It’s been a couple of weeks since the death of Bhago and the soul that was wrenched and broken with the death of the mother has been soothed a little. Slowly and steadily life is moving on in the day to day practicalities for Anandi and her family. With the promise to her mother on her death bed, Anandi is again thrust into a situation where she doesn’t have a choice. Truth or not, she has been put in a situation where even though the heart cries and longs for an escape route, it is blocked by the shackles of family. Neither can she ignore the bond and step out nor can she peacefully accept the dictate.
Life has thrown Himalayan sized obstacles at Anandi in the last year. The divorce from Jagya, the death of her mother, the shattered and heartbreaking pieces of a cherished relationship, would require a normal person truck load of time and a slow gentle healing of the soul. The wounds are still raw and fresh. Her heart has not healed from the death blow that Jagya threw her way nor has it completely come to terms with the death of her mother. Even though, we as viewers want Anandi to move on, in reality it is very difficult for anybody to shed the baggage of the past this quickly.
One of the scenes, that truly touched me was the scene were Anandi watches her reflection and ponders about life. Her shoulders are weighed down by the beautiful necklace from the groom’s family. Her inner being cannot tolerate it and her first instinct, which she acts upon is to remove that single piece of jewelry and throw it as far away as possible. But does it end there! No! She turns around and finds that the necklace has neatly landed below the photo of her mom, rudely bringing to focus what she has promised.
The few minutes of freedom is again crushed and makes Anandi realize that the responsibility she shoulders is bigger than her and there is no room for pity or any other emotion. Duty calls. The duty of a daughter, duty of a daughter in law, and above all, the duty of a girl who has always succumbed to the dictates of the elders. Even though this not her preference, she would have to do what needs to be done as there is no other choice or avenues open to her.
Once again, the shackles are back and she is weighed down with it. Anandi walks to the photo with a heavy heart and lifts the necklace and adorns her neck with it. Making us realize that even though deep down in her heart she is not completely accepting, she will do everything to keep that death bed promise. Like a leaf in the wind, blown directionless by the whims of the gentle or turbulent breeze, Anandi’s life will always be guided by the whims of the elders and that is exactly what is happening now. Her desires, her interests and needs are not part and parcel of what is going to happen in her life.
Once again, she is forced to bow down to the duties of the family. Albeit, the pressure being a gentle and persuasive one. The promise to her mom and respect for Dadisa keeps are quiet. Her initial reaction of throwing the necklace, symbolizing the shackles being completely broken so reminded me of what a woman goes through in reality. The shackles of society will never allow one to completely break free.
Another thought to ponder upon, Can Anandi ever break the bond even if she wishes to? Is she capable of surviving and knowing what she needs in her life? Her decisions have always been based on the needs and views of the elders in the family. Can she revolt against such a sacred institution that is “family”? She cannot!
In the end, duty and promises supersede personal wants. Anandi asks shiv to marry her but is she doing the right thing? Is she ready for such a major event and upheaval after the deadly blows that have happened one after another?? Only time shall tell.
Written by: Shreeya Gupta