Monday, May 23, 2016

Waaris 2016…When Will The Society Transform Itself?

“Will you forgive me for not giving you a son???”

Loud sobs of my mother woke me up that night in our one room tenement. She was being consoled by my dad silently who was equally broken with the lost battle with nature. They were unaware that I, their elder daughter, was taking it all in with an angry, sad surprise. I dare not wake up and ask the thousands of questions teeming in my mind. So I lay there picking up what I could of the conversations racked in sobs of regret and shame.

My mom had been emotionally pushed into pregnancies…she delivered three daughters and was again pushed by her own Mother to have a fourth Child…Male child you see was needed to carry the name of the father further!!! In the bargain they had risked her life and it had led to a still born male child at the fifth month…and doctors had strictly warned against any more such ordeals for her…

My Mom was apologizing for no longer able to hold out hope for a male child as well as living with the endless taunts of people, of having only  girls …

Back then I could not do much or even console my parents. This was never ever discussed openly ever again in my family. It just so happened that I eavesdropped…

A sense of helplessness did envelop me and I grew up feeling I have to prove it always to my folks that I am successful despite my gender…! And that my parents do not need a male child to further add to their happiness…How much I am successful in that goal? I do not know…

But when I see the Promos of the Show to be Aired on “ AndTv”. All the emotional turmoil, all the unshed tears and unoffered words of solace to my crying mom surface and then I have to watch the Show …For I completely understand what may drive a mother who lives in the interior part of Punjab to lie to the family about a gender of the child.

For all the success, education and ambition that we girls grew up with and created a happy and proud existence, I still remember the sad delight and satisfaction with which my mom held my child who was a male child. She uttered “God fulfilled my wish after so many years!

Why do I want to watch the show?

Questions, I have in mind!

The plot of the show or the premise interests me much. It raises so many questions in my mind about the dire need to declare a female child male. What would transpire for a mother too put a child in such a dilemma and raise that child to face such an identity crisis for truth will someday catch up?

I also want to know as to how a mother may be so resourceful that she will manage to hide the child’s gender whilst being surrounded by dozens of inquisitive ladies all around willing to pick up the child, give the child some much needed oil massage 

Would the child be never left behind unattended without a cloth on? Would not some unsuspecting lady someday try to change the crying baby for it has wet the clothes and is not promptly having the mother available??? Would the child not drag without pants as is usual in rural areas?

Our government did spend considerable amounts in explaining family planning and who actually controls the formation of a child’s gender over the years we have became independent? Like this story seems to be set in contemporary times…do they honestly still blame the woman for not bearing a male child? Whatever happened to the Y Chromosome Theory??? And what happened to Chotta Parivar Sukhi Parivaar? Every state board textbook is replete with these themes…do they not send their children to school??? 

Scale & Magnitude.

The first week  Episodes itself gives a peek of rural Punjab, colorful bejewelled ladies and family feuds, spawning wide fields and fantastic actors playing the lead characters. 

Somebody has decided to truly use the picturesque wooing with the audience. We were awfully bored with made up sets of bedroom and corporate offices in daily soaps. This comes as a refreshing whiff for they truly have taken us outdoors showing kabbadi matches and feuding scenes right in the middle of the field. 

The fire in the barn yard and highly emotional dramas hold the interest even though a certain predictability does stay in all the scenes that unfold. Now someone great did say there is nothing new in the world but each thing can have its own flavor and this week did have a rural earthy dollop of histrionics that it kept me coming back at seven in the evening, even though I had things to attend. Even Ad Breaks could not deter my interest levels.

What I liked so far…or who for that matter???

I am not using their professional names, rather,, their character as that is the aim of the show…to give us a low down of each character and weave us in their ups and downs and strength and weakness.

Amba Pawania

The beautiful and docile wife who is willing to help and not argue back when elders are venting out at her for not giving a son so far and having two daughters. She is resigned to the fate of bearing two daughters but stunningly complements the peace loving husband. She shows perfect understanding of her husband’s plea for peace and supports him immensely. 

She jauntily reprimands her brother-in- law and at the same time is ready with a slap to stop him from rash actions. The episodes, where she urges her Mother in law to stop her sons from going into danger, bring out her full element. She is superb in her panic driven pleas to each family member to avoid disasters and regrets and stop the warring.

What steals the show for me is the Monday episode when they bring her “Warrior Dead”. She is epitome in her uninhibitory anger mixed with tears. Her ire is full force on her mother-in-law for being so foolhardy…accusing her of destroying her …you have to see it! 

The entire episode belongs to Amba for bringing alive the agony of a woman who lost everything to others' foolish and stubborn ambitions…Her hysterics have to be applauded. An actor has to give herself completely to immerse fully and bring forth the anguish. From resplendent beauty she silently transforms into a grieving widow…

Charan Pawania

A Shah to his tribe …he is a peace lover. He believes in working hard and distributing his wealth amongst all. He even overlooks her brother who seems to be contributing less. He is aware of family feuds and bitterness but believes peace is the answer to dissolving long standing angst and not ill mouthing the foe or harassing. 

He is so innocent that he is unaware of the anti-social activities his brother is conducting or for that matter the lack and helplessness of law and order situation in his locale. Now, generally a seasoned and a senior Shah would be aware of a lot of things going on in his area. He seems to have gone on to rule the roost with his eyes closed or wearing rose tinted "All is good and All ends well" , adage even though daily he faces situations with people having evil intents including his own mother and brother and opponents too. Very unbelievable. 

When his family is held ransom and he is asked to wear his wife’s jewelry, he complies…at the same time, hits out when his wife’s honor is challenged…his barn yard is in flames and yet he stops his brother from doing anything foolhardy. Too mild to be a leader…and pity his character was only a week-long. 

Would have loved to see how he implements his peace-first approach to resolve any issue therein in his locale…in any case this approach did terminate his life…Maybe the feud could have been taken a little longer to unfold in all its aspects. The makers seem to be in a hurry to get to the real premise of the show and it all looked a tad bit hurried…little more...maybe a week or two… could have created a proper background for the audience to understand what happened and why it did the way it did?


Typical matriarch-who carries bitterness in her Bosom…has a vitriolic tongue that knows how to throw a barb to destroy a heart into splinters. She wants revenge and blood of the foe. She thinks it is cowardice to not get an eye for an eye…so when Lala Bajwa wishes her on Baisakhi she minces no words and expresses that nothing has changed or is likely to…

Women who have lost and undergone suffering may seek revenge but will hold tight what remains...I would like to see that glimmer of wisdom in her…Alas! so far she seems to be an obstinate child bent on manifesting a tunnel vision and seeks salvation through blood. Her fury is a little misplaced at her son who is actually talking sense...well guess she will continue her matriarchal ways and create hindrances in the general scheme of things...

Jagan Pawania

He is introduced with flexing Muscles and well philandering with another damsel of the village though he has a wife and a son…hot-headed and embittered by family’s borrowed feud, he feels the only virile thing to do is break bones and chop heads. I did see a very cute camaraderie with his purjaiji in the jeep where he drives her to his elder brother…I saw a protective instinct in him when he asks over the mobile “unhone purjaiji ko haat toh nahi lagaya na?

They could have built this camaraderie into something really lovely and sweet. 

Again…sigh...the plot has moved on to volatile drama to ever afford a lighter Bhabhi-Devar moment any more…He respects his purjaiji and of all people, she is able to stop him in the aflame barnyard from his hot-headed pursuit of revenge. She does calm him down…on a lighter note he is the only Handsome Dude worth drooling…and staring at…

Please give him a little more to flex…his muscles, as well as histrionics, if he has it...we want to see it…!!! For his onscreen wife’s only role is to jab the fact that she has a son and Amba has none; over done and insensitive…maybe that is the effect makers want to create…we will see if she develops into a typical scheme hatching vamp of usual daily soaps…whose only ambition would be to uncover the gender of the child once she suspects it to be declared otherwise…

Rest all, cast is pretty OK…let's say, Lalaji Bajwa, who mutually shares the philosophy of peace with Charan and often stops situation getting outta hand. He is our philosophical background subtitle enumerating value of peace...or what happens when a man dies…a mother loses a son…a wife her reason to happiness and adorning herself…her relations with colors ends there…she is no longer allowed to dress up in beautiful shades of clothing and is denied jewellery too…well…wonder why that philosophy was never borrowed by his ever shaking mostly drunk and a little cartoonish junior Bajwa who goes on to wreak havoc…without any remorse on his part for his deeds.

Hmm, however it still is interesting to go back at seven on AndTv . The direction is superb and tight. Nowhere are the artists going too out of hand. As I said earlier, predictable it is, but it still holds the viewer. 

The responsibility of the makers is to now create tight plots and premises...keep the story going forward…build characters and their nuances …create lovely moments when they see the camaraderie developing …they do have few gems up their lot…

Good luck for the Show…! If it still holds my resonance I will continue giving my honest reviews of the show.

                                                                -By Sonnal Pardiwala

 * The Author claims no rights over the images used in the post.

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