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The recent movie Masaan is a must watch – I loved the character of Devi, a strong young woman who takes charge of her own life despite it all!
It has been a while since Trump became the new orange of America, since Arnab quit Times News, since Barkha Dutt left NDTV and since, I have blogged about some serious issues!
A tsunami of thoughts has been creating such havoc in my headspace that at times, I find myself engaged in thoughts even when I am asleep. It has a lot to do with the fact that I am truly living in an alternate universe where magic and fantasies are as real as facts and truth. Or perhaps, I am not yet keen on buying masks to hide what I feel. Perhaps, I am not getting along well with the idea of being diplomatically correct all the time! Perhaps, I am just fine as a solitary bird who does not want to be a part of any social circle. Perhaps, being alone in this world without feeling lonely is a very coveted place reserved for a few lucky ones! Perhaps!
And then, I happened to watch the movie – Masaan this week. I had been wanting to watch this movie since long and this week, it finally happened.
I adore Richa Chaddha. And, I adore Sanjay Misra. Indian cinema has to retain these gems to produce good films that shall influence the society for good. And, it was this movie that brought a core issue to light. In our country, we trouble the victims more and, perhaps make culprits famous!
There are two parallel stories in the movie. Set in Banaras, the plot revolves around Devi (played by Richa) and, Deepak, a civil engineer who hails from the caste of people that work at cremation ground, burning funeral pyres.
Devi gets caught in a maze of turbulence when she accompanies her boy friend Piyush to a hotel room and, gets caught by the police during the raid. But the police take their time to film the act that eventually leads to the suicide of the boy.
However, Devi lives. She actually survives. Getting through the daily grind, averting her gaze while walking down the street, switching the jobs every time her past catches up with her, Devi plays her ‘silence’ card meticulously. She avoids social interaction, lest her past flares up. However, she is also very clear about her decisions in life. When her father chides her for the fiasco saying “How could you do such a thing?”, she replies candidly without batting an eyelid- “I liked him. I liked to talk to him. And what we did, we were into it, together. He died, I lived. Was his action my fault?”
The character Devi has asked a valid question. Was his action her fault? While the question is contentious, it also brings out yet another pertinent question – “What the character Devi did, was that really a crime?”
Later in the night, I pondered over why people who are messed up in the head have a different take on normal things. And the answer came through this movie… – What Devi did was not a crime. Perhaps, a careless choice of a place where things could go wrong evidently. A hotel room for sex is like baiting the beast to feed on the live fawn. What were the odds that the fawn could escape?
But that said, the crime did happen. Not at the time of the act but after the incident.
The crime happened when the police not only filmed the act but demanded a lumpsome bribe from Devi’s father to hush the matter and save Devi from getting a case of abetment to suicide, filed against her.
The crime happened when random strangers approached her with indecent proposals, hinting at searing her future with taunts and shame.
The crime happened when her learned Sanskrit scholar of a father failed to muster courage and say to the world around – “Hell with you people! I stand by my child in her rough times!”
After all, the real culprits are not the ones who make mistakes. The real culprits are the ones who do not let people come back to normal life and move on.
Devi moves on and is able to, because she takes charge of her life. Deepak on the other hand, loses his motivation to rise in life when his hopes of marrying his love stare into his face blankly in the form of a dead body that just arrives with the many others. The body is of his love, Shaalu. When he loses his love to a bus accident, his dream of a good life outside of the cremation ghat is also burned in that funeral pyre. However, the wheels of time turn, and he learns that stagnancy in life gets you nowhere.
Happy endings is what people want in real life too. Sometimes, the phrase ‘Satya Meva Jayate’ does not arrive in its truest form when the perpetrators are brought to justice alone. It will have truly arrived only when people like you and me give the much needed support to victims of abuse. To say those words to someone – “We are with you. Life goes on and, we will help you move on”, is a big deal. But yet, we don’t. That is where a society needs to work on. Help the victims. Give support to survivors. Do not stand in the way of people who want to reform and, do good in life.
Recently, there was a discussion in a group about a short clip featuring a 23 year old woman convincing her mother of her decision to be in a live in relationship.
Many of us come from a generation or, have been raised by a generation that believed in the old school of thought – Marriage is a holy union. And, sex is best reserved for it. However, I feel if a woman of today wants to have a different take on it, we should not squirm and instantly jump the gun and, shame the woman. Who knows, live in relationships may be as genuine as marriage. But then again, who knows!
So, when there was a question in the group as to how many women would be comfortable letting their daughters get into a relationship they are not exactly sure would culminate in a marriage, the clarity in thoughts that poured in was amazing. Many were not comfortable. However, there were a handful who felt that they would not want to barge into their children’s take on relationships. It felt good to see that the winds have changed their direction after a long time and, a change is slowly setting into the new age parenting.
However, as a mother, I do have a small addition to my perception of a woman’s decision in entering a relationship that might be a cross between a casual and genuine one. If a woman is bold enough to take conscious decisions, pertaining to partners, lifestyle and relationships, she must also be courageous enough to bear the consequences without blaming the situation/circumstance/people. Because, when a woman takes a conscious decision, she truly is in cognizance of what she is doing. So if the outcome does not favour her, she must take charge of her life instead of getting pulled into the blame shame game. This is where Masaan’s Devi inspires the modern day woman.
If life hurls heart burning hiccups at you, awaken and rise. Take the consequence of your conscious decisions with a pinch of salt and, use your acumen to move on. Women empowerment will happen when women take that lesson of resilience from Devi – “Life is going to hurl curveballs at you. It will attack you, dent you, dilute your morale and make you feel worthless. But you must believe in yourself. Because, if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will!”
That said, do watch this gem of a movie! It will change the way you think, for sure!
And, I love this song…
Published here earlier.
Image source: YouTube