Little Things Episode 3 and 4: The Calm, and the Start of the Storm

These were two really pleasant episodes. But also, oh man, I can feel the problems coming! Which is how they happen in relationships in life, you go along all happy and smooth, thinking it’s fine, thinking you are on the same page, and then BLAMO.

Episode 3: Turning 30

Kavya’s 30th birthday is happening and Dhruv has to work. But unlike the last season when she had in her head he would surprise her for her birthday and he didn’t, it’s all fine this time. They talked it through, they are mature people who understand things. He planned a solo activity for her and got her a really thoughtful gift. And when he had a last minute additional work commitment, he told her everything and let her decide. And when they finally got back together in the evening, she saw through his fake energy and said it was okay to just have a quiet night. They are in a good place, they are honest with each other, it’s okay,

Or is it????? At the conference, Dhruv and his friend/boss/rival have a bit of a discussion about management techniques and if it is better to keep your team in the dark or let them help you. It has a clear relevance for relationships, Dhruv says always better to talk it out and share responsibility, which is clearly his attitude towards his relationship with Kavya as well. And that’s what they do, seemingly, with this day. Talk about him having to work, talk about her having a pleasant day on her own, talk about all of this.

The problem is, the things you think aren’t problems, the things you don’t have to talk about because they “go without saying”. Dhruv and his friend/boss/rival have another conversation later about fatherhood. And how maybe it is okay to slow down, to be less ambitious, less competitive, and instead focus on being there for your kids. This has always been Dhruv’s goal in life, to enjoy where he is at, to stop doing things when they don’t satisfy him. We learned that over the past few seasons, his parents drove him his whole childhood to achieve, pressured him with the weight of the world. As soon as he was free of them, he switched to only doing things that give him joy in the moment. So now, to think about fatherhood and family is a natural next step for him. He has found a stable work-life balance he has been working towards, of course part of that was planning for kids. Why talk to Kavya about it? It’s obvious! Especially with Kavya talking about enjoying the unexpected, feeling comfortable and adult and mature, even starting the day by mentioning how her mother was already a mother at her age (shout out to “Main Koi Aise Geet” as the song for her Mom’s flashback video montage).

Episode 4: Rational Relationship Myth

Oh yes, the dream relationship you see other people have! Which is fake. No one has the “perfect” relationship. But everyone sees someone else’s and starts thinking that’s what they want. I am enjoying the increasing sense of edgy competitiveness between Dhruv and Sanket, his ex-boss. They are friends, yes, but there’s also something toxic between them. Dhruv was smart to move on and find his own way. But has he really moved on? Is he going to keep comparing his life and him and Kavya to Sanket and his wife?

Just as the perfect rational relationship between two people who have talked about everything and have identical goals is an illusion, so is the “perfect” place to live. Sanket is committed to Finland because the air quality is so much better and everything is so much better than in India. And Kavya is interested in learning about this new place that sounded so good. But Dhruv is sure India can be just as good, that he wants the warmth and soul and lack of logic.

What is hovering around all these conversations is kids. And OH BOY, I am seeing trouble ahead! Kavya turns down a job offer from her boss. We, the audience, saw the whole conversation and I read it as “I really love working in sales, I want to keep working in sales, so I am turning down the alternative job you offered me”. It was a re-affirmation of her joy in working. But to Dhruv, possibly, it was a statement of “work no longer fulfills me, I am looking for something else”. All their conversations about choosing Bombay over Finland or Nagpur, Mithila thinks they are talking about “what would be a good place for the two of us to live”. And Dhruv thinks they are talking about “what would be a good place to have kids”. Culminating in the end of the episode when Dhruv says something about how scared they were to have a conversation about getting engaged, and now they can talk about kids without being scared. Mithila agrees and suggests they talk after they are settled in their apartment.

Now, is it just me, or did that scene read like Dhruv thought “after we are settled, we WILL HAVE children”, while Mithila thought “after we are settled, we will talk about our feelings about kids”? Everything is great between them right now, they are in a really good place. But that’s only because they haven’t started talking about where they go from here, what comes next.

And one final thing I am curious about, Sanket warned Dhruv that it is easy to say you will always be honest with your team before you have faced that situation. Is that what is coming? Dhruv will, for the first time, break their honesty pact and lie to Mithila that he is okay with her no-kids decision? For the sake of the health of their team?

Oh shoot, another thing! The trailer spoiled that Mithila doesn’t want kids. But I think, these characters and this show have been so well-developed, I would have known that anyway. We have had breadcrumbs through out all the seasons that Mithila just isn’t interested.

4 thoughts on “Little Things Episode 3 and 4: The Calm, and the Start of the Storm

  1. Why do you think Mithila speaks more in English than Dhruv? Just something I’ve been noticing.

    And I swear she said something about kids in one of the first two episodes, but I have to go back and find it. She was relating a conversation she had with her mother to Dhruv. I heard it in the moment as “I don’t want kids” but I could be wrong. He didn’t react so I thought maybe that was already settled between them, and I’ve been confused about this whole parenthood trip he’s been on.

    Anyway, it’s late and I should sleep. I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow.

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    • Dhruv is north Indian, so maybe Hindi is more natural to him?

      I could believe Mithila said something in an early episode, because it feels so clear to me that she does not want kids. But denial is strong, Dhruv could be willfully ignoring those hints and just going along with his own idea of what their life will be like.

      On Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 11:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Loved these episodes! Sanket’s comment about “not just the little things but the big things” kind of clues us in that perhaps the show will change in focus, although we could have guess with the series ending. And the focus on being on the same page and Kavya talking about deadlines as she turns 30 . . .I’m getting nervous about the end. And I hope we get to see the set-up of the Bombay house.

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    • One thing I liked was that these episodes got that “couple who is slightly ahead of us” experience. They had that before with their friends who got married, and now with Sanket and his wife who seem so in the same place and talking about things and stuff, it makes Dhruv and Kavya think “is this what we should be striving for?”

      On Tue, Nov 2, 2021 at 10:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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