A few trillion years ago, Asit Kumarr Modi’s Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah went on air and changed the sitcom scene in India. The show chronicling the lives of Gokuldham Society residents stuck chords of Indian households and became a part of our daily lives. Every night, families huddled at dinner time, cackling as Jethalal belittled his wife Daya’s antics in the ‘funniest’ way possible. 

So many people enthusiastically ramble about Friends being the greatest sitcom of all time. ‘Timeless and iconic’, they call it without realising we have something far more superior. Truth be told, TMKOC is actually a ‘family-friendly’ Friends. Everyone in Gokuldham is a friend. We have Abdul for Gunther. The show is celebrated to this date. HELL, it’s still on air cracking similar jokes despite half of its original cast having walked out for whatever reasons. Okay, the reference is a tad bit exaggerated, but it’s something.

At the heart of everything is the eventful life of Jethalal, whose wife hasn’t returned from Ahmedabad for 6 years now. There must be a reason why Jethalal continues to be the beloved character he is, why he’s celebrated to date. In fact, he’s taught us so many things without being preachy. They tell us we shouldn’t take fiction so seriously, so we aren’t. Here’s unseriously why Jethalal is actually progressive –

1. He is a respectful husband who proved men are the real victims of marriage

In the real world, men (okay sorry, most men) are the victims of marriages. There’s just so much they have to deal with. A committed, doting wife who labours like an unpaid slave, for instance. While Jethalal delegated responsibilities at Gada Electronics, Daya took care of family, friends, and neighbourhood, and maintained her house all while raising a kid only to be ridiculed as a ‘mad woman’ and ‘nonsense’, at the end of the day. She took it sportingly as she should. After all, Jetha is the real victim.

Perhaps, the reason why she fled to Ahmedabad (and hasn’t returned yet) was the awakening that her overbearing husband loves her a little too much for her own good.


2. He has ensured fat-shaming is normalised

Dr. Hathi has a large body is the most obvious unsaid joke of the show. His weight often becomes the subject of half-baked punches. Honestly, it’s cool because this way people will stop taking fat-shaming to their heart. People need to be unserious like us.

3. He has cleared that it’s not cheating if you’re just ogling

Married with a grown-ass kid as he is, Jetha has had no qualms about ogling his neighbour’s wife. And why should he? He is a loyal husband after all there’s nothing physical about some light-hearted, good-natured drooling over a woman who has no clue about it.

4. Jethalal and the group think women should have no life, they’re right

Once, there was a whole sequence of Gokuldham men wanting to attend a ‘men’s’ party when women thought why should boys have all the fun and resolved they’d go for a party of their own. They dressed up in ‘modern’ attires which did not amuse their husbands, who suggested it’s not right for women to wear such clothes and party at night because there are creeps out there, who’re also men.

To prove the point, the show concluded the sequence with the women getting traumatised by creeps and regretting not listening to their husbands.

5. Jethalal proved what it means to be an ‘ideal’ husband, son, and father by doing the bare minimum…

…And then getting celebrated for all of it.


No TMKOC fan was harmed during the creation of this piece. And honestly, they’re right. A work of fiction shouldn’t be taken seriously even if it has had and continues to have a profound cultural impact on the society we live in. Because it’s not real, right? There’s no Jethalal in real life. Right?