the other day i was watching jaya bhaduri’s ‘piya ka ghar’. though i have seen the film earlier, i always like it. jaya looks like the perfect wife to have. big eyes, long flowing black hair, and so caring about her husband. also liked her in another film depicting a similar plot of husband-wife relationship (don’t remember the name- it was with Vijay Anand).
for those of you who dont know the story, lemme. jaya, who is from the village, is married to a guy who lives in mumbai. now you know how are houses in mumbai. only if you are very rich that you get the luxury of a good home, i.e. a flat. or else you will have to do with a chawl. now dont tell you not know about a chawl. you can buy all the luxuries of life except a house in mumbai, earlier bombay.
the chawl where jaya is married into has only one room. another room has been created out of the already small room through wooden partitions in which the elder brother and his wife lives. jaya has to live in the kitchen. Jaya however was used to big sprawling houses, as they are in the villages.
now, jaya has been taught, as all good girls are, to adjust to whatever her husband and in-laws offer her. she tries a lot. the people in the family are very good to her. but rarely does she get any private time with her husband. sometimes the young devar would insist on sleeping with the caring bhabhi. at other times, she feels shy at doing things that newly wedded couples do, in hearing distance of other family members.
though they try many tactics to resolve the space and privacy crisis, nothing is successful. it is out of dissatisfaction that jaya talks about her desire to live alone. you know i suddenly started disliking jaya for saying this. i know craving for private moments on the part of jaya and her husband was inevitable, but she shouldn’t have done this to such loving family members.
as if by coincidence, her tauji with whom jaya used to live back in village, has arrived and is angry at their lifestyle. they know their shortcoming and so everyone keeps mum. when jaya returns back, she cannot restrain herself and starts weeping. he is fired and wants to take her back to the village.
as for the family members, everyone is ready to make sacrifices to make jaya stay. the sas-sasur plan to go for a tirth yatra. the elder bahu is ready to leave her room. even neighbours are making their small contribution for the cause. a neighbouring cab driver sells his only livelihood to help them pay the pagdi for another house on rent.
on the D-day, jaya regains her conscience and refuses to let go of such a good family. she henceforward decides to happily adjust to the ways of the mumbaikars.
a happy ending.
i liked the movie as it advocated a simple living style, something that corresponds to mine own. also it shows how the prices have shot up over the years. the porter that was willingly taking 1 rupee in those times now cribs even when you pay him rupees 50. and then there were sites from old bombay, which i was comparing from the mumbai that i visited a few years ago.