Monday, May 23, 2005

Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki- Of contended housewives and forged bond papers

So I do confess, that after a day of writing CMMI level 5 code, I actually take pleasure in watching Saans-Bahus fighting it out on the small screen and that when I left office at 8pm last Wednesday, my only concern was that Shruti should not be discovered posing as Gayatri during Gayatri’s wedding. Welcome to the world of Balaji Telefilms’ prime-time soaps, where every new daughter-in-law is painted either in pristine white or gory black. Where no episode is complete without a “song and dance” sequence and where the only aspiration of a young boy or girl is to find the soul mate of their dreams.

Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki aspires to structure itself along the lines of a modern day Ramayana. The story weaves itself around Om Agarwal, his wife Parvati and his brothers Gaurav, Ajay and Kamal. Parvati stands for truth and honesty and thereby hangs a tale of ideological conflicts between Parvati and Pallavi (her sister-in-law)

Watch KGGK for the interiors of the Agarwal house, that are guaranteed to awe you. Watch out for the clothes worn by the members of the cast. It comes as no surprise that Parvati goes to bed in a silk sari, replete with jewellery, bindi and makeup. Watch out for girls who seem to be living in jeans but slip into a sari - the day after marriage - with equal √©lan. Contented housewives fish out dusty LLB degrees to turn into legal eagles overnight (Ajay’s wife Avantika, for one) and win their first case against the best of lawyers for their ‘Suhaag ki Raksha’ Money seems to flow like water. People sign bond papers without looking at the contents and the bad guy always gets the entire property transferred to his name with a single signature. And all the male members of the Agarwal household seem to be on personal terms with the Police Commissioner (who is always ready to oblige old friends) and at least one mandarin in the Income Tax department.

It is difficult to say whether KGGK is really a story that could happen in our daily lives. In fact, the far-fetched reality of the story line provides a means of escape and an opportunity to be a part of a make-believe world that could never be true. There are lessons to be learnt of course. Of values, ethics and respect to our elders. Parvati epitomizes the perfect ‘Bahu’ that every mother-in-law would love. Her greatest virtue is that she puts others before herself. However, KGGK portrays the 21st century female as super-woman who can manage a family and career with effortless ease. Shruti and Gayatri handle their careers while being wonderful daughters. Pallavi is chided for being so career-conscious that she could not be the perfect daughter-in-law. Such portrayal creates a role model for women that is impossible to emulate and has negative repercussions on society. Overall, not a bad job, considering that four years into it’s screening, the TRP ratings are still going strong. Next time you see Parvati do remember to say, Touch√©!

3 comments:

stiletto said...

have always hated parvati and the other one, whtishername, tulsi. too much virtue and goodness for me to tolerate. on the other hand, mandira bedi, jaya bhattachrya's characters and pallavi have always been more identifiable :p

brilliant writing.

though i do not approve of the truce you pulled off at the end - so unlike your usual feminism!

but then, still, great stuff!

Rahul said...

yikes ! Good way of putting ur views down. But I can't take these soaps :)

Oirpus said...

[Awestruck]
:-O
[/Awestruck]

pardon the missing "<>" the post would not allow them!!