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Unraveling the “Gehra” part of Gehraiyaan

Shakun Batra’s recently crafted domestic noir is a narrative that deep dives into the modern broken relationships. The movie as the name suggests dives into the layers of emotions, its multitudes, explores the dark unseen lens of humankind. From the usual monotonous rosy, romantic, perfect, conventional ideology of relationships which emphasizes the existence of a “perfect world” or “perfect partner” or swinging our hearts and filling with romance, this movie takes an unapologetic stride towards the grey shady characters. The best part is that the cynical behavior isn’t coming from a Gangster or a criminal it’s unraveling from one among us. It highlights and stresses how human beings succumb to stressful situations and turn demonic.

The movie stands unparalleled in terms of representing women of different substances. The Women of gehraiyaan are deeply explored and varied and are multifaceted. We have Alisha played by Deepika Padukone who is an independent, confident, innovative yoga instructor striving hard to establish a yoga app. small instance where she is shown taking the garbage can and ensuring that it’s kept at its perfect place, or paying bills, taking in charge of the house and equally being passionate and striving towards her goals and ambitions defines the modern age women. Yes, they are ambitious, courageous, want to take over the plunge, want to accomplish all the ladders of success. We have Tia, who is an innocent, sincere, mature businesswoman, a caring, sensitive, loving partner. She embodies a sense of maturity by providing space and time for characters around her to be flawed.The sensitivity, vulnerability, and going to every bit of extent to support a partner are shown in Tia’s innocence. She loves and supports the dreams of her fiancé Zain and would go to any extent to ensure his happiness. Perhaps she is one among the people who trust people too easily. The movie showcases women who are weak and stuck in unhappy marriages.

Zain’s mother is a victim of domestic violence. The story highlights how women are stuck and choose to stay as victims instead of ending an unhappy or disrespectful marriage. Like when Zain informs the police about the atrocities that his dad is causing to his mom, she denies the complaint and says it was an accident. This shows why cases about domestic violence are not reported widely in India its because maximum women still prefer to remain silent thinking that the situation will improve in the long run until they take their last breath. Family pressure, societal shaming towards divorced women, lack of financial independence in those days made women fall to such pressure but still today we find that such a decision is not taken easily. We have a recent case of Vismaya who succumbed to a dowry death case. Despite being educated and coming from a financially stable family background the 25yr old woman gave up her life and fell prey to suicide. That brings us to the fourth character Alisha’s mom who also succumbed to suicide. She was also in an unhappy marriage, which eventually leads to her being stuck and the feelings of guilt and unhappiness push her to take extreme steps of suicide. 

The women in Gehraiyaan are not gold diggers or hard-core selfish individuals. The reason Alisha chooses to get closer to Zain in an emotionally vulnerable situation is not arising from a sense of having a “posh life” ahead. Women today don’t think “Love” is the only requirement of an ideal relationship. Women require partners who share the same ambition and passion for life. Here the character “Karan” is a careless and happy-go-lucky type of guy. Someone a bit lazy, confused in his life, doesn’t make wise choices. Deepika on the other hand is a determined, focused, organized, go-getter individual. Their energies need to sync. This movie represents and encourages women to make wise choices, unapologetically. If the relationship lacks understanding, passion, zest of life, energies that should synchronize, and is a bond between two people where only one is taking all the responsibilities of working out a homely environment, it surely isn’t a partnership. Women are allowed to take what society calls” selfish “choices.

This movie strives to beat the patriarchal generational expectations of society’s continuous expectation from women to be always selfless, to always consider her a step below men, to always be the caretaker of the house to be flawless mothering, etc. Here in gehraiyaan women are allowed to be flawed. We have Naseeruddin shah telling her daughter that you are more than your mistakes, failures, traumas and you have the inner strength to rise above it. It’s right here in your hands. You must emerge above all because your mistakes can’t define the whole of you. We find women breathing in through their flaws, making mistakes, learning to evolve, and growing. That’s the realistic life, isn’t it? The movie not only explores modern breakups but also tries to highlight that broken families, childhood traumas are deeply rooted in the mind of children of such families. Alisha who is a victim of her parent’s broken marriage and has seen her mother commit suicide at a very young age finds it very difficult to revisit the place of “trauma” which is the Alibag house. We never really forget the past unless we are healed completely. The movie shows how childhood trauma dwells inside an individual and grows like secret cancer. The movie stresses the importance of mental illness. It highlights issues like the anxiety attack of Zain, followed by Alisha who doesn’t want to end up like her mother. The irony of life is that what we fear the most or keep running away from is the one that comes like an uninvited guest and it won’t leave us until we gather the courage to face our wildest fears and insecurities. The movie in its trailer paints a portrait of a movie revolving around infidelity but is an ocean of emotions, depths, darkening situations, emotional rollercoaster of feelings insecurities, fears, vulnerability, etc.

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