In the film English Vinglish , Shashi Godbole ( Shri Devi ) when asked by her niece if she also likes that French man, she says with deep emotion but with firm conviction, “ mujhe pyaar ke nahain thodi izzat kee zarurat hai”. (I don’t need love but some respect and dignity). Well, it was one of the well crafted dialogues in this quite engaging and educating film, but there was enough scope to read between this dialogue, to realize the subtle difference and tender balance between requirement of love and dignity. Did Shashi really need dignity, respect than love and protected care? Perhaps, justifiably yes!
Like Shashi, there are many housewives who are inordinately self sacrificing and self deprecating when it comes to their family. They revoke all their personal ambitions just to invoke the dreams of their husband and children. They are the essential and inseparable element if one wishes to define a family. But when it comes to their importance in the family, the same above statement can be used but in antonyms form.
We cannot define a nation or realize a society if we fail to address and accept the individuality and importance of Shashi who lives in mangy slums as well as in gaudy mansions. For a not well educated and modern Shashi, there are many hurdles which she has to face on daily basis. Right from trivial negligence from her husband, who on the other hand is well- versed in all sophistry which society demands, to her English medium- convent school going children. She is left with no choice but to take refuge in her daily never- ending domestic chores. But, on the other hand if, that Shashi is well educated ,modern and confident, then, may be not in all families, but she has to relegate her priorities if it conflicts with her husband’s. For, it is rare to see if a husband takes a transfer or relinquishes his job just because his wife has been posted or transferred somewhere else. It is well evident fact that women are better manager than man, be it to manage a company or a family. But acceptance of this fact in the every corner of the society tries to make it a myth.
For a rotten society devoid of any moral fabric, it is essential that the first reform must begin from home. But, for this, we must first recognize the sole reformer (women), already clad in uncomfortable heavy veils, chained in the archaic moth rotten customs, who is still counted as non performing assets in the family. It is indeed necessary to first go down to the depth of understanding of what makes it a woman so unique in this world. What inspires her to remain serene either in stress or in distress?how does she play a solid role to integrate many souls while retaining her tenderness from inside?
It does not take a skill of rocket science to pay heed to her demand – some thorns of respect over roses of love. Today, when this world is turning out to be more like a hell, all it lies in the hand of a woman to restore its ethereal form. Because it is worth noticing fact that any war mongering nation and war ridden state is not run by any women .If it does so, there would be no trace of any rouge state or war mongering nation.
Anyway, the story of Shashi Godbole in that film ends in a soul raising manner. By learning just another language (English) through her pure perseverance, remarkable faculties’ and unflinching faith in her, she elevated herself to a level from where she could show her worth to the world. Just before the end of the of film, she gives an astounding original speech in front of a gathering and her family about the worth of marriage and having a family. No one but Shashi Godbole for herself, thereby, claimed her due dignity and respect and that was really more important than any form of love given by anybody .And, herein, lays a simple lesson and message for every woman, irrespective of any background to reclaim respect, dignity, confidence by and for her own, because dignity is something which if, given by someone else, often loses its worth and purpose……………………………………..