When in doubt watch a Bhagyaraj movie
Trust me, It saves you from all the trouble of overthinking.
You either end up feeling light and start approaching everything with unique perspective or it clarifies a murky situation.
The Movie opens with a Cattle herder strolling along a cow to a Bull owner. The one with the cow negotiates a price for the Breeding (senam seral) and ends up paying the demanded price. The breeding scene is thereafter cut immediately to a Wedding engagement scene.
Dowry is in fact in so many ways little cattle breeding and Director Bhagyaraj conveys that with much needed sass. The Title card is a mockery salutation to the insensitive dowry practice and its normalisation in our society.
One other cinematic prowess I’d like to point out in the same context is
the Introductory scene for Revathy in Magalir Mattum
Kamal Hassan had penned the script and the intricacies are such a delight to watch. The Scene begins with a typical matchmaking visit for revathy where the Groom’s family enlists a set of demands that her mother is unable to fulfil. Revathy cuts off her mother by agreeing to all the terms as long as they agree to hers ‘Let me be the one who ties knot to consummate this marriage’ (instead of the groom)
The Sarcasm makes us smile for sure and can be considered in two ways and I adore them both.
For the time it was taken (1994) Men being considered as the head of the family who were expected to be independent and support the rest. To depend on the bride’s dowry doesn’t even give the rights for a man to hold his position of the head proving revathy’s point that thereafter she’d be the head signifying the role being switched while tying the knot.
Is it a fair deal to demand from the bride’s end when the prospects of the groom are so demeaning. I mean at least get an idea for a startup if you are expecting an investment.
In Mani Ratnam’s Guru, Guru actually utilised the dowry as an investment for his business and was able to establish himself. I’m not suggesting that dowry was a justifiable act but let’s just assume it as a partnership business. Okay I’m kidding, If Aishwarya rai’s character was financing it she should be owning a few shares to begin with and that was never dealt with in the movie.
I believe I came across a joke in the stand-up comedy show of Vijay tv (Kalakkupovathu yaaru) some years back by Arandhangi Nisha about dowry which I agree with :D
Goes something like this ‘ If I purchase an item with money, wouldn’t that mean it belongs to me?’ ‘Similarly I paid thee dowry to my husband which makes him my property’.
So my question is, If Relationships involve monetary transactions isn’t that comparable to Slavery (slaves being bought and sold) in certain ways?