Period drama Punyashlok Ahilyabai will be premiered today (January 4, 2021). The historical show is set in the 18th century and is based on the life of Ahilyabai Holkar, who overcame the barriers of a patriarchal society with the unwavering and unconditional support of her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar, by proving that one becomes great not by gender or birth but by deeds.
Child actor Aditi Jaltare has been roped in to play the lead role of Ahilyabai Holkar while Rajesh Shringarpure will be seen as Ahilyabai’s father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar.
Apparently, over a 1000 girls were auditioned over a period of eight months for the role of Ahilyabai. The auditioning process was extremely rigorous as about five to six times short listing was done, and the production team then followed it up by mock photoshoots as the makers had a very specific vision and wanted the artist essaying Ahilyabai’s role to exhibit a childlike innocence and a playful aura at all times even while delivering intense dialogues.
The story traces the journey of Ahilyabai from a village girl to the queen of the Maratha empire, who earned ‘Matoshree’ title. Ahilyabai Holkar is known to be one of the finest women rulers and worrior queens in Indian history.
For the uninitiated, Ahilyabai Holkar was married to Khanderao Holkar at the age of eight. She lost her husband at the age of 28 in the battle of Kumbher in 1754. She was going to commit sati, but her father-in-law stopped her. He treated her like her own daughter and she took care of the kingdom of Malwa after her father-in-law died in 1766.
Punyashlok Ahilybai will premiere on January 4, and will be aired every Mon-Fri at 7.30 pm, on Sony TV.