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Is marriage the saving grace?

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The ending bits in the third season of 'Little Things' reminds one of the dilemmas that Aditya and Tara had to overcome in Mani Ratnam's 'OK Kanmani'

Live-in relationships aren’t so common in India. They may have been a part of the upper elite for a couple of decades, but they’ve still not joined the club that’s maintained by the mainstream. In the third season of Netflix’s Little Things, Dhruv (Dhruv Sehgal) and Kavya (Mithila Palkar) face new troubles as they find themselves at different corners of India, one in Bengaluru and the other in Mumbai, for the first time ever in their relationship.

Dhruv, in a moment of anxiety-fuelled talk, says, “Ever since I left Delhi for college, I never really went back home. I mean, I just left home. What if it happens again?” Then, Kavya, smoothly responds, “No matter what happens… good or bad… this stays.” She simply means the comfort with which they’ve opened their hearts to each other and the glorious days and nights they’ve encountered. It’s a very filmy moment in the sense that there’s a lot of unuttered feelings of romance and palls of tragedy. They don’t know where their love story is heading towards. And they haven’t yet figured out a clean way to not upset the momentum.

Nobody can draw an accurate map for the things that may go wrong in a long-distance relationship! Each story has its own twists and turns, so, it’s impossible to make a one-size-fits-all plan before embarking upon the specified journey.

Hence, Dhruv and Kavya experience dissimilar facets of loneliness and breakdowns. While Kavya, through the gaps occurring between emotions of sadness and insecurity, asks, “Why did you upload pictures on Instagram before sending them to me personally?” in an episode, Dhruv, after moving back to the city of dreams (in a later episode), thinks that she’s gained friends and habits that were unknown to him till that point in time. Though these two people have grown individually, a piece of the puzzle seems to be missing because they’re constantly making decisions for themselves without informing the other person. Of course, the important conversations happen, but they unfurl at later stages.

Is marriage the saving grace?

If you’re taking the upbringing that happens in a country like ours into context, then, perhaps, the lack of a marriage might be the black sheep that you’re looking for. Live-in sounds hassle-free and Western, whereas a marriage is something that happens once in a lifetime. I’m not stating this as a fact. I’m rather giving this to you as a part of the conversation that goes around the circles in small towns and metropolises, in social networking sites and family gatherings. A big-fat wedding is actually a big portion of the dreams pictured by Desi Parents. Even if they say that they’re okay with their children wanting to be in a marriage-less relationship, they’d still be biting their nails and trying to figure out a way to nudge their cubs towards a wedding.

Desi parents would have grown up listening to tall tales of “everlasting love”. As a result, they feel the need to pass on their share of acquired-wisdom to the next generation. In Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film, O Kadhal Kanmani, Aditya (Dulquer Salmaan) and Tara (Nithya Menen) vehemently oppose the idea of a marriage in the beginning and choose to live together with an elderly couple (played by Prakash Raj and Leela Samson), instead. But as the days roll on, they understand that they’re indeed a clichéd and made-for-each-other couple.

When they finally arrive at a juncture where they’ve to part ways to focus on their careers, they decide to get married first. In a marvelously framed mirror-scene, Tara, after a long day of arguments, asks, “Will you marry me?” And Aditya, as though answering the most important questioning of his life, takes a few deep breaths, and, says, “You don’t have to give up your plans… but marry me and go. I’ll come to you wherever you are.”

The ending bits in the third season of Little Things reminded me of the dilemmas that Aditya and Tara had to overcome. In the Hindi series, the couple isn’t sure about where the road ends for them as they’re not married, however, in Ratnam’s version, the leads get back together after their respective stints in the US and Paris.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 6:21:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/the-ending-bits-in-the-third-season-of-little-things-reminds-one-of-the-dilemmas-that-aditya-and-tara-had-to-overcome-in-mani-ratnams-ok-kanmani/article30107007.ece

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