The kiddo and I were talking about Indian soaps today and we realised how integral a part they are of our Indian culture! :P No matter what language, which channel, you can always figure out a few basics without understanding a single dialogue! I am more familiar with Hindi and Malayalam serials so I shall illustrate my point citing a few random examples!
The vamp is the easiest to spot! All negative characters are snazzily dressed, modern and trendy apparel, garish make-up, loads of kajal and an eery piece of music playing in the background! You have your negative character right there! In case of a male villain, he'll be wearing smart clothes with one eyebrow raised in defiance of gravity and a leery smile on the face! A never failing signal is the "Dhishding dhishding" music that starts playing when they enter, signaling yet another "Ab Aayega Mazaa!" moment!
The Leading lady? The easiest to spot! Traditional Indian clothes, glycerin overdose, silent, suffering, looks saintly all the time. In happy times, the sitar starts singing or a happy happy tune plays the minute she enters and when tough times arrive, the wailing tune starts and then you just want to barf!
And yes, she goes de-glam the minute things go wrong! No make-up and fancy clothes! Na-uh! It's just hidden make-up and designer plain clothes henceforth!
The leading man is the eternally brooding, depraved looking pathetic creature! He cries, is bullied and manipulated by the ladies in his life and is usually a sorry character! These heroes can give the leading ladies a run for their money with all the weeping! A prop most of the time, he comes in handy occasionally to beat up the bad guys who harass his lady love or to turn her out of the house and then later cry at her doorstep pleading to her to come back! Sigh!
All confrontations are with the camera going crazy revolving 360 degrees, with a dhindhindhindhin dhindhindhindhin tune going on and cymbals clash when a point is forfeited to either party and when the game is over another dhich!
There is bitching, conspiracy, khaandaan ka naam mitti mein milaya dialogues, a lot of tears, fights, more bitching and plotting, some romane, then more fights, a few deaths, a few leaps in time, some growing olds, some more tears and some happily ever-afters. That is what is so remarkable about India! There is so much Unity even in Diversity! :P Even our soaps concur!
Sorry about limiting to the basic stuff and the only two Indian languages I know! I would like to thank my mom for all the info regarding the Malayalam serials!!! Crap serials but were of some use! Thanks ma!
P.S.- The Minstrel like a typical hypocrite watches her daily soaps without fail- Uttaran, Na Aana Iss Des Laado being two of them! Bah! Sue me! :P
P.P.S.- Wheeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Screw the serials!!!!! I'm back!!!!!!!!!!!! :)