woman in black and red dress sitting beside old woman surrounded with pots
Culture,  Movies and Media,  Personal Notes and Opinions

Exploring The Most Impactful Moments from “Laapataa Ladies”

“Laapataa Ladies” is a heartwarming tale set in two small villages in Madhya Pradesh, India which follows the lives of two newly-wed brides who are unintentionally swapped during their journey back to their in-laws. It uncovers the wholesome bond that they end up creating with the people they are forced to co-exist with amidst societal expectations and personal struggles. The film explores themes of friendship, women empowerment, and self-discovery as these women try to find their way back home. With its blend of humor, drama, and touching moments, “Laapataa Ladies” celebrates the resilience and strength found in female friendships with an amazing touch of suburban setting.

07 Most Impactful Moments from the Movie:

  • When Phool initially travels from her parental household to her in-laws, she has to take a long veil and cover her entire face upto the neck. During her journey, she tries hard to adapt to the veil but stumbles across a rocky path. This is when her relative says –

Theek toh ho, Phool? Ek baar ghoongat le liya phir aurat ko aage nahi, neeche dekhke chalna seekhna padta hai.

ठीक तोह हो, फूल? एक बार घूंघट ले लिया फिर औरत को आगे नहीं, नीचे देखके चलना सीखना पड़ता है.

This translates into English as “Once a woman takes the veil, she must learn how to look downwards, not forward,” which signifies what we teach our younger girls when they get married; to leave behind their self-respect and bow their head down, to sacrifice their dreams for the dreams of their male partners, to give up on their aspirations of a future for themselves and follow the path that their partner weaves for them.

  • When Jaya is questioned by Deepak and the police on the rationale for all the lies that she’s fabricated during her stay with his family, she says –

Deepak Ji, samaj hi aisa hai. Oot pataang jhooth gale utarta hai lekin ek sadhaaran sach nahi pachta kisiko.

दीपक जी, समाज ही ऐसा है. ऊट पटांग झूठ गले उतरता है लेकिन एक साधारण सच नहीं पचता किसीको.

This translates into English as “People can be accepting of weird lies. But no one likes accepting a simple truth,” which highlights a mundane habit of people giving complicated excuses to escape situations whereas their true rationale might be really simple in nature, but unacceptable and invalid to people in general.

  • When Chotu reveals to Phool that Abdul acts handicapped in order to beg on the railway station, whereas he is completely fine in reality and has legs that run faster than a rabbit’s, Phool looks astonished. That is when he explains –

Ye duniya bohot ajeeb hai. Yaha pe jaisa dikhta hai waisa hota nahi hai. Aur jaisa hota hai, waisa dikhta nahi hai.

ये दुनिया बोहोत अजीब है. यहाँ पे जैसा दिखता है वैसा होता नहीं है. और जैसा होता है, वैसा दीखता नहीं है.

This translates into English as “This world is very strange. Don’t be taken in by what you see. Things are often not what they seem.”

  • When Phool travels back to the village of Surajmukhi, she leaves behind her khoiccha in Manju Maai’s tea stall. A khoiccha / khoecha is a pouch of bundled sacred cloth given to a girl when she leaves her parental household. This bundle contains some turmeric, durva grass, rice, betel nuts and flowers. She holds on to this bundle very carefully as a lesson by her mother to protect the pouch which will in turn protect her husband. When she leaves the pouch behind, this signifies that she is leaving behind the backward lessons that her mother had taught her and is moving ahead in life with new thoughts and a renewed version of herself.
  • When Phool and Manju Maai have a discussion about her leaving her husband and kids, Phool asks her, “Darr nahi lagta akele?” [Aren’t you scared to live alone?] – and she responds

Khudke saath akele khushi se rehna bohot mushkil hota hai, Phool. Haa, par wo ek baar seekh liya toh koi tumko takleef nahi pohocha sakta.

खुदके साथ अकेले ख़ुशी से रेहना बोहोत मुश्किल होता है, फूल. हां, पर वो एक बार सीख लिया तोह कोई तुमको तकलीफ नहीं पोहोचा सकता.

This translates into English as “Being happy on your own is the toughest thing. But once you learn how to master it, no one can bother you anymore.”

  • Phool comes from a family where “good girls” or rather “well-brought up girls” don’t utter the name of their husband. Following this notion, she refrains from taking her husband’s name throughout the movie, even in dire situations when she’s asked to reveal information on her husband and in-laws. Towards the end of the movie, when she watches her husband searching for her in the crowded railway station, she doesn’t hesitate for a second before she calls out to him by his name, signifying the progress that she has made in her journey to breaking the backward teachings she was taught by the society as a female.
  • When Phool makes dessert for the tea stall, Manju Maai delightedly feeds spoonful after spoonful to the guests. But when asked to taste the sweet herself, she denies and says that life has not given her any cause or opportunity for celebration. Hence, she won’t be indulging in any dessert. However, when the railway station master returns with good news that Phool has reached home safe and sound, she picks a spoon of the kalakand and takes a soulful bite, signifying that Phool reaching home is an event of utmost importance to her, a cause for celebration in life.

How I Felt About The Movie:

Laapataa Ladies is a truly inspiring and heartwarming movie that left a profound impact on me. It beautifully portrays the various perspectives we encounter in our daily lives, particularly shedding light on the struggles faced by women living on the outskirts who continue to make sacrifices for the sake of others. Through this movie, we gain a deeper understanding of the rich and complex rural culture of India.

I implore those who view feminism as a scam to watch this movie, as it subtly reveals all the societal expectations placed upon women. It skillfully highlights the often overlooked nuances within the female community, where the smallest actions carry immense weight but end up not being recognized or given significance. While I acknowledge the stark differences between urban and rural settings, it’s important to remember that change begins in urban areas and must cascade down to the outskirts. If we fail to demand change in these urban spaces, progress will not reach the women who direly need it.

The voices advocating for equality that we often hear are primarily rooted in privilege, and it’s crucial to acknowledge that not every woman possesses the same position of strength. Regardless of how many voices champion for equality, there are still countless women silently struggling on the sidelines, requesting for basic necessities in life.

Let’s not just appreciate the wholesome narrative of Laapataa Ladies, but also reflect on our own perspectives and challenge our outdated beliefs. I hope this movie inspires us to be agents of change and advocate for the rights and well-being of all women, especially those who are marginalized and voiceless.

Until next time,


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: