Our popular TV soap Rangrasiya, which is all about the intense and tumultuous story of Rudra and Paro, has been meandering rather like a headless chicken in recent times – at times going full throttle towards a union of two souls and then regressing.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds/Admit impediments.
When Shakespeare wrote these immortal lines, he clearly did not have Hindi TV serials and daily soaps in mind. We know that TV serials (most of which you can now watch online by the way) have to rely on conflict to take the story forward. How else can they keep these serials going for years!
How to Unite Rudra & Paro – Almost
If you’ve been watching the full episodes of Rangrasiya online or on TV recently, you’re likely pulling out your hair in frustration. The writers found plenty of ways for the couple to get up close and personal like. There was the overnight trip out of town, party and dance. There were also the episodes where he takes her to the doctor and takes her subzi shopping (apparently these outings count for dates in our villages). Then he got all coloured and she had to wash him (beats me why he couldn’t wash himself). We even had some moonlit soul baring, rona dhona and song singing.
The clincher was when Rudra declared his love for Paro by threatening to kill himself under a train if she left him, followed by much hugging and crying. Everyone thought that sheer wedded bliss was sure to follow. That was not to be however. The serial makers wanted us to keep watching and so employed various ways to keep the couple apart:
Create a Misunderstanding
It is one of the rules of Hindi soaps that the characters are trusting of others to the point of stupidity. But when it comes to that special, significant other, they are suspicious and willing to believe the worst. So we had a fire, and the dad nearly died and there were accusations galore. Sigh!
Another time honoured device: things are getting dull and predictable and the couple is perilously close to uniting! So let’s shake things up – let’s poison some prashad laddoos and see how it goes. They were meant for her, but obliviously he ate them. Strange this poison: it’s apparently made from iron filings. Also, if consumed, you have to choke the poisoned person who’s by now frothing at the mouth. The poisonee then lands up in hospital unconscious; followed by some sort of paralysis in one arm. Sigh! (Sorry, incredulity causes me to sigh gustily).
Serials like doing this as well – paralyse someone, blind them or otherwise incapacitate them. This neatly stops a love story right in its tracks. The hero languishes in his disability and the good heroine busies herself with seva, pooja path and other virtuous pursuits.
Make Deals with God
Again the couple is close to uniting. So let’s recall some foolish wow made before Bholenath; something like “if he gets better I’ll leave him”. Seriously? In what alternate world is this even remotely logical? So he regains use of his right hand and she resolves to leave him. WTF peeps!
Bring Back the Vamp
When all else fails and it seems inevitable that he will declare his deep and abiding love, enter the scheming vamp – with a rather predictable name like Laila – with evil designs on the hapless hero! She will try her best to bring up the past, create unhappiness and generally sow seeds of discord. So we have mirchi being flung into eyes, and subzis being jalaoed and so on. Fun, fun, fun!
Bring Back the Mother
The vamp has been banished. Rudra has declared that he cannot live without Paro. He even went out and bought her a mangalsootra. All clear now? Nope! We now have the mother return after 15 years, recalling the trauma of childhood abandonment. Wither love story? Rukavat ke liye khed hai.
So currently, Rangrasiya is at a point where our hero Rudra is in agony but his wife and the love of his life Paro is busy making nice with the prodigal mother-in-law. As to what will happen next… who can tell in these things?
By – Reena Daruwalla
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