Movies; Women

So the third movie of the Narnia series is about to be released. Why?

I’m sure the producers forgot to ask themselves that. Or they didn’t realise what a dud they had as a director.

Now, I loved the Narnia series as a kid. Though to be honest, I had read only “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” and “The Silver Chair” for a long time. Then I picked up… I think it was The Voyage something. I eventually read all of the books but regardless of the age, they were a little disappointing.

And making a fantasy movie is no easy task, particularly as people who tend to watch such movies already have The Lord of The Rings standard in their mind. Yes, Harry Potter still manages to make money but ask how many of those people have read the book? Or are like me who know the movie is going to be torture, but still feel compelled to watch it. And then bitch about the casting, the direction and all those eliminated crucial scenes.

But Narnia… somehow I had a different idea in my head about Aslan, Peter, Lucy. Sort of like how Dumbledore was such a disappointment.


I caught some ad for yet another reality show on television. Hosted by Parvati of one of the K-serial fame, it was about how women fall prey to various horrible things in the country and if the death penalty is the right punishment for a rapist.

The focus of that program escaped me for a moment… they had shots of a bunch of other cases, including Rathore who is accused of raping a girl and then pushing the whole case under the carpet.

I wonder then – have we really come far in terms of protection for women? Yes, the laws are there. But that is only because the laws were made by a bunch of men who were far ahead of their time and wise. And those men formed a small percentage of the population then and now.

Women are mostly treated as objects in this country, even if we do not miss breaking a coconut for Kali in the temple. I recently wrote about how harrowing an experience it was to walk half a kilometre down the road at 11.30 in the night, when I was dressed in jeans and a simple top. And there was not a single cop on that road either. And I live in one of the most developed and cosmopolitan cities in the fricking country.

And then there are these shows. “Who is to blame for her death?”

The character of the woman gets scrutinized everytime… and somehow, she has never yet come out looking good, even if public sympathy is on her side. “Oh yeah she liked to party… but you know, sad thing that happened to her.”

And how does it matter if the woman liked to drink, to dance and wear short skirts? Personal liberty is a concept that is so absent in India.

Actually, personal space is a concept missing in India. A friend used to complain about how her boss or her coworkers would lean over her computer, reading her email, even if she mentioned it was personal. And how people would ask her questions about her dating life and sex life too. And it was assumed that because she was white, she wouldn’t really have a problem answering questions about her sex life.

“Saying it is personal simply doesn’t help!” she groaned, after her coworker was poking her about her ‘dating life’ yet again.

Does the concept of harassment exist in India? There are laws, I have recently learned, and the laws were made as recently as 1997 apparently. But would a woman actually file for a harassment case in India? The concept of personal space is so fluid, and the idea of “adjust maadi” is so drummed into us, we rarely consider certain things as harassment.

True, we are improving everyday and learning, at least legally. But how far does the implementation of the law go? It took the murder of a call centre employee to come up with laws for women who work in the night. And yet, there is a law in Karnataka which bans women from working at night. (Yup. True story. Infact this is just in the House now, with women’s organizations protesting against it). IT and “essential services” are exempted apparently, but it is a ridiculous law anyday, even if they claim it is for our safety.

But the implementation is a long way off. A woman out at night still gets the “you were out at that time of the night” comments and looks. And the tag of “she comes home at odd hours.” I despair sometimes, wondering if we will ever change. If we will ever have the freedom to live our lives without judgement.

Photo of the day:

Old Lady from Sikkim - Sukanto Debnath

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