Sarabhai vs Sarabhai

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Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.jpg
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai title card.
Created by Hats Off Productions
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
Original language(s) Hindi
No. of episodes 69 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Jamnadas Majethia & Aatish Kapadia
Original network STAR One/TV Asia (syndication)
Original release November 8, 2004 (2004-11-08) – March 10, 2006 (2006-03-10)
External links

Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is an Indian anthology sitcom featuring a quintessential upper-class family in Mumbai. The show, broadcast in 2005 on Star One, 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 series gained a cult following. The Sarabhai cast reunited in June 2016 and producer Jamnadas Majethia promised some good news for the popular show's fans. [2][3]


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]

  • Indravadan 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 and still a child at heart.
    Comic side: He likes playing pranks at Rosesh's expense that annoy Maya to no end. He can't keep a secret and usually instigates or pits two people against each other. These traits of his earn him the moniker Nārad Muni.
  • 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. Her bone of contention is 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.
    Comic side: Teasing and correcting someone when he/she behaves in an unsophisticated or less sophisticated manner. Her constant refrain is "It's so middle class!" Her victim is mostly Monisha. She says snide, rude or patronising things to Monisha but covers up by saying, "Don't mind huh beta, I am just joking" or "Don't mind huh beta, I'm just using you as an example", in the end.
  • Saahil 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.
    Comic side: He is always sandwiched between his mother and wife resulting in disturbance in his family life.
  • 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.
    Comic side: She behaves like a typical middle-class woman, always trying to save as much money as possible running after sales offers, tries to make efficient use of everything but failing miserably.
  • Rosesh Sarabhai (played by Rajesh Kumar): He is the second son of Maya and Indravadan. 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 for being 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 which puts the Sarabhai family in Paranoid.
  • 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 muc 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.
  • Baa (Pankorben Sarabhai) (played by Tarla Joshi): Mother of Indravadan and Ilaben. She has been dead for five years. She is often mentioned by Maya and Indu. 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..."

Other characters include the maid Radhabai, the manservant Vitthal (played by Ghanashyam Nayak), Maya's socialite friends Baldev (played by Gurpal Singh actor) 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 (played by Gireesh Sahedev).

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 always 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 extreme paranoia.
  • 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.

List of episodes:[edit]

  • Episode 01- Sahil in a book: Sahil, elder son of Sarabhai family, upset with quarrel happening between his mother Maya and wife Monisha left home and reached Goa. He met a flop novel writer Nagesh. He told tragedy of his life to him.
  • Episode 02- Dr. Acharya at the Restaurant: Monisha and Maya's birthdays are on the same day and both want to spend their birthday with Sahil, but only one of them can. They both do different things to persuade Sahil.
  • Episode 03- Family Watching Cricket: Maya arranges tickets for the cricket match final for herself and Indravadan, but Indravadan gets food poisoning because of Monisha.
  • Episode 04- Maya and Monisha become jealous: Monisha thinks that Sahil is cheating and is having an affair with his colleague.Maya also thinks that Indravadan is having an affair by hearing his secret conversation with a girl on the mobile phone.
  • Episode 05- Rosesh has a hit play: Indravadhan is planning a play. But things don't go as planned.
  • Episode 06- Monisha sings for Maya: Maya's uncle passes away. She decides to sing at his funeral but loses her voice because of Monisha.
  • Episode 07- Indravadan inside a cupboard: Indravadan locks himself in a closet, with the help of Sahil, to make Maya realize his importance in her life.
  • Episode 08- Bachelor Party': All of the men in the family decide to have a bachelor party, as Monisha and Maya are out of town, but get caught by their wives.
  • Episode 09- Monisha mends her ways: Indravadan takes out his frustration on Rosesh as he could not set a record in the video game. Indravadan bribes Vitthal and so he gives judgement in Indravadan's favor. Maya asks Monisha to use foul language with some sophistication. Maya tells Monisha that Sahil received an empty lunch box. Sahil remarks that the Paranthas prepared by Monisha seems like leather jackets. Sahil leaves his house and seeks shelter in Indravadan's house. Maya remarks that Monisha has no good qualities. Maya tries to make Monisha understand Sahil's problems. Sahil gets a maid servant and deliberately flirts with her to make Monisha realise her mistake.
  • Episode 10- Maya and Indravadan at scrabble: Maya challenges Indravadhan in a game of Scrabble.
  • Episode 11- Maya stays with Monisha: Videesha, Maya's sister, plans to visit India to do shopping for her wedding. Monisha insists Videesha on staying at her house. But Videesha can't stand dirt.
  • Episode 12- Rosesh attempts suicide: Rosesh falls in love with Maggie, a dominating socialite. Maya is deeply saddened as she believes that Maggie will snatch Rosesh away from her.
  • Episode 13- Dinesh dies, wakes up: Maya invites her friend Sarita and her husband Dinesh to her. All hell breaks loose when Dinesh dies after drinking a drink made by Indravadan.
  • Episode 14- Indravadan's fantasies foiled: A lonely Indravadhan falls in love with Cookie Sharma, an actress.
  • Episode 15- Maya and Monisha fear of dying: Sonia, the third child of the Sarabhais, predicts that someone in the Sarabhai house will die0
  • Episode 16- Rosesh gets psychoanalyzed: Rosesh suffers from insomnia due to his incomplete poetry.
  • Episode 17- Maya, Monisha Men and Women: Maya has a bet with Monisha that men cannot remember important dates.
  • Episode 18- Sahil and his car: Sahil buys a car which costs him a fortune. Monisha tries to secretly test drive it, thereby breaking it's tail light. Additionally, Rosesh accidentally drops his play's prop on the car and Sahil thinks it caused the damage to the light.
  • Episode 19- Indravadan on a healthspree: Indravadhan starts suffering from high cholesterol. Maya decides to put him on a strict diet.
  • Episode 20- Sahil and an engagement: Sahil meets Monisha for the first time and then falls in love with her but is shy to tell her. Maya doesn't want Sahil to marry Monisha but she wants him to marry Dinesh's and Sarita's daughter Priya.
  • Episode 21- Sahil and Monisha getting married: Indravadan helps Sahil to marry Monisha and finally they end up getting married inspite of all the differences.
  • Episode 22- The Sahil and Dinky episode: Maya and Monisha discover Sahil's personal diary which reveals that he had an affair.
  • Episode 23- Séance to connect to Baa: The lease for the Sarabhai residence expires. Since Ba was the only one to know where the lease papers were, the family decides to call Baa's spirit.
  • Episode 24- Baa possesses Monisha: Maya and Sahil discover something fishy about Baa after Sahil meets the government officer who says that the lease has already been renewed by Indravadan long back. Sahil and Maya plan to give Monisha and Indravadan a taste of their own medicine by trying to remarry Sahil to another girl as it was Baa's wish to witness Sahil's wedding. Meanwhile, to avoid Sahil's remarriage, Roshesh dresses like a bride for Sahil on Indravadan's request. Monisha and Indravadan are caught when Monisha gets up from the wheelchair and runs towards the door as Maya talks about some Sale at a nearby mall.
  • Episode 25- International Family Week: The celebration of the International Family Week sees a whole lot of cousins coming together. This also gives an opportunity to Indravadan to invite Jayashree to his house. He plans to invite two of Maya’s cousins as well.
  • Episode 26- Maya hosts Baldev Singh: Maya and Indravadhan land in trouble when they have to take care Dipender, their friend's pet dog.
  • Episode 27- Bury the hatchet: Indravadhan and Rosesh decide to become friends. Similarly, Maya and Monisha decide to stay under one roof.
  • Episode 28- Sarabhais and Sunehri: The Sarabhais hire a maid, Sunehri, who isn't as innocent as she appears to be.
  • Episode 29- Dushyant and his unhelpfulness: Dushyant decides to stay at the Sarabhai residence which causes trouble for everyone else.
  • Episode 30- Nilima and Sahil: Sahil and Monisha have a fight because of Sahil's crazy patient, Nilima.
  • Episode 31- Maya and her maids: Maya fires her servants due to their negligence.
  • Episode 32- Sudhanshu paints Maya: Maya falls in love with Sudhanshu, an artist who agrees to paint her portrait.
  • Episode 33- Maya and Sudhanshu: Maya considers moving in with Sudhanshu. Indravadan gets upset and frustrated by this and tries to convince Maya not to leave him.
  • Episode 34- Maya and rationalism: Maya tries to prove to Monisha that men are rational thinkers.
  • Episode 35- Monisha's speech: Monisha prepares a speech for Maya on the occasion of daughter-in-law day.
  • Episode 36- Maya fakes cancer: Sahil gets a promotion and plans to shift to Delhi. Maya fears that he will become down market like Monisha and her relatives.
  • Episode 37- Rosesh in the movies: Rosesh gets an offer of a film and Sahil gets nominated for an award. Sahil feels insecure when everyone just give their attention to Rosesh.
  • Episode 38- Monisha's unromantic life: Maya helps Monisha in adding the lost romance in her marriage.
  • Episode 39- Indravadan hypnotised: A hyponitist, Siddharth Anirudh Prasad, gets insulted by Indravdhan at a party.
  • Episode 40- Indravadan's hypnotised state: Sidharth hypnotizes Indravadhan. Now Indravadan becomes and behaves like Maya and causes problems for family members.
  • Episode 41- Maya, Monisha and Antakshari: Maya and Monisha challenge each other in a game of Antakshari.
  • Episode 42- Baldev and Sarupa's problem: Rosesh decides to quit poetry but at the same time, Baldev and Sarupa come to the Sarabhais regarding their marital problems.
  • Episode 43- Rosesh gets kidnapped: Rosesh is kidnapped by some goons who want to settle scores with Maya.
  • Episode 44- Monisha the millionare: Monisha's millionaire uncle names all of his property to Monisha.
  • Episode 45- Indravadan writes a play: Indravadhan decides to do something constructive and hence, ends up writing a play.
  • Episode 46- Bachelor boys: As a birthday wish Maya gives Indravardhan his bachelorhood. Saahil, Rosesh & Indu shift to Saahil's flat. Maya & Monisha stay in Indu's flat. The wish becomes disastrous when everything goes wrong.
  • Episode 47- Sharman gets bail: Sharman, a relative of the Sarabhais, falls in trouble after accidentally killing his colleague.
  • Episode 48- Rosesh's fake marriage: Maya realizes that Rosesh is married to a middle-class girl and has a child.
  • Episode 49- Indravadan, Maya and married life: Maya and Indravadhan recall how they met at a party in the past.
  • Episode 50- Rosesh's ode to a goldfish: Monisha buys a goldfish, which upsets Maya.
  • Episode 51- Rosesh tries to get adopted: Rosesh discovers something shocking about his birth. He realises that he is the "unwanted child" of Maya and Indravadan and so he tries to get adopted.
  • Episode 52- Monisha with Karan: Patang Kumar, a TV actor, visits Monisha's house and flirts with her.
  • Episode 53- Indravadan Rosesh poetry event: The Sarabhais hold a poet competition at their house. Rosesh challenges Indravadan to beat him in the poetry competition. It is the highest rated and considered as the best episode of the series.The show writer Aatish Kapadia featured as judje of the poetry competition Anirudh Mehta urf "Kaccha Kela" in this episode.
  • Episode 54- Monisha dreams of Maya: Maya loses her memory after an accident and becomes middle-class.
  • Episode 55- Rosesh causes an accident: Rosesh is found guilty for drunk driving.
  • Episode 56- Indravadan apologizes to Sahil: After an argument, Indravadhan and Sahil decide to never talk to each other.
  • Episode 57- Indravadan out from his home: Maya kicks Indravadhan out of the house as he doesn't help in household chores.
  • Episode 58- Nayesha's wedding: Maya's divorcée sister, Nayesha comes to visit her from Spain and ends up falling in love with Jugalkishore, Monisha's loud cousin.
  • Episode 59- Indravadan wins a bet: Maya finds out that Indravadhan is having an affair.
  • Episode 60- Rosesh in love with Yuyu: Rosesh starts dating a high society girl, yuyu.
  • Episode 61- Rosesh's wedding plans: Maya becomes enemies with yuyu's offensive mother, Simple.
  • Episode 62- Kismi at the Sarabhais': Madhu Phupha's niece, Kismi comes to stay at the Sarabhais for a few days.
  • Episode 63- Yamraj for Indravadan: Indravadhan believes that he is dying in a few days.
  • Episode 64- Treasure hunt time: Sahil gets invited to a party by a famous cricketer. Problem arises when he has to decide that who will accompany him, Maya or Monisha?
  • Episode 65- Monisha, the sophisticated: After being fed up with Monisha's unsophisticated behavior, Maya decides to transform her into a sophisticated socialite. Will she succeed?
  • Episode 66- Monisha threatens suicide: After a huge fight with Sahil, Monisha considers committing suicide. Everyone is worried for her.
  • Episode 67- The Midas chant's magic: Dushyant gives Sahil an African chant. After reciting the chant, whatever Sahil says shall happen. This proves to be a disaster for everybody.
  • Episode 68- Brides for Rosesh: Rosesh visits a well known psychic who says that if he doesn't get married in the next 30 days, he will have to wait for 58 years for marriage. The Sarabhais freak out and plan to arrange Rosesh's marriage as soon as possible.
  • Episode 69 & 70- Crystal ball time!: The Sarabhais invite Cindolin who, through his magic ball, shows the events which will follow in the next seven years, which include a family member's death.

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)[4]
  • 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) [5]
  • 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]

Sarabhai season 2 was planned but now it is cancelled as the stars of the show are busy with other works. On 1 July 2016 Producer JD Majethia revealed his plans for a sequel in the form of a web-series [6]


External links[edit]