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INDIA: Pro Mania Yet Entertaining Television Serials
The purpose of this article to all readers is only to entertain, show the true side of Indian society that exists in today’s India, explaining the difference between fiction and reality and not to hurt the sentiments of anyone who is a part of television serials.
In India, regional language channels on TV (television) are becoming very popular and youth are drawn towards it in great numbers. Television serials are also becoming popular and have been able to make its place among common masses positively. Though characters shown in TV serials are fictional and can’t be compared in real life situation people are identifying them by pouring them fully into it mentally.
There are some funny things shown in some of the family driven daily soaps on TV which make people laugh, cry, angry, restless, confuse, over-curious, and make them stay in the state of expectancy about what will happen next?
Many youth (girls mainly) along with housewives are seen discussing TV serials and its characters wholeheartedly among fellow friends as their favorite pastime. People take pleasure discussing the characters in detail and come to a conclusion about fictional characters or label them good or bad according to their understanding level. They righteously discuss about what their favorite character should have done in the particular scene, how right or wrong he or she is, what he or she or they must do now etc. Hatred towards negative characters in daily soaps in the form of verbal abuses with weird facial expressions has also been observed among common masses (viewers).
Entertainment on TV in any form is entertaining people greatly. Out of so many factors shown in TV serials only some which are truly entertaining and worth to be discussed are mentioned in this article.
I love you and feeling shy factors:
Seeing ‘I love you’ said by a husband to his wife for years in regional TV serials, women especially housewives find funny and unrealistic. Many times in these serials husbands are seen to say ‘I Love You’ to their wives for several years. Many housewives in India when come together socially talk about this ‘I love you’ sentence used by an actor (husband) to the actress (wife). Housewives usually laugh about it and discuss such things positively as well as negatively. Let’s look at the following stuff shown in the TV serial: A rich woman gets married into a wealthy family.
The marriage has been arranged by parents as India is well known for its arranged marriage system since ancient times. She comes from a city and after marriage resides with her husband with his family in a city a little far from her hometown. The woman comes in the family. She loves her husband and family. She is educated, smart, beautiful and understanding. Before marriage she is shown bold, outspoken and very intelligent but after marriage the same woman becomes humble, less intelligent, fearful and blind believer about many things. Her rich husband says ‘I love you’ to her on the first day of their wedding night. The wife feels shy as usual because of her first encounter with her husband. Then almost at every occasion he tells her that, six months are passed and again the same sentence, she feels shy still. A year later, she delivers a baby girl. After the arrival of the baby, 3 months later, one day the husband comes in the bedroom, the baby is sleeping in a cradle. The wife is happy and busy in arranging clothes. He slowly comes forward, takes his busy wife close to him and says ‘I love you’. The wife feels shy again and in that emotion of shyness she promptly leaves the room. That means as her husband touches her and takes her close in his arms she leaves the room in shyness speaking something to him such as ‘Oh dear, what is this? Someone might see us together.” (These two are the most commonly and frequently used dialogs in Indian TV serials). As she leaves the room her hubby stands still in wonder but he feels too good seeing his wife’s shyness about every emotion of love expressed.
Many women (housewives and working women) in India when come together in a social gathering discuss this factor and make fun of it. They feel their husbands hardly express their love emotions after marriage and hardly utter ‘I love you’. They also ask each other about how come the woman feels so shy after years of marriage when they don’t feel shy at all? Also a funny thing about many daily soaps is doors of every room in a home are shown open always. The upper class and middle class is shown in TV serials slightly ill-mannered when they just forget to close the door of their bedrooms during the day and sometimes even at night. The purpose of this door shown open for hours is to let any negative or positive character overhear any conversation by any member of the family or relative or guest, that can extend the length of the episode and add spice in the serial. Sometimes they show husband and wife having a little romance such e.g. hugging, holding hands etc in a standing position with clothes on with door unlocked when suddenly a member of family enters in their room without knocking the door and then out of feeling awkward says all funny and expected things to the married couple which would be uttered under the circumstances directed by the director. Women in today’s India especially those who are from metro cities have become bold, smart and hardly feel shy if their lovers express love emotions and say ‘I Love You’ several times. Such things must be happening still in rural India but in modern India women have been found to reciprocate with their lovers about expressing their emotions without feeling very shy. If these factors are rarely shown in the present fictional world youth who is pro sensible stuff will favor more to these serials.
Lifting In Arms Factor:
Well, lifting wife in arms by her beloved husband and then taking her from one place to another in home, public place, hotel etc is quite entertaining and making people happy too much. Housewives feel happy when they see in serials husband lifts his spouse in case she walks bare feet to a temple to fulfill her wish (for husband’s prosperity and good health) to a mythical God and hurts her foot.
Women keep expecting the same thing from their husbands and imagine that may be one day their husbands would lift them in their arms and take them from a dining room to bedroom or from vegetable market to home just walking and people are wondering and wondering and saying inside “How come? Is this a miracle? Oh, she is definitely very lucky.” But in reality many husbands in India seem quite reluctant to lift their wives for any reason especially after marriage. Exceptions might be there in some rare cases. When husbands (before marriage) were lovers they must have lifted their lovers but after they are in a responsibility role they get tired, bored and in some way don’t feel happy to do such things for the obvious reasons. Women complain too to their husbands after they watch serial actors (characters) lifting actresses in their arms. Please have a close look at the following conversation between a husband and wife (both middle aged) while watching lifting in arms scene in TV serial:-
The husband is busy working on his laptop and simultaneously watching TV serial with his wife to make her happy. He is least interested in television serials but sometimes he agrees to fulfill his wife’s wish. It is 8pm. Husband is sitting beside his wife just to listen to her in case she passes any comment about any character’s behavior etc. The wife has gone totally into her favorite serial. A few minutes later, all of a sudden, she starts clapping her hands; the husband is startled, he looks at her with wonder and then moves his eyes to the television screen. He asks his wife with a little curiosity “What happened dear?” The wife is busy in watching the scene. She doesn’t hear him. He asks her again “I never saw you so happy. You clapped your hands. I can see that there isn’t any cricket match going on at this time. Would you please tell me what made you clapped suddenly?” Now the wife looks at her husband with some anger inside and says “You won’t believe me if I tell you.” She mutes the channel as the commercial break comes and keeps the remote in her hand. Husband “Of course, I will believe you.”
Wife “Didn’t you watch the way Geeta’s husband lifted her in his arms and took her to the temple? Actually she hurt her foot. And now it’s bleeding. So he lifted. So sweet!!! So romantic!!! But what I feel honey; she shouldn’t have gone bare feet to the temple. What do you think?”
The husband listens to his wife attentively and then asks a question casually “Who is Geeta, dear?”
“Oh, I am talking about this character. You know she is my favorite. You seem to almost forget all my favorite actors.”
“Oh, how can I forget that? Only this Geeta I didn’t know.”
“I wish my husband takes me to the temple just like that. She is so lucky to have that strong man. I am feeling so happy you know. Have you ever taken me like that even once? See how much her husband loves her. That’s the way to express love. You have never expressed your love like Gaeta’s husband. You know, he says I love you to her almost every day. And just look at yourself.”
“Ha Ha!! You know Gaeta’s husband is not her real husband so he can say ‘I love you’ to her on a daily basis.” He takes a pause and then continues “That’s just a serial my dear. It’s a fiction. Those things are not real. And just look at you and your weight. How can I lift you when you are so heavy?”
“I know, you would say that. You never care. That’s why I watch this serial. They show how other husbands behave with their wives and there is no need to remind me of my weight again and again. I am trying my best. I stopped eating sweets now.”
“Yes, I know for six days you follow those things and on the seventh day you relish.” He starts laughing loudly.
“You can never understand my feelings. You are so rude and cool.” She turns off the TV angrily and goes in the other room. The husband quietly sits down on the sofa with his laptop with a smile on his face.
From the above conversation one can conclude how men and women from middle class families talk and discuss characters of daily soaps, how the conversation starts with and ends with, how fiction can affect people’s life indirectly, how women interpret fictional things and conclude about something righteously. Some fictional things can certainly raise women’s expectations from their husbands.
Lifting in arms factor could be quite a heavy one for family men but if tried hard, would be beneficial for family and an inspiration for children.
If most men than women watch lifting in arms scene on TV attentively and if it persuades them to act than just to watch, the happiness in women’s life would undoubtedly be doubled. And if women become happy by their husband’s expressing love differently, many homes in India would certainly be flooded with great happiness.
Indian common masses are very emotional. They get attached to serial characters very quickly and get used to see the characters in daily soaps that they see on TV for a long time. They get shocked when any major character is replaced such as a main character or supporting actress or actor, mother in law, father in law, brother in law etc who play major roles in daily soaps. Sometimes it happens that even after replacement when viewers watch that serial, they keep remembering the old character in mind and assume that she or he is still acting. This happens with many people. Humans take time for any change to accept in general when an existing character is replaced with a new one. They take time to accept the new one. Somehow all these things are not considered by directors and producers who launch them before launching their family dramas on regional TV channels. Replacement of any favorite character upsets the viewers after they get used to that particular character. Read this following assumptive example: A couple gets married with the blessings of elders and starts staying together in a home. Only two of them and 2 years have passed. Husband and wife have quite got used to each others’ presence. They shop, eat, drink, fight, share feelings and have fun together. One day in the morning, the wife just leaves the house without informing her husband. When the husband returns back home from office, he finds another woman who claims to be his wife, tells him to forget the first one and convinces him that he won’t have chance to meet the first one. What will happen in this case? Natural reaction in such situation would be going into shock, sadness, insecurity, depression and confusion. Any sudden change can be pleasant or unpleasant or both. Though some men would like to have such surprises some time in their life but used to factor and emotions will come in between. This is what exactly happens with viewers when replacement of their favorite actors is done all of a sudden by a team of TV serials which could be avoided if taken necessary steps for the sake of viewers because of whom they are able to show whatever content they want to in order to entertain them.
If any actor or actress dies in real life and then the characters are replaced, it is understandable. In India, directors and producers of TV serials seem to take common masses for granted who watch and dedicate their valuable time to their serials. They know that people are addicted to their serials and they will accept any major change shown in any way.
Live in relationship factor: (A Scary Issue in India Still)
Live in concept in India is slowly becoming popular among youth and in some states especially in urban India.
However in regional television serials not a single director has come forward to show at least one couple staying in live in relation happily without entering into legal process. If at all they show any couple staying in live-in relation in their serial in the beginning, at the end of the serial the couple is shown tying a legal knot. So fearful serial makers are to show the truth of upper-middle class and upper class of India! In reality, many couples all over India especially from metro cities have opted for live-in-relationship consciously and willingly but avoided to show conveniently by the serial makers or they have not been given permission to show the truth. This is how society functions in India. If youth are happy in a certain way which they want or like, it is condemned by the society and even in TV serials. Even some oldies have opted for live-in in some liberal states in India. The following part was shown in one TV serial in the recent past. Please have a look:
A widow surgeon, senior citizen, lives in an affluent housing society with his only son. The doctor doesn’t get married after his wife’s death only for his son’s responsibility. As his son grows up, takes education and gets married, his wife decides to look for a companion for her father in law with his consent on a social networking site. Out of many, she finds a woman who is in her 50’s- an educated, single and beautiful lady. The lady gets acquainted with the doctor. They like each other hence roam together happily and willingly. Finally they decide to come together and stay like a couple in the society. Then all of a sudden at the end of the serial there is a twist. Well, finally the man and the woman who were companions tie a legal knot. After hearing the news of their marriage all oldies in the society become very happy. A married woman in her 60’s shown a retired teacher, orthodox yet somewhat liberal makes the following statements about live-in-relationship after the companions in her society become husband and wife. She says proudly to people who are gathered in a society meeting “Oh, I am so happy to hear that the doctor and his companion finally have tied the knot. I never liked that live-in concept. It is better to get married than to stay in live-in.” All others who are listening to her agree by nodding their heads. Not a single person comes forward and says that “It is their personal wish. If they wish to stay like a couple in live in, who are we to object or decide? If his son and daughter in law don’t object, why should we? Why should we be bothered at all? They are happy and not enforcing their concept upon us. Those who want to marry, they can opt to marry and those who don’t, they have every right to do so because India is a democratic country.” Well, the above dialogs would never be mentioned in television serials because Indian society has been seen to be against individual freedom and happiness since centuries. People have to follow the norms and rules of the society whether they like it or not.
How different a live-in independent couple than a married couple if they are accepted in their family just like a married couple? Why is society so much against any healthy, happy and contented live in couple in India? Nobody knows.
If society in India is so right about their morality and dos and don’ts then why are people found to be unhappy in their life? Every sane and responsible person wants to have his own freedom and life. And if there is one matured couple who knows what they are doing and decide to come together to start a family, then why are people so afraid and angry to accept them? Property matters can be resolved if tried even without entering into legal process since Indian personal laws are in the process of change and the apex court in India is pro giving people freedom to stay in live in if they wish to. Love, care and respect if a man is ready to give to a woman he loves with the same in return and is capable to take her responsibility then society doesn’t come in the picture at all. Forcing somebody to be in something that he is not willing could be dangerous to his self esteem. Marital Laws are made in order to protect women and children (with respect to property and social rights). Marital laws can be beneficial for women who are unable to survive on their own, are weak financially, are uneducated, are influenced by orthodox surrounding, who desperately crave for social status, are pressured by parents, are confused about what they really want in life and for children’s property rights and not for those who are strong mentally and financially and are able to decide what is right or wrong for them. And if man and woman or any two people, regardless of their sexual orientation are ready to face the consequences of their own decisions, not afraid of societal pressures, want to be happy without harming anyone can form a nice, healthy and happy live-in family with children if they want. Their children will perhaps be in a group of rebellions (anti-society) for some years but soon they will be part of the so called society and it will take place in the nearest future as conventional people change their mentality towards love positively.
Seeing today’s Indian society and its pace towards accepting modern values, perhaps it will take some decades more to show any favorable change and accept freedom of youth and middle aged people by accepting their way of freedom rather than condemning them constantly in every way possible.
Extra-marital and crime zones in regional television serials:
In India the majority of people are interested in watching extra marital stuff in daily soaps. People go crazy and become extra curious while watching men’s extra activities outside their home. Women (especially housewives) consciously or unconsciously get engrossed totally in an imaginary world and righteously put their husbands in the category of cheating husbands without any proof. Women somehow come to conclusions within no time and these serials are paving the way to their imaginations. No one can deny the fact that some men do spend quantitative time with their girlfriends secretly but not all must be put in that category.
A woman (main female character portrayed in serials) a housewife, educated, caring, loving, good in cooking, understanding, always smiling, very naive, blind believer in almost everything and sometimes portrayed a sort of idiot. If the woman is so well educated with lots of positive qualities then certainly she can’t be assumed as an idiot or fool but in regional TV serials she is shown that way. Let’s look at one family in a daily soap where a male character is shown an industrialist (handsome, educated, dominating, suspicious, loving, caring and authoritative) who marries a woman of the above characteristics who is a sort of complete woman. After some days due to some circumstances he gets connected with a single woman who is shown his childhood friend (sexy, beautiful, educated, cunning, jealous, competitive, always thinks bad about others). This character is a negative character stays in his (the male character) big house because she loses her parents during childhood. Then her aunty (male character’s mother and the best friend of her mother) brings her home and gives her shelter, food, best education, expensive clothes, cozy room, jewelry etc. The girl falls in love with her auntie’s son (the main character) but the son never sees her in that angle, treats her like a true friend and refusing her one sided love gets married in an arranged way to a girl his mother tells him to.
The destitute girl after his marriage decides to take revenge and seduces him towards her and finally they both come together a few times and have some time with each other secretly. The wife sees many things but unable to grasp her husband’s activities. She treats her unknown rival like a true friend and never suspects anything because she blindly believes in some things. She never questions her husband such as “Dear, where are you going at 12 at night? Why are you going at this hour? Why are you beating me when I did nothing?” The woman just accepts everything and allows her husband to take her for granted. His secret girlfriend does just one thing in every episode and that is plotting against every member of the family. She tries to kill her aunty (motherly figure) by pushing her from the staircase and all this gets recorded in CCTV camera. However, the woman survives with a prompt effort of her daughter in law who takes her to hospital. After some days, the son comes to know the truth about who tries to kill his mother. Yet no police case or any strict action which can prevent the negative plotting character from doing more crimes. He just gets angry with her and then forgives. The funniest part shown in the serial is everybody in home knows about his ex-affair with the lady except his wife. Everybody sees them together except his wife. In many TV serials, housewives are shown dumb, non-questioning, highly emotional and docile irrespective of their good educational status. Such things are shown in daily soaps and they do entertain people to a great extent.
In India people learn a lot many things from television serials and movies. So every director and producer has some social responsibility about the intent they show in these serials. People copy actors and actresses blindly hence they must be careful while showing the content related to serious crimes.
Women are also mothers. They are the ones who run home and raise kids with love, care and responsibility. Such women are definitely not idiots or fools though naive portrayed in serials. Some women must be plotting or involved in heinous crimes in real life but for crime zone, laws are there and punishment factor is there and no forgiveness factor for people who are caught in attempting a murder at home. Women do feel gratitude towards people who give them shelter, food and a good life style. In India women are seen to praise their husbands with proud who give them ritzy life style, jewelries, take them abroad on a tour etc. They are proud of their successful husbands in the society they live. And due to many understanding and good hearted women, family system is intact in India and such women must not be portrayed as fools in TV serials. In fact such husbands must be shown grateful to their wives. In real life no son would keep or tolerate a woman though lover, if she tries to kill his kind and caring mother in his own house? Can a man love a woman who can plot against every member of the family so openly? How can Love happen in such case? By showing such things people can perceive a beautiful emotion such as ‘LOVE’ negatively. If people forgive their closed ones so easily for heinous crimes, then all police stations in India will have a few cases of domestic crimes. Serious crimes in some TV serials don’t have any punishment for characters. Any negative character can poison, burn, kill or attempt to kill and push someone from the staircase yet police department in serials don’t come in picture or it comes very late when the serial is going to be ended.
Some important topics have been avoided deliberately to include in TV serials such as the existence of homosexuality, the life of eunuchs, a gruesome picture of poverty in India, live-in couples, the existence of polygamy, increasing divorce rate in metro cities, the life of prostitutes and some other important things. The regular viewers who are naive and innocent may never know the other side of India because they are shown what is permissible to show on TV. Since decades it has been observed that regional TV serials are made only for the heterosexual human species and the other human species that are also part of minority of population don’t exist for serial makers. These things are sad but true. What is good according to standards of morality is decided by some people and that good in the form of dreamy picture however false it may be will be allowed to show to common masses so that the truth can be hidden and kept it like a secret as long as it can be.
Besides all what is shown on TV in the name of entertainment, a few directors (true ones) though rare are able to entertain viewers with good and sensible stuff. And all youth and middle aged people are grateful to them and would be grateful if their numbers increase in numbers and they are allowed to make something more sensible yet entertaining daily soaps for the sake of educated and sane viewers.
The following incidence happened in Mumbai city, Maharashtra, India. And it is not a fiction. Please read the following:
A well read, educated, well travelled and polite British man visits India as a tourist. He stays in Mumbai hotel where his Indian friend accompanies and guides him to see the historical places of India. He is sitting idle in his room. Hence he wants to pass some time. So he decides to watch TV. While surfing the channels he comes across one Hindi songs channel (Hindi language is spoken in many parts of India) in which he sees some funny things which he hasn’t seen before. He wonders and is a bit surprised in his life after his first visit to India when he happens to watch a song from Bollywood movie (Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry) in which actress and actor are shown singing at different places with costumes changed several times in just 3 minutes. After some time his friend arrives to accompany him. He feels good rather proud seeing his British friend watching Hindi songs. He asks a question to his friend curiously “Did you like Bollywood songs? The British man answers politely “Yes, very much.
Interesting they are.” His friend feels very happy hearing that. Then he asks the second question to him “What did you feel after watching these songs?” He answers honestly to his friend “I think we have much more sensible movies than you have.” His friend asks (with some sadness within) “How?” He answers “It is quite surprising for me when I see actors sing songs and change costumes in just 2 minutes.” The Indian friend thinks for a while and then starts laughing loudly. He says “Ha Ha Ha!!!! You are right buddy. But this is India. We are used to such things from childhood. And these things don’t surprise us. But I can understand your point of view about seeing these things.” And they both laugh in understanding.
What is more sensible to readers? The entertaining content or the facts in the entertaining content? Only readers can decide. [email protected]
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