The other day I was just casually flipping through TV channels and rested on some channel where a 20-something, with an inch-thick pan cake on her face, and decked up from head to toe in chunky jewellery and jazzy saree was crying her eyes out proving her innocence. It’s not very difficult to understand the plot of any Hindi sitcom these days, even if you just randomly bumped into it and have no idea of what has happened in the previous hundred episodes. It’s all the same…story I mean. Even the actors look like clones of each others, all wannabes trying their luck in the world of glamour.
So let me tell you how it usually is. The female lead, the protagonist that is, is usually PYT (pretty young thing) and has at least two sisters who look up to her. She comes from a modest family and swears by her morals and values. She is not the one to be affected by the rich people and their ways. On the contrary, she is always ready to offer a piece of her mind to rich people who come in her way, because all of them are crooks (Yes that’s how it is in Hindi serials. Its either black or white. There is no possibility of grey. So in this case, all rich people are baddies.) So yes, the female lead would mostly be the sole bread winner of at least a 10-member family. Her father would either be a person with special needs and care, or paralysed or if the producer wants to cut cost, he would have been dead years ago. So she is the struggler, the fighter. And you guessed it right. Call it lack of imagination on director’s part or his unwillingness to stray from the tried and tested formula, the poor little strong girl works in a 2000-crore Conglomerate owned by the male lead’s family. The patriarch of that business is usually a tough guy who has come up the hard way after years of hardships. So even if he is a business tycoon who keeps up with the latest technology and zooms around in the snazziest of the cars, at heart he is the conventional types, who is on a look out for a sanskaari and demure bahu for his imported son. His son, by default, would become the CEO of the business empire. He would have just recently completed his MBA from Cambridge and come back to Mumbai/Delhi (always only these two cities are mentioned) to join the family business. So he brings in his new thoughts, his new approach and dynamic attitude to the business and challenges his father’s decision at every stage. Lol 🙂
So one day when the poor chick is already late for work, she happens to miss her bus. But still she manages to look fresh as a daisy, even in such a stressed state, when the sun is not being any kinder. Her wet hair signifies that she has just been out of the shower and had no time to blow her hair dry. You or I would probably be profusely sweating in such a situation. But I guess our teleactors come in sweat proof packaging. K I am deviating a lot. Let me come back to the plot. Now, very very co-incidentally Mr.CEO will spot Ms. Daisyfresh and come to a sudden stop in front of the bust stop to obviously offer her a lift. But independent that she is, she would refuse to take any favour. But Mr. CEO will insist and finally after acting pricey for a while, she will give in. Yes, this is how they meet first time in an informal scenario. He would try breaking the ice and make her feel comfortable. But from her previous associations, she will feel that he is too arrogant and would try to foil all his attempts at small talk. Finally, he will give up. But life would inadvertently bring them together in many such tight spots and eventually Mr.CEO will start falling for the righteous, strong headed, smart but modest poor girl. Thus the love story begins.
But Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans, right? So while he is courting her, his family is busy looking for a rich, classy and sophisticated girl, who on many occasions in future would try to show our heroine down. But the lead pair is in love by now. So they will act totally stupid and all their actions would be governed by the rising hormones. They will elope and get married. While other members of guy’s family are not-so-good at heart, coz they are rich, guy’s father is in total approval for this match and the girl’s family is always ready for uncha khaandan.
So that is how the story unfolds. She is Mrs.CEO by the day time and adarsh bahu by the evening. But life can’t be so simple. In guy’s family, there has to be a vamp, who is perennially jealous of our all-rounder bahu. She will make her life hell at all stages but our bahu will keep proving her innocence and win everyone’s hearts. Always.
Few interesting observations to be made:
• The girl will always be wearing the best of the designer wear. Wonder how? Wasn’t she poor?
• The hero will never remove his blazer, even at 40C in the sweltering heat.
• The vamp will have some very identifying characteristic, either a spiral shaped bindi or a mole above the corner of her upper lip. You will find her talking to herself on many occasions. Apart from playing dress-up and creating havoc in bahu’s life, she will have no real aim in her life.
• In the family, there would be a step mom, who will look young and stylish enough to be guy’s sister. But she will have a very devilish mind. She has only married Mr. Founder for his money. Her ATM. Her offspring will in all probability be spoiled rich brats.
• Everyone is always embroiled in highly melodramatic issues and family quarrels. WONDER HOW THEY FIND TIME TO RUN THEIR EMPIRE? And still manage to be on top of the TIMES list.
• A couple of extra marital affairs. To add spice.
So no matter which channel you are viewing, Sony, Colours, Zee, NDTV Imagine, etc. You are bound to come across similar stories. And you don’t even have to see all episodes to get a hang. You just have to view it for 5 minutes. For God Sake, we are in the 21st century! There is so much to tell. Can’t we have some seriously real and contemporary content to watch? We deserve better, don’t we? Where have serials like Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai and its likes disappeared? Why are we shown such mediocre stuff which makes us akin to the Neanderthals? And why have we become such Zombies? Such content is dished out, because there’s a demand for such variety. The TRPs say that. Can’t we have serials that are progressive in nature, that portray balanced human beings and that bring in revolution? Where women are not just decorative objects? Can we not typecast her in such ‘perfect’ roles and ease her pressure a bit? Where men are not just business tycoons? Where a common man can connect?