Sunday, February 15, 2015


Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho, first book I have read in almost 5 years. I just realized how much I missed reading. I also happened to watch the movie "Queen" yesterday. Both the movie and the book are kind of old now and I must be among the last few of my Indian friends to read this book and watch the movie.
Both are about a girl's adventure in a foreign city. But how it turns out for Rani and Maria are waaay different from each other. ( I still haven't finished the book). But while I watched Queen, I had so many questions linger in my heart.
I think Rani represents 80% (or more) of Indian girls. So what if Rani (or this Indian girl) wasn't from a rich family and could not afford a trip to Paris by herself? Or what if her honeymoon was planned for Taj Mahal or the backwaters of Kerala instead of Paris? Wouldn't she have had a whole different experience. Would she have ever stayed in a hostel with other men and had a chance to be independent. She might have stayed with her distant cousins or aunties who would immediately try to find her another prospective groom. (after all she had to get married before the guy now). Okai, say she had tickets to Paris, but if her parents were too conservative to let her travel by herself, they probably would have traveled with her in which case, she would have returned the same emotionally troubled girl with low self esteem. Would Vijay have ever called her then??? Or would she still be checking her phone every 2 mins for his message.
Now even if she had gone by herself, what if she had never met the extroverted helpful friend Vijayalaxmi, who had an Indian father. In that case, wudn't she have just ended up lonely and depressed in the most beautiful and romantic city, trying to run away from the Eiffel Tower. Given, all this went well, what if she would have ended up in a hostel without a cheerful Japanese roommate and two handsome well behaved men. Instead if she would have ended up with one guy, who tries to feel her up when she slept, would it have ruined the whole trip for her??? She would return ashamed and blamed by all for her incautious journey to trouble.
If nothing would have worked out right for Rani ( or the girl she represents) , would she have ended up marrying the same guy who dumped her for status, or another guy who would or would not be different from him (Vijay). I do not know the answers to any of this. For everyone who loved the movie, I wonder how many would actually dare to take a journey like her or how many parents would trust their daughters to such a trip. I think we are so self engrossed in our societal norms that we will applaud the movie and blow whistles when Rani returns the ring to Vijay, but return to our deep rooted believes of how an Indian woman should behave, learn to make chai, get a degree and get married to a well qualified boy. For us, the path to self discovery, self appreciation and love in Indian women are all for the movies and not practical for our well calculated, pre planned (by who knows who) and so called pragmatic life.
Nevertheless, like many other Indian girl who was never brave to be like Rani, I too liked the movie!!! Hoping that my Indian daughter will grow up to be the Queen I never dared to be!

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