Director: Leena Yadav
Cast: Radhika Apte, Tannisha Chatterjee, Surveen Chawla, Leher Khan, Adil Hussain, Sumeet Vyas
Mumbai,Sep 24 : Parched is the story of three women — Bijli (Surveen), Lajo (Radhika) and Rani (Tannisththa), who live in a patriarchal village of Rajasthan that thrives on masochism.
Bijli is a dancer- prostitute, Rani is a widow raising her son on her own and Lajo is a wife trapped in a violent marriage and accused of being barren (banjh).
Leena has the perfect concept of rural India where women are not supposed to study, as it makes them ‘bad wives’ and want to have children so they can save a marriage where man beats them day and night.
It also has two/three craftswomen who earn money by stitching clothes for a handicrafts committee. And they are the only one earning money for their family members.
Living in a house where they are beaten up and get bruises every day, but they have to provide the family daily meals. Parched highlights the real fight of a womean in our country where financial independence is not enough for respect, because money can’t buy a change of mindset.
The cruel reality is quite clear in a scene where a teenager, who gives away his time with alcohol, tells his mom, “Ja raha hu ghar chor ke, dekhta hu kaise chalega ye ghar bina mard ke.” The woman, his mom, has raised him alone earning money through her craft.
Surveen impresses as a self-contained prostitute who takes charge of her own life, Tannisththa and Radhika are convincing as housewives living in a panchayat-ruled village. Sumeet Vyas is nice, admirable educated man who is living in the village and helps the women in marketing their handicrafts.
Rani shows the deep cause of patriarchy and a fighter in a male-chauvinist world. At the same time she knows self-dignity and the limit when it is time to stop her own son from becoming the cheating and wife-beating husband.
Bijli is a prostitute, but she also denies clients because, “Man nahi. Dil bhi koi cheez hoti hai, paisa hi ahr kuch nahi hota.” Lajo takes all the beating and abuses for being barren, but she can also ask her husband to show some guts and accept in front of the panchayat that he is barren, not his wife.
Parched is worth watching as the film celebrates the fights against an unjust system and society and emerging winners. It was released in India on Friday. Don’t miss it!