Veer di behena

Veera is shaping up very well thus far. It’s a new take on the bhai-behen rishta and quite refreshing at that. Ranvijay (Ranvi) has finally gained his much desired sister, but at the cost of his parents marriage it would appear.

Ratan, Ranvi’s mother was shattered when she heard of her husbands affair and consequent baby girl born of it. I felt awful on behalf of all the adults today. Sampurn (Ranvi’s father) has been festering with guilt for the past few episodes, but with the news of Ratan being pregnant after 8 years, he couldn’t bring himself to reveal the sordid secret. Meanwhile, the woman he had the affair with was diagnosed with a deadly illness and so headed of to give her baby a home – her father’s home.

Perhaps Ranvi will now bring up his sister (as the ads have suggested) by becoming her anokhi maa, because Ratan in the tried and trusted, wife scorned way will refuse to acknowledge the child. Sad, but it would make for great television storytelling.

There was a similar storyline in Saajan Ka Ghar (1994) starring Juhi Chawla, Deepak Tijori, Anupam Kher and Rishi Kapoor. The father (Kher) refuses to acknowledge or look upon the face of his new born daughter (Chawla), as his wife dies during childbirth. Coincidentally, his daughter is incredibly fortunate and he wins a multi-million dollar lottery that very same day. Ridiculous, but I shed buckets every time I watch this movie. Works on a sentimental level. Our poor, young heroine is raised for a few years by her paternal aunt, who on her death bed insists her father take her into his house. He does so begrudgingly and with the condition that he never has to see her face. She agrees to this and one of the saddest elements of this film is Juhi constantly pulling the ghoonghat (veil) across her father whenever they are within any distance of each other. But of course, as soon as she enters, wham! Things begin going even better for him then before.

Meanwhile, Kher has remarried (to Bindu, the evil stepmother of all stepmothers) and has a son by her (Tijori) who adores his sister. He becomes a pseudo parent who fulfills the affectionate needs of his sister. He is also the only one who understands how lucky she is for their household. Case in point, on the day of rakkhi he gets into a motorcycle accident and loses an arm – Bindu curses to no end the manhuus stepdaughter for tying a rakkhi to her beloved son and leaving him without a limb – but lo and behold; Tijori interrupts with:

‘Kaash dono haathon mein rakkhi bhand ne ka riwaaj hota ma. Haath toh woh kaata jis pe meri didi ne rakkhi nahin bhand hi thi.’

*Raises arm to show her the rakkhi*

Just typing that makes me tear up, I swear every time I watch that scene, I reach for my soaking tissue.

Anyhow, there are several more touching scenes in this movie and its perfect for those days where you just need to be reminded that life could be far worse. It doesn’t end well, I should warn you, but the ride breaks your heart a little with every scene and at the end you feel so broken and angry that a chick flick is generally in order.

But if Veera goes anything like this, (I suspect it will) perhaps with more self-sacrificing on behalf of both siblings for one another, I’ll be tuning in daily. I like to live the sibling life vicariously.

The above is one of my favourite scenes/songs from the film. The song plays in the background of her wedding day (organised by her brother) and in it she begs her father to send her off with something, a look, a little love, even a hug. The entire four minutes is teary, she’s ignored by her stepmum, her father refuses to come down for the ceremony. The only person there is her one armed brother.

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