Hinduism and Indian Culture in Mohabbatein
Mohabbatein has endless examples of Indian culture and Hindu religion within its seemingly never ending movie plot. This can probably be attributed to the fact that the movie takes place in India. One theme of Indian culture that constantly reappeared was women’s roles in the family and in society.
In Hinduism people believe they must lead a dharmic lifestyle. To lead a dharmic life you must adhere to the lifestyle that was laid down for you even before you had been born. One must listen to and follow the rules of the caste they were born into. Women are expected to follow their husbands where ever they may go and always remain faithful to them. An amazing example of a woman being dharmic and remaining faithful to her husband can be found in the text Ramayana. In the Ramayana Sita follows Rama throughout his banishment even though he begs her to stay.
This kind of devotion and dharmic living can be found in Mohabbatein when Kiran stays in her husband’s home with his family even though she knows there isn’t a way he could still be alive. She stays inside all day, keeping mostly to herself while at night she goes to the train station and waits for the husband she knows will never be getting off another train. Another example of a woman trying to live dharmicly in Mohabbatein can be found when Megha tried to forget about Raj Aryan when her father, Narayan Shankar asked her to. She tried to but it didn’t work and so the plot of the film was born when Megha killed herself for not being able to soften her father’s heart.
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Another way dharma is represented in Mohabbatein is shown by Megha when she takes care of her father. Each morning she would pray (another dharmic responsibility) and serve her father breakfast. Sanjana does the same thing when she calls her father that he looks “stupid, fat, and ugly”. It may seem cruel but Sanjana was taking care of her father when she did that no matter how mean it may have seemed.
Throughout the seasons represented in Mohabbatein many different Hindu holidays are celebrated. The first was the festival Holi. Holi takes place at the end of winter when spring is just beginning to peak its head through. During Holi people throw colorful water and powder at each other in celebration. Children love this most of all. When Holi is celebrated in Mohabbatein the boys, Karan, Sameer, and Vicky have just recently realized that they have fallen in love with Kiran, Sanjana, and Ishika. They spend their holiday of Holi throwing powders at the girls as well as each other and breaking out into song and dance.
Diwali is celebrated in Mohabbatein near the end of the movie. Diwali is the festival lights. During Diwali people commemorate the return of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana from Rama’s f year banishment. When Rama had originally returned the people of Ayodhya as they rejoiced. In Mohabbatein Diwali is celebrated at night with lots of lights and dancing with the girls that the boys had now successfully won over even if Narayan Shankar doesn’t approve.
During the movie you never get to see a wedding take place but previously to the story beginning Kiran had been married and widowed. Several times during Mohabbatein Kiran is seen at the train station wearing the traditional Hindu wedding garb waiting for her husband to return from the military. She wears a red, white, and gold sari, which is traditionally given to the bride from the groom shortly before the beginning of the wedding ceremony. Henna is applied to her hands and feet something that is traditionally applied a few days before the wedding is to take place with the bride’s family. In the end of Mohabbatein Kiran’s sister in law opens her father in laws eyes that Kiran’s husband is dead and that she deserves a chance to be something other than a widow. And so now Kiran and Karan can be together.
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Hinduism, like most other religions of both today and the past, has various rituals preformed throughout the year and throughout the day. In the Mohabbatein Megha is seen preforming Puja or worshipping a particular god or gods each morning after she has woken and cleaned up. Typically families will have a shrine within their house dedicated to a group of deities where simple worship is performed. Often worship includes offerings such as light, water, fruit, and incense. Often a ritual called the lamp ritual or Aarti is preformed after the daily Puja of the individual has concluded.
Surya Namaskar is seen depicted in Mohabbatein several times throughout the movie. It is first shown the morning after the boys arrive at Gurkul. They are in their room presumably preparing for the day ahead of them when they hear a voice outside chanting. One of the three opens the window where Narayan Shankar is seen preforming some of the twelve poses.
Mohabbatein is an India Bollywood film, so of course Indian and Hindu culture constantly appears within the scenes of the movie. Mohabbatein translates into multiple loves or love stories. Love in India was traditionally something that was to be arranged and not discovered. But somhow Raj Aryan, Karan, Megha, Sameer, and Vicky managed to prove that sometimes finding love isn’t such a bad thing after all.