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. Continue reading