Saris, sindoor, mangalsutra and pujas -- that's the quintessential Indian woman, thanks to Ekta Kapoor. And the TRP ratings of her K-serials just shows how they have captured the imagination of every Indian household. But something is not alright with Kapoor's women. They have a facade and beneath the facade lies a sense of morality that is all screwed up. And she portrays just two kinds of women -- the vampire or the saint (in other words, the forever crying Miss Goodie).

What am I doing intellectualising stupid serials? The fact is, everyone is lost in them. And I care about what everyone thinks. And that's the point really. These women are so far fetched from reality, from the average Indian woman we come across that somewhere you feel the urge to tell the truth. This January, in the course of a short film making stint, I was disheartened by a truth that we comfortably shove into the background.

There is so much emphasis on getting married young that the average age for a woman becoming a mother is in the 15-18 year range, something more apparent among the lower income groups, and something not untrue for the middle income groups too. Little wonder than that the business of promoting sindurs and mangalsutras never had it so good. That includes you Ekta Kapoor.

And so disadvantaged are women that they have little or no choices about their lives. Women are a burden to society was a common refrain I heard. For some time, I couldn't deny being disturbed by the thought. The most important part about being a human being is the ability to feel respected about oneself, and when that is not there nothing on earth can make you feel good. Imagine living a life where you do not have any sense of worth, where there is no acknowledgement to any contribution you make be it in household chores or by way of being a mother. It's a scary thought.

Compliments or acknowledgements do not need to be perfect or come in all the time in life, but one needs it occasionally to feel alive. Honest to God, I need them once in a while.

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