Saturday, March 31, 2018

Movie Review: "Hichki"

I had an extended weekend this week, thanks to Good Friday, which alongwith Saturday and Sunday make a three-days weekend. With nothing notable to keep me occupied, I decided to watch a movie. Yes, I am a cinephile (and a bibliophile too) and nothing entertains me more than a good movie (and a good book, of course). Having read some great reviews about Hichki in newspaper and in internet, I booked movie ticket for the same. I won't regret my decision. I can vouch for that.

Naina Mathur (Rani Mukherjee's character) is suffering from a neurological disorder called 'tourette syndrome' due to which she gets frequent hiccups which she can't control. Naina is passionate about being a teacher. After many rejections, she finally lands with a teaching job in a reputed school. But the school authority assigns her to be the class-teacher of a notorious class, whose students are known for their below-average scores in exam and their mischiefs. How Naina transforms the class is the theme of the movie.

What I like most about the movie is it's portrayal of a strong female protagonist. Here is a woman who doesn't romance with a handsome hero or sing peppy romantic numbers. She is a woman with a passion for something other than love. She takes her disability in her stride and works to the best of her abilities to achieve what she aspires for.

We all have our favourite teachers in school and college who inspired us. This movie is a tribute to the teaching fraternity. And as Naina says that we remember our teachers, not their salaries despite teaching being a low-paid job. It goes on to portray the dedication of a teacher determined to teach her students, even when the situation is adverse. It depicts those students who are from the disadvantaged strata of society. Though the end was quite predictable, but how Naina made it is worth watching. As she says that the difference between 'why' and 'why not' is just a hichki.
Rani Mukherjee's performance is impeccable as usual. I'd like to say that it's a movie not just for teachers, but for all those who are passionate towards anything in life. It's all about the victory of grit and determination against all odds.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The death of A Marriage

DIVORCE... The very word is associated with some sort of social stigma in India. It sort of makes you a social pariah. And more so if you belong to the female species of mankind. And so the real struggle begins outside the court-room, once I got the final decree of divorce after a long and arduous legal battle. Yes, I am a woman, and I am divorced. The "divorced" word has come to be known as my identity, not just confining itself to my relationship status.

Every separation, every end in relationships, every heartbreak is bound to give you pain. But divorce not only brings pain, but bestows upon you some sense of inadequacy. As if it's entirely my fault. For me being the wife, wasn't I supposed to be more compromising? More adjustable? One friend of mine told me rather matter-of-factly that female species are born wonderful, just because of her endurance capacity. It always has to be the wife in a marriage who is supposed to tolerate every whim of her husband. And no, a husband is not even expected to be a little more compromising, because the Almighty has not blessed the male species with any capacity to tolerate. And a wife means a WIFE only, who is supposed to perform all her wifely duties, no matter how much difficult the circumstance is, no matter whether the wife is working or not, qualified or not. I was shocked to hear these kind of remarks in this 21st century. But then one of my girlfriends pointed to me that all men expects a 'wife' in marriage. Your being qualified and working might seem very attractive as long as you are dating. But once you settle down, all husbands have the same kind of expectations from their wives, no matter whether the wife has a good job that comes with it's own share of responsibilities, or if she is a typical housewife. Please don't take offence, for the friend of mine who suggested this, didn't want to demean any housewife. The job that the housewives go on doing every day is wonderful and they are in no way lesser than their working counterparts. But what the working woman inevitably possess is some sense of independence. Try whatever they may, there is bound to be some sort of limits to their adjustment capacity. And once the marriage goes beyond that limit, they simply quit. My friend herself is a banker in the country's largest public sector commercial bank and unlike other woman of her age, she is still unmarried in her late 30s. Given the kind of demanding profession that she has chosen, she is simply afraid to settle down. But was I wrong when I being a working woman, got married in my mid-20s? The fact is that we all yearn for a companion in our lives. Call it the folly of youth or whatever you may wish, but I chose the wrong partner.

When a relationship that was long dead, got legal approval finally, I thought my battle was over. But again I was wrong. That was actually the beginning of another struggle. The struggle to raise a kid single-handedly. The struggle to face the society with my 'divorced' tag. The struggle to take in good humour all the suggestions offered by all and sundry. The suggestions ranged from advice of second marriage to advice of visiting the beauty-parlour more frequently to attract more suitors to advice of changing the frame of my specs because somebody thought that I look like a grand-mom in those specs. Nobody asked about MY CHOICE, as if 'choice' is something reserved for the more privileged sections of the society. A divorced woman, that too a single mother, must be more than happy if she manages to impress a guy enough to lure him into a marital alliance with her. Here it doesn't matter whether that guy doesn't manage to earn half the woman, or if he is twice her age. All that matters is he is doing a favour, almost some sort of social service, by his mere approval to allow a divorced single-mother to be his life-partner. Some men even go a step further. They assume that just because a woman is divorced, and still in her youth, means she has some unfulfilled sexual desires that can be taken advantage of. She must be readily available and at the slightest drop of hint from a man, she will be more than willing to go to the bed with him.

But what the world fails to acknowledge is the strength of a single woman. A divorce is not the end of the world. At the end of the day, it's just another failed relationship. If the world perceives it differently, then the real problem lies with the world, not with me. After all, I am independent and financially secure to take care of myself and my son. We don't need your sympathy. And what I have is just the tag of a failed marriage, a failed relationship. Please don't assume 'divorce' to be a contagious disease, for it is not. It's the struggle that I went through has shaped me as a person. I am more matured, more strong, more calm today. Years of struggle has made my roots go deep inside the earth, making me less vulnerable to storms. And so, I rise again like a phoenix from my failure, my heartache, my pain.

This post titled As A Divorcee, I Am Considered Fair Game For Everything. What About MY Choice? has been published on Women’s Web as a Featured Post. Featured Posts are a careful selection of highly relevant and interesting posts picked by the editors of Women's Web each day. Here is the link to it: Click here.


Friday, March 2, 2018

The sliver of A Little Joy in my life

Helping my son to ride his bicycle gives me immense joy. As a teenager, I had a predilection for cycling. Even now, I fondly remember those days when I used to fly like a free bird riding my bicycle and my cycle often clashed with others cycles or pedestrians and the subsequent angry look that they used to give me. And when I remember the shame and embarassment which I faced while riding my cycle wearing a saree, my pallu entangled in one of the wheels, I giggle like a 15-years-old girl. Now that I am a mother myself and help my boy riding his bicycle, it takes me back to my own childhood. After all, these simple joys of ours go on to make an entire life. Life would have been a drab and colourless existence, if it was to be devoid of all such little joys.

I am joining Teabox #LittleJoysOfMine contest in association with Women's Web, where we celebrate happiness in daily lives!