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Do you remember this old Doordarshan serial Kashish? A lazy browse on YouTube led me to this vintage gem of a TV show which left me with some unanswered questions.
Do you remember this old Doordarshan serial Kashish? A lazy browse on YouTube led me to this vintage gem of a TV show which left me with some unanswered questions. Read on.
It’s strange when you have so many choices staring at you, there’s nothing that holds your interest anymore. The paradox of choice has come into play with my current TV viewing behaviour. The more choices you have, the more the content gets scattered and diluted in its essence.
Growing on a diet of original content-rich old Doordarshan serials in my childhood, it’s not a surprise that most of them can still hold my attention from start to finish even today.
Some of my favourite serials from that bygone era are Mr. Yogi, Tehkikaat, Byomkesh Bakshi, Udaan, Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne, Potli Baba Ki Kahani, Tandoori Nights, Celeste, Oshin, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Mind Your Language, and more.
Recently, while browsing through YouTube, I found one such lost love. Kashish featuring Sudesh Berry and Malvika Tiwari.
This serial is so deeply engraved in my memory that I still remember the female protagonist’s name, ‘Mona’ distinctly, the light pink cotton saree that she wears for her audition, her first encounter with Rahul, the male protagonist, in the elevator. I sat through the eight episodes with no break in-between.
While it was a satisfying watch, the end left me wanting so much more. The show’s called Kashish, and the focal point of the story was the attraction phase only. Another way of looking at it!
The characters are well-etched. I loved how feisty Mona was, despite her dainty exterior. I had a massive crush on Sudesh Berry back then, and it’s not changed watching him again after many years in this memorable role.
There’s another adorable parallel love-story, stitching in the backdrop – Priya and Dr. Merchant. Their relationship dynamics are entirely different from Mona and Rahul’s, which makes it interesting to watch. There’s also the statuesque Kalpana Iyer, who steals the show as Rahul’s mother.
Interestingly, there are no antagonists in this love-story, typical of love stories in the past. The only character who’s battling with his inner demons is Rahul, and Mona comes as his sweet reality check. There’s an ego-tussle that adds to the simmering tension between the two.
Kashish is a clean love-story, which doesn’t resort to gimmicks of sex, and yet the intimate chemistry of the lead pair scorches through stolen glances, unspoken words, and resigned sighs.
Compare Rahul Anand with Kabir Singh, modern-day romantic hero, and you are rudely awoken to the fallen standards in the romance genre.
Kashish was a class apart, a timeless romance. Despite his towering ego, occasional bouts of the foot-in-the-mouth syndrome, and paranoia, Rahul has an endearing earnestness, humility, and integrity as he stays faithful to Mona, even in the trying times of their romance.
Kabir Singh, on the other hand, goes around sleeping with anything prancing around in a skirt, in Priti’s absence, and yet freaks over Priti’s virginity. Double standards! Kabir Singh, the character, is a ‘horror of horrors’, and women can date and marry him at their own risk.
The female characters in Kashish display clarity and courage to confront their male counterparts directly and take on them. Women like Mona, Priya, and Mrs. Anand represent the modern-day Indian woman. And they shot this serial in the early 90s.
There’s one scene which I liked in particular when Mona goes to collect her pay cheque, and Rahul slut-shames her due to his paranoid assumptions of her having a romantic affair. She refuses to take her salary, and tells Rahul, her boss, to keep her salary, and buy some humanity for himself with it. These are the kind of women protagonists I miss seeing on screen in mainstream media, who call a spade for what it is, and can stand up for herself.
Watch Kashish for a nice, cozy cover of romance in the wintry months. In the meanwhile, any leads on the below questions?
When did our filmmakers completely lose the plot and ‘it’?
When did the birds and bees stop humming?
Do you watch old Doordarshan serials online as well? Which ones would you recommend?
First published here.
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Tina Sequeira is an award-winning writer and marketer. Winner of the Rashtriya Gaurav Award in association with the Government of Telangana, Orange Flower Award by Women’s Web, India's leading website for women, read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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