“Mard baad mein banio, pehle insaan toh banja.”
Directed by Leena Yadav under the banner of Ajay Devgn’s Films, ‘Parched’ tells a tale of four females- Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte), Bijli (Surveen Chawla) and Janki (Lehar Khan) living in a small village of Rajasthan. This village is riddled with social ills such as– child marriage, financial issues, spousal and familial rape, physical and emotional abuse, etc. The locale of the region is arid, dry and ‘parched’, just like the females of the village who are parched of their desires and freedom. The title of the movie is quite symbolic as the external surroundings are just a reflection of the internal barrenness.
The females in the movie become the mouthpiece to carry the message of equity, freedom and individualism. Through the daily mundane routine of these four females, we see a plethora of atrocities being done to ‘the second sex’ by the male patriarchal set up and how these oppressed women are still breaking the stereotypical jacket of the patriarchal society, whether it is by standing on a hill-top and shouting profanities at the top of their lungs when the society tells them to be quiet and demure, or whether it is in the quiet yet authoritative voice that tells the society to become a human first, and man later.
The movie is by no means boring, as one might assume as images of women protesting on roads and men being cruel to them. The movie has more of a satirical touch with humour and wit blended together in it. Not only that, we also come across some gentle and humble men who care about women and arouse their passions and show them the other pleasurable side of being with a man. The entwined story of these four women shows how they live in a tightly controlled world, hemmed in by tradition, but in their private spaces, how they freely talk about love, sex, and their dreams for the future and enjoy each other’s company very much.
And this leads us to the introduction to another theme in the plot, that of, women empowerment– How they find their confidante in one another, how they uplift each other, how they are willing to sacrifice for each other, how they confide in each other, and how they empower each other. We see selfless bonds develop in places where enimity by nature dwells. This leads to a journey of freedom and finding solace in each other together.
About the Author:
I’m an avid reader who has a passion for writing as well. I’m also a music buff and a fan of live music. I’m pursuing my masters degree from Panjab University and would love to become a food critic someday. If you like what I write, then do visit my blog – beyondallrationale.blogspot.in