By Gaurav Jain
Every weekday in the Connected Hum Tum TV Blog we’ll be posting and talking about the latest goings-on of the six women cantering around Mumbai recording their lives with video cameras. (Read The Curtain-Raiser post for a quick intro to the show.)
They’ve begun fighting, thank goodness. The ugly frowns, the mildewed noses, the burred tongues. Tonight’s episode was themed on Preparations. Madhavi is prepping the house for her pregnant daughter’s impending delivery. Pallavi is prepping for a house party for her new (invisible) daddyji-in-law. Preeti is prepping for her son’s sports day. Sonal is prepping for her girlfriend Jaanu’s coming out of the closet to her parents.
Madhavi’s prep turned out to be the flimsiest of the lot, just something bunged in to complete the set, so thankfully we weren’t subjected to her jabbering to the camera. She came, she left.
Speaking of the power of the medium, Sharanya, is it possible that Sanju is becoming more of a gargoyle? Not only will he not let his family come with him on holiday, he also won’t socialize with them in town. Is he having an affair or a secret surgery? But then he opens his mouth and out tumbles that sweet childish baritone, and I wonder again what’s really going on under that red towel of hair…
Anyway, Sanju says he’ll pass on Sports Day. Preeti trains her son in the park with another man’s help. Sanju buys the kid a lot of shoes.
The one electric moment in the episode was when Sonal and Jaanu went to buy a sasta, sundar, tikau phone for Jaanu — you know, an extra one in case her parents steal hers and lock her up somewhere. Then she’ll be able to call Sonal for help. That phone. I was aghast and worried at Jaanu’s nonchalance at what is to be done. Sonal continued to be torn and worried about it, and remained freshly frank to the camera. As Sonal kept trying to be reasonable and grown up and wise about her feckless gf, about how we can prep all we want and yet we still do contrary things, I began wishing she’d had some euphoric moments or some screaming match with Jaanu before she let her go. But hey, maybe she did.
But the episode was really Pallavi’s. Hers is the dilemma to watch, since it involves Dalbir (and his invisible family), who is much more aggressive and peevish and much less sweeter than Sanju. He’s either charmingly carefree and happy or rooting his nose in the bin for a fight. Dalbir and Sanju are less conscious of the camera, and they’re more barbed, more lemony, flakier than the women. Pallavi feels she must make this a successful marriage and so accepts the pressure to be more domestically available. Her planned party for her father-in-law grinds to halt due to his doctor’s visit, which is probably a good thing. But there’s still no clarity for her — she’s muddling through, and there’s bound to be more drama.
Pallavi and Preeti and their absent men. What Abhay Deol calls the ‘double role’ dilemma — of balancing professional and domestic lives — is not really a problem for the women. It’s just that they’re doing it alone, and their partners keep tilting the balance.