Still feeling foggy over the untimely demise of noted singer KK (Krishnakumar Kunnath), we wonder why the death of a beloved celebrity feels kind of like losing an acquaintance, or even a friend. Was it the comfort that his songs provided or a sense of escape? His classic renditions not only made us blush and cry, but most importantly, they helped us forget about our difficult moments when we needed it most.
These moments are perhaps the few occasions when you either breathe out in a long, relaxing sigh; or walk blindly for several minutes on a winter night until the cold burning your lungs make you stop; or just setting off in pursuit of a few peaceful hours; or walking hand-in-hand with your beloved under the full moon.
Some events imprint in our lives, transforming into experiences that alter or impact our future decisions. These moments may also help us sympathise, emphasise or even feel the euphoria when we see or hear our favourite star, or watch a movie or play.
So, Are “All Characters and Events Fictitious”?
This is like a never-ending debate. I’ve grown up seeing a handful of elders discussing and arguing over the need for “bickering saas-bahu serials”, occasionally wondering why these daily soaps garner so much popularity and rating.
Not surprising, this was the same bunch of elders who had ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’ and ‘Kasauti Zindagi Ki’ on their daily ‘to-do’ list.
While many have blamed Ekta Kapoor for starting this age of ‘saas-bahu’ sagas, it is in fact, to her credit that she tapped on to the situations in a regular middle-class family.
Of course, the need to stretch a daily soap for years, the melodramatic “dhoom-tana-na-na” and someone rising from the death bed could be dubbed as unnecessary and is again debatable, but that ‘cold war of sorts’ was pretty much relatable to many Indian women.
No matter how personal you may think the views are, for millions of women in India, certain situations in the daily soaps of 90s are still (sadly) a reality. The only difference is, from debating in a closed-knit group, the outbursts have poured onto the social media.
Some time or the other, you may have seen a friend or a relative of yours mention it on their Instagram or Facebook stories that “sons mopping the floor or slicing fruits will not cause an earthquake unlike how their mothers feel”.
With the advent of social media, the melodramatic situations of the 90s have taken a humorous twist. If all the events were really fictitious, digital content creators like RJ Karishma, Ankita Sehgal and Astuti Anand wouldn’t have shot to fame.
Is Resemblance to Actual Events, People Coincidental?
“Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental,” says every disclaimer before a movie or a series. However, by now we know that fiction provides a mirror for real life. It does reflect and comment on aspects of situations people encounter in their daily lives.
Chandan Kumar, the writer of dramedy ‘Panchayat’ that is streaming on Amazon Prime, recently told a national daily that his personal experience of being in a village helped him etch out the characters so well.
Chandan, who was born in Patna, said, “I have always remembered those who lived there (in my village). The majority of the anecdotes depicted in Panchayat, such as the funny exchange between Banrakas and Binod, Prahlad, Pradhan ji, and Vikas, are from my own experience.”
“The story also tackles the real problem in our society. You may remember the ‘Pradhanpati’ tradition, in which the husband of a woman Pradhan holds the true power. It happens in towns as well. We wanted to highlight these facts,” he added.
The filmmakers of Abhishek Bachchan starrer ‘Dasvi’ clarified that their movie had nothing to do with ex-Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautaladespite the similarities. A month after the release of the film, Chautala cleared his Class 10 and Class 12 exams at the age of 87, and that too, in the first division.
The actors of ‘Dasvi’ congratulated Chautala on Twitter. “Badhai!!! #Dasvi,” wrote Bachchan, while Nimrat Kaur said: “Absolutely marvellous!! Age is truly only a digit or two.”
Remember ‘Kota Factory’ on Netflix? Besides some reports claiming that the third season is set to be released in August, the series reflects the story of perhaps every fourth teenager in India, who is appearing for JEE, and struggling to cope.
Thousands of teenagers still land in this Rajasthan city that has become a hub for preparation of JEE. They not only work hard to prepare but also battle with pitfalls of not being able to excel, often impacting their mental health.
Jitendra Kumar as Jeetu Bhaiya has some relatable wisdom dripping out of every dialogue. “Peer pressure is a good thing, but make sure that your peers aren’t stupid,” says Jeetu Bhaiya at one point and the students listen with wide eyes.
Post season two, many on social media felt that Jeetu Bhaiya bears resemblance to ‘Nitin Vijay Sir’, the managing director of Motion Classes — one of the premium coaching institutes in Kota.
There is an entire thread on Quora that says that much like Jeetu Bhaiya, NV Sir also teaches physics, is an IIT alumnus, and started Motion Coaching with only four employees. He also keeps his interactions with students fun and casual, to make the subject more interesting.
When Jeetu Bhaiya started his own coaching classes in season 2, he did upset the directors of some institutes as he tried to poach best of teachers for his students. A similar incident took place recently when Allen Career Institute’s cofounder and director Brajesh Maheshwari warned his teachers against leaving the institute and moving to the other offline coaching centres by edtech platforms.
“Sharafat ki duniya khatam”, said Allen chief while threatening the teachers. Sharing a video statement, Maheshwari added that teachers who leave the institute will be blacklisted from working with Allen again. They will not be allowed to join back.
The events may be coincidental but their deeper reality is what makes one feel more connected. The next time your mother opposes the woman you’re dating, do try and watch Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Mumbai Dragon’ in the six-episode series ‘Modern Love Mumbai’ on Amazon Prime. The melodrama, strategy of emotional blackmail and the attempt to tolerate assimilation may make you question — relatable much?