Kartik Aryan starrer film Pati Patni Aur Woh which appears to normalise marital rape is an assault on our sensibilities

Pati Patni Aur Woh film releases on 6th December (image: indiatvnews.com)

Move aside, Kabir Singh, new ‘Abhinav Tyagi’ from ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ is the new poster boy of cringe. For the uninitiated, trailer of the film ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ starring Bhumi Pednekar, Kartik Aryan and Ananya Panday was released on Sunday. What one assumes would be a collection of done and dusted ‘married-man-lusting-after-another-woman’ jokes format, quickly turns into an assault on sensibilities as soon as Aryan’s signature monologue ends.

The film which releases on 6th December, talks about Abhinav Tyagi, who followed his father’s wishes and got married to Vedika Tripathi as per his wishes as well. Except, now he has a colleague, Tapasya Singh and feels like he is ‘jailed’ in his married life. The usual things that stopped being funny in 1990s.

Abhinav Tyagi dabbles through his wife at home, who he’s perhaps bored of, and this new colleague, who he lusts after. At around 1 minute 10 second into the trailer, Kartik Aryan playing role of Abhinav Tyagi has another monologue with a few innuendos. It goes something like this:

Biwi se sex maange toh bhikhari, biwi ko sex na dein to hum atyachari. Aur kisi tarah jugaad laga ke sex haansil kar le na toh balatkari bhi hum hai. Apni khushi apne haath mein hoti hai (makes a fist), Rizvi. If I ask my wife for sex, I am a beggar and if we deny sex to wife, we are cruel. If somehow we manage to have sex with them despite this, then we are also accused of being rapists. Our happiness is in our own hands, Rizvi.”

Rizvi replies how this ‘happiness in own hands’ (reference to masturbation) is something that is valid before one gets married, right?

Read: Explained – the Marital Rape law debate for the rest of us

Because marriage is all about sex, right? And of course, let us also normalise marital rape on the celluloid while we are at it.

Before anyone comes to me with daggers asking me to not read too much between the lines in a movie which is nothing but fiction, let me remind you of another movie which was recently released and normalised domestic abuse and toxic relationships. Ashwani Kumar aka Johnny Dada, a ‘Tik Tok star’ murdered a girl he was obsessed with after he found out she was going to marry someone else. He later committed suicide. He was heavily influenced by Kabir Singh and would regularly post dialogues from the movie on his social media platform. Kabir Singh, other than the fact that it was criminally boring, also glorified and normalised abusive behaviour in relationships.

Unfortunately, bad jokes on ‘wife’ and ‘marriage’ are not the only thing that feels like assault on your sensibilities. Without getting into the legal discussion about the laws regarding marital rape or how the laws must be framed so that they are fair to both men and women, the normalisation of marital rape itself is troublesome. Kartik Aryan normalising marital rape, while a majority of Indians live in denial of marital rapes, while spouting ‘jokes’ is yet another step in normalising abusive behaviour. That too when Indian law does not recognise marital rape as a crime.

Nirwa Mehta: Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.
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