The trailer may come with a disclaimer saying it doesn’t encourage child marriage, but that’s not the message coming through.

Is the trailer for a Sony TV show celebrating child marriage Were as shocked as you areScreenshot
Social Television Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 17:55

If there’s a cliché out there, you can bet Indian soap operas have covered it. From saas-bahu sagas to characters that metamorphose into insects, they’ve done it all in the search of the next dramatic twist to their never-ending stories.

Recently, though, Sony raised more than a few eyebrows, when it aired the promo of an upcoming show called ‘Pehredaar Piya ki’ (roughly translates to ‘the husband/lover’s guard’). The promo shows a royal, palatial setup, in which an 18-year-old woman, Diya, is readying herself. When she calls to ‘Ratan Sa’, asking if he’s ready to go, an adorable-looking prince Ratan Sa in a pathan suit.

After Diya does his ‘aarti’, it’s time for Ratan Sa to put sindoor (vermillion) on his wife’s forehead. And that’s where the promo takes a turn to the disturbing side, as Ratan has to stand on a stool to put the sindoor. Because he’s just 9 years old!

And if that wasn’t enough, he looks at their reflection in the mirror and triumphantly says, “Now it’s perfect”. In response, Diya blinks back happy tears.

Major cringe!

The voiceover at the end of the promo says that this is an “anokhi kahaani”(unique story) where “waqt ne saupi hai usse apne pati ki rakhwali” (time has given her the responsibility to protect her husband).

Given that this is a Hindi soap opera, we’re thinking of all the strange turns this story could haven taken (Time travel? Eternal youth? Another unrealistic plotline?). But what we’re left wondering the most is how anything could justify the relationship that’s supposed to be at centre of it all.

Watch this promo here, at your own risk.

And then there’s this other promo which shows the ‘couple’ on Karvachauth night, when Diya looks at the moon through the sieve and then bends down to look at her Ratan Sa.

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