It is always a pleasure to see something on screen that actually reminds you of your middle class roots. Something which is relatable and, as the adage goes, slice of life. That is exactly what Gullak turns out to be which is now set to stream on its second season from this weekend. For those who haven’t watched the first season detailing the escapades of this Mishra parivaar, there isn’t much to lose actually from the context perspective since Gullak is the coming together of ‘kisse’, and not quite a ‘Kahaani’ being told, as established by the narrator, a ‘gullak’ (voiced quite well by Shivankit Singh Parihar).
This is a ‘parivaar’ which had to decide between putting ‘kaju-badaam’ in ‘kheer’ or adding water to the milk. The everyday challenge comprises of whether to putt the fan off after a while to save electricity or let the 25 year old TV stay on in the house as at the very least it functions as a radio. Now all of this could well have turned out to be a soppy affair with ‘hum lachaar hain kyunki hum gareeb hai’ stories. However, you don’t find any of this in Gullak as the storytelling by director Palash Vaswani stays on to be feel good, what with the family out there comprising of the man of the house (Jameel Khan), the lady running the show (Geetanjali Kulkarni), the elder son trying all tricks in the game to become employable (Vaibhav Raj Gupta) and the younger one giving his boats exams (Harsh Mayar) pretty much used to this lifestyle. This isn’t all as the nosy neighbor next door (Sunita Rajwar) is also a harmless acquaintance, even as she brings home ‘chori ke ganne’ for all to cherish.
In spirit, this mini-series comprising of just 5 episodes of 25-30 minutes each, reminds one of another delightful affair on the same lines, Do Dooni Chaar. That one had Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh trying to make ends meet and here in the second season when the family wonders (together) whether taking a bit of a ‘rishwat’ may well be harmless in the larger interest of everyone, the similarities pop up all the more.
That said, Gullak does have an identity of its own and that’s what you do realise when varied ‘kisse’ are narrated, ranging from mission-bribery to famous kahaawat of ‘naraaz toofa’ in a wedding to influence of politics and then India-Pakistani cricket match and board exams coinciding with each other, something that is quite easy to relate.
What makes it all the more relatable are the actors and their performances. Set in western UP, the household is plain natural with every actor getting the part absolutely right. Jameel Khan is good as always and the two kids are fun to interact with as they get the dialect, mannerisms and expressions just right. Geetanjali Kulkarni does turn out to be a bit too loud for comfort in the name of being natural and one just feels that this aspect could have been a bit more controlled. However in the larger scheme of things, it is a minor aberration.
Yes, intermittently things do get a bit monotonous and overall too Gullak isn’t a kind of series that makes you laugh hysterically. However, you do draw parallels from your own life with the scenes that unfold and that by itself is some sort of a win. Watch it with the entire family at Sony LIV as it is one of the few OTT offerings where you can actually afford to