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Sunday, February 21, 2010

A tale of two serials that talk about the plight of women in our society!

The very real portrayal of the status women of women in small town and rural India is a heartening aspect of prime time Hindi serials. Two shows, one quite well established and the other relatively new, springs to mind. The first one is without a doubt Na Ana Is Des Mere Lado that airs on Colors. Ever since it began its telecast, this serial has touched many new highs in terms of story and concepts. Its portrayal of the many female characters that lend the show its distinct flavour is commendable. The drama that unfolds in the lives of Ammaji, Sia, Jhumar, Santosh and others is totally believable.

Ammaji is of course the antagonist who in her effort to remain the sole power of her family and her town, assumes a very ‘male’ persona, not just in her attitude but also in her gait and mannerisms. Her bete noire and the show’s main lead, Sia, is her exact opposite-as virtuous as Ammajis is evil, as right and good as Ammaji is wrong and bad. Sia is the conscience of the show who is on a mission to change Ammaji and her evil army. Her trials and tribulations are very real. Thus she continues to love her husband who cheated her in the worst possible manner and now stands by as a mute statue while he marries another. Then there is Santosh, married to Ammaji’s elder son Joginder who is impotent but the blame of childlessness lies on Santosh and she accepts it silently. On the one occasion when she seeks reassurance and love from her husband, but all she gets in return is a strong push. The violence, the prejudice and bias, the culturally limited role and prestige that is such a big part of most Indian woman’s life is portrayed brilliantly through this serial.

The second show is Star Plus’ new show Pratigya. Here too the male protagonist Krishna struts around terrorising the heroine Pratigya all in the name of love. He is obsessively in love with Pratigya and has deluded himself into believing that she too loves him back. The fact that men often either misunderstand or chose to ignore the resounding “No” coming at them from the opposite sex is intelligently brought forward. For Krishna it is enough that he loves her and Pratigya has no choice but to love him back in his mind. He beats up her fiancĂ© and manhandles anyone who tries to intervene between him and the love of his life.

Krishna’s psyche and attitude towards life and women can be easily understood once we become acquainted with his family members. The women of his house are completely subservient to the male members to the extent that Krishna’s mother considers it normal to be physically abused by his father. The tyranny of the male gender and the social bias against women that exist in our society till date is sensitively and sensibly portrayed in this serial.

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