through the daily soaps on television today, and a viewer finds that a
woman’s closest companion is not her husband, mom, sister or even a pet
– rather its her makeup. Women seem to eat, sleep, wake up with prim
and polished faces covered in make up.
Look at any lady on TV, even those who
are supposedly mothers and grandmothers at the ages of forty plus look
ever so perfect as they are soaked in make up and adorned with heavy
saris and elaborate jewelry. Even vamps like the very popular Jigyasa
of Kasamh Se fame, a grandmother of a 8/9 year old, is clad in heavy
make up and huge bindis.
One must wonder that will reality
ever strike television? Or is it that we, as television viewers, have
become normalised to this world of fantasy? Do we expect women to look
beautiful and that too with make up on 24 x 7? Does makeup really
equate beauty or is it a false depiction that Indian television is
providing us with?
We caught up with the most stylish grandma of Hindi Television soap - Jigyasa, played by Ashwini Kalsekar.
The lady is quick to deny that the ladies on tv overdo their get up and don't dress according to the situation required.
'This is not true at all. I have never over dressed or used makeup if the situation is so,' she states emphatically. 'Like
I had some chawl scenes to do, and I did not wear any makeup, no kohl ,
no eyeliners, no lipstick. Just some basic minimum foundation.'
But what about the everyday scenes, where the lady gets up in the
morning in humongous amount of jewellery and goes to bed in the same.
Once more, the lady goes into denial.
' Again not true. If
there has been a scene where I am required to be shown as retiring for
the night, I take care to remove my jewellery, and make up.'
But that does not explain the loads of make up and the heavy sarees in everyday life! We counter. ' To some extent, I agree to that, she mellows down after giving it a thought.' But then,' she further elaborates,'
some amount of glamour is needed in a daily soap. Moreover, many women
don't feel comfortable without any makeup on. So that could explain the
heavy make up.'
That is what we
are talking about. Isn't it unrealistic that a woman has to wear such
heavy silks and gold ornaments 24/7 which claw at the senses? ' See,' the pretty lady pauses, ' it's
not that we have to wear them. We get loads of sarees from the
production houses in a month and we choose from them. And then everyone
has a certain image to portray in the soap. We decide with the
designers in the beginning what our look is going to be like. Then
every month, we are sent about 20 sarees, with blouses, jewellery and
the accessories. I have never worn anything personal other than my
chappals so far in Kasamh Se. Also, we sometimes reject what we get and
ask for something else. But it has to go with the character.'
But why don't we see simple elegant salwars of light chiffons? ' I
think many of the ladies are now seen in such light sarees and chic
looks. But as I said, it depends a lot on the character portrayed.' Ashwini explains. '
Moreover, we have such long hours of shoot. Frankly, it gets very
difficult to have heavy make up on in one scene, remove it for the next
and put it back on for the one after. It's just not feasible. It's a
technical problem, and there is no simple solution. That is one reason
why you might at times see the ladies going to bed with their full
makeup on. In fact, personally, as soon as I get the script in hand, I
check it and if I have any scenes that day which require little make
up, I shoot them first.'
The gorgeous onscreen grandmother makes a valid point as she signs off.
All the more reason to bring back subtle looks with elegant and contemporary dressing style. Don't you all think so?