The film was set in the year 1938 when India was still under the rule of the British colonists.
It was set when child marriage was a common practice and the widows did not have a say in
the society. Chuyia who is an eight year old girl who had been married off at a younger age
becomes a widow as a result of the death of her husband. She is dressed in a white sari as a
tradition of widowhood. She also has her hair shaved then she is then left in an asharam
where she is supposed to spend her life in renunciation as the tradition demands. Other
women who have been widowed also face the same fate as the tradition requires. The
Madhumati is the ruler of the ashram who is a pompous lady who is in her 70s. Chuyia’s
only friend is the pimp Gulabi who is a Hijra that keeps madhumati supplied with cannabis.
Gulabi also helps Madhumati prostitute Lalyani who is a beautiful young widow by making
sure that she is ferried to the place where the customers are located. Kalyani is forced into
prostitution as a teenager so that she could support the ashram. Shakuntala is wittly, attractive
and sharp as she is one of the windows that is literate. She is even able to stop Madhumati
and she is caught up between her hatred of being a widow and being a god fearing woman.
She seeks the advice of the priest who informs her on how she is supposed to deal with her
situation. Chuyia has the hope that her position as a widow is only temporary and that her
mother will come for her soon. She then befriends Kalyani and she is able to witness the
romance that the latter has with Narayan. Chuyia however accidentally reveals the affair to
Madhumati. She is then traumatized and catalonic. Chuyia is then sent to prostitute as a
replacement for Kalyani.
The film is a culmination of the cultural issues that were rife in the Indian culture before
civilization came up. There are cases where the young widows were being prostituted as a
way of supporting the leader of the Asharam which is home that houses the young widows as
the culture demands. The movie shows the problems that the young widows used to face in
India. There are some societies that still practice this archaic and outdated practice. The other
aspect of culture that comes up in the movie is the marriage of the young girls that messes up
with their future. The movie also shows the popular Indian dance that is coupled with songs.
Indians love music and dance and that has clearly been shown in the movie. The Indians that
watch the movie will like the movie and they will also identify with it because it is
representative of their culture. The movie is also showing the fact that that the religious
leaders are held in high regard in the Indian culture. The movie also shows that there is
prostitution in the Indian society which is a sad statement of affairs that is supposed to be
dealt with for the betterment of the society. For instance Chuyia is forced to prostitute as a
way of supporting the leader of the asharam despite the fact that she is not willing to do it.
Kalyani also takes part in the prostitution which is one of the sad part about the Indian
I think the movie is a representation of the Indian culture and it is important because it shows
the bad things that are supposed to be eliminated to ensure that the people in the society live a
good and comfortable life. The movie is also entertainment as it appeals to the emotions of
the audience. The authorities in the India are supposed to look for ways of dealing with
various issues that affect the people in the society.
Water By Deepa Mehta [Video file]. (2019, January 6). Retrieved from