.Also, she never tidies her house, which is always in a mess. She was earlier known as Manisha but Maya made her change her name insisting that Manisha was too middle class. She consistently sides with her father-in-law Indu.
  • Rosesh (Rajesh Kumar): He is the second son of Maya and Indravardhan. He is a theatre artist, wannabe actor and a poet. He is dearest of his mom Maya. He disapproves of his father and is very loyal to Maya. He is very stupid and his poems are always bad, but funny. Comic side: Acts/speaks like a kid. Truthful by nature but Indravadan hates him by behaving like a "Momma's boy". Tries to pour his emotions in his 'poetry', and recites those 'poems' at the expense of others' embarrassment and irritation except Maya. Maya does not like his poems either but she loves him too much to hurt his feelings.

Recurring characters[edit]

Most episodes involve the five members of the immediate family. Members of the extended family and friends make regular appearances and plots of some episodes are centred around these characters as well.

  • Sonya Sarabhai (played by Kshitee Jog / Shital Thakkar): Sonya is the second child of Indu and Maya. She is married to Dushyant and presumably lives somewhere close to the Sarabhai residence. She does exhibit some of the hypocrytic socialite attitude of Maya,but to a lesser degree. She is heavily into the occult and specializes in reading the Tarot.
  • Dushyant Painter (played by the director Deven Bhojani): Dushyant is Maya's son-in-law, married to her daughter Sonya. He makes more appearances than his wife and is much despised by the rest of the family, even by the normally affable Monisha. He has a morbid fascination for various electronic appliances from toasters to tube lights to refrigerators to elevators. When the rest of the family is busy contemplating on some serious matter, he creates much chaos by quoting facts about various electronic brands and their technical details. He seems to be an in-house mechanic and electrical expert, going to great extents to explain the working of electrical goods and often using Rosesh as a guinea pig to explain the working of appliances.
  • Ilaben (played by Rita Bhaduri): She is Indravadan's sister. She often visits Indravadan & Maya's house and helps them in some issues. She is married to Madhusudhan and is extremely affable. She is the only one able to communicate with her deaf husband, Madhusudan through hand gestures.
  • Madhusudan (played by Arvind Vaidya): Madhubhai is Indravadan's brother-in-law, married to his sister Ilaben. He is hard of hearing and refuses to use a hearing aid. He usually does not acknowledge the fact that he cannot hear and blames others for speaking too softly. He is particularly bothersome to Indu and interjects almost always with a "hein?" A lot of humour is derived from his misinterpretations and the difficulty that people have in explaining things to him. His wife Ilaben is often amused by this.
  • Ba (Pankorben Sarabhai) (played by Tarla Joshi): Mother of Indravadan and Ilaben. She has been dead for five years. She appears in flashback scenes. She ridicules Maya for being snooty and always reminds Indravadhan of his marital mistake by saying that, "Bakuda, meine tujhse kaha tha kisi chotte ghar ki ladki se shaadi kar..." (son, I told you to marry an ordinary girl).

Other characters include the maid Radhabai, the manservant Vitthal (played by Ghanashyam Nayak), Maya's socialite friends Baldev and his wife Sarupa, Sarita and her husband Dinesh, and Maya's distant cousins Videesha (played by Usha Bachani), an NRI who has had several divorces and Nayesha (played by Sumeet Raghavan in a double role) who falls in love and marries with Monisha's villager cousin Jugal Kishore

Running gags[edit]

Although each episode in the show had an independent storyline, like most sitcoms, several running gags contributed to much of the humour.

  • Middle-class Monisha: Monisha exhibits several traits that Maya brands as being 'middle class'. These traits include a love for bargaining, speaking in an excessively loud voice, watching soap operas that make little sense, keeping vegetables in random places around the house and lack of refined language. One particularly refined gag is Monisha's cooking as she always manages to mix something completely irrelevant into the food, for example switching the detergent for 'Garam Masala' in her biryani thus turning it inky black. Maya breaks into a list of Monisha's shortcomings which continue till other characters, usually Indravadan or Saahil, intervene. Humour often arises from the fact that despite pointing out her errors, Monisha usually continues to defend her actions.
  • Rosesh's poetry: Rosesh takes pride in his skills at composing poetry; however, his poetry is ridiculed by much of the family, especially by Indravadan and Sahil. The topics he chooses for his poetry are bizarre like a toilet tank and the broken engine of a scooter. With additions of illogically rhyming words and his irritatingly shrill voice, his poetry is dreadful to everyone but Maya.
  • Maya's sophistication: Maya is portrayed as a typically snobbish socialite, who often goes for charity auctions, exhibitions, art performances and tea parties with her socialite friends. She often thinks of herself as a social activist, who works to uplift the downtrodden, when really she just throws elite parties. The irony of her criticism of the less fortunate and her self-acclaimed social activism for their betterment bring about much humor. One such instance is when she raises funds for helping street children who are victims of alcohol abuse by hosting a cocktail party where she sells alcoholic beverages to her socialite friends. She dejects Monisha's middle-class attitude and most often ends up listing her shortcomings despite the fact that the problem was something else in the first place.
  • Indu's hatred for Rosesh: Indravadan despises Rosesh on almost all counts, especially his poetry. He often harasses Rosesh, who is a momma's boy and exhibits much immaturity. Indu criticises Rosesh's poetry and plays and never exhibits any sign of acceptance of Rosesh as his own child. Ironically, in one of the episodes, it is shown that Rosesh may have inherited his poor skills of poetry from Indu himself.
  • Indu's childish antics and behavior: Indravadan is usually at his childish best be it hiding chocolate chip cookies or selling his sports shoes on the street to have pani puri. His defiance towards Maya when he refuses milk and constantly enjoys a street snack, vada pav, is extremely entertaining.
  • Sonya's tarot reading: Sonya often makes predictions that puts the Sarabhai family in paranoid.
  • Dushyant's technicality: Dushyant is shown as a person who is obsessed with tools. Everyone in the family despises him for his technicality. He often uses Rosesh as a guinea pig to explain himself. He also makes wrong comments at the wrong time.

Guest stars[edit]


The Show went to Win 5 Indian Telly Awards & Indian Television Academy Awards on the year 2005

Indian Television Academy Awards 2005
  • Best Serial, Comedy (Jury)[2]
  • Best Director, Comedy (Jury) - Deven Bhojani
  • Best Actor, Comedy (Jury) - Satish Shah
  • Best Actress, Comedy (Jury) - Ratna Pathak Shah
  • Best Dialogues (Jury) - Aatish Kapadia
Indian Telly Awards 2005
  • Best Serial (Comedy) [3]
  • Best Director (Comedy) - Deven Bhojani
  • Best Actor (Comedy) - Satish Shah
  • Best Actress (Comedy) - Ratna Pathak Shah
  • Art Direction (Fiction) - Omung Kumar Bhandula[citation needed]

Additional Notes[edit]

Though last episode of first season gives hint of second season with an addition of a kid and the show being in popular demand, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai completed only one season and did not return with a second season. Director Deven Bhojani explained that, ""The entire cast is busy with something or the other and I don't want to replace the characters because that will take away the charm of the show'".

  • The Sarabhai family occasionally appears as Sumeet Raghavan's "family" on his stand-up comedy show, Jay Hind.

The rights of the show have been acquired by a Marathi channel (Star Pravah) and the show in itself has been adapted into Marathi, and remade into Madhuri Middle Class.


  1. ^ "'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' won't come back: Deven Bhojani". Times of India. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 17 October 2012. .
  2. ^ "The Hero Honda Indian Television Academy Awards 2005". Retrieved 12 Jan 2012. 
  3. ^ "Star One sweeps Telly awards". 7 Nov 2005. Retrieved 12 Jan 2012. 


External links[edit]