How important is the family in Dattani’s plays? Answer with special reference to Tara.

How important is the family in Dattani’s plays? Answer with special reference to Tara.

Dattani’s is not a world of simple dichotomies. There is a great deal of conflict in relationships and no one is willing to be an easy victim. In this world of patriarchy, women emerge as pretty strong characters. The heme is a battlefield with uneasy (and perhaps disastrous) alliances being forged by various parties and everyone fights as many of the others as possible for individual turf. In Dattani’s world, the socialisation process initiated in the family unit has as its aim the stunted growth of 2 bonsai tree. The family is there to stifle all natural instincts and inclinations,to suppress and oppress, and to curb freedom and growth. All we can produce are ugly dwarves.

1-his is a play about the injustices done to women. This is also a play about the injustices done to men. The construction of gender,.the hierarchisation, does as much harm to (sensitive) me12 as to women. The men in the play, here L mean Dan and Patel (Dan more than Palel): carry as much of an unfiiir burden as the women. Patei is complicit in the working of patriarchy but then so is Sharati. But, while Bharatl’s pangs of guilt have changed her views, Patel continues to subscribe to patriarchal views almost as if in; defiance of Bharati, to rub her nose in. Nothing in Dattani’s plays is simple.. Dan, however, the recipient of an ill-starred, unwanted, tragic gift, will carry beaver the burden of having wasted Taril’s leg and blighting her life by just the fact of being himself male. His life is profoundly affected by the decisions of other people, by the values of his/our society. He has to pay for the sins of his parents (and grandfather). Hence the play ends with Tara and Dan hugging each other, each with two normal Iegs now, beyond both nature and society (and its science). I say society and not science, though I do recognise the role of science within brackets, because it is society that decides the uses of science. Dr. Thakkar and his team could easily have taken the sound medical decision of leaving the leg with Tara but for his ambitions and the carrot of land held out to him by people who had decided on basis gender and not on medical grounds.

The  play is obviously also about the complications of family life, the facade of middle class morality and commitment to family values. What is the morality that the Pate! family has practised? If the decision to give the leg to Chandan was taken by Bharati and her father, Patel has kept quiet because of Bharati’s father’s social status, as also because he had no clear-cut view to the contrary. His family has cut them off because of their inter-caste, inter-regional marriage. Hence, they are dependent on Bharati’s father for both monetary and moral support. This in turn has led to a power structure within the family where Bharati and her father take the important decisions. Thus we see the couple bickering after the death of Bharati’s father and after Bharati has felt the full force of her guilt in taking the decision about Tara. Having sacrificed Tara’s leg, Bharati has had to struggle to construct her maternal love and concern for
her daughter, to assert her moral superiority over her husband, to carve out her space in the family. Her final act of donating her kidney to Tara is an act of expiation, even if ultimate futile.

What we see is that love itself is an instrument, not an end or a state of being. Bharati uses her love for Tara as a weapon against Patel, as well as an expression of her desire to compensate Tara. This should remind you of Jiten and his mother, Baa, in Bravely Fought the Queen, and their frequently expressed love for Daksha, Jiten’s daughter, who had received grievous injury when in the womb because Baa had
instigated Jiten to violence against his pregnant wife. Can parental love be taken for granted? Can any love be taken for granted as a natural given? Can family relationships be assumed to be protective and loving and caring? Isn’t any and every relationship actually a site for conflict? And isn’t this a conflict for control and power? Most of these conflicts are hidden from the world and a facade of decorum and contentment is maintained. What all this puts in jeopardy quietly but completely is chances for individual growth and fulfilment.

Saroj Meher

Hello Friends, welcome to my website BrainyNote.  My name is Saroj Meher, You can call me a Professional Artist, Painter or an Indian Contemporary Artist, a Teacher, Computer Professional and also a You-tuber, who is eager to learn, find new techniques in his fields of works & grow in his life until his name become a BRAND.

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