Ketchup Cut: Karan's journey that broke and enlighten hearts

Smrithi Mohan
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Karan's journey

Check out how Karan's journey from Made in Heaven and him confronting his past and someone else's present made it to our #KetchupCut.

It is not every day that we get to see stories that sensitively and beautifully capture the love story of queer people. At this point, many might even consider it obligatory to include a queer character but giving them a meaningful storyline makes it worthwhile for everyone to watch. The success of Indian shows like Made in Heaven making this appearance meaningful. As a Pride Month edition of #KetchupCut, we discuss the amazing story of Karan's journey from the show that gave us hope and made us believe in true love.

A story that follows two wedding planners, Karan Mehra and Tara, who try to keep up with their dream of having their own business while giving their clients their dream wedding. The show explores different stories throughout the season touching upon various aspects of making marriage happen.

About the show:

Creators – Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti

Cast – Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipala, Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Shashank Arora, Shivani Raghuvanshi

Writer – Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Alankrita Shrivastava

Where to stream – Amazon Prime Videos

Made in Heaven is based on one of the institutions that are considered to be fundamental in Indian society – Marriage. The show that reflects on various stories ends up unpacking the politics behind marriages. While they plan on giving their clients their dream wedding, Karan (Arjun Mathur) and Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) deal with their own obstacles in life that put the complex phenomenon called life on-screen.

Ketchup Cut:

Love is this beautiful feeling that can be represented in the most appealing way possible. We have all grown up watching amazing love stories of cis men and women fighting their struggles to finally be together. It was only recently when we started seeing more queer people being represented onscreen with their love stories being talked about. Representing them and talking about their stories is a task that not many succeed in perfecting. It can be repeated with the same done and dusted plot being reused. It takes an artist to give each of their stories a different depth and integrity making it unique that belongs to the show or movie. With Karan's journey, Made In Heaven was one show that was able to tackle this story most elegantly. The show was able to play with the staccato of multiple stories and was able to hit the right pitch with Karan's story.

The scene in discussion is when Karan meets his childhood love Nawab again after years. The anticipation, the fear of having ruined everything in the past, and the anxiety of what might be after all the years of hating and loving each other culminated into one scene. The scenes bring out all the essence of what affected Karan's faith in relationships and why he could never truly accept having one of his own. It was this love that made him refuse to even consider one of his date's ideas of seeing where his relationship can go with him. Karan comes out as a strong man who is great at his work, is an amazing friend and human being. Despite all these qualities, his ability to have an actual relationship is somehow hindered by his past. And we get to know when he meets with Nawab.

Nawab was Karan's high school boyfriend who was forced to leave and move away because Karan chose to keep his identity a secret. And the guilt of him not standing true to himself eats him for years until he meets Nawab in person. The meet, the confrontation and the unspoken love that still existed among them feels like the cold breeze on a warm day. The one that touches our soul. What makes the scene worth talking about is how it was handled. When we watch it, the scene is not about two men having sex, it is about two long lost lovers finally meeting and embracing love in its truest form. "I can't believe I have only loved you" is enough to melt any stone-cold heart. Even though we cherish at the moment that fact that Nawab talks about how he has a normal life and is happily married, gives us another picture of how some of the people in the community still try to push away their true selves so they can be accepted by society they live in.

Talking about not being true to themselves, Karan's landlord Mr. Gupta is another example of how the want to be considered normal makes him want to shy away from being who he really is. The person who Karan assumes to be homophobic for violating his privacy and getting him arrested soon turns out to be just another gay compressed into a box acceptable to society. The scene where Karan decides to confront him ends on an empathic note as we all get a glimpse of the tragedies that Mr. Gupta might have gone through to be recognized as any other human being by people around him. He is an example of how, despite all the efforts to bury their true self, it is indelible and hurtful. "Everyone isn't like you. You're brave. You have courage. I envy that. Here your whole life can go by hiding from yourself." Him appreciating Karan for openly living his truth despite what the world around him thinks of him gives Karan the peace of mind that he was looking for. These scenes from Karan's journey can be considered the best reasons why the show was able to become a crowd favorite. It is the way the creators were able to handle the characters without making having to force the audiences to love them.

About the show:

Talking to The New Indian Express about playing a queer character Arjun Mathur said, “I deny it when people call Karan a complex part. Of course, since I’m straight and heterosexual, I felt a little out of my element in the intimate scenes. But beyond that, it was one of the simplest roles I’ve done. I’d love to see more gay actors come out and represent themselves on screen.”

Awards and Recognition:

  • iReel Awards – Nominated for Best Drama Series, Best Actor – Drama, Best Actress – Drama, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Writing -Drama, Best Music
  • International Emmy Awards – Nomination for Best Actor

What was your favourite moment of Karan's journey from the show? Let us know.

Also Read: Ketchup Cut: Made in Heaven, Tara’s journey of class and acceptance

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