Photo: The Hindu
- Make no mistake – being addicted to a mega serial is hard work. You’re in it for the long haul. We’re not talking a couple of weeks or even months. These serials run for at least a couple of years at a stretch and you need to be mentally prepared to go the distance with its long-suffering heroine.
- Remember, these serials have been built as an extreme test of patience, so you have to persevere. Every emotionally wrought situation – the heroine’s long-lost sister has suddenly reappeared but has amnesia! Her husband has been shot in the head and his life hangs by a thread! – will be as drawn out for as long as it possibly can, and you will have to withstand many, many weekend cliff-hangers. (You might want to practice deep breathing for those moments when the urge to wring the director’s neck is particularly strong.)
- Anyone who believes that watching a tele-serial doesn’t exercise the ol’ brain cells has obviously never followed one before. It isn’t just those complicated plot twists (see above) that keep you on your toes mentally; it’s also those entire generation shifts that happen every now and again (a whole new cast to keep track of!) and all those convoluted relationships that need to be followed (the first husband’s third wife’s illegitimate daughter’s best friend’s half brother, etc.) A serial family tree tacked to the living room wall is strongly recommended.
- Being a serial addict also requires considerable emotional investment. Following those catastrophic events that happen to your favourite characters every week – murder, betrayal, family feuds and the odd heart attack or two – can be quite exhausting. But a true addict doesn’t fight it; give in to the blatantly manipulative storylines, revel in the melodramatic music, fret and fume vocally at injustices meted out to the heroine and shed a sentimental tear at her ultimate triumph over evil (and philandering husbands).
- Finally, following a mega serial day after day, week after week requires planning. You will have a wedding reception/family dinner/office function to attend precisely on the day a crucial revelation about the heroine’s parentage is to be made. Inconsiderate friends/family members will interrupt when the drama’s at its peak. Your motto must be ‘be prepared’: recorders on standby at all times, re-air times on your fingertips, and the world at large prepped that only the most dire emergencies need apply for your attention during that period.
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