Characters! Do they seep in us or we grow in them


The literal meaning of Character [in short] is. . . ‘the qualities that make somebody different from the others.’

But in regular use, don’t we refer to a particular person as A CHARACTER?

Are we not the characters? Characters of all kinds.

We are born with few traits and many we imbibe from the people or from the artists of the theatre and screen.

Two people, whether in friendship or Love, come close only when their characters grow into each other. Personal touch: eye to eye contact creates a chemistry that results in a long-lasting alliance.

Do you remember the Black and White era of the Doordarshan with a heavy but favourite soap- HUM LOG? In the serial, the characters were like next-door faces. They profoundly and deeply impacted the viewer’s psyche.

Once while walking on the side lane at Connaught Place, Delhi, I saw Badki [the main character of hum log] surrounded by a group of ladies. ‘Why did you reject the marriage proposal of the Doctor? You should say yes! He is so good for you.

Seema Pahwa, the girl who played Badki, was stunned. She did not know what to say and what to explain to the hardcore fans.

Arun Govil, the protagonist of the RAMAYANA serial, who played RAM, was mobbed several times on the streets, and people touched his feat like the real deity.

Nitish Bharadwaj, the Lord Krishna of the MAHABHARATA, has similar experiences to share.

It intrigues me as to why people personify a character knowing that it is just a role on stage or screen. Are they a bunch of morons who don’t understand that Arun Govil is not THE RAM? Well, they do. The character of Ram has seeped thoroughly during the one-hour ordeal that the people see him as God.


Imagine yourself descending slowly into a deep well using a rope. Imagine a creeper from the depth, catching you by the feet, and engulfing your body in the process of descent. Deeper you go, the stronger becomes the creeper’s hold. Eventually, there is a complete takeover, as the soaking of a piece of muslin in water or the emulsification of a sugar cube. Don’t you think this is the ultimate communion?

The Artist’s job is accomplished when the viewer believes in his existence as a fact, not as a drama.

I am a serious Movie, Theatre and Television viewer. I don’t watch, just for the heck of it. I observe and absorb the last detail. Multi-tasking is not my forte.

Recently, a friend recommended a multi-season web series with ten episodes, on a popular paid channel.

The initial reaction was, ‘What?? Me watching a drawn-out soap!’ I am certainly not a couch potato to bail out my back with this kind of serious watching.

Guys, you know what, I did!

I started descending deeper into the episodes as if it was just me and them. Each character began dancing in my imagination, burdening me with its persona and credibility. I was personifying the irritations, frustrations and sexual fantasies I had in my real life and dreams. Thank God! It was a lockdown period with no work or public relations involved. I floated gleefully in my imaginations; picnicking and living with the web character’s emotions.

At the culmination of the series, I was depressed because of a mental vacuum. I missed the characters as they lived in my solitude.


We are emotionally sensitive people. In life, these emotions sublime in our psyche’s cold abyss. We are engrossed in the daily chores and management of our half-cooked relationships. We forget our existence and sensuality, living a superficial life based on myriads of cliché and trivial obligations.

Books, Literature, Music and Cinema/ Television play a big role in introducing us to the person inside.

No wonder our choices depend on personality traits. We appreciate stuff that stirs our inner core as a positive feedback cycle.

The on-screen character stimulates the off-screen ‘US’, bringing out the person WE ARE; the clean and transparent image.

I love the famous Kishore Kumar number… Zindagi Ek Safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne Jaana… Sung and performed on screen by the late Rajesh Khanna. The anguish surfaced, and I wept when this song was played at his death, forty-five years after the picturization.

Several such examples surge suddenly as we relate them with our emotions that overflow at the moment.

I can foresee my emotional outburst when the song… ‘Rotey hue aate hain sab, hasta Hua jo jayega… wo muqqaddar ka Sikander kehlayega..’, will be echoing and someone will be on his last journey.


You may also like...

1 Comment

  1. Good expression and explanation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.