Pen To Paper: ‘Beyond Logic’, Exploring The Supernatural World Of Indian TV Serials

Pen To Paper: ‘Beyond Logic’, Exploring The Supernatural World Of Indian TV Serials

Watching daily soaps have always been an inseparable element of the daily routines of Indian households. Starting the day with iconic serials ranging from Anupama, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma, Kumkum Bhagya, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi to Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai, Khichdi, Dekh Bhai Dekh, CID and many more has become a requisite of our lives.

Shravani Prashant HegishteUpdated: Saturday, April 20, 2024, 04:07 PM IST
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A cup of hot tea, sufficient munchings and the television remote is all that an Indian needs for king-size entertainment.

Watching daily soaps have always been an inseparable element of the daily routines of Indian households. Starting the day with iconic serials ranging from Anupama, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma, Kumkum Bhagya, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi to Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai, Khichdi, Dekh Bhai Dekh, CID and many more has become a requisite of our lives. This is a sureshot indicator of a proud 'desi Indian family'.

I would love to make some productive use of this platform to review the typical "daily soaps" of India!

A major portion of the innumerable serials are filled to the brim with drama. I mean, most of the actresses cry an entire ocean on the pettiest thing ever. They always have their veil handy to wipe their fake glycerin tears. No doubt, daily soaps are incomplete without fights, accidents and betrayal scenes. Actors have the meaningless talent of over-expressing their feelings in the most melodramatic way which at times cannot be ignored.

To focus on such incidents for a hundred more episodes, editors make use of transitions which according to them are fascinating. Unnecessary zoom-ins, zoom-outs, a scene transforming into another scene with dissolve, spiral, circular, fade and especially lightning effects are essential to add more spice and drama to the concerned scene. These transitions go hand-in-hand with a package of cringe sound effects specifically "dhum tana na na" and thundering. These help in enhancing the expressions of actors who act as if they dropped out from acting school and had no choice but to act in a daily soap which people love to make fun of.

To showcase extraordinary locations and activities, daily soaps avail several VFX services. These visual effects are applied to the show by experts in this field to make an imaginary scene look realistic. But as under-trained people are hired for this job, the VFX applied is mainly of inferior quality and it makes the scene look more impractical and out-of-place. It is clearly evident in cases of dramatis personae shapeshifting into various animals especially cobras and werewolves. Popular daily soaps 'Ishq ki Dastaan NaagMani' and 'Tere Ishq me Ghayal' are the most apt examples of serials based on supernatural powers. After Marvel and DC universe they have indeed created their own

"Desi Serial Multiverse". Speaking of the bizarre storyline, common sense and logic completely excluded when the writer inks in the script. Characters perform outrageous activities for example, the classic Gopi Bahu scene from 'Saath Nibhana Saathiya' where she is seen scrubbing a laptop with soap and water by blindly listening to Rashi. Be it a literate or an illiterate person, isn't it basic knowledge to avoid washing electronic appliances with water? Another incident from the Indian TV serial 'Ishq me Marjawan 2', shows Ridhima, who trips over an open suitcase kept in a corridor and hits her head against a wall. She falls unconscious perfectly into the suitcase, which is then pushed into a swimming pool by an unknown servant. Like, who gets trapped into a suitcase which is half their body size and proceeds to get thrown in the pool without getting noticed?

If there's one thing that is absolutely missing apart from a good plotline, it is basic concepts of science. Actors are seen travelling to the moon with the help of scooters in a show titled 'Ishq ki Dastaan NaagMani'. They already launched Chandrayaan - 3 way before ISRO did with the least budget and also made a prestigious record of 'first person to land on moon by scooter' without keeping gravity, friction, and overall scientific principles in mind. This is not all. To add more spice to the plot, writers repeatedly use tropes like double roles, rebirth of the same person in a different/similar body and cases of memory loss, which people find extremely amusing. We usually say "Content is King", but in their case it should probably be "SENSIBLE Content Is King". Milking of content is leading to dilution of good storylines and punchlines to such an extent that we cannot find any sense in it anymore.

Due to degraded scripts and hilarious dialogues, we can see a considerable rise in the number of memes and reels focusing on the silly storyline of the serials. "Rasode Mein Kaun Tha?", a famous song composed by Yashraj Mukhate became an internet sensation overnight. Dr. Salunkhe's antics and ACP Pradyuman's iconic dialogues "Daya, darwaza tod d o^ prime prime and "Kuch toh gadbad hai Daya" (with his patented hand movement) in CID are frequently used as meme templates.

Characters have an exceptionally unique dressing sense. From weird colour combinations to strange costume patterns, these end up being the trend-setters of the fashion industry. In no time, these outfits are made accessible in the market which people are easily attracted to. The variety in the sarees, mangalsutras, lehengas and bindis attract people to upgrade their wardrobe by purchasing them. Engrossed completely in daily soaps, they eventually end up having similar garments which becomes monotonous after a short span of time.

Daily soaps which have no logic commonly portray richness and luxurious lifestyle and are based on the quote - "Money can neither buy happiness nor knowledge". Artists are frequently observed living in humongous palaces and mansions, wearing heavy make-up and bridal costumes while completing simple daily household chores or running errands. These actions affect the mindset of the Indian audience on a large scale and they tend to try their hand at imitating their favourite characters. Their negative influence over them is leading to more domestic quarrels, creating instability in families. It is also providing an opportunity to the trollers to increase their count of hate comments.

Due to the widespread of technology, we have gained access to all the shows on our mobile phones. Hence, people are not making productive use of their quality time and instead choose to spend their day watching immature content on all entertainment platforms. Excessive binge-watching of repetitive content and over-exposure to increasing levels of drama has narrowed the horizons of the audience into watching only TV serials and not exploring other sensible and informative content.

While running behind Television Rating Point (TRP), daily soaps have degraded themselves in terms of standards and values. Nowadays TV serials focus more on "Quantity over quality" like releasing more than four thousand episodes of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, followed by Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashma, Kumkum Bhagya and CID which result into topics which are constantly repeated and at times convey wrong messages.

Most of the Indian folks don't mind watching these daily soaps the entire day. They religiously observe all the minutest details without skipping an episode. For extra drama, serials create tremendous hype of one hour special episodes according to the plot-twists and festivals building curiosity among the audience. A commendable talent of the family members is that they always have the entire storyline learnt by-heart. However, this talent does nothing but provide us with temporary happiness and useless gossips. In short, our crowd should consume more rational and sane entertainment for our benefit.

Nevertheless, the saga of Indian serials will continue to dominate the hearts of Indian crowd irrespective of the trolling and criticism lashed out to them. Even after a decade, we will still see people spending their evenings watching these daily soaps at prime time. This is a whole multiverse of never-ending madness and entertainment, so I rest my case here.

(This review is part of the winning reviews published in the Pen to Paper contest hosted by The Free Press Journal annually . This exclusive contest is open to teenagers only)

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