Television romances are not limiting themselves to the jaded idea that only the young can be in love
Cupid strikes again on Indian television. After hordes of shows on young romances, its now the turn of the older lot to turn on the heat. We have shows like Bade Achche Lagte Hai and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, which have proved with its on-going popularity that audiences are enjoying the adult love-stories.
Ram Kapoor and Shakshi Tanwar in Bade Achche Lagte Hai
The older man--younger girl syndrome has been tried with some success and some duds in films like Lamhe, Nishabd, Joggers Park and Cheeni Kum. Now it's television that is experiencing the trend and from the looks of it, is giving the young love stories a run for their money.
Monish Behl and Kritika Kamra in Kuch Toh Log Kahenge
Playing the suave and mature Dr Ashutosh in KTLK, Mohnish Behl has rediscovered a fan base among the young girls "It's embarrassing when young girls who are my daughter's age find me appealing. In fact, my daughter is always surfing up their comments on me and describes it as 'drooling'. Which man and which actor would not like such a reaction?" he smiles shyly before elaborating, "I guess the whole process of two people who are a complete mismatch falling in love is what appeals to the audience."
Analysing this trend, he says, "This concept is not completely new to television. We saw the theme in shows of the late 90's like Saans, Amaanat and Tara. This was followed by the whole movement of family dramas, and then the reality shows. Now, the mature love stories are back. Our audiences want a change constantly." Writer Kamlesh Pandey offers an interesting perspective to this, "We are talking about two individuals with a 18 year gap. Then there are the logical issues that friends and families bring forth which I am tackling head-on in this show. You will find many girls going for older men because they are looking for a father figure as opposed to younger guys who they find irresponsible and immature."
Nikki Aneja and Varun Badola in Astitiva
Actress Neha Marda who played the 15-year-old bride to her 55-year-old husband in Balika Vadhu echoes a similar sentiment "They are experienced, mature and aware. Though my character Gehna is forced into marriage, she has reached a level of comfort with her husband, which is based on trust and understanding if not love"
Bade Achche Lagte Hai is another show which has caught on with the audiences in a big way. Happily single Rupali Ganguly candidly reveals that shows like this have saved her from being pressurised into marriage "My dad comes from a conservative Bengali family where a daughter has to be married off at a young age, but this show makes him believe that a guy like Ram Kapoor, irrespective of his age, will come in my life eventually."
She echoes the sentiment of many single girls who are busy with their life and career to get bogged down with marriage. Television is doing its bit in showcasing and encouraging this trend. The concept of age gap is proving to be a huge draw. Remember the successful Ajai Sinha directed Astitiva where Nikki Aneja successfully essayed the role of the older wife to Varun Badola. Probably taking a cue from this, we hear that Aamna Sharif is all set to make a TV comeback with a love story opposite a younger guy. TV shows finally seem to have come of age.