A ten year old married to a woman eight years older than him: a Hindi serial called Pehredaar Piya Ki romanticizes the absurd.
Indian television has hit rock bottom with the production of Pehredaar Piya Ki, that follows the story of a young prince who gets married to his caretaker, a princess much older to him.
A few centuries ago, such things were known to happen amongst the royalty of India to forge alliances and strengthen their kingdoms. Child brides, promised alliances, polygamy, dowry and sati—but I think we can all agree that being part of the 21st century means we ridicule and shun such practices, that we’ve grown as a nation enough to see that children are meant to be playing ball instead of being traded around like goods to secure wealthy associations. And while such practices still happen, it’s not something that we approve of…right? It’s something we fight to stop…and yet, we have Sony airing a show which is romanticizing the absurd.
If the show was exploring the different ways in which humans were oppressed, and the culture and traditions of those days perhaps it wouldn’t be such a disaster but to make it seem like a love story between a child and an older woman—forgive me, but how did this story even get approval?
TV serials are a major part of the routine of many housewives and elderly people as a way to pass time; many homes watch these serials together as a family and while most of them are overly dramatic and full of malevolent characters and ridiculous plot lines, they also influence the people of the household on a subconscious level. Imagine families sitting down to watch a serial where romantic moments between a ten-year-old boy and an eighteen-year-old girl are celebrated, imagine them eagerly waiting for the next episode just for the drama and think of the little minds of that household who will assume that this is completely normal, that the next college going girl they see could be their wives or vice versa. Imagine your favorite romantic movies and replace the hero with a child, a child who flirts with the heroine and makes those grand declarations of love, imagine instead of SRK in DDLJ we had a little boy who chased after Kajol (presumably with his parents by his side because he can’t travel alone) because he was so in love with her. Now imagine that hero-child actually marrying the heroine and their love story being glorified.
With serials like Pehredaar Piya Ki being aired it seems like we’re moving backwards in the field of entertainment.