Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Indian Soaps- Unity In Diversity!

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!!!!!!!!!!!! :)


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

hi again! u know i just haaaate, terribly hate it that the leading lady of a TV serial is so so so good, i mean unbelievably good. why she has to be so good to take everything on her!

very well researched topic, with pics and all!


Minstrel Incognito said...

Tell me about it! Their holier than thou attitude is so frustrating.. I feel like kicking all of them!!! I hope to see some more soaps with kickass leading ladies!

Addy said...

I have had something interesting to observer watching all these soaps over the period of 10 years. Yes I watched a lot of them. Althoug, I can't remember their names or characters, I can relate to the plot.
Earlier, there was the empowered women genre where Kitu Kidwani (or Gidwani) and Mandira Bedi became household names. And every soap had the same theme.
Then came the saans bahu serials, every sopa on every channel had the same theme.
Then came Ugly betty theme.
Then there was the Rajasthani Khandan theme, and the Bihar/UP family theme.
All had a touch of "empowered women" flavor though.
There is another interesting thing to observe.
With every change in theme a new channel makes it to the no 1 spot!
Earlier DD2/Metro bagged the prize, then came the zee, then sony then star and now it color!
Oh and btw,I just love to watch these soaps, cause the laughter/comedy programs are not as hillarious as them!
I am literally ROFLing at each scene and "dhang....dhang.......dhang...."!!!

Mag[m] said...

i hete these chewing gum stories... these soap cant allow me to watch a tv even for half an hour on ma vacation at home bcoz ma is addicted to them...
they have no msg no meaning just influence nepotism in family...

Minstrel Incognito said...

@ Addy: hehe! Wow you watch a lot of soaps!!! :P yes, you're right, most of these soaps follow a particular trend. Nowadays its pseudo-empowerment, they pretend to be empowerment sagas but end up with all the same old saas-bahu crap most of the time! Eg- Jyoti, Iss Des Na Aana Lado, Pratigya.

And yes, its highly entertaining! Esp the men in the soaps! Gosh, they are such wimps! Great stuff! lol!

Minstrel Incognito said...

@ Mag[m]: Well, that does not hold true actually..some soaps do teach us stuff..but mostly they are lame! I agree! All I can say Is.. my sympathies are with you!!! :P

Vijay said...

I don't watch Indian soap operas because they sucks.....
all of them have the same theme.
By the way You have done a gud research work..

Keep goin..

Minstrel Incognito said...

Thanks Vijay... :) It's not much of research!;) The hindi ones I watch! lol! and the mallu ones my mother watches! So... Hehe! ;)

Truck Driver said...

Bahut achchi post hai*thadak thadak*

Bahut achchi post hai *thadak thadak*

Bahut achchi post hai *thadak thadak*

Minstrel Incognito said...

*tangtangtangtangtang* (emotional vala music) Dhanyawad ji... :):):)

Addy said...

@TD and MI WTF!!! ROFL!!!

Minstrel Incognito said...

Hehehe!!! ;) :P

hemal said...

Lol!! i should make my dad and mom read this post!!

i can win them over when i gotta watch the TV and they end up seeing the repeat telecast in the afts...

there are a very few ones that I would watch, Tarak Mehta ka Oolta chashma for one..

great analysis... the mallu serials were like this years ago, and now that Balaji even has ventured in producing soaps in mallu, you can expect the outcome.. my dad and mom watch them regularly too...

they have their slots fixed.. i guess 7-8.30 Asianet and Surya, then 8.30 to 12, Zee, Star Plus, Colors... you see, these soaps have changed their sleeping habits a lot..

Minstrel Incognito said...

Hehehe!!!!!! good for you.. I can never convince my mom to hand over the remote when her soaps are on!!!!