Whether you despise them from the bottom of your heart or you’re outraged by their baffling content, you cannot deny that these 8-10 pm nightmares that keep our mothers/aunts glued to the telly for hours. With plots which have the elasticity of a chewing gum (kudos to their script writers), actors and actresses taking melodrama to newer heights and dialogues that will make you question your existence, Hindi/Indian Bangla soap operas are the ultimate entertainment package. While hindi serials are now making gradual changes to their storyline over the past few years and the improvements are certainly visible, Indian Bangla ones, on the other hand still have a long way to go.
So folks, here are 10 bona fide traits you are bound to observe in these shows.
1. The hero/heroine (or both) must live in extravagant mansions or castles:
Bejeweled women strutting around and clad in expensive saris- any hindi serial is incomplete without this scene. Marble floors, staircases, fountains, expensive sedans- you name it and they have it! And boy they never run out of cash.
2. Age is just a number and mortality is a myth:
Every Hindi serial is plagued with the ’20 years later’ plot, but fast forward 20 years and the heroine/hero still looks the same ( in some cases they look younger than their grandchildren). The oldest member of the family (who was 70+ 20 years back) will be sill alive, breathing and healthy, thanks to some herbal elixir she drinks everyday. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button probably drew inspiration from these shows.
3. The Heroine has to have the face of a supermodel:
The stories claim to revolve around the lives of ‘ordinary’ people. Except the protagonists who look like they’ve just walked out of a makeover session in a beauty salon. Ordinary people who walk, sleep, eat, and fight in Benarasi saris and silk shirts/tuxes. On a serious note hindi serials actually promote racism to a certain extent, with every female protagonist/antagonist conforming to the ‘fair is beautiful’ notion, which people of this part of the subcontinent still believe in, unfortunately.
4. Live and die with makeup
If you’ve ever watched any of their funeral or post-death mourning scenes, you’ll understand the importance of makeup in their lives. Husband dies in fatal accident? Oh well might as well put on some nude lipstick, bronze foundation and a touch of mascara and voila! You’ve got the perfect ‘mourning’ look.
5. Dhoom tana a must when your life is falling apart:
Every cliffhanger or predictable twist has to be revealed with ominous ‘Dhoooom tana’ or ‘Dhin Din Dhaaa’. Next time you fall down a flight of stairs be sure to imagine someone playing this tune in the background.
6. Your mother in law is a demonic manifestation:
Every hindi serial has to star an evil, conniving mother in law who is prepared to go to any lengths to make the lives of their innocent, good for nnothing daughter in law a living hell. Concocting conspiracies on how to inflict unspeakable pain is what their lowly lives revolve around.
7. Husbands are divine entities and are to be worshiped:
Well most Hindi soaps strictly abide by the “pati parmeshwar’ (husbands are akin to Gods) concept, and it’s pretty disturbing how the wives cling to the husband who wrongly accuses her of adultery, and instead of kicking such a pigheaded moron out of her life actually takes an ‘oath’ to prove he innocence. RIP women’s dignity and self-respect.
8. If a cat has 9 lives you have 20:
Hindi serials have to feature immortal characters who NEVER die. They can have a bullet shot through their heads, a knife pierced right through their hearts or simply a 20 feet fall from the top of a skyscraper, but NOTHING kills these men and women of steel.
9. At every crucial juncture in life you lose your memory:
This HAS to happen when the hero/heroine is about to get married (for the umpteenth time). One of them will encounter a fatal accident and wake up the next day in a hospital bed with amnesia. Another accident a few days later, and WHAM, memory comes back.
10. Feeling dizzy/unconscious? You’re pregnant dudette:
This has to be the most ridiculous of all Hindi serial clichés. If a daughter in law (who, by the way is seen as nothing but a child producing machine) starts to feel dizzy all of a sudden, the whole goddamn family starts rejoicing. Achievement unlocked ladies!
11. Grooms/brides are replaceable:
Planning to ruin your ex’s life? Wait for their wedding day, kidnap the husband or wife to be, and get married in their place. All you need is foot long ‘ghomta’ (veil) or a turban with flowers hanging in front to cover your face, and nobody will recognize you. Logic murdered.
If you have plenty of time to kill on an unproductive day, switch on the TV and get the first (and hopefully last) dose of unforgettable entertainment by flicking to these channels.
Don’t forget to obliterate logic from your brain though!
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