Strong women!

Swapna Narayanan

We women manage our homes, children, and professional responsibilities on a daily basis. Many a times, we end up holding fort with all our might and strength, ensuring the lives of those around us do not crumble.

To add to it, we also have the pressure of proving our skills not only in the kitchen but at our workplace, at our kids’ school, at social occasions and many more. And, let me not even talk about motherhood, where we walk the entire nine yards of bringing in a life to this world, and then with the progress of time – changing their nappies, checking their homework, chiding them for disciplined behaviour, shaping their dreams, standing by their side while they take the leap, and finally letting them go.

A woman does it all using her love for her family and her core inner strength.

Yet there are times we feel too exhausted, even lonely. And that is the time we look for some love and inspiration.

And what better than the world of fiction to look for that inspiring woman who does it all with élan.

Today, I want you to meet four such fictional heroines who have many a thing to say. I hope you hear them. I found these women in short films, a recent trend, that help busy women like me to experience and learn, without spending too much of my time.

I saw many films, and have identified four – Juice, Churri, Naked and The Good Girl – that highlight four women who handle their challenges by standing up and facing the situation on hand.

Each of these women are different. Two home makers from varied strata, one professional and one mother.

1In Juice, the protagonist, played by Shefali Shah, is a home maker from a typical north Indian middle class background where women restrict themselves to cooking and serving food, while the men folk sit in the drawing room and enjoy the meal along with their drink. The movie showcases the inbuilt patriarchy and misogyny in our households, like wives relegated to the kitchen, air cooler restricted to only drawing rooms, hostess trying to play the role to the hilt multitasking all the way etc. While you may question the relevance of this in today’s times, you must realise that a significant number of women are still grappling with the standard men/women divide.

The movie goes on, until the point where the woman realizes that she is also entitled to enjoy a glass of cold juice sitting in cool air! And she does just that. Do watch it for Shefali‘s phenomenal performance where she questions so many things using only her piercing eyes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-Sk7fQGIjE

2Churri is a story of another housewife, played by Tisca Chopra, from a little more upper class background, whose husband is philandering. Completely aware, yet unable to take any action, she finally steps up when her daughter chides her. She directly walks into the apartment of her husband’s girlfriend (when her husband is also there) and puts forth a proposition that wins the battle back in her favour! Amazingly done, this movie shows that you need not have an emotional breakdown or have a massive confrontation all the time. You can address situations with some deep thinking and calm demeanor. Check out the movie at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDiwdQ8KvNU

3Naked is the story of a female actor, played by Kalki Koechlin, whose scene of a short film has gone viral as a sex clip on social media. On the same day, she has an interview scheduled with a magazine and a young woman journalist comes to interview her. The movie shows what ensues in that interview along with highlighting so many aspects of our lives in today’s times of social media. It touches upon the core conditioning that we are all brought up with, clearly demarcating what men are allowed to do and what women cannot do. It questions the oft repeated reasons of causing rape.

It defines the concept of power and reiterates that the same power is available to women too. And as women, we must not ignore and tolerate crappy behaviour, rather we must exercise this power of social media. A must watch movie for all working professionals. More so if your profession demands you to be active on social media. See it here at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R29hoYjAF6w

4And the last, The Good Girl, is the story of a strong mother of a young girl who probably faces, head on, the most dreaded of situation that any mother of an unmarried girl can think of. Amazingly done, this lovely movie shows Gurdeep Kohli as the mother of Plabita Borthakur (a 21 year old in the movie) caught in a situation where Plabita is testing whether she is pregnant or not. Contrary to the standard reaction that any mother in our country would have seeing her daughter with a pregnancy test kit in her hand, this mother handles the whole situation very differently.

She asks a few questions and clearly drives in the point to her daughter that being responsible also entails owning up and handling the situation, however messy it may be, equally responsibly. The movie touches upon so many things like conditioning women, role of the society in running our homes, responsible parenting etc. Overall – a must watch for every parent of today’s times. So see it here at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIT0seTek8s&t=43s

I recommend readers to watch these movies to basically understand two things. One, they are not the only one facing tough situations. And two, if they make up their mind, they can solve it. Solutions are right there, you just need to think it through and go for it.

Enjoy the movies!

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