5 Feisty & Flawed Women From Made in Heaven Season Two We Applaud!

5 strong and layered women characters in Made in Heaven Season 2 that really made us sit up and take notice of what they were fighting for.

We live in a society steeped in prejudices and depravity. Strangely enough, we are well-aware of the myriads of issues that lurk within the crevices of the societal wall. Yet once in a while comes a revelation so hard that it shakes you to the core and makes you think. This is precisely what ‘Made in Heaven’ Season Two did to me. I had immensely loved season one of the show so much so that it drove me to pen my thoughts as soon as I had finished watching it. After a hiatus of four years, the series is back and how. Though I would not go so far as to say that the freshly minted new season was better, it certainly was worth a watch and worth a thought.

*Spoilers Ahead….*

The show picks up six months after the end of the first season’s finale. We have an array of new characters and in my opinion, these carefully picked new additions to the already shiny cast made Season 2 worthwhile.

The new season commences with the founders of ‘Made in Heaven’ grappling with their dwindled status. The agency is no longer as big as it once was with its office pushed in a dilapidated run-down house in the shoddy alleys of Dilli. Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) is embroiled in her divorce proceedings while Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur) who had bravely come out of the closet in the previous season is still reeling under the aftermaths of the same. Despite everything his own mother still finds his sexuality despicable. Karan is shattered when even on her death-bed his mother fails to accept and love him for who he is. The makers here portray a relevant message with much sensitivity that goes on to show as to how the LGBTQ+ community must face the wrath of not just the outside world but the contempt of their own family.

While I felt that some of the sequences seemed forced to tick the boxes, there were many moments which stayed with me. Most significantly, I loved how women characters were brought forth. They were flawed to the core and one could not segment them in shades of black or white.

Bulbul Johari, the feisty Businesswoman

Bulbul Johari played with utter brilliance by Mona Singh was a character I loved the most in Season Two. Bulbul Johri steps in the ‘Made in Heaven’ precincts and at once makes her presence felt. On the face of it you see her as a feisty businesswoman who cannot be taken for a ride. But everyone wears masks. And so does Bulbul Johari.

Behind the steely exterior is hidden a woman who was once a prey to domestic abuse. When her son gets suspended after his involvement in a molestation case (a grim reminder of the Bois Locker Room case), Bulbul is shaken to the core. Being a victim of abuse herself she is enraged and disappointed to see her son picturing a woman as a mere ‘bandi’ who can be fiddled with sans her consent. Mona Singh shines as a mother who has braved the odds yet is helpless when she tries to push sense into her son.

A special mention must be given to Bulbul’s husband enacted by Vijay Raaz who represents a (really tiny) sect of men who are not threatened by strong women and who stand up for toxic masculinity. While parents of other offending boys slut-shame the girl and play blame game, Bulbul makes sure that her son understands that women can only be loved and respected and one cannot win their hearts by thrusting themselves upon them.

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Bulbul’s character arc is wonderfully depicted. Initially no one in the ‘Made in Heaven’ office warms up to her owing to her cost-cutting shenanigans, but gradually people acknowledge her for her business acumen, intuitiveness and above all her inherent sensitivity. Bulbul Johari’s character makes one realize that even a victim can resurrected themselves if one finds the right support system. Bulbul also rightly showcases the importance of financial freedom for women and how it goes a long way in making one bold and self-reliant.

Tara Khanna, the conniving Founder of ‘Made in Heaven’

Tara Khana’s character is one of the most intriguing characters of the show. She is someone who is flawed and yet she owns her actions with elan. She marries a business tycoon by deceit and lives a life of the uber rich.

In Season 2 she is fighting for a divorce settlement with her husband who she had caught cheating with her best friend.

In the beginning Tara is easy on her husband as she herself has not been honest in the relationship and is not a saint either. Yet later when she becomes privy to the fact that her husband’s girlfriend is pregnant with his child, she is infuriated. ‘Hell, hath no fury like a woman scorned’ they say. And so, Tara becomes vindictive and ends up taking her husband’s opulent family home in the divorce settlement.

A lot can be said about Tara’s character. Yet her background gives us a peek into how she became the woman she is. Tara has led a deprived life with an overbearing mother who constantly pushed her to let go of her moral compass so long as it brings in the moolah and a life of grandeur. When she dates a chef played by Ishwak Singh, her mother finds it below her status as she is meant for grander things. Yet when Tara meets her chef boyfriend’s family over a mundane meal, she could not help but mull over the fact that his family has no agenda, its just love that binds them together- an aspect that was amiss in her life. One would love to hate Tara Khanna as she defines her own right and wrong. Yet it is a character, the many shades of which certainly exist in our society.

Jaspreet ‘Jazz’, the vivacious Delhi Girl

In Season 1 when we were introduced to Jaspreet aka Jazz we at once warmed up to her and found her endearing. Amidst the filthy rich Delhi crowd where image and power are non-negotiable Jazz represents the middle-class Delhi girl who is trying hard to fit in yet retain her sense of self.

It is intriguing to see her struggle hard to hold on to her identity as she gawks in bewilderment at the grandiosity of the rich. She is startled to see the multitudes of problems that exist despite the riches and her reaction represents the middle-class population who are only worried about making ends meet. Like Season 1, she continues her love-hate relationship with Kabir (Shashank Arora) and in a powerful scene calls out to him that he is merely a rich woke boy who would not date a girl like her as he is ashamed of her.

Jazz is the only breadwinner in her family with old parents and a brother battling drug addiction in a rehab. Her parents worry that if she is married, they would have no one to look after them. On knowing this, Jazz is crestfallen, yet she conveys that marriage won’t lead her to shunning her parents.

Amongst all the richie-rich characters, Jazz is like a breath of fresh air. She is real and raw and is someone who has no pretences. Shivani Raghuvanshi plays the character with conviction and presents a true Dilli- girl whom we can all relate to.

Meher Chaudhary, the spunky Trans Woman

One of the most welcome additions to the show is undoubtedly the character of Meher Chaudhry. Meher Chaudhry joins as the new Production Head of ‘Made in Heaven’ and we cannot help but love how she seamlessly becomes part of the show.

It was heartening to see the character of Meher played by the ravishing Trinetra Haldar, a trans woman. Trinetra is someone whom I have been following on social media for quite some time. A doctor turned actor, she has spoken vehemently about LGBTQ+ rights and has not shied away from sharing her own experience of living as a trans woman.

I must laud the makers that they chose a trans woman to play Meher’s part as it made the character much more credible and real. And I cannot help but rave about Trinetra’s screen presence. It did not appear once that it was her debut outing as an actor.

Trinetra as Meher was unassuming and carried a sense of self-belief which was truly reassuring to watch. Meher’s character brings to light the rampant transphobia and delineates how men fetishize trans people so very often. Meher’s character would go a long way in depicting the everyday struggles of LGBTQ+ people and would drive home the fact that all that they want is a life of dignity and acceptance.

Pallavi Menke, the determined Dalit Activist

Each of the episodes of ‘Made in Heaven’ Season 2 depicts a problematic wedding. While the makers do portray multitudes of issues like colour shaming, domestic violence, polygamy, LGBTQ+ rights, the one episode that made me pensive and lingered at the back of my mind for the longest time was episode 5 titled, ‘The Heart Skipped a Beat’ directed by ace director, Neeraj Ghaywan. This episode touches upon casteism and succeeds in bringing out caste politics while talking about altering generational norm. Radhika Apte flawlessly plays the part of Pallavi Menke, a Dalit activist who has won awards and written books about ‘coming out’ as a Dalit. Menke’s character is based on a real-life Dalit activist Yashica Dutt, whose book Coming Out as a Dalit talked about embracing one’s Dalit identity.

In this episode Radhika Apte is soon to wed a Brahmin boy. All is well until the bride insists that she wants a Buddhist wedding along with the traditional pheras. It is then that the long-held prejudices are let lose and the families try to convince the bride to not go ahead with a Buddhist wedding as it would be “uncomfortable for the guests”. The bride’s family and particularly her brother too call her out as someone who is “doing it to prove a point.” But amidst the furor, Pallavi holds her ground and makes sure that she gets the wedding she wants.

Buddhism did not follow a caste system and thus by having a Buddhist wedding Menke stands up for the entire Dalit community, many of whom are still ashamed of, and shamed by savarnas for their Dalit identity. Apte was the apt choice for this role as she came across as a headstrong woman and as someone who could not be bogged down by the pressure to go against her principles. It was interesting to see not just Menke’s side who is privileged enough to live in New York but also that of her brother who must face everyday bias and name-calling on account of his Dalit identity.

I loved these women characters of ‘Made in Heaven’ Season 2 as they were layered and real. The show makes an earnest attempt to unleash several social evils and anomalies through brilliant story-telling. And in doing so they bash a number of prejudices, one wedding at a time.

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About the Author

Meha Sharma

Meha has worked as a Business Analyst in an elite IT firm and as a full time professor in management colleges. Having earned an MBA degree in Human Resource Management and an MA degree in read more...

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