Padmaavat… One of the most talked movies recently. I haven’t seen the movie yet but the recent events and the hullabaloo have compelled me to do a post on it. Well, I am not here to talk either about the much talked fictional person, Padmavati or the movie which was painted red for every reason, big or small, before it’s release. This post is just my say, rant, view as you wish to call it on a few things I have heard and read about the movie and the director. My view on Padmaavat talks about something which came to the forefront and caught my attention.
There are two things which I want to talk about in the post, an open letter (maybe you know who I’m referring to here) and a movie scene both of which I can’t push behind in my mind.
The Open Letter by Swara Bhasker
First, I want to put forward my view on Swara Bhaskar’s open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali (again much conversed and trolled). Most of you must have read it if you haven’t I urge you to read it.
I have nothing to say on whatever Swara wrote in her article, that is her choice, her view on a movie. Yet, there is something in her article I just can’t stand.
The casual way in which Swara mentions the words ‘VAGINA ONLY’ has left me disturbed. How can she so casually relate a film and her experience to a vagina? Really! Is it that general a word? Maybe, for her, maybe for all of us. But, not for me.
I agree there might have been certain scenes in the movie which would have made her uneasy, which would have made her feel low as a woman, which would have struck had at her self-esteem as a woman, which came out as regressive. But, then I strongly oppose her for using the term vagina to describe one’s view on a MOVIE, that too on a fictional character (by now, we all know that Padmavati was a fictional character in a poem by Jayasi.)
However, let’s assume even if Padmavati was a real woman living in those times, but it is asinine to relate the people and times today to the practices and culture prevalent six hundred centuries ago. There are many things which happened in those times but aren’t happening today and there are many things which didn’t happen then but are happening today.
I want to ask Swara would the rape victims too use the word vagina as casually as you did, where in reality they are the ones who are actually made to feel and reduced to a VAGINA ONLY?
What makes me disagree with her is that she felt reduced to a vagina and nothing more on seeing a movie.
Why the use of the word vagina? Just because it is a part of the woman’s body and the movie Padmaavat was about the valor of a Rajput woman? Why call her action regressive? It was her choice in the circumstances she was trapped in.
I am, however, reduced to a VAGINA ONLY each time a rape happens in our country and anywhere in the world.
Each time a rapist is left free I feel reduced to a vagina only!
Each time justice is delayed I feel reduced to a Vagina only!
Each time an infant is raped I feel reduced to a vagina only!
Because each time any of this happens somewhere some monster rises and feels he can rape another girl, he can commit the same crime others were held for, that females are only a way to satisfy his hungry lust.
This is what boils me up and reduces me to a vagina only. Not any movie.
Relating vagina to just anything and everything today is out of my understanding. Reading Swara’s open letter don’t know why (I might be wrong, but then it’s what I felt) I felt she is comparing her experience of the movie and a rape victim’s agony.
Why cringe at a movie scene now?
Second, I want to talk about a scene in the movie (I haven’t seen, of course) I read in a post by a fellow blogger.
“Like Swara, I too cringed on seeing the pregnant lady waddle into the Jauhar kund. Yes, Bhansali could have avoided that. Yes, CBFC should have probably asked for that scene to be cut instead of asking for Padukone’s waist to be covered.”
The above scene which the blogger talks about in her post made me think hard about it. You can read her post here.
Without even watching the movie I can vividly imagine the scene sans the grandeur. Why? Because I’m a woman, I’m a mother, and I’m pregnant.
I marvel at the pregnant lady’s character and her spirit to waddle into the Jauhar kund despite carrying a child in her womb. And why can’t she, why shouldn’t she, when she knows that she and her unborn child would be nothing else but sex slaves should they chose to live?
And, I’m really glad that Sanjay Leela Bhansali or CBFC didn’t edit the scene.
Why cringe now? When this is just a clip from many incidents which happen today too!
There are many pregnant women who end their and their unborn child’s life on being helpless at their situation or circumstances. There is only one difference in the pregnant lady in the movie and the pregnant ladies today, in the method to end one’s life.
The lady in the movie preferred to commit Jauhar for it was much easier and safer for her and her child than being eaten by the vultures standing at their door, waiting to rip them apart and tear them in pieces, not once, but again and again, and again.
Why cringe at seeing the reality?
Despite being born and brought up in the modern era when I would prefer killing my child in the womb than bringing him/her to the world for the numerous Khiljis roaming around, I cannot but agree with the lady in the movie.
I have not seen the movie but I feel proud just on reading about this one lady and each every woman who chose Jauhar than living. I would definitely try my best to watch the movie just because of the climax. I want to feel the pain, the helplessness, and the fear of a traumatizing life ahead if any of the women chose to live.
Removing any such scenes from a movie won’t change the reality. Why don’t each of us cringe, feel uncomfortable, boil up on hearing about rape? Why an 8-month-old baby? Why of why? My heart tears apart on just thinking about it.
Though we are in the modern era, the only difference is that crimes like rape/sex slaves and devils like khilji have increased in number. Ways have changed, have become more gruesome, but the acts are the same.
In those times women committed Jauhar or even sati for that matter because they knew no other respectful way to end their lives. But, today also, many women end their lives with/without their babies, because their respect is already lost someway, does it really matter whether they commit Jauhar or any other way of suicide?
Why did we paint Padmaavat red, when every corner of our own journal is dipped in red every day, every minute?
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