Every weekday in the Connected Hum Tum TV Blog we’ll be posting and talking about the latest goings-on of the six women cantering around Mumbai recording their lives with video cameras. (Read The Curtain-Raiser post for a quick intro to the show.)
This episode was supposed to be about how much three of the women (Preeti, Mahima and Pallavi) were dissatisfied with their own lives and envied others theirs. Grass is greener on the other side types.
As Abhay rightly pointed out, though, Preeti doesn’t actually want to change her lifestyle with respect to work, and it doesn’t seem like Pallavi actually wants to either. Mahima’s upset about how much attention her parents lavish on her younger sister, Garima, who represented India in the 2012 London Olympics as the country’s sole judoka, and wishes she could be as accomplished in her own field.
Preeti says she does think being less independent might help her marriage; Pallavi doesn’t, but feels guilty that she doesn’t have more time to spend at home (her father-in-law’s been asking questions: “we have a cook, a maid, good food: what is she working so hard for?”). Both women admit that spending an entire day at home is largely beyond them. Pallavi goes so far as to say that it makes her feel guilty, all though that could also possibly be because she bunked work and ate a forbidden pizza. After watching their footage, you get the feeling that neither really wants to drastically change the professional lives they’ve chosen for themselves. Both Preeti and Pallavi talk about not working in a vague, what-if sort of way, and have the usual complaints at the end of a tiring day, but you understand that neither would give up their jobs for the world.
On that note, though, it says a lot for the power of the medium that by merely by watching their footage for a couple of weeks, you begin to feel like you might know these women better than they know themselves.
Mahima’s back home with her parents and Olympian sister, and her family seems to speak even faster than she does. Of all the women on the show, no one seems as vulnerable as Mahima, except perhaps Sonal. I think it’s because both seem to be helpless with respect to the directions their lives are taking, which is why I’m also glad that these two seem to be the most honest and articulate about what they’re feeling. It makes for interesting footage. Mahima in this episode tearfully insists that her parents love her too, (they do, they do) but sometimes she wishes she were more successful so that her family could ask her about her work and be proud of her too. She smiles sadly as a group of children mob her Olympian sister for autographs after an interview. In a final, bitter irony, one of the kids laughingly says that maybe they should get Mahima’s autograph as well, since she’s Garima’s sister.
It’s a pretty raw, honest episode that’s low on action and high on introspection. I’m sure many people watching the show related to the women on screen at numerous points, particularly when they were speaking into the camera. Preeti’s sadness at having to go to a birthday party alone, Pallavi’s guilt and frustration at the end of a long busy day when her husband reminds her how little time she spends at home, Mahima’s unwilling envy of the attention her younger sister receives. Every episode has a different theme, different footage, and deals with completely different emotions. Two things that can be relied upon to stay the same though, no matter what? Sanju’s expression, and his bright red sleeping vest.