As ‘Saravanan Meenatchi’ reaches its final episodes, viewers wonder how the ‘reel couple’ will resolve their differences.Vaishali R. Venkat

It is a seemingly simple story: a man and a woman who initially fall out with each other, fall in love and braving odds, get married. Then follows a series of misunderstandings…

On the face of it, there is nothing unusual about this plot. But this is the story that has kept scores of viewers, especially women, spellbound for over two years.

The serial in question, Saravanan Meenatchi, which airs on Vijay TV, Monday to Friday, at 8.30 p.m. began its run on September 12, 2011. It is set to touch the 500th episode in a couple of days and reach its climax in the mid-week of October.

Two years ago, the serial started with Saravanan, a RJ working in Chennai, and his family members, visiting the house of Meenatchi in Kallidaikurchi for the traditional ‘ponnu paarkuml’ ceremony (meeting a prospective bride).

However, things go wrong and the families become enemies, throwing a spanner in the works. Then, they both meet at another function and Saravanan falls in love with Meenatchi. They decide to convince their families and get married. Everything goes smoothly till a rift erupts between them and they go separate ways. At present, the narration stands at a crossroads, following their bitter break-up.

The energetic spirit with which the couple handle love, marriage and life in general, is palpable in the scenes which are portrayed in such a gripping style that viewers long for the re-union of the couple.

So involved are the viewers that many are worried about how the couple will handle the situation and whether they will come together again.

V. Shantha, an employee at a Government hospital, who is hooked to this serial, says, “Ego problems in a marriage is common. But the way it is portrayed in this serial, makes it different… the characters are so real; they could be any man or woman on the street. What I really like is that this serial can be watched by the entire family.”

Other reasons for the success of ‘Saravanan Meenatchi’ are the characterisations and the sense of humour infused into the dialogue. Saravanan’s mother Saradha (Kuyili) and father (Rajasekar) steal the show apart from Saravanan (Senthil) and Meenatchi (Sreeja). The other down-to-earth characters include Tamil, Sowndarya and Vellaveti.

Gomathy, a senior citizen, says, “Kuyili and Rajasekar have proved that they are good at comedy. Yet, it would be enjoyable if Kuyili could tone down her body language a bit.”

That the wedding of Saravanan and Meenatchi was conducted in real time and at a real place with much fanfare, speaks volumes about the popularity of the serial. The marriage was held in Karaikudi. In fact, invitations and sweet packets were distributed among the people of Karaikudi. The marriage episode was telecast for two-and-half-hours in Chennai, and the TRP ratings shot up to 10 in Chennai, and 6.4 all over Tamil Nadu!

Senthil, who plays Saravanan, says that while most Tamil serials are invariably titles of the female protagonists, this one gives importance to a male character too. “In fact, people now know me only as Saravanan, and many have even forgotten my real name.”

He adds: “The serial is a slice of life with emotions and situations drawn from every day – ego clashes, love, comedy, fights between the hero and the heroine, family tensions and much else. I think I have learnt a lot more about acting after being part of this show. It has most definitely been the turning point of my life; an unforgettable experience.”

With the serial reaching its climax, the question that haunts viewers is whether Saravanan and Meenatchi will come together for a happy reunion or will they go separate ways… Stay tuned to see what happens!