Rope A Dope Soap

05 Jun


“Have you seen Baabul ki Bidaai ka Naam Hai Bandhan?” asked the auntie, eyes suddenly blazing with all the enthusiasm lacking from our previous forty minutes of painstakingly stilted conversation.

“Um, no,” I said cautiously. “Is it any good?”

“What, you don’t see Baa Baa Black Sheep Dulhan ka Aangan Pati Parmeshwar?” she asked, shocked. “But you just said you watch a lot of TV?”

“Er, I must have missed it.”

There was no way in hell I was going to tell this woman I didn’t watch Indian soaps. She gave off that vibe that said it wasn’t so much that she thought I was a coconut, it was just that she was waiting to check the level of my coconut-pan. As it was, sheer boredom had teased that admission of watching too much TV out of me. Admitting to my taste for firangi TV shows was sure to get me a mega lecture on Cheap Betrayal of Indian Values by Ignorant Youngsters of Today. Or worse, earn me The Auntie Look of Condemnation for the rest of my miserable wedding-attending life.

“What was the name of that show again?” I asked.

Mohabbat Kar Li Majnun – Maa, Main Aur Mera Pati,” she said. “You must have seen the ads for it. It airs right after Kabootar Kkahe Kkkab Kkkkahan Kkkkkhoj Kkkkkkarein. It is my favorite show.”

I nodded and made vague sounds of recognition. “Oh! Ah! Yes! Of course! that one! So it’s good, is it?”

“Well, it is not as good as Tutti Frutti Ki Kurbani Ki Kahani but I like the boy very much. These boys today are very cute, no?”

“Erm, yes, I suppose so.”

“Who is your favorite?” she pounced.

“Er, ah, the cute one? I don’t remember the name of the show but there’s this girl he wants to marry but her mother is dead and her, um, aunt has manipulated her entire family into hating her and wants her to marry this horrible man. But then it turns out her mother isn’t dead, just insane and locked up in the attic of the guesthouse for the past 20 years and when this boy shows her a picture of her daughter, she becomes all right -”

Dil Diya Daddy Dhoonda Doo Dah Doo Dah!” she squealed. “That’s my other favorite show. Yes, he’s very cute!”

“Yes,” I said, grateful to the soap-Gods for not changing the formula on me. The insane mother lost for 20 years schtick is always good for something. “That’s the show.”

“You have very good taste. But my favorite is the boy from Raksha Reth aur Rakshas ki Rekha – Life in a Hospital. So naughty! He makes me smile just by showing up on screen.”

“Ah yes! Him! He reminds me of someone else -?”

“No, no, you’re thinking of that boy from Chandini Chamke Cham Cham Choomkar – everyone says that. But I think that’s nonsense.”

“Really?” I murmured.

“But he does look like the younger brother of that boy from Singh is King Ming is Vase Waterford is Plate.”

“I wonder what happened to him?” I said, allowing myself to relax at last.

Remember kids – the trick to a successful conversation in auntie conditions is to first establish a topic of interest, then find a steady supply of noncommital leading questions, and then go with the flow. Phormoola will work with uncles also.


Posted by on June 5, 2009 in Entertainment, Life, Television


24 responses to “Rope A Dope Soap

  1. memsaab

    June 5, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Oh I wish I had been there! LOL@all your soap names!!!!!!

    *falls off chair*

  2. Broom

    June 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Oh Amrita, I would SO watch “Singh is King Ming is Vase Waterford is Plate”.

  3. maxdavinci

    June 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    amrita jee ati uttam, kya bakhubi se serial ke naam rakhe hain!

    you might wanna hold on to these naames, coz they are gonna run out of churning ghar, beti, bahu in all weird permutations and then come running behind you for rights!

  4. Never Mind

    June 5, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Such good advice! Unlike the other coconuts complaining endlessly about nosey soap-watching aunties asking for “good news” at weddings!

  5. Sodium (L)aureth Sulfate

    June 5, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Some serious suds you’ve got going here girl — simply howlarious! I’m all perked up now, after a week-long mope-athon (nothing to do with your posts, btw, heaven forbid). Thankses!

    And ..Life in a Hospital somehow reminded me of two serials from DD’s heydays that I sorely miss — Jeevan Rekha (remember the Tanvi Azmi starrer that, in retrospect, puts the likes of ER to shame? Its opening music alone was to die for…Dhak dhak, dhak, dhak…my heart used to almost stop beating watching that ECG line, wondering what emotional overhaul each week’s episode was gonna take us thru…They certainly don’t make ’em — fake ’em, sure — like that any more) and Naqaab…I desperately need help recalling its cast…It was the story of an actor in his waning years, confined to wheelchair life in a hospital, and a much-younger nurse whom he originally detests, but eventually bonds and falls in love with… Those were the days of true serial heaven. Sigh.

    P.S: You know, you could have gone on and on after “Singh is King Ming is Vase Waterford is Plate”…and wound up in nursery-rhyme land with “The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon.” 😀

  6. wordjunkie

    June 6, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Oh yes. Now imagine the Chinglish subtitles to all the above. THAT I would watch.

  7. Gradwolf

    June 6, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Wonderful names. We need an english translation of these. And see if it would be fit for firangi TV so that poor westernized Amrita ji could get some much needed education.

  8. Sumedha

    June 6, 2009 at 4:08 am

    I REALLY hope those names aren’t real. 😀 All my aunty conversations revolve around my studies… when in school, it was which subjects I’m going to choose, how many marks I get in my exams etc. Now, in college, it’s which courses I’ve done, which I’m going to do, how they are, my grades etc. 🙂 I think it’s because we don’t really have much else to talk about.

  9. apu

    June 6, 2009 at 5:09 am

    bet you 5 dollars (ok, make that 5 rupees) that there’ll be some one commenting here on how you are a pseudo-secular liberal who doesn’t respect Indian aunties (and culture) 🙂

  10. BlueMist

    June 6, 2009 at 7:48 am

    ROFL. Got to learn to converse like this. The moment I say I don’t watch KXYZ soap; people are up to tell me the story. and I feel like “Bhaaaaagooooooooooo” 😀

  11. Prasanth

    June 6, 2009 at 10:12 am

    🙂 🙂
    You would be such an awesome diplomat!

  12. Amey

    June 6, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Wow, are the serial names getting so long? So I guess they just have time to say the serial name once in 5 min title sequence?

  13. Amrita

    June 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Memsaab – well, the food was quite good!

    Broom – hahaha, if only!

    Max – lol! Last time I checked, they’d already run out of them and were now going on one word titles followed by monster subtitles.

    Never Mind – those coconuts are such amateurs! Btw, are you back from the land of bloggy exile then? Goody!

    S(L)S – I remember Jeevan Rekha quite well, but I don’t remember Naqaab at all. It sounds quite gothic. I think I would’ve enjoyed it.

    WJ – lolz!

    Adithya- what did I ever do to you?! 😦

    Sumedha – I kinda wish the Kabootar one was! 😀 Don’t worry, they like talking to themselves. Just figure out a way to let them do that and you’ll be all good!

    Apu – heh, they don’t show up all that often these days unless I cross-post on DP or something.

    Blue Mist – oh no! Never say those dreaded words unless you’re actually interested. Just nod your head and smile pleasantly.

    Prasanth – why do you think Indian diplomats have such a good rep? It’s all the practice they put in with the aunties and uncles!

    Amey – I saw something the other day that had songs in it! There was a new Ekta serial out there that took the B-plot from Devdas (Paro’s marriage) and turned it into a bhayanak Gujarati sobfest.

    • Amey

      June 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      Devdas on TV? Maar daala… As if there wasn’t enough crying in the original story.

  14. sachita

    June 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    i had starplus for one week now, some wierd cable permutations meant it was cheaper to have this than not have it. i also thought they will have movies and filmi stuff.

    A week later, i am all set to cancel this channel. the story u have mentioned here has toomuch plot line, it will take 20 years of episodes to cover a huge plot like that:)

  15. dipali

    June 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    The serial names were just wonderful! Your aunt must have loved you to bits for taking such an interest:)

  16. desigirl

    June 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    roflmao!! pure genius babe! esp this gem “Or worse, earn me The Auntie Look of Condemnation for the rest of my miserable wedding-attending life.”

  17. M

    June 8, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Genius! Sheer Genius!

    Oh I just BET Ekta Kapoor is going to grab the Kabootar one…Loved the progressive increase in Ks in that one!


  18. pitu

    June 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    HAHHAHA!! I MUST go see Tutti Frutti Ki Kahani because if I don’t my life is overrrrrrrr! Kekta mata ka tumpar vardaan hai, Kamrita!

    *Dontchoo think Kamrita is a kick ass name for a vamp? She can be ‘kam’ in very many non pati parmeshwar ways, she can have a massive ‘kam’ra for a waistline that she then squeezes into a tecnicolor lazer sari and she can make all the potbellied graying uncles pretending to be happily married to the wasting-away-with-purity-wives ‘kum’.


  19. pitu

    June 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    “I saw something the other day that had songs in it!”

    U do know they have song-filled suhagraat scenes in Indian soaps these days? Seriosuly! You have to see this link- I know someone who cried during this episode!

  20. Kiran Manral

    June 8, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I really must learn from this. I am bleddy useless creature to converse with according to the elderly relatives because I straight off tell them I dont watch any TV. You think there is hope for redemption?

    • desigirl

      June 9, 2009 at 6:52 am

      Try one of Ams’ patented replies, milady and tell us the reaction!

  21. kusublakki

    June 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Hillarious!! I can totally picture the conversation since I come from a home where tv serials run from 1 pm – 11 pm on star plus, while the Zee tv serials get recorded. Oh yes, sahara one also has some “really innovatively interesting” serials!

    And really nice names of the serails. I cant stop laughing!!

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