The first time we see Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur), a wedding planner, he is in a leather jacket. His colleague and friend Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) gives him a sour look, and tells him to change into a blazer instead. They are going to see a client and need to look more professional.
In a later scene, Faiza Naqvi (Kalki Koechlin), Tara’s closest friend, tells her to “lose the bracelet… the shiny one”, because “it’s a bit much” for the house party.
We are in the eye of a vicious circular storm, a world where one’s appearance is all it takes to clinch or crash a deal, a conversation, a hookup. Appearance is key.
What of the beating heart behind that blazer?
The first season of Made In Heaven, the show created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, came out in 2019. It followed Karan and Tara as they navigate the many madnesses around the many weddings — roughly one wedding per episode. From Pavail Gulati, Neena Gupta, Deepti Naval, Amrita Puri, Maanvi Gagroo to Rasika Dugal and Pulkit Samrat, many actors make a special appearance.
What Karan and Tara must also navigate are the many madnesses around the many people in their personal lives — husbands, lovers, friends, parents, colleagues.
As the second season’s release on 10th August is getting closer — more than four years after the first season — here is everything you need to remember as you walk into the show.
His debt and his queerness follow him through. He opened a jazz club, which failed, and he took a debt to open “Made In Heaven”, the wedding planning company with Tara. The first few episodes track the various ways he attempts to pay the goon-lender (Vijay Raaz, who else?).
His promiscuous queerness established through the various hookups he brings home, we are introduced to his landlord Ramesh Gupta (Vinay Pathak), a married man who, nonetheless, harbours lust for Karan. Ramesh installs a camera in Karan’s bedroom, and as a voyeur enjoys watching him have sex with his revolving door of men.
This is until his wife sees these videos. Ramesh makes an excuse, that he was collecting evidence to show the police. Mind you, this was before Section 377 was unanimously struck down, according to which you could be punished for having “unnatural sex”. Ramesh is arm-twisted by his wife into filing a complaint and Karan is arrested.
The rest of the show tracks Karan’s journey as he fights to get Section 377 abolished, while right-wing goons threaten to destroy his career and property. The first season ends with the Made In Heaven office completely demolished.
She comes from a modest family. Working as a secretary for the industrialist-son Adil Khanna (Jim Sarbh), she slowly carves her way up the social ladder by sleeping with Adil — who was engaged at the time.
Adil marries Tara and she adapts well to the new rich life, but the class anxiety remains. For this, she always falls back on her close friend Faiza Naqvi, who knows the vocabulary, styling, and etiquette of the rich. From a “really sweet new girl in town, super simple, a bit rough on the edges, but soft” she becomes “styled out, branded from head to toe … shiny and hard, like a diamond.”
The first half of the show throws up a twist which moves your sympathies towards Tara — Adil and Faiza are having an affair, which Tara finds out about. Adil promises to never see Faiza, and they patch up.
The second half of the show throws up another twist that moves your sympathies away from Tara — that her lust for social climbing actually made her leak the sex tape of her and Adil that caused him to break his engagement and court her, instead.
By the end of the first season, she goes into a bathtub wearing all the jewels she owns, because why not, and then pools all that jewellery into a bag, rushes out and escapes, leaving Adil, and heads to the Made In Heaven office. She is heading for a divorce and will be using the jewellery to rebuild the office.
Made In Heaven can also be thought of as a robust workplace drama. Each person is given the space to stretch out into a full character.
Jaspreet “Jazz” Kaur (Shivani Raghuvanshi) is looking to pursue social mobility, South Delhi-wards. She has a man in her gully she frequently has sex with, but wants to move up — in life, as in lust. She falls in love with Kabir Basrai (Shashank Arora), the wedding photographer, a mysterious man about whom we know nothing, except that he loves observing, a flaneur.
Shibani Bagchi (Natasha Singh) is in-charge of the production of the weddings. She, Tara, and Karan started Made In Heaven together but she isn’t a partner. A single mother, she is tempted to join the competitors who would pay her more, and by the end, she leaves Made In Heaven.
With each of these characters, except Shibani, returning, more people are being added to the office (Mona Singh and Trinetra Haldar), increasing the pressure of the pot as the personal stakes are becoming more razor sharp and the weddings, more and more ambitious.