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Splashed with colours of Holi and passion

Why were TV actors Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar trending on Twitter last weekend and early this week? Well, because several months after their sort-of-forced, sort-of-arranged marriage in the serial Bade Achche Lagte Hain (Sony), their SR happened. Poonam Saxena writes.

tv Updated: Mar 20, 2012 15:26 IST
Poonam Saxena
In-Bade-Acche-Lagte-Hain-Ram-Kapoor-and-Sakshi-Tanvar-indulged-in-a-liplock-which-was-part-of-a-good-17-minutes-long-love-making-scene
In-Bade-Acche-Lagte-Hain-Ram-Kapoor-and-Sakshi-Tanvar-indulged-in-a-liplock-which-was-part-of-a-good-17-minutes-long-love-making-scene

Why were TV actors Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar trending on Twitter last weekend and early this week? Well, because several months after their sort-of-forced, sort-of-arranged marriage in the serial Bade Achche Lagte Hain (Sony), their SR happened. As acronyms go, that's an easy one to figure out if you're familiar with Bollywood-Tellywood lingo (like I am; clearly I have nothing better to do). If not, you may well wonder (Serious Row? Schoolbook Recitation? Of course you would be wrong). SR stands for 'suhag raat,' and everyone, I'm sure, knows what that is (a euphemism for the consummation of a marriage, which is supposed to happen — traditionally — on the first night itself). You know the picture: shy woman sitting coyly on a bed that is liberally strewn with flowers, husband lifting her ghunghat equally coyly. (And on television, that's pretty much all you would see).

But as I mentioned in last week's column, Indian TV serials seem to be growing up, because that's not what we saw in Bade Achche…. Instead, we saw an almost 17-minute long lovemaking scene which included a kiss in close up. As liplocks go, it was pretty chaste (a mere touching of the lips), but hey, it was a kiss. That's not a sight you're likely to see very often on your small screen, just as you're not likely to see a married couple in bed, under a quilt, with their discarded clothes trailing on to the carpet (which is also what we saw). Part of this 17-minute long lovemaking sequence unfolded like a seduction scene, in the glowing light of dozens of candles lit by the unromantic, unlikely hero, Ram Kapoor.

The whole thing was not (at least for me it wasn't) the least bit sexy or erotic. But it was surprising — surprising in that the producers actually shot such a sequence, the actors did it, the channel showed it, and — apart from the temporary flare of attention on Twitter (which shouldn't count for much because anything trends on Twitter, including Poonam Pandey's observations and Shahid Kapoor's grammar) — everything seems to have passed off relatively peacefully. Which is so welcome (it sure beats the hell out of watching a vamp put cockroaches in the heroine's bag as a dramatic device to create an episode 'highlight'). And oh yes, Bade Achche's… ratings did go up dramatically. (One of the nicest parts of the lovemaking: wife Sakshi Tanwar was as eager as her husband).

So what does this mean? At least two things I hope. One, a shift away from only family politics to individual stories of love. And two, a more grown-up, more natural, less clichéd and embarrassing way of handling these stories.

But right now let's not forget that it's Holi that's providing the perfect occasion for producers to introduce some actual physical romance in their serials. In Star Plus's top-rated show Saathiya (not in my personal list of top shows, alas), the hero, under the influence of bhang, made some ardent physical advances towards his wife (in the normal course, he barely spares her a glance). In yet another top-rated Star Plus show, the intense love story, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon (one of the channel's most consistently watchable shows), the hero, normally always in angry, ruthless mode, finally gives his new bride some tender loving care (also under the influence).

Bring it on, I say. This is Indian TV, so we can't do away with the family melodrama totally, but at least we can shift focus. A bit.