“Why isn’t my life like a situation comedy? Why don’t I have a bunch of friends with nothing better to do but drop by and instigate wacky adventures? Why aren’t my conversations peppered with spontaneous witticisms? Why don’t my friends demonstrate heartfelt concern for my well being when I have problems? …I gotta get my life some writers.”
Well, Calvin has a point there, doesn’t he? I mean, we do spend around 9 years of our average lifetime glued to the Idiot box. Doesn’t life start imitating this wacky, unreal form of art somewhere? I think it does! And so, I decided to take a quick run down my memory lane and do double check on how my life sniffed its way into the K-world of melodramatic soaps and eye-rolling villains, overdone make-up and glycerin tears, immaculately timed drum rolls and shock camera angles..And I was surprised how simple situations could be dressed up as these awesomely farcical Hindi serial scenes. Have a look at this one:
School reopens after a blissful summer vacation, high pitched chatter of children opens the scene. Camera pans to the gate, where 7 year old me, dressed in a starched white uniform, is entering the gate, hands carrying all kinds of weird assortments, charts, models, water-bottle and…wait for this…A small plant! Sorry, but summer holiday home works are always beyond my understanding.
Change of Scene: Camera pans to show the Classroom. A young lady, obviously traumatized by the idea of returning to school and handling a bunch of chip munks and monkey-like kids, is putting on a brave face and smiling. Here’s where the zoom-in button comes in handy.. While pretending to show her hidden emotions and the “pain behind the smile”, the camera smartly gets a sneak peak into the mountains of make-up on the face. (And I thought the lady was actually pretty! Sheesh..Thank you, Ekta Kapoor! ;))
Back to the camera..Too much zoom-in will look overdone..;) So, the lady welcomes her class to school and asks everyone how their vacation was. A spirited reply in the form of unintelligible chatter is elicited by the children. Then she tells all her students to place their holiday homework, the plant that they nurtured with so much love, on the window sills. The idea of the homework being, that they will continue to water their own respective plants everyday while the school saves some money on the gardener, the plants and the manure. Camera silently captures the teacher’s evil smile on this thought.
7-year old me is extremely excited about choosing the right spot for my plant. Never mind if its getting the right amount of sun and shade. Most importantly, it should be placed between Kkashish’s and Kkavya’s plants. (Note the names..spent considerable time with the astrologer!) My plant should not be anywhere near a, SHUDDER, “boy’s” plant..Believe me, 7 year old’s politics is quite complicated.That done, scene changes. A few days later…
Scene opens with 7-year old me, playing with friends, Kkashish and Kkavya in the playground, blissfully unaware of the sorrows that will befall on me soon..In another corner are seen the villains of the girls club, Kkomolika and Kkx (for the sake of shortage of names starting with K)..They are fiddling with a bright blue colored candy in hand. Clearly, they hadn’t liked it (Coz I have not seen many 7 year olds looking for a place to hide a candy, other than their mouth). Dialogues are impossible to hear, but as camera zooms in, they are seen pointing towards my innocent little plant in the window sill and giggling..Oh sorry, giggling is too innocent a word for a K-serial. They are seen giving sly smiles and twitching their lips.
They approach me and say, “Hey KkP! Your plant seems to be dying. We got a medicine for it. This will make it grow fast. Do you want it?” 7-year old me looks towards close friends K and K for help.. (Printing their whole names every time is AGONIZING!) They form a group huddle and camera takes a smart position, right in between their heads as they peer into it. Consensus is reached. Kkomolika and Kkx are clearly trying to poison and, shudder, KILL my plant! They join their hands and stand in front of their villains with a brave face.
“NO JEE..WE DO NOT WANT YOUR MEDICINE. KEEP IT WITH URSELF!”
And with a stubborn stamp, they walk off to finish off their game. Camera gives its shock angle treatment to the two villains in shock. The order goes something like, Down to Up, Left to Right, Up to Down and then zoom out. The background is off course playing a drum roll, matching the camera’s tricks.
Scene change..Ten days and a mini vacation later (and of course, no water for the plant), happy, bubbly 7-year old me runs to water her plant. And she stops short! Camera zooms in to capture her aghast expression. What does she see? Episode ends there…
Next episode opens, with that aghast expression and sudden change in music. Its a slow, rumbling music, sad in a funny way, warning us of the huge blow our heroine has suffered and preparing us for what lay ahead.
THE PLANT IS DEAD…That sweet little plant she had nurtured so lovingly, oh it is so dead..
As the heroine weeps, it is flashback time. Black and white images of 7-year old me with mummy planting the seeds in an upturned coconut shell, laughter in the background as she plays water fight while watering the plant, the sad day when she had to leave it in school and then back to reality..
And as the heroine is cajoled by K and K, snickers are heard from the corner of the room. Its the villainous K and K. Before you wonder what they are so happy about, our dear sweet camera, our artificial eye camera, our only path to truth zooms into the plant…And there it is, lying in a pool of mud, right beside the mortal remains of the deceased plant, the Blue Candy!
Shock camera angles, more vigorous than ever, Down to Up, Left to Right, Up to Down, spiralling outwards, and the whole sequence in repetition, till we get headaches from the movement and the nauseating drum music in the background. The episode ends in a close-up view of the blue candy…
Phew!!!!!!!!!!!Touching, wasn’t it? A few dedicated K serial viewers may be seen squishing away a tear or two from their eyes..A huge thanks to Ekta for giving us this awesome panorama of life, and also thanks to the sweet camera! Oh, if only life was so dramatic! 🙂 🙂
Picture Courtesy: Indian Express