Friday, April 16, 2010
Great Indian Television - Shaadi aur Barbaadi...
The most common phenomenon in almost every house in the country which can afford television. Television soap operas have successfully hooked up the Indian wives (and therby their husbands). They come every evening, five days a week (wives won't mind even if it's seven, husband would also agree for they won't have to take their wives shopping). Almost all the houses in the country which can afford a television, spend their evening with the ever weeping bahus, torturous saas, dhokebaaz (or too loving and caring) pati, conspiring sautan, illegitimate children.
No matter which channel you put, it's all the same.As my father puts it, all of them has the same core, "Shaadi and barbaadi". It used to be a big chandelier hanging living room with most things in different shades of red. The typical of the Ekta Kapoor serials. A husband married to the protagonist and antagonist at the same time. Children popping out now and then entangling the already over entangled relationships. Characters never grow old. Only a streak of white hair (specifically trailing from the forehead to middle of the skull) and spectacle, a mustache at max, distinguishes one generation from another generation. Immortal Baa, ever (over) prayed Thakurji gives some religious touch to the story to keeps the aged wives, reason to forget their gout pains.
And if you are bored of watching the same old serials, there are reality shows at your rescue. Challenging the celebrities (those who manage a role in the serials for a year or two, self proclaimed audience heart throbs) to perform tasks. However, these are no less than the soap operas. They have emotions, drama, fights, romance and what not....The once saree and jewelry clad bahu betiyaan get the golden opportunity of showing off their well maintained (sometimes flabby due to prolonged break from work) body contours. Reality shows recently have taken up the job of Rab for finding and uniting jodis. Celebrity bachelors and spinsters approach the reality shows in search of their soul mates. The country exercises its voting rights (democracy you see...yes the same that the country uses for electing our most eligible ministers and MLAs) to choose the bride or groom for them.
Channel producers have always figured out plots to keep the common Indian wives of all ages forget the rest of the world. Forget about the quarrel she had with "baaju wali Mrs Sharma", or son's poor marks in SUPW classes or gossip about "Mrs Gupta ki beti Mrs Shukla ke bete ke saath bhaag gayi" or complain about the maid coming late or even the burning roti on the gas stove. Forget the world to engulf the emotional melodrama. Sympathize with the tortured bahu, hate the wicked sautan, die for the handsome dewar, idolize the ma , envy the caring husband.
No matter whether the Women Reservation Bill is passed in the parliament or not, one thing is reserved for the Indian women. The Television, every evening from 8pm to 11pm.