“My husband doesn’t understand me.” This teary eyed complaint has wrecked many marriages.This grave problem has made marriage counsellors richer and families poorer. Many self-help books and countless articles have been written helping both the genders to understand one another. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, it is commonly thought. The best seller with the same title staunchly sticks to the opinion that each gender is adapted to its own planet's society and customs, but not to those of the other which is why they simply don’t understand one another. It is often believed that men won’t even try to understand women.
Maybe you don’t need to visit marriage counselors and waste your money buying self-help books to gauge women’s psychology. Instead you could just have a friendly coffee with the male writers of Indian TV shows who can even counsel the best counsellors on women psychology. They seem to know everything about women- why they break into tears, what makes them smile, what hurts their feminine ego, how they behave in the kitchen and at the work place, and last but not the least why often the saas and the bahu can’t see eye to eye.
We asked the male writers of your favourite TV shows as to how they can ascertain female psychology so well. For Gautam Hegde who is currently writing Star Plus’sSaath Nibhana Saathiya and Colors’ Madhubala Ek Ishq Ek Junoon it is just a piece of cake. He explains, “We all have grown up with women being all around us. We've observed women on a daily basis both in the kitchen and at the work place. Though women have different roles in the kitchen and workplace, their emotional makeup is the same. The way women think isn’t a topic which is too alien to us.”
He brings to our notice that serials have women characters which viewers can easily identify with. “Also, I am writing on the kind of women I see in day to day life, about very relatable women. When we are writing for TV we have to create women characters that the viewers may easily identify with. For instance maybe they aren’t like Gopi bahu but know someone who is like her.”
Purnendu Shekhar who is writing Colors’ Balika Vadhu feels that the relationship a man shares with his family members really helps them to pen women characters. “As opposites attract, men know women better than they know themselves. When a man marries he needs to understand his wife. When he becomes a father he needs to understand his daughter. We all know how our mothers think.”
Akashaditya Lama who is writing Sahara One’s Jhilmil Sitaaron Ka Aangan Hogapoints out that his female colleagues also help him to create memorable characters. “I get to know about women by viewing the women all around me- my friends, family and relatives. If female writers can etch out male characters, so can we pen women roles. Also we get invaluable inputs from women working with the channels and production houses. So, it isn’t tough for us to write on female characters.”
Amit Aryan who is writing SAB TV’s F.I.R and Jeannie Aur Juju feels that the female characters which the male writers create become their muse thereby giving them the impetus to create memorable characters. His philosophically remarks, “Just like behind every successful man there is a successful woman; behind every successful male writer there is a very successful female character who inspires him to mould her character well. She may be Chandramukhi Chautala or any female protagonist for that matter. Just think of the most memorable female protagonists like Tulsi, Parvati or Kumkum- they were all created by male writers.”
He avers that indeed the fact that ‘men are from Mars and women are from Venus, helps men to create very convincing female characters. “You can objectively ascertain someone only when you are different from him or her. For instance when you are looking at your own reflection in the mirror, you may not be able to very truthfully evaluate your appearance. A third person will be able to give you a better review. As men and women are different, sometimes men can ascertain women better than they can judge themselves. This is why male writers can often pen female characters so beautifully.”
Sammeer Arora who is currently writing Channel V’s Best Friends Foreverseconds Amit. “It is far easier for a man to understand a woman that for a woman to understand a woman. Conversely, women can understand men better. Male writers have written very powerful female oriented stories. I consider my close female friends and women family members as my initial audience. I ask them if they think certain things will work or not. At times I take their feedback and at times I don’t.”
If John Gray- relationship counsellor and author of the best seller Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus saw our serials, maybe he would be compelled to admit that it is not just counsellors who have in-depth insight into the opposite gender’s mental makeup but fiction writers do so as well.