Rainbow Rishta(Prime Video; 6 Episodes)
It isn’t so much about coming out. It is what happens after coming out that occupies the epicenter of this happy sunshine-filled almost-euphoric lives of several memorably showcased members of the LGBTQ community, all of whom seem to be gunning for the glorious happy ending at the end of the rainbow.
And never mind if the rainbow remains rigidly symbolic. Equality for the gay/trans community is a distant dream. This optimistic series, well executed by a team which knows how to pull those heads in the clouds in the politically acceptable direction,swerves away from the struggles of the community to focus on how happy gay persons can be if they set their hearts on it.
Only one trans woman Daniella Mendoca’s dark past is mentioned. But it is the present that the series gifts to Daniella.Her wedding occupies a chunk of the narrative.
In Kolkata, a lesbian couple Aneez Saikia and Sanam Choudhary, are looking for a home together. The brokers’ reactions when they are told that the two girl are not just friends, are an amusing mirror of society struggling to come to terms with a rapidly changing moral order where alternative sexuality is no longer taboo; and yet an open acceptance of same-sex relationships is not yet fully feasible.
A question that begs an answer at this point is: why is it so important for the LGBTQ community to not only get acceptance but also to reinforce the new acceptance in every walk of life ?If for example, Anees and Sanam(both look like kids) cannot get a home together, why can’t they move in together without punctuating their sexual preference. No one is asking them to hide their sexual preference. But no one is asking them their sexual preference either. You don’t go to a restaurant and say, ‘Okay I am gay. Now will you serve me dinner?’
There is a disturbing element of defiant exhibitionism in the new woke avatar of the LGBTQIA+ community. This element is amply and blissfully celebrated in this series. The homosexual/trans characters in this series are all well-placed wage-earning individuals. Their sexuality is not threatened. What happens to gays and tansgenders in small towns and villages who have no access to the knowledge or wealth to protect themselves from extraneous attacks?
It is all neatly arranged for the sexually deviant community on Rainbow Rishta, none more so than Ayushman who transforms into a cross-dressing diva under the arclights in the night with the seductive stage name of Lush Monsoon.
The transformative urge dominates the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community in Rainbow Rishta. Being queer is not a problem for them. Not even social acceptance. Their problems, like dating through apps, look rather easy to solve when we consider the real challenges faced by the marginalized communities in our county.