The name Gunda Purush Dev is a tongue twister even for Marathi speaking people. When the promos of this tele-serial started it kept viewers guessing if this title is a sentence, noun, a group of words… This could join the line of other obnoxious Marathi serials that makes me want to ask aloud whether the writer/producer lives in same Maharashtra that I do. Or this serial could be a different story with good intentions but a half hearted attempt that would soon flop.
Fortunately for sane viewers, both my guesses are wronged. So, Gunda Purush Dev is a god. As in Mahadev, Brahma, Ganpati, Lakshmi, Parvati but this one is different (or same?) because he is born out of imagination of the serial writer. The temple of this very powerful almighty is located in a village near Kolhapur and he (the god is definitely ‘he’ here) doesn’t like females. He is brought out of Devalaya for a round everyday at noon hours when no female should be wandering in his vicinity. What more, he doesn’t accept Prasad that have feminine names and so the members of the priest’s family never cook or eat anything with feminine names for instance, shev, bakarwadi, barfi etc. They see that every activity like bathing, napping have an ulterior masculine name too and are careful not to mistakenly utter them otherwise. Such more are the ways of this god that clearly targets our unquestioning nature of questionable rules when they come under the tag of god, community, religion et al.
The serial is a story of two families, the exactly opposite ways they run and a possible matrimonial alliance between them that will change things. One is the family of the priest of Gunda Purush Dev which obviously has second place for women and is controlled strictly by the head of the family, the priest. The other family lives in Mumbai with a female family head and here too going to the other end of female dominance. All the characters are built well with an edge and their eccentricity is projected on a lighter note. Performed very well by the actors, if not downright hilarious, they all make you smile and leave you giggling.
The concept of an imaginary god in the series, who is talked about and feared seriously, makes me like it so much. In a way this story is mocking take on our society that gets so darn serious with the rulebook of any community god. How as we follow those rules we forget basic humanitarian aspect which should be the base of any godly thing, common sense and logic that always takes a backseat and even in the times of 3G technology how women are prohibited from entering a particular sacred place. What can be weirder, in today’s date, one such prohibited temple for females is of a female goddess!!!
You should never get fascinated with tele-serials, I keep telling myself. They disappoint hard. Last time I started scribbling something on one and suddenly those makers damaged the story so bad. What they can do for that thing called TRP. Yet, I have hope for this one, and hope there is much more to the story and is made memorable as one in old DD days.