Women seem to have been in agony through our mythologies and the pages of our history. There was Sita who was kidnapped by Ravana and was left to fend for herself in the Asoka Vatika. Then there was Draupadi who was almost raped by the Kauravas that too with her many husbands watching on. Then there were Damayanti and Menaka and Rati.
Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh immolated herself in a pyre to avoid being taken away by Allaudin Khilji. Then there was Jodhabai who was married to Emperor Akbar despite her protests. This one at least turned out to work well with her becoming the mother of Jahangir, the next Emperor; and also being the longest ruling Hindu Queen in the Mughal period.
Could this be because our tolerance levels are high OR maybe, just maybe it’s because we have the stamina to face trouble headlong and come up aces?
Coming to my heroine in The Madras Affair, Sangita hasn’t had a happy life. Being raped by her husband – well, our law doesn’t have anything to say about it – and not getting any support from her parents, she has the devil’s own time coping with her life. Despite that, she decides to live her life day by day when she finds out she’s pregnant, in charge of a new being growing within her.
She finds solace during the times her husband Giridhar leaves her alone to visit his mistress. She’s beyond caring when he besmirches her character.
Sangita is strong and refuses to be cowed down. Though she doesn’t argue much, she has a fiery spirit.
And then, what’s a story that gives no hope? So my “woman in agony” needed to find paradise. And that’s why Gautam enters her life.
Sangita doesn’t forget her trauma after she finds happiness. She sets out to improve the lives of other women in similar circumstances and that’s the quality I truly admire in her – how she turns her pain into something truly positive.