Oh boy! I’m doing it! I’m digging deep into Little Things again! Even though it makes you think about relationships and how we hurt each other and all kinds of things!
This is interesting structure. Last season was all about long distance, many episode showing them saying good-bye, building separate lives, then the growing pains of getting back together. But this season, we start at the reunion and zip past the time apart in a few quick flashbacks.
Which, based on the conversation, is how it felt for them this time. Yes, they missed each other, but there wasn’t that drama and longing. It was easy to just let the time apart keep spinning out. One thing this show has always done well is placing physical affection in it’s proper place. Yes, they live together. Yes, they have sex. Yes, they enjoy holding hands and touching each other and so on. But that’s just one part of the relationship. Being separated for over a year, the one piece that is absolutely missing is physical intimacy. And that’s barely touched on in this episode. It’s the emotional closeness, the sharing deep thoughts, the feeling complete when together, that is what was their missing piece.
That feels true to me based on couples I have known. It’s not like physical intimacy stops being important, but the more time you are together, the more precious all the other aspects of the relationship become. The secrets only the other person knows, the ability to fully open up and trust each other, the history, that is something you can’t have with anyone else.
Anyway, this episode starts with an almost missed connection, that works out fine. Which sort of sets the tone. Yes, her bus was early and he overslept. Yes, they both had their own rickshaws. But it’s no big deal, they talk and get back together. Not everything has to be a big deal. And their reunion isn’t a big deal either. They fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, poof, no stress or strain or anything.
But there are foreshadowings of later problems. Dhruv was very fulfilled living and working overseas. Kavya struggled to fit back into her parents’ life in their suburb and now is preparing to move back to Bombay to be with Dhruv. They are giving up things to be together, Kavya her life with her family and Dhruv his freedom to persue his career where ever it takes him. Right now, in this episode, it barely comes up. Instead they have to process the experience of being apart and now being back together. But it is there, in the background.
I think what this episode is establishing is that, during their time apart, they went on individual journeys that brought them to a place of wanting to commit to their life together. Those journeys did not involve the other person, but over the rest of this season, they will slowly tell the other person what happened to them, why they reached this place on their own.
Episode 2: Family
Something that has been simmering since the second season and even more last season is the difference between their two families. Kavya’s parents still treat her as a little kid sometime, can be difficult to deal with, etc. But ultimately they are a happy family and a good couple that can be a model for how Kavya and Dhruv want to be. On the other hand, Dhruv’s parents are not good models. They don’t know how to be good to others, if that makes sense. They call Dhruv in order to ask him to ask Kavya to help a relative get into a school. First, they shouldn’t be putting the needs of their relative above everyone else. Second, they shouldn’t be putting this pressure on their son. And third, they should understand the pressure they are putting on their son’s relationship! But none of that occurs to them. People are there to be used, their relative is using them, they are using their son, and of course their son will have no problem using his girlfriend.
That’s what this episode is about. Kavya is making Dhruv experience her family vacation version, a silly old-fashioned happy tour. And yes, it isn’t the kind of thing the two of them would normally do. But on the other hand, there is nothing actively wrong with it. It’s not toxic, it’s a fun sort of vacation from their normal life. Kavya’s childhood and background informs who she is, gives her a different view of the world, and lets her grow past it if she wants or return to it when she wants. That’s what childhood and family should be. Not all of you, but part of you.
And then there is Dhruv. Things go wrong, and all of a sudden he is angry and lashing out. And then realizes, that is what his family does. When things go wrong, they lash out at each other. They demand each other do what they want, not what the other wants. Dhruv is far far from his background, he has grown into a good man and a good boyfriend in a way his father never was. But it is a constant struggle, he has to constantly watch himself not to slide backwards. While for Kavya, going backwards is a little vacation from herself that she can leave at any time.
Okay, that’s all I got on those two eps! Now y’all discuss what I missed!
I’m happy to see them back together again, it’s nice. And agreed, they’re clearly recommitting to each other and to the relationship. To me, the first episode was all about who are we to each other now, and did the time apart change that? It reminds me of what we were talking about in the marriage post, how if you don’t have that traditional model to fall back on, it’s more work in many ways because you have to constantly choose the other person and navigate what your relationship means to each other and to everyone else. It’s true that Kavya’s family offers a happier model, but in many ways she isn’t fitting that model, she is choosing her own path, alongside Dhruv. The first episode was all about what it meant to be okay with being apart for so long, and what they were missing. I found it fascinating that they talked every day (I’ve never done this with my husband, though I know couples who do), and based on the flashbacks sometimes for long stretches, yet they felt they weren’t *really* talking, just updating one another. Among other things, it’s a clever way to get at that sense we’ve all experienced during the pandemic – virtual connections are nice but it’s not the real thing – while not dating the show by bringing the pandemic into it.
The second episode (just watched) shows their relationship so well, I loved that. That confessional scene was adorable, my favorite. Kavya came up with a plan to get them out, Dhruv is mostly good natured about going along, and still really excited about good food. He does have a tendency to blow things out of proportion and assume the worst when something goes wrong, and he’s also dealing with coming back into India after having adapted to Finland, which makes him a tad extra inflexible. But he will also readily admit when he’s wrong and try to do better. Kavya is happy to be with him but low-key nervous about work. (Yes, foreshadowing.) The message by the end is explicitly we don’t have to be like our parents, we can change and grow and become who we choose to be.
I really liked Kavya’s line about how it’s not that they loved each other less, but they forgot how much they loved each other. It was easy to put that out of your head, focus on the here and now. The talking every day made sense to me, it was like an affirmation, yes we are still in this relationship. Maybe the same as a wedding ring would be if they had that. But the meaning behind the conversations got less and less, it was just to say you had told him/her about your day, and you knew about her/his day. But you didn’t REALLY talk.
Do you remember last season when her Dad retired, her Mom talked about being a little conflicted because she would miss her alone time? I feel like Kavya took that to heart. As a lesson of “I can have a relationship like my parents, and it’s still okay to need things for myself, to be okay on my own.
The thing that has made Dhruv special to me through out the show is his willingness to listen to what Kavya is telling him. Back in the first season, he was kind of casually awful to her through out, dismissive of her plans, irritated by her behavior, and so on. But when she wanted to talk about what was going on in her life, he really REALLY listened, and cared, and contributed, and was interested. Someone being casually thoughtless in a relationship is normal, but to have someone who is willing to listen and change when their behavior is pointed out is special. Kavya’s special too, because she is so fearlessly willing to tell him anything she is thinking about what is happening with them. It’s an interesting match, his willingness to listen and change comes from seeing the dysfunction of his family, and being that little boy who just wished someone would listen to him and talk about things. And her fearlessness in bringing things up comes from her seeing and receiving so much unconditional love.
On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 11:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
This started a bit heavier than the previous seasons but it was so nice to see Dhruv and Kavya together again!
Also Kerala is so beautiful! It’s definitely in my list of places I would love to visit one day.
Yes! I got through the first two episodes and then had to take a day before I went back because they were so heavy. And then the next ones were light. Which makes me worried that 5-6 are going to be heavy again 🙂
On Sat, Oct 23, 2021 at 11:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I ended up binging the entire show yesterday and I wouldn’t say that they are too heavy but the overall tone of the show is pretty consistent this season once you get used to it.
Oooo! Okay, I will try to get myself to finish the last two sets of episodes on Monday/Tuesday.
On Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 11:16 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Finally watching these a bit late because travel restrictions are finally lifted a bit and Mr. Malhotra was here! So we were actually enacting the whole “haven’t seen each other for over a year” thing before I watched it. It’s interesting we haven’t seen Dhruv and Kavya do a whole trip, for pleasure, before, because that’s one of the times when people’s personalities really come out and conflicts can arise. So, the boat floating aimlessly in the water was a bit on the nose as far as the symbolism went, but I liked this scene and the way it resolved.
Yes, I liked that they approached the trip being open to each other’s experiences and preferences and finding middle ground. Without it being TOO perfect. If Dhruv had agreed to the family tour without any complaining, I wouldn’t buy it. But he did honestly try to have a good time, which is something we have seen missing in the past when one of them wanted to do something and the other didn’t.
On Tue, Nov 2, 2021 at 10:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote: