We Indians are known for its diversity. We are famous for being a country of so many cultures, with each culture having its own history. The festivals, the ethnic attires, so many different temples, various types of native dishes and so much more is witnessed in this beautiful country. We are known for our hospitality, but what we are also known for is our love for Hindi cinema, which is internationally known as Bollywood. Nothings and no one else represents India in a more accurate manner other than some majorly legendary movies. Be it the oldest of the time, ‘Mother India’ or the latest ‘Padmavat’, Bollywood filmmakers made sure to portray our culture in the most beautiful way possible. Indian cinematic history goes way back in early 18th century, when the first Bollywood film was released in 1913 with the title of Raja Harishchandra. It was a silent film and yet was loved by all. Later that year, the first Bollywood sound film was released named Alam Ara. From there, the never ending journey of Hindi cinema began. Bollywood films are loved worldwide. So many people around the world are fond of Shah Rukh Khan and he even owns an entire floor in BurjKhalifa in Dubai. Bollywood is loaded with such gems. From actors to filmmakers and even song writers, there are numerous numbers of talented people in the Indian film industry. Song writers Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Irshad Kamil, Anand Bakshi and Amitabh Bhattacharya never cease to amuse the audience and win their heart.
Directors like Prakash Jha, Karan Johar, Madhur Bhandarkar, and Rajkumar Irani always leave the theatre audience by an inexpressible wonderstruck emotion through their movies. An emotion which keeps you intact with the characters of the story, even hours after the movie is finished. Oscar nominated movies like Lagaan and Salaam Bombay are worth all the attention they got. Many films like ‘I am Kalam’, ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Raanjhanaa’, ‘Neerja’, and ‘Ram Leela’ left us floored by their magnificent storyline and outstanding performance by the actors. My personal favourite filmmaker happens to be Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He has produced some splendid and impressive movies in his career until now. Films like Mary Kom, Guzaarish, Black, Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani, Padmavat and so many more are masterly made by him. The glorious performance by the actors in these films is remarkable. The last released film by Sanjay Leela Bhansali was ‘Padmavat’, which is one of the most expensive film produced in Bollywood. The movie was mainly themed around a ritual named Jauhar, which was historically practiced by the Rajput women to protect their pride from the invading army. The ritual involved self-immolation, which means committing suicide by jumping in the fire pit. Rani Padmavati, also known as ‘Rani Padmini’, was a Rajput queen of Singhal Kingdom (Sri Lanka) who was known for her beauty. She was married to Ratan Singh who was a Rajput ruler of Chittor. The queen protected the dignity of Chittor in 1303 when the kingdom was being attacked by the army of an evil ruler Alluddin Khilji, who travelled all the way to Chittor from Delhi Sultunate in order to invade the Rajputs and enslave Rani Padmavati. Khilji was already married to a princess named Mehrunisa, yet he had his eyes on other women. An unforgivable act in a country where women are acclaimed to be goddesses, not that betraying your own wife is forgivable in part of the world. Rajputs are known to place their honor higher than their lives and Rajput women proved the same.
According to history written during that time, it is said that women use to put on their bridal attires, including the jewellery and jump into the fire pit along with their children so that the army of the enemy couldn’t possess them. It was said that they prefer dying over being enslaved by those rulers who meant to attack their kingdom. According to the movie, Allaudinn Khilji came to know about Padmavati through Raghat Chetan, who was a priest in the Rajput kingdom of Chittor, but later was banished from the kingdom for secretly interfering a private moment between Ratan Singh and Rani Padmavati. After being abolished from the kingdom, he wandered through the desserts of chittor and came across the dynasty of Alludinn Khilji. The story in the movie is a little bit twisted than what is said to be the original story, where the Khilji ruler heard about Rani Padmavati’s beauty through a talking parrot. There are many such beliefs about the story which are said to be a little off from the movie. Not many people knew about the ritual Jauhar, before the movie was released and not many people heard the name of Rani Padmavati. Each and every part of our country has its own story from the historic period which many of us haven’t heard about. Just like Jauhar, many women were forced to perform Sati, which is also a Hindu ritual performed in the ancient days. After the death of the spouse, widows were forced to burn themselves by lying above their late partner’s corpse during the funeral. Back in the day everyone believed that women were only meant to be wives, so their existence wouldn’t have any further goal in life after one’s husband died. Fortunately such rituals are not being followed in the present day.
Women today are conquering the world with their fearless personality and are also respectful towards their spouse and family. Family values are still being taught, many favourable customs and rituals are still being followed, but women are no more being sacrificed in vain. Education is helping them to mentally build themselves and to achieve what they are passionate about. Queens from the ancient history like Rani Padmavati will never forgotten, who sacrificed themselves for the dignity of whole tribe and kingdom. Not all women in today’s time are crowned but each one of them is for sure a queen. Queens, who struggle every day against the world for their rights. Who know their worth and have decided, to not to settle for anything less than what they deserve. Who knows, that one day they will not have to settle for less, who knows that one day they will not have to explain the reason behind their action, who knows that they will receive love and respect they deserve without the need of asking for it. So to all the queens reading this right, I am proud of you, for how far you have come till now despite all the barriers. Keep moving forward with that confidence with your head held high and never look back, you will truly achieve whatever your heart desires for.