‘Mahi Way’, a contemporary take on overweight protagonist’s journey to self-discovery was one of the nine shows produced by Yash Raj Films‘s television subsidiary ‘YRF TV’ way back in 2010. It was a resounding success that struck a cord with every generations and still remembered for it’s carefree tone, realistic characters sans pressing melodrama button.
We all can’t help but fall in love with Mahi and resonate to her minute details of life. We can get a glimpse of her in every individual we do come across in our day-to-day life.
With dialogue writer Anvita Dutt Guptan, screenwriter Devika Bhagat and director Nupur Asthana, Mahi Way pushed the envelope to an entirely new territory, giving us possibly real and progressive modern female character in Indian Television who was unapologetic about her own body and desires, she is an incredible feisty woman who stands up for herself against the cut-throat competitive world obsessed with size zero trend and most essentially, refused to seek validation for her who she is.
Mahi Talwar is a flawed, overweight 25-years-old woman, who has been made to believe, throughout her life that, she is anything but a self-respecting woman. Then what makes her quintessentially special? It’s her confidence to live life on her own her terms. She is very intelligent, holds a master degree in journalism and alongside aspires to be feature writer but she is eventually hired as an agony-aunt in a fashion magazine company name TREND to respond to love-deprived questions.
She surrounds herself with Chocolate pastries, gol-gappas, Mills-n-Boons, 64 pairs of shoes, watching romantic YRF films back to back and her classic wits while gulping over big box of ice-cream. She is inherently blessed with the ability to make a fool of herself and she is someone who wants to be loved and also doesn’t hesitate to love others. In short, she is a giver but unable to receive love.
Pushtiie Shakti, who had essayed the role of Mahi, is a delightful treat to watch and nothing short of fantastic. One can easily say she wasn’t acting at all and therein lies her greatest victory and cements her position as an actress of substance.
Here are some lessons we learn from this ground-breaking series that still helps each one of you who have religiously followed it and made it a point to imbibe the optimism and positivity it had to convey (Just like myself):
Friends are true assets of life:
Having quality friends, who remain your pillar of strength, is a blessing. We see Mahi falling onto the arms of her best friends: Roshni– attractively frivolous attention seeking woman & Sid– gay fashion designer. Just as Mahi is refreshingly real, likewise Roshni and Sid are the characters equally flesh and blood characters. Monica Khanna infuses lot of Genuinity and sultriness in her Roshni’s & Mark Parakh doesn’t trivialize homosexuality per say, instead play Sid, shattering the conventional image set by us. He is normal, isn’t mandatorily effeminate and is as equally hunk as other guys but with different preference. They fight, hurl abuses, cut connection but in the end, cannot stay without each other. A friendship that goes beyond time.
Learn it, deal it & move on :
Mahi falls for love a guy with whom she shares elevator on regular basis. Ishaan Singh Ahluwalia (Exceptionally sexy Siddhanth Karnick), CEO of undergarment brand, reciprocates her feelings only to develop cold feet and eventually deserts her. It does hurt to be abandoned and Mahi did get the taste of it right after one-night-stand. It doesn’t stop there, She gets involved with in a one-sided superficial relationship with a guy Dev, who treated her nothing less than a slave. Here Mahi, while feeling understandably weak by being manipulated, doesn’t victimize herself, instead take control of her life, makes it clear to ‘Learn it, deal it and move on’.
A special friend may pop up one fine day:
We love friends but at some point of time, there will always be a special one who recognizes the real you and accept your madness. Shiv Deshraj (Viraf Patel‘s earnest portrayal) enters Mahi’s life as that special person. For her, he is very sweet but boring until one day she realizes her love for him and discovers that he had designs for her. We can never get hold of that special person unless the door of heart that is locked by prejudices and judgment remains shut. Shiv is like that magnet who has the charm to attract people. Such people will never want to change the chore of your inner being.
It’s never ‘too’ late to marry:
Marriage has been reduced to keeping up with the jonnes in today’s time. Ranjita Talwar (Suparna Marwah, deliciously over-the-top) bickers her daughter throughout the series to get married (because her time has come to pack her bag and leave) and fumes when her demand is not responded. Paradoxically There is a character who turns out to be the black horse of the family, Leela Bua (Kanika Dang), A successful school teacher remains unmarried until she finds her soul-mate in Colonel Bhatti at the age of 45. Imagine – 45 ! (A forbidden age in the lens of our society, right?) There is no denying that marriage is a beautiful insititution of two souls but not at the cost of exerting force or pressure. It’s an individual choice and there is no big bang theory behind it or needn’t to be an Einstein to understand the concept. If you are ready to live your life with someone you love and willing to go ahead in all aspects, there is no stopping ! Or else it’s always better to live single than get stuck in a mismatched relationship.
Stand up for yourself:
Mahi often find herself not only in clash with the pressure to tie the knot esp. from her mom but also gets bullied for by colleagues and finds herself at the receiving end of humiliations because of her physical appearance. It sends across a message that stand up for yourself against any dominating force no matter what, if their actions makes no sense or if they find sadistic pleasure in pulling you down, Stop it ! The constant nagging may most likely to continue but you can take great sense of pride and learn how to deal under such circumstances.
Bursting into Filmi Nakhras is not a bad idea:
We get to see Mahi easily influenced by YRF’s film, She watch films every now-and-then on her Television that sets her mood. The first scene in the first episode establishes her filmy side and how often she exhibit it in the most melodramatic manner. There’s a dream sequence where she imitates Sridevi from the film “Lamhe” gyrating to ‘Kabhi main kahoon’ to seduce Ishaan and it is heart-warming sight. To be honest, there is nothing wrong in it. Why waste time being a robot when you can do some crazy stuffs and make it memorable *wink*
We will love our family No matter what:
We have to deal it, No family in this world is perfect. There will be problems everywhere. Mahi may not stand her mom and her spitefully critical sister Anjali, However, she found solace in her dad A (Super cool and wonderfully restrained Ikhlaque Khan) and saucy granny (Alka Pradhan, Real Hoot – who refuses to age and still nurse hots for yesteryear heroes) the people who never judged her and couldn’t stop loving her. Dysfunctionality is omnipresent and we can’t help it. You can’t change anyone unless they don’t want to take a step ahead to be the change. What we can surely do alter our perspective and try to find a friend within them with whom you can share your feelings and be yourself without any fear of being ridiculed or judged.
Accept and Love yourself:
Mahi doesn’t fall entirely into the trap of ‘self-loathing’, by the end of the series rediscovers herself. It’s a message that we do not need to seek validation for our existence from everyone. You are absolutely perfect the way you are, that’s itself a key to live a happy life, Change your mindset about how you look into yourself and see the magick unfold before you.
Climax of the show did give a pleasant shock to a lot of people as it involved Mahi running away from her marriage leaving behind her groom. Those who will be watching the show might find it pretty offended and even ask a valid question in return: What if a guy does the same? What if a guy realizes that he’s not ready to be someone’s husband and run away from his alter leaving behind his bride, will I be as supportive to him as I was to Mahi? My answer would be YES, I would be. I believe no one should ever compromise with their individuality either you are man or woman. It might have been a wrong time, sanity prevailed a bit late, nevertheless it’s wise to stay single than destroying someone’s life who can get deprived of the love and affection he/she deserves from you.
Mahi Way continues to remain one of the most remarkable coming-up-age series of all time and possibly the only show from Yash Raj that wowed us . It’s probably amongst those rare shows that manage to mirror reality with humor and sensibility. Season 2 is unlikely to come on board but let’s make memory more active by watching the show on YouTube more often as a dose of happiness
Below is the link of Mahi Way’s first episode out of 25 episodes: