Shooting arrows in the Dark. kabhi tho miloge jeewan sathi
I had moved to Bangalore in August last year, and on the very first day ran into a neighbor of mine who had the habitual inquisitorial nature of a normal Indian woman. She asked, where I was from and about my family. Finally we arrived at the preverbal “Where is your wifeQuestion” and when I answered, that I am unmarried, the old lady was embarrassed and apologized profusely like I have been offended. Well I was not, but one can hardly blame her for asking me this question since I am on the wrong side of thirties and with more gray hair than I could wish for, so it was and I have conceded a fair question to ask on her behalf. After all she is also a mother who once went through the agony and torment of finding a suitable bride for her son or daughter and in that quest she was successful. What happened after that is a different story or maybe almost every other household story.
Ever since I crossed into my 30s people have been asking me “when do you plan to get married” like it was some kind of master plan which got stuck in red tape. Also, most of my friends had gotten married and were disparate for me to tie the knot so I that would stop blackmailing them. But more so their wives and some of my other female friends who I would occasionally torment. For them, I getting married was like getting sweet revenge by telling my future wife all the things that I had done to them and to others because I have been known for my pranks which could sometimes run for few months. E.g. a very good looking my friend got married and after year or so I decided to register her profile in an online matrimony site and soon she started getting phone calls from perspective grooms parents. This lasted for couple of months or over but as gentlemen I told her about this prank few years later, so one can imagine how eagerly or vengefully she must be waiting for me to get married so she can settle some old scores. Also before the internet, when people used to give ads in newspaper, I would call them on their phone number and just try to have some fun. Well, maybe Karma is paying me back.
But let’s be back to the present, I just turned 38, plenty of gray hair and the crown part of my head getting ever so thinner and still no bride in sight. But I must say one thing when I see online matrimonial sites it gives me some solace (in a good way) that there are plenty of men and women out there who still not married and have crossed the usual age threshold but I still believe it is not the end of the world. However, if it is hard for men to hear the same questions over and over, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for women. I know this because my sister got married when she was 28 years old and by the time she turned 26 people started coming up to my parents with wedding proposal for widowers and divorcés. It was as if my sister had no value or no hope for ever getting married. Now, I don’t intend on saying people who have lost their spouse or they are divorced should never get married but, when someone is opting for arranged marriage these types of proposals can be very disconcerting. Anyway my sister got married to a first time offender and he turned out be a pretty good man.
But the point I was trying to make is, there are lots of men and women over the age of thirty who are still single and are still hopeful to finding a partner which gives me hope that there might still be someone for me. But being curious by nature I cannot help myself having some fun when I am surfing the matrimonial site and checking various profiles and the list of demands and expectations the perspective bride and her family have or as a matter of fact the list and demands from the men’ side. Will only marry if the boy has an engineering degree or please do not send proposal if your salary is less than xyz which is, I suppose fair. A while back my mother spoke to a concerned party but they had reservation that I was lot older than their daughter who in fact was only six years younger to me but they did not want the age gap to be more then 3 or 4 years. But the fact is if a man is 34 he is looking forward to marry a girl who is 28 years old and after that it just becomes a vicious circle.
According to my mother this will be her last ditch attempt to help me find a girl and I corrected her she needs to find me a woman because I can no longer aspire to be with a girl. Anyway she was not amused and then we started our quest. Soon the filter process began, too educated for you, makes more money then you, she seems to be very fussy and particular and once we had all the selected ID’s written cleanly on a dairy, we start bombarding. It’s like firing as many arrows in the dark hoping to hit a target.
kabhi toh milegi kahin toh milegi baharon ki manzil…….
Years by years, months by months we see very many new TV shows launching, which may seem to have strong women characters, or at least trying to portray the empowerment in women, but, gradually these very strong women characters turn into the same Saas-Bahu Soap characters who are playing weak and helpless roles, or in a very negative role where women themselves are sabotaging the other female characters. Amid of all these, one day while I was just browsing through the TV to find something to interest myself in, I found a show which won my heart. A group of women who bike away to the remotest towns of the country to make music that is inspired by real life women heroes was a breath of fresh air.
MTV’s Angels of Rock, is a show that reaches out to women who have made extraordinary contributions through their ordinary lives to the society, along with beautifully fusing music with travel. It is the first time in the history of Indian TV, a show is led by all female cast and crew, which has four female celebrities, road tripping their way around India and covering different cities while at it, each with a well-defined cause for women empowerment in mind. The four protagonists the show has chosen are four young singers from different backgrounds. These are women of substance who have at a young age broken the mould in their own small way. Even if they haven’t broken through the capricious Indian music industry, they have made some significant dents in the scheme of things and they are not afraid to speak their voice.
Four of Bollywood’s most loved and incredibly talented singers, the ‘Pareshan’ girl Shalmali Kholgade, ‘Gulaabo’ girl Anusha Mani, ‘Yaar na mile’ fame Jasmine Sandlas and the youngest of all Akasa Singh of ‘India’s Raw Star’ fame, come together and take on a journey of a lifetime - cooking, doing radio shows and composing music on their way. They will not only just mingle with the people they meet, but also live in the same fashion as the locals wherever they go and perform fun tasks to get a taste of the real lives of women in the villages of India. Among many, the biggest challenge these singers have to face will be bringing out the raw, real, and inspiring side of these women with the songs they will be composing on the go.
The show’s main focus is on showcasing female power, in saying ‘yes, we can’. Yet the format of the reality show remains a tricky ground as the four lead women should be able to empathize, bond, and translate onto the camera a camaraderie with the real heroines of the country who probably have never engaged with a TV camera. It is exactly this ruggedly feminine aspect of the show that should work with audiences currently spoilt for viewing choices across digital platforms. This show offers it all- original music for all music lovers, travel delights, and storytelling.
The show producers chose to make use of Bullet, for the girls to travel on, where they could have easily have had them riding on a Scooty instead. But they made sure they singers took classes for bike riding and used Bullet, as it would bring out an element of challenge, ruggedness and an assertion that these girls are of substances more than just mellifluous voices, and a willingness to stretch physical limits further. Not just the crew but even the guitarists and drummers chosen for the show are women.
Angels of Rock is definitely a tribute to the ever-growing spirit of Indian women and their legacy in a contemporary way and is absolutely worth a watch. The energy between the four is palpable and the enthusiasm infectious. Their trysts with bike riding strikes a chord with every girl who has struggled to move on beyond riding a bicycle. The way MTV and Sunsilk have come together to redefine the stereotypical dependent woman in daily soaps is truly admirable.
I’m absolutely in love with the show, and I hope you too don’t forget to catch it every Sunday at 8pm, on MTV India.