Nitya shared the video above with this message:
I came across this British Airways ad on my Facebook newsfeed. I believe it is widely circulated.
It is about a couple who get married the arranged married way, but don’t have the opportunity to spend time with each other because they live in a joint family. The wife says – “after marriage, everything changed. I had to wake up at 6 AM, do household work… anytime we went out there was always someone from the family with us… I could not even sit next to him in the car.”
To bring them closer, (IHM: After three years.) the husband arranges for a surprise trip to London with his wife, thanks to British Airways. And they are shown to spend time, fall in love again and get closer over the trip.
But throughout the ad I was wondering – wouldn’t a much better way of showing support be to just stand up for their right to spend time together as a couple here in India? Wouldn’t that have been healthier for their marriage (and their individual lives) overall?
Why is it that this typical Indian couple needs to “go further to get closer”?
What troubles me is how this state of affairs is portrayed as de rigueur, a matter of course in Indian society, and how accepting the woman is of the fact that she cannot spend time with her husband in her own house, and how ‘sweet’ it is that the husband takes her to London to spend time. I don’t find it sweet at all in this context. It would be far sweeter to be able to share my life with my husband, not just a week-long vacation.
What do you think?
Do try to watch the video, (and if possible read the comments ‘saluting’ the ‘cute, special’ video) but if you simply can’t, here are some quotes. My comments in italics:
Shravan Kumar’s wife:
“I don’t have any of the holidays, not even my birthday, anniversary… 365, 24 by 7, I am on work.”
“It hurts a lot, to love my husband, to be with my husband, yet not know him… ” (Didn’t know him but loved him? Is that love or the Dharma of a dutiful and Pativrataa Aadarsh Bhartiya Naari?)
“I wanted to know him better to love him more…” (Didn’t want happiness and freedom for herself)
“We have experienced happiness… we have lived our life during that moment…” (Expects no more)
“It’s very frustrating, whenever we want to spend time with each other, there is somebody or the else with us… we are never alone.” (Didn’t think he should do something about it?)
“All I wanted to do was to bring the smile back on her face….” (And this was the only way to do this?)
“I had made a promise to mom that I would never bring tear to your eyes…” (What about his wedding vows? Keeping promises made to his parents/elders is what makes Shravan Kumar Shravan Kumar)
“I just feel that this trip has given me a chance to reciprocate…” (If he doesn’t reciprocate, she must continue to live without a smile on her face)
“I was myself, and she was herself and we were not pretending… no… nobody looking over us…” (Sees that as wrong, but probably sees it as disrespectful to do something about it.)
“I really feel that sometimes you have to go really far to get close.” (Doesn’t see living somewhere close, but in their own house as an option)