Telescope: Absurd, fantastical yet a hit

Supernatural serials don’t respect viewer’s scientific temper but they are fun.

Written by Shailaja Bajpai | Updated: June 9, 2016 12:02:39 am

So said the fly to Mataji whose white streak of hair Indira Gandhi would have envied: A fly does not live long, maybe a week at most, we don’t have much time. Instantly, Mataji vowed to save her and Chandramani, a supernatural creature posing as a woman, vowed to watch her die. And so it came to pass that the drone-like gigantic fly was inexorably drawn towards the gas range where the burner was, well, burning. Suddenly, a black cat materialised from only god knows where (and god did know since god had sent him), spilt water on the burner, dousing its flames. Thus, does the fly live on to buzz into another episode?

As many of you know, in Colors’ Sasural Simar Ka, Simar has been transformed into a fly by an angry rishi. It seems that human beings can fly in the face of anything, after all.

Or perhaps it can snake past the censors and slither into the movie halls like Shivanya and her sister Sesha, the icchadari naagins (Naagin, Colors). What splendid looking serpents they are too: The former is pure gold, the latter shiny silver and their scales have been lifted from the armour of Game of Throne (Star World Premiere).

Metamorphosed into the ladylove of Ritik, Shivanya along with Sesha and Ritik’s mother Yamini are locked in mortal, or should we say immortal, battle since all living creatures great and small enjoy multiple lives after death. All three want the naagmani — Shivanya to protect it, Sesha and Yamini to possess it. After many murderous assaults and rebirths, we have come to the end of season 1: Sesha lands the naagmani and gives it to Avantika who is actually Shivanya as Avantika and all Sesha’s serpentine plans to win Ritik and the naagmani come to nothing — at least for now. In the final episode last weekend, Shivanya is pregnant. What will she give birth to? Don’t even ask. Wait for season 2.

Meanwhile, the child in Hanuman has come out swinging and Lord Krishna seems only too pleased to help him along (Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanuman, Sony). The monkey god has never looked more charming.

Sita looks somewhat dazed in Siya Ke Ram (Star Plus) but understandably so: The long-haired Ravan has her trapped in his lair and since his jealousy knows no bounds, he’s decided to render her inaccessible. What does he do? Why he spreads out his arms like the one and only SRK and hey presto, he’s built a maze around her.

Absurd? Fantastical? And more. Entertainment television has taken to the supernatural like a naagin to her skin — and the audience loves it. Simar, Naagin and mythological like Hanuman are doing good viewership business. What haven’t we got here: Gods, god men and women, naagins, witches, daayans, evil alter egos (coming up in Kavach) at least one fly, all mixed up in a hokum of prayers, chants, spells, potions, etc.

Whatever happened to the Indian scientific temper exalted by the political leadership? Is this it?

Who knows and who cares? It’s great good fun, far more entertaining than the daily trials and tribulations of mere ordinary mortals. The menacing and pregnant Taru in the popular Kumkum Bhagya had to be rushed to a hospital to recover after falling down the stairs when she could have been summarily healed by a few mantras (Zee). Our daily soaps are boring, predictable whereas, in the wonderful world of the other world and spirits, you never know what may happen next.

Honestly, it is almost like something out of Alice in Wonderland — without any of its genius, sophistication, satire and humour — where a child becomes a pig. Like Alice, we are “getting used to queer things happening” and getting our thrills out of it.

Udta Punjab anyone?

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