i recently watched this play at Prithvi theatre scripted by late Mr. Vijay Tendulkar, called Kanyadan. set in the 1980's its about this Brahmin girl called Jyothi, born to a middle class family active in the scene of politics, mature, sensible, well-to-do-beings. this girl wished to marry a Dalit man, whom she doesn't love, but just wants to 'break caste barriers' as her father has always encouraged. she does face objections from her mother and brother, not because the boy is a dalit, but because he is an odd-ball: violent, abusive, hot-tempered and awkwardly wierd and scared. supported by her father, she marries him, bears with his physical and mental abuses just so that she can reform him.
the last scene was a memorable one where she yells at her dad and scolds him for his beliefs and virtues he has made her grow up with, which, while teaches her to be a reformer, makes it difficult for her to leave her husband as she'd feel guilty she didn't bring about 'change' in him.
Arun Athavale, her husband, played by Joy Sengupta has given a brilliant performance. from the change of his body language from a scared, wimpering Dalit, to an arrogant, famous dalit writer, his rash-temper, his awkward way of showing affection [which made me shudder]....he was the best. he truly made me feel revolt and loathe for his character which shows the power in his performance.
Radhika Apte, who played Jyothi had also delivered an excellent performance. i simply adored Rajendra Gupte as Nath, Jyothi's father, not only did he act well [the sudden sobbing in the end left me stunned], but his character was cute, doting and at the same time, respectful, with good values, most of which i agree with. one of them was that he NEVER imposed his views and decisions on anyone. he always expressed his sentiments and views, but left the final decision to the person it concerns. Lillete Dubey was wonderful as a worried, anxious mother and Raaghav Chanana, the mature, concerned son of the family did his part well.
but i was shocked by Jyothi's inability to leave her husband. he was a dalit man, hurt by his past and history and thus takes all revenge of his ancestor's difficulty, his troubled, difficult childhood and circumstances on his brahmin wife, which is upseting and rather disturbing.
my mother often says that the boy you decide to marry should come from a good family with a decent background and upbringing. earlier i used to scoff and tell her that it depends on the boy himself and has got nothing to do with his family, but i guess, i'm wrong. it does rely on the upbringing of the boy. boys often get influenced by the way their father treats their mother. if they are used to chauvinist dads or abusive ones and meek, ill-treated mothers, even if they are educated, a large part of them would expect their wife to be like their mom, while they assume the part of their agressive dads.
sometimes, parents treat and bring up their sons and daughters differently, conciously or subconciously. while they try to teach their daughters to be meek, sacrificing and caring, they let their sons get away with murder. this makes them think they have an upper hand over women and many of them may not give women the respect they deserve. this also sows seeds of a terrible epidemic called 'double standards'. while they enjoy at night clubs, party around with women, they think girls 'invite trouble' by enjoying at night clubs, going out with their friends.
its sad and disturbing that women have to curb THEIR OWN RIGHTS because of such cheap, double-standard men. its terrible that in a democratic country we are deprived of such basic liberties like walking safely on the road in the middle of the night!
note: this may not be related to 'Kanyadaan', and i don't mean to demean men. there are lots of mature, sensible men who do not have sick minds and are fair to all. they respect opinions, are trustworthy, along with being charming and witty.