Apara vs Sarita: The Independent Woman vs Housewife
- Apara Mehta, separated from her husand Darshan Jariwala, both television actors swapped her place with Sarita Beri, the wife of Sudesh Beri, yet another television star and film actor. While Apara is the famous mother-in-law of Tulsi in the serial Kyon ki saas bhi kabhie bahu thi, Sudesh is better known as Loha Singh, a character he plays in a serial that I have never watched.
- Apara is a devoted actor and as her husband says of her is that she is so complete in herself that one can neither add nor subtract from her. The husband looks upon her “completeness” as something that leaves no role for him and hence he chooses to remain absent from her life except as an occasional helper. The daughter is devoted to the mother and she looks upon Apara as the Empress of her life and of her fate. Apara is happy being single again, self contained in that single state of being, contended and in equilibrium. For Apara, her own personal journey is important and while marriage, family and even her career can only be a part of that journey, they cannot constitute the whole of it. Apara remains totally independent even without the need to depend on her profession for moral support. She has a sense of achievement in having brought up her child and looked after her widowed mother single handedly and to have given them a dignified life style.
- Sarita is a housewife in a joint family with a mother-in-law and a sister-in-law (devrani) to contend with. She is a whole time housewife and looks upon her role as a wife, a mother, daughter-i-law and others as the source of her fulfillment. She has no clue to what Apara says about her journey as a person. She and her husband confuses Apara’s self search as being merely a career or a working woman. Were Sarita to work, then her job profile would have added another attribute to her sense of self, which in any case is “defined” by her externalities.
- In terms of income, social status, access to public worthiness, the two families can be considered as equal. But Sudesh’s family upholds patriarchy, Apara’s denounces the same.
- Apara’s home has more aesthetic and functional appeal. Its colours are vibrant with distinct theme. Her household is better organized. She does not have a full time maid, something which she perhaps cannot afford as well. Her mother is forever on the phone talking to relatives. Her daughter is loyal and devoted to her and though she is open to the idea of doing some household chores, she leads a much protected life and has never entered the kitchen. Apara’s family is much disciplined and they willingly submit to discipline.
- Sarita’s home is organized but lacks aesthetic appeal and a theme. Since the house is home to a joint family, it looks somewhat cramped. The house has a full time maid, capable and efficient. Sarita’s home has far less disciplined and they resist discipline. Sudesh accused Apara of being excessively disciplining because she was a “working woman” and hence not kind enough. Kindness, a feminine quality, is seen to be an anti thesis of discipline and is assigned to a housewife. Sudesh looks upon his wife’s discipline as a challenge to his will and hence authority.
- It needed Apara to groom Sarita’s son as an actor; Sarita because of her confinement within the home proved to be a bad mother as far guidance to children was concerned. Both were equally capable in the kitchen but in child rearing, Apara turned out to be better.
- Sarita felt that Apara was incomplete because she did not have a “man” in her life, Apara looked upon Sarita as a failure because she had no identity left anymore.