By: Bryan Herb
Normally, I am not the biggest fan of watching TV, and I often do not feel like I have a lot of time for it. However, while in quarantine I have been watching a lot more than usual, and I stumbled upon a really great show, and one can perhaps satisfy your inner travel bug, at least a little. My monthly article in Adelante is not a movie or series review, but there is a specific reason why I am recommending this program now. If you have Amazon Prime I recommend watching “Made in Heaven”.
“Made in Heaven” follows the lives of Tara and Karan, Delhi-based wedding planners. Tara is woman from the wrong side of the tracks who rises her way up into high society through marriage and Karan is a gay man living in a country with very conservative views and laws.
There are several reasons why I recommend this show to you now. The storyline is compelling, the acting is superb, and the whole production is very high budget. However, these are not the main reasons why I recommend it so highly. What I love about “Made in Heaven” is that it shows you a side of India many people do not see unless they visit India themselves.
Through the news and various media platforms, we are usually inundated with images of India’s sad-but-beautiful children, and ancient elderly people in whom photographers find beauty in their many wrinkles, and faces that speak to a hard life. I have literally seen photographers standing in front of the gorgeous, stunning, Taj Mahal, and mostly ignoring it, instead turning their fancy cameras into the faces of people near them who seem down on their luck. Many people, therefore, have this singular vision of an impoverished, dirty, downtrodden India. Does this element exist? Sure. But, there is also a middle class that is growing rapidly and a very wealthy segment for whom money is no object. You see representations of all of India in “Made in Heaven” which is partially why it is so captivating and compelling.
It is also beautifully filmed, and the only thing more beautiful than the cast are the garments that they wear, their homes, and of course, the weddings that are created.
The storyline has twists and turns, all of which are very interesting, and full of surprises, but one of the things that is fascinating is seeing the blending, and at times the collision, of traditional and modern views and lifestyles which make up today’s India. In every episode you gain new understandings of India, and its triumphs, challenges, and beauty. Under the lens of wedding planning, you get to see various couples from a variety of ages and economic backgrounds, navigating their way through ever-changing India. This is in addition to exciting and often sexy scenes with the main characters.
It is an especially worthwhile series for the LGBTQ community because several episodes feature pretty severe obstacles faced by the handsome gay main character, Karan. Also, I have to admit that many of the racy scenes were a big surprise to have coming out of India, a country known for its conservative values. “Made in Heaven” shows you a large segment of life in India as I have learned it to be, from taking our Zoom Vacations tour groups there over the years. It just may challenge everything that you have thought India to be.
During a time when many of us are scratching at the walls, yearning to travel, shows like this give us a little escape into another country, and in the case of India, another world. I think an escape into another world is something that a lot of us need and appreciate right now, and no place gives you the feeling that you have stepped away from familiar surroundings more than India. At the same time, it is fascinating to see the similarities of our worlds— of our hopes, dreams, and needs.
After watching this series, you may see why India is one of my favorite places to visit in the entire world.