Watched ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’ yesterday. In the interval, I told my mother,
“They should have ended it here! Very effective message!”
Story so far:
Not so educated boy meets brilliant girl. Gets attracted because she is interesting. Marries her but then expects her to adjust for the most disgusting reasons. Why couldn’t he just marry a like-minded woman (read no mind woman). What is this need to marry a smart, progressive woman and then expect her to transform to a couple of centuries back? She leaves him. Great story!
“How can they end it here!” Mother said. “He should be given a chance to improve things!’
So there it was. In the second half of the movie, our lover boy tries to convince his father and society and does everything possible to educate people on the issue, and ofcourse get his wife back.
Here are things that worked very well for me:
1. Yes, the issue was sanitation. But there was more. It was about changing the mentality of society. Understanding that the culture card is used for the most convenient, selfish and hypocritical reasons. “It is not about shauch, but soch!”
2. Women have accepted patriarchy. They do not speak up. They are themselves responsible for their state.
3. Jaya (Bhumi) says that she has lived a certain way all her life. Why should she change now after marriage? Don’t expect women to “adjust” especially to crap! (Pun intended)!
4. In one of the scenes, Akshay Kumar says (forgot his character’s name!) that if they do not build a toilet in their homes, no woman would survive in their families. All men would remain unmarried. Great message. I am glad that this was the message highlighted. It was a breath of fresh air for a society that always talks about women remaining unmarried if they don’t do this, do that.
5. Best point of the movie – We must first acknowledge that there is a problem! Change, reform is all secondary. We are so complacent, blissfully living in filth in our environment, and our minds.
6. For all those upset that this is a propaganda movie – Yes, a certain government had initiated the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It is one of the best things that happened to India. Why are we complaining if the movie is giving credit to them for their work?
And lastly, women one advice on a lighter note:
Before you marry a man, please make sure you go check out his house.