Stories of Women’s lives

Dina Ferdous(Translated by Sadia Rahman):

After four years of Sandhya-Madhab’s childless marriage, Madhabs’ mother stopped liking Sandhya. She appointed a domestic help so that she doesn’t have to eat anything cooked by Sandhya. She died without seeing any grandchildren. Since then the domestic help  “Lakkhan” is a part of their family.

This is the starting of a Hindi movie named “Deho”. This movie was released in 2007. The main characters are Jayaprada, Mahesh Manjrekar, Amrita Arora, and Dino Maria. It was an arranged marriage between Madhab(Mahesh Manjrekar) and Sandhya ( Jaya Prada). Sandhya was yet to complete her graduation. Madhob told her that she could complete her graduation but cannot have a job.

Sandhya was from a middle-class family and marriage was important for her in that circumstance. Her graduation remained incomplete because of her marriage. Madhab used to work in an Advertisement agency but he opened his own farm eventually. He had absolutely no time for Sandhya. Most of his time is spent on partying and having sex with upcoming models by drawing sympathy from them with his childless life story.

Sandhya left to see her mother as she was sick. By this time Madhab started to live together in his flat with one of his models. When Sandhya got back she realized there was someone else in her place in her own home. Lakkhan hinted at this so many times this but she didn’t believe him. This simplicity got her a place as the goddess of Lakkhan. When Sandhya confronted Madhab he demanded a divorce from her and said he wanted to marry model Rini(Amrita Arora). Sandhya filed a divorce and left behind everything that her in-laws gave her.

She started to live as a paying guest where she met Any(Dino Maria) who is younger than her. They fell in love. Sandhya gets pregnant.  On the other hand, Madhab and Rini seem to be busy with parties and all that but they were not happy in their married life. This was the same old crisis of marrying a model and makes a wife out of her. He was frustrated with suspicion and anxiety. This was the time Lakkhan informed him about Sandhya’s pregnancy. He realized he was unable to beget a child.

He rushes to meet Sandhya. He proposes her to go to a new place with the child so that no one gets to know he was the one who was infertile. But Sandhya refuses Madhab’s offer.

In the meantime, Lakkhan is very hurt about Sandhya being pregnant. He always has seen Sandhya as a soft, self-sacrificing, submissive good woman. He has seen her accepting all the unjust with silence, he has seen her with her head held low. He plans to kill the child out of rage, hatred. He knew about the bad habits of his ‘Sir’. He felt bad about it but got habituated. On the other hand, he viewed his ‘Madam’ as a goddess and worshipped her. This bitterness comes from his devotion.

There is a purpose behind telling this story. Whatever I want to say this movie is an extraordinary example of that. In our society not getting married is considered a failure for women; does not matter what other qualifications she has. Again after marriage, it does not matter how wonderful she carries the duties out if she cannot produce a child. If there is a problem with the man, it may happen that the woman does not have any problem with that but if the scene is reversed then the guy acts like a victim. If the husband has a problem, if the wife is being psychologically harassed; our society does not take it normally if it is expressed. The situation gets more critical if the husband is someone influential.

People are happily wooing the influential person. So it becomes hard for the wife to survive to say anything against that person. So many people give the simplest solution “if you have the ability then get divorced if you don’t then accept your situation”. But don’t reveal what is going on inside the door. You can commit suicide but people cannot know what is happening there. It is because those scandals can be handled with money and power. If you are unable to do these things then just leave and live the rest of life alone. Living the rest of life alone is acceptable to all as it pleases society. This is the only solution left for situations like this just like the maid Lakkhan in the movie made Sandhya a goddess.

We have the least time to think about if women have a body or a soul. If she wants to choose a partner for her life then all she collected her whole life will go in vain. The girl who falls in love after divorce is guilty and the husband who has been into extramarital affirm for so long is innocent all of a sudden. The wife’s extramarital affair is detestable. When both of them are involved in adultery, it is just something wrong you should not do.  But if you get to know about the wife’s affair then it hits everyone’s soul…..

Where society falls, religion tackles. But everyone has the right to listen to their body and desires. When a girl is deprived of the desires for years and cannot have a divorce because of society; society and religion have nothing to do then. People can say a lot of things from a privileged position but only those who fight alone know what it costs to survive without any support.

Even in this century, a woman has to go through lots of nasty questions if she is to rent a home all by herself. People give their imagination wings when they see a girl in the evening alone. One group arrives to have an advantage another comes in the mask of help to have an advantage.

Everything has been pre-decided for women. This pre-decided setup has been pushed and injected into our minds for years. Whatever we say we are unable to say totally on our own. We say those things that we are trained to say and it works like drugs. We believe those things that we say. These are not our own realizations. These are the outcomes of the patriarchal system and in this system, most men and women hold on to these thoughts.  

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Dina Ferdous currently resides in New York. She started expressing herself through poetry in 1999. Other than that, she was associated with Sylhet Shilpakala Academy. She has been a prolific contributor to the Women Chapter since 2016.






Sadia Rahman is pursuing Masters from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh. Other than writing, her passions include writing, debating and anchoring. 

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