Monday, February 25, 2019
The Courtesans of Bollywood
The media whether in print, television, or the cinema has opthalmicised wo hands in all(prenominal) sorts of images. These images reflect how a certain society apprehend women and what roles do they portray in reality. Women in Indian cinema consent been variously depicted with different images which represent the division within the Indian society. only if corresponding in any parts of the world, the classification surrounded by men and women has been distinct through start hi report card. Even in modern time, such classifications which further divide both energisees lifelessness exist in media because of the stereotypes that de homosexuald been established.The Indian take in industry, noteworthyly called as Bollywood, has effectively created movies which encompassed the different faces of women in their nation. There atomic number 18 films that attributed them with Hindu goddesses and as well as delineation them as traditional and modern women from all division o f the clique. The films that ar do depicting women reflected Indias thoughts and behavior towards sex and social norms. The media despite of its inclination of an orbit for exaggeration and sensationalism draws its inspiration from real lifes share, no matter how fictitious the story becomes.No matter how the characters of women are formed, their roles in the film say a lot nearly the current social cognition of Indian Women. Two not satisfactory films in Bollywood will be the central discussion of this essay. Pakeezah (1972) and Devdas (2002) became well-known for the romantic flecks amidst the struggles within social taboos combined with cinematic intensity and songs aptly made for the film. From these films, the heroines that will be given slow-wittedness belong to that level of society which is usually judged derogatively.Sahibjaan of Pakeezah and Chandramukhi from Devdas share the same art of courtesans, and played major roles in the films showing how Indian court esans are creation personified. The discussion for the two female protagonists will revolve around their cosmos courtesans and they symbolized Indias perception and direction of their views regarding sex activity and how their norms and social evolvement are determine by these views. Courtesans, as seen from the films, cater to the public eye, predominantly of male audience. Their profession has been criticized by society as immoral and these women are usually disjointed from the realm of an ideal woman.By exploring the two films, it will be argued how the views of courtesans are still relevant in the modern Indian society. To be commensurate to adopt the contents of the arguments for the established thesis realmment, a brief background or summary of each movie will be provided. This is for the intent of bounteous a foundation or an origin where the standpoints will be derived. Second, in that location will be an attempt to categorize Indian courtesans which is distinct from courtesans of new(prenominal) countries. This will be connected to how the character of a courtesan became an chassis of Indias assumption towards sexuality.From this, Sahibjaan and Chandramukhi from the films will be subjected to analysis, comparing the differences of their roles as courtesans on the films. The essay will be concluded by gathering all the insights that have been discussed and as well as its implications on Indian society. The plot of both films is set in the conservative India where traditional elements are extremely emphasized. One of the two films has been derived from a 1917 novella called Devdas. This film has many versions in different languages and the one directed by Sanjay Bhansali in 2002, is the latest and the commencement ceremony full colored version of the film.Devdas gouge be tell as a spotless love triangle story with the lives of the main characters intimately intertwined with each other. The male protagonist Devdas came back from Londo n to reconcile with his long-time childishness beloved Paro. The two has been arranged for spousals however, when the Paros maternal bank line as dancers is revealed, her humiliated mother unconquerable to arrange a marriage for Paro to another(prenominal) man. From that aspect the tragedy of the heart-broken Devdas ensues, as his college friend introduced him to the world of alcoholic beverage and carnal desires.The cathouse where his friend brought him became his emotional solace or more of an emotional escapism. As Devdas began to indulge in alcoholism, he met the most famous courtesan relieve oneselfd Chandramukhi. Her beauty and exquisite charm which made Chandramukhi as a renowned courtesan became an irresistible pull for Devdas to become close to her. On the other hand, his vulnerabilities as a man shown by his weakened state by the alcohol and the discovery of his supposed love story became the lawsuit why Chandramukhi fell in love with him.The story takes its turn w ith Devdas macrocosm devoured by his alcoholic addiction and Chandramukhis love for him brought her to Paro to convince him to throw in his self-destruction and afterwards formed a friendship with her. Though he did not listen, Devdas promised to see her before his death. Eventually, he confessed his love for Chandramukhi however unawares after that he expressed his goodbye to her because of his intent to move out of the country. On his journey and with the destruction drink of wine, he became extremely sick. look himself on the verge of death, he went to fulfill his promise to Paro to see her.Paro ran to befitting him but her husband prohibited her and as Devdas dies in front of their gates, his last image is Paro trying to reach for him and screaming his name. It is a clear sad story for the three characters as all of them are not able to achieve the happiness they valued out of love. The dynamism of the story is presented by the diverse social upbringing of the character s. Devdas is born from the upper landowning class, while Paro came from an cut-and-dried family whose lineage is from dancers, and Chandramukhi beingness a courtesan is judged by the society as immoral.The three main characters attempted to go beyond their social perspective as the purpose of love became their main source of strength to nurse the social norms. The second film which similarly tackled defying social classifications in the name of love is, Pakeezah. Released in 1972, this film took 14 years to be effected due to personal issues between the main pat and the director. An original survey of Kamal Amrohi, Pakeezah is a classic Indian courtesan movie. This film is a story about a woman who dreams of escaping a world where she felt tinpot(prenominal) and soulless.Sahibjaan shared the same fate that her mother did, a profession which last led to the rejection of her fathers family. After her mothers death, her auntie Nawabjaan adopted her and brought Sahibjaan to he r brothel where she practiced dancing and singing. She became famous as a courtesan when she grew up, however, her aunt felt the need to get Sahibjaan out of the brothel when her father came searching for her. On the train ride out of the urban center Sahibjaan found a note that has been slipped between her toes where a foreigner wrote about the beauty of her feet and not to soil it.This note became her hope to find give birth from the environment she desperately wants to escape. It also became her only evidence that this particular stranger is the only one who can love her truly and the note is her premier(prenominal) real communication with someone who has a pure intention towards her. She was able to meet the stranger who is a forest ranger named Salim, and because of her fear that he might reject her, Sahibjaan kept her true identity. Salim brought her to his family however as men recognized Sahibjaan as the courtesan, Salims family disapproved.Despite of Sahibjaans confessi on about her work, Salims feelings did not change and both of them ran away together. He eventually decided to marry her, renaming Sahibjaan as Pakeezah meaning the pure one. However, her shame and fear as being a courtesan dominated her, and not wanting to check Salims reputation Sahibjaan fled from him and called off the marriage. Her decision has left Salim hurting and as a way of retaliation and coping with the pain, Salim decided to marry another woman and invited Sahibjaan for his wedding. In this part of the film, she danced on broken glasses often symbolizing the pain that both of them share.A revelation has been made when Salims uncle, Shahabuddin, learns that Sahibjaan is his long-lost fille and it resulted to a happy-ending for Sahibjaan, knowing that her father will save her from the world she wanted to get away from, and as well as a misfortune for her love for Salim to be reconsidered. Just like the film Devdas, Pakeezah tells about a romantic story of a courtesa n with a heart. Someone like Sahibjaan does not desire to be a courtesan forever and wanted to become a real woman by meeting her future husband and be a wife.There is also the familiar pattern of the characters treat their social billet to be able to experience a alliance with one another. It leaves the impression of Indian movies such as these that the division of the caste system in reality is strictly followed. Pakeezah and Devdas are two classic Bollywood films which portrays the kind of women often degraded by the society. These films presented the courtesans with such humanity which goes beyond their profession of enticing and engaging their audience towards them.Courtesans can be said to have prominently existed way before the times of the monarchy. Indian courtesans are said to be sexually liberated and educated women who dance in the temples and at public ceremonies and the only women who are allowed to learn to read, sing, and dance (Feldman & Gordon, 2006, p. 161). J ust like other courtesans in general, they are meant to entertain and offer their corporation to men. Their difference from prostitutes is that sexual intercourse is just one of their services. They engage in discussions, in festivals, and in the arts. Simone de Beauvoir further differentiates the twoProstitutes need two kinds of men, leaf node and protector. In her environment man is superior to woman, and this setting apart favors a kind of love-religion which explains the abnegation of certain prostitutes. For the courtesans, beauty and charm or sex appeal are necessary but not enough, she must be recognize as a person. Her pride, her independence, and her money mean that she will neer be taken no man will be her absoluter master. (cited in Kazmi, 1994, p. 237) From the two films, as courtesans their bodies became the attraction to be able to play the part.The dances and mujras by Sahibjaan and Chandramukhi are utilized to emphasize their body part and allure to draw men. A s in Indian cinema, women are placed in the cast for the purpose of having something pleasurable in the eyes on the screen. In their traditional exhibitionist role, women are simultaneously looked at and displayed with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness (Kazmi , 1994, p. 234). Since their roles are courtesans, they are always under the scrutiny of their male clients.Their publicised sexuality makes them a property of the society. However, from the films, it can be seen that the courtesans fell in love with the male protagonists both coming from noble families. This love makes them as the heros property, thus, losing their generalized sexuality and showgirl connotations and their erotic charms are for the male protagonists alone (Kazmi, 1994, p. 234). That sense of property has not been made functionary since Sahibjaan and Chandramukhi are not seen married under traditional ceremonies.This gives the i mpression that India whitethorn not view courtesans as an ideal wife, no matter how the circumstances of falling in love may occur. In Devdas, Chandramukhi is seen as a feisty woman who holds her dignity as a courtesan. Despite of the legion(predicate) males gawking at her performance and by the harsh judgments which society throws at her, she neer did want to become someone else or want anything other than Devdas. She has a strong image of a courtesan represent in the film. Chandramukhi can be classified as the classic courtesan who has lived by her great deal to occupy the public, though she is condemned by it.By the time that she became too attached with Devdas, her province of pleasing many people has been devoted to please Devdas so he could ease his sufferings. Chandramukhis sacrifice of letting Devdas go symbolized her gratitude for him the moment he confessed that he loves her as well. Because that love is rarely given to a courtesan like her and the fact Devdas see he r as a normal woman worthy of it, she devoted her life taking care of him and letting go of him in the end even if it entails her happiness (Nair, 2002, p. 86). On the other hand, Sahibjaan is pictured as a courtesan struggling for an escape from the world she grew up with.Unlike Chandramukhi, Sahibjaan is a courtesan who wished to change her life and get out of her profession. However, the floor of her mothers life haunts her, encapsulating her in fear that she might never achieve the normal life that she wanted. A courtesan who pleases out of duty, the film focused on making her worthy of marriage. The scene where Salim renamed her as Pakeezah provided her the status that she is still worthy of being a wife despite of being a courtesan. She can be said as someone who subsequently gives in to the cruel prejudices of society.By refusing Salims offer of marriage, Sahibjaan continues to be a possession of the public, denying herself the happiness that she wanted to be rescued by the one man she loves. Nonetheless, both women have exuded strength when it comes to making choices. Though they have been portrayed as weak for love and for rescue, they have made decisions which in their fellowship can deprive them of the happiness that they want. In society, since courtesans are made to please the world, sacrificing their own personal interests is a part of their duty.Thus, their role as a public commodity strips them off the right to be part of the confidential sphere, which includes the family. The courtesans of Indian cinema maybe considered as the origin of independent women in Indian society. A courtesan is said to have the courage to lodge society, established morality, and the powers that be (Kazmi, 1994, p. 231). That the courtesans in these films are the early embodiments of empowering womens sexuality when it comes to breaking social norms, since in the conservative Indian nation courtesans or good women alike, are considered marginalized.Courtesans can be viewed as the mortal goddesses of the Indian society who can personify evil and goodness in how sexuality is perceived. References Feldman, M. , & Gordon, B. (2006). The Courtesans Art. unused York Oxford University Press. Kazmi, F. (1994). Muslim Socials and the Female Protagonist beholding a Dominant Discourse at Work. In Forging Identities Gender, Communities, and the State, (pp. 226-243). Zoya, H. (Ed. ). New Delhi Kali for Women. Nair, P. K. (2002). The Devdas Syndrome in Indian Cinema. Cinemaya 56/57, Autumn/Winter 827.