Widowhood in Indian Cinema and Margins of Food


Dr Mousim Mondal, Assistant Professor
Department of English M.U.C.Women’s College, Burdwan The University of Burdwan.


Some personal experiences perhaps made me conscious of the marginalised position of widow in Indian society. This consciousness drove me to focus on the way food is used as a powerful metaphor to evoke the marginalized and subjugated state of a widow in Hindu civilization, in critically acclaimed films like Water (directed by Deepa Mehata) and Goinar Baksho (directed by Aparna Sen). In both the films, the widows are seen to reminiscence the taste of some foods which they tasted as child but are now forbidden to taste, because they are the victims of both child marriage and child widowhood. This forced restriction and their attended impotent discontent speaks volumes about the pervasive nature of women’s subjugated marginalization in every sphere of life. Women are so eulogistically synonymised with domesticity and especially with kitchen, but ironically, she is not free to cook and feed herself. Even food has its own chain for her. This paper therefore proposes to explore the complex issue of food and women’s subjugated marginalization with reference to the above two films.