Category Archives: rant

Mindlessness Over Reality: Saas-Bahu* Telly Soaps

This article was published on the CurryBear website on August 17 2010. *For reference: saas= mother-in-law; bahu = daughter-in-law.

Not being brought up in India, I violently reject old fashioned ideas of the stereotypical mother-in-law as projected by the many Indian television shows. Where the daughter-in-law is always obedient, subservient and a total slave to the domestic politics of an almost-always huge mansion-like house. Where the saas and bahu cannot happily co-exist because there is always a tug-of-war over the son. Where there is always an evil, conniving vamp (another bahu, or the unmarried sister, or the widowed aunt; take your pick) in cahoots with one of the servants hell bent on destroying the peace and quiet of their heavenly (and ultra over the top) abode. Where the women are always dressed in their best sarees and jewelery, even if they are only going to bed. To sleep.

I mean, come on! In a world where even Bollywood is changing (no, I am not talking about the increasing number of make out scenes) to imitate real life, why is the audience stuck on watching shows whose storyline hold no close resemblance to reality?

Starting this year, Yashraj films did attempt to come up with something haatke. Something other than the daily drama soaps. However, despite being a hit with the younger generation (ahem, like me), Rishta.Com, Seven, Powder and Mahi Way did not go down well with the saas-bahu shows addicts. After only a run of six months, due to low TRPs, these revolutionary shows died a sudden death.

My grandmother in India didn’t even know what I was talking about when I mentioned the new shows to her. “What? Rishta dot what?” she screeched from the buzzing telephone line. “I am happy watching Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”. Because mother-in-law was once a daughter-in-law. She went onto regale me with the last episode where the husband’s first wife shows up but she is pregnant with his child. (Don’t ask).

What makes me mad though is not how insidiously integrated these saas-bahu shows are in the Indian telly watching culture, but how often we forget that these are unrealistic “made-up” worlds manufactured to distract us from our utterly normal (and perhaps, boring, for some) daily lives. For example, I cannot imagine my granny calling me shameless if I didn’t wear the traditional salwar kameez while in India. In fact, my liberal granny (who ironically enjoys these aforementioned vile shows) didn’t even bat an eyelid when I told her of my former boyfriend belonging to a different religion. She nodded wisely and said, “As long as he is a good guy”.

The point is, just as I cannot understand and stand the Twilight hype that has taken over the minds of every single girl/woman from as young as eleven to as old as forty and over, I fail to grasp the ever increasing and continued popularity of these shows that barely come close to reality.

As my former high school psychology teacher would say, “Arey, it’s pure entertainment!” I guess, for now, I can satisfy my curiosity with that, except the mindlessness of it all is immensely frustrating. I think I need to go watch my Sex and the City collection all over again.

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The “Delete” Revolution

Picture this:

I woke up with a heartache this morning. It was a leftover residue from last night when things ended with him. I got out of bed, switched on my laptop and went through all of his memories. And, just pressed “delete”. I attacked my phone next. Delete, delete, delete. I sighed, with a lighter heart, and went to brush my teeth.

And, how simple was that? Apparently, getting over a break-up is easy now. Just one simple ‘delete’ can change your life. But why only break-ups? Think of all those unpleasant jerks (and jerkettes?) you come across on a daily basis. That member of the opposite sex who gets off on sending cryptic text messages that are meant to create distance without any clear explanations:

It’s not you. It’s me. I need my space… blah blah blah.

Or, those annoying creepettes (Yes, I made up that word. How about it?) who send you a million messages a day in a desperate (and might I add, futile?) attempt to get your attention:

10 am: Hey sweetie, saw this really cute dress at HnM, and thought of you 🙂

10:30 am: So, was wondering if you are up for that show next week?

10:45 am: Hey, are you MIA on me now?

11:03 am: Wow, you must be really busy! (Umm… no shit?!)

Whoever invented this wonderful concept was a true genius. (According to google, it’s a guy called David Bradley, who invented it along with Ctrl and Alt). All that junk that makes you miserable will be gladly received by your virtual trash can. All you have got to do is press ‘delete’.

And now, with most relationships happening on Facebook, you can take this one step further.

Delete. And, block.

YAY for technology.

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