Monday, April 27, 2015

Why Hindi soaps are the bomb

A friend asked me today whether I was aware that Hindi soap writers were paid thrice as much as Bollywood screenplay writers. She said it in a disdainful tone.

I think writing for Hindi soaps requires heck lot more imagination than say, certain movies. I mean, giving new voices and new conflicts to those cliched cardboard idolized characters for years who barely even step out of their cocoon and have to go through various stages of life looking like their young decked-up self can be no small feat. It must take a toll on the writer.

I recently got lured stumbled upon an episode of Saath Nibhana Saathiya, the show on Star Plus that’s been on for eons and honestly I assumed had been over eons back. The timid, docile, once-illiterate Gopi Bahu was sent to jail for a decade for killing her evil sister. (I had to look this up. So much effort!) You’d think a woman like that would sink into irreversible depression and lose all sense of self-worth and dignity. Not our Gopi Bahu. Our GB is like the mother of dragons; returns with a swagger, bangs and some crackling zingers. Her attitude, confidence and the ability to cut naysayers to size are so refined, Hilary Clinton could take a cue from her for the 2016 presidential election. You’d think GB had returned with an MBA from Yale, not a decade long jail term for murder.

She makes it home but alas, the coochie cooing will have to wait. Husband now lives with a girlfriend and surprise surprise, she's not the first 'other woman' in his life. The pig also almost married someone else. But hey he’s still Ahem-ji ok ok?

She tries to impose herself on him with her new Yale jail returned self.
“Hey baby I’m back. Kisses?”
“Shoo shoo.”

If there’s one thing you learn in b-school, it’s persistence. So she keeps at it.

Ahem-ji is sick of being wooed by two women he doesn’t deserve in the first place so he berates GB. When all else fails, GB resorts to the ultimate weapon of men destruction – sindoor.

Ahem-ji romances the girlfriend in full public view, dishing out trite periodic insults at GB, while GB lovingly has to engage a bottle of sindoor, her only ally in testing times. Hey producers, why don't you get the poor wifey a battery-operated er bottle – you know the kinds that talk back, to keep her company?

GB is determined to win husband back, come hell or high water.
She’s like, let’s do this no, hun?
He’s like, no dice.
She’s like, don’t make me say the s-word.
He’s like, whatevah. I get plenty already.
She’s like, eww perv. I meant sindoor.

He gets so vexed he does something crazy amazing. He asks GB to explain what sindoor means to her while a dozen onlookers nervously bite their lower lips in anticipation. GB gives a huge sermon, no points for guessing, on the magical powers of the colored powder. It's just what the bugger wanted. Sly! Women – do not, I repeat, do not fall into this trap. He lunges forward, grabs the bottle and jumps back to the tile he’s been assigned in the living room. Then as the camera rolls and the cacophony soothing background music ensues, he creates a divider in his house with it in a high tension sequence. Brilliant, no?

This is Rekha, he declares cockily.
Wait, I thought she’s Mansi, GB can’t even keep track of the girlfriends.
Lakshman rekha, you illiterate women, he roars. "If you really value sindoor, you'll never step on this rekha and try to shag shack make up with me."

The episode ends with Ahem-ji and the girlfriend staying on the other side of sindoor ki rekha happily ever after in the same house while poor GB had to buy new sindoor pronto since he used it all up. Dawg.


saurav vaish said...

Hahah.. That's some quota of sarcasm there.. If these daily soap writers do read this, they'd really consider killing themselves..!

Parinda Joshi ( said...

Thanks Saurav. Must hunt one down and make him/her read at gun point :))