Written By: Emma Alam
In 400 B.C, it was custom among Greeks to organize drama in rituals and festivals. Renowned playwrights were asked to present their creations; each writer had to represent three tragedies under the term “trilogy” after that a comedy play was presented in order to give relief. The drama was executed on large scale in opera with an open invitation to the people from all walks of life. The main objective of this activity was to impart knowledge in terms of religion, ethics, norms, cultural values; heroic deeds of their ancestors were revealed with full dignity and grandeur.
Today, in twenty 21st century era, when we hold remote of hundred channels, most of the fingers stick to only one and keep on trying to increase the clutch, until someone else is able to snatch. Almost in each family this kind of fight over remote can be observed, where females want to watch none other than STAR PLUS, the most happening one; why? Perhaps no one can answer this simple question. Star freaks are so much absorbed in these soaps (entertainment in installments) that they can’t live without; neither they get boredom nor lose patience. Sometimes it becomes an irritation to sit in front of screen watching these thirty minutes soaps at stretch, a kind of dose becoming an addiction day by day. Regarding merits and demerits we find the characters neither flat nor round, indulging in unethical activities, that excite, ignite and tempt youngsters to great extent. The issue of illegitimate child and unwed mother is common in every second story; prevalence of illicit relations being the spice of whole recipe reflect deterioration of social values in stages. In every tale, a woman protagonist is dominating and manipulating others consistently and her counterpart man is bound to obey her in each matter. Male characters sit idly at home all the daylong, busy in resolving domestic disputes, being indulge in family politics we see them confronting and arguing over trivial issues; on the other hand their huge business empires are run by some invisible magical hands,
Hardly we see any professional attitude in their conversation and body language rather they seem mere emotional fools. Dialogues often don’t suit with their emergence. Each “parivar” is shown as business tycoon without struggling, striving or putting an effort into work life. Each person talks about a deal of 100 crore and a tender of 700 crore, only the “hero” gets these gigantic tenders leaving behind all his competent rivals, who might be more capable than him.
And sometimes this undefeated “hero” loses all the fortune incidentally, comes down on road in a very miserable plight. Even after this drastic financial collapse he puts on the same stylish clothes and accessories. In one episode, protagonist’s family members accuse himher of all the calamity, agony and suffering they are facing, throw himher out of their dwelling place and in the next episode all the misunderstandings, conflicts, clashes get resolved, all of sudden they begin to shower their compassion, sympathy and love on their beloved sondaughter, that happens repeatedly without any logical or causal link.
Every now & then we see main characters facing misfortunes, experiencing tragedies, undertaking series of co incidents, living in future, brooding over past almost oblivious of their present. ”pooja” and “arti” are the favourite activities of women, they feel much delight in fasting for their husband’s life every fortnight, arranging religious events twice a week, shedding tears on every changing moment, giving long speeches replete with references from their historical epics like “Mahabharata” and “Ramayana”, portray themselves as their ancient goddesses Saraswati, Paarvati, Lakshmi,and Durga etc , seem quite away from the real life human beings, unable we are to identify with themselves.
A vampire plays a vital role in each drama, who traps everyone in her charms, uses them for her personal interest and treats them as sheer puppets in her fingers. In the beginning, evils look like devils, neither they go through nemesis nor they face the music of their sinister deeds, they feel no guilt or regret, completely ignorant to the pangs of conscience. Suddenly we locate extremely wicked persons converting into saint-like nobles and vice versa.
Play usually lasts for years and years that factor influence the plot and theme to an extent. Just for the sake of sponsorships through ad-films, the channel has to compromise on quality, thought, plot, theme, essential ingredients and parameters of drama set by classic literature over centuries around the globe. It has become “theatre of absurd “owing to its farce, ludicrous and boisterous tragedies which seem tragii comedies indeed. Simultaneously has lost its status regarding mirror to 21st century society, rather inculcating social values, deviating masses from their culture.
Talking about the brighter side of these endless tragedies where we witness characters roaming around splendid, gorgeous sets in a very pleasant ambiance. SP has set the trend of spectacle (stage settings), which is made in accordance with aesthetic requirements of viewers. Despite all this, repetition of backgrounds occur in different plays of the same channel, because behind every project there is the same art director, stylist, concept writer, visualizer, and the cast. Background music is often too loud to tolerate. Progress in the field of plastic surgery has helped the stars of “plus” a lot because repeatedly they have to rush in order to change their visage entirely, after an accident, this “Face Off” therapy proves an exile for one character and becomes the cause of new entry for model cum actor who, with his unique performance changes completely the façade of serial and becomes the reason of downfall.
Always a house wife is seen in party dress while staying at home, nevertheless women are keen to watch these stereotype figures on screen, dreaming themselves in those gaudy outfits, loaded with jewels, gems and pearls. This kind of fantasy proves a relief to every next-door girlwoman; such world of imagination takes them far away from their daily hectic routine life in the form of an escape. Time leaves no consequences on these characters, as they look awfully young even, after the breach of two decades. Their minor activities draw full attention of media and press as they are often chased by reporters anchors.
On the other hand this channel lacks in thought, spirit and motivation, although a major source of penetration but giving no message at all.
Hardly we get any female character doing some valuable work outdoors or participating actively for some noble cause or society; rather she is busy all the time in family politics either +vly or –vly.
Different fields and outlets have never been touched whereas, in this era woman is performing lots of other duties besides household activities, but on screen she is depicted as mere source of amusement, is confined only to drawing rooms, ball rooms and bars. Even on work place she is draped in glitzy dress and loud makeup. All these aspects show limited range of the story line as middle and lower classes remain untouched.
Superstition plays a key role because most of the titles start with letter ‘K’ and this phenomenon also prevails throughout due to it’s existence in the sub conscious of all the participants.
Drama being a form of “Catharsis” gives vent to pent up feelings and emotions. It is said that the excitement of tragedy provides a safe outlet for our feelings, which we cannot express in actual life. But it demands it’s appropriate and necessary requirements that provide a soul to an “ideal play”, which is an imitation not only of a complete action but also of incidents arousing ‘pity’ and ‘fear’. Magnitude i-e the proper length of a tragic play is essential:
“It must be a whole story, not a collection of incidents”.
Apart from this a good play must have Prologue (beginning), middle and Exode (end). It should have good reason for beginning where it does and for ending where it does.