Our awards for Hindi serials are back!
When we began the Sari, Sindoor and Glycerine Awards three years ago, our TV screens were awash with bad-saas-good-bahu soaps. Everything was so ridiculous and regressive, we couldn't help but laugh.
This year, tucked into the pallus and hiding amidst the polki, is some watchable programming. Indian TV is finally growing up, getting a conscience, getting a life! Don't worry. There's still plenty to laugh about, plenty to pull your hair out.
But TV knows where it wants to go, and we know where it's been. Ab, aage...
Babaji Ka Thullu award
Character/Show: Kapil Sharma (Bittu/Comedy Nights With Kapil)
We'd like to inform Mr Bittu Sharma that sexist jokes, like the ones he makes about his on-screen wife, sometimes hit close to home. 'Beware of wife', warns one such 'joke' and though this may seem stereotypical, wives tend to have easy access to belans and kitchen knives (see the award for Ishq Kills on the next page).
And by the way, Mr Bittu - babaji ka thullu to you too.
Screaming Bansee awards
Character/Show: Vishavpreet Kaur (Bansuri Balwant Singh, Veera)
Channel: Star Plus
In the olden days (like waaaay before television), Roman cities used flocks of cackling geese as an early warning system against raiders. Today, we have TV's own Bansuri doing the job for us. Screeching every night on television, she's the best burglar alarm anyone could possibly have. (Also, her decibel level could alone wipe out the Prritampura pind!)
We are a smart couple award
Character/Show: Harshad Arora and Preetika Rao (Zain and Aaliya/Beintehaa)
Ooooh! Evil mothers-in-law, watch out. Because their sons aren't wimpy, what-will-mummy-say types any more - at least if you go by Zain and Aaliya. Sure, wife and husband can't stand each other, but that's okay. While they spend much of their time trying to put each other down (really, where do these TV couples get the time to think up these plots and plans?), they are united against ma-in-law's machinations.
Pati Ho To Aisa award
Character/Show: Rafi Malik (Rajveer Raghuvanshi/ Desh Ki Beti Nandini), Channel: Sony
As a brilliant counterpoint to Bittu 'beware of wife' Sharma from Comedy Nights With Kapil, we are pleased to present Rajveer Raghuvanshi. While wife Nandini, all fired up, is out to save her building, colony, mohalla, state, nation, world, solar system, Milky Way and universe, Rajveer, smouldering with passion, is out to save his marriage to Nandini. He may be slightly hampered by his privileged Rajput royal upbringing, but that doesn't stop him from trying to be the common man. If only more such men were more common.
What was I thinking award
Character/Show: Dolly Ahluwalia (Mango Dolly/MAD in India)
Channel: Star Plus
Why, oh why, when the sky is so high, did Dolly Ahluwalia have to sign up to be a part of this show? With a name like Mango Dolly (not funny), playing a loud mother to the (not funny) Chutki (Sunil Grover), she wasn't going to go too far in this show. But we're told it's now going off-air soon, so that ought to offer some comfort to our eyes and ears!
Bahadur Abhineta/Abhinetri award
Character/Show: Rajat Tokas/Paridhi Sharma (Akbar/Jodha, Jodha Akbar), Channel: Zee
This goes out to the lead pair (actually full cast and crew) of Jodha Akbar. Look at their clothes: Akbar is always in full-sleeved velvet/brocade/God-knows-what robes over angarkha-type outfits (did someone say frocks?), complete with embroidery, headgear and a few million strands of pearls and beads.
Jodha is in heavy, heavy, heavy (okay, you get the drift!) lehenga cholis with so much jewellery that Jaipur's Johri Bazaar would get an inferiority complex. And they wear all this in the sultry, sticky Mumbai heat (the show is shot in Karjat, we're told). If this isn't bahaduri, we don't know what is!
Show me the real Punjab please award
Show: Bani - Ishq Da Kalma
Come on now! In this day and age, when we are shooting on location, can we please not have tacky sets to represent the beautiful state that is Punjab? From the khets to the tabelas, from the garish salwar kameezes to the forced Punjabi language, Bani - Ishq Da Kalma is quite a caricature. The storyline has merit (it's about the lives of hundreds of girls in Punjab who marry for that elusive NRI dream), it's too bad that they can't pull off a better-looking show. Watch a Yash Chopra film now!
Hari Puttar Award
Character/Show: Rajbeer Singh (Hatim, The Adventures of Hatim), Life OK
Tackling monsters and solving riddles, the emperor of Yemen’s son, Hatim, wants to spread the message of peace and goodness. There is magic, defence against the dark arts, good v/s evil and the search for some sorcerer’s stone. All very good, but why do we have this feeling of déjà vu? Could it have anything to do with those old Harry Potter movies?
Aankhon Ka Tara award
Character/Show: Saurabh Jain (Krishna, Mahabharat)
Channel: Star Plus
In the olden days when the whole nation watched Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan, Arun Govil changed the face of Lord Ram forever. Cut to the 21st century and bow down to Saurabh Jain who is clearly the God of all actors. He did a great job as the sometimes smiling, sometimes sombre Vishnu in Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev and, with just the right amount of mischief in his eyes, he's also a good Krishna in this version of the Mahabharat.
Hotter than hot award
Character/Show: Ashish Sharma (Rudra Pratap Ranawat/Rangrasiya), Channel: Colors
He's hot. Sexy. Sizzling. Don't bother to read any more about Ashish Sharma aka Rudra of Rangrasiya. Here is his picture (with the heroine, played by Sanaya Irani). Look at it. (Heterosexual men, please excuse. Heterosexual women, now, now, please behave!)
Hum Bhool Jayenge award
Character/Show: Aishwarya Sakhuja (Shikha Gupta/Samaira Seth, Main Na Bhoolungi)
This is supposed to be a psychological thriller - aapke dimaag ko sochne par majboor kar dene wala show. Lekin... The leading lady falls in love with a man, marries him and has a baby too. But her husband tries to kill her, and then, Khoon Bhari Maang ki Rekha ki tarah, the leading lady comes back with a new name and nicer looks with a vow ki main badla loongi. But woh badla apne pati se nahi, viewers se le rahi hai. Why, why? All we did was switch on the TV. What psychological games are the producers playing on us?
Please get a new job award
Character/Show: Mohit Malik (Samrat Singh Rathore/Doli Armaano Ki)
We get that Mohit Malik's character Samrat Singh Rathore is the kind of man any woman with even half a brain cell would prefer to avoid: he's arrogant, moody, chauvinistic and sexist. What we don't get is his poker face. Is he, by any chance, auditioning for a lifetime role as an Egyptian mummy case?
Jiyo aur Jeene Do award
Character/Show: Ruslaan Mumtaz (Dhruv Goel (DV), Kehta Hai Dil Jee Le Zara)
The older woman-younger man riff always makes for a good story, so when Kehta Hai Dil Jee Le Zara hit TV, we were just primed for romance. But oh dear! There is no chemistry between the lead pair. The man hasn't a clue about love. He bribes the mehndiwali to incorporate his initials in her mehndi, etc. Time to rename the show Kehta Hai Dil Romance Toh Dikha Zara?
The Hatke show award
Show: Ishq Kills
Channel: Star Plus
We have to admit this: We like, in fact, sometimes come close to loving Ishq Kills. Though we hope that now we've confessed this, Vikram Bhatt doesn't come after us with a kitchen knife. After all, that's the basis of his show: that love can often kill, and Bhatt does a good job of getting us to empathise with these love stories gone bad.
The awards were given by Veenu Singh, Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, Parul Khanna, Shreya Sethuraman and Abhilasha Gupta.
From HT Brunch, April 13
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch