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Grit and Grace. A woman’s strength on and off-screen

Revival of the fittest.

Not so long ago did we see a cinematic trend that used female lead characters as props to take their male leads forward in the storyline. I caught the show Aarya recently, and was amazed at the female protagonist (also the ‘hero’ of the story) played by Sushmita Sen. A real-life single mother to two beautiful girls and a fiercely protective mother of her three young kids on the show, there is perhaps nobody I know who could have been able to do justice to Aarya’s character.


Aarya is a happy person who enjoys the simple pleasures of life - waking up to a loving husband, looking after her kids, spending quality time with family - you know, all the things one could wish for in a happy household.

But as life would have it, Aarya’s happiness is short-lived. When fate betrays her and all goes wrong, she finds herself at the middle of several crises, some already gone out of hand, and some waiting like a time bomb to be triggered. It all starts with the death of her husband. Aarya finds that he had left certain projects unfinished and that led to a ton of outstanding loans. As the story unfurls, we are introduced to kith and kin, friends and foes, well-wishers as well as people who wish her in a well. Betrayed, lied to and left all alone, we find Aarya battling her way through this jigsaw puzzle of broken promises laced with debt.


Whether it was losing her husband, or realising that when it comes to money, nobody can be trusted, we see Aarya tackle life and its hurdles with the highest dignity. A life now circling with threats and trying circumstances, not for a moment do you see this strong woman break down and believe she can’t handle any part of it. Being thrown into a business that she wanted to stay away from, tying up all the loose ends, to even smaller almost forgotten nuances that could be easily ignored - such as ensuring her factory employees are paid, highlighting the characteristic of the protagonist as someone who respects all those who support her in her journey and reward them without forgetting to do so.


As we turn on another part of the story, we see how important money is, and how the lack of access to it makes Aarya think of creative ways to solve problems. Her anxiety peaks when her credit cards are blocked and she realises access to money is now tough, diving straight into the business and finances of her family to set straight what several men within her family and outside have left in tatters.

Not without its flaws, the show has done a beautiful job in portraying a woman of power, not powerful by virtue of wealth, not powerful by virtue of her degrees, but powerful in her emotions, her resilience, her strength and willingness to put finances in order, to deal with challenges and take them head on. The story also addresses the long lost struggle of actresses not ‘being able to’ handle a storyline in the absence of a ‘hero’. Aarya shows us the dynamic shift for the better in what is society’s perceived notion of a great story by breaking the barriers on what was believed to be true - a woman, single parent, looking after an empire - and slaying it!


I believe we all connect with our inner Aarya at some level. What makes it more so is that irrespective of where we are in our financial journey, we all look for that spark of independence - in thought and action. Basis is a community for women like you and me. A community that’s there with you through your financial journey irrespective of where you currently are and where you want to go.


This article is authored by Dipika Jaikishan, Co-founder & COO, Basis. All image rights reserved with Hotstar. #hotstar #sushmitasen #aarya #webseries #netflix #amazonprime #singleparent #financialindependence #financialfreedom #money

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