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Ranjish hi Sahi again draws from the pain of a woman who has been dead for over 15 years, and is relentlessly crucified in the guise of commemorating a love - a love that reeks of nothing but deceit.
Ranjish hi Sahi again draws from the pain of a woman who has been dead for over 15 years, and is relentlessly crucified in the guise of commemorating a love – a love that reeks of nothing but deceit.
I just finished watching the Voot Select web-series, ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’, helmed by Pushdeep Baradwaj and created by Mahesh Bhatt. Interestingly, it is loosely based on the latter’s notorious affair with Parveen Babi.
As a person who has neither watched Arth (1982) nor Woh Lamhe (2006) – both works of Bhatt based on the same premise – I was curious to see his rendition of their affair and a woman he claimed to have loved earnestly.
Set against the backdrop of the golden 70s era, the series revolves around Shankar Vats (Tahir Raj Bhasin), a director trying to make a mark in the world of showbiz. With 3 consecutive flop movies in his kitty, Shankar is desperate for a script that will transform his life. His wife, Anju (Amrita Puri), is seen as his backbone, encouraging him to do his best and driving sense into him as the situation demands.
How this lowly director’s life gets intertwined with the successful actress, Amna Pervez (Amla Paul) is shown as a cruel twist of fate. But, as an objective viewer, I see it as a grown man’s repeated indiscretion and a complete and utter failure to respect his marital vows.
Shankar’s character is based on Mahesh Bhatt, Amna’s on Parveen Babi and Anju’s on Kiran Bhatt, his then wife.
As I write this, I want to clarify that this isn’t so much a review as it is a vehement protest against a series that paints a deceitful, miserable excuse of a man as someone powerless, caught in the conundrum of his own life. Did Shankar go through hell? Possibly! But it was a hell of his own making, fabricated through his own lies.
Amna, on the other hand, is portrayed as the ‘deranged other woman’, someone so tragically lonely that she sets her sights on a blissfully married man and usurps his marital paradise.
On multiple occasions, we witness the unfortunate unravelling of Amna, her emptiness permeating through her sad declarations of love to an emotionally absent man. Did this really happen? Maybe, maybe not! We’ll never know – Parveen Babi cannot rise from her grave to speak her truth. What we do know, however, is that Babi was indeed clinically schizophrenic, making it easier for us to understand her actions. But, what about the man who nearly 40 years after their affair, continues to cannibalize it to his benefit?
Mahesh Bhatt often attributes his relationship mishaps to his absentee father. Apparently, he was his parents’ love child, and his father did not live with them. Unbeknownst to him, despite his best attempts, he had become a reflection of his father. In ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’, Bhatt attempted to capture the essence of this relationship and its subsequent impact on his romantic relationships.
In a candid conversation, Shankar’s mother (Zarina Wahab) diagnoses his inherent nature of running to the rescue of distraught women as something rooted in his childhood, frozen in time. She reveals how he sees his mother in every harried woman, birthing an unbridled desperation within him to help her. But in all honesty, this whole scene seemed like a ridiculous ploy to whitewash Bhatt’s Casanova image and bring about a semblance of dignity to his character.
Keeping aside my indignation, I must reluctantly admit that all the actors rendered compelling performances, especially Amala Paul as Amna Pervez.
By and large, Ranjish Hi Sahi is an unnecessary series. We have enough works of art romanticizing this torrid, yet morbidly toxic love affair and definitely did not need another one. A woman who has been dead for over 15 years is relentlessly crucified in the guise of commemorating a love – a love that reeks of nothing but deceit. ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’ feels like a one-sided narrative that makes a hero out of a cheating husband and takes liberties with the silence of the dead ‘other woman’.
HR by profession, but a writer by choice, I find creative respite through writing. read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Every daughter, no matter how old, yearns to come home to her parents' place - ‘Home’ to us is where we were brought up with great care till marriage served us an eviction notice.
Every year Dugga comes home with her children and stays with her parents for ten days. These ten days are filled with fun and festivity. On the tenth day, everyone gathers to feed her sweets and bids her a teary-eyed adieu. ‘Dugga’ is no one but our Goddess Durga whose annual trip to Earth is scheduled in Autumn. She might be a Goddess to all. But to us, she is the next-door girl who returns home to stay with her parents.
When I was a child, I would cry on the day of Dashami (immersion) and ask Ma, “Why can’t she come again?” My mother would always smile back.
I mouthed the same dialogue as a 23-year-old, who was home for Durga Puja. This time, my mother graced me with a reply. “Durga is fortunate to come home at least once. But many have never been home after marriage.”
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