#ThrowbackThursday: Maine Pyar Kiya Shows Society’s Skewed Sense Of Sanskaar And A Hapless Kabootar
We belong to a generation that has grown up watching movies that portrayed romance in a certain way and then when it was our age to love, the concepts changed radically. During m entire childhood, I never watched a movie in which the lead pair was keeping it casual. The complications were always caused by a third party and it was never the lead pair that wanted to turn away from love and things that came along with it. So even today when I watch movies with people being sure of what they want and loving with a conviction best left to fiction, I get dreamy. These movies feel like modern day fairy tales and yes, I understand that we have really low standards but hey, a girl can dream a little. Which is why, if I don’t give it any deeper thought, Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) feels like a movie that presents love so ideal and perfect. But then, I am a thinker (may be an overthinker, at times) so I can’t really help but delve deep into this saga of young romance starring Salman Khan and Bhagyashree.
Like most Sooraj Barjatya movies, this one too doesn’t aim to break social stereotypes or be one step ahead of its times. Suman is a humble mechanic, Karan’s daughter and is academically sound. Yet, she doesn’t have very high ambitions. All she wants to do is teach the small children in her village and not really make any money or have a career. Her father, is not worried about all that either because in 1989 apparently, most women didn’t have ambitions. Which is probably why, the other young woman in the film, Seema who has the hots for Prem has a career, short hair and wears western clothes. Why was the character sketch made in a way to re-assert our society’s double-standards? Suman, the marriage material is soft spoken, unambitious and has long hair. Because our society thinks men must marry women who cannot challenge their authority and doesn’t rebel against ridiculous gender roles. Seema, the vamp smokes and Suman, the good girl doesn’t. So now that we’ve established what sanskaari and unsankaari girls are, let’s move on.
Everything about Prem is supposed to be cool, or atleast that’s what we’re told. He has returned after studying abroad and is supposed to be open-minded. He drives cars, smokes and likes to just chill out, like a normal youngster. Except when he falls in love with Suman and has to prove to her enraged father that he can independently be a provider. An educated guy, with a degree and everything, abandons any use of his brains and turns to labour work to make some money. Seriously, at this point I feel like both Prem and Suman just wasted their years of education.
Also, this whole romance started in the first place because Suman’s father left her at Prem’s father’s house while he went to Dubai to explore business opportunities. What was the dire need? Dowry! He wanted to collect money for his daughter’s marriage and dowry, even though she is good in academics. Prem, on the other hand, is expected to prove his mettle as a provider and then glowering at the dad as soon as he makes some money. A hapless pigeon plays a central role in this movie.
About this kabootar. This guy has no real job except to kind of play cupid and then viciously flapping his wings when something pivotal happens in the story. But it’s hard. Especially these guys won’t actually talk except in songs and that’s got to be annoying.
Then there was this whole conversation about how a modern girl “matar nahi chheelegi”. Like seriously? Are you looking for a wife or a cook? And how is matar chheelna a parameter? I would never add that to my resume. The only real skill Suman has is playing tennis (apart from her ninja matar peeling skills) and that’s so impressive for Prem because apparently, women can’t play sports, besides the many other things they suck at.
ALSO READ: Throwback Thursday: No Entry Trivialises Cheating, Is Full Of Sexist Jokes And Makes Women Look Stupid
Today, when I watch movies and female protagonists have a career and all that, wear what they want and are no longer coy, I know that we’ve come a long way from the time when Suman was the torchbearer of sanskaars.