Netflix’s Bombay Begums is much in the news now for its depiction of the flawed, imperfect portrayal of women who have made mistakes, have been violated, have fallen apart, and yet have succeeded in gathering their pieces back together in a man’s world. The realistic characters of the protagonists make them relatable because they are just like us- falling for temptations, giving into desires, and yet owning up their mistakes and standing tall and these are the naaris we need to see more of- sanskaari or not.
Here are 6 times the Bombay Begums owned up and refused to give in
1. When Ayesha finally gathers the courage to stand up against her sexual abuse, even after she admitted earlier that it was consensual.
There is no right or wrong way to report abuse. We may take time to process what has happened and when we can we should be able to change our narrative if that is the right thing to do.
2. When the board asks Rani to quit because her affair leaks.
Rani refuses to give in to the board’s request to quit on the basis of rumours. She is able to differentiate her personal and professional life and even though she may have made a mistake she won’t let that overshadow her professional course.
3. When Fatima realizes she made a mistake judging Deepak’s character and had victim-blamed Ayesha.
Once Fatima realized that what she did was wrong and had failed all along to see the man that Deepak was, she did not hesitate to accept that she was wrong and right her mistakes to get Ayesha justice. And so does Rani.
4. When Lily witnesses Ayesha’s molestation in the car and speaks up for her.
Initially Lily is the one who informs Rani about the car abuse situation between Ayesha and Deepak and urges Ayesha to stand up for what is right. When Ayesha lies saying it was consensual, she tells her that being a prostitute she can identify what is consensual and what is not.
5. When Rani tells her stepdaughter Shai about her sexual abuse.
Even though Rani is not accepted as a mother by her stepdaughter, she doesn’t stop trying. Instead she becomes vulnerable and opens up to her about the sexual abuse she suffered at the beginning of her career, telling Shia that it’s never worth it to let men own any aspect of their life at any point.
6. When Fatima confronts her husband’s team at work.
Fatima shows how she does not let her relationship with her husband come in the way when she has to reprimand him and his team for forgoing a deadline. Whatever equation she may share with her husband at home and whatever insecurities they may have with each other, Once she is in her seat, all she knows is to do her job and do it right.
Bombay Begums may not have been perfect and is also flawed in many ways but we have to give it to them for showing real, vulnerable characters bearing open their fears, insecurities. It also has opened up conversations about menstruation, menopause, miscarriages, sexual abuse and unconventional marriage depiction.