10 Things Indian TV Soap Operas Teach Us

Indian soap operas or TV serials as we call them have been around for a long time. From the age-old Ekta Kapoor dramas to the latest crop Colors is harvesting, soaps win their bread and butter from the fat Indian women who seem to gobble up these too-far-from-reality-and-psychotic fictions.

Well, having grown up with these monsters (my mother is an avid viewer), if you show me any new TV serial now I can pan out exactly how the story will unfold, complete with betrayals, deaths and con-men.

So here are 10 things all Indian soaps have in common. Believe me, if you took any moral lessons from these you would end up in a strait jacket:-

1. Everyone’s out to get you. Especially your family members. The more distant the more suspect.

Moral of the story: Next time your third cousin calls from across the globe that they will be coming down for a few days for a visit make sure you turn them down point blank because once they come they won’t ever leave and somehow they will steal everything you’ve got… even your underwear.

2. There is always an evil ___ (uncle, aunt, grandma… take your pick) who favors one child in the family while treats the sibling as if they were flies on shit.

Next time grandma gives your sister a thousand rupees but forgets about you always remember that she hates your guts and would like nothing more than to shove your head in a meat-grinder or worse cut you open like Sweeney Todd. And you are truly naive if you think for even a second that she would give you your share when you come home for holidays.  

3. Dancing, singing, in fact everything with fun in it is against the house rules.

(And living. Let’s not forget that).

4. No news is shared until the entire family, including the dog and the parrot, is present in the living room with horrified expressions on their faces.

Your family is omniscient and they already know what a big scoundrel you are. Forget about good news they are hoping you have murdered someone so that the next few months can be spent living a drama.

5. The mother-in-law is always evil.

And if she appears sweet and agreeable then make sure you check your morning tea before you sip it. Because she must have slipped rat poison in it to kill you and take revenge for a crime your father or brother or uncle or third cousin committed some ten years ago.

6. The rich guy always falls for the poor naïve girl and the mother of the guy is against the relationship because she feels the girl has some ulterior motives (like usurping the family property).

Of course the rich guy in this scenario is a good guy and so he goes ahead and falls in love with the maid’s daughter who he accidentally met one day. (Ring any bells) And let’s not forget the con-men/uncles the poor girl has who are expert at forging signatures and everything creepy under the sun.

7. All the poor people end up filthy rich some way or the other.

Please, if you cannot depict poor conditions because the snotty actress feels too hot in the village dress and hot sun then don’t. No need to bring in a rich cousin who was in absentia for a millennium and has turned up now because all of a sudden his riches could buy him a plane ticket and so he has come to drag the poor ones out of their misery.

8. Contrarily, the super-rich become dead broke at least once because someone (usually a family member) conned them out of all their property and instead of moving out and starting new, they live as servants in their mansion.

See the pattern of paranoia? Says something about the script writers.

9. You are the most unsafe when you are pregnant because someone is always on the lookout to steal your baby, or worse replace it with an ugly one.

And God forbid if you are barren and must get a surrogate mother. Because then you will have no choice but to borrow the womb of the evil friend/sister/cousin. Forget about all the poor mothers out there in the third-world countries who do it because they need money to buy food and who won’t come at you with a hundred lawyers to take the child away unless you sign off all your property. (Yup, paranoia reigns supreme).

10. No one believes the honest one in the family.

Kind of stupid to name them honest and then not believe a word they tell you. In fact the smarter the person is the more they are branded as the stupid fool who got duped by false information.

So, now you know the extent of stupidity that is fed to the people of our country. No wonder everything is going to dogs here.

Anyway, what do you think about Indian TV?  As disgusted by it like me or still laughing your guts out at the insanity portrayed? Do leave your comments below. I love it when I hear from you.

So, that’s it for today. But before I leave let me share credits of today’s post with my sister Rima. We cooked this up yesterday night while we were observing the antics on TV that our mother was busy chewing down in delight.

Anyway, till the next time. Have fun!

-Ria

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12 thoughts on “10 Things Indian TV Soap Operas Teach Us

  1. Got some good story telling in INdia. I myself used to watch one life to love. that was a good soap.

    soaps take a lot of criticism because a lot of this stuff is over done. But they’re over done because they’re fun as hell.

    and the format is great. five new episodes every week? Awesome …

    Good list, Ria. It’s basically a list of fun stuff.

  2. Pingback: 10 Things Indian TV Soap Operas Teach Us – Part II | The Spyglassviewer

  3. You know what’s the best and most realistic serial offered to us by Indian television? Sarabhai vs. sarabhai ❤
    And I love your post, I was laughing like a crazy while reading this, hahahaha finally someone who thinks exactly like me, whenever I see my mother watching them I bounce between extremes of anger, laughter, embrassement and overall hand to facing throughout the episode before just walking out like I'm done. Haha I still don't understand why India, or anybody still watches dumb soaps?????? Btw try not to sell my email address, k thanks

  4. Haha,
    The typical Indian Soap Operas.
    You forgot to write that , a dead person comes alive with a plastic surgery, which changes not only their faces, but also their height, personality and voice .

  5. I love this post not because I’m a fan of Indian soap operas likesarswatichandra, but it’s just that, those things you enumerated in this post is just so true and common to Indian soap operas. I’m looking forward to read another post from you.

    • Thanks Britney! 😄 I have a lot of exams and stuff right now, so I am not sure when I will be able to blog again. But you can check out the rest of my blog. In fact, there is a part 2 of the indian soap opera sarcasm fest. Have fun.

  6. :D.. I laughed my heart out reading this…..

    Btw… You forgot to mention about
    – ladies adorned with several kilos of jewelry and a heavy saree even when they are doing household chores.
    – ladies going to bed with a think layer of make up on.
    – ladies who are not at all career oriented and want to remain the same ambla nari forever (hate this the most)
    – and a police inspector (who obviously has a moustache) always arresting the innocent and then the whole family starts behaving hysterically instead of calling the lawyer….

    I used to watch balika vadhu on colours but the ‘vadhu’ no more a ‘balika’ now…… 🙂

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