By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 2 March 2021: Based on Manju Kapoor’s 2002 novel “A Married Woman”, woven around complexities in a same-sex relationship, AITBalaji & Zee5 start streaming the web-series from March 8, 2021. Set in the 1990s, the story revolves around Astha, a dutiful wife and a doting mother, who sets out on a journey of self-discovery after she meets Peeplika Khan.
In an interview, the author narrates how she, along with any other married woman can definitely relate to Aastha as most of them are brought up to get married, run a house and couldn’t think of a career for themselves that would be above their family. While talking about the message she said that, “I wanted to show that, this is the way men and women function together and this is the way women are sometimes forced to function in a family. If you’re holding up a mirror and saying that things are like this and they need to change then that’s the message.”
Astha, a young woman brought up in Delhi in a typical middle-class household, was forced to succumb to her parents finding her a husband in the traditional arranged manner. Set against the backdrop of communal unrest in India over Ayodhya, the story seeks to explore unrest within Astha’s life. Her marriage becomes questionable after she involves herself in the outer world of rebellion and protest.
Astha meets Peeplika, a grieving widow of a Muslim protester, whom she had admired and who died in the violence in Ayodhya. There follows what has been called a torrid affair between Astha and Pipeelika: The two women cross social boundaries to find solace and understanding in each other’s arms. Kapur writes about sexual encounters without literary inhibitions.
Producer Ekta Kapoor writes on Twitter, “Creative spaces are at times compelled to conform to boundaries. As a creator, I have challenged those norms, at times pushed the envelope. This is the freedom we crave, we celebrate. However, I am cognisant that freedom comes with responsibility.”
She adds, “That’s what my show is … creative freedom to tell a different story with responsibility towards my viewers while respecting the creative desires of my team”.
Ridhi Dogra, who makes her digital debut with the show, says, “It’s not just a story about two women and same-sex relationship, it’s much more than that. As an artist, I really didn’t have any inhibition. I think this is a huge opportunity for me, great space and I am so glad that I waited so long for this one.”
Monica Dogra, who plays the second lead in the show, believes, “I am super excited about this project as it’s my debut in the webspace. I could not have asked for anything better than this for my digital debut. I have been known as a musician and for having played a few roles on the big screen, but this project gives me an opportunity to showcase my acting skills to the fullest.”
Giving details of the series, director Sahir Raza says: “This series is a beautiful project. The story that has been woven is fabulous. I am really glad that Ekta Kapoor and everyone agreed to let me be part of the project. It is such a different concept that most people would fall in love with it even when they read it on paper. That’s what happened to me. I feel shows like these should be made for every format. Cinema shouldn’t be molded by anyone’s morality. I feel that love should not be put into any kind of a box.”
He adds, “We did workshops with Ridhi and Monica and then we had a very straight, open conversation with them about a few particular scenes, including the ones where the two actors had to kiss each other. We, including the crew, informed them that we would like to make such scenes comfortable for them and asked them to suggest us things that would make them comfortable.”
The cast includes Suhaas Ahuja, Imaad Shah, Divya Seth Shah, Ayesha Raza, Rahul Vohra, and Nadira Babbar.
Sources- counterview.net, ALTBalaji & Zee5