After a tiring day at work, I go back home, have dinner, and hit the bed and that is when the doomscrolling starts. The Instagram explore page looks like a tempting rabbit hole and my gullible self just keeps falling in deeper and deeper with each scroll. It was during one of these sessions that I stumbled upon the Chudail universe created by Majedar Kahani.
These videos feature different chudails and each chudail has their own origin story. Originally the target audience of these videos were kids who wanted to watch horror stories, but now they pop up on everyone’s Instagram feeds. The animation is low-budget; it is jarring, and even pixelated and the voice-over just lacks emotion. Surprisingly it is these things that have made the videos enjoyable. As I watched the videos one after the other, I realised these women-turned-chudails are actually much better anti-heroes than what Bollywood often gives us and here’s why.
1. These women lead their own battles.
Bollywood is seeing a rise in women-centric movies. But the major flaw that these movies have is the fact that a man leads a woman’s fights. The woman is pushed to the sidelines while the man fights her battles and emerges like a messiah figure. In the chudail universe, these chudails need no one to fight their battles. They do it themselves.
2. Their fights are personal.
These chudails don’t really care what is happening around them. They embarked on this path for personal reasons, and quite interestingly, they stick to that and never stray from it. They are not heroes who wish to fight for anyone and everyone.
3. Every chudail has a purpose.
Take bald chudail as an example. Malini became a chudail after Birju shaved off her hair while she was asleep. The shock of this incident took her to her death bed and she went on a mission to avenge what happened to her. Think of it, an incident like this can shock someone to the core. The bald chudail took this journey with a purpose.
4. They have human-like qualities despite being supernatural creatures.
Take a look at this story where a mother turns into a chudail after smelling a flower. As a chudail, she wreaks havoc in the village. But when she sees her daughter who has come forward to help her, repressed feelings of motherhood take over and she does not attack her. As chudails the makers could have made them completely inept to understand emotions, but because they can understand them is what makes you side with them sometimes.
5. They are no saints, nor do they wish to be.
There’s one chudail in the chudail universe who stole a naagin‘s cake just because she was hungry and she saw a cake lying outside. The naagin had bought the cake to celebrate her son’s birthday. Technically speaking, what the chudail did equates to stealing. These chudails have flaws and that’s what makes them a perfect anti-hero.
6. They are flawed and maybe that’s what makes them likeable.
These chudails steal, wreak havoc, make mistakes, befriend the wrong forces and what not. They aren’t perfect humans. They lack heroic qualities and do not have a moral compass nor any idea of morality or selflessness that we often see in heroes. They are just flawed creatures. Unlike heroes who often win in the end, these chudails lose.
7. They are totally unpredictable.
I mean, who could have predicted that there would be a chudail who flies and steals burgers and would have fire coming out of ears because she cannot handle spice?!?!
BRB, going to watch another video from the chudail universe.