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Gullak Season 3 Is Heartwarming 

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Gullak 3

Gullak Season 3

Rating: *** 1/2 

It is now  time for the  third season of the  much-loved series which relies on  no  extraneous  props to pump up its  visibility value. The hallmark of  good writing was  never  props and  accessories. Gullak  takes you   back to the basics of good  storytelling .

This is a family of  4, father Santosh Mishra(Jameel Khan) , mother Shanti(Gitanjali Kulkarni) and  their two teenaged sons.That’s it. All the drama, if one may call  it that, unravels through the day-to-day domestic drudgery of an average family in an unnamed  North Indian town.

I adore the anonymity  of  the  location: this  could be  any small town in the  North Indian  heartland,  Jameel Khan and  Gitanjali Kulkarni  are the  kind of faceless actors( and I  mean that as the highest compliment  for an  actor) who can blend and merge  into any culture .

It is  the ordinariness  of  the  characters  in  Gullak  that makes them so  extraordinary. The characters  sparkle in their  mundaneness. The   drabness of  their lives accentuates  their   resilience.This is  the  middleclass  at its  sugar-free best.No  sweetening  of  the  bitter  truth  but no over-dramatizing for effect either.  Gullak is the  opposite of the  poverty-porn  of  Slumdog Millionaires.

It is like the  kalakands  that  Santosh  Mishra  decides to  bring home one  day for his family in Season 3. While the  two sons  devour the treat  wife Gitanjali frowns, “Sugar-free laate toh main bhi kha leti.”

No matter how precious  and rare the moments  of celebration, there  is  always that feeling of  destiny  stealing up on the  Mishra family to  diminish the  joy of the moment.

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But that doesn’t stop them  from  eking out  the  elixir of pleasure  from the  pain.

The writing by Durgesh Singh is  easygoing and bouncy,never letting the clouds eclipse  the sunshine. This is  original writing recalling the austere simplicity  of Doordarshan’s  halcyon days of Humlog, Buniyaad and Khaandaan. The canvas is  stripped  of all  vanity, the  actors are  not the least interested in  promoting themselves.

The last  time I saw the aspirations of the fringe families of the Indian middleclass so  astutely  represented was  in  Applause Entertainment’s Scam 1992. In that epoch-defining series, the aspirational domesticity  of an average middleclass   family was turned  inside  out.

In Gullak the  mood of  unchanging  frugality  is held steady  from season to season.Palash Vaswani’s direction  is minimalistic  to the  point  of  supreme selfeffacement.

Nothing is  going to change  for the Mishras. That’s what makes them  so special. This is the other end  of  the RRR  universe in the Indian entertainment  industry.

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