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Her parents leave her in an ashram, where she is supposed to live the rest of her life in renunciation. This event is of great significance because it sets the plot and the mood of the…
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Download file to see previous pages... Her head is shaved and her bangles broken. She is made to wear a piece of white unstitched fabric like the rest of the widows there. Chuiya gradually adapts to the lifestyle of Ashram and at the same time, she changes its dreary atmosphere with her innocence, energy and playfulness. Her bonding with two other widows, Shakuntala and Kalyani, is remarkable. Kalyani is the only widow who is allowed to keep her hair because she is forced to prostitute by Madhumati, the head of the ashram, to bring in money for the ashram.
Chuiya’s accidental meeting with Narayan, a rich law student and follower of Gandhi gives a new turn to the plot of the movie. Narayan and Kalyani fall in love but their love affair is short-lived. When Madhumati learns about her love affair, she locks her up in the room. Shakuntala is represented as a positive force in this movie. The scene in which she unlocks Kalyani to meet Narayan is symbolic of freedom of the subjugated women in the name of religion. However, Kalyani refuses to meet Narayan’s parents because upon seeing his home, she realizes that his father was one her clients. From this point onwards, the tragedy in the movie deepens because she commits suicide after returning to the ashram and Chuiya is chosen to do her job. In the last scene of the movie, Shakuntala hands her over to Narayan, who is angered and disgusted by his father, is leaving with Gandhi on a train. The ending scene symbolizes hope and freedom at least for Chuiya, who evades her fate as a cursed widow.
This film revolves around widows in India that are treated as outcasts by the mainstream Hindu society. Though this film is set in 1938, and a conversation between Shakuntala and a priest in one of the scenes inform the audience about the new law that allows widows to remarry; yet the sub titles at the end of the movie inform the audience that even at the turn of the 21st century, many women continue ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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