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While watching Bahubali, I realised there was a lot to learn from the unerring and unapologetic Shivagami Devi. Here are 6 of my lessons.
As most of you might know, Bahubali is a story that revolves around the Mahishmati Kingdom. It starts with a very touching scene where a woman well aware of her nearing end. However, she is not ready to give up until she is sure that the baby she is carrying with her lands in safe hands.
What unfolds further is a series of events where this baby aka Shiva or Mahendra Bahubali is raised by a local tribal woman. He learns about his unjust past and avenges the injustice done to him and his family.
The main character here is Prabhas who played the role of Amrendra as well as Mahendra Bahubali. However, it is Ramya Krishnan as Shivagami Devi who steals the show.
Shivagami’s character is that of an astute politician, who has an unshakeable belief in herself and her people. What makes her character an immensely powerful one that drives the entire story is the way she conducts herself and her self-assuring smile. It is the attention her presence demands and the strong emotions that her eyes convey. And it is her authoritative tone of voice with her wisely chosen words that convey her message crisply and sharply.
As one of the most popular forms of media, Indian cinema needs to take it up as its responsibility to portray more women in such powerful characters. Shivagami Devi’s character can be a turning point in the Indian cinematic industry and uproot the deep underlying misogynist roots.
Here are some of the lessons I learnt from Shivagami Devi of Mahishmati
Shivagami’s character emanates courage and power like none other. She is all about healthy confidence and not an outsized ego. While she is a Maharani with strong opinions and all the required skills and wisdom to rule a kingdom, she denies ascending the throne.
She is a woman of power who understands and accepts her place with grace and confidence.
She is aware of everything that goes on behind the curtains and knows how to deal with the traitors who are still coming to terms with working under a woman leader.
At the same time, she is conscious of her commitment to her children and her family. She is not negligent towards one while focussing on the other.
Nowhere in the film can you blame her for favouring her blood lineage over the wellbeing of the kingdom. She handles this challenging situation gracefully and you are instantly in awe with her unbiased and fair approach.
Righteousness and integrity are far more important to her.
Her allegiance to her people and kingdom is clear every time when she puts her people over everything else. Be it the war with Kalkeyas or coming across a violent elephant while following the age-old tradition – her priority is her kingdom and her people.
She is in a position where no one can dare to raise their voices against her. However, when she is reprimanded by Kattapa after the death of Amrendra Bahubali, she accepts and admits her mistakes. And she even apologises to Devsena.
Left with no option but to escape, she singlehandedly fights guards while being injured. She gives up her own life to save that of the baby who would be the future king. Keeping her promise to Devsena, she stands true to her word.
This is why the character of Shivagami is the epitome of confidence, valour and justice.
Picture credits: Still from the movie Bahubali
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Swapnal has been an HR professional for almost 5 years and currently is a freelance
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