For Students – Water


17 Responses to For Students – Water

  1. Our Global Voices class just finished watching Water today. This movie made me realize that I am lucky to be living in a society like today. I know that if I ever become a widow I won’t be forced to join other widows and not be able to get remarried. The widows in the movie were completely banned from activities in society; they couldn’t eat fried food or walk in the streets without getting rude stares or remarks. Kalyani leaving the place where all the widows were was a major turning point in the movie. She went against the traditions and went to fight for her love, Narayan. However, one thing I learned is that the tiniest mistake or action can affect something else in your life. For example, by Kalyani prostituting herself to Narayan’s father, she was unable to marry Narayan. I mean, how would you feel that once your fiance proposes to you, you find out you had been with his father? She was filled with humiliation, even if she wasn’t doing because she wanted to. Lastly, I want to say that the last scene when Chuiya left with Narayan was very emotional for me. Even though, it was intended to be joyous since Chuiya no longer had to be in a world where she wasn’t free, the seperation between Chuiya in the other widow was like two best friends seperating. A sense of frustration and anger filled be when Narayan’s father abused Chuiya. This movie shows the violence that exists in the world today and in the past, where at times we have no control over.

  2. Andrew Laske says:

    I think the movie Water is a very sad and depressing movie. First Chuiya is a widow at nine years old and is abandoned by her parents and forced to live in poverty with other widows. That is absolutley horrible. It is sick in the first place that Chuiya was forced to marry a much older man at only seven years old. It is depressing how Kalyani drowns herself in the river because she couldn’t marry Narayan, the man she loved and who loved her. It is sick and twisted that Chuiya was forced to have sex with Narayan’s father. The ending was happy and sad at the same time. It was happy because Chuiya was going to have a better life with Narayan taking care of her. It was sad because the widow who gave Chuiya to Narayan was acted as a mother to Chuiya and it was sad to see them seperated. Overall the Movie Water shows how hard the lives of widows in India used to be. I am just glad to live in a society where I can be free and live well.

  3. Jennifer Garcia says:

    Watching the movie “Water” was quite heart breaking for me. The tragic life a widow must lead in order to stay loyal to their religion is just sickening. Not only these widows looked upon as dirty and completely hopeless, but their status as human beings decreases instantly. The fact that they cannot remarry, eat spicy food and wear colored garments limits their rights. These women are viewed inferior to the rest of society. The horrible atmosphere Chuyia was exposed to at such a young age is devastating. Being married at such a young age and then becoming a widow at nine is not looked upon as normal” in our society. Yet upon the environment Chuyia was living, this was considered more than normal. At the same time, she was down in line to be the next victim to be forced into prostitution. After Kalyani left, Chuiya had no companionship for a while. The only person Kalyani could truly relate to was Chuiya. Chuiya served as a reflection to Kalyani, and easily connected throughout the movie, since both were sent to the ashram at such a young age and exposed to prostitution. Throughout the end of the movie, the priest provided a sense of hope for the widows. The priest almost liberated the widows as he announced that there is a new law passed that widows can now remarry. Although this is true, most of these laws the essentially liberated the widows were kept secret. Only the laws that “benefited” society were accepted. In the end, the movie completely changed my perspective of society and what different societies accept.

  4. Jing Leong says:

    In the film “Water,” we caught a glimpse of the devastated widows living in inhumane conditions of India under the traditional religious system. In this time period, it is apparent that women rights were denied and were completely neglected in society after their husband’s death. In the movie, the eldest widow quotes, “When your husband dies, a half of you dies inside.” Chuiya, a innocent former child”bride,” who accidentally became a widow due to her unbeknownst husband’s sudden death leaves her to live in the ashram in penance. It is evident in the scene where the women disrespectfully insults Kaylani as “impure,” after mistakenly bumping (tainting) into her. Ostracized and secluded from outside life, it is shocking that there are 24 million widows according to the 2000 census living through heartbreaking conditions. I was shocked when Chuiya was sent to be a prosititute and returned to be extremely traumatized by the treacherous deeds of Gublani and the selfish widow. Also, women’s hair once again plays an important role in the movie, which was similar in the last movie “Osama,” where women had to veil their hair to hide their sexuality/attractiveness from men. Contrastingly, widows in India were automatically stripped of their precious valuables such as their luscious hair, jewels, colorful garnaments, freedom, their family and more importantly, their childhood. Despite the series of terrible events (The widow’s death who died peacefully after munching on a Ladoo, Chuiya’s murdering of Mitthu, Kaylani drowns in grief because she felt she did not deserve Narayan, Chuiya’s implied rape scene) Chuiya safely boards on the train under the care of the great Ghandi.

  5. Danja Xhaxhi says:

    “Water” was an emotional movie, capturing the struggles and appalling conditions, widows in India faced, during the 1930’s. During this period, women were sent to an ashram, and forced to obey to the traditional rules. A widow was not supposed to remarry, eat laddo (candy), wear vibrant clothing, grow their hair and eat spicy food. Widows were seen as weak, hopeless. They were being punished for their husband’s death, unable to leave the ashram and enjoy the pleasures of life. Chuiya, a “child bride,” was sent to the ashram at the age of eight. She was exposed to the devastating conditions, at such a young age. Madhumati, the ruler of the ashram mistreats the women, forcing them to obey to the rules. She even has Chuiya massage her corpulent legs, while she talks to Gulabi, the pimp. Kalyani, the second youngest widow, was forced into prostitution by Madhumati. She served as a provider for the ashram. The money she earned helped pay for food and other expenses.
    Chuiya and Kalyani established a strong relationship towards the middle of the movie. They easily connected, being that they were the youngest widows in the ashram. They were both jovial, despite the conditions they were put upon. Unlike the older widows, Kalyani and Chuiya tried to exercise their rights as much as they possibly could. When Kalyani drowned herself, Chuiya was left alone, and eventually sold into prostitution, by both Gulabi and Mahumati. Luckily, Shakuntala was able to rescue her when Gulabi returned to the ashram. Chuiya was traumatized and unable to respond. She remained still while resting on Shakuntala. The most emotional part of the movie was when Shakuntala handed Chuiya to Narayan. Chuiya was finally rescued from the horrid conditions in the ashram. One remaining question is: Why didn’t Shakuntala go on the train?

  6. Sandra Dutan says:

    I just finished watching this movie in class yesterday and the results of the movie were very sad. I mean this movie made me realize the other lives that other girls have to live in the conditions in which woman have no say in anything. These women was they become widow have three options but neither option would make them happy. I mean whether to die with their husband, remarry their husband’s youngest brother or rather to just stay isolated in a place where all widows are isolated. These girls are very young including Chuiya and Kalyani they both became widows at the age of nine. They had no other life style to live in they had no other choice because they were secluded they were not allowed to be introduced to new ideas. They were to follow the scriptures but they were not aware that laws were passed that could benefit them. To me living in a society like this would be awful to not know what rights we could or could not have as woman. To be looked at with mean looks and to seem to be the worst thing to be a widow to be unholy is something I would not want to live in. The begining it was horrible to see Chiuya be left at the widow home still having both parents who loved her very much but they had to follow their traditions and their culture. To see Kalyani’s life was harsh the reason that her hair was left long compared to all the other widows she was used as an income. But who gave the other elder woman Didi the power to tell all the others what they can or cannot do. They are both widows right why then should she be given special treatment. She knows all the outside information but stays quiet in order to keep living the life she is living because compared to all the other widows she gets to sleep in a bed, eat the biggest meal, get a massage and even have contact with the outside world. My question is why does she get to do all of that and not the rest of the widows. its was very emotional to see little Chiyua taken to the big house she thought that she was going to home and be with her parents she thought that Didi had finally changed. But she was wronged her childhood was snatched from her just as Kalyani’s was at the age of nine. Chiyua was taken to please another man because according to them they could decide who they want to be with it and it would not be wrong at all instead it will make the woman sacred. Who in their right’s minds give them these ideas? They are not gods neither. The ending to see Didi act as a mother after she for so long treated Chiuya with so much anger and would tell her what she could or could not do to go get a blessing from Gandi was amazing. She showed motherhood that she cared for somebody for the little girl. Maybe she did this out of guilt so that Chiuya will not have to go through what Kalyani went through she feels horrible because she could have stopped it but she did not know she could. Now she prefers no further damage to be done to Chiyua and goes in the train and asks for help for somebody to take the little girl as far away as possible from this society. To see Didi stand alone with that look in her face was extreme emotion to just save one child so they no longer suffer from what they ahd to suffer.

  7. Ledia Gjoka says:

    After watching “Water” in class, I realized how different things are in different cultures of the world. Unfortunately, in Hindu society, widows had to live in poverty in an ashram. The movie follows Chuyia, a child bride who recently became a widow, Kalyani, a beautiful young widow, and Narayan, an upper class Oxford educated man who falls in love with Kalyani. Through these three characters, the audience sees how Indian society was in the 1930s. The plot is heartbreaking, especially since Kalyani goes against society and religion to marry Narayan, only to find out that she had been forced to sleep with his father because Madhumati, the eldest widow, forced her to become a prostitute. Because of this, she is ashamed and will not allow herself to marry the man the loves, and it ultimately leads to her suicide by drowning. This was a heartbreaking scene that led to the scene that is very traumatic. After Kalyani drowns herself, the ashram is left without a source of income and Madhumati tells Chuyia that Ghalabi, Kalyani’s former pimp, will take her home to the her village. Because Chuyia is so young, she does not know that she is not going home, but rather, she is being pimped out. She is left at a client’s house and she utters one line that seals her fate, “I’ve come to play.” Once Ghalabi returns her to the ashram, Didi, a mother-like figure to the widows, takes a traumatized Chuyia and takes care of her, bathing and feeding her. Didi discovers that Gandhi will be speaking at a train station and takes Chuyia there, hoping to find some sort of liberation for the child. The end of the movie ends with a heartwarming, yet depressing, scene where Didi runs after the train, wishing for someone to take Chuyia to a better life, and finally finding Narayan, who takes Chuyia, and then they are separated. One thing that these scenes have in common is the water; when Kalyani commits suicide, she drowns herself in the water to purify herself, when Didi bathes Chuyia with the water, it is to purify her of her rape. The importance of water in the movie is to represent purity and being purified after the many traumatic events.

  8. Nujhat Noor says:

    Water was very heartfelt and depressing movie because of the unpredictable and harsh situations in which the protagonists were put through. The 3 characters whom truly touched my heart were Narayan, Kalyani, and Kalyani’s didi because of their persistence in enduring pain. Didi was clearly a very mature woman as she had aged being a widow almost all of her life. She was the mother figure in the movie, for she always looked over Kalyani and Chuiya. Furthermore, she never forbid them from doing all the things widows were restricted from doing and supported them in getting their freedom, even if she didn’t receive hers. This was clearly shown when didi allowed Kalyani to meet Narayan and put Chuiya in Narayan’s hands at the end. Didi was proved to be the person who was willing to sacrifice her happiness for others and truly cared for the ones whom she was emotionally attached to. Then there was Kalyani—the devastated one, who was forced to become a prostitute in order to raise money for the ashram. It was ironic to know those who forced widows to live in isolation and thought they were unholy were the ones sleeping with them, knowing they were “unholy”. Then there was Kalyani’s literal hero, who would have taken her out of the silent hell that she was living in—Narayan. Narayan was not only educated, but also a liberal thinking and just human being. He proves himself to be so by supporting Gandhi, and willing to marry Kalyani despite being from the high class, knowing that she was a widow, and that widows were looked down upon as inferiors. Not only that, he despises his father knowing that he slept with widowed prostitutes. Consequently, the end was truly sad as Kalyani commit suicide, and Chuiya was raped. Those were the points at which didi and Narayan endured inexplicable pain, for which they couldn’t speak up against the devastations that occurred. Overall, Water was very impactful because of the emotions it portrayed though the dynamic personalities of the characters.

  9. Syedia Hogue says:

    As my eyes stuck to the television screen seeing the movie “ Water” in my global voices class, I just couldn’t believe the unvalued lives the widows in India were living. From as young as nine years of age to maybe the old age of eighty, a widow were to never remarry. This was due to their Hindu tradition, and they weren’t to disobey it. Chuyia, a young girl who is married to an ill man becomes widowed and doesn’t even remember being married. I don’t think she even really understands the meaning of marriage, because she is just a child. She is then forcefully taken into a house of widows, and they had to shave Chuyia’s hair off because that was the symbol of her being a widow. All the widows had to wear white saris as well, to signify them being widows. Chuyia, had found a friend and her name was Kalyani. Her hair wasn’t shaved like the other widows, it was long and beautiful. She had to be more attractive, because she is what keeps the widows alive. Madhumati, the fattest widow of them all makes poor Kalyani go across the river to get money. The only way she could get money was by prostitution. I just couldn’t understand how selfish, Madhumati was. She would make the unfortunate widows work, and everyone would obey her because she held power in the house. Kalyani, had something that widows weren’t supposed to have. It was a dog and his name was “Kalu”. The dog had ran away, and Chuyia was trying to catch it. While she was trying to catch the dog, she had found a wise man named Narayan. As typical Indian movies, there has to be some love connection going on with characters. Later on in the story, the beautiful Kalyani and the handsome but wise Narayan decide to get married. Although, the most horrid scene in the movie, Narayan finds out that his dad’s mistress was Kalyani. Narayan’s dad tells him that who ever sleeps with the Ghalabi goes to heaven. Narayan is disgusted with his father. Without warning, Kalyani drowns herself in the river. There was also no money being earned. The fat Madhumati, had tricked Chuyia to go across the river making her believe that she was going back home. She was actually sent to that repulsive pimp, and was bruised when she came back. Shakuntala, who cared for Chuyia like her own daughter automatically looked for Chuyia and when she found her, she took her to the train station where Gandhi had been released from jail. She then saw Narayan, and ran to give Chuyia in his arms. When Narayan caught her, she knew she was save with him. This was just an amazing movie, and something everyone should see. It shows everyone who watches this movie, how the lives of widows were in India. The best part was, that Didi an old widow had ate a ladoo before she had died and went to heave. Widows, weren’t suppose to have ladoo’s.

  10. Tashin T. Promi says:

    This was my second time; I watched water last year too. But still this movie gives the same feelings that I was had before. It’s still shocks me that an 8 year old little girl had to live in ashram. Water is very strong movie yet it revels what women went though in India before and still now in small villages. It reminds me of a writer from Bangladesh; she wrote how people view religion differently and gets their way. This writer had to leave Bangladesh because extremist people thirteen her, she moved to India same thing happen there and didn’t had the right to express reality on her writing. Now as far as I know she lives in French. Deepa Mehta had to face similar situation when she was making this movie. I wonder will society ever give a writer/ author the right to express their feeling about certain things. Or will it continue to be like this, especially in 21st century?!

  11. Taylor Schmidt says:

    The film, “Water”, demonstrated the struggles that women in India faced. I found the film to be extremely depressing when the young girl, Chuyia, became a widow and was forced to move away from her family into a widows’ home. Widows only have to options: marry their husband’s brother or to throw themselves into their husband’s cremation fire. It was heartbreaking when Chuyia was the only child in the widows’ home. It was more uplifting when Chuyia befriended Kalyani. Kalyani was an unusal widow. Unlike the other widows, Kalyani was able to grow her hair long. She was able to grow her hair long because she was a prostitute and the money she made supported the widows’ home. The other widows would not interact with Kalyani because she was considered ‘dirty’. This is when the importance of water comes into the story line. When ever someone came into contact with something filthy, they had to bathe. I thought it was lovely when Chuyia and Kalyani were able to secretly care for a puppy, which was also considered unclean. I enjoyed how the film was not only about Chuyia, but also about Kalyani falling in love with Narayan. Narayan planned on marrying Kalyani, but when they go to meet his father she is mortified because while her time of being a prostiture, he had been a customer. She comes back to the widows’ home unwanted by the other widows. The eldest one punishes her by cutting her hair off. Kalyani depressed decides to drown herself. The eldest widow then sends Chuyia to a much older man who rapes her. Although the film overall was extremely sad, the ending was uplifting. One of the widows brings Chuyia to Narayan, so that she could escape the horrors of her life to come. The ending was extremely emotional, but I was pleased that the ending was more upbeat rather than depressing. It gave the viewer hope that Chuyia would have a better life.

  12. Barsha Bajracharya says:

    The movie was really depressing, because I really believed that there would be a happy ending. It got really sad when Kalyani committed suicide. She was too afraid to admit that one of her clients was Narayan’s father. I think she probably thought that since she was his father’s clients he would leave her. I think Kalyani also committed suicide because of what the head of the ashram said. After she left Narayan she returned to the ashram late at night, there the head said stay there the eunuch will be there soon. Since Kalyani had enough of the job she probably figured that it was better for her to die. The movie was based upon Ghandi’s influence and his beliefs. He believed that widows did not need to suffer. In the movie he says that widows are strangers to love, and no one should be strangers to love. This implies that he wanted the widows to remarry. I was really happy when Kalyani agreed to marry Narayan. I thought the movie was going to end with their marriage and them taking care of Chuyia, but it was not meant to be. It was especially sad because after Kalyani killed her self, Narayan came to the ashram to take her home with him. He decided to leave afterward. The scene that impacted me most was when the eunuch says that he will take her to her parents. When the head of the ashram first said it I knew something was fishy. They had followed this traditions for so long, now suddenly she was free. It was heartbreaking to see Chuyia, and innocent girl, saying, “I came her to play.” She had no idea what was coming. At the end of the movie I felt there was still hope for Chuyia. Although it didn’t end the way I hope I still enjoyed the movie.

  13. Mari Aucapina says:

    The movie “Water” was really depressing, but interesting movie. In my opinion the protagonists did a very good job in acting these scenes. Not only were they really talented, but also it wasn’t complicated in comprehending the conflicts in India. When I first saw the movie I was really touched by the issues that widows went through. Especially, it was devastating to see how such a young girl like Chuiya was a widow and she doesn’t even remember getting married. It’s sad to see this because when I think about today in America, it’s very distinct and rare to occur. For instance, when Chuiya first got to the ashram it was unusual for her to be in that place. At first I had many questions because as Chuiya was new to the ashram I was curious to know why the women who were widows had to shave their heads and why did they have scars on their forehead. Towards the end of the movie, I was able to comprehend why these widows had to do this. Chuiya, in the beginning of the movie thinks that she’s going to go home as soon as possible, but what was more heart breaking was that she was raped because of the head leader told her to go to a man’s place to “play”. It broke my heart to see a child at such a young age be going through these issues. Didi, who acted like a mother tried to help her and she was devastated when she found out that Chuiya went across the river. Another very important character in the movie was Kalyani. She was a prostitute that had to make money for the ashram by selling herself. She played an important role because she was the opposite of the widow women living in the ashram. Unlike the rest she had her long hair and pet, this was very symbolic because it demonstrated the fact that prostitutes were considered dirty and unholy. It was interesting in the movie to see how a widow woman fell in love and wanted to get remarried. I liked the fact that there was some romance in the movie and I learned a lot from this film because it not only entertained you, but also informed you. For instance, there were also symbols that meant something like the bird in the cage. The bird signifies that one is not in liberty and aren’t free to do whatever they want. However, when Chuiya kills the bird it shows that the bird is free but in heaven now. Overall, I really enjoyed this film, even though I expected a happy ending between Kalyani and the man. Therefore, the emotions behind these characters were very strong that had a major impact in one’s life.

  14. Kasia Kraszewska says:

    The movie “Water” was very depressing, yet interesting movie. It was very strong in the way that it portrayed the lives of widows who have to live in Ashram. I think that it’s really unfair that they are considered almost untouchable just because they are widows. It made me really sad that they had to be secluded from society and were looked down upon. The part that affected me the most was when Chuyia was send to the other side of the river to make money as a prostitute, since she was only eight years old! I was completely shocked and disgusted by that, and it brought tears to my eyes. I never would’ve imagined that such a young, innocent girl would have to be a widow and then have to be a prostitute. Another thing that really made me sad was when Kalyani committed suicide. I didn’t see it coming, and it was really depressing to see her take her own life after she realized she slept with the father of the man she fell in love with, even if it wasn’t her fault, because she wasn’t a prostitute by choice. The last scene in the movie where Chuyia is send off on a train with Narayan, so that she could escape her life in the widows’ home, really gave me hope for her.

  15. Water movie is the third movie made by Deepa Mehta’s created to describe how religion was used to oppress widows in India in the early 1930s. In Hindu religion the widows have four options once their husband dies one is to burn with their husbands, the other is to go into prostitution, to marry their husbands brother and the last is to join an institution called ashram because widows are believe to have cause the death of their husband in their past lives. The main characters, Chuyia, Shakuntala (Didi S.), Kalyani and Narayan, question the current status of widows in the community if it’s really part of their religion or something the people made up because of money. Chuyia is 8 years old who married an older man, he died and her family thought it was best for her to join the ashram, there she found her mother figure Didi S who is devoted by practicing her religion but is conflicted with it and her faith and Kalyani a beautiful women and friend. Kalyani is the only women who didn’t shave her head because she attractive enough to be a prostitute to be one of their source of money the other being begging because widows have no source of income and it wasn’t aloud for women to work. Narayan a law student who had felled in love with Kalyani, they had a fair behind his parents back. The widows in the ashram sleep on concrete floors, wear only white, shave their heads, and eat very little. They are also isolated form society because they are bad luck or “impure” so society tries not to associate with them. The women once they became widows assist to be alive in the eyes of society, giving very little options for in their lives, because of their “religion” says they passed their bad karma to their husbands which cause his death oppressing women to live a live of prostitution, begging if lucky marring their husband brother if not some women will choose to burn with their husbands instead of living a live that isn’t living but misery.

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