First of all aloha after this long hiatus. I don’t why I stopped writing. Sometimes I go through this intense and unflinching writer’s block that refuses to go away despite a million different ideas. But now I’ve realized that a writer’s block happens only when I try to write something that I’m not comfortable with. For example, a sophisticated story about love with complicated and never ending words and sentences, or an in-depth analysis of an issue which seemingly has hard hitting things to say but ofcourse turns out to be epic fail.
So I’m back to writing about things that make absolutely no difference to the world and least of all me. Recently I’ve become somewhat of a couch potato. I bought hundreds of DVDs and started watching many more shows on Television. To begin with, Homeland is perhaps the best show I’ve seen on Television in a very long time. Not only does it satisfy my spy”ness” fetish but it also has an incredible script and story. It keeps the viewer hooked right until the end. The characters are multi layered and complex, especially the protagonist Carrie who is strong yet vulnerable. All the Golden Globes and Emmys’ are absolutely well deserved.
Another show I’ve started watching recently is The Good Wife. I’ve heard quite a bit about this show, so I decided to give it a go. I haven’t watched too many episodes yet but so far it seems engaging. This is another show that has a protagonist worth rooting for, unlike Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy who only makes you wish that she would drown or get blasted by a bomb already.
Coming back to the topic in question – Indian Television. Now, in all seriousness I have no words to describe the stupidity of our shows. While everyone else is making shows like Prisoners of War (Israel), Humsafar (Pakistan) and of course Homeland, The Good Wife, Downtown Abbey, Mad Men from US, we’re still busy making shows like Sasural Simar Ka, Ek Hazaaron mein meri behna hai, Saath nibhana saathiya, Uttaran etc etc etc. I could invest a century in analyzing all these shows separately and still not figure out the difference between any of them. They all have the same papercut characters, same storyline, same twists and turns and for the love of god same dramatic VFX effects. The only remaining bifurcation between shows now is their setting – They’re either set in a destitute village where one big Thakur/Thakurain owns a big haveli and is evil to the boot, or they’re set in an apparently modern world where the protagonist is always a college going, doe-eyed, Mary-Sueish girl who is always dreaming about meeting her Mr. Right who will sweep her off her feet. She obviously has no other motive in her life.
We have all seen some crazy shit on Indian Television. Reincarnation is a theme that has not only been gang raped but also murdered (overkill) in the most brutal fashion possible. Had Voldermort been a character on an Indianized Hari Puttar series, they would have gone on for 7000 episodes and he would never die. Added to that, had Ekta Kapoor been producing/directing it then Bellatrix would get pregnant with Voldermort’s kid and she would conceive while he was in Coma, recovering from the Avada Kedavra curse. Of course, Plastic surgery would come into the picture regardless of whether any damage was done to the face or not. But either ways, Voldermort would only benefit from it as it would give him a real nose.
Anyway, another theme explored (uhm?) avidly on our Television is of course, family, love and relationships. Now, if I was a public figure and I had the power to influence people I would blame the falling levels of IQ in every household single handedly on these dumb shows. (Salman Khan has been contributing vastly to this trend recently, but even his contribution is negligible compared to the consistent contribution made by Indian shows for over 15 years) If we were to go by these shows, then all condom manufacturing units would go bankrupt as premarital sex is a bigger crime than rape and murder, Indian economy would come to depend solely on Gold and Kanjivaram Sarees as the women are required to be heavily laden with all their gold and sarees even while sleeping. Oh I forgot to mention that a million unemployed hairstylists would find secure jobs because they would be required to make sure that everyone’s hair stays in place even after they have been shot and are facing death in an ICU.
Divorces would be written off from Indian law because no matter what happens an Indian family should never fall apart. Even after a hundred affairs, thousand illegitimate kids and a million criminal cases. Forget about how screwed up the entire thing sounds. Oh and if you’re living in a family where two daughters get married in the same house, Lo and Behold, you’re in for a treat for a lifetime. The husbands are bound to get exchanged at some point of time for sure. The kids also might get exchanged. One or two of them might get kidnapped by an evil random person at some point too. So yeah, basically it’s all very entertaining.
BUT STILL NO DIVORCE, REMEMBER!
The girl will always get married against her wish. That’s like the unwritten golden rule of Indian Television. She is destined to be an unhappy, moping and sad little soul for the rest of her life. When she has her own daughter she would look into her eyes, her own eyes brimming with tears, and would say, “Beta, ek aurat ki zindagi mein sirf dukh likhe hote hain. Yehi kudrat ki reet hai”, and they both would sob endlessly while an emotionally manipulative song/tune plays in the background.
Don’t forget the fact that the protagonist on Indian Television is the epitome of morality and you will probably not find a better Satyavati in great epics like Mahabharat and Ramayan. Tulsi and Parvati make Seeta and Draupati look tame. Seeta left off for the forest when Ram banished her. You think Parvati would have ever done that? No! She would have sunk to her knees infront of her Parmeshvar samaan Pati and cried her heart out, saying the most laughworthy lines ever, “Kya galti ho gayi mujhse? Aapko maine devta samjha, har kadam pe aapka saath diya, aapke naam ka deepak aaj tak mandir mein jal raha hai, aur aap mujhse rishta tod rahein hain? Aakhir kyun?!” and the very generous husband would melt.
Draupati was an even more evil woman! She insulted her husbands in public! She vowed not to tie her hair till the day she lived! Oh, the blasphemy! Doesn’t she know the importance of a good hairstyle? Do you think Tulsi would have done that? NO! She would have wiped off all her tears and said resolutely, “Agar mere patiyon ko lagta hai ki mujhe daav pe laga kar unhe unki khoyi hui izzat waapis mil sakti hai, toh main yeh imtihaan bhi paar kar lungi”
Remember, the make up, hair and clothes remain intact throughout all their hardships. Notice how, even in death, all family members wear perfectly white and crisp clothes. I’m sure their designer sits somewhere amidst the crowd.