Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Weirdness Revisited!

I haven't posted in this blog forever! I noticed my last past was about the fall of the mighty saas and the advent of new-age, sensible, sensitive shows via the new channel- Colors. Silly young me! Now let's look at some of the 'color'ful shows now running and leaping on air!
1. BalikaVadhu- Okay, I admit. They are still somewhat on track, in spite of the leap. Dealing with rural practises detrimental to women, the fallouts of child marriage and last week the child-widow Anandi had gifted bangles to ages back (when she herself was a nayi bahoo in her sasural) got remarried. Nice to see there are still shows that don't forget old characters while they getting new ones. And now Anandi and Jagya are finally getting divorced, and we will probably have a new male lead opposite Anandi. But the question is- will this last? Can this show really be radical enough to show Anandi and Jagya permanently separated? They certainly weren't radical enough to allow Gehna to have an abortion in spite of life risk (I intend to write a post on the issue of childbirth in Indian televsion someday. Stay posted.) But anyway, could they please stop posing those little nuggets of wisdom at the end of each episode? I think the viewers might know they aren't watching Aesop's Fables.

2.Sasural Simar Ka- Umm, what exactly is this show about? The promos were about a strict father who didn't allow his daughters to watch tv and a young girl with a passion for dance in a traditional society. What is it about now, exactly? Scheming jethanis, kitchen politics, spousal betrayal... tell me one thing this show offers that is new? So what is the point they are trying to sell? That an ideal Indian woman forgets her dreams on getting married? That she goes hungry with a smile on her lips when her in-laws are practically torturing her with work overload? And when her younger sister (who is also her elder sister-in-law *someone please save me*) tries to protest, she is chided by her Sita-maiya didi a.k.a devrani for her childish behaviour!!!

Coming to the younger sister then- she is none other than Avika Gor- our original Balika Badhu. Oh see, she had originally married her jijaji instead of her sister who was busy reaching her mandap from her dance show  and so not to ruin her life further, jijaji's elder bro has married her now. Obviously now she can cook as well as her sister and wear nice sarees, there is no need to finish her schooling. I think the entire point of the whole "dance-is-my-passion" plot was to condone child marriage. And this piece of regressive crap airs right before Balika Badhu too, what an irony!!!
3.Uttaran- They've just taken their 2nd leap now. I would say a few things about this show- but someone on india-forums have already done it, so here's a question-answer session:

Since leap I am looking for answers of the following questions. Hope you all will help me find them.
 ##### Join the rest of us befuddled viewers! Your basic problem is you didn't mortgage your brain to the local money lender
Q1. When Ichcha killed Avinash, there was a party going on, hence like Jessica Lal's case, there were many witnesses who would have seen what happened. How come no one came forward to state what actually happened?
##### Do you know HOW long it took? How many came forward in THAT case? Jessica had a devoted sister to follow up the case.Ichha has only infants posing as CVs to follow up HER case!!
How come no one ever told Bundela's why Ichcha went behind bars and who was responsible for the tragic incident with Veer?
##### Mai & Daddaji KNOW Ichha was responsible-the rest have no brain, voice or opinion!

Q2. Bundela's are big shot of the city. Hence if their bahu kills someone it should become a high-profile murder case. How come media was not interested to dig in this story? (totally ignoring the mahasangam episode with Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha as they did not have the 18 yrs leap and did not publish Ichcha's story yet).
##### MEDIA??? They were busy covering the Tetra scam & the fun President Patil is having designing her retirement home!

Q3. Mai tells Veer Ichcha left him to elope with someone else. Why did Ummed or Daddaji or any servant of the house did not tell Veer what happened? Atleast his friends, whose party he went to enjoy before the fateful incident, didnot utter anything neither the people at his office?
### Veer thinks his mother is the incarnation of the Goddess of Truth! The rest are busy guarding their family jewels from a shut-up kick by MightyMadMai. Veer does not talk to his staff-he is a BUNDELA for gwadssake! The friend in Veer's life come &go-so they WENT!

Q4. Veer seems to be so engrossed in Ichcha's cute little notes, even after 18 years, then why did he not want to find out about her background, her family, etc?
#####WHY should HE always be the one to make the effort? Ammu had the ammunition & Jogi the information -ASK them why they sat twiddling their collective thumbs,do NOT ask a BUNDLEWALA!!

Q5. Rathod left town, but he is still alive. How come Thakur's don't have the contact number of their only son-in-law or his daija?
##### SIL disappeared without a trace-we should have followed suit!! Thakur is drowning his sorrows by losing EVERY penny & Thakurain don't give a damn!
Why is he not informed of Mukta's presence? Daija left house keys with Nani before leaving town, that means they didnot severe all their ties with the city before leaving. Then even after 18 yrs why Mukta is without her father?
##### You give the keys to NANI,you ARE severing relations! Who would chose to keep in touch with this brainless,evil,demented lot? He was too classy and VERY cowardly? He got an offer he COULDN'T refuse from another channel?

Q6. Mukta was told of her mother and her friend called Ichcha How come she never saw their snaps? Not sure if she ever saw her father's pics but why she doesn't question about her father's whereabouts?
#### Unquestioning obedience?

Q7. Same question for Meethi. Why has she not seen her mother's pics? Why doesn't she want to know about her father? Did Damini change Meethi's last name?
#### Mitti is an ace Air head-She thinks the stork flew her in or Kingfisher?
How come she doesn't question about Bundela's?
#####Mitti has limited vocabulary.Sowvie,Mekko lori sunao na peej & Anni are the only words she has learnt so far?!
Are these girls not bothered about their birth identities?
##### Arrey!! They are weighed down by far weightier matters.Mukta with being NO.1 &Mitti with how to outrage the sensibilities of hapless viewers!

Q8. Was Jogi also unaware of Ichcha's arrest and Meethi's birth? Why did he not try to fight for her? Why doesn't he want to meet Damini, Ichcha and others? Why did Ummed not try to contact Jogi? Atleast he seemed to be the only sane person in the Bundela mad-house.
#### Asked & answered above

Q9. For past 18 years someone is deposing huge amounts in Jogi's account of which both Jogi and Divya are unaware. How is this possible? Don't they receive bank statements or check their passbooks? Considering Jogi withdrew himself from all worldly matters, but Divya was educated (Remember! she used to read magazines throughout her day when they were rich). How come she never checks their bank accounts? Jogi too was big shot of the city and a valuable customer to the bank, why nobody from bank ever told them of this source of money?
##### Pushkar is the trusted (SNORT!!) middleman between the bank & the Thakurs. The bank is not obliged to tell people unless they ask!

Q10. Most important questions, yeh CVs humein kounse level ka bewakoof samajhte hain jo itne loose ends rahne ke baad we will still be interested in watching the show?
#### Obviously you ARE watching & I am too so the CVs know SOMETHING we don't!  Clueless Club sounds about right!! I hope I managed to answer SOME of your questions? Join the club of the dolts who swarm to watch this "intense" albeit   IDIOTIC show!
 The questions are from aninditag & the answers from znursingh  both of them india-forum members. You can see the original post here. You might notice the title of this blog-post is inspired by that of the quoted thread.

And oh, there's a new television channel called Life Ok which is really a revamped Star One. More about it later. See you soon and till then happy viewing and stay sane!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Fall of the mighty Bahoo, ooops...Saas

I have forgotten...Tulsi and Paarvati did begin their lives as perfect bharatiya bahoos, right? But I guess they ended as the Saas, or the saas of the saas...oh whatever! How old were they before Ekta darling finally decided to have mercy on our intelligence? And how can we forget Prerna, and her varying husbands and the horde of legal, illegal and step children- well she had to say goodbye to! Of course, we still do have plenty of the glycerine-dosed Saas-Bahoo shows left, but 2008 saw the fall of the titans. And the rise of new leaders. Ekta had a new show on Star Plus- which of course is very popular, but once again, she can't see any pair of lovers happily married, so I am sick of her, though the show gave us some fresh faces.Talking about fresh faces, the Bidaai team and Kapil Nirmal and Anjali Abrol look promising. The other popular serial- Dulhann is beginning now to look dated and hackneyed(which it was anyway from the beginning- but the lead pair had managed to save the show) and is taking a severe beating from balika vadhu on Colors. In fact, of the three new channels, NDTV Imagine, 9X and Colors, the latter has been the most promising. And 2008 was certainly the year of Avika Gor. A close-to-earth, socially aware storyline, a brilliant cast, a bit of glamour in clothes(but within limits) and a sensitive characterization which gives scope for multiple perspectives in judging event the most hateful characters has made the show a success. Hope it does not go haywire like other shows with good beginnings have done in the past.
Happy New Year, and Happy teleWatching.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The changing colours of Azadi!

There was a time when 26th January meant watching the Red Fort parade and 15th August was about a patriotic movie on television. I remember Doordarshan kept showing Roza for years before finally changing to Sarfarosh. It used to mean singers from Bollywood and the classical world singing 'aye mere waton ke logo'and 'saare jahan se achha.' Things have changed. Perhaps people have grown tired of watching the same old movies and hearing the same old songs and they can't bear patriotic sentimentalism even for one day. So now for Independence Day, I suddenly find channels making television actors dance to bollywood melodies and reality show singers crooning away all the love songs they had sung before on normal workdays. Its not that there aren't other progammes on air, but...I don't know, may be I'm old-fashioned.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Of avenging spirits and divine reincarnations!

Once there was a show about three 'bahoo's and their experiences as they entered a rich Gujarati household and struggled to adjust to their new lives, not to mention their respective monsters...sorry, mothers-in-law. Another 'Saas-Bahoo' stuff, you might say, 'what else is new?' But the show was different. I t was fun-filled, it poked innocently at the various idiosyncrasies of joint-family life and there was something incredibly feel-good about the whole thing. But this is an Indian television show, right? How long can it not fall in line? And so, the faces of the male lead-character kept changing, but as long as they didn't say t was plastic surgery, we chose to remain quiet. Then the Punjabi bahoo, Manjit(Manva Kaur) suddenly did a Rajesh Khanna and died of cancer. Ok, we heard they were not paying the actress, or was it another show? I forget. So a new third bahoo is needed, and there is a vamp in place to prevent her marriage, and then the other girl who wanted to be in her shoes dies, and now the scriptwriter finally decides to go for it with all his force and he brings in the angle of a 'bhatakti hue atma' with poor Bindiya being possessed by spirit of dead girl. I leave the rest of the show for researchers in the occult, and now let's look at the other atma in news, i.e to say, the Paramatma, Lord Krishna himself.

We are talking of course, about the indomitable Ekta Kapoor. Now I am certainly not an atheist and have no intention to hurt any body's sentiments, but who told dear SoapQueen that Lord Vishnu descended to Devaki's womb in the form of a peacock feather and that it took Him an hour to do so? It was ludicrous, staring and staring at the TV screen and watching the piece of feather strolling across the universe, the solar system and then finally on earth. And then, we all know about the astrologers matching the kundali of dear Krish with Lord Krishna, but the boy is nearly one year old, and they are trying to pass him off as a nascent baby?!! Couldn't the boy born on Janmashtami wait for a few more days? I have to say it, the Sagars are doing a better job on Colors, remaking their own show Shri Krishna as Jai Shri Krishna. The actors look better, are dressed better, act better, and unlike Ekta's scriptwriter, the Sagars' have not forgotten about the existence of Balaram and Rohini. They were less lucky with their scriptwriter for Prithviraj Chauhan, though. This week, we heard the love of Sanyogita of Kanauj(who died in 1192A.D) for Prithviraj Chauhan being compared with the love of MiraBai for , oh, we are back to Him, Lord Krishna. But MiraBai? Didn't she come around four hundred years or more after Sanyogita?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The pleasure of simplicity

Last week I was away from home, and my television-watching was rather sporadic. As a result, I watched stuff that I normally don't when at home - like Nachle Ve with Saroj Khan, for instance- I can't help marveling at the moves that lady makes at her age and with the not so perfect figure! I wonder what she moved like when she was younger, must have been fire on the dance floor! Then there was Tom and Jerry- I always seem to watch this show from hotel rooms- not that my house TV is particularly averse towards that show- but my cable operator apparently does not like Cartoon Network, the channel keeps changing its place. It's fun, isn't it? The way they fight, then they have that handshake in the moment of joint escape from a scrape, and the next moment they are playing cat-and-mouse again. There was this episode where Jerry was teaching a lost baby duck to swim, and obviously Tom wanted to cook her in a soup, and then in the end when Tom is about to drown the dear duckling jumps in to save the cat with Jerry chipping in. It's so gentle and it sort of tells you that no rivalry is greater than friendship and the simple values of life. Of course, it is also hilarious when in the more violent stories every trick by Tom to capture Jerry backfires on him, but I guess the underlying feeling is always there that whatever they do to each other, they simply can not do with out each other as well. I wish the so-called prime shows had plots as simple and feel-good as these- well, some of them do - Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Ek Chabi Hai Padoss Mein, Radha Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dekhaye, Ek Packet Unmeed- but they are not the face of Indian Television Soaps. It is amazing, people glued to the television supposedly to unwind and relax find entertainment in shows where women cook in designer sarees and where the person sitting next to you can be a murderer. Jassi started well, but fell in the box soon afterwards.Not that I am not myself prone to such vices once in a while, but yet I wish there were more shows like the ones I mentioned. There are simpler joys and sorrows in life and it's time our soap queens and kings realize it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weird Attractions

My earliest experience in Indian serials go back to the days of the old Mahabharata, then there was Sagar's Sri Krishna - the two shows that are being remade right now(no, I never watched the old Ramayana). Then there was something called Junoon- my parents didn't like it after 2 episodes, and that was that. There was another period show with Pallavi Joshi playing a character called Ninni who secretly loved a king, and that is all I remember of it now. There was something against the backdrop of Kashmir- shikaras floating on the Dal Lake- and that was when I first started dreaming of Paradise-Land. And there was Circus, of course, cute young Shahrukh - SRK knew even back then that the world was nothing more than a circus(Remember the title track- "Yeh duniya ek circus hai"?); so no surprises at IPL. I don't know why, but I have always had this attraction for period shows and movies- I remember I used to fight with my parents to let me watch Krishna at 8pm on Sundays while they wanted to finish watching the Sunday movie on DD-Bangla. And for the same reason, 2 back, I started watching the weekend 9pm show on Star Plus with the long-winded name: "Dharti Ke Veer Yoddha: Prithviraj Chauhan". It used to be good at first, a well-paced script, good dialogues, good costumes and sets, but if a show remains and ends the way it began, it is not an Indian serial any more. And so now we have pathetic acting and even worse scripts that never move, recycled costumes that look like clothes discarded from the k-serials' wardrobes and music from anywhere and everywhere to fill in the gaps between ad breaks. Funny thing is, I still watch it, even though I don't like the show one bit any more. Yet few things annoy me more than a powercut at 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. Then there's "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahoo Thi" - the show is hilarious, and I don't regularly watch it, but once in 2/3 months, I try to catch up what's happening, and with sincere interest. "Banoo Main Teri Dulhaan" - admittedly, a very cute lead pair, but that hardly excuses the done-to-death plot. Why are all the tv-shows so obsessed with murder and betrayal? All right, this is the Kal Yug, the world is full of bad people, but does the ordinary brother/sister/next-door neighbour/friend/spouse really turn murderer at the drop of a hat? And the poor Hindu Marriage Act, oh my God! Ganga, bahoo of Tulsi, told ex-hubby Sahil the other day that they were no longer marriageable age and it was time to marry off their children. That was funny, seeing that Karan and Nandini belonging to the same generation of the family got married the other day, and anyway, whoever heard of an upper limit to the marriagable age of Ekta's characters? Ekta's Mahabharat - Draupadi has one saree throughout the show. Ah well, the princess of Panchal and queen of Indraprastha- one saree? And not much jewellary either. Bhishm and Shantanoo all dress like Romans or Greeks- the ancient ones, I mean, Sakshi acts well as Ganga but what should have been the main attraction is a flop. Anita Hansdani as Draupadi only screams and shows her teeth. And Rupa Ganguly is content playing Kasturi's mother all the while.