Books You Need to Read If You Loved These Indian Serials

Indian serials are famous for being laughably ridiculous and extremely dramatic. I’m here to say that all of that is true. Only the other day I saw a clip being circulated where a woman hit her head, fell neatly into a suitcase which got locked on its own and the woman was ‘accidentally’ kidnapped in that suitcase. I wish I were kidding.

Two women sipping on drinks, saying ‘Drama, drama, drama’

Although a lot of them are extremely dramatic to the point they’re comedic, there are some gems in there as well. I grew up watching so many serials, some which were family themed with my parents and grandparents, and others which were made for kids. I have really fond memories associated with them so I thought to highlight them on my blog.

I recently saw a blog post at Reading with Rendz: If You Liked this Telenovela, You’d Love this Book. I absolutely loved this post and you all should definitely check it out. I was so inspired, I decided to do a similar post where I recommend books based on Indian serials. Of course it can work vice-a-versa, if you love a book mentioned here maybe you can check out these serials?

I hope my Indian friends are able to recognize some of their favorites in here too. That being said, let’s get this show started!

Books You Need to Read If You Loved These Indian Serials

1. Son Pari (2000 – 2004)

Just looking at these posters is bringing back so much nostalgia! This was hands down my favourite childhood show, although looking back it definitely had a lot golden glitter and shiny stuff, lol. Also, yo pronounce the ‘Son’ like the word ‘so’ and the letter n.

This serial was all about magical fairyland, your typical good vs evil and just very light-hearted and cute. Our human main character was a bubbly little girl, the female fairy, Sona was like the personification of everything good and Altu, the male fairy was the mischievous and funny side-kick.

If I had to recommend a book with similar themes, I would choose….

Esme’s Wish

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

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Related Post: Esme’s Wish: Blog Tour +Giveaway

This is such an underrated middle-grade fantasy! It’s really surprising how much it reminds me of Son Pari because of the similar themes of family, friends, mentor-ship and the determination of the main character. Both Esme and Frooty are the kind of characters who have a positive outlook, have a great curiosity and awe regarding everything fantasy and a drive to protect their family and loved ones.

2. Karishma kaa Karishma (2002 – 2004)

So apparently this was an adaptation of an American sitcom called Small Wonder. I love the name because Karishma is the name of the girl-robot but ‘karishma’ also means miracle and I love word play!

This was a show where a scientist made an AI girl robot and he and his wife, son pretended the AI aka Karishma was a human girl they had adopted. The whole show revolved on Karishma solving the family’s problem and the scientist dad trying to see how ‘human’ could she become.

This might be one of the only sci-fi Indian show I saw and it just had a really fun yet interesting vibe going around with the whole AI plot.

If I had to recommend a book with similar themes, I would choose….

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.

Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.

A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in this mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.

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Another delightful yet underrated middle-grade book, this one also features a sassy AI robot although it has a much smaller role. This book has similar themes of family as well as the same mischievous and funny vibe that the show carried for me. None of the main characters are robots but two of the side characters are and that’s the closest I could get 🙂

3. Adaalat (2010 – 2015)

Adaalat means court and oh my god, everyone in my family absolutely loved Adaalat. It’s about this lawyer, K.D Pathak who solves a case in every episode. Every episode, every case was pretty ingenious, and overall I loved the vibe of our main character, a bit like Sherlock I guess.

If I had to recommend a book with similar themes, I would choose….

Well, obviously Sherlock Holmes. But since that series is already very popular, I would love to recommend The House of Silk which is a Sherlock Holmes novel by Anthony Horowitz.

The House of Silk

London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap – a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.

Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase-the House of Silk-a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.

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4. Shararat – Thoda Jaadu, Thodi Nazaakat (2003 – 2006)

*I had to go through so many pains to find a decent poster for this one*

Again, this was a fun sitcom about fairies hiding in plain sight and apparently it was inspired from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Honestly, I kinda see the similarities. It had a mix of everything: humor, drama, magic, pranks and what not. I especially adored all the characters and I’m probably gonna go and look for this show online after I’m done writing this post.

If I had to recommend a book with similar themes, I would choose….

So I couldn’t find a perfect match for this show but what I feel fits best is Inkheart.

Inkheart

One cruel night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART– and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.

This is INKHEART–a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

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I feel that Inkheart has a young protagonist very similar to the show, young and curious, being thrown into something completely new as she tries to figure out her own powers and abilities. Inkheart isn’t as lighthearted as the show but it has the sense of adventure and excitement that the show held for me.

5. Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan (2014 – 2018)

I think this is the only show mentioned in this post which I watched in my pre-teen and teen years. This was all about a band who were very close friends and how their life got upturned when two new girls came to their college causing all sorts of trouble. This show really centers around relationships, especially friendship and one book immediately springs to mind.

If I had to recommend a book with similar themes, I would choose….

Mirror Mirror

Friend. Lover. Victim. Traitor.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Sixteen-year-old friends Red, Leo, Rose, and Naomi are misfits; still figuring out who they are and who they want to be. Life isn’t perfect, but music brings them together, and they are excited about what the future holds for their band, Mirror, Mirror. That is until Naomi vanishes before being pulled unconscious out of the river.

She’s left fighting for her life in a coma. The police claim it was a failed suicide attempt, but her friends aren’t convinced. Will Naomi ever wake up? What – or perhaps who – led her to that hospital bed? And how did Red, the self-styled protector of the group, fail to spot the warning signs?

While Rose turns to wild partying and Leo is shrouded by black moods, Red sets out to uncover the truth. It’s a journey that will cause Red’s world to crack, exposing the group’s darkest secrets. Nothing will ever be the same again, because once a mirror is shattered, it can’t be fixed.

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Both the show and this book have a misfit band of friends who will die for each other and the friendship element is a huge part of both the plots. There’s romance on the side as well and I just- I feel this is a perfect match 🙂

That was so much fun! Let me know if you enjoyed it and would like a part two 🙂

Have you seen any Indian serials or shows? If yes, which ones are your favourite?

Do you recognise any books in this list? If yes, please try watching the Indian serial I matched it with 🙂

18 thoughts on “Books You Need to Read If You Loved These Indian Serials

    • Thanks, Sahi! Yeah, I guessed as much. When you get older you just watch less and less tv. I’m majorly missing it and even though the quality wouldn’t be the same I’m gonna go and find it online :))

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha go for it 👍👍👍 I was very much into more Ekta Kapoor’s dramas during my younger days.. So, if anyone can recommend me books based on Kyunki or Kasautii, I’ll totally be running to grab them lol 😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! Lmao I never knew about Small Wonder until I started writing this post. The weird thing is I have at least one episode deeply ingrained in my mind from each of these shows 👀

      Liked by 1 person

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