Roundabout | A day for the Mom-in-Laws too | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Roundabout | A day for the Mom-in-Laws too

A team of young enthusiasts from the city gets together to break stereotypes

punjab Updated: May 14, 2017 14:27 IST
Nirupama Dutt
Script writer Gurleen Kaur Dhillon and actor Sulakshna Bramta, who plays the lead in 'Zimmevaari'.
Script writer Gurleen Kaur Dhillon and actor Sulakshna Bramta, who plays the lead in 'Zimmevaari'.(HT Photo)

Who besides the other woman or ‘saunkan’, as the Punjabans call her, is the most hated person in the realm of the Punjabi folk songs penned by anonymous women down long years? Well you don’t have to think very hard to answer this one. She is the mother-in-law or ‘sass’, who will not let go of her son and do everything possible to make her daughter-in-law’s life miserable.

While it is the much-loved ‘Mama Mia’ all the way on Mother’s Day, young artistes of the city have got together to include the much-dreaded Mother-in-law as part of the festivity and in the process breaking many patriarchal stereotypes which are designed to keep women apart from one another.

Songs accompany most festivity in Punjab as well as the rest of India for the country has a fine tradition for a song or many of them for every occasion. Come wedding season and it is a cathartic time to mouth all the curses against this retched being who has ever tormented young brides. Singing thus becomes a way of releasing all the pent-up hatred and anger. So a rich voice will rise in midst of the folksy ‘Lathe di Chadar’ telling her man ‘Teri Ma de uche uche dand ne, Assan lai ke watta dene phann ne…” (Your mother has such big teeth, I am going to throw a stone and break them all). Or the tone may be of softer pleading ‘Sasse larhea na kar, aivein sarhea na kar: Kahade tu vi taan hondi sain jawan, Tainu apne din bhull gaye…’ ( Mom-in-law don’t fight thus and be envious, Once you too were young, Have you forgotten your days?)

With changing times and changing equations of relationships, there are those who are keen to see the mother-in-law first as a mother. A lead in this was taken by a science student who decided to make an effort to change the chemistry of this relationship. Gurleen Kaur (24) decided to go ahead write a 5-minute script called ‘Zimmevari’ seeing it all with a new perception. “I was attending a friend’s marriage when I started wondering that was our concern only for the bride or we needed to perceive the situation from the other side too? I thought of my own mother who would one day be a mother-in-law and I decided to write it out.” Whoever read the script felt moved and soon Gurleen had others with her like Neelesh Misra willing to lend his voice, Abhishek Garg keen to direct it and Sulakshna Bramta happy to play the role. All were there for belief in the shift of perception and working gratis. “Some 10, 000 was required for the lunches and other small things which I collected by giving home tuitions to students of chemistry,” says the script writer.

So one can say it is all about chemistry of relationships,seeing what it takes to make it more harmonious, will be shared with all this Monday on YouTube.