How The Misfit Bulbul Jauhari Is The Feminist Icon We All Needed

At first, Bulbul looks like a misfit. As the series progresses, she becomes the feminist icon we all need.

Made in Heaven, a popular show on Amazon Prime is the story of Tara and Karan, who run a high-society wedding planning business of the same name.

Against the backdrop of the weddings they plan, the life story of the two main protagonists unfolds.

Through the weddings and the challenges faced by Tara and Karan, Made in Heaven, shows a mirror to society.

Showing the harsh realities of marriage

It points to the rot and the decay that needs to be rooted out. The first season was engrossing and path-breaking. Apart from having a protagonist who is gay, and highlighting the challenges faced by him, the show raised many social issues, like dowry, superstition, intercaste marriage, etc.

Season two follows the same formula of raising social issues with each wedding that is organized.

Apart from the regular cast, there are some additions to the cast of Made in Heaven. These include Mehr, a trans woman played brilliantly by Trinetra, and Bulbul Jauhari, played by Mona Singh, who steals the limelight.

A misfit feminist

Concerned about recurring losses in Made In Heaven, Mr. Jauhari puts his wife, Bulbul Jauhari, to audit the accounts of Made In Heaven. At first, Bulbul seems like a misfit. Dressed in Patiala suits, her hair set in curls, she looks like countless upper-middle-class Punjabi women of Delhi.

The other people in the firm dislike her, especially when she questions frivolous expenses like pink champagne. Her comment on mixing fake flowers with real to make flowers last longer and save money gladdened this frugal middle-class auntie’s heart.

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They resent her for poking her nose into each aspect of the business, and there is gossip about the age difference between Mr. Jauhari and Bulbul. But as the series progresses, one realizes that beneath the account ledgers lie the heart of a feminist.

A trauma survivor

Bulbul is the one who first spots that Adhira is being subjected to abuse. Scarred by her abusive traumatic past, Bulbul first tries to tell Tara and Karan to intervene. She even tries to warn and protect Adhira. However, Bulbul cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

However, Bulbul’s interactions with her teenage son make one realize Bulbul’s core of steel.

Bulbul’s character shows how difficult it is to follow one’s beliefs when your child is the one who is the culprit. And yet, Bulbul doesn’t give up. She reasons, cajoles, scolds, and finally makes her son realise that his actions and thinking were wrong. Even if he was not the perpetrator, being aware of the abuse and keeping quiet about it is as wrong as committing the crime. Through her presence, actions, and words, Bulbul instills courage in him. She inspires him to take responsibility for his actions and become a better human.

A feminist mother

For far too long, the misdemeanors of teenage boys have been dismissed by saying, “Boys will be boys”. The raja beta syndrome prevalent in India means that the blame and the shame squarely fall on the girl. This emboldens teenage boys that they could get away with the most heinous of crimes and get away with it.

Bulbul, through her hard stance, breaks away from the stereotypes of a loving Indian mother. She shows that being a strong mother means walking the talk. By standing with the truth, rather than being swayed by blind love for her son, she teaches him that respect and consent are non-negotiable.

Lessons to learn from Bulbul

As a feminist mother of two teenage boys, one of my biggest worries is if we have succeeded in bringing up our sons with the correct values. Even though we have shown them by example how to respect and treat women, one cannot control peer pressure.

In the teenage years, friends, rather than the counsel of their parents, influence the children more. They have this urge to be cool, and social ostracism is the worst punishment for most teenagers. To go against the group leader is a sure-shot way for a teenager to get thrown out of the “cool” group. But what if a friend shows the wrong path? All a parent can do in such a scenario is trust that the values given hold firm against peer pressure.

But what if it doesn’t? What if, like Bulbul’s son, to be “in” your child also gives in to pressure? What if your child also does something that is totally against your values and principles? Would you be able to take a stand against your child?

Honestly, I do not know the answer, but I hope I have the courage and the moral fortitude to follow Bulbul’s footsteps and do the right thing.


Image Source: Still from the series ‘Made in Heaven’ on Amazon

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Harshita

My Motto is you can learn anything from books! I am an engineer turned SAHM turned book blogger. I love to read, talk and write about books. I am passionate about instilling a love for read more...

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