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Anupamaa Has Taken A Stand, But What Will Be The Future?

For now the track of Anupamaa is really satisfying and women should surely find their inspiration here, but will it fall prey to TRPs again?

She is someone’s daughter, wife, mother and also a daughter-in-law, but who actually is she? Does she have an identity? Anupamaa -The story of every Indian housewife!

The 30-sec promo of this show has a woman shown ironing. Then we hear the phone ringing, which she answers. When she tells this to her husband, he taunts her for her speaking skills. Both of them are then shown standing in front of a mirror, she very sweetly praises him, telling that he is so fit that he looks younger than his actual age. To this, he very arrogantly replies that even she should look after herself as she looks older than her age.

The promo ends with her standing dejected in front of the mirror looking at herself and the lines ‘jise sabki khushiyon ka hai khayal, kya hai uske dil ka hal (what does a woman who cares for everyone else really feel?) ANUPAMAA!

The ideal bahu

Every such serial begins with something new only to end up showing those saas-bahu dramas where the bahu is always the so-called sarvagun sampann. She is the perfect Jagatmata who only wants good for her family, and can sacrifice anything for their wellbeing, but when her family is threatened then she can become the best example of Chandi.

Bullshit! I have never understood this concept! What are they trying to show by portraying a daughter-in-law as perfect only if she bows her head and listens to every word said by her so-called family, accepts every accusation, silently weeping?!

And even then, she will never complain, easily forgiving everyone, after all, sanskaari aur achi bahu yahi karti hai! God! I must say, they have patience at a different level!

And one more thing I don’t get is why are all the villains after her. And she has to be the only one to defeat them! Are they so idle? Don’t they have better things to do? And then the way they show the actresses always dressed and decked in heavy makeup just to work in the kitchen and roam in their house!

So yes, I did not pay much attention to the promo. But I happened to watch a few episodes of the serial, and as expected, Anupamaa was shown as the perfect woman. She keeps running around the house doing everything for her family but no one cares for her feelings, neither her son Paritosh nor daughter Pakhi or her husband Vanraj Shah.

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Even her mother-in-law leaves no occasion to taunt her. Only Babuji (father-in-law) and her youngest son realize her plight.

A mother is taken for granted

As a Mom, her work is taken for granted. She wakes up before everyone, cooks for them, and takes care of their every need, but only gets disrespect and harsh words in return. Her children feel she is doing nothing big, it’s her job. Pakhi feels ashamed to take her to school and instead takes her father’s colleague Kavya to meet her teacher.

Paritosh calls her uneducated, and selfish, and also accuses her of not being a good mother. Lekin kaam padne par Maa hi yaad aati hai (in time of need, you remember only your mother) be it for finding things, looking for their friends or talking to and convincing Paritosh’s future mother-in-law.

Despite all these, she never complains.

Vanraj is a perfect example of the patriarchal mindset

He feels that women are meant to work and cook. He did not allow his wife to study or go out, but never fails in highlighting these drawbacks. Furthermore, he calls her illiterate, scolds her for her lack of manners and abstains from going near her as she smells of masala!

He keeps finding fault in her and portrays the perfect egoist male mentality where a husband can have affairs, go out and chill and even make tons of mistakes but a simple sorry should be enough to cover his deeds.

But wife, the wife has to be the meek and submissive one living according to her husband’s wish and command. She should be ready to forgive her husband’s biggest mistake, whereas her smallest mistake is a sin!

Baa and Bapuji, typical mother-in-law and supportive father-in-law

Baa leaves no occasion to taunt Anupamaa, and never fails to tell her that she isn’t the bahu of her choice. She expects her to look after her son’s every need and silently accept anything and everything he says.

Baa is the best example of the so-called saas who can never accept a bahu as a member of her family, she is a woman for whom her son is always correct and daughter-in-law never correct. She expects Anupamaa to readily forgive Vanraj when he comes home after living with Kavya.

Bapuji on the contrary is really caring and supports Anupamaa against his son and also encourages her to work and live for herself.

My take

I hated the character of Vanraj. I felt like slapping him for the way he treated his wife and had an extramarital affair with Kavya. He is cheating on his wife and not for a moment is guilty. Even when his cheating is exposed, instead of apologizing, he shamelessly accuses Anupamaa of not being a good wife and very easily leaves his house to go and live with Kavya.

And then after some time when he realizes the cons of leaving his home, he is quick to return and confess love to Anupamaa expecting her to readily forgive him, because he is Pati parmeshwar! Such a spoiled, selfish person living in false pride of being a male!

Baa is a woman blind in the love of her son. She is one of those ladies who have accepted the male as the superior gender and are quick to silence other women if ever she raises her voice. Such types of women are the ones who not only encourage male dominance but also are a part of it, harassing other women, especially their daughter-in-law.

More than everyone else, I was irritated by Anupamaa herself. How can a woman be so blind to not even suspect her cheating husband? How can she love him so much that she forgets herself? She leaves her dreams, her ambition, and her passion just to look after her family. She never speaks for herself and also silences Samar when he tries to take a stand for her.

Her mother-in-law keeps taunting her, but she is in the name of respecting the elders is silent. She feels bad but doesn’t show it, she weeps behind closed doors and even keeps a cloth on her mouth muffling her wailing.

Finally, she breaks the shackles

I loved the way the story progressed after Vanraj’s deeds are exposed. Unlike the old submissive type of lady, Anupamaa breaks the stereotype and chooses herself over others. Her family is still her priority, but her self-respect is equally important to her.

She is completely broken by her husband’s cheating but is strong enough to pick up the pieces to rebuild her life as she says ab apne liye jeene ka samay a gya hai. (The time has come to live for me).

Instead of crying over her fate, she gracefully tries to face the situation. She converts her passion for dancing and cooking into her profession. She wins over her fears and learns to drive, is no longer afraid to do things on her own or speak for herself.

In fact, she is the one to send a divorce notice to her husband. She doesn’t change her decision even when her son, her mother-in-law and her daughter are against her.

Anupamaa should be the story of every woman, a journey of finding oneself

I don’t know what will be the future track of the serial. Will they keep her the way they are showing her now, strong and independent or will it be compromised in the long race of TRP, resorting to the age-old portrayal of the so-called Adarsh Naari?

But for now the track is satisfying and women should surely find their inspiration here. Looking at the high TRP of this serial, I feel not just me, but there are many who are in favour of a woman taking a stand for herself.

A woman is not an object to be used the way others want to. She is also a human who has a mind of her own, capable of taking her decisions. She has a passion, some ambitions, and her likes and dislikes which she should never compromise for anybody. Likewise, she can live life on her terms and still be a perfect wife, a mother, a daughter or a daughter-in-law.

Whether she wants to go out for work or to remain a homemaker should purely be her choice. And if ever she feels trapped by the shackles of her freedom, she should be bold enough to break free! So ladies, stop pitying yourself and start living!

The title song of Anupamaa very correctly says, aangan se bahar nikal duniya hai aagein tere! (step out of your four walls, and there’s a whole new world there).

Image source: Hotstar, edited on CanvaPro

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