Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: What happens if one gets marooned in an alien land full of wild animals and strange inhabitants?

It will mean a battle for survival and rather than meekly surrendering to fate, one will try to befriend the beasts and the natives.

The story of a family which gets stranded in a South African jungle will be aired by Asianet from Monday. Suresh Unnithan has directed the serial Kadalinakkare.

Sea cruise

The plot is all about a family which ventures on a sea cruise in a luxury houseboat. A storm rocks the boat, but they manage to secure a fishing boat and continue the voyage. But another storm batters the fishing boat and the family members get separated.

When the fury of the waves subsides, they are washed ashore in different parts of a jungle. There begins the journey into a totally strange world inhabited by tribal people and dangerous beasts.

The members of the family, including children, have stunning encounters with animals as well as the inhabitants of the forest, but gradually get acquainted with them.

According to producer S. Karthikeyan, this is the first television serial shot by a team of Malayali artistes and technicians in South Africa. A striking feature of the storyline is that a huge array of wild animals figure as prominent characters throughout.

Safari

"The serial is a virtual safari through the African jungles. Along with Sukanya, Indrans, Anand and Suma Jayaram, the people of South Africa too appear in it," he says.

There are a number of sequences in which chimpanzees, lions and tigers come to the rescue of the marooned family. The animals are integral to the plot and are not there just to lend colour, he says.

The script written by Karthikeyan and Robert was given to an animal trainer in the Jim Stockle studio in South Africa a month before the shooting began. He drew up a list of the animals based on the script and trained them in advance to suit the theme, says Karthikeyan.

The crew shot for 90 days in South Africa. Jim Stockle Studio, spanning 1,500 acres, was the main location of the serial. The studio itself is also a lion park and the crew had to spend Rs.1.75 lakhs per day as fees for shooting in the park. A Zulu dance has also been picturised for the serial.

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