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I have finished watching an Indian soap opera titled Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai (translated as: What Kind of Love is This?), which aired on Sony Entertainment Television from 2005 to 2006, and starred Iqbal Khan (playing Angad Khanna) and Neha Bamb (playing Kripa Sharma).
Kripa Sharma is a young, innocent college girl, living in Nainital, India. She dreams of going to a music academy and meeting her favorite idol, Angad Khanna. Kripa falls in love with the image of Angad that has been shown in the media (one that believes in love). When Kripa goes to Mumbai, to attend the music academy, she stays with the Khannas. Instead of getting the warm welcome she was expecting, Kripa is relegated to the guesthouse and is expressly told to stay away from the main house and its family by Naina Khanna (Angad’s mother).
Angad Khanna is a famous singer, who espouses the importance of love above all else. In reality, Angad lives a dissolute lifestyle. He drinks, he uses his fame to attract women, and he does NOT believe in love. This is the Angad that Kripa comes to know and hate. Gradually, the audience comes to see another Angad, and we come to love him for who he really is. We come to see an Angad who does value family (especially his grandmother), but who is constantly used by his mother, father (Dilip Khanna) and brother (Kartik Khanna). The people around him disillusion Angad, but it is Kripa who gets to the heart of him and touches his heart. He begins to fall in love with her. Although Angad and Kripa get off to a rocky start, Kripa is still attracted to him. The unwilling attraction between the two quickly deepens into love.
In Mumbai, Kripa also meets Mishti (who saves her from bullying) and Prithvi (Mishti’s brother). Prithvi quickly falls under Kripa’s spell, and does his utmost to help her in any way he can. We also see Mishti, who is initially shown as this cool, confident woman who can see through Angad’s façade, eventually falling for Angad. Due to Naina Khanna’s machinations, Prithvi’s mom and Kripa’s parents become convinced that Kripa and Prithvi love each other. Kripa finds herself almost engaged to Prithvi, but she realizes that she cannot marry him because she does not love him, and he deserves to be loved. Kripa goes to Angad, and the two confess their love to each other and consummate their relationship.
Their relationship does not last long. Angad’s mother is extremely unhappy about them being a couple, because she feels that Kripa is beneath them. Aided by her son, Kartik (who is jealous of Angad and wants Mishti for himself), Naina comes up with a plan that will create problems between Angad and Kripa. Once they separate Kripa from Angad, they convince Angad to get engaged to Mishti. After the engagement, Angad’s family presents him with evidence of Kripa’s supposed infidelity. And Angad is quick to believe that Kripa is cheating on him with Prithvi because of a small white lie she told. He is heartbroken, and he starts to hate Kripa for her betrayal. When Kripa returns, Angad pretends that what they had together was only a fling and dumps her cruelly. Kripa finds out that she is pregnant, but even that news does not bring Angad back to her. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Angad holds on to the belief that Kripa betrayed him and he agrees to marry Mishti. It is only on his wedding day that he finds out that he was betrayed by every person in his family, but it is too late. Kripa has lost her baby and hates Angad. Angad is broken once more, and he knows that he has to atone for his mistakes.
Here, Angad starts his journey to self-destruction. Angad brings in his best friend Josh, a famous singer, to help Kripa’s singing career. Angad ruins his own reputation, so that his fans will choose Kripa over him. Kripa rises as Angad falls, and she uses every opportunity to rub that in Angad’s face. During this war between the two, Angad is accused of attempted rape. Here Kripa helps him after she finds out the accusations are false. When Kripa thinks that she has successfully broken Angad, she accepts Prithvi’s proposal in front of him, thereby revealing her ability to be malicious. Up until this point, I understood Kripa’s actions, but when she agrees to marry Prithvi, she uses Prithvi’s emotions to hurt Angad. And that shows me that Kripa has issues; she’s not the sweet drama heroine we’ve come to expect.
Here, we see a previously good character begin to go bad. Prithvi, who has always been supportive of Kripa, begins to fear the influence that Angad still has in Kripa’s life. He tries to manipulate Kripa into believing that Angad is planning something against him with Josh. After one too many insults to Angad, Josh opens his mouth and lets loose with the truth in front of Kripa. He tells Kripa about everything that Angad did for her and why he acted the way he did. Kripa decides to help Angad rise again, but also decides to stay with Prithvi. Eventually, Prithvi allows her to return to Angad, knowing that she will only love Angad.
Before we can feel too sorry for Prithvi, we find out that Prithvi is going to entrap Angad and get Kripa back. He brings back an ex-flame of Angad, Simone, and convinces her to help him. They concoct a plan and get Angad drugged. Angad wakes up the next morning besides Simone, and thinks that he has slept with her. Around the same time, Prithvi murders Josh and blames Angad. Angad goes to jail. Right before Kripa is going to testify to Angad’s good nature, Angad tells her that he might have slept with Simone. Kripa goes onto the witness stand and says that Angad is entirely capable of murdering someone because he had the nerve to cheat on her! Angad is sent to jail and Kripa comes to say a final farewell, telling him that she hopes he rots.
One year later, Kripa is married to Prithvi. A man named Zaib comes into their lives. Zaib looks exactly like Angad. He starts to seduce Mishti, who is engaged to Kartik by now, to play with Kripa’s mind. Kripa steps in and tries to prove that Zaib is really Angad. Kripa emotionally manipulates Zaib and gets him to confess that he is Angad. She goes even as far as sleeping with Prithvi, in Angad’s bed and with Angad on the other end of the phone line, to hurt him as much as she can. Angad gets back at her by forcing her to confess how much she wants him (more than her husband) in front of everyone.
Prithvi is heartbroken and divorces Kripa. Immediately thereafter, Angad blackmails Kripa into marrying him, with the ruse that they were already married. During their arguments, when Kripa once again chooses Prithvi over him, Angad gets angry and threatens Prithvi. Kripa reports Angad to the police, and he goes to jail again. Only after he is in jail, does Kripa find out that Angad never slept with Simone and that he couldn’t have killed Josh. Working with the police, she helps to catch Prithvi and get Angad freed. Because of all the work she did to get him freed, after landing him in jail, Angad immediately forgives her and takes her back.
Angad and Kripa are living happily when they find out that Kripa is pregnant. Before they can get too happy, the truth comes out that Kripa is pregnant with Prithvi’s child. Despite all of that, Angad promises to treat the child as his own. Angad’s career is faltering, and he has to go work for Mishti, who is now married to an older, wealthier man. Kripa is jealous about this, and gets into fights with Angad about his closeness with Mishti.
Kripa’s old friend, Sheetal, comes into their lives. Sheetal accuses Angad of raping her. Despite the fact that Kripa has been fooled in the past and should trust her husband, she chooses to believe Sheetal. She chooses to believe that Angad raped Sheetal, and turns her back on her husband. It is only the quick work of Angad’s competent lawyer and Kartik that helps to free him and for the truth to come out. We find out that Sheetal was lying and this was all a play by Mishti, who wanted to get revenge on Kripa for all she has done to her brother. When Kripa once again tries to apologize to Angad for not believing in him, Angad tells her to get out of his life. Kripa leaves, leaving behind her daughter as atonement for the sin she has committed.
Years later, we see that Kripa has been working for Nishant, who found her when she was lost and pregnant. Yes, Kripa was pregnant with Angad’s child, and did not return to tell him. She decides to keep Angad’s child away from him, because he does not love her anymore. Kripa takes care of Nishant’s nephews, and we can see that Nishant is in love with her. On the other hand, Angad has become famous once more, and has reverted to the womanizer he was once before. He loves only his daughter. Kannan is in his life, a woman that takes care of his daughter, takes care of his business, and silently loves him.
As Angad and Kripa come into contact once more, Kripa is now pretending to be engaged and then married to Nishant because Nishant wants to make his elderly aunt(?) happy. Despite knowing how much Angad still loves her, Kripa chooses to stay by Nishant’s side and does not tell Angad the truth about this fake relationship. Kripa gets to meet her daughter once more, and Angad finds out the truth about the son he never knew he had. When Kripa and Angad are thrown together during their performances, the truth comes out about Kripa’s fake marriage, and they end up sleeping together.
Nishant is then killed by someone, and Kripa has to don the mantle of a grieving widow. When the doctors discover that Kripa is pregnant, only Kripa and Angad know that the child is not Nishant’s. Through investigation, the truth comes out that Angad’s father, Dilip Khanna, is Nishant’s killer. He was aiming for Angad, because he was tired to his son being disrespectful to him! Dilip Khanna soon gets carted off to jail.
After all of this, Angad’s and Nishant’s families bring Angad and Kripa together, and Kannan gracefully steps aside. In the end, we see that Kripa has given birth to their child. And they all lived happily ever after. Maybe.
In the drama, the main leads ask, “What Kind of Love is This?” And while I watched the show, I had to ask myself, really, what kind of love was this? It looked less like love and more like hatred. Kripa purported to love Angad, but she chose to believe everyone else and put every single person’s needs above Angad’s. It was as if Kripa couldn’t help the feelings she had for Angad, but she disliked herself for feeling this way, and she punished Angad for her “misguided” feelings and the fact that he had betrayed her trust when she was pregnant with his child. And Angad, eventually, I felt, just accepted Kripa into his life, knowing that she would never trust him and he could never count on her to believe in him if anything like this ever happened again.
One of my pet peeves is when rich people go around blaming every poor person for wanting them for just their money. That is the most clichéd reason to reject a poor or even middle-class person, and it just gets annoying after a while. The way that Naina goes after Kripa, going so far as to break her son, was unbelievable. But this was only one of many crazy things that occurred in this drama.
Additionally, it was so irrational how Angad was accused of attempted rape not once but two different times! And twice, Kripa went against Angad, choosing to believe others. I totally felt that Kripa deserved to be thrown out of Angad’s life after the second time she betrayed him by supporting someone else over him. It was also unbelievable that Angad was drugged, and made to believe that he had slept with Simone. And when Angad wanted to be truthful and tell Kripa about the truth, as he knew it, how was he repaid? He was sent to jail. Because, besides the rape charge, Angad was also accused of murder. And Kripa’s vindictive testimony (after she learns about his supposed cheating) put him in jail. Ultimately, she puts him in jail twice, the second time after he breaks down in front of her for choosing Prithvi over him. While he was being honest and showing his hurt, she was thinking of how she could get one over on him and protect Prithvi, the murderer.
Additionally, I did not enjoy how the perfectly normal people became psychotic overnight. Prithvi’s mother tried to kill Kripa multiple times because she didn’t want her hurting her son. She didn’t go to jail, and ended up blaming Kripa in the end for the murder that her son committed. Prithvi killed Josh, Angad’s best friend and entrapped Angad, all for his love of Kripa. Mishti ends up colluding to get Angad into jail for a rape charge. Finally, Angad’s father goes crazy and tries to kill Angad for being disrespectful! You couldn’t really risk liking anyone, because you did not know if they would turn out to be psychotic.
Ultimately, the show was illogical and had a questionable main character. I had a few problems with Angad, initially, but his passion and constancy won me over. He loved Kripa, and he would put up with pretty much anything for that. But it was Kripa’s actions that I continued to question up to the end of the show. Her maliciousness, her ability to sleep with Prithvi and have Angad hear them, her blindness and choice to believe in everyone else over Angad were abhorrent. She was not a person that I could ever admire in real life, and did not enjoy how much of a traitor she was to her supposed love for Angad.
Despite all of the flaws, I ended up liking the show because of the strong chemistry between Iqbal Khan (Angad) and Neha Bamb (Kripa). More than that, though, I really enjoyed Khan’s portrayal of a coolly confident and solid Zaib. I liked how he played with these people, when he came back to get revenge on those who had betrayed him. I have no problems with Neha Bamb, because the issues that I had with the character were solely due to how others decided the story would go, and I found that Neha did the best she could with a character that wasn’t really likable at all.