14 January 2014

Bitiya


3 different women, 3 different lives, 3 different stories

Jamuna (the middle class), Lily (the intellectual), Sati (the poor)
Portrayed by Rajeshwari Sachdev as Jamuna, Pallavi Joshi as Lily and Neena Gupta as Sati

These women, beautiful, intelligent, simple and strong, ordinary yet complex. One married to avoid dowry, one married for dowry, and the other sold like a commodity. Result, Jamuna a widow, Lily a widow, left her husband to be a single mother, Sati with an illegitimate, fatherless child, begging on the streets, for survival. Rich, middle class or poor, their lives were not a result of their own decisions, but sacrificed at the altar of greed  and norms of society.
This makes me wonder if being a girl is difficult in this world. With no comparisons to previleges of being a man, I only mention the lack of basic rights of women. To love someone and marry the one you love, to study and pursue your dreams further, to get married early, to move to your husband's place and leaving your parents after marriage, change their names and lives for the man they hardly know, love him and give him children to take his family name further, if you can't have children, the problem must be in her, so go thru penances, blessings and worship schedules to get the child, make sure to give birth to a son, heir for the family, not a daughter, the paraya dhan. Redifining these problems in socio-economic context  - early marriage, dowry, eve teasing, flesh trade, widow remarriage, and girl child.
Despite the odds, all three women were very strong characters. Jamuna had her husband wrapped around her figure, good financial wisdom, a good man even if the Tonga wala to support and take care of her, the estate and her child. She loved Tanna and was not scared to admit and show it to the spineless Tanna. She fought with her mother for Tanna and with the Gods to give her a child. Under social pressure, Lily gave in to marriage, but came back later with her son, leaving her husband's home, to give her child a good life as a single mother. Sati lives too though a life of a beggar, after the rape, with an illegitimate child and a crippled uncle.
This is where the story ends, but the narrator leaves you with the analogy of The Seventh Steed of the Sun, the horse of the future, the horse of hope. The growth of the society is not determined by scientific inventions, GDP increases, fashion trends, technological advancements or sending sattelites into space, it is determined by the way they treat their women. Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda refers to the seventh horse of Sun, which is the weakest horse pulling the chariot of the sun.
In response to Manik's poetry, Sati asks Manik "Banna suna hai, Hindola suna hai? Main sunati hoon."
Bitiya
Nimiya ka ped jinni, kaate ho Baba
Nimiya basera chiraiya
Bitiya hi jinko, dukh dei Baba
Bitiya ta jaisan chiraiya
Bitiya taaaa jaisan chiraiya
Udi Udi jai hai sabere chiraiya
Rehi jaye hai, akeli ho Nimiya
Bitiya jayi hai ho, sasur sabere
Rahi jaiye hain akeli, ho Maiyaaa
Bitiya ta jaisan chiraiya
Bitiya taaaa jaisan chiraiya
View it on youtube
This song is dedicated to the girl child. The film or the book were not mere stories for entertainment. Both were a stark naked presentation of our society thru their unique storytelling. This is my humble way of presenting the evils of society thru the discussion on this book and film – Suraj ka Satvan Ghoda (The Seventh Steed of the Sun)

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