A day in the life of a TV Serial MIL and DIL  #WTFOW #writebravely

A day in the life of a TV Serial MIL and DIL #WTFOW #writebravely

Movies and TV Serials are exaggerations on life.  The movies have toned down a bit now,  but the TV Serials in the popular TV channels are still in a different world and era.  I have seen TV serials across Hindi and in Malayalam too.  And some friends tell me in Tamil too.  They are simply outrageous.

Typically, the serials revolve around a woman.  She is usually a daughter-in-law(DIL).  She has no other identity.  Her duty is to take care of the rest of the family.  She is an educated person (mostly).  She may be working too (God forbid).

She wears impeccable designer clothes with sober make-up.  A delicate chain or a string of pearls around her neck.  Then there is the mangal sutra (symbol of marriage).  The red sindoor on her parted hair is always in place with the bindi on her forehead.  She also wears kangans which is another married woman symbol in some societies.  She is adept at looking after the family.  She understands them, helps them and does everything for them suppressing her own wishes.  On top of that,  she is also a great cook and can dole out food in a jiffy.  She is deeply religious and fasts on every occasion. Life is good for her.   But, then who will watch the serial if everything is hunky-dory.

Enter the mother-in-law.  She is the supreme commander in the house.  The poor father-in-law is relegated to his office briefcase or newspapers.  Occasionally,  he goes out for walks too.  But, the mother-in-law(MIL) is the soul of the house.  Everything revolves around her.  Unlike MILs in real life,  she is always well turned out.  Mostly, in rich kanjeevaram silks with a spiffy hairdo. The hair is held together with a diamond studded head piece and some flowers.  She wears a diamond nose-ring.  She spends the initial hours of her day with getting her face ready.  Why bother about the rest of the family when DIL is there!  The MIL applies heavy makeup.  The bindi is an art in itself.  Red lips, kohl eyes with wings,  designer bindi,  silk sari,  heavy bangles and rings,  designer neck pieces and earrings and she is ready to face the world.

The MIL comes down (yeah, stairs in every house),  from her bedroom and is happy to see the breakfast table ready.  The DIL is fussing around to ensure every member of the family is given his/her favourite breakfast.  And if she has school going children,  then nobody, absolutely nobody, helps them to get ready.  MIL comes to the breakfast table, sees DIL being happy about all she is doing.  She observes her son looking lovingly at his wife.  Everything is smooth.  Soon the son and the grandchildren filter out of the door.

So, now it is just the DIL, the MIL and a SIL (sister-in-law) in the house.  Time for some kitchen politics.  It is the best time for making accusations,  plot revenges and do whatever else they want to do which cannot be done in front of men.  The men are innocent, real puppies in the serials.  No one does house work.  I mean who does the dishes and washes clothes, or the endless dusting of furniture.  In real life,  the MIL would have just gone back to sleep.  But here, that is not the case.

Since, the MIL is decked up,  she decides to go to the temple. Because, she never goes to watch movies or visit relatives.  And on the way,  she meets some friends.  They give her additional information about the DIL and her activities outside the house.  They mention that DIL visits someone discreetly.  We are informed in a separate episode that the DIL visits her parents discreetly.  As to why the discretion,  we have no idea.  The MIL flares her nostrils,  purses her lips and comes back home.  Confronts the DIL about things she does without taking permission.

Now, you must be wondering why the DIL is not able to talk.  Why she cannot say what she wants?  But, this is the cue for her to start crying.  Because tears = TRP.

Everyone retires for the afternoon.  After all the fighting and the crying,  some rest is needed.  In the evening,  everyone again change their clothes.  Again,  the silk sari is changed,  the bindi, the hair piece and makeup is all changed.  And MIL is ready to welcome her husband and son back home.  She takes extra care to never leave her son alone with the DIL.  She is her little boy after all.  The DIL is only a recent entrant in his life.  The MIL smothers the son with her love.  She gives him tidbits of information on the DIL’s whereabouts and especially the discreet visits she makes.  She passes on the baton to flare nostrils and purse lips now to the son.

Then she retires happily to her bedroom.  She lies down on the bed and thinks about the fights happening between her son and DIL.  She smiles.  All is well.  The credits start to roll on the close up of the MIL’s face.


‘I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6′. Today’s prompt is to Feature a day in your life or someone else’s life

I would love to read your feedback

24 thoughts on “A day in the life of a TV Serial MIL and DIL #WTFOW #writebravely

  1. Lol…this cracked me up. I can’t believe they still have the same saas-bahu serials. I used to watch a couple when I was there 12 years ago just to have a laugh and take the piss out of the whole rigmarole. It used to be all the K serials back then

  2. Hilarious, Lata. I used to watch one of them, stopped watching more than three years ago as that one also started to take the route you described above. My mom watches these in Malayalam and I hate them, all with same story, same conspiracy, same fights, same tears. And why is the DIL such a delicate character, every single one of them? Loved this, Lata. 🙂

  3. Lata – this was such a classic piece. I love this MIL – she is so obviously jobless. Oh and its ‘s true that the men know nothing of of the planning and plotting. How on earth is that even possible??

  4. Oh how I wish TV serials would get real! I never watch them but am sometimes forced to see some awful Marathi soaps as my Bai watches TV in the same room I work in ……

  5. it has been over a decade and the Saas Bahu serials are still the same. You perfectly summarised every single Saas bahu serial that ever has existed in Indian television 🙂

  6. I HATE these saas bahu serials with capital H. Cant stand them and cant relate to them at all. The last serial that I watched was Kasauti Zindagi Ki in 2004 and I gave it up when there were too many marriages and too many kids. *rolls eyes* Initially, I thought that it would be our parents’ generation who would be watching these sagas, but my friends (educated and working) have surprised me. There are quite a few of my friends who dont miss a single episode of these saas bahu saajish serials.
    This was a fun read, Lata. 🙂

  7. I loved the line about the MIL in real life going back to sleep after the breakfast. Reminds me of my Dadi who slept during the day and complained of the work of old age in not getting sleep at night. This is of particular interest to me since my MIL is deep into telly serials which I am bound to watch with her when we get together. I have a new full form for TRP – Tears Rapidly Pouring 😀

  8. I appreciate your patience in watching these serials…I enjoyed reading about them in your post however would never be masochist enough to bear the torture of watching them….

    1. Thanks Balaka. I do not watch. I hate them. But, they do not seem to be going out of fashion anytime soon.

  9. This is hilarious! I’ve stopped watching Hindi serials – they’re still showing the same old stories, it seems. The MIL sounds like quite the evil schemer and the DIL has waterworks on the ready. When will Indian TV mature, I wonder?