What Begum Jaan Taught Me About Our Mindsets

Anonymous Anonymous in Single Women Bad Women on 11 October, 2017

It was a holiday and I was relaxing on the couch, surfing channels to find a good movie to watch. I finally ended my search with Begum Jaan and I was sure that it would make my day.

While I was drawn to the film’s trailer, I could not dare to watch the movie in a theater.

I come from a typical South Indian conservative family, even though I'm staying in a metro city like Hyderabad. I started watching the film and just then, my younger brother came up to me and asked me why was I watching a film like Begum Jaan. His words were, "Akka, Why are you doing this? This is not your kind of film, it’s an adult movie and you are not supposed to watch it!"

He started explaining to me how the movie is not for ladies but for men because it got an A-certificate.

But I said, "A stands for Adult and I am an adult, so I can very well watch the movie."

He didn't argue much but went away saying, "It’s not good for you. Don’t watch such things. Prostitutes and their jobs are not for us to discuss and especially you, being a married and a respectable lady, should not watch such movies.” His words left me perplexed.

I am a lady who considers herself broadminded enough to accept a movie beyond its ‘adult’ content.

I ignored my brother and continued watching the movie. Frankly, I was truly moved by the spirit of the ladies staying in the kotha, the women who sold their bodies for a living.

The hard-hitting dialogues like " Begum jaan kendi hai ki sirf jism di nahi sadde dil di bhi koi kimat hoti hai" and "Aap jise zuban se kotha, aur dimaag mein randi kaana soch rahe hai na, yeh mera ghar hai, mera watan", left me with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t control my emotions after watching this movie.In fact, I wholeheartedly felt that such movies should be encouraged.

Especially in our society, where publicly talking about sex is a taboo but showing bras and bikinis in an advertisement is acceptable.

The movie beautifully portrays natural human emotions like love, affection, betrayal, relationships, bonding, and more importantly, the camaraderie that people feel in a so-called ‘randi khana’. After the movie, I explained to my brother, who is 24, that it is important to understand a lady not just through her body, but also through her heart.

A movie like Begum Jaan depicts the new Durga avatar. Goddess Durga is made with the mitti taken from a randi khana too, because “Har aaangan ki mitti se banti hai Maa Durga" and people need to understand that this means, “Har aangan mein rehti hai Maa ki parchayi.”

One must never degrade any profession because sometimes, professions are not made by ‘choice’ but by ‘force’.

I hope my brother now agrees with me and so do the ladies and gentlemen out there.

I hope men understand this and respect a lady for what she is and not for what she does!

The message of an adult movie doesn't necessarily mean only the crap that we do but do not talk about. It’s high time that we stop being judgmental! 

Editor's Note:

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