“I can’t live in my past” remarked Zain, “and I can’t let go of it” replied Alisha.  

Shakun Batra’s directorial Gehriyaan was a masterclass in brevity. It weaved the past lives of the characters with the present with such finesse that we traversed the depth they had within them. 

Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Alisha (Deepika Padukone) spared no effort to conquer the demons of the past, yet they often fell back on the same. When the flirtatious gazes unrolled into ferocious passion, they let go of their inhibitions and gave each other a glance of what’s buried deep inside them.


At no point in Gehraiyaan did I feel that it detracted from painting reality. Out of the many tales told, the one shared by Zain struck me hard as it encapsulated the plight of women in abusive marital relationships. 

And as Alisha sank deeper into Zain (and us into them), she wanted to know the story behind the mark on his forehead. At that precise moment, he opened up about his abusive childhood.  

At the age of six, he was sent to a boarding school, which kept him detached from his family. He was aware of his father being an alcoholic, and that his mother had been suffering from domestic violence as a result of his father’s aggressive drinking.

But it aggravated when he went home on a vacation and vividly saw his dad physically abusing his mother. 

And the scar on forehead was a gift presented to him by his father as a ‘special prize for caring.’

This conversation between the two underscored why women choose to stay in abusive marriages. Women in every society are conditioned to be the custodian of family pride.

“Ghar ki izzat” and “Log kya kahenge’ are the primary reasons why women resist to be vocal about the abuse they are subjected to and bear the consequences of others’ misdoings in silence.

Regrettably, women accept abuse as their fate and, even if compelled, refuse to be rescued.

It’s not for the first time, many films and shows have previously confronted this crux of the issue in their unique ways. But not quite as succinctly as Shakun Batra. Few words, in a little while, were sufficient to offer you a graphic idea of what is being conveyed without feeling rushed. 

You can watch Gehraiyaan on Amazon Prime Video