… However, one is tempted to ask, whatever happened to Tomar’s daughter – the little girl who after being born just silently fades away from the script as well as our memory? We see fleeting glimpses of the adolescent girl, but we don’t see her studying. As far as one can tell from the film itself, she neither grows up, nor is educated, nor marries, unlike her brother Hanumanta. She just disappears! In fact, she remains unnamed throughout the film. When Tomar is home after another stint abroad, Tomar’s wife (Mahie Gill), wanting to be alone with her husband, instructs their son Hanumanta to leave the house for a while, simultaneously reminding him to take his sister along, “behen ko saath le jao“, and that is the last we hear of the girl.
I am tempted to read these silences in conjunction with the low premium placed on the lives of little girls in most parts of north India. When the script writers are commended for admirably capturing the local flavour, one is chillingly reminded of the fact that Morena (the district that Tomar hailed from) has one of the worst Child Sex Ratios in the country. Further, this district is notorious for a history of female infanticide, and also has male-female ratios which are increasingly skewed for the upper caste Tomars.