Gudiya Rani

Seconds tick by quickly and fluid, unstoppable time transports us further and further away into the progress-seeking future. Change has seeped into almost every walk of life. We witness it in the vibrating handset that transmits feelings across borders, in the eerily perceptive gadgets that understand our needs better than we do, in the internet sites that double up as maids, therapists, teachers and friends. And don’t we just love moving along, piggy-backing on the hands of time, into the ‘developed’ future?

Yet, in another world, a world unsettlingly familiar and strangely impervious to the allure of change, all is not hunky-dory.  This is a world of injustice and irrationality, hate and violence, and sadly it is a world from which we cannot distance ourselves. The responsibility of breeding and feeding these vile elements lie with us, and now they cling on to us and drag us away from the future we yearn for. Our minds are tired of inhabiting two paradoxical worlds. It craves for freedom from the one filled with negativity, and yet, it cannot be set free.

Because we choose to not set it free.

‘Gudiya Rani,’ a project by NSPA artist Tushar Maithani, explores one such perilous and widespread evil- patriarchy. This evil is entrenched in our consciousness and makes us disrespect, ill-treat and subjugate the “weaker sex,” pun intended. ‘Gudiya Rani’ explores the effect of patriarchy on the life of a girl, what it does to her and how to cripples her dreams and curbs her freedom. A moving project, the creation of it is as inspiring as its message. Here’s how it came about, in the words of the maker himself, Tushar Maithani;

“Trying to bring my passion into the class I did a song writing session with my students about three months back. We started off with discussing and brainstorming on several topics kids wanted to write about and finally settled on one-Girl child.

Kids threw in random thoughts and ideas and kept jotting them down. I continuously refined their sentences and provided them with better words and phrases. After three similar sessions we came up with a beautiful song-Gudiya Rani.

I wanted to take up this project formally involving professionals mainly for two reasons – One, people don’t listen to an amateur song no matter how strong the social cause is ; and secondly, I wanted kids to know and experience firsthand all the steps involved in creation of a song.”

This led to a collaboration with the Natural Streets For Performing Arts(NSPA) which provided the required funding for the project, music director, Amar Nath and singer, Ritika Parmeshwar.

We hope that this video helps people realize that the girl child too is human, with feelings, hopes and ambitions. We also hope it will motivate people to look at the girl child with love and respect, for she is and always be our ‘Gudiya Rani.’

Watch the video here: Gudiya Rani