NOTE: If you are thinking, there’s a typo in the headline, please read on…
Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
There is a TV serial on air on channel Star Bharat these days — Nimki Mukhiya. And like other shows on the idiot box, this one too has an ample amount of saas-bahu saga but unlike other serials, the story is not just this. It is much beyond than kitchen politics; it has an underlying thread that subtly teaches parents as to how should they bring up their daughters. And that is what makes it my favourite.
I normally do not watch TV serials except for Crime Patrol (I am a huge fan of this show) but somehow I got hooked on to Nimki Mukhiya from its very first episode. Initially, it was the title song (This girl ij alag) that drew me to it, and later the story, though I must admit there is nothing extraordinary about the story. It’s the same old story of a low-caste girl falling in love with a high-caste boy, and eventually marrying him.
But it is the treatment of the story that has made all the difference, for which both the story writer and the director deserve all the appreciation.
The serial revolves basically around two families, Nimki’s maayka and her sasural. While Nimki despite being poor and no match to her husband’s family so far as wealth is concerned, is educated and full of confidence, the women in her in-law’s family despite belonging to rich upper caste households are illiterate and have no self-worth. They whimper before the men in the family. Further, they can’t even sit with the menfolk to have their food — the women must eat only after men have had their fill.
Nimki (Bhumika Gurung), a fun-loving, carefree and highly opinionated girl who loves watching Bollywood movies, is shown trying to change these circumstances — which she does sometimes by questioning her mother-in-law and at others just telling how things happen in her family.
Significantly, there are no lectures and no serious arguments. And when things get too much for her, Nimki doesn’t resort to rona-dhona, she just pulls up her socks, re-touches her makeup and moves out of the house to get fresh air. She doesn’t cower down before her in-laws, she doesn’t fight with them either, but in her own inimitable way she shows them their place. In no uncertain words she makes her stand clear, that she is an educated girl and won’t get subjugated on any account. And this is the best part about Nimki Mukhiya.
Nimki has so much self-confidence and self-worth only because she has been brought up in this manner by her father who has taught her to be proud of her being. The father, Rambachan, a low-caste driver, loves both his daughters and stands by them through thick and thin.
Once when Nimki is back to her father’s home after a particularly unpleasant incident at her husband’s home, and tells her father that she doesn’t want to go back to her sasural, the father understands her completely. And when her livid mother-in-law calls him up to send her back, he coolly tells her that he will not do so, with a straight face and without any fear in heart or mind. In most other serials, they show girl’s parents fulfilling all whims and fancies of in-laws. Not Rambachan.
In another incident, when a village girl is sexually assaulted on her way to tuition and everyone is pointing fingers at her for “moving out alone” and not blaming the boy who assaulted her, it is Nimki and her father who side with the girl and counter all villagers.
The serial is replete with instances like these wherein the serial-makers have furthered the cause of women, and in their own style spoken about women empowerment, without going over-the-top about any situation, but just through the characters of Nimki and her father. And it is this that makes it dear to me.
If only we had more such progressive content rather than the regressive shows that go on and on for years.