Icchadhari naag and naagin mating to the background score of ‘been’ are back on the small screen with Naagin 3. Since Bollywood discovered the tune of the ‘sapera’s been’, it has doled out one movie after another delving on the supernatural thrillers revolving around snakes seeking revenge for the loss of their loved ones a.k.a icchadari naag or naagin. So much so, that it has become a proven formula for commercial success.
More than anything these serials likes Sasural Simar Ka, Naagin, and the likes shoot up and sometimes break all records of TRP with an overwhelming response from women in Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. More than 90% of the viewers are ladies, smitten by the repackaging of the rotten tale of a naagin seaking revenge because her lover naag is killed in the midst of the mating ritual.
Tell that to the Chinese who have been relishing Snake Soup for over 2000 years. Or the West Africans who consume snakes as a significant part of the local cuisines, or those videos on youtube running into hundreds showing Vietnamese children catching snakes and chopping their head off for a meal. Guess, they have never considered been victim to a intimacy deprived naagin seeking them out for vengeance.
Television Drama Queen Ekta Kapoor has come up with another peculiar narrative with Naagin 3 with old wine in a new bottle. A bunch of icchadari naagins turned into human form wearing the Khajuraho style dresses would appear in multiple frames to keep the small number of male audience engrossed. There will be a business tycoon who will want to demolish the ‘Maha Shiv Mandir’ to build some fancy hotel or retail complex. He will rubbish the viewpoint of everyone advising him not to do so. And the powerful snakes living in the mandir will kill one and all. At some point there will be an icchadari naag and naagin couple who will take human form after 100 or perhaps 100s of years only to consummate their love on a fateful night when the tycoons son or some relative will separate the two. The naag will be murdered and the naagin will seek revenge for the rest of the episodes. And guess what … sabke sab marenge.
How many in the audience actually know how to differentiate one snake bite from another? I am told the first season ran 66 God damn episodes. Quite possible. All such dumb serials will show huge joint families wearing designer wear for family dinners … the imagery itself is far from the reality of India. And because ‘sabke sab marenge’, 50-60 episodes is easy to pull off. Kill in one episode, mourn in the next. Make 5 repeat shots of the same frame and the 20-25 minutes of daily airtime is easy to kill (pun intended).