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Generation Leap Sans Sensibility

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By: Arya Aiyappan
Friday, December 22, 2006

Generation leaps on television leave the audience boggled...scarcely able to understand the relationships and discern the mother and the daughter. It has become the hallmark of television that when serials wane in their overall rating then a generation leap followed by the entry of fresh faces becomes the order of the day. The story takes a major time leap, when one generation gives way to another, leading to different circumstances creating new plots and conspiracies. The writer and directors strive to retain the gripping sense of excitement and the mounting tension day-by-day conforming to the unwritten norms of a mega serial.

What is extremely bizarre is that while attention is paid to the minutest details of the story the crucial element of the impact of the visual image is lost. Often it is safely ignored resulting in ridiculous images wherein the mother looks hardly as old as the son, if not even younger! In an age of advanced technology and the logistics of make-up style progressing daily, the degree of perfection is bound to soar high.

Ekta Kapoor triggered the trend of generation leaps with the serials Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kesar, etc. Kumkum, and Bhabhi also followed the trend. Generations have come one after the other and new sets are put up flaunting a new lifestyle. The passing of time is signalled by the presence of some obvious grey hair for the actors and actresses, whether they carry credibility or not is hardly a debatable issue. In Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi Tulsi's children Karan, Ansh and Gautam appear to equal their mother in age and at times in look as well. While characters that actors portray rule the households the age factor and the appearances do not matter. Sense and sensibility do not go hand in hand, when mind rules over matter and the audience is taken for a ride. While Mr. Bajaj of Kasautii Zindagii Kay lends credibility to his image one can barely visualize Sumit in Kumkum as the father of three mature children as he does not look half the age he portrays, credit due to the latest hair dye practices. Story moves on, the characters move on but when another quickly follows one leap it does not appeal to our interest. It is no child's game but extremely challenging enough to maintain the TRP rates successively for years.

Generation leaps are welcome signs of relief so long as the stories deem them necessary. Television industry thrives on this brisk business, so also people who are vying for a chance to enter the glitzy show world. It is the new age director who decides whether Baa of Kyunki lives on for another two hundred years, an absolute miracle with the patent right for Indian Television alone. Time would tell if Karam Apna Apna would feature Iqbal Khan and Pallavi Subhash as grand parents!

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