Mirror to millennial moods

ByShruti Das

Sep 11, 2020

Netflix’s ‘Masaba Masaba’ has its protagonist depicting the lives of young working women like never before — it may be a ficitonalised story of a famous mother and daughter, but it’s totally relatable

When I started watching Netflix’s much-talked about “Masaba Masaba”, I did not have any expectations from it. Rather, I was only hoping it is not another “Keeping up with the Kardashian” show. But as I finished bingeing on it, I was surprised to see a little bit of myself in Masaba!

For the uninitiated, “Masaba Masaba” is a show which is based on the life of famous Indian fashion designer Masaba Gupta. It is not a documentary, but more like a fictionalised depiction of her life events. Directed by Sonam Nair, the six episode mini-series also stars Neena Gupta (Masaba’s mother) – who perfectly defines the phrase ‘ageing like fine wine’.

What made me fall for this show is how Masaba depicts a typical millennial woman – strong, independent yet full of flaws. Someone who is navigating through life – stumbling upon their way and then getting up, because isn’t that what adulting is all about?

Like all of us, Masaba is obsessed with Instagram. She keeps posting about all that’s happening in her life – from things like her work to even sensitive issues like announcing her separation. And like every other millennial, she even “fakes” or “shows off” – once in a while — on social media. The scene where she posts how work is in progress for her upcoming collection, but hasn’t yet zeroed in on any concept – is no doubt relatable.

And then there’s her messy love life. Even though going through a separation, she tries to put up a “happy couple” face in public. She dismisses rumours claiming trouble in her marriage by putting up an Insta post. And soon, on her husband’s insistence, she is made to announce her separation – on the same platform!

Then she hooks up with her ex-lover as she is feeling lonely the first day in her own apartment, and the very next minute realises how big a mistake it was. Not to forget her colleague, the company’s investor – who she is definitely attracted to, but is at loggerheads with most of the time. Lastly, there is this artsy, hot guy — whom she invites to work for her, and it leads to something more than just ‘work’. Thus, no matter how Masaba tries to keep her ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ life separate, she fails miserably. Truly — love is, and has always been this complicated for millennial women. Isn’t it?

Her arguments with her mother are what we all can relate to. In one of the scenes, we see how she comes home after work – all exhausted, but her mom bombards her with questions – resulting in the usual mother-daughter feud. She feels she has no freedom at her mother’s place, and decides to move out. Just like every other millennial woman who yearns to be independent, and lead a life where they can make their own decisions.

But when decisions go wrong, the onus is on us to clear the mess! So, it also shows that Masaba – just like us – makes mistakes too. She is as flawed as any other woman who lives life on her own terms. She procrastinates, makes excuses to cover up her goof-ups, says the wrong thing at the right place and is driven by her impulse and emotions.

Then there are times when she is outright selfish. She cribs, she complains about life to her best friend, but fails to see how the other person might be going through her own set of problems! That person might use a shoulder to cry on as well, once in a while. And then – the way we do – she tries to make it up to her bestie after a fight by being there for her, helping her out with her work and …posting a “sweet write-up” on Instagram. Relatable much?

At a very young age, Masaba earned fame, recognition and leads a massive clothing line. But irrespective of all that, she is just like any other millennial who finds it difficult to find a “good date.” When her best friend says there is queue of men for her, she humbly says “Kahan hain yeh line?” (Where is this queue?) After her marriage ends in separation, she goes on to a host of coffee dates – on the insistence of her best friend, but finds all of them disappointing. Masaba even flees from one such date, though the reason wasn’t solely because the man was a bore.

Also, no matter how independent and strong she is, she is like us – who wants nobody else but her mother by her side when she is grieving and finds comfort in her mother’s homemade parantha. In short, Masaba represents those women who mess up and de-clutters their own mess – and all those millennials who are exploring life, losing themselves in the process – only to discover themselves all over again.

(Cover: Masaba Gupta in a still from the show “Masaba Masaba”)