Cinema pot roast, scraping shit from the baby’s

Cinema has
made me re-examine many of the cultural norms that I had previously accepted as
just being “natural order of things”. It has influenced my life dramatically as
it made me grow into a man I am today. The art of creating movies and taking
the time to think of something that no one has ever thought about inspires me.

On that
typical Friday night I randomly decided to watch a 1980’s movie “The Women’s
Room”. The movie was based on the best selling novel by Marilyn French. The
movie depicts the lives of many ordinary women who either go to college or they
get married without bothering about the pretense of college—after all, they
know that college is a way of finding a well settled promising husband.

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Mira, the
main character, whose life is traced throughout the movie from her teenage
years into adulthood, during which time she undergoes several transformations.
She vaguely wonders why she is not content cooking pot roast, scraping shit
from the baby’s diaper, and picking up her husbands’ dry cleaning. As for the
rest of the women, including Mira, their lives, fears, disappointments and
yearnings, were much more subtle, yet equally suicidal in their quiet
desperations.

Years later,
Mira’s life changes. Husband divorces her, kids have grown and life is easy
economically. Mira has a nervous breakdown. Her friend helps her recover and
she became a graduate student at Harvard University. Though painful and
difficult, it is here that she comes to terms with herself, realizes her
potential, and learns to live with herself –not necessarily happily—but at
least honestly.

After
finishing that life altering movie I was extremely depressed to see that even
after three decades I find Mira’s world so much related to the society I live
inn. That Friday night I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing
uncontrollably from a terrible nightmare. Though I couldn’t remember the dream,
I came to a profound realization. Mira’s life was my mothers.

My
father has always been the leader of our home. I have personally admired him
for being intelligent and worldly, and revered him for having power and
control. My mother has always seemed indecisive, easily suppressed, and overly
dependent because she had chosen the life of housewife, mother. I defied this
tradition, and feared wearing those chains someday.
During that night I understood my mother for the first time–I respected her
inner strength, compassion, gentleness. Ever since then, my relationship with
my mother has evolved, and we are very close.

The
next morning I woke up like a man on a mission. I was determined to raise my
voice for Women’s Right Issue. I began with local actions in my town. I
overheard that an impecunious family was trying to get rid of their young
daughter through a forced marriage. I endeavored to save her life and
eventually led my way into counseling her family. I offered them financial support
which they accepted, and encouraged them to let their daughter continue her
college.

 

I
ascertained through this movie that we are failed to give women the sense of
contentment. It made me realize how much courage it takes for a woman to live
within a stiffed role, and find pleasure of life by living through other
people. Watching Mira’s evolution as a female changed the way I
feel towards myself, my feelings and compassion for my mother, and provided me
with a much more sensitive view towards the lives of many women in our society
today.