Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Paro... the invisible heroine

Today i was talking to one of my friends (girl talk) and during the course of our chatting session she suddenly mentioned that she is no paro... that started me thinking... why is it that when a guy is spurned in love, he is labelled a devdas but a girl doesnt like being called a paro?? infact, paro showed more gumption (i always wanted to use this word but never knew where :P ) than devdas anyday but no one sees that coz their love story has always been shown through the eyes of devdas... and even though people see devdas as the loser guy, they dont see the strength of character in paro who instead of crying about lost love, took charge of her life and moved on.

Recently I had the pleasure of watching Dev.D. well, I am being sarcastic... it was not pleasureable. I don't feel it was a bad movie coz it is not. It was a nice movie but I just don’t get what all the brouhahaha was all about. I agree it was well made, great music, good cinematography (after a point of time you felt you are actually drunk as well) etc etc but in the end it was yet another take on the classic devdas albeit a modern one. We all know the tragic story of devdas, the poor little rich guy, but for the uninitiated I’ll give you a quick recap - Rich guy (that’s devdas) loves poor girl (Paro). Poor Girl loves rich guy too. Rich guy goes abroad to study. Poor girl waits for the guy for 10 years. Rich guy comes back and the affair resumes. Misunderstanding (because of class and status) crops up which results in trouble in paradise. The trouble is because of family (the family’s got to do something too right?). Guy abuses girl. Girl’s ego is shattered. Girl in turn marries rich older guy (with kids mind you). Guy realizes he messed up. Guy turns to alcohol. Guy meets another girl (bechari chandramukhi). New girl falls in love with the guy (God knows why?!). Guy still loves poor girl (who is no longer poor but is infact as rich as Devdas now). Excessive drinking kills guy. The End.

Dev.d, coz its a modern take, does have certain twists (but it doesnt deviate much from the Classic) such as in the original devdas it was devdas’ family who were against the match but in this one it is paro’s dad who plays the villian (god knows why again?!). this time chunni babu is not dev’s friend but chanda a.k.a. chandramukhi’s pimp. And in the end, instead of drinking himself to death, dev gets an epiphany and realizes that he doesn’t love paro but is in love with chanda and decides to give life another chance. Happy ending for all you might say? coz dev gets chanda, chanda gets dev. but what about paro? she gets to marry a rich man. i dont thinks so. It was not a hppy ending for paro who ends up as a second wife to a much older man who she doesn’t even love.
This is what happens in this particular movie, in the other movies and the book, devdas dies. that's the easiest way to run from a problem. he couldnt face life so he gave it up. but what was left behind was paro who chose to live rather than escape.

That is why I have always believed that instead of a tragedy of devdas, it was a tragedy of paro. In the book, in the movies, it is always paro who had to suffer and maybe that's why people dont want to be like her... coz who would choose a lifetime of suffering right? what they dont see is that even if she suffered, she didnt give up.

Whatever happens to Dev and Chanda is the result of their own actions… they are the reason for whatever happens to them…good or bad. Devdas was weak… he could never take a bloody decision and stick to it. Whatever happened to him was his own doing…well, almost. He was the one who chose to believe others than the person he loved. He was the one who created the barrier of class between himself and paro. He was the one who left paro in the lurch. He was the one who forced her to move on and get married to someone else. He was the one who happily died and left all his worries behind… and in dev.d he was the one who ends up with chanda. So basically, he had his cake and ate it too.

But, where did that leave paro? She kept waiting for dev when he was attending parties and getting drunk in the UK or the US. She was ready to leave her family for him but instead had to bear his rebuke. She was the one who had to abide by her parents' wishes and get married to a gentleman who was not only elder to her but also had kids as old as her. Devdas dies but it is she who lives the decisions that she had to take... sometimes because of her family and sometimes because of her lover. I believe that she is the strongest character of the trio, she didn’t drown herself in alcohol. She didn’t take the easy way out. she had too much of self respect to run away with devdas after being made to feel like a fool by him but still no one wants to be called a paro now-a-days.

Devdas either dies or lives happily ever after with chanda / chandramukhi who also has had a tough life…granted… but in the end if she doesn’t gain anything, she doesn’t lose anything either. She can go back to living her life the way it was before the sudden arrival of dev at her dooestep. In the end, it is paro who has to live the life that is somehow goeverned by the actions of others.

Inspite of all of this, it is still dev who is hailed as the ultimate tragic lover… more like a tragic loser, if you ask me. And believe it or not I actually know some people who idolize devdas and wouldn’t mind living a life like that…well, my advice to them is – get a life first!

So, even if dev.d attempts to present a modern outlook to the whole tragic love story, it ends up being just that - another take on devdas. i mean how many different ways can u tell the story of a man who loved and lost. I wish someone would make a movie on paro… from her point of view. Her wait for dev, what does she feel when dev tells her that she is not worth him, what goes through her heart and head when she decides to marry the other man, what was her life after the marriage. Did she have a happy married life? Did she ever forget devdas? Did she ever forgave devdas? Did she have children? No one knows, and maybe no one will…

i just hope girls today instead of turning into a female devdas would try and turn into a paro. Agreed hers was not a very happy life but it was much more degnified and respectful than devdas. i also know it is pretty clear from the movies, that he is someone who shouldnt be idolized, but he still is. i just wish that for once, paro would occupy the centrestage and would not be left as just one of the character actors. is anyone listening?


  1. have seen bansali's devdas in bits..thats about it..so my knowledge about the details of this love story is limited..but i always liked paro more than the other two..she was the one who had a sense of clarity.. she loved, she lived..yes you are right she was not an escapist..
    having said that, girls should not become a paro unless & untill the guy is really worthy it..i mean come on that lady really loved devdas even if he didn't value it & actually didn't even deserve it..but the irony is that people know of paro beacuse of devdas..so girls should become a paro but not a devdas's paro..
    i have nver been interested to watch a movie on this story..people have always looked at devdas as the guy who loved n lost..i have always differed..he was a guy who didn't give a shit about the girl's feeling when he should have..didn't think that this is the girl who loves me like hell, the least i can do is to stand up tall as a man, infront of her..if you ask me devdas didn't deserve paro, and good he didn't have her..infact i always joke with my girlfreinds "no wonder devdas was a guy!"..lil bit confusion i slife is ok..but there is something called a sense of clarity..first he wants her..then he dsnt..then again he wants her..then he is with chanda..but actually still loves paro..bulls**t!!!
    for me devdas's story just has one moral..value people whne they are still there rather than crying over them after you have kicked them out of your life...coz some body's loss i always somebody's gain!!!! ;)

  2. exactly my thoughts... but what i wanted to say was that whereas devdas became a sterotype... even though it was for loser lovers (and full heartedly agree with all your thought abt dev), paro just got lost in the crowd... and maybe she needed a devdas as a comparison point... her tragedy was that she had to become a devdas' paro... the whole story proves the point that whatever the guys want to believe, a woman is much stronger emotionally than a man... watsay?

  3. well thats a tricky topic..all i can say is that..people..men or women should not treat others like objects..value people who love you today, coz they might not be there tomorrow..then u can cry if you want to or go drown yourself in alcohol..infact what goes around come around..devdas messed up a girl's life..later he was the one who paid a far bigger price for his misdoings..for all we know if there ever was a paro's side of story, she might have thanked her stars later that she was not with a guy who can't freaking decide what he wants from life..a woman will look up to her man, that too proudly, but only if he deserves it.. So be a paro but not devdas's paro!

  4. I agree wat u rote..he was an escapist who doesn’t hv the clue wat he want..he wasn’t aware abt his own feelings ..n u knw the guys of today r very proudly saz that they are the modern Devdas (famous Dev D)..u knw the probs is still the same our society is still the patriarchal..n our paro’s even after doing so much doesn’t make the headlines as this is the job of guys to make issues.. the paro was the real woman who knows how to love n being responsible of her acts..she stand on her words n relation..it was the Devdas (or our modern Dev D) who doesn’t hv the blv on themselves..but in true sense paro was, is and will be the best example of waman of substance n dignity..

  5. ...gals go for people wid charisma....i dont have it ....its sumthing which bald ,overweight,middle aged millionares have....havin said that....i feel its neither dev nor paro who is most important character ... its chandramukhi..(ok ..ok...i was a big madhuri fan ..until she married the doc)..but seriously.....she was the woman who has been treated like s*** and had been kicked around ...she never saw a man who actually respected or loved her ...she always got the raw deal...she always knew whats on mind of people the moment they lay their eyes on her ...livin in a bordello, she still had the faith in the thing we call as true love and helped a genuine heartbroken guy devdas....she never turned cynical...she was never caustic....infact her love was unconditional for dev....whether devdas deserved it is totally a different matter .......and she never expected anythin outta dev....i have been never good with words so u folks must excuse my crude rantings but the fact of the matter is that dev was born in a rich family and paro married into one ....and their egos and attitudes were typically bourgeoise...while a dancing girl showed lot more character ........so why cant girls be like her ....er...i mean other than the dancing gal part ....and i say this at the risk of being called a MCP ...MOST of the gals want a smooth life .....want to date a pumk rockstar but marry a meek chap....not their fault ...they would rather take suntan in a ny penthouse roof top pool than come wid a guy who really really loves the gal and works in army and is posted in siachen....paro did that ...now you all can blame dev for paro`s decision but at the end of the day ...paro took the decision....dev fell because he had never thought beyond paro.....but paro always had a backup plan...thats why dev was totally shattered while paro did what she did ...so chanda is actually the best among the three while paro is the worst ........she took the easy way out compromising wid her standards and life for whatever reasons ....dev ...poor guy never realised what hit him and could never see beyond the only gal he loved .......and chandramukhi knew everything ...still she behaved like a angel....

    so be a chanda ..er...minus the shady lady part believe in life....and try to save the life of the dev u meet ....maybe only a female can undo the havoc another female has done ....

    and if it still doesnt work ....then a rifle outta do the job.....shoot the guy\gal who has wronged u ....make sure it hits between the eyes

  6. silab... i agree chanda's love was unconditional... but dev did what he did coz he was too weak... he couldnt take charge of the situation. if he couldnt think beyond paro, then he would have been with her instead of abusing her... and what would u have paro do? sit around waiting for dev who humiliated her?? why is it so wrong for a girl to move on?? so what if she wanted a comfortable lifestyle?? she was ready to leave everything for dev but he was too much of a wimp to stand up against everyone... dev fell because he couldnt support himself... paro moved on not because she was a b***h but because she had to... but i quite agree with you that they both fell coz of their egos... and it was chandramukhi (and i cant believe you stopped liking madhuri just bcoz she got married!!!) who was the only person who actually truly loved without any conditions.

  7. u said it !!!...and i concur megha...and...umm..i still like madhuri actually ...( but i hate to admit it ).dev`s maturity was far less than paro`s.....paro shud have considered this ...and i agree too that dev was a wimp...a bloody pansy..he never understood a bird in hand is better than 2 in bush....he kept brooding over paro long after she had dumped him ...and did not heed to chanda`a love too....so that makes him a dumb chap....its like olive oyl dumpin popeye ...and popeye keeps thinkin of oyl while carmen electra is dyin to get married to popeye ..but finally carmen goes somehwhere else because popeye is too scared to love..and popeye keeps drivin around in circles in his car...sounds familiar ..na??

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  9. babe every woman is a paro...in this life..give or take...the only studidity, what's that guy's name who wrote Devdas? the author's paro does is: she doesn't use the money to her advantage, which thank god...today's paros have lrnt..:) get married to money, enjoy money and find a toy boy-much better lookin,no hassles,no attitude and always willing to please....muwaah
    and btw change-Grey area and move on to much more brighter and colourful pages in life or rather the web..
    love ya


    This one is really nice. I guess you have seen the movie at least 4 - 5 times but i know it was only once. Wow! What an insight while watching a movie? This is awesome and really thoughtful.

    I do not understand if it is in the hands of people at times to make it or break it (during many such incidences in their lives). I feel it's a question of priorities. Some choose to live some choose to die. Some choose family values and some choose the so called selfish love which in real meaning is “loving yourself”.

    Now for those people who wish to be like Paro and for those who wish to be like Dev D, I have only one thing to say, in either ways you will not be happy (considering the original Dev D) so just chill, take a break and move on in life coz "relationships are established for happiness" n happiness knows no compromise, we “people” compromise.

  11. I agree paro was the only one with any sense she took control of her life... But it wasn't easy, I know this because I am a self proclaimed Paro! When my Devdas wouldn't stand up to his parents I moved on. Within 3 months I was engaged and soon after I married a slightly older man who was smitten by me. I have grown to love him and he is kind and caring but I'll probably never love him like paro loved dev. It's a very difficult thing and sometimes I wonder....

    The issue that never seems to be discussed is whether paro would be happy married to dev? Living in a home/family of in laws who didn't really want her? Would dev be able to shield her from their glares all the time? Would she be miserable and suffering and battling to stay there? Or was she better off being content in her comfortable life without love?


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