I spent nearly an entire Saturday binge watching Made in Heaven, earlier this month. The series, which is being excessively discussed online, is one of the best web series to be produced in India, according to me. It touches multiple human emotions, archaic beliefs which are regularly normalized in our society, levels of human insecurities and our forever widening economic disparity. While a friend of mine decided to pour his heart out about a topic he could relate to, I decided to write on a subject that had been bothering me for a while.
Even though we are living in times where concepts like women empowerment, #MeToo and workplace disparity have made their way to global boardrooms, we still have women who, despite coming from a background of good nurturing of their aspirations, compromise on their goals due to marriage.
We often hear NGOs and empowerment advocates talk about education, but Made in Heaven shows a female Wharton graduate and a professional pilot take a step back and succumb to patriarchal beliefs and the latter buys out another woman’s dignity. The lead protagonist Tara, who has made her cut into the compounds of the elites, does not judge an ordinary mehendiwali for accepting money to stay mum about a horrifying experience of getting molested, because Tara is aware of the fact that she too has been compromising with an unfaithful husband.
Whether it’s Tara, pilot Devyani, a journalist who places a 5,000 crore worth marriage above the ugliness of being shamed by her would be in-laws or even a Wharton graduate, every woman here doesn’t think twice to sacrifice their self-worth for comfort, royalty, financial security and societal acceptance. These are women who have the privilege of being educated and employed, unlike several other girls in our country who are never given a chance to educate themselves. Despite coming from a strong background, these women don’t seem to have the courage to come out and speak up against the wrongs they see.
The Wharton graduate, who is also a banker by profession, hears her fiance say “what kind of kids are we going to raise?” – and this has always been the dilemma I have personally dealt with. The series raises an important question as to why women, who are empowered, choose to place wealth over career, ambition, dignity and self-worth. As a country, if women in a position of power have a regressive and patriarchal mindset, then this cult of women will miss the chance to transform society. Call it greed, lack of self-worth or lazy attitude towards life in general, Made in Heaven clearly showed that women compromise even in situations where they can simply opt out.
My personal favorite was Shweta Tripathi’s character, who walks out of the wedding when she gets to know that her parents were paying the groom to marry their daughter, a so-called government servant who pretends to be ‘simple’. The educated and privileged generation does not deserve to call ourselves ‘modern and progressive’ if we remain trapped inside materialistic security and narrow beliefs. While this series was successful in exposing this aspect of the present generation, I am sure there are other relevant topics that could have left an everlasting impression on others.