I had previously written about Mouna Ragam here. I had written about how this movie illustrated patriarchal attitudes. I was watching it the other day and I wanted to highlight some dialogues which touched me. Divya [the main protaganist] speaks against these patriarchal attitudes.
I am not doing exact translations of the dialogues but trying to capture their essence.
- Divya’s father arranges a bride viewing ceremony for her one evening. She decides to go home late that evening hoping the potential groom left when she did not turn up. The guy & his relatives are waiting for her at her place when she comes back.
Divya to the potential groom- “I will not apologise for making you wait because I do not feel I did anything wrong. I don’t like the bride viewing ceremony because it is like checking cattle in a farmer’s market. I tried telling my dad this but he does not get it.”
- On her father asking her to marry the guy because they did not ask for any dowry and he is a good match.
Divya to dad – “Dad, are you trying to sell your daughter or get her married? Will you pack me off with any guy who refuses dowry?”
- Her parents get her married to the same guy. Her mother cajoles her to go into the bedroom with her ‘husband’ on the first night after their wedding ceremony.
Mum – “What are you doing outside? The groom is waiting for you inside.”
Divya is crying.
Mum- “Why are you crying? What will people think?”
D- “I don’t want this, please. I don’t like this.“
Mum – “What are you saying? Don’t speak nonsense.”
R – “I don’t even know him. How do I do this?” [sharing a bed with a guy she met for 5 minutes]
Mum – “Shut up. He is not a stranger. He married you.”
R – “Does being a husband make everything right? Would you have sent me into his bedroom 2 days ago?”
Mum- “Aiyoo, don’t speak like a mad person. Wipe your tears and go into his bedroom.”
These dialogues are so relevant to our society even today. So many women will not speak up like Divya or see anything wrong with this entire situation.