Kota Factory (Season 1)
I stumbled upon this as a suggestion from Netflix and decided to give it go. My notion being ‘it’s a documentary’, I was not expecting much from it in terms of emotion. But surprise, surprise it is NOT a documentary. It is the cleanest, most subtle and the most alive (in terms of human emotion) teen drama you will watch on any OTT platform these days.
The story is set in a very small town of Kota in Rajasthan, India. A town that got its place on the map as a coaching hub for engineering in India. Even today, in our largely middle class dominated country education has only two options – Engineering and Medical. Every engineering student in India still has only one dream – Getting into an IIT. And Kota provides the hope of making this dream a reality. The city’s backdrop and vibe has been perfectly captured in a short time by the makers. I love how the context has been set for a brilliant story-telling. This story is about a sixteen year old ‘Vaibhav’ who comes to Kota in his 11th grade mid-term to join the best IIT-JEE coaching institute. However, fate had different plans and he could only make it to the second best institute – Prodigy.
The story touches upon every small detail in the life of students in such an environment. The privatization and monetization of education, the cut-throat competition to get into IITs, the extra classes, the leaving of home, the mess food, the khadoos land lady -all these topics have been touched upon lightly and quite humorously. These are just the side-kicks – my favorite topics are that one hateful subject, the attempt to change your teacher, the teacher who is your everything from a friend to a parent – Yes. This is our very own Jeetu from TVF and he is absolutely adorable as Jeetu Bhaiya. Jeetu Bhaiya totally rocks.
But my favorite character is ‘Meena’. He makes me believe in truth, innocence and friendship all over again. Never leaving his friend alone and always trying to help him conquer any situation and then be it even your friend’s bowel movement. Meena’s language, love and dedication really wins your heart.
This series is everything that you perhaps experienced as a teenager and also somethings that you may have not experienced. The main reason I recommend the series is that it is absolutely desi and real with no fancy college lingo and rich kid tantrums. It is clean despite being aimed at the youngsters for content. Even our busy lives where we get stressed out even over a small office meeting, this series reminds us of the mirage of teenage problems we lived through. The pressure of school practical, entrance exams and those jumping hormones that made us get attracted to the opposite sex for the first time were really the best days of our lives.
Do watch this if you want to smile hours and days after you have seen a web-series and all over simple, non-vulgar and sweet content.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.