Sunday, 19 February 2012

Hindi serials

by Vidya Jonnalagadda

Every weekend, I want to watch a movie – see some interesting story. You would think that given the multitude of multiplexes and countless cable channels, I would have a hard time deciding what to watch. I do have a hard time indeed, but in finding something decent to watch on TV, and not just because of the ever-intruding advertisements. It appears that I have already watched everything worth watching on cable! Whatever is left is all too violent, too offensively stupid, or mind-numbingly boring. And in the theaters there is nothing each week that is attractive enough to compensate for the hassle of traffic, parking, and overpriced snacks. If we are lucky, we make it to a theater once every couple of months!

On weeknights, I watch some Hindi serial, much to the mirth and annoyance of several of my family members. How, they ask, can an intelligent person watch episodes where the ‘villainous’ bahu gets the ‘model’ bahu in trouble by switching the containers of oil and ghee in the kitchen, and the model bahu gets scolded for making, in her ‘innocence’, the bhog ka halwa in oil instead of ghee? Granted the serials are very silly indeed, but after a day of work at home and outside, it is somewhat comforting in the evening to escape to the world where such simple household intrigues are the height of treachery and corruption. A welcome change from the empty-speak of anchors, “experts”, and politicians on the news channels – all alleging or denying the latest multicrore ghotala, and claiming in their defense that the other political party did worse things during their tenure. At least the serials do not claim to be meaningful!