As Indian kids, I think we can all agree just how difficult it is to talk to your parents about certain things. From fashion choices to personal truths like gender identity and sexuality, it’s not easy having conversations about personal choices with desi parents. Our culture definitely makes it even harder for women to discuss their life and identity with their loved ones. Especially when it’s pertaining to our sexual orientation and identity. And that is exactly what Human, on Disney + Hotstar, addresses in one of its episodes.
The series stars the likes of Shefali Shah, Kirti Kulhari, Indraneil Sengupta and Shruti Bapna. It’s a medical thriller, that has depicted the dark side of the business of healthcare.
The plot is about reputed medical companies (hospitals and pharmaceuticals) running illegal biological experiments on people, with a complete disregard for human life. But amidst this storyline, is a sub-plot of a romantic relationship shown between Dr. Saira Sabharwal (Kirti kulhari) and Dr. Gauri Nath (Shefali Shah).
Throughout the series, they give us a flashbacks and insights into Saira’s childhood. How she grew up knowing she was attracted to women but her parents turned a blind eye to this reality. Though, saying they ‘turned a blind eye,’ is an understatement, her parents were in grave denial of the fact.
As a result, she struggles with professing the truth. Saira grows up developing a habit of blaming her sexual partners of coercing her into a relationship. It seemed like a bad defense mechanism born out of growing up in a society that marginalized and shamed her. And evidently, it started at home because her parents completely denied her identity.
In the last episode of the show, she’s seen desperately asking her parents to acknowledge her sexual identity. Forget acceptance, she’s only asking to be heard. But it’s heartbreaking and almost frustrating to watch her parents ignore her. Not only that, but they turn the television volume up to subside her admissions about being attracted to girls from a young age. The scene culminates with her raising her voice, begging her parents to simply see her for who she is – but her parents continue to turn a deaf ear, pretending as if she doesn’t exist.
The scene and Kulhari’s performance hit you hard, because of how authentic it seems. It’s a reflection of our society, the homes we grow up in, and how, many times our own parents don’t want to know who their children really are. Especially if our identities clash with the mentalities they grew up with.
You can watch the trailer for the show here.
Hopefully, with more inclusive roles and conversations like these, in our shows, we’ll see a change in the way parents accept their children.