On the sweetness of K.P. Saxena’s speech

KP Saxena is no more but his voice lives on. No disease or death can ever silence Saxena’s voice as it continues to echo in numerous short stories written by him, through his writing for television and for films like Lagaan, Swades, Hulchul and Jodha Akbar.

It is perhaps actor and heart throb Aamir Khan’s love for the Avadhi dialect that brought Saxena into the world of Bollywood films in 2000. Saxena was already well known for writing in magazines and for radio and television. Aamir probably first spotted Saxena as he listened to dialogues spoken in Avadhi in Bibi Natiyon Wali that had aired on Doordarshan in the early 1980s.

Written by Saxena, the television serial was extremely popular for its beautiful portrayal of the very special ganga-jamuni tehzeeb of Lucknow. It is not religion that matters most in the way of life here but only the humanity of a person. The lead role of Bibi was played impeccably by veteran actress Pramod Bala Shukla. Initially written as a four episode story, it was continued in 13 parts on popular demand. The language spoken in the serial is said to be mainly responsible for the super success of this television show. Saxena was paid Rs 1500 per episode, a handsome amount at that time.

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