Indian television versus reality.

This morning I overheard an hour and a half of three different soap opera playing on the Indian television while I Facetimed (it’s high time they make Facetime a verb) with my parents in India. Well, they talk to me during breaks, so it totally works for me. But the striking part about these series was that they all shared a common theme: quarrelsome families make good entertainment. 

Now this was extremely surprising to me not because I was culture shocked, but because of the massive fan following these series enjoy. And to basically watch women plotting and pitting against each other, spineless men having no opinions and making a fool out of themselves, extra-martial affairs, young women being tortured for not having given birth to a boy and more such extremely disturbing stuff. What is more upsetting is how normal everybody in India thinks it is.

So i’ve decided to come up with ten things that they show on Indian television that absolutely never happen in real life. Here you go:

1) Women are absolutely not as shallow as they are portrayed to be in these soap operas. They don’t spend every minute of every day making plans and plotting against another woman. 

2)Men have opinions. They don’t just listen to their mothers and their wives. They are perfectly capable of making sound and healthy decisions. And unlike the characters shown on Indian primetime television, not all men wear glossy suits to work and travel in fancy cars. And more importantly, not every man cheats on his wife!

3)Women don’t just dress up in their finest clothes every day! They don’t just watch television all day and they definitely don’t spend the better part of their lives in the kitchen. More than 80% of the women today work, have extremely fulfilling careers and enjoy an absolutely rocking social life.

4) The mother-in-law – daughter-in-law dynamics are just so outdated! I mean for heaven sake who talks like that anymore. And honestly, women are not as nasty as they are made out to be in this cheap shows. 

5)Have you seen the houses these characters live in. They are like palaces in lalaland! Does anyone in Bombay have that kind of a house and imagine the kind of money you’d need to live the kind of a lifestyle they propagate in these show. People actually have their own bedroom in the series, there are spiral staircases running through the houses and helpers pacing to please the rich. Honestly, only the Ambanis and the Tatas can afford a lifestyle like that.

6) How about dead people walking back alive in the series and varying levels of memory loss. That kind of stuff only happens in the bizzaro world. 

7)Don’t these characters ever take vacations? Because I’ve only ever seen them fighting with each other. Why not take a break, go to a peaceful place, come back all relaxed. ‘Honeymoon’ is the only time these Indian characters ever step out of their houses. Whoever thought you’d have to be married to take a vacation!

8)Let me break your myth, joint families are not the happiest families in the world. And these series amply prove that. You put three women together and add two womanizing men to the mixture and you have a perfectly messed up joint family in an Indian television series. 

9)Not all teenage girls who wear jeans are a lost cause. Similarly not all young college going teenage boys get wasted! People have goals to achieve and careers to make. Not every teenager is a spoilt brat if he/she hums an english song.

10)Everything shown in these series is a serious attempt at pulling us backward. These shows are not meant to entertain, but they are meant to reinforce hypocritical cultural values that seriously ought to keep up with the changing times. They are making sure our women stagnant and get caught in the stereotypes. 

There are far more important things out there that one need to learn and understand than to watch a woman seduce somebody else’s husband just to get back at her. Don’t waste your time. 







A silent prayer for the unborn

“In the womb she tosses and turns. At the exit doors of heaven she was asked to choose, to be born or to be free. Now in the deep waters she sits alone and ponders on her choice.”

Choice. The most debated word in American history. But i’m talking about the choice that an unborn child made at the gates of heaven and earth. Did she know what she was getting herself in to? Was she give a clear picture or was she shown a glossy commercial of the things she would witness on earth?

“Life is not all swings and sand castles”, read the fine print on the brochure for our beloved world.

The footage of innocent children wrapped in white, victims of the Syrian chemical attack is a glimpse in to the kind of world we are living in and the world that these unborn babies will step in to. Is it fair though, that while humanity is reaching it’s peak of atrociousness, these new lives are being formed?

Today’s attack in Syria is said to be the first and by far the most disastrous chemical weapons strike in the last decade. So does that mean we’ve gotten over the nightmare called Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Have we moved on since then to more horrifying events in history?

How long are we going to shield the unborn, because one day we’d be out in the open and they’d be there with us. The dangerous, desperate world they are marching towards.

Well and when there are no chemical weapons, there is lust, pride and neurosis.

I just saw a video of the young woman who talked the Georgia school gunman out of massacring the place. She spoke to him. All she did was talk to him about the grief she shared with him. She didn’t know him from adam. But she understood the pain. She felt unloved once and he shared her feelings. It got her to dissuade him from ruthlessly killing helpless children. Bravo! She is a hero. And heroes we need.

Is that all humanity needs? to be heard and to be loved. And how difficult is that? Will there be no wars, pain and hurt, if we only learn to hear and love?

But then what about boredom? What is the cure for three young children shooting an Australian baseball player because they had exhausted their means of normal entertainment?

Who knows what drives people to watch someone in misery and enjoy it. Why wouldn’t they want to rescue animals instead? Heal and not hurt?

Who knows why lust exist? Why certain men in India don’t believe in consent, but get pleasure out of forcing themselves on to powerless women? And why is that the way a woman dresses is blamed for her rape and not the fact that the man could have such a barbaric thought. Why are her parents outcasted for her misfortune and his parents celebrated for his manhood? The laws of nature versus nurture downplayed.

It truly is a sad day for the world. Because dead children wrapped in white shroud never makes for a pretty picture.