Prime-time television in India is not really known for sensible content. Especially the soap operas. I have never been a fan but one tedious evening, I switched on the telly and sat through one “saas-bahu” serial after another.
What was it about family dramas that kept millions of Indian women glued to their TV sets each evening? I intended to find out.
In one such episode, a mother-in-law laments the loss of an unborn grandchild.
I wondered how the mother-in-law could be so sure the unborn child was male. Did she get a sex-determination test done? Or was it some divine revelation.
As the story of one serial after the other unfolded on screen, I realized that to be the “perfect” woman on Indian television, one needed to be a docile housewife and sacrifice everything for the family’s happiness.