It is said that you can take an Indian out of India, but you can’t take out India from an Indian. It is no new fact that the Indian American community is quite a successful one, with successes in almost every field, especially academics. Metro Park, Eros Now’s recently released original series, depicts exactly that in the form of the not-so-mundane lives of the Indian American community.
Metro Park revolves around the lives of a Gujarati family, the Patels, living in New Jersey where the man of the house, Kalpesh Patel (played by Ranvir Shorey), is a stereotypical Indian shopkeeper. The Patels, comprising Kalpesh’s wife Payal (played by Purbi Joshi) and their two children are joined by the newlywed (and expecting) couple, Kinjal and Kannan (played by “3 Idiots” fame, Omi Vaidya). A valuable addition in the series is Pitobash playing the role of Kalpesh’s assistant, “Bittu Amritraj”, whose dialogues and acting are a special deal too.
The series revolves around the theme of the numerous attempts of the Patels and their other Indian American friends to remain as “Indian” as they can be in the USA, along with encountering the contradiction of being so in a completely different environment. For example, picture an Indian man in the United States, having tea with Parle-G biscuits and reading an Indian daily, while his tech-savvy children speak in crisp East Coast American accents. The show makes good use of regional, cultural and religious stereotypes of the Indian community abroad, complete with conservatism, cricket loving, gossiping and going to great lengths to save money, a hilarious example of which is a scene wherein Kalpesh is shown covering his textbook with newspaper whilst explaining to his American-born daughter how he always got hand-me-down books from his elder siblings. A constant theme, quite conspicuous in the trailer too, is the perfect concoction of the Gujarati accented English of the Patels, something characteristic to most Indians, at times resulting in a hilarious misunderstanding. Interestingly, there comes a point when the neighboring American kids come to take prasad after a pooja, following which Kannan remarks that Metro Park has become more Indian than the Indians have become Americans, showing that the cultural exchange is not just one-way.
With Metro Park, there are multiple episodes of constant comparison of Indian values and the American Dream. The choice of comedy is usually situational and sometimes word-plays, of which a few fail to hit the mark, despite Ranvir Shorey’s and Purbi Joshi’s wonderful acting. The show can turn clichéd at times, while yet remaining entertaining for its story. Metro Park is a show without the usual turns and twists of the average web-series but still manages to make its mark in the realm of web entertainment.