With the promise of presenting some of the most fascinating stories from our vibrant past to re-energize the audiences with original entertainment; “EPIC”, India’s first genre specific Hindi entertainment channel, presented the preview of the legendary tale of the Mughal Empire, which will be depicted in its first fiction show ‘Malikaa”. Gracing the occasion was the acclaimed author Indu Sundaresan, whose bestselling debut novel; “The Twentieth Wife” is the inspiration behind Malikaa, which is slated to launch with the channel this August; subject to regulatory approvals. Indu is currently in India, to lend her creative expertise and ensure the perfect rendition of her book to Malikaa.
Malikaa will depict the tale of the rise of a woman behind the veil – Mehrunissa, who went on to become the most powerful queen of that dynasty - Empress Nur Jahan, the Twentieth and the last wife of Emperor Jehangir. A story of grand passion, court room politics and consequences set amidst the 17th century Mughal Empire, will explore the private and personal lives of larger-than-life individuals like the Mughal Emperor Akbar, his son and later the Emperor of the dynasty, Salim a.k.a Jehangir and his wife, Empress Mehrunissa. Their inter-personal conflicts, their tempestuous love lives, their clashing ideologies and domestic politics will all be put under a microscope.
Commenting on the occasion, Mahesh Samat, Managing Director, EPIC Television Network Pvt. Ltd Says, “When I first read Indu’s book a few years ago, I was moved by its pure strength of extraordinary story telling. I was instantly drawn into the world of the ‘zenana’ politics; some of which has even shaped our principles today. Her vivid descriptions of the chronology of events in the palaces of the Mughal Empire, leaves you captivated and wanting for more. Right then, I knew that this was a story that needed to reach every Indian household. And for EPIC; I knew I had to get Indu on board and recreate her magical story for television audiences. I am sure that audiences will be enthralled with this legendary saga.”
Thrilled with the association, Indu Sundaresan, author of the book The Twentieth Wife said, “A great story needs an equally great setting to make history come alive. And that is exactly what EPIC has created. Before I met Mahesh and his team, I was apprehensive about the renditions of books to another format - films or television; as I always thought it does not do justice to the original story. However, with EPIC, I see the same passion and enthusiasm for creating masterpieces, as I had when I first started writing the book. The Twentieth wife has and always will be one of my most cherished achievements, I am thankful to the entire team at EPIC for having recreated a masterpiece with Malikaa”.
The show brings together some of the very talented set of actors to essay these powerful roles. Starring Charu Shankar, A trained dancer, musician and actress who has done couple of cameo roles in movies like Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited and Mira Nair's Reluctant Fundamentalist, is being introduced to fictional entertainment on television as the lead protagonist; the intelligent and charismatic Empresses Mehrunissa. Salim a.k.a Emperor Jehangir is being enacted by Karanvir Sharma who recently made his debut in Bollywood with Muazzam Beg's Sadda Adda. Uday Tikekar, the famous television actor is playing the diplomatic and powerful king, Emperor Akbar; while Jannat Zubair Rahmani, popularly known as Phulwa is enacting the role of young Mehrunissa.
This show is produced by Green Light productions and the grand, opulent costumes are designed by the talented Pia Benegal, daughter of film veteran Shyam Benegal. Malikaa is currently being shot at a real palatial location in Bikaner.
Epic Television Networks Private Limited (EPIC) is an integrated media company incorporated in 2012. The company has been set up to build segmented offerings in television entertainment. The first offering is a channel named EPIC that creates new IPs, characters and stories in the space of Indian history and mythology. The network has been funded by a group of financial investors.