It is possible that today’s children would find Gutar Gu too vanilla, but it might have a greater nostalgic appeal for older viewers, observes Deepa Gahlot.

Gutar Gua teen romance, exists in a fluffy cloud of innocence.

If it weren’t for the constant use of cell phones, laptops and social media, Gutar Gu could have belonged to a distant past before the ugliness of crime, violence and hyper teenagers permeated the world and made its way to OTT.

The six-part series, set in Bhopal and created and directed by Saqib Pandor (produced by Guneet Monga and Achin Jain), is an ordinary love story of Ritu (Ashlesha Thakur) and Anuj (Vishesh Bansal) that excels in its sweetness and simplicity .

Bhopal is a rapidly urbanizing city with malls and cafes, but small enough that a boy and girl seen together can generate gossip.

The boys of the Hindi Medium Bhojnagri school don’t even dream of talking to the posh co-ed Paul Williams’ girls.

Ritu, whose family has just relocated from Gurugram, chats freely with Anuj in the coaching class they attend and he is immediately smitten.

His giggling buddies are already fast-forwarding a casual conversation into a great romance before the hero and heroine have even thought of step two.

One can surmise that after stepping out of the macho environment of Gurugram, where street molesting of girls is a daily occurrence, Ritu must be charmed by the shy and respectful Anuj.

The boy, on the other hand, needs advice from the older, world-weary Amit Bhaiya (a hilarious Satish Ray). However, his little brother is smarter and more devious than the idiotic Anuj.

Anuj, with his goofy grin and lingering baby fat, is in no condition to be dishonest, and after their first tentative date went bust he even blurts out the real reason for his no-show – his father sent him off to to have additional holes drilled on his belt. (Awwww! Is this guy real?)

The friendship turns to love through a series of mildly funny and believable episodes – like a jock-like admirer of Ritu from her school challenging Anuj to a duel (‘Yo harega woh rite se rakhi bandhwayega‘); or the time when Rite’s Gurugram friends come to visit and look down upon the zealous Anuj.

Under the menace of the Hindutva groups ranting on TV, Rite and Anuj’s Valentine’s Day is unexpectedly stressful.

Then there is the discovery of Anuj’s secret by his dragon mama.

Encouraging to note that Ritu is not a bimbette. She is top of her class and career oriented, despite agreeing early.bhabhi‘ Status from the other guys.

Bhopal’s landmark Manuabhan Tekri plays an important role in history. Of course, the tourist spot is unlikely to be left empty for the young couple’s privacy.

With the city spread out like a patchwork quilt below, the view from Tekri still has a world-class feel.

Gutar Gu is not Thakur or Bansal’s first project – they also starred in Pandor’s earlier short film Gupt Gyaan — but they have the fresh looks of unspoiled teenagers.

It’s possible today’s kids would find the show too mundane (at 17, who’s thinking of growing old together!). But it might have a bigger nostalgic appeal for older viewers.

Gutar Gu Stream to Amazon MiniTV.

Gutar Gu Review Rediff Rating: