Asit Modi, the producer or creator of India’s iconic and eternal comedy show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah is a proud, satisfied man. He has etched history by airing 3000 entertaining episodes, a feat from the fables given the short life-span of majority of TV shows in India.
I remember when I first met him at his office, he showed me a creative corner, where he, along with his exemplary team of writers, weave humour-laden scripts & screenplays, meant to tickle millions of Indians, one episode after another. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is a marathon runner who never loses his droll steam.
Comedy is equal parts darkness and light. It requires acute acumen to find the perfect balance, a seamless semblance which is light-hearted but not silly, edgy but not toothless, enough for the giggle, minus the long-winded mock-ups. Mark Twain said: The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
What makes Taarak Mehta so addictive? Why do people return to it day after day? Soaring top of the chart viewership on TV and even on the web, emerging triumphant at a time when the content boom chaos is deafening and drowning?
For answer, rather than wearing the hat of a specialist, we spoke to Bidhan Majhi, an avid fan of the show from West Bengal (also a reader of IWMBuzz).
We asked, why do you watch Taarak?
“It’s fun. It makes me laugh so much. I have my dinner and watch it. The actors are so funny.”
There is success in simplicity. Bidhan, a regular TV audience, doesn’t philosophise much, for him, a comedy show must be funny. It’s that easy.
Taarak’s simplicity is its secret sauce. The show brings forth the feeling of togetherness. The mantra: we are diverse, yet one. It always picks up trending/talked-about societal topics and blends beautifully, with a glint of social message, to its core comic narrative.
Taarak is about India and Indianness. It never attempts to replicate or forge a false reality, or try to ape or get inspired from irrelevant, unrelatable reference points.
Finest of performances, well etched-out characters, actors with a sense of purpose, writing which is fresh, flexible yet rooted, Taarak has a soul which yearns to serve its true purpose, to make people laugh, no farcical allusions.
Thank you Taarak Mehta Ooltah Chashmah for all the entertainment and making us smile in these trying times. You have got the pulse of the nation.
Here’s to 3000 more…