Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SERIAL KILLER


Bhanumathi felt a strange emptiness. It felt she was done with life. It didn’t make her sad, but she wondered if life was always going to be peaceful and boring hereafter. She thought she better get used to it. There would be no more crazy mornings, rush hour traffic or piles of files on her desk waiting for her autograph. No more doctors, businessmen, contractors and elite from all walks of life waiting to talk to her outside her office and no more funny meetings with MLAs and ministers. And more than all that she will miss her peon Subbiah getting her hot bajjis and tea for her every afternoon. She thought: No more fun! It was her first day of retired life. She was no more the Collector of Coimbatore!

Ramamurthy was perched gingerly on the sofa and was peering laboriously into the sports page with his fat spectacles. The Indian cricket team hadn’t exactly made him proud. He was also grumpy this morning because his filter coffee was late by an hour. He was worried it would affect his biological cycle. Bhanumathi ignored him as she sauntered to the kitchen and started to brew fresh decoction. Ramamurthy ambled in, intoxicated by the mystic aroma. Bhanumathi gave him a stare and he went back and hid himself behind the sports column again. For the first time in years, they sat on the verandah, legs outstretched, sipping fresh coffee and watching passers by with the amusement of a new born. She felt that life was not that bad actually.

Her thoughts were interrupted by Ramiah the post man. “Letter for you amma!”
“Are they calling you back?” chuckled Ramamurthy.

Bhanumathi ripped open the letter with a restless curiosity. It was from Mrs. Anjani Dutta, her best friend and mentor who was the former Collector and now happily retired in Calcutta. Her eyes lit up with a fiendish glare as she read the letter.

“Dear Bhanu,
Hello my dearest Collector amma (oops... did I miss an ex?) I have been waiting for this day for nearly 2 months now. Remember the “retirement mourning party” you hosted for me. It is my turn to rub some salt! As you welcome emptiness into your life, I am going to help you do some soul searching to find creative ways of killing time. As cruel as irony is, you will very soon be introduced and sucked into the world of television soaps! Add Ramamurthy’s 24/7 cricket to that and I can’t help wonder how much torture will you be able to endure!

Oh poor thing! How are you going to survive that bad bad world of the blood sucking saas and the revenge seeking bahu? How are you going to keep track of the innumerous characters and their complex relationships as they engulf the TV screen and your mind without leaving an aorta of space? How will you tell the great great grandmother from the great grandmother? I will throw a tip at you here. Look at their hair. The one with snow white hair is “The Great Great” and the one with a single strand of black hair (you have to look very carefully) is “The Great”. And then it gets easier as you can keep track of the other “Maa”s and “Baa”s by the different stages of their black hair-dyes.

Relationships though are a totally different beast. You see it depends on a lot of factors like the whim of the director, the availability of actors and the creativity (or more so the lack of it) of the writer. So don’t freak out when you see a guy getting married 6 times or if the leading lady’s husband changed from last week. You see even “Baa”s switch husbands as veteran actors too are busy and the show must still go on. And if you suddenly wonder why the story is going completely off track, the star vamp lady would have probably gone on maternity leave.

Oh no... I see another problem. You are such an impatient brat. You cannot even wait for the decoction to brew at leisure and you will keep tapping the filter on its head. How are you going to watch a seriously funny argument take place over a whole week or a silly marriage that spans at least 2 month?  Here is a solution for that too. Pick 4 serials but don’t watch them daily! Watch them on alternate days and trust me you can easily follow the story. And guess what, you should form focus groups with your neighbors and you can predict what will happen next week. It is an amazing “feel good” exercise as you will realize how much more intelligent you are than that celebrity director!

Jokes apart... There is really a serial that is a class apart from the others and that which I have been watching ever since I retired. It is called “Kyunki Saas Abhi Bhi Bahu Hai” and trust me there is no retirement for or from this one! I am sure my letter would have partially killed your appetite for these small screen gems. But I don’t want you to completely miss this once in (and for) a lifetime experience. So once you have had your share of fun and frolic, you should pay me a visit so that I can share more pearls of wisdom with you. Hoping to see you soon! 

With love
Anjani.”

Suddenly her entire future ramp walked in front of Bhanu’s eyes shedding gloomy tears of a slow death. She felt a sudden rush and frantic need for some bustle. She stormed into the living room where Ramamurthy was sitting on the edge of the sofa, his body moving towards the TV at 0.01 miles per year. “What happened to that Europe tour you were talking about?” she asked matter-of-fact-ly!

“What Euro…” Ramamurthy looked bamboozled like he had just swallowed a dead duck!

“Stop watching that stupid match and for once make yourself useful! I don’t want to die in front of a television.”



58 comments:

  1. ha..ha..A pretty good post raj...Enjoyed reading..:-)

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    1. :) Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  2. hahaha...u'd be surprised at how long these serials run..the one u mentioned above ran for 7yrs!! the generation leapt and the oldest granny could easily have been 200 yrs old going by the no of generation leaps!! arrgggg!!

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    1. Totally.. I agree. :) They take eternity to complete. haaa haa.. 200 years old granny. that is certainly a possibility. ;)

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  3. hahaha.. Good 1 raj.. How true that these daily soaps are so slow.. every soap has so similar kinda story.. Well, to be honest here even I watch these saas bahu serials with my mom after getting back home to pass my time :-P Well written Raj:)

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    1. :) Thank you so much Sonia. Glad you liked it. :) I am not against the serials. I am sure they provide entertainment. :) Just that it could be made much better by being a little more creative. :)

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  4. Well there is a serial here in uk which has been running for 50+ years now and is still gowing strong and another one for 30+ years .. but I would die of shock if one of those saas bahu serials runs that long ..

    Loved the post though made me smile ..

    Bikram's

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    1. :) Thank you very much Bikram. :) 50+ years. my god... didnt know that. :) That is some competition and benchmark for our indian serials now. ;)

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  5. what a way to hit out at the serials!

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    1. ha haa.. :) I am not against those serials. ;) after all they do provide entertainment to people. I was just taking a dig at them just for fun. :)

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  6. Despite the done-to-death subject, you've delivered a powerful story without being verbose. I liked the language too. You've turned the barely-readable into a delicious fare.

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    1. hee hee.. :) Thank you Umashankar. Glad that I did not bore you to death with this subject. :)

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  7. hahahaha!! How I loved this!! :D

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    1. Thank you so much Rohu. Am so happy you liked it. :)

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  8. haha The post brought a huge smile to my face :). Keep up the good work.

    http://rachnaparmar.com

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    1. Thank you so much Rachna for the wonderful compliment. I am so happy you liked it. :)

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  9. Perfect description of serials. I sail in the same boat as Bhanu since I can't watch one to save my life :) I think I will go and rouse the L&M from his marathon news watching and get that ticket for the Europe trip :D

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    1. hee hee.. I can visualize L&M's news marathon. :) You should pursue the Europe Trip! :)

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  10. u write beautifully raj! I could visualize the scenes!thanks for writing..and keep sharing

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Rohit. Thank you so much for the lovely words of appreciation. :)

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  11. I have never watched any Saas-Bahu serials or any serials which starts with the letter K but I do know what happens in those soaps and the way you have described them with a dash of sarcasm, loved it. Nice one again. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Akshay. :) I have watched a lit bit of those serials. I find them so funny. :P Glad you liked the post. :)

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  12. I just go through the post. It's really nice one. Thank you for sharing.


    ERP gujarat

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Sondra. Am so glad you liked the post. :)

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  13. Kudos to you for a different treatment of the subject. We have criticized soaps to such an extent that now there is no fun in it. But you brought life to a dead topic and made us laugh.

    Seriously, TV soaps are so boring...

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    1. Thank you so much Saru. Glad you liked it. I find the soaps so amusing. :P There have been occasions where people have been watching intently and I will start laughing. People will look at me as if I am an alien. :P

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  14. Ha Ha serials :-) yes, they are notorious :-), still as you said there are a few good ones, from what I've heard. Nice Story

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    1. :) Thank you so much Ashwini. Yeah.. a few good ones are there still. But yeah... very few and rare. It was much better in the Doordarshan days where serials had amazing variety and quality. :)

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  15. Ha Ha serials :-) yes, they are notorious :-), still as you said there are a few good ones, from what I've heard. Nice Story

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  16. Ha Ha serials :-) yes, they are notorious :-), still as you said there are a few good ones, from what I've heard. Nice Story

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  17. Tv soaps and their heights of being annoying! I can't bear them at all!
    The post was good. As usual :)

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It made my day. Being appreciated by a great writer like you.. I was flattered :D

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    1. Thank you so much. Glad you liked it. Yeah.. soaps are more and more annoying these days.

      You are a wonderful writer yourself. :) I should be the one who should be happy to have your appreciation. :)

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  18. Superb! You made my day...wonderful sense of humor

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    1. Thank you so much Suresh. Your wonderful compliment made my day! :)

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  19. Raj you're style is simply mesmerizing ...your post made me laugh truly
    keep it up :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful compliment. It really means a lot. :)

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  20. Very enjoyable post, Raj and brings the true blues of a retirement on the forefront:) Surly there are better options than those never ending TV sagas of melodrama

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    1. Thank you so much Rahul. Am so glad you enjoyed the post. :) yeah.. there are better options than the melodrama in TV. But it is also sad that the makers of these serials have a complete disdain for quality just because they have an audience. :(

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  21. Hi, You are right! Its nowhere near what I thought it was ha ha..Very nice post!!! Cant imagine collectors watching Serials ha ha

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    1. he hee.. That was just an attempt at a surprise. ;) yeah.. unfortunately retirement puts you in such a predicament sometimes. Though I guess they would always find something better to do. :)

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  22. I once visited a friend and we watched some serial together. You are right. Nothing happened. I'm glad your lady protagonist has no intentions of retiring from living and every intention of stirring things up at home. Enjoyed your story.

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    1. Thank you so much KayEm. I am so glad you liked it. Yeah.. these serials test your patience. :) It is sad the makers just take the viewers for granted! :(

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Ajesh. :) Thank you so much for the comment. I am glad you liked the post.

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    1. Thank you so much Rupertt. Am so delighted you liked the post. :)

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  25. That was a very unique way of berating the killing serials.

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    1. he he.. thank you very much Indu. Just my little idea of humor. ;) Am glad you liked it.

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    1. Thank you so much Maitreyee. Am so glad you liked the post. :)

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  27. I liked this humourously written story

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    1. Thank you so much Sir. Am so happy that you liked the story! :)

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  28. Post retirement serial watching has been one of my fears too!I hope I do not end up doing that.A fun read that was!

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  29. Excellent- as always!! You have put life into a subject often 'retired' :) Good job!
    loved the technique of using the 'letter'

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  30. hahaha....Looking at the heading, I thought if it was a mystery..:)..neat and sweet. I remember a joke my aunt told me once. Two friends had been chatting across the globe. One in India and one in the U.S. Friend in the U.S says: "My wife is killing me with this 'cereals' everyday." (meaning same breakfast everyday). Friend in India replies: "My wife is also killing me with 'serials' every day...:)

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  31. Amazing one.....Keep writing....Also visit my blog when u have time....http://poemsshortstories.blogspot.in/

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  32. Nice narration, though I thought there was going to be more humor. Brilliant anyway. :)

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  33. Awesome Awesome hahaha :D I laughed out load here and everybody wants the link to this blog now :D LOLing!!! but this one must be shared with all my ammas I mean chikkamma, doddamma, Amma, etc etc :D

    Superbly Funny and full of humor loved every line of this UHAHAHA me still laughing :D

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