By Alisha Ebrahimji - Texas State University
Friends, Greys Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother. These are all accepted as the norm in TV watching today, aren’t they? How many times do you and your friends discuss what happened with Anshuman and the girl he was madly in love with? Or what about how Yash decided to take Arti back and try to make their marriage work?
Yeah, probably not.
Lately, my infatuation with Indian soaps has skyrocketed. Why are they so addicting? I have literally gone from watching one occasionally on my laptop to planning my evening after work around the television screen.
My summer routine consists of going to work, coming home, eating dinner, and then planting myself on the couch for a good two hours…and trust me, two hours is good for a weekday (if there isn’t anything going on during the weekend, I’ll be in the living room for the better part of the day).
Everyone always asks me things like, “what’s wrong with you?” “How old are you?” “You’re wasting your life, and you’re only 22!” But here’s what I have to say about that—you’re all wrong!
I intently watch Punar Vivah on Zee TV and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai on Star Plus. I started the summer off with Punar and then somehow ended up getting addicted to the other after just one night of watching with my uncle.
I won’t give away the story lines and get into the drama but as silly as it sounds, I really do enjoy watching these programs. Obviously, the channels have their fundamental flaws…and I could go on for ages about the over dramatized clothing to the incessant and unnecessary random sound effects in the background as soon as something ridiculous happens. Or even about the way they build the entire show up with suspense and right when something major is about to happen, they end the program for the evening! You could literally not watch the show for a few days and still be able to piece together what happened. It does seem like a bunch of mindless nonsense.
On the other hand, whatever these producers and writers are doing- it’s working! At least for me it is. I know that these shows have the reputation of being so drawn out and only for those gossipy, already over dramatic aunties out there…but what’s really so wrong in watching them?
As long as you keep it real and understand that your life is not nearly as melodramatic as they portray in these soaps, then in my opinion, keep watching sista. I don’t like how watching serials automatically makes you a Fob or Freshie as they say in the UK, or an Auntie who has nothing better to do in life.
I only started watching some of the Zee serials so that my Nanny and I had a hobby to share together. Every week when I would speak to her, we would spend a good thirty minutes gossiping about the shows latest drama. Though it wasn’t much conversation, it made her happy and we connected. As it is, my Gujarati is broken and limited so this was a great way to build that bond with her. Though she isn’t around anymore, I still watch them and think of her regularly.
My cousin and I had a debate the other week about him finding me a suitable LP (which is a word my British friends have taught me meaning “Life Partner.”) and he said the only guys he could possibly think of fixing me up with are about 60 years + because I enjoy drinking chai and watching serials…thanks cuz.
Though this is some of the most theatrical television I have ever concentrated on, I’m hooked and I’m not ashamed to say it! There are a number of questionable issues that arise but at the same time, it’s all mindless entertainment, Give it a chance, I guarantee you’ll be dying to figure out what happens next.
Image courtesy of indya.com