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This lockdown has not only helped me watch some old, yet progressive content, but also made me delve deep into what my mom was and what she inspired me to become in life.
It is the month of May and we have Mother’s Day and are already more than 50 days into a country-wide lockdown this month.
What’s the connection? Well, during the last couple of weeks, like many others locked at home, I saw myself drowning myself into a lot of online content – movies, TV shows, news (well, that’s a part of my profession) and music. But unlike most of the millennial generation, I saw myself going down memory lane and visiting content that my mom watched or spoke about when she was growing up and in her 30s.
I lost my mother in 2013, and like any other daughter I have a truckload of cherished memories with her. One of the best memories were that related to the things she watched as a teenager and as in her twenties and thirties during the 90s and the more I revisit the content she liked, I realize that I am learning more about her as a woman and the aspirational mother she always was.
The first piece of content I stumbled upon was Trishna, a Doordarshan television series of the year 1985 that was all of 13 episodes and was an official Hindi remake of Jane Austen’s all-time classic Pride and Prejudice.
The show has no grand sets, no larger than life characters, no over-the top make up, and yet as a 31-year old I got completely drawn into the story, ignoring the basic technical backwardness of that time, and completely got engrossed in the characters. Even though I have read the book and watched the cinematic version of it in English, I still was drawn towards the characters — a strongly opinionated Rekha who talks and walks her mind. Sangeeta Handa, who plays Rekha albeit Elizabeth in the story, styled in svelte salwar suites reminded me of my mother’s collection of suites in her college days. The series is available on Prasar Bharati Archives channel on Youtube.
The second piece of content I discovered during this lockdown, which has been on my list for a while, was Chashme Baddoor, a cult, breezy classic from 1981 starring Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval.
The movie is a simple love story, a self-made woman Neha and the normalcy of life without gadgets and engaging conversations that thrived during the 80’s. This along with Baaton Baaton Mein, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Khubsoorat are some of the movies my mother re-visited along with me while I was growing up.
The last one on this list was a TV show of the early 2000, Astitiva- Ek Prem Kahani; a series that was much ahead of its time, when a reverse age difference was not explored, a working female doctor who was an ambitious professional and a loving mother. I recently explored a couple of episodes and was completely mesmerized with the layered characters and complexity of relationships. The story is helmed by the beautiful Niki Aneja, whose monochrome and floral printed chiffon sarees was also something my mom wore in those days.
Apart from movies and serials, I also revisited some Jagjit Singh tracks and it was a calming experience.
This lockdown has not only helped me watch some old, yet progressively approached content, but also made me delve deep into what my mom was and what she inspired me to become in life. She always had a simple approach towards life and even though she was a homemaker who took took home tuitions for school students, she aspired me to have a disciplined professional life and take work equally seriously like the men did at home.
My mother’s choices have helped me love and respect her more dearly and I hope to revisit some of her more favourites over the coming weekends. A throwback moment with content is not that bad after all.
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Content professional and student mentor.
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