Thank you Indu ji.
Savdhaan India, January 10, 2013
Maya's home late at night; she is fast asleep. And a young man and his accomplice, a young woman, are stealing boxes of jewellery from the cupboard. Just then they freeze as they find Maya is standing there awake! To make their escape, the man knocks Maya down with the bag and the two get away.
As Mohnish Bahl introduces the situation, he poses the question, what is behind this strange theft? Maya rushed to the police, and registers a complaint that her husband, Bhaskar, and her younger sister, Bela, have run away with her jewellery, and cheated on her. It sounds like a typical case of an unfaithful husband, who has cheated on his wife, that too with the wife's younger sister, and escaped with her wealth. The sympathetic police officer listens to Maya's story of a self-centred and brutal husband, who was interested only in her wealth, and despite knowing that, she had been forced to marry him because he had forced himself on her.
Bhaskar and Bela, meanwhile, get married secretly and hideout in a village where his parents reside. He plans that he will collect the money he has saved with his mother, and then they could go away to a big city like Kolkata, where no one will find them. Just then his mother calls and asks what has he done now? The police are searching for him all over. Anyway, as soon as he safely can, Bhaskar still goes to his mother's place to get the money so that they can make their getaway as soon as possible. And here comes the twist in the tale. He discovers his mother hanging from the ceiling, dead. Bhaskar and his family are shocked as they mourn this sudden loss. His father tells him that she was too depressed over his behaviour so he, Bhaskar, was the cause behind his mother's suicide. Bhaskar suddenly concludes his mother could never have taken her own life; she was a very strong person. And he is convinced that Maya has a hand in this! And determines that he will go to the police, to get this investigated; he pleads with his family not to proceed with the cremation till then!
Mohnish presents the strange quandary. One the one hand Maya has complained against an apparently cheating husband; on the other hand the so far "missing" husband, Bhaskar, rushes to the police and claims that his mother did not commit suicide but that his wife Maya had a hand in this!
Now the unbelievable reality is unraveled. Bhaskar tells the police of the tortures perpetrated on him by his wife Maya. How she forced him into marrying her; of her hold on him; her violence against him; and her cruelty also to Bela, as she knew that in fact Bhaskar and Bela were drawn to each other. In the most unbelievable sequence of events the story unfolds, of Maya's persecution of her husband and his desperation. The confrontation between Maya and Bhaskar's mother is revealed, with the latter being aware that Maya had ruined her son's life. Ultimately the conspiracy of Maya and her accomplice Chuttan, the murder of Bhaskar's mother and attempt to escape as the police cordon tightens around them. Mohnish brings out the fact that if from a very young age parents are not made aware of their problems that their children are facing, then the young men and women run into situations that these escalate and take on a very grave consequences. Bhaskar also never shared with his parents the direction his life was taking.
As Mohnish Bahl points out, domestic violence against women is a widely known and condemned. But incidents of the same against husbands rarely come to light. A man's ego and sense of shame and disgrace prevents him from talking about such a situation. Domestic violence against husbands has escalated alarmingly in the past 5 years, and over a lakh of husbands have faced situations of persecution at the hands of their wives.
Any such situation must be brought out and exposed. If Bhaskar had spoken out against the treatment of his wife at the early stages, his mother would still be alive. The situation would not have got so completely out of hand. He spoke up only after the death of his mother, and he managed to expose the perpetrators of the crime. He finally did fight back… but wasn't it too late?
However perturbing and strange this case may seem to us, it is a true situation and needs to be accepted in its reality. As Mohnish takes leave he again advises to be cautious, alert and safe… as India fights back.