‘Love is Love’, Says ‘The Married Woman’ – A Love Story Beyond Gender, Religion And Societal Conditioning
The Married Woman is all about finding love within ourselves and finding it in unexpected places. In the end, Love is love and it comes in all shapes and forms.
Our country India has been steeped in notions and stereotypes for centuries. Today, our country is trying to be progressive, but it still has regressive thoughts in the background. It was only in September of 2018 when consensual gay sex was legalised in India. Before this, a law dating back to 1861 made “sexual activities against the order of nature” punishable by law and carried a life sentence. Highlighting the same, Ridhi Dogra and Monica Dogra starrer web series, The Married Woman tried to #BreakTheBarriers by showing same-sex love story between two women in the 1990s. The show released on Women’s Day and has been garnering a lot of love and support, because, in the end, it preaches that, love is love! There is no place for gender, religion or class in love!
Ridhi Dogra plays Astha Karla a simple Hindu woman who leads a quiet life with her husband, her two children and her in-laws. She manages her household and works as a professor in a university and teaches English Literature. She is a middle-class woman with no real wealth of her own and she struggles to find happiness in a marriage that cannot give her any.
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Monica Dogra plays Peeplika Khan, an illustrious Muslim painter, married to a theatre director. They live without kids and in-laws, in a world of their own. Peeplika has been exposed to the modernities of the West and even has a slight American accent. She hosts dinner parties and exhibitions. She has a razor-sharp mind and she loves with a passion. She does not cook or clean like wives were “supposed” to and has a life filled with art and Urdu poetry.
They are two different women, one a wife, the other a widow, and when they come together, it’s like beautiful poetry. At one point in the show when Astha is torn between her family and her love, Peeplika tells her that she cannot be contained in her box of memories anymore. This particular dialogue sends this message that we should always go for what our heart desires. It preaches that sometimes, our inner selves are reinvented and that is natural and should be embraced wholeheartedly.
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The show is all about finding love within ourselves and finding it in unexpected places. Love is love and comes in all shapes and forms. And that gender and religion are barriers put in place by society in our minds. Astha and Peeplika tried to break these barriers and found themselves experiencing love like never before. While the story is based in the 1990s, the discussion is relevant even today.
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