So I woke up to a whole new world on Twitter on Monday and found that Joesph Kony had been knocked off his reigning position as trending king on Twitter and been replaced by Ram Kapoor. Twitter was abuzz with jokes about how someone fat and obese and unattractive like Ram Kapoor had got it on while the entire country watched. Now since I know only one Ram Kapoor – who is a portly but very talented TV actor – I thought, going by the stray tweets that here was a victim of another sting operation which must have caught Mr. Kapoor in a honeytrap with some starlet. So I turned to the one-stop eye on the world, www.google.com, to find that something far more earth-shattering and revolutionary had happened.
Ram Kapoor had done the unthinkable. He had actually filmed Hindi television’s first televised kiss. Just to backtrack slightly, Ram Kapoor who has acted in a number of soaps and now in films like Udaan, acts in Ekta Kapoor’s super successful soap, Bade Acche Lagte Hain on Sony, in which he is paired opposite the erstwhile bahu from Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, Sakshi Tanwar. The soap itself has been in the news for a while because it’s a step away from Kapoor’s usual family dramas replete with Kabuki-faced actors playing mistresses and mothers-in-law from hell in slow motion.
Bade Acche Lagte Hain is about a 40-something, portly, intelligent man who marries a 30-something attractive, intelligent woman who actually works for a living and the show revolves around their blossoming romance and life. The show has been in the news for being devoid of evil in-laws and Antilla-sized mansions and sets that look like leftovers from Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana. No one thought the show would be a success, but Bade Acche Lagte Hainhas set television screens on fire, and even my mother says she watches it now.
Which is the reason why, despite me never having the privilege of watching the show before, I got to watch the episode on Monday night. My mother had been informed by her friends that that was the night Ram Kapoor and the demure Sakshi Tanwar were going to make the beast with two backs after several months of being married on the show. And she was most pleased for them, because what a wonderful normal couple they were. I, in all my Twitter wisdom, informed my mother that it wasn’t really the sex which was of focal point, but a kiss which had been shown in all its glory.
So there we sat in front of the telly, paying scant attention to our crab curry and rice, knowing very well that this kiss might just come and go in the time it takes us to lean over and pick up a crab claw from the bowl. Sure enough, Ekta Kapoor didn’t disappoint. There WAS a kiss. But while it did not happen in the blink of an eyelid, it reminded me of the kiss Devika Rani and the comatose Himanshu Rai shared in Karma. That kiss had lasted four minutes and shaken and stirred the country and its morals and loins. This kiss lasted nearly as long, but neither did you see their lips touch nor did they move. Ram Kapoor grabbed Sakshi Tanwar and pulled her to him, and then they both turned into waxworks. I kid you not. You could see neither of their lips, but many close-up shots of their immobile closed eyes and inclining heads. Himanshu Rai’s comatose body and lips were more involved in the kissing than any body parts of these two actors.
So that was that. A 40-second-long invisible kiss between two characters had set the Twitter world and entertainment news aflutter. And like Arnab Goswami, I have to ask what does this say about our nation? That an imperceptible kiss creates news, and that Ram Kapoor is mocked and dissed for being fat and portly and still managing to get it on with someone?
That the average Joe in India is sexually repressed is not news, going by the number of incidents of aggressive sexual behaviour which get reported from the very metros where programmes such as this are huge hits. So it’s no wonder we’ve been set aflutter by this demonstration of physical affection on television. But the gunning for Ram Kapoor because he’s fat amazes me. After all, the average Indian man and woman carries around at least 10 extra kilos between them. And still these same people keep copulating and procreating and carrying on with their unfit lives and then writing incredibly unfunny tweets like @z_jain: “Move Aside ! Move Aside ! Ram Kapoor needs 6 of 10 trending spots to trend completely.” Or @TheMantallBwoy: “That awkward moment when #BALH production people call a crane to separate Ram Kapoor from Sakshi Tanwar after that love making scene.” So why cock a snook at Ram Kapoor?
Whether the naysayers and mocking birds on Twitter like it or not, rotund Ram Kapoor is a successful television star seemingly unbothered by his flabbiness. So let’s cut the fat man some slack. As Cole Porter sang, “…birds do it, bees do it, Even educated fleas do it,” so why not Ram Kapoor and everyone else who’s tipping the scales slightly more than they should? Maybe a few more kisses and scenes of couples having consenting sex on TV might help the general attitude towards women and sex in the country.
And through it all, let’s remember this, a kiss is but a kiss.
Rajyasree Sen is a bona fide foodie, culture-vulture and unsolicited opinion-giver. You can read about her adventures with food and life in Delhi on her blog www.brownsahiba.blogspot.com or follow her at @rajyasree