Balika Vadhu


Balika Vadhu
Balika Vadhu

What is justified and what is not? (Page 2)

andv Goldie

Joined: 09 March 2011
Posts: 2162

Posted: 16 September 2011 at 4:31pm | IP Logged
@Antara, I have no intentions of starting a JG war here but just wanted to continue our discussion with the example of a young couple like J and G. In the context of mutual understanding and cooperation: That's where maturity and love for each other comes in. Maturity will help you analyze the situation and the behavior of your partner while keeping your head firmly on your shoulders and mutual love and respect will not make you feel stressed in case you happen to do something a little more than the other.Infact that thought would not cross your mind either. Love cannot be measured by how many gifts your partner gave you or if he proposed to you in a dramatic fashion, or by just looking eye to eye and saying the three words. Although that may also be needed but its not the real measure of the strength of your relationship in my opinion. How much of each other do you understand and how much you can do for the other without feeling pressurized is what will make your marriage smooth. Its these little things in day to day living that actually gives you the value of your love for each other.  

I agree I did not like J shouting at G nor did I like G's behaviour today. I did mention the same in my post too in the written update post. Those kinds of fights I feel are very kiddish. Fortunately or unfortunately they both are of the same temperament. Both are immature, very impulsive, hot tempered, not ready to listen to what the other has to say and at the same time egoistic. This may be true for many other young couples in real life too but probably with time they may change and understand the realities of life. That's also one of the reasons I wanted J and G to fend for themselves and understand how difficult life can get when you are out of that comforted shell of your parent's financial support. J would have understood the realities of life and may just have valued his family a little more. but well the CVs have other ideas...

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tinoo IF-Rockerz

Joined: 30 June 2011
Posts: 5164

Posted: 16 September 2011 at 11:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by woman11

Hello guys,
Watching today's episode made me think of an issue we had been debating in our Feminism class the other day. I really want to hear your views on this:

1. A few days back there was a hospital scene and Jagya had shouted at Gauri for not cooking proper food. Gauri had packed some sandwiches for their night duty and Jagya was majorly disappointed for the lack of Gauri's housekeeping skills. We all hated Jagya for shouting at Gauri and called him an MCP.

2. Yesterday, Jagya got some nice breakfast for Gauri and Gauri rejected it promptly, hurting Jagya's feelings. Incidentally, Jagya had done the same thing with Anandi and hurt her feelings. We had found that behavior of his inexcusable and hated him for hurting Anandi like that. However, did we find Gauri's behavior equally offensive?

Hi woman11 - I watch balika vadhu for a broader understanding of social paradigms, and analyze the characters for a broader understanding of human nature -- and not necessarily the narrow story of anandi-jagya and gauri triangle, so I very much appreciate this topic and applaud you for the broader intellectual stimulation provided by starting a thread like this ClapClapClapClap.
I have some things to say, but right now will limit my thread to 1 and 2.
1. In terms of  your point no 1  -- yes jagya shouted at gauri-- but it wasnt because of her housekeeping skills because he told her that if she was not able to do it, then he would clearly have brought two thalis from the canteen when the canteen was still open.  Here, I believe that jagya's shouting is justified and it is gauri's fault for not giving him a heads up earlier
He likes a good thali of food (and she knows that or atleast by now should know what her husbands eating tastes are) and he could only be labelled an MCP if he insisted that she be the one to cook a five course meal every day and refused to eat outside at all. 
His anger was more to the fact that she did not tell him knowing fully well that he does not like tomato sandwiches.  He was very clear that he would have got something from outside.
If my husband tells me in the morning -- "I feel a craving for tandoori chicken tonight -- and if you cant make it at home, let  me know and I will pick up tandoori at a restaurant" -- then clearly he is not an MCP if he arrives home and finds that neither have I made it at home, nor did I call him and let him know before the restaurants closed so he could pick it up from outside.
He can only be called an MCP if he badgers me to make tandoori chicken for me and says that he will eat only tandoori made from my hands... and then gets angry with me for not making it. But if he gives me a choice, then very clearly, I have a responsibility to indicate to him that I will not be making it and give him the option of picking it up.
Did I hate Jagya in the scene ? -- yes. but not because he shouted at gauri, but because once again he remembered anandi's food later. 
2) In terms of point # 2 -- the similarity between jagya shouting at anandi for the oily breakfast, and gauri shouting at jagya for oily breakfast -- I dont think the two incidents are comparable. You ask if we found gauri's behaviour equally offensive for shouting at jagya -- and if we let her off the hook because she was a woman.
My answer is that I let gauri off the hook for her behaviour towards jagya not because she is a woman, but because her intentions were not evil.  In Jagya's behaviour towards anandi, he was cruel with intention of hurting her, and this is what I found offensive, which is why I judge him more harshly.
When jagya shouted at anandi for heavy ghee food, he had an agenda of insulting anandi -- so the attack on the food was a 'proxy war' on anandi herself.  At the time, jagya was going through the turmoil of being married to anandi and not wanting to continue being married to her -- he is a spineless coward and knowing fully well that he had no genuine reasons to dislike anandi, he began manufacturing reasons in his mind to rationalize that she was not his laayak -- and to justify (to himself, and later to others) why he need not be faithful in his marriage by belittling her gawar ways to her gawar ghee-laden food etc.  
A man with courage would have simply said "I dont love anandi anymore" and there would be no reasons/justification required in integrity.
Not only at that time, but I find myself hating Jagya more now, because of retroactive hatred. I mean if he had these principles of eating a light breakfast, he could be standing true to his words and eating light just now - BUT HE HIMSELF GOES SHOPPING FOR OILY PARATHAS FOR BREAKFAST? I hate him for being a hypocrite as well as cruel.
As I said, the reason I hate Jagya is because his attack on the food was not an attack on the food, it was a proxy attack on anandi herself...and done knowing fully well that this is the way that food is cooked in jayetsar, and that ghee in food = a measure of love -- and not a way that a wife poisons her husband into heart disease and cholesterol.
However, gauri rejecting jagat's oily parathas had no other agenda to hurt jagat.  She simply did not like oily food... the rejection of the food was not done with the intention of hurting or rejecting jagat...In addition, she is aware that Jagat knows the dangers of oily ghee laden food (which anandi did not in the reverse situation), so she is puzzled as to why he is so 'petu'.   And she said she prefers fruit.  It was not done with the intention of belittling jagat to make him feel small or to humiliate him.
And Gauri has clarity in her stand -- she will eat fruits or something light for breakfast. I doubt she will change her eating habits if she ends up with another man -- so no hypocrisy there.
Therefore, I dont think that this is a gender issue at all -- and not about feminism -- it is really about the broader framework of intention and cruelty -- more than the cooking of breakfast or gender roles in breakfast-making.
I dont find gauri's behaviour offensive in this situation because her intentions were not cruel when she said no to the oily food.  And there was genuine surprise that jagat being a doctor had no commonsense about eating well.
I do find jagat's behaviour offensive because his intentions were cruel and designed to humiliate anandi when he said no to the oily food... particularly when anandi had no background/orientation to 'western' health issues. In her mind, she was genuinely being loving by pouring extra ghee on to everything because in her own jayetsarian context -- ghee = health.  He knew the context and was still mean to her.
More later... LOL
Thanks for starting this topic.

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sreevask Goldie

Joined: 11 March 2011
Posts: 1914

Posted: 17 September 2011 at 12:41am | IP Logged
@ tinoo,

Perfect Analysis...looking forward to ur further posts as always ...

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sreevask Goldie

Joined: 11 March 2011
Posts: 1914

Posted: 17 September 2011 at 3:32am | IP Logged
Every nothing is sweet, as long as there is love...
Pyar me kabhi kabhi...

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tinoo IF-Rockerz

Joined: 30 June 2011
Posts: 5164

Posted: 17 September 2011 at 4:03am | IP Logged
Further to my earlier post, I also think I judge jagya more harshly because of the way he rejected anandi's food. picking up bhajiya, jalebi, inspecting it with a look of contempt on his face, then throwing it back on the plate.
I judge gauri less harshly, because she just avoided the whole damn breakfast and left.  I would have judged her equally harshly if she had taken the parathas and slapped them on his face with contempt and then poured the dahi onto his head, and then said to him "yeh kya, coffee with dahi in the morning? tumhe jara bhi sense nahin hai?  does coffee mix with dahi you fool? LOLLOLLOL. Then yes, I would judge gauri equally harshly.

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tinoo IF-Rockerz

Joined: 30 June 2011
Posts: 5164

Posted: 17 September 2011 at 4:12am | IP Logged
In response to the broader issue -- I think that it can only be considered chauvanism when a man says to a woman "this is woman's work -- and you should do this work because you are a woman" and then further get angry about it if the woman does not do the "woman's work."
I honestly dont think that jagya is a chauvanist -- either with gauri or with anandi. He does not have a notion of something being "woman's work". 
Nor can a woman who refuses to cook or clean be considered a 'non-feminist'.  Feminism does not imply that women dont do household chores.
I think that feminism implies the fact that women should have a choice.
If after having that choice, they still choose to do 'traditional women's chores' then that is a personal decision.
I have friends who are well-qualified professionals.  Some of them have chosen to continue working after having kids and have made other child-care arrangements. Others have chosen to be stay at home moms and leave their jobs.   But all of them had a choice to do one or the other and none were compelled into doing anything they didnt want to do.
It cannot be said that those who continue to work outside the home are feminist and progressive, and those who stay at home are non-feminist and regressive. 
Yes, if women dont have a choice and the men of their homes force them into one or other mold, then it can be called chauvanism.

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woman11 Goldie

Joined: 10 May 2011
Posts: 1230

Posted: 17 September 2011 at 10:03am | IP Logged
Great points everyone, especially tinooClap. I absolutely love your analysis. Thanks for joining in the discussion. Lets hear from the men too. DJ, I guess you can chip in nowTongue

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tinoo IF-Rockerz

Joined: 30 June 2011
Posts: 5164

Posted: 17 September 2011 at 10:32am | IP Logged
Me again LOLLOLLOL (sorry woman11 -- not one of the men you hoped for on this thread) --
I just remembered something -- I studied in Boston and in 2000-- and attended a seminar once of an Indian lady student at Harvard who was working on her Ph.D. in anthropology. Her name was Seeta Pai.
Anyway, her presentation was absolutely fascinating.
Her Ph.D. was on the Nair community of Kerala, women's rights and the role that education played in DIMINISHING women's rights. (!)
I dont remember everything clearly --
but she took seven families with seven generations of women in each set. [49 women in total]
What this means is that in each family there was a great-great-great grandma, a great great grandma, a great grandma, a grandma, a mother, a daughter and a grand-daughter.
(Since nair women marry early and have a really long life span this was possible, where the grand-daughter might be 10 and the eldest woman in the lineage might be 110 years )
She also took 1950 (or somewhere thereabouts) as the dividing line between the generations of women (meaning it would be that three of these women would be educated before 1950, and four of them had received education after 1950).
1950 is when the Indian government started compulsory schooling for girls etc. in Kerala.
Now what she found was something fabulous --
the three 'uneducated' generations in each of the families before 1950 were in a completely matriarchal society.  The men took the women's names;  after marriage the men moved into women's homes, the women had all the decision making power in the homes; the sons-in-laws had to give their money to their mother in law and the mother-in-law would decide how money was spent.
However, the four younger generations of the family who considered themselves 'educated' and had been to some format of school and college -- the education system overturned the power system in the households. Because the British western way was to put father's name, husband's name in the forms for school admissions, for other things etc!!  So the grandmother, mother, daughter, grand-daughter somehow all turned into a patriarchal society!! The remaining four generations all were takign their husband's names, moving into their husband's homes after marriage, they were giving their income to their husbands and father in law -- and the male Nair men would decide how money was spent!!
Her thesis was focused on the paradox of 'girls education' as defined by the west -- which says that education empowers women.
Here  instead of empowering women, in many cases worked as detrimental to an already existing power structure where women were at the top!! Instead of empowering girls, it was actually stripping them of their power.
The funny thing/irony  was that the 4 younger generations because of their 'modern' education as determined by a degree certificate/formal school all considered themselves highly progressive than the older three three generations.  They considered their three generations of women 'illiterate' and 'backward' -- so the matrilineal society had swung to a patriarchal system by virtue of the system of education implemented in Kerala.
Food for thought!!  [Apologies for not remembering all the details -- but this was just so fantastic) -- she completely blew the lid off the myth of education and feminism through her case study so I remember it vividly -- and the whole audience gave her a standing ovation!!

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