Did you ever casually say “Hello, how are! Khaana khaake jaana, haan”? If yes, then you are as much a fan of JD Majethia’s sitcom Khichdi as I am. Back in 2002, Khichdi was one of the few television shows which I was allowed to watch (yes, back then parents had control over what kids watched on television and how much hours they spent in front of the ‘idiot box’). That was the time when my body clock was set according to the airtime of the show. The afternoon nap was followed by completion of school homework exactly at 8 pm. And why wouldn’t it be? The Parekh family living in the Mohan Niwas and its crazy housemates was a fresh departure from all the scheming mothers-in-law and cheating spouses who dominated Indian television from the beginning of the 21st century.
The amusing Gujarati family in Khichdi was packed with idiosyncratic characters who added laughter in the otherwise gloomy television watching experience. Babuji played by Anang Desai was paranoid, gossip-seeking Jayshree (Vandana Pathak) fooled babuji by speaking her mind in the name of others, Bhukkad Bhavesh Kumar lived with his in-laws and all he cared about was food, ‘kisi ko pata ni chalega’ Himansoo (JD Majethia) was a loving brother and Chakki and Jaccky, the two kids had only one problem in their lives, “Badde logg, badde logg”. But my favourite were Hansa (Supriya Pathak) and Praful (Rajeev Mehta). They were cute, they were funny and they were the ones who gave perfect couple goals.
It was beyond cute for me when Hansa got puzzled with an English word and her husband Praful came to her rescue saying, “Hansa, main hoon na!” And whenever Babuji rebuked his dumb son Praful calling him stupid (“Praful, tu gadha hai gadha”), Hansa believed it was Babuji who knows nothing (“Babuji ko toh kuuuch bhi nahi pata”). For Hansa and Praful, their world revolved around each other and they cared least what the world thinks about them. Their innocence and their love for each other made them the stars of the show.
Take for instance this conversation between Hansa and Praful:
Hansa: Aeh Praful! April fool matlab?
Prafful: April fool Hansa…
Babuji mujhe kaise bullate hain?
Hansa: A Praful….A Praful…A Praful…
Accha achha…April fool…
In times when Ekta Kapoor’s Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi were presenting a sorry state of Indian joint families, the characters of Khichdi presented a contrasting image and showcased the little joys of growing up around your cousins, ‘chachas’, ‘chachis’, ‘mama’ and ‘mamis’. The abnormality of the Parekh Parivar was way more normal than the sensible and intelligent members of Tulsi’s Virani Parivar or Parvati’s Aggarwal khaandaan.
Khichdi was a show which brought a family together and made them share hearty laughter. What made Khichdi stand out was its premise which was funny because it was true and the punchlines in it came wrapped in puns and hyperboles. Now, with the show returning with its third season on April 14, I hope it does not lose its charm like Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai Take 2 or Hum Paanch Phir Se did. I hope the show turns out to be as funny as it seems in the teasers and the makers do not end up making it sloppy in an attempt to generate laughter.