Ghar Waapsi hits on all the right notes with a bucket full of nostalgia and captures the beating pulse of the nation’s new working class generation and their ideas of home.
As someone who has been out of her home from the age of 18, coming back home for some time always used to be a rather strange feeling. It would be a mixed bag of nostalgia with many changes even something as basic as where sugar was kept in the kitchen. And at first, it’s hard because you feel like a stranger in your own home, but then you get used to it, and so does everyone. So the idea of home for small towners is different when they grow up because it becomes all about where you’re living currently and not about where you’ve grown up! But the post-pandemic era has changed the working structure, and so has the idea of home. Dice media’s production Ghar Waapsi precisely works on this new structure and captures the true essence of coming back home after living in the hustle of the city for so long. And begs to ask yourselves a question – is the ‘hustle’ really worth it all, especially when it’s something you don’t really want?
Shekhar Dwivedi, a 28-year-old bachelor in Bangalore, loses his job in a start-up suddenly, and with the market being down, he’s facing tons of rejection. Tired of the process and the so-called hustle, he goes back home to Indore to continue the process from there but without telling anyone in his family about his current unemployment period. His unscheduled temporary break which is slowly stretching starts affecting the permanence system of the household, where his parents and two siblings live in a settled dynamic and are used to Shekar’s weekly visit in a year. And as his prolonged stay starts to reveal certain truths, including the one he’s trying to hide, it causes a shape-shift in the entire structure of the household and the individuals involved.
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The idea of going back home after living away for a while may still be a frowned-upon subject, but the pandemic, which was as unscheduled but probably a much-needed break for many, changed the perspective towards it.
And stepping on precisely that thought, even though the pandemic isn’t shown, this show celebrates the idea of your childhood home being a form of escapism at the same time evolution of breaking free. And moreover, in the last two-and-half years, sharing and adjusting in a space once again with our loved ones has brought a refreshing change in each of our relationships with each other and probably brought us even closer. The six-episode series doesn’t skip mentioning that either and represents it in the utmost realistic fashion where the regular kaha-suni between parents and children or amongst siblings becomes a heartwarming watch.
The writing of the show by Tatsat Pandey and Bharat Misra is in sync with the direction by Ruchir Arun and the incredible cast of the show, so much so that everything blends in perfectly, even some over-the-top scenes like Shekar’s motivational speech in an interview that feels like hope wrapped in a bottle. Vishal Vashishtha has such an every boy face with a jhalak of Ranbir Kapoor that his embodiment of Shekar reminded me of a member of my family. While the rest of the cast from Akanksha Thakur (Riddhima, the humesha wala pyaar), Atul Srivastava (Ratanlal Dwivedi, the kush-mizzaz dad), Vibha Chibber (Madhuvanti Dwivedi, the melodramatic caring mom), Saad Bilgrami (Sanju Dwivedi, the neethala brother), Anushka Kaushik (Suruchi Dwivedi, the chubbli-bubbli choti sister), to Ajitesh Gupta (Darshan, the long lost jigiri dost), and Gyanendra Tripathi (Maneesh Bhaiya, the forever motivational guide wale senior) are perfect supporting characters who aren’t supporting anymore but rather have their own relatable long-form lives.
And while I am in absolute love with everything about the show, from writing that is honest yet grounded the direction that is visionary yet based in reality, to excellent acting talent, it’s the hopeful heartwarming scenes that stole the show for me. Whether it’s Maneesh Bhaiya’s football gyaan about living life, about your choice to run whichever rat race but don’t forget your loved ones, Suruchi’s concept of long-distance siblings, and Shekar’s speech about how difficult it is to come back to live at home after you have lived outside, and many more. Each one is an untapped topic that’s so beautifully and intricately depicted, making the story all the more impactful. And random nostalgic things like photo albums, comic books, naali waali ice cream, mummy ke haath ka bana khana, afternoon naps, and the food of Indore!
This is essentially a coming-of-age story or rather a re-discovery story that doesn’t put the transformation of a character as a mere consequence of finding himself but rather as a consequence of realizing what he doesn’t want for himself leading him towards his discovery. Shekar breaks free of the trap that was running on the hamster wheel of the life he envisioned for himself, of being in the rat race of capitalism and urban isolation in the Indian Silicon Valley (Bangalore) by going back home and building it back up by working on the relationship he shares with each family member, friends, and Indore. In a way, it’s the reverse coming-of-age story that seems to be working for the series because we’re all in search of a work-life balance and Shekar has the guts to go for it even if it means going back home which isn’t a step backward anymore.
On another front, this Dice Media production will remind you of TVF, and lately, it’s becoming hard to distinguish between the two production houses. Given that both were the firsts regarding the OTT space that knew how to tap into the younger audience but are now slowly working towards branching into a wider spectrum.
Ghar Waapsi pushes you to take a breather and shape shift your perspective. With a really cute, lovely, and innovative intro sequence, this show is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar!
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