“Women end up losing themselves in marriage.” - Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan, already a year into married life, is coincidentally gearing up for a release that, in a way justifies the current phase of her personal life. Titled Shaadi Ke Side Effects, her next flick is slated for a release next year on Valentine’s Day, i.e. February 14, 2014. Paired for the first time opposite Farhan Akhtar, Vidya is quite upbeat and excited about this movie, which is already in its post-production stage. While the promos suggest it to be a light-hearted take on marriage, in a recent event Vidya was heard talking about marriage on a more serious note. Having tied the knot with UTV honcho Siddharth Roy Kapur in 2012, she said that men cannot catch when women lie. When asked if she has any marriage tips to share, she opined that marriage has both good and bad side effects. Though she confesses not having any tip up her sleeve since she is yet to experience all its facets, she does state that a woman should be herself and hold her own ground, for women often tend to lose themselves in marriage. In the first look launch of the movie, her statement is quite a food for thought for women and alike, if we endeavour to delve deeper into the issue of women’s identity crisis post-marriage. What many people do not know yet is that Vidya is soon to lend her voice to the character of Draupadi in director Amaan Khan’s upcoming animation film, Mahabharat 3D. She reportedly expressed that the ‘vastraharan’ episode of Mahabharata is the earliest instance of objectification of a woman, and that has not changed much till date. Apparently, while dubbing for that disrobing sequence, she attempted to lend a resonance of the December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya case in her voice, to the animated character. The points she has made above in her public appearances are worth sparing a thought. Indeed, women are objectified time and again, in big and small ways, which in turn also explains partially as to why it is mostly women who end up losing their individualistic identities after marriage. While the societal customs have been designed in such a manner that women already have to give up a large part of their own worlds to accommodate herself in another’s, it would be pitiable if the person that she is, fades into oblivion. No relationship after all, can be more significant than an individual. Vidya herself holds the credit of having re-introduced the concept of “female hero” in movies, in an industry which was predominantly considered to be male-dominated. Having delivered stellar performances in strong women-centric movies such as Parineeta, No One Killed Jessica, Kahaani, The Dirty Picture and so on, she has almost become a symbol of women empowerment! Now all that we are waiting for, is to see if she matches up to her tag in her next release. It would be interesting to find out if underneath the garb of comedy, Shaadi Ke Side Effects actually manages to strike a chord or two in the deeper fibres of our soul to make us question the position of a woman within a marriage.

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