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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nakusha - The Ugly Duckling turns into a beautiful swan, everytime!

The promos of Laagi Tujhse Lagan created the right kind of buzz and anticipation. It promised to be the story of the proverbial ‘ugly duckling’. But unlike fairy tales where the ugly duckling grew up to be a beautiful swan, this held out no such promise. In fact the sneak peaks that were aired kept harping upon the fact that Nakusha, the lead character, had an amazing story to tell not because of her looks, rather in spite of her looks.

Prime time Hindi television had already had its ugly duckling-beautiful swan transformation in the form of Sony’s Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin (a cult serial of its time). Nakusha promised not to be another Jassi. The fact that this serial is a product of Paresh Rawal’s production house lent more validity to this claim. When the serial began it stayed true to its promos. Nakusha indeed turned out to be not so blessed in the ‘looks’ department. In fact such were Nakusha’s looks that her neighbour made her naughty child drink milk by just invoking her name. Her dark complexion, crooked nose, joined eyebrows-her entire being in fact made people laugh out loud or shrink back in horror and disgust.

Sadly, Nakusha turned out to be another beautiful girl hiding behind a facade of ugliness. Her almost perfect features and complexion was hidden from the world by her mother who did not want her daughter to draw to herself the unwarranted sexual advances of men. However the truth has come out. Her mother’s worst fears have also come true as the evil and corrupt Inspector More is now hell bent on marrying her. He even intends to sell her off post marriage as he in convinced that her beauty will fetch him a handsome price.

Laagi Tujhse Lagan was promising to be a different serial, one that would talk about not the pretty princess but about her not so beautiful sister, standing far back, hidden from the arc lights. Sadly it did not deliver on its promise. It is yet another story of a fair skinned beautiful girl. The fact that the makers of this serial also had the temerity to equate dark skin with ugliness is something that is not good for a country that is so obsessed with fairness. By talking in terms of stereotypes (fair=pretty; dark=hideous), the serial has reaffirmed this already unfair notion that values fairness of skin. It is high time that our serials talked of normal girls, who are average in their looks but outstanding otherwise. Let us all remember that beauty is not just skin deep.

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