English Vinglish

Decent Essays
English Vinglish is an Indian comedy drama film that revolves around Shashi (Sridevi), a homemaker, a wife and a mother of two children. Sashi Godbole, apart from managing her household which she regards as her first priority, runs a small business of selling ladoos. Her assiduous work in her home is taken for granted by her husband Satish and daughter Sapna.
Satish is a charming man but not so charming when he discredits her wife’s ladoo business and asks her to close it down. However, what saddens her the most is her incapacity to speak English which is often ridiculed by both her husband and daughter.
Sashi, juggling between her insecurity as an individual and homemaker, is soon faced by the challenge of traveling
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She even recognizes making and selling ladoos as her only passion. However, does Satish take pride in the small business being run by his wife? No. “Tum ye sab ladoo-wadoo ka business chodd kyun nahi deti?” is his response.
From time to time, he can be seen looking down upon his wife for selling ladoos. When their son Sagar insists that he would accompany his mother to New York, Satish says,
“Toh theek. School mat jao phir ghar me baith ke ladoo banana padega.” In another instance when everyone is enjoying Sashi’s ladoos, Satish remarks, “Meri biwi paida hi ladoo banane ke liye hui thi.” Sashi expresses her displeasure for that statement, nevertheless her husband continues to joke about it. Hence, her passion was either undermined, regarded as an unintellectual job or associated with her existence.

Social rebellion and Empowerment
So, if English Vinglish focuses on the real-life issue of the position of women in the domestic and social spheres in India and takes charge of the issue of women’s role in a society still suffering from the colonial mindset where people’s worth is judged on the base of
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Not so much. Gauri Shindey’s movie is definitely an eye-opener as far as persistence of gender roles and linguistic hegemony is concerned. It may also lead you to think that it “smashes patriarchal norms”. But does it? Motherhood is still considered a central tenet of female identity. This becomes starkly evident when Sashi’s son gets hurt and she fails to attend him immediately because of her English class. She cries frantically as if she has committed a crime, feels guilty that how she can neglect her family and think about herself. She declares that her priority in life is her responsibility towards her family and not her own happiness. Sashi’s choice of coming back with her husband can evoke multiple interpretations.
We might wonder whether this decision is prompted by her respect towards Indian values and roots or it is the patriarchal ideology that she has internalized all through her life which makes her compromise with her own desires and priorities.
English being the lingua franca in India has established itself so firmly that even in the movie
Sashi attains a sense of pride and worth after she delivers the moving speech in English at her niece’s wedding for which she got a distinction by her teacher. However, India’s
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