The Married Woman: What Will Astha Choose – Perfect Family Or Individuality Beyond Conditioning?

It is the most important decision of Astha’s life. One is predictable, safe and harmless. One is adventurous, unpredictable and full of possibilities, what do you think will she choose?

The Married Woman is ZEE5’s latest web series which is based on Manju Kapur’s bestselling book on the same name. It revolves around the life of Astha Karla, a quiet and subdued wife in a middle-class household in Delhi who teaches English literature at a university. Her life is monotonous and filled with chores and duties. However, when Aijaz Khan and his wife Peeplika enter her life, she begins to see the world clearly and differently for the first time in years.

One of the first things Aijaz points out to Astha when they meet is the number of pins she has used to hold her hair up in her bun. He makes an analogy and tells her that the script of her play Romeo and Juliet too, feels exactly like it’s been held by several pins and nothing else. This is the first time where we realise how wounded Astha is in her family. When she talks about her opinions on the ongoing Hindu-Muslim riots in Delhi, she is shushed by her mother-in-law who tells her that her liberal ideas are meant just for her college, not here in the household or in the real world.


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Also read: The Married Woman Review: Same-Sex Love Story, Political Unrest and A Woman’s Metamorphosis, This Show Aces It All!

Her husband does not respect her job and calls her a housewife. Even at her workplace, she is seen making personal calls because her life revolves around her family. But when she begins to interact with art, be it a play with Aijaz or Peeplika’s paintings, that is when it feels like she is coming alive. 

As the plot progresses and she falls for Peeplika, they start having an affair. Later, she is torn between her life and duties towards family. Peeplika receives a job in Paris and asks Astha to accompany her. While she certainly likes the idea of starting a new life in a different country altogether, her motherhood in her doesn’t allow her to take any step further. But thanks to Hemant who makes her decision look easy. He displays his misogynistic side and tells her that she’s nothing without him.


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These words by him probably encourage her to carve her own identity. Towards the end of the show, we see Astha making up her mind to move to Paris but that’s about it. While she has chosen her identity over her family, the makers don’t really make it very obvious. With season one ending on her decision, we are yet to see if she picks her own self against her family and decides to leave them forever or has a change of heart?

Manju Kapur’s book also ends with both women parting ways after they realise they cannot be together. We personally think, in the case of The Married Woman, Peeplika would go to Paris while Astha would reinvent herself as a teacher while staying alone with her kids. What do you think?

For more, visit ZEE5.

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