An early scene in Vikas Bahl’s Queen reminded me of a similar one in Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). A young woman wants to take a journey by herself for the first time and asks her father if he’d let her go. In DDLJ, the London-born and bred Simran (Kajol) must chant prayers and appeal to the patriarch’s emotional side to let her ‘live’ the last month of her life before she’s carted off to Punjab to marry a stranger. “Kya aap meri khushi ke liye, meri apni zindagi se ek mahina bhi nahin de sakte?” she asks. The old man yields with the famous declaration, “Jaa Simran, jee le apni zindagi.”
Implicit in this line is the assumption that marriage is the end of a woman’s life (pun intended).