The content that I really crave are stories about real women. And occasionally I would hit gold in that area. But it is super rare. One such gold is Pushpavalli.
Pushpavalli is a series about a woman who shifts from Bhopal to Bangalore to pursue a guy she is in love with. We as viewers know that. However, none of her friends or family know.
The rest of the post is filled with spoilers, so please stop reading it and watch the series first. The reason this series is so fantastic is because it portrays a flawed woman. Most of the women characters we see in the media are either very truthful, disciplined and right in every way or they are very strong and empowered.
Pushpavalli lies a lot, manipulates and goes to great lengths to get this guy Nikhil to fall in love with her. She kidnaps his dog and pretends to find the dog with him and gets his mother pushed down the stairs so that he would come to visit their common guruji during her engagement. She even pretends to get engaged to prove to him and all his friends that she has moved on from him.
In the final episode of season 1 when she gets exposed, she gives a big monologue about pursuing what she wants. She also talks about how her mother had made her feel that she is not good enough all her life.
Throughout the season, the mother refers to her as chubby. She also adds the fact that guys in the matrimonial site do not mind that she is chubby and are ready to marry her. In season 2, when Nikhil asks her why she didn't tell him directly of her feelings, she says because she looks like this and he looks like that. Overall in the 2 seasons with 8 episodes each, these are very few instances where her physical appearance comes up.
Contrast this with the movie I Look Pretty where the protagonist is constantly obsessed about her physical appearance and feels she cannot get what she wants because of her looks. Granted, that movie's central concept is about body images, I felt it really refreshing and almost empowering that Pushpavalli does not focus too much on her physical appearance. With most of the actors are looking perfect, Pushpavalli looking extremely real is so encouraging and almost empowering. I have spent far too much time focusing on my physical appearance myself that this series has opened my eyes that there is a lot more to a woman than her physical appearance. The fact that Pushpavalli does not directly admit her feelings, but wants to understand if the guy has feelings for her, is so relatable.
Pushpavalli is portrayed to be a very negative character, but for no apparent reason, I rooted for her. I was angry at Nikhil for leading her on and making her continue to love her when he was busy kissing another woman on the side. Somehow her blowing up his factory seems justified.
The episode of PCOD In Season 1 is my favorite. How many times have we as women faced this embarrassing situation of seeing blood on the sofa. I have many times struggled to somehow hide it. The way Nikhil's mom and dad react and how Pushpavalli is oblivious and doesn't take any offence is comical, to say the least.
Last, but not the least favorite part is Pushpavalli's mom who keeps uttering Tamil proverbs. The comical part about it is the translations and how they make no sense. When my mother talks about these proverbs this is exactly how I feel.
Watch the original version in English on Amazon Prime And I am sure you will binge-watch the two seasons.