December 05, 2007

Lessons on being middle-class enough

I've been following a few of the new serials on television. Each of them persist in conforming to their ridiculous theories on a gamut of topics.

Balaji's new offering, Kucch Is Tara, made a pathetic attempt at self-depreciation in the first episode itself. The setting is the ubiquitous "middle-class" house. With a full-time (and long-time) maid, who is an elusive character in Bombay these days, for those of us who play real middle-class people. The "parivar ki maryada" protector, the dad, has been VRSed off a cushy job...this hurls the entire family into turmoil, at their impending poverty. The dude looked like he was nearing retirement age anyway. And can't he go find another job? Even my dad did that after he retired from his bank job.

There are three hardworking kids - two, before we were treated to the housemaid spiel. Don't they bring in enough to tide over...after all there must have been a time when they were young and their dad was the only bread-earner. The central character, Kanya Godbole, accepts the job of a housemaid (and delivers "moving" dialogues in the tone of a schoolgirl puking out an answer that she has committed to heart). Kudos to her ideas of labour equality, but are you trying to tell us that she takes the job because her family is so hard-pressed for money? They live in a freaking rowhouse -ype arrangement with a garden where the maids dance and hang out wet clothes to the "bada shahar" Bombay. How many people here have gardens to dry their clothes in?!

These attempts at creating new content now end up in extravagantly flimsy and contrived scripts where characters stumble their way through amazingly unnatural situations. I'm waiting for the next new one - perhaps another story about an ordinary "middle-class" woman who ends up wearing Versace (courtesy in-house tailors) and flitting in and out of sickeningly opulent cars and "houses". Who's directing it?

PS: They even have open space for palm trees and swings...a private backyard is a luxury afforded by few people in Bombay...


Anonymous said...

ahhh. i totally get this.
that's why i stopped watching tv.

i like your blog, i'll be back.

Ranjana said...

hehe . check out the ps...ive taken to watching cartoons of late..tht we hardly hv the good old dexters around...thts another story..