Friday, January 9, 2009


This evening, the ‘ladies’ of the household were all watching an episode of the hugely popular syrupy-soppy-soap “Bidaai(running successfully, and sentimentally, on Star Plus). Almost half-an-hour of the hour-long telecast was devoted to a pair of, er, devoted lovers having a rooftop midnight tryst at a picnic with their families a few days before their wedding (hopefully, unless the devious scriptwriter decides otherwise).

What struck me was the sheer inanity of the romantic meeting. The conversation, or lack of one, was punctuated with minute-long sighs, and gazing-at-each-other and gazing-at-the-moon. There was a lot of heavy breathing, hand-holding and half-smiles. There was lot of giving-of-lavish-compliments and making-of-promises-of-eternal-love, repeated ad nauseum for half-an-hour (with, thankfully, some ad-breaks between, for relief) . There was a lot of sugar, but absolutely no spice.

The overdose of calorie-rich cootchie-cooing made me irritated and nauseated. I tried to be less intolerant and sarcastic, thinking of my college days when the then-boyfriend-and-now-spouse and I must have exchanged similar hour-long idiocies, but I could only recall spicy fights and spicier making-ups.

Young love seems so unreal, so uninteresting, so vacuous-empty and so over-sweet, it can give any mature person like me diabetes. It is very definitely a great thing to experience (once or twice, or many times over), but a very awkward and annoying thing to witness. My maid, who is usually silent and wide-eyed, sneered and made catty comments about how this shower of mutual love will dry up, post-marriage. My mother hardly looked up from the Sudoku she was doing (give her a juicy in-law drama and the sudoku will lie forlorn). Only my elder daughter was glued and giggling, thrilled at her first exposure to ‘adult’ things like ‘love’.

I guess it’s all about which side of the fence you are. If you are young, then young love is the stuff of dreams and desires (I used to devour Mills and Boon paperbacks during adolescence). And if you’ve crossed the first-love-phase, then the sighs and cries will probably make you want to puke (I picked up one of the new ‘Indian’ Mills and Boons, but I couldn’t go beyond the first chapter). What's your take?


ugich konitari said...

We never had tv in our childhood, and the only sort of movies we were allowed were things like "Hilary and Tenzing conquer Everest" etc. Filmfare, secretly read was the BIG excitement. So as we grew up we designed our own standards for "manifestations" of things.

I wonder if folks your daughters age will actually grow up believing that one is always dressed "to the nines", complete with full reception type makeup, heavy silks, matching jewellery, and tradition demands that one sneaked up to the terrace and sang a song at the end of which a chap appeared, say, with a foolish smile ?

I've seen this happening in teenagers watching MTV; you know, slavishly picking up the dressing, the attitude, the jargon......and then giving me dirty looks when i tell them that the whole episode is doctored/preplanned etc.

I think your Mom has the right idea. Sudoku.

Ganesh said...

I never watch any of these inane soaps, unless my missus happens to doing so during the dinner time. I don't know whether it is an effect of these soaps but my wife says I'm the most unromantic person in this world and also the most practical.

I guess that statement should hold true for all the 'patis' of the world.

Ranu said...

The serial you are talking about is obnoxious the young pair that you are talking about have been staring at each other for the last two to three weeks!!! its like the game who will blink first. It reminds me of the serial Ramayan where Ram and seeta and Laxman and Bharat keep staring at each other for weeks at a stretch and it had ma keep wiping tears..... it was disgusting. Another serial had a woman pregnant for years!!!

As for me I spent the youth of life beating up guys who stared at me and definitely no staring at each other unless checking hubby's eyes for some infection. As far as Mills and Boon are concerned they don't stare at each other ever!!! if they do I skip those pages (I have to read so many pages less).

Guess I am a dhabba on romance too!!!

Vivek Patwardhan said...

I agree. Love means different things at different times. Old people lable it as infatuation or plain physical attraction when they see young ones in love. Older lot thinks that they have discovered the true meaning of love. So both the age groups do not like watching love expressed by the other age group!

Interesting thoughts you brought to us,

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi UK, Vivek, Ganesh and Ranu,

I was regretting this rant, thinking that I'd perhaps been too harsh on the palpitations of young love, but I see that my initial feelings also find an echo.

Pradip Biswas said...

These serials are meant for a section of viewers who has a flexible acceptance. They only may tolerate 20-30% of the Ad's that follow these serials and actually the life -cord for the producers of the serials. So if you intrude into other's area naturally you will have discomfort. The meaning of love can not change whatever may be the time.Young people like you or old people like us the taste of it is the same.
You have excelent skill of writing which makes this topics interesting to many.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi Pradip,

Thanks for the compliment. What I wanted to rant about was the vacuity of the display of young love. But, actually, if you see it that way, love is an intensely private emotion and if it is displayed publicly, there is bound to be an element of awkwardness or silliness in it, at least for the onlooker.

Sayani said...

i remembr reading "cosmopolitan " with dedication :)

Bt i still think soaps are more than enough of real life :)

i mean you'll never go and ring the "ghanti" of mandir when your beloved is in hospital
real life i would prefer to stay at side :)
but i admit you always maintain a twist in your tale


Pinku said...


Your reaction so well mimics mine...I cant stand those serials anyways and when they get into trying to showcase love etc becomes just too much to bear...agree with you love when real is never about the kind of dialogues those guys speak.

A friend of mine once told a BF to 'dive' when he in a ultra romantic mood told her 'tomar chokh duti samudrer mato gabhir'

lopamudra said...

We were never ever like the ones you mentioned in our young-in-love phase.Its disgusting!I cannot imagine your spouse in particular in that sugar syrupy diabetis inducing role.The mere visualization cracks me up! I do remember certain couples in our college and other friends displaying such over the top affection for each other.Its unreal!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Dear Sayani, Pinku and Lopa,

I'm sure we all prefer a robust, quarrel-ful real relationship to a oversweet unreal one!!!