Punjabi TV business’s doyen nonetheless making her presence felt

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 20

Husband: Ni ajj ki banaya?
Wife: Zeher
H: O Tun khaa laeen, meri roti ajj bahar hai
W: Phitte muh tera, eho jehe da

Remember these dialogues from Ashiqui Mittran Di, a skit that includes Harbhajan Jabbal and Jatinder Kaur?

Actor, activist and feminist Jatinder Kaur made the character immortal. While remembering these days, she stated: “Odon lokan nu hor kisam diyan jananiyan vekhan di umeed si. Bholiyan, chup kitiyan, mardan de pairan heth rehan valiyan. Main role kardi si tikkhi, zyada bolan vali te laraaki aurat da. Pind diyan aurtan mennu kehndiyan san tusi sadde dil di gal kar rahe ho, jo asi darde keh nahi sakde” (Back then, folks had hopes of seeing different sort of girls. Those who have been docile, submissive, silent and domineered by their males. I performed a girl who was outspoken and feisty. Women in villages would inform me I’m saying issues of their coronary heart, issues that we are able to’t say out of worry).”

In the ’80s and ’90s, TV screens in Punjab’s houses lit up along with her commanding presence on DD Jalandhar (then referred to as Jalandhar Doordarshan) as an outspoken spouse. Kaur performed mom, spouse and grand-mother and one-half of the hit DD couple which regaled the Punjabi viewers all by means of the DD’s golden interval. Her in style act ushered in an period of a feminism of kinds on the Punjabi tv, introducing a girl who informed a person his place and prodded girls to talk up, thus empowering them.

Brought up in a conservative family amid a deeply patriarchal society, Jatinder Kaur went on to win accolades as an actor along with her on-screen exuberance and assertive presence. A theatre particular person at coronary heart, she was mentored onto stage by the legendary socialist playwright Gursharan Singh, lovingly referred to as Bhai Manna Singh.

“Apne haq khovo, baaghi hoke inquilaab leaao,” (struggle on your rights, be a insurgent and produce within the revolution), these phrases whispered to her by Gursharan Singh altered the trail of her life. Taking to appearing as a response to the subversion of ladies, she spent her early years torn by the innuendos and insinuations directed at her by regressive friends. For them, appearing was “Kanjaran wale kamm” (a low standing occupation).

Jatinder Kaur says: “Back then, if boys arrived late from the school, no one would say a thing. But if girls got late by even 15 minutes, they would be bombarded with questions. Men were privileged. I often questioned what wrongs had the girls done. Why this discrimination being meted out to us. Mere andar ik saad rehnda hunda si, eh galla main kihnu dassan, kitthe karan (A fire was burning inside me, I didn’t know who do I say these things to and where). Then I met Gursharan bhaji, after which things started changing. I felt I had reached my destination. Before meeting him, I bothered a lot about people. He taught me to live life on my terms, snatch my rights and not accept what people had decided for me.”

Kaur says: “I worked with him for 15 years. He actually cared what women felt. On my first village play with him, the audience comprised only men. Bhaji asked them: ‘Where are the women, I have come for them. My real audience is missing.’ I realised someone is there fighting for us, for our honour and our place in the social set up which tries to exclude us. That gave me strength and courage.”

Hailing from Amritsar, Kaur has spent 20 years of her life working with Doordarshan Jalandhar. She was among the many iconic DD actors who gained legendary standing, incomes an enormous reputation among the many state populace. She was part of Doordarshan’s first ever serial, ‘Supne te Parchanve’. Jatinder Kaur and Harbhajan Jabbal have been additionally the enduring couple and indispensable DD entertainers who churned out a number of hits. Starting with ‘Mennu Sunai Nahi Dinda’, they moved onto collection comparable to ‘Surmai Shaam’, ‘Kach Diyan Mundran’, ‘Rang Birangi’, amongst others. People wrapped up their work early to get free to observe them on TV within the night time. Such was their charisma that to this date, many mistake them for an precise couple. “I actually went to a live interview, carrying a portrait of my real husband to tell them who my husband is. Even now, sometimes people mistake Jabbal as my husband. At a recent film shoot, a board outside my vanity read ‘Madam Jatinder Jabbal’. I asked them who was that lady because my name is Jatinder Kaur,” she shares laughing.

Her marriage to Surinder Singh additionally concerned the position of theatre. “I played a courtesan in Gursharan bhaji’s play called ‘Maas Lai Lao Maas’. It was a hard-hitting play, aimed at niche audience of writers, intellectuals, academics, etc, and not everyone would understand it. I asked this guy I liked to watch it. I knew a conservative and narrow-minded man wouldn’t be able to sit through it. So if he got up, I’d know his character. But not only did he sit through it, he appreciated it. I went on to marry that man,” she shares.

Though her in-laws by no means accepted her (they didn’t like her occupation) and fiercely opposed the union, her husband has remained a continuing assist all by means of her profession, backing her artwork.

Tending to her household amid pandemic

  • Having been honoured with many awards, theatre nonetheless stays Jatinder Kaur’s favorite medium, due to a gentle stream of significant roles by means of which she continues to make her presence felt in Punjabi movies.
  • A doting grandmother, she has been tending to her household throughout the pandemic. She was capturing for a movie, ‘Main Vyaah Nahi Karauna’, that includes Sonam Bajwa and Gurnam Bhullar, earlier than it needed to be left halfway because of the lockdown. The capturing for her subsequent movie is scheduled to start out in October.

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