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It’s indeed rare for Bollywood to come up with movies which show the saga of Life after love stuck boy & girl unite in wedlock. Tanu weds Manu Returns seemed to be one flick, which does that job quite well. However Bollywood being a dramatic art portrayer continues its tendency to blow things up & let the audience either get reinforced in their dysfunctional belief system or start thinking about creating a functional Life. Looking at the eagerness with which this movie is being accepted it’s clear that either people are identifying with what’s being offered or are curious about what happens after girl weds boy.
There are many messages in the movie which highlight a dysfunctional relationship. Wedding of this sort is clearly not a norm, as we wrongly presume. Dysfunctional aspects in any marriage can be corrected with little willingness & effort. Let’s take a look at all those messages, delivered at one place or the other.
Loneliness within the Marriage
In the movie it’s very clear that Tanu’s issues begin when she starts getting lonely. This is an issue in many marriages. We all need something or the other to keep us engaged. Before getting married, it is extremely important for the person who is expected to relocate, to find out the sort of environment which will be available in new base. Assuming that it is the girl who will be relocating in line with Indian culture, she needs to know her engagement pattern beforehand & find out if that pattern can be expressed in new environment. For instance if she is relocating to another country, she needs to find out the sort of engagement opportunities available & if those are in her liking. Here, Tanu is an extremely carefree & outgoing person who is worshipped in her town hence finds it totally out of place when she is placed in London alone with Manu. She needs people & their attention to engage and she gets materials & comfort instead which make her extremely lonely. One needs to engage & feel at home to have a functional relationship.
Most of the women seem like persons with Bipolar Disorder..??
Throughout the movie the tendency of Tanu to over react, seek attention & lose control over her mood as well as behavior often is highlighted. If movie is considered her lifetime, she can be suspected to have some issues. On the other hand movie normalizes her portrayal with that of every woman & indirectly suggests that women could be persons with emotional issues & it’s normal. Normalcy is the situation where a man or a woman, in wedlock or outside the wedlock, is in control of his/her life irrespective of the situation. If you are not able to own your life there is always a way to make it possible. Women might be expressive in their emotion however it doesn’t mean that they do not or cannot have control over their moods & behavior.
Nagging & Cribbing from women & Silence from men is the norm..!!
In the movie we see Manu’s father’s efforts to escape from his wife’s cribbing & nagging with the aid of his muteness & alcohol, as a ritual aiding long commitment. When the family is lead in this way, the woman never feels heard in her lifetime & the man keeps all his longings & emotions suppressed forever in his illusional world. In a functional marriage both the parties feel heard & both the parties feel free to express their opinions. Any marriage where we see continuous disconnected communication is dysfunctional.
Once I commit, I cannot back off even if whole of me is against it..??
In this movie Manu stays committed to marry Kusum though he becomes aware of his still existing love for Tanu. He reasons & backs off his decision calling it one of his rare virtues to stand by a decision. At a superficial level this one seems like a virtue. However is this quality to hold on to a decision though all your thoughts & emotions are against it a virtue..?? It is important in a relation to be committed & work for the growth of relationship along with the growth of yourself. However a relationship which starts with a self & partner deception in the name of commitment to another cannot be called functional save virtue. Commitment can be established only by being honest to yourself as well as partner.
One would keep loving another person for the way he/she looks like
Here Manu falls in love with Kusum mainly because she looks like Tanu though she isn’t like Tanu in any other way. After being in relationship for certain number of years & experiencing each other as whole persons rather than a face or just a carefree or caring attitude, if one still tends to identify the person with the face, it is just an obsession with the face & not love. Once you have married someone & reach a stage where you cannot stand each other, you might learn to eventually stand each other & develop intimacy however rarely fall for another person with similar face. In marriage you develop relation & intimacy with the whole person & not just with the body or face.
I love you & I hate the way you are..!!
Tanu here is looking for some stability & that is what she loves about Manu however she cannot stand anything else about his personality. Manu is attracted to the carefree attitude in Tanu & it’s hard for him to accept the other parts of her. They depend on each other to balance & complete them in a need based way. In every relation there are certain aspects where partners are different from each other in a complementary way which keeps the flames on however there also is a great extent of similarities which make them identify with each other & walk together. In any marriage where similarities are too few & no inclination to develop similarities there is an issue.
Open communication is something I can’t practice or won’t practice...
Tanu & Manu did need the presence of mental health professionals to discuss the health of their wedding. Tanu, though carefree & concerned hesitates in showing her love directly & Manu is too inhibited to make the first move. You cannot rely on the situation & people surrounding you to mediate & make you understand each other. It’s important for the couple to take initiative & communicate in every possible way, till the other person understands what was communicated. In a functional relationship one can look at a situation from minimum 2 angles, one being your own & another your partners.
I want ‘you’ to understand me while I continue my non understanding
Both Tanu & Manu from beginning did not have any intention to separate. They just reacted to the situation. Manu did not intend to divorce Tanu however he took his anger & helplessness as an intention to separate & approached the lawyer. Tanu had all the intentions to apologize & unite however did not know how to react to a mild & caring husband reacting out of character. For a marriage to sustain before making the partner understand you, you need to understand yourself. You need to be clear about your intentions & willing to make partner understand your intentions. When you are clear in your mind you certainly can make the partner understand you. Once there is understanding there cannot be a dysfunctional wedding.
Tanu & Manu Returns is a well-directed & well-acted functional movie portraying dysfunctional relationship. By the end of the movie Tanu & Manu came back to square 1. I am sure you might have taken the other route & learnt a lot about functional relationship after that meaningful experience..!!
Photo Credit : http://www.musicaloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/tanu-weds-manu-returns-poster.jpg
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We love our children & want the very best for them. However are we taking right actions toward that very best..?? Most of us know that children learn or are shaped by what we do & not what we say. However not many know the implication of these words on our very own lives. At this moment let’s take a glance at the way we are shaping our children with our “actions” or “non-actions”.
Most of us come home from work tired..??
Let’s accept it. Day by day we are reaching home from work all the more tired. It’s as if we have been rolling mountains whole day. Only one thing we wish to do, back home is to relax. Children are extremely instinctual. They read you more from your body language than from your words. So they interpret that work of any sort is something that gets you tired & sulky. From very young age they develop an aversion against working. They think that life is great when they do not work and just have fun in some way or the other. They are getting a message that work is not fun..!!
We seem happy when we communicate over phone or with friends..??
We humans being highly evolved beings have learnt the art of pretending. Whatever our energy level & mental state is all of a sudden we sound happy & excited when we are speaking over the phone or with an outsider. These masks we were, in our definition might be the social face which we ought to hold for a successful living, looks like a puzzle to our little ones. They get an impression that phone is that magic device which makes you happy & also you are to be relaxed & gay with friends & grim & uptight with family…We are teaching them to wear masks..!!
We install ourselves in front of television at first opportunity
Any child, you might have observed has very high energy level. He/she wants to play all the time. We do not realize that it is actually the work they are doing. They are born with a tendency to work passionately. As they grow up, they come across their role models whose keenness at home is to catch up with something or the other on television. On top of it, they also see their father & mother criticizing each other for their choice of program to watch. Eventually, they learn to choose that show, which closely portrays what they want to do & fall in line with the competition within the family…We are teaching them that pleasure is to be gained through senses & not by action..!!
We are too tired for real action/ we dislike our work..!!
Most of us lead a life where we imagine or watch what we want to do & work only for the sake of money, time pass or status. Our attitude portrays work to be a very distant ally. We are not in a state to talk passionately about work to our children & on the other hand we cannot even sit for a minute without filling our time. Our children grow up watching us mostly disinterested in any sort of physical action. Just think about the number of fathers or mothers who go out & play while their children watch them, number of parents who actively play at least an hour with their children, number of parents who take their children to their work place & explain how fabulous it is to work..!! Our children are left with no choice but to play in computer or phone imitating their parent’s obsession with phone or computer…We are taking them towards non-action..!!
We are connected more through technology than intimacy
Technology with its huge advance has brought whole world together. Now we receive appreciation & attention from people we barely know though several ways which is highly addictive though superficial. We beam to see 100+ likes on a picture posted on Facebook over a genuine appreciation from the partner. Now we have started to live for the sake of that wide range of appreciation over the joy from depth of appreciation. This depth can be felt when we can sense the presence of another person wholly with us, moment to moment; Sharing not only our outstanding experiences but also creating intense moments together. In any experience whether it’s a small discussion with family or quality time vacationing, the depth of experiencing depends on the focus. Right now our focus is not on the task at hand but on capturing the task for appreciation from some faceless friends on social media. We are teaching our children to live an empty life right from the beginning.
We do not make an attempt to establish intense connection with partner
Most of us eventually take our partner for granted & communicate only about some facts or about a decision to be made. A child keenly watches the way parents interact. It is highly rewarding to watch parents who care for each other, understand each other & truly connect. Child learns it’s interaction style & emotional expression by observing parents. At the moment, to a child home looks like a place where people collect nice stuff, watch television, eat, blame people, discuss some anxiety arousing topics occasionally & relax as much as possible not with each other. Home, where children are supposed to learn to work, to love, to communicate, to resolve an issue is slowly becoming a place where one learns to pretend all the more. We aren't teaching our children to establish true & genuine connection.
Influence of the media on our children..!!
Media is the bedrock of any civilization. It is a huge player in shaping the culture & tomorrow’s existence. It is yet another article to discuss the role media plays in shaping our children. Only one thing which has to be mentioned here is that media needs to be thoroughly reflective & aware of its role in shaping the whole society. Every single person is influenced to great extent by what’s portrayed in media. The society where media is biased, negative, overly objectified or irresponsible takes the society in that very direction. Media need to remember that it has to lead the society than to reflect the society to create enriching life.
We all love our children & wish a fulfilling life for them. However let us remember that our children can have a fulfilling life only if they find us leading one. Anything is possible if we truly intend to & start acting towards it. We need to lead our children by example. Let us reflect on our lives & create the very life we wish for our children, from this very moment…!!
Photo Credit : http://www.surreyhillsdental.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Surrey-Hills-Family-Dental-Clinic-Cares-for-The-Dental-Health-of-Your-Family.jpg