When Deepa Mehta’s film Fire released, it gave a hope that the journey for more such stories would be smooth. More than two decades later, the progress is still slow. However, it would be inaccurate to say that the situation is stagnant as the filmmakers are trying to produce more diverse and inclusive content and more same-sex stories are blooming on screen recently. While some of the stories end up showing an inaccurate account of such relationships, some also give the pivotal role to the male protagonist in a story that should celebrate the love between two women.
Here are some stories that attempt at focusing only on lesbian characters without them sharing the spotlight with any male protagonist.
Faraz Arif Ansari’s Sheer Qorma, starring Shabana Azmi, Divya Dutta and Swara Bhaskar, tells the story of a woman Noor and a non-binary person Rukhsar who embark on a journey to find love, going beyond their gender and identity. They face several societal obstacles including Noor’s (played by Dutta) mother opposing their relation as she deems it ‘unholy’. How the couple finally overcomes these prejudices form the crux of the beautiful tale of same-sex love and identity.
Firsts Season 3
Dice Media is known to produce fresh and unconventional stories and one such story is Firsts. The third season of the series written by Sulagna Chatterjee and directed by Bharat Misra revolves around Ritu (Shreya Gupto) and Lavanya (Himika Bose) who meet on Tinder and instantly click with each other. Their love blooms once Ritu moves in with Lavanya amid the pandemic. The duo starts a journey of their many ‘firsts’ as a same-sex couple, opens up to each other and comes out to the parent in this series of one-minute episodes.
The Married Woman
In The Married Woman, producer Ekta Kapoor took a break from portraying the ‘saas-bahu’ dynamics of women and explored a story of love between the show’s two leads. It follows Astha (Ridhi Dogra), a married woman whose life is no different from the stereotypical mother and wife. When she meets Piplika (Monica Dogra), a carefree woman, she starts breaking out of those societal norms and both find love within each other. Directed by Sahir Raza, The Married Woman is based on Manju Kapur’s novel of the same name, and it released on Alt Balaji this year on International Women’s Day.
The ‘Other’ Love Story
The ‘Other’ Love Story by Roopa Rao is credited as India’s first televised same-sex love story. It is set in the 90’s era where people are not yet completely dependent on cell phone and technology and love is conveyed through letters and cards. The story focuses on Aadya and Aachal’s journey of meeting, falling in love and mustering the courage to accept and fight for their love in an era where same-sex relationships are a taboo.
This series revolves around the love story of Ruhi and Simmi, who apart from fighting the prejudices of the society, also fight Puneet, a man who tries his best to break them up. Created by Vikram Bhatt, the first season focusses on BDSM relationships and the second season will focus on a lesbian love story.