KI and KA: Changing face of Indian Milieu?

KI and KA is about a young married couple contradicting the gender roles placed upon women and men in Indian society. I was flabbergasted to see the trailer of the movie in a multiplex while watching Kapoor and Sons. Kia, the female is presented as extremely ambitious soon going to be CEO and Kabir, the man is happy to be like his mother, i.e a home maker, spending his days peacefully and enjoying every moment. He is ridiculed by Kia’s father and is reminded of his existence as a man but Kabir is rather satisfied in being Kia’s wife and perform household chores. My astonishment arouse out of these reasons – acceptability of a staunch career oriented girl in the Indian context, deviation of men from being bread earner to home maker, dismantling of the rigid patriarchal roots of Indian society.

 It is said that movies are reflection of the society and if this is a true picture of the change that is inevitable then we are likely to enter a society filled with respect and mutual understanding. Even if the movie is just a fabrication it is likely to bring significant positive changes in the society – first, it will end perpetual taunting of futility of daily chores made to the homemakers belonging to lower or middle strata of society by their husband and in-laws. They will be saved from being blamed of just staying at home doing nothing. Second, seeing the male protagonist of the film taking up and dexterously performing feminine jobs will help men folk to come out of the masculine garb and help women in kitchen or take it up themselves if they are keen about cooking. Shedding societal inhibitions will become easy. It will also ease the life of working women. Third, it will reinforce girls to pursue their career even after marriage. However, there are chances that girls may start fantasizing a partner like Kabir which in the Indian context is still a distant dream although not impossible.

This movie drives home a very important aspect of human nature which has been neglected by the institution of marriage and societal norms. In the movie we find Kia and Kabir following their dreams and living life on their terms and condition whereas in Indian society marriage comes with a pile of responsibility laid out to the bride which becomes compulsion and soon tires one out. If the girl is working she is laden with double responsibility of doing the house hold chores. Why is it a binding on the girl to take care of house hold, why can’t men do it? Rather than a compulsion, laid out in terms of gender, we should have the liberty to do things as we desire. Running a house, building a family and pursuing career are related to personal choices, so the partners should exercise their free will to decide their role. It is not an obligation that needs to be fulfilled.

The movie carries a very strong message underneath the romantic-comedy drama. It’s definitely going to be big hit where people will flock to multiplexes to enjoy the role reversal. However a few questions remain unanswered as we conclude – will Indian patriarchy accept the daunting change in society? Are women going to be respected for their empowered self? Will our society come out of taboos like killing girl child or dowry by the new picture of a modernized society that promises harmony?  

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