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To watch or not to watch?

June 30, 2010

Overheard two college girls talking

A – Wow you got engaged!!!!!!!! How lucky!!!

B   Yeah, I am very happy.

A   How are your inlaws? Traditional or Modern?

B    I have no idea but I know I am going to cover my head after marriage the way they do in the serials. It is such a sexy look.

A   Even I feel the same. The whole idea is so exciting- heavy saris, jewellery, head covered, all those customs and ceremonies.

B   I just can’t wait to get married. Even I will behave like the girls in the serials—Mummyji  Chai  lo, Mummyji  kya  khana  banau etc . It would be such fun.

A   Do you know cooking?

B    Noooooooooo. And I won’t be cooking also. I hope they have a cook there.

A    What if, your inlaws don’t allow you to wear Jeans and shorts?

B    Why should they object? Whenever I will wear sari I will cover my head otherwise I will wear what I wear now. And why should it affect them what I wear? After all I will be part of that family. That will be my house too. I can to anything in my own house.

I am just amazed at the innocence of the young girls and was wondering over the influence of the TV serials on people.

But what surprised me was that the young girls were not thinking beyond heavy saris, jewellery and various customs and rituals. They had such a rosy picture of marriage. It seemed they had selective observation only. Enjoy the good part and forget the rest.

I did not feel like bringing them down from their dream world to the world of ego clashes, adjustment issues, responsibilities, and dynamics of relations and shatter their dreams so I left the place quietly.

But their conversation did make me think how the serials affect young minds.

On one side the all those family soaps have revived the old Indian culture and traditions. (Let us ignore the bitching, the extra marital affairs, the scheming characters in the serials).

The serials not only have made the new generation aware of our mythology, various Indian festivals, and various religious rituals but also have brought back in fashion the traditional Indian attire, the ethnic jewellery and also awareness of rituals of different regions, castes and communities.

And on the other side the serials go on and on glorifying the patience, the tolerance and the sacrificing nature of the women characters or the mean nature and characteristics of the negative characters. It infuriates me to watch educated girls meekly tolerating the cruelties of inlaws, husbands or the villain in the serials.

What are the serials trying to portray? That woman should bow down to inhuman treatment silently?

Why doesn’t any one from the public raise their voice against such humiliations?

Are we not showcasing the glorified wrong image of life?

Am I sounding like someone who is addicted to all those sobbing, scheming, unrealistic  family melodramas?

I am not but when the TV is on the full day, one is bound to give sideways glance at the dramas being enacted on the idiot box and get the gist of the whole story.

The most hilarious part is when people start identifying with the characters and start taking their side and pass running commentary on the scenes being played on the screen and comment, “serves her right/poor girl how much she has to suffer/keede pade aisi saas/bahu pe etc. or when I am suddenly asked,” do you think —– will be thrown out of the house/poor—- she lost her baby. She must be feeling so bad”

Just imagine a day without TV?   It is like the biggest punishment.

The serials have become an integral part of our life. It is like watching serial is a punishment but not watching it is the severe form of punishment.

And tell me who wants severe punishment? so to avoid it watch and then crib like I am doing.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2010 4:42 pm

    Seriously? You heard that? Or you have made that up to convey a point of view?(Which is not wrong) Because I don’t think ppl can be so naive. That they know they have to put gunganta in the house and still think they can were shorts at their place. Hard to believe.

    Anyways, regarding TV, Every tech has its share of disadvantage.

    • June 30, 2010 5:50 pm

      Well, I don’t think this kind of conversation is unlikely. To most of us, serials (and, for that matter, movies too) have big, subtle impact on our ideology.

      It’s such a pity that the serials of today’s times too rely heavily on strengthening the stereotyping.

      To watch or not to watch? Hmm… change to SAB TV 😉

    • June 30, 2010 10:01 pm

      this actually happened in front of me so it is not imaginative
      and yes SAB is definitely better.
      clean comedy

  2. June 30, 2010 6:51 pm

    Tell me about these serials. The only reason I used to watch was to get worked up and yell and argue about their stupidity. Now who does that?

  3. June 30, 2010 10:01 pm

    most of the people criticism them, people like me openly comment on them but then we all watch them 😦

  4. July 1, 2010 3:29 pm

    hahaha i loved the ending part 🙂

  5. July 1, 2010 6:23 pm

    The conversation, though seemingly unlikely sounds like it was between a pair of rather naive and possibly well-to-do girls. That’s probably why they sound like they don’t have a care in the world and a life like they see in the soaps actually seems inviting to them.
    Personally, I watch Star World (some of the comic soaps), so I have no first-hand account of the serials that are aired, the once you are talking about. But I think I am right assuming from what I have indeed seen during channel-surfing that they seem very unrealistic and over-dramatized. If that is indeed the case, then those girls may have been a pair the kind of which you may not encounter again!
    But again, I may be wrong!

  6. Ashish permalink
    July 1, 2010 11:02 pm

    I have moved over to watching Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. Science Channel and Nat GEO are also pretty nice when compared to these soaps.

    I am glad that I am far away from all this stereotype gimmicks!!!!

  7. July 2, 2010 8:18 pm

    The characters in family sagas look so unrealistic (look at their make up, cloths, jewelery,as also acting) exaggerated and loud, I wonder how the serials TRP keep rising!

  8. Jack permalink
    July 2, 2010 10:17 pm


    Read 3 posts now. Very good of you to pay tribute to your father in such a touching and affectionate way. It is only when you live 7 X 24 that you come to know real side of any person. TV and Movies do affect thinking process of youngsters in particular, in negative way mostly I am afraid. I have also written a number of posts on relationships. If you find time do visit and give your views.

    Take care

  9. July 4, 2010 11:42 pm

    Oh My, after I got married I had to had to watch those stupid saas bahu sagas to stay on the top of the game. The MIL used the dialogues from KSBKBT. One time I saw a rerun and was amazed she used the exact dialogue. Next time I returned it back in same coin and told that God forsaken man, look man bahu watches the same serials that saas watches so just be prepared.

    It is more like bahu bhi usi chakki ka aatta khati hai jiska saas nanad khati hein.

    Anyway, my white friends use to tease me “You are a pauper you do not even have decent enough saris and jewelery like those women on the TV.” 🙂

    Blogging about the media images is a good idea but writing to print media editors and TV producers and directors in mass mails will be even better. Clogg their inboxes with protests.


    Desi Girl

  10. July 13, 2010 6:45 pm

    I guess we are all used to this kind of entertainment and we connect it to our real lives. Without a TV or rather the TV serials, life would be incomplete in an Indian household. We pretty much live with those characters. Even waking up the next day with the sole purpose of finding out what happens next. Though nothing really ever happens in these serials. You stop watching for a month and then begin, nothing much has changed. 🙂

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