Friday, 3 April 2009

Heaven on Earth

Today I watched Deepa Mehta's new movie Heaven on Earth . Movie is about Chand, a young Indian Punjabi woman who finds herself in an abusive arranged marriage with an Indo-Canadian man.

Everything is new to Chand, everything is unfamiliar including the quiet and shy Rocky who she meets for the first time at the Arrivals level of Pearson Airport. Chand approaches her new life and her new land with equanimity and grace, and at times the wide-eyed optimism of hope—her first snowfall is a tiny miracle of beauty, and the roar of Niagara Falls creates the excitement of new beginnings.

But soon optimism turns to isolation as the family she has inherited struggles beneath the weight of unspoken words, their collective frustration becoming palpable. A controlling mother who can’t let him go, a sweet but ineffectual father, and a sister whose two children and unemployed husband are also a burden. All live with Rocky and Chand in a two-bedroom house in the suburbs of Toronto. To make matters worse, Rocky is expected to find the money to bring his extended family to Canada. Unable to express his anger, he finds other ways to release it and it’s Chand who bears the brunt of his repressed rage.

Trapped in a world she cannot comprehend and unable to please her husband, Chand is desperate. Hope comes in the form of Rosa (Yanna McIntosh), a tough and savvy Jamaican woman who works alongside Chand in a factory where immigrant women from all over the world clean and press dirty hotel laundry. Rosa sees past the make-up that covers Chand’s bruised face. Realizing Chand has nowhere to turn, Rosa gives her a magical root advising her “to put it in whatever he drinks.” The root is supposed to seduce the one who takes it, making them fall hopelessly in love with the person who gives it to them. Chand’s attempts with the magic root lead to surreal incidents and her life gradually begins to mirror an Indian fable involving a King Cobra. As the lines between fantasy and reality converge, Chand and Rocky come face to face with each other and themselves.

Its so strange to see till today educated women are victims of domestic violence. There was one interesting scene where her mother-in-law tells her. Husband beating a wife is part of married life. In today's world also people think wives are stress reliever . I think its very common in Indian Villages but to see the same situation in Canada was shocking . Be it any place women still have to suffer.

One of my childhood friend also is facing the same problem.Her husband was fine with her for initial one year but after he daughter was born he changed.God knows what happened.He hit her very badly only 2 months after her daughter was born.She had decided to separate from her husband .Her husband told her I can give you divorce only on one condition you wont remarry or else I will take our daughter back from you.She spoke to her brother and parents about it but poor girl,her parents advised her to ADJUST .. I was shocked.I told her how can your parents do this to you they should support you.She said to me what can I do.. you tell me I have nowhere to go.I felt so helpless that moment. Its been more almost one year I have no contact with her . She is not allowed to call her parents nor her parents can call her. She mails me sometimes secretly.

I wish god gives her strength to handle all this.....

This movie really is a shocking fact of woman's life.


hitch writer said...

A lot of women put up with a lot of things..

I just hope they start blowing the whistle..

No tolerance should be the mantra...

Have you heard of a husband being beaten by a wife ??

It would be a catastrophe.. wouldnt it ??

raindrops said...

It's a grim fact that many cases of domestic violences are being reported from educated households. I think women should wake up against it. It points to many many social evils, the one being parents giving importance to marriage of their girl child rather than her education.

Varunavi said...

It's really sad that her parents didnt support her.Parents think once the girl is married there responsibility is done.I know a friend who is beaten by husband very often,i told her to come out of the marriage,she says she can't come because she has unmarried sisters,if she comes back to her parents,who will marry my sister?
When she told her in-laws that he beats her,they said it is very common in our household u have to adjust.

KoolKap said...

@hitch writer :- yes i have heard of husband facing domestic violence too. Here in UK it is very common it seems.. I feel its not only girls any kind of domestic violence should be controlled.

@raindrops :- You are absolutely right. Even today when a girl clear her 12th all her relatives start suggesting her parents to marry her . Same happened to me also but my parents were really supportive in fact when at 22 i said i want to marry they said hang on its too soon..

@Varunav :- I think its mainly that if your parents don't support you or u have family pressure u have no where to go. Still in India people have the mentality that is a girl is divorcee that means she would have done something wrong and her sister will also be the same. It such a same that educated people also behave this way..