The movie ‘Parched’ released this week showcases the apt description on the lives of Indian village women. The credit goes to “Leena Yadav” who has written and directed the film. It primarily shows the fate of Indian village women in the North-Western part of India. The story revolves around three female leads who both toil and suffer. But people have misconceptions about them expecting them to be arid. However, they are no way arid but often seem to get starved for tenderness.
The story is about the village, “Ujhaas” where Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), who is a young widow purchases an attractive and dashing wife for her teenaged son, “Gulab”. The film mixes the extravaganza of an obsolete social understanding by fulfilling the needs and use of mobile phones (modern day technology), is oddly bracing.
Rani’s best friend is “Lajjo” (Radhika Apte). She constantly gets beaten up by her husband who thinks she’s barren and probably also because he’s no different than a patriarchal monster. Both these ladies have a common friend by the name “Bijli” (Surveen Chawla). She’s both a prostitute and carnival dancer. Both Rani and Lajjo envy her. There is another woman “Janaki” who happens to be a 15 year old bartered bride. The relation of these three women with “Janaki” is way too complex.
All these Indian village women shown in the movie are helpless to lead pounding lives. However, almost all the men are arrogant, pig headed, self-righteous and so smug in their attitude that you fail to compare them with humans. At times, they look so scary to behave like mini caricatures. None of them has a sense of their acts. Even if any of the women tells them to learn how to be human, they just get one reaction in mind which is none other than to throw them out of a window.
Capturing Indian village women lives
The movie shows a plethora of events and appalling instances. Still, it majorly reflects a clear and unstinting love for all those ladies playing their lead roles. They have a habit of living their lives in a tightly controlled environment, hemmed in by rituals and traditions. However, they’re free to munch on anything that comes into their minds when they’re alone. For example, they love talking about sex, love and desires in their future lives. In short, the lives of these poor Indian village women seem to face a never ending phase of hardship scattered with small pieces of happiness.
Rani almost goes flabbergasted as she discovers something awkward on the day of her son’s marriage. She discovers that Janaki is dishonoured and her hair has been cut off. But nothing stops here as Manoj’s brutality can be easily seen in his eyes after he goes more fierce towards “Lajjo”. The movie depicts the saga of men who always want to be like a villain. They don’t even feel pride listening to their elders who scoff at the reality of women to have all the success like them.
There is only one guy in the village by the name Kishan who seems to have some human character but he is underdeveloped. The cruelty levels on these poor Indian village women goes unabated due to the presence of these creepy monsters. It’s all about a culture which is so meaningfully steeped in misogyny and making such unlawful behaviours acceptable, even marks of their masculinity levels. Still, you may wait to see if God is not producing any more humans.
How beautifully Indian village women are shown to set free
All our young Indian village women shown in the movie “Parched” are unbelievably complex at performing their deeds. For example, “Rani” still remembers her early days when she was a newly married wife and was occasionally misbehaved by her husband and mother-in-law. But now she reflexively treats “Janaki” with both disdain and oppression.
In the same ways, “Lajjo” also seems to chafe under her husband’s unlawful tyranny. But still, she doesn’t act without his approval. Same with “Bijli” who seems quite breezily liberated but not at the cost of losing a man. These miserable women also have desires of sex, love and freedom, but can’t expect from their monster husbands. All such uneven conflicts are enough to keep the film interesting.
“Parched” is an attempt to reflect the attention of audiences towards the stories of such Indian village women. It’s an honest medium to project their acts in reel life, unfathomable to lawfully civilized minds. “Leena Yadav” succeeds in the making of characters like “Lajjo”, Rani and Bijli, exactly you would find in real life drama.
The film now comes towards an end. Interestingly, the final scenes are set much against the backdrop of a festival. It shows celebrations all around after the defeat of evil and lies in the hands of a goddess and lord. The celebrations involve burning effigies of an obvious liberation for all three Indian village women (Bijli, Rani, Lajjo). All these women are finally let free.