There would be numerous instances of how prime time TV comprising the baas, the saases, the bahus and four to five of their following generations (and counting), the privilege of which is beyond the understanding of any human being, affects the bona fide baas, saases and bahus of our world.
Firstly, I’ve seen people hold up their hands in incredulous agony when a protagonist in the soap is killed off, albeit temporarily of course. Screeches of “Nahiiiiiii” from the various make-up dolls surrounding the dead corpse on screen and the terror unleashed on people on this side of the TV set make the hackneyed dialogue “Main lut gayi, barbaad ho gayi” sound refreshingly new. This junk is then followed up with ear drum-traumatizing musiiiiiiiiiic (The relay is as distorted and disturbing as the word “music” written in this format and can give rock star-cum-nasal connoisseur Himesh Reshammiya a run for his money.) and split-second snapshots of bewildered support cast in a sequence generated by no particular algorithm.
Later on, our fellow humans scamper for the post-commercial break previews shown at the onset of the break. These will again have sense-flouting tit bits of the horror to follow soon. These commercial breaks see the instigation of two significant events – the mute button being pressed on the remote control and anxious housewives dashing out of their drawing rooms to check on whether the food being cooked for work-exhausted husbands hasn’t scalded, yet still more bothered about the upcoming progression of events on their TV screens.
Finally, as the display of life-defying torment comes to an end, you have a set of events which will generate a massive amount of curiosity and trigger phone calls, nation-altering debates and an assurance to the soap producers that we are firmly seated on the bandwagon and looking forward more than ever to next day’s histrionics.
Life is normal again. Well, at least till tomorrow.