When Rasika Dugal's character, Dr Meera Kapoor, the protagonist who is always at the edge of love, loyalty and reason, is leaving for work in one of the first scenes of the first episode of Out of Love season 1, she is dressed in a blue kurta. Her hair is tied back into a ponytail, a characteristic trait that she wears with comfort throughout the ten episodes. She inquires about a certain grey scarf and in its absence, she wears Akarsh Kapoor (Purab Kohli), her husband's blue scarf. A strand of hair on this aforesaid blue scarf is what rolls the story forward. Very interestingly, when the first episode of season 2 opens, Dr Meera Kapoor is again seen sporting a blue kurta and a ponytail. However, this time she is wearing a grey scarf, probably the one that had gone missing in the first episode of the previous season. There have been several criticisms about the portrayal of love, lust and marital relationships in this complex web drama, which is cradled in the hills of Coonoor. However, I am intrigued by Dr Meera Kapoor's wardrobe choices, which seem to have been carefully assorted to suit the emotional intensities of her character.
Dr Meera is a woman capable of depicting intense emotions. She is passionate in love, left confused when the walls of her marriage shatter around her, fuming in hate when she decides to take revenge upon her husband and quietly content when she looks out for herself and her son. Her character has not been overburdened with words. She wears her emotions in the form of clothes that range from a neat kurta-ponytail look to an all-black attire and a myriad array of facial expressions. While the colours she wears in season 1 are mostly in white, grey and pastel shades, her clothes in season 2 are darker in hue: blues, emerald green, dark greys and black. This can be understood as a quick commentary on how she has transformed as a person in the course of the three years since she found out about her husband's affair. However, I noted that the pastel colours had not completely left her life. She wore them in the form of cardigans at home, as a shawl around her in one of the final scenes in season 2 and when she changes into a pair of home clothes after Akarsh wets her green dress. This curious colour grading denotes a wall that she sets up between herself and the world, the latter requiring her to be tough and headstrong as a single mother of a teenager, ex-wife to a vengeful husband and the HOD at work.
Interestingly, she repeats a set of colours at two crucial junctures in both seasons. She wears an all-black kurta set paired with a wine-coloured scarf in the scene where she first finds out about her husband's affair. It is a climactic scene that unfolds very early in season 1. Apart from this discovery, the scene also marks a sequence of actions where she takes cognisance of the situation she is forced into. The same set of colours reappears in the fourth episode of season 2. Here, she discovers the truth behind her teenage son's aloofness, is seen at loggerheads with her ex-husband and attempts, rather successfully, to bring the situation under control. Both the scenes are curiously similar in the whirlwind of emotions she is forced to juggle, and climactic discoveries and negotiations she is forced into. What elevates these scenes is her hairstyle. Meera carries her hair in her usual ponytail in season 1 but just before the haunting discovery, she opens her hair for an informal gathering and with this, a sense of loss of control over her life is easily pointed out for the audience. However, in the second season, through all the juggling affairs, especially in the fourth episode, her hair continues to be neatly tied in the ponytail. It is clearly conveyed that Dr Meera Kapoor has grown through her adversities and is mostly in control of her life. Interestingly, Meera reclaims the mournful look of an all-black attire to divulge the secret of her husband's affair to his investor in season 1. The open hair marks her victory over the loss of control that it had earlier signified.
Another point of interest is that the only times she leaves her hair open are at her own discretion. When she is with Rohan (Vishwas Kini), her hair sprawls on her shoulder and acts as the distinct mark of her attraction towards him. Dependably then, when she parts with him, her hair is back to being tied in a usual ponytail, her professional hair code. In fact, 'letting one's hair down' is a popular phrase to mean loosening up and behaving more freely. This stands true for Meera, especially when despite all the ill feelings she harbours about Akarsh and their marriage, she is seen at her unguarded best at the dining table scene with her son and husband in season 2.
Shot in the hills, Dr Meera Kapoor is generally seen in multiple layers of clothing in season 2 while in season 1, she appears in relatively breezy, less layered clothing. These layers increase to the point of engulfing her frame in her blue jacket when the crisis peaks. As soon as her life sheds the resentment she was holding within herself, we see a glimpse of her in her usual ponytail and a bright, neutral-coloured kurta. I say kudos to the team that worked on making Meera's character come to life not only through her usual verbal and facial expressions but also through her elegant wardrobe, and to Rasika Dugal herself, who seamlessly carries Meera's character like it were her own.