This article explores how women are constructed as a ‘space’ manufactured by men to seek comfort, but void of having any active agency or participation in that space itself. I seek to bring this out in this article by drawing a parallel between the nineteenth century ‘Bharat Mata’ (Mother India) and the depiction of the twenty-first century ‘heroine’ in Bollywood movies.
People looking for queer plots in Bollywood are sometimes disappointed, as the focus on marriage in many films seems to suggest that Bollywood is a conservative genre invested in sanctifying reproductive heteronormativity.
But whether you root for this couple or not, Little Things makes you think about the small things – like reading out a line from a book of poetry, sharing a friend’s WhatsApp message with your partner, forgetting to wash your dirty socks before they make the room stink – that make or break a relationship.
Artist Amanda Oleander’s paintings chronicles the everyday lives of couples and the various mundane things they do together that are simultaneously deeply intimate and poignant.