I recently binge-watched all 15 episodes of Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat, starring the small screen’s favourite couple Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar on Alt Balaji. I still haven’t recovered from how badly mangled the script for Bade Achhe Lagte Hain got after the initial episodes, featuring the same actors. But, I wasn’t thinking about all that when I plunged into watching the show online, even impatiently paying for my subscription after the first few episodes so I could just get on with watching. Sure enough, though, my worst fears were realised towards the end and I’m not holding my breath for Season Two. Before we get into the whys of that, first, here’s what I liked about the show.
Here’s a spoiler alert, if you’re going to continue to keep reading. So, as the plotline goes — two singles in the city, one a tantrum-throwing star on a career downslide and with a drinking problem, played by Ram Kapoor as Karan Khanna, and the other his de-addiction counsellor Tripura Sundari Nagarajan (or Tipsy, played by Sakshi Tanwar) who’s obsessed with her success rate and also pretty much doesn’t have a life, except to work, water her plants and speak to her mother on the phone several times a day. They are thrown together under one roof when he’s invited to attend his daughter’s wedding hosted by his ex-wife and her husband outside Mumbai, where his counsellor must accompany him.
My favourite character on the show? Romila Aunty, the groom-to-be’s ‘chachi’, who is Ram Kapoor’s stalker from the time they starred in a movie together. I love the way she shimmies to old Bollywood numbers as she spies on him through a crack in the door or from behind bushes. It’s comic and fun, and she doesn’t care if she has a husband, even when someone tells her “Romila, you can’t do this, you’re married!” Of course, she can.
As Kapoor’s character’s tries to win over Tipsy’s mother, she worriedly remarks to her cousin that he’s flirting with the elderly lady. The cousin jokes, “Yeah, look at the lust (“havas”) in your mother’s eyes.” Full marks for acknowledging that women of any age can have desires.
Plus, when Kapoor tries to get acquainted with his estranged daughter, she remarks that she has to be drunk to talk to him. So, in a scene earlier reserved for fathers and sons, the two get together for a bonding session over bottles of beer. As they talk, they realise how alike they are. Chalk one up for being progressive. Besides, during the wedding preparations, when the father throws a fit as he finds out that the daughter has been in a live-in relationship with her fiancée, the news is treated as a non-issue by everybody else. Right down to Tanwar’s supposedly conservative character, who compares it to trying out clothes in a trial room before you buy. Full marks for being cool!
So, why am I not waiting with bated breath for the next season, in that case? In the final scene (spoiler alert!), when the two have pretty much confessed to being in love, they rush to the hospital to find that the current husband is in a coma and may be breathing his last. He has left a video message for Kapoor in which he thanks him (while looking quite healthy) for making way for him to be a part of his ex-wife and daughter’s lives. But, now that he’s on his way out, he informs that Kapoor can have them back, but must take better care this time round. As the season finale ends, we see Kapoor apologising to Tanwar’s character and taking his place beside the two other women, as he heads off in the opposite direction.
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Having watched enough serials where the saas-bahu and scheming women angle come from nowhere, this is my cue to stop watching. In the next season, the ex-wife is sure to become possessive and try to get her claws back into the star husband, the daughter is sure to help them get back together and before you know it, there will be manipulative women eavesdropping behind doors to keep Tripura Sundari and Karan Khanna apart. But, Balaji, I’m on to you…and I’m going to treat Season One as the entire series. You may still prove me wrong, but somehow I doubt that. It was nice while it lasted.
(The writer is an editorial consultant and co-founder of The Goodwill Project. She tweets @anuvee) Views expressed are personal.)