Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I went to see the movie “Water” yesterday. It’s a Hindi movie filmed in Sri Lanka, set in the 1930s during the rise of the independence struggles against British colonial rule. The film examines the plight of a group of widows forced into poverty at a temple in the holy city of Varanasi. We see this world of widows in the ashram through the eyes of Chuihya (Sarala), a eight-year-old widow sent to live there after her husband dies. (I just checked on the net and was appalled to find that even today people still give girls as young as 7 or 8 in marriage to much older men in many parts of the world… Often due to poverty the parents of the girls agree)

I had a few nice pics from the movie but had trouble attaching them today, I'll try that later. You can click here for a few photographs.

Eight-year-old Chuyia (Sarala) first appears at the moment her father tells her she's been widowed. Though she hardly even remembers being married, she is suddenly cast into an awful lifelong limbo, sent to live in an ashram with 14 other widows, all dispised by "respectable" citizens. Sarala’s acting was Brilliant. She´s cute, energetic and the perfect choice for the role. In real life, Sarala is a Sri Lankan and cannot speak a word of Hindi. Her work in Water is the complete memorization of lines from their sounds. Water was so very moving and at one point I had tears in my eyes. Despite the depressing theme of the movie, there are moments of comedy and great love.

It really did make me think of how far we women have come… I know that still there are many women suffering in silence due to the many injustices of society, but I was thanking God that I was born in this century and place where we are given almost equal status. I say almost cos still especially in the field of engineering, I feel that there are many who think that we cannot measure up.

There is one quote which really struck a cord. As Chuiya enters the Ashram, one of the widows tell her "A wife is part of her husband while he is alive, and when husbands die, god help them." What I noticed was that these women themselves had just given up and accepted their fate. It took the arrival of little girl to ask questions as to why they were treated this way… That’s how it is with many injustices in society… It always gets set because the victims choose to submit unquestioningly. I know that this is much easier said than done and if I had been born in a different century in a different place I wouldn’t know what exactly I would have done either…

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Blogger ipodmomma said...

it is amazing to think what women, over the years, have accepted, and continue to live with...

sounds like a very good film. was it subtitled? do you speak Hindi? questions. questions... :)))

6:08 pm, June 13, 2006  
Blogger smiley said...

It was a lovely movie, and luckily it was subtiltled cos I don't understand Hindi. I speak Sighalese which has a few words in common but not the same. :0)

5:02 am, June 14, 2006  
Blogger amit said...

nicely written review. One of the rare ones which concentrated on the film stering clear of the controversy.

5:15 am, June 14, 2006  
Blogger smiley said...

Hi Amit,

Thanks, well I heard all about the controversy and I know how sensitive most people are when it comes to religion, look at what's happening with 'Da Vinci Code'.

So have you seen it too?

5:41 am, June 14, 2006  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Smiley ~~ Glad you enjoyed your visit to my blog. Take care, Merle.

10:10 am, June 14, 2006  
Blogger muthulee said...

After reading your blog I am inspired to see it.

12:29 pm, June 14, 2006  
Blogger amit said...

All of Deepas Mehtas movie have had a sort of anti-India/hindu theme starting with Earth. Her movies target audience has alwasy been the expatriate Indian population many of which look down on India specially since they are forced to justify to themselves their decision of statying away from their own country.


10:20 am, June 15, 2006  
Blogger Turtle Guy said...

another one to add to the list!

1:19 pm, June 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with your site, very nice graphics!

2:49 am, July 21, 2006  

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