Taaza Khabar: Manju Visits Temple
Director: Bishakha Datta; Cinematographer: Ranu Ghosh
Duration: 00:09:34; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 47.168; Saturation: 0.088; Lightness: 0.305; Volume: 0.196; Cuts per Minute: 3.762
Summary: Part of the footage of the film Taaza Khabar directed by Bishakha Datta and produced by Nirantar. The film is about the journey of a team of all women journalists of Khabar Lahariya (a grassroots newspaper published by the women themselves) through several obstacles. The determined efforts are to ensure the 62nd issue of Khabar Lahariya reaches its readers on time. The women are from Chitrakoot district in U.P. who report stories that find no space in mainstream media. It also portrays how these women have created their own space and established their identity in a context where patriarchy and caste-based discriminations are dominant. In this event, Manju visits a temple and gets to know the history of sati from the priest.
road, jeep, sati,
Cows walk past a long winding road where there is a board that shows the route to the ashram of Sati Anusuya [Sati refers to a woman who is extremely devoted to her husband. Anusuya was a very pious and devoted wife, and hence is revered as "Sati Anusuya" - the chaste wife. The Sati Anusuya ashram is located in the Chitrakoot district of UP, which is further upstream the Mandakini River, 16 km from the town, set amidst thick forests.]
Manju, a Khabar Lahariya journalist, visits the Sati Anasuya temple and gains information from one of the priests about the place, its history and the story behind it. The priest explains and shows her the various panels that represent this history, like Anusuya's kanyadaan to Atri, her prospective husband [In the Hindu religion, Kanyadaan refers to the handing over of the daughter by her father to her prospective groom] and the members of her family - Anusuya's father Kardam Rishi, her mother Devahooti, her nine sisters and one brother and the story of the Trinity test [Legend has it that the wives of the three Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were jealous of Anusuya's loyalty to her husband. They requested their husbands to go and break her "Pativrata" (being loyal to one's husband all the time). So Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva arrived at the ashram to test the strength of her devotion to her husband. At that time, Rishi Atri was not at home. They took the guise of Brahmins and asked Anusuya for bhiksha (the customary food that Brahmins would beg for from householders) but they put one condition that she would give them the diksha in an undressed state. Only in front of a baby can a woman be undressed without losing her decorum and thus using her powers gained by her devotion to her husband, Anusuya agreed and turned the three gods into babies.]
Manju visits the interior of the temple where Sati Anusuya's idol is placed. The interiors are colorful and decorative, with shades of pink all around emphasizing the presence of a female goddess.
kanyadan, marriage, mother, sister,
priest, altar, idol
Many women devotees are seen sounding the bell outside the temple, moving along in a line, awaiting their turn to pay their respects. Manju, too goes and sounds the bell twice, loud and clear, before walking away from the camera.