Throwback Thursday: Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Is Hilarious AF But Also Really Misogynistic
So when the lockdown initially started in India, like most people I spent all my time between sleeping and binge-watching Friends. Then I decided I should explore other content too, but I really didn’t want to watch anything that’s dark or leaves you with anxiety because that’s one thing we already have in abundance RN. So when they announced that Sarabhai vs Sarabhai will air again, I was like yes that’s a show I will watch episode by episode, just like I did in the good ol’ days.
I absolutely loved the show back then and my entire fam used to wait every week for it. I can’t deny that the show is still incredibly funny. There are so many jokes and references that I get now because back then I was too young to understand the R-rated content.
Indu’s (Satish Shah) sarcasm, especially targeted at Roshesh (Rajesh Kumar) is my fav bit of humour in the show. The way he calls him Momma part 2 and how he instigates both Maya (Ratna Pathak Shah) and Monisha (Rupali ganguly) for pure entertainment is just too original! Maya’s anti-Monisha rants and Monisha’s middle-class-ness creates situations that make your day so much better. However, in the creases of this class A humour lies mold of misogyny that most of us had missed out noticing when we watched the show back then. In fact, even after noticing several cringe-y displays of misogyny, I was still in denial because come on, this is one of my most fav shows! I don’t want to give up on it because it makes me laugh but hey, why did they have to adulterate it with such sexism?
Men get careers, women get to cook
None of the women in the show ever thought of working. They are so filthy rich that at some point Sahil (Sumeet Raghavan) buys a car worth more than one crore. Yet, the women of the house – Maya Sarabhai and Monisha Sarabhai – are expected to cook for the men. Even though Maya has domestic help, she still takes pride in feeding her husband and son, relying on their satisfaction with her food to feel validated. Monisha, on the other hand, is looked down upon by Maya based on her lack of cooking and housekeeping skills.
When women diss other women for validation from men
Really? Did we take away nothing from the British’s ‘Divide and rule’ strategy? Both Maya and Monisha are often pitted against each other by Indravadan as he enjoys watching these women wrestle each other for the attention of the men in their lives. Maya is an over-attached mother who finds it difficult to let go of her sons but have you ever seen her fussing over her daughter? Honestly, I didn’t even remember she has one until I watched the show again.
Apparently, it’s okay for men to cheat
I was watching this one particular episode in which Maya suspects Indu to be having an affair after she catches him talking on the phone late at night. As the episode progresses, it is shown that he was just pranking Maya. And it was hilarious. But in the end, they show that he was actually having an affair. I was like wtf! In fact, Maya and her elite friend seem to have given a free pass to men for sneaking around. The way they discuss this, it screams “men will be men”. Women, on the other hand, do not have that privilege. Also, they tag the woman as “husband snatcher” like the men have no control over their penises. And of course, these are the women who dress in modern clothes and have a career. Also, Sahil and the other men make a pacts to not let the women know of their past affairs because you know honesty is overrated and these are just their wives, no one really important.
ALSO READ: Throwback Thursday: Kyo Kii…Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta Trivialises Cheating, Dishonesty And Misogyny
The husbands have immense penis pride
One day, Monisha sends an empty tiffin to Sahil’s clinic by mistake and he behaves as if she has drugged him and taken out his kidney. In fact, instead of resolving it between them, he runs to his entire fam and bitches about his wife. Of course, Maya uses this opportunity to humiliate Monisha to her heart’s content. I mean how entitled do you feel to make such a big deal out of a small mistake? You’ll never see the men lifting one finger at home and expect their wives to even fill water in the bathtub for them. Like wtf? Add to this Indravadan’s patent “Main mard hoon” dialogue and you have in-your-face penis entitlement.