Ha, Karan/Arjun! Anyway, this is the character discussion post for the second lead, Arjun. I find him an interesting character, but also a lot less opaque than Tara/Sobhita. So, a lot less to discuss. (oh, and index of all my Made in Heaven reviews is here)
Arjun is defined by his sexuality, because of how society defines that sexuality. At a pivotal part in his growing years, just as he was beginning to enjoy the healthy first love that would give him a good sense of self worth and ability to open his heart to others, his mother beat him. Shame and fear became entwined, and no amount of intellectual knowledge of himself could get rid of that. He grew up learning never to trust anyone with his truth, with any of his truth. His financial problems in the beginning of the season are all part of the same thing, he doesn’t trust his friends or his family or his business partner with the whole truth of the situation, because he doesn’t think they will help him, because he doesn’t think they will believe him or trust him. He has learned to skate by and live his life in the shadows.
He has to start over and do it right in order to grow up to be who he can be. His sexuality is traumatically revealed all over, and this time his parent (his father) stands up for him and says all the right things, he gets the healthy acceptance he needed. And he stops being afraid, believes that he is worthy of love. He tells the truth to Sobhita and it turns out to be easy to find a resolution to their money issues once she knows the full truth. And she blames him, but then forgives him and it is fine. She doesn’t abandon him just because he made a mistake.
Arjun speaks out and becomes the face of Gay Rights in India. And he finds his way at work too. In the first half of the season, we saw him struggle to say the right thing in client meetings, when soothing unhappy employees, everywhere. Sometimes he would pull out the right idea, but he was just as likely to mess it up. And then in the second half, once he is comfortable with himself and flourishing as an activist, he finds himself at work too. And he finds himself as a friend, he goes from leaning on Sobhita to being her rock.
The funny thing is, all those years of shame and fear are what has made him such a great friend, such a great advocate, and such a great wedding planner. He can understand people, especially those who are afraid, who are trapped. Unlike the regular Indian man, he knows those feelings of not being worthy, of being born “wrong”. He can understand women because he has tasted a little bit of what the Indian woman has to go through in order to survive in the world.
It starts out as a familiar gay rights story, the police and the fear and the “OMG he’s GAY” shock reveal. But then it turns into something else, an investigation of what hiding this secret does to a person, both good and bad.
Anyway, that’s how I see him! What do you see?