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The Goddess as Role ModelSita and Radha in Scripture and on Screen$
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Heidi R. M. Pauwels

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369908.001.0001

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 The Threat of the Other Woman

 The Threat of the Other Woman

Free‐Spirited Śūrpaṇakhā and Sophisticated Kubjā

(p.313) 5 The Threat of the Other Woman
The Goddess as Role Model

Heidi R. M. Pauwels (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 studies how goddesses cope with the threat of “the other woman.” It compares free‐spirited Shurpanakha's attempt to seduce Rama with the Gopis’ jealousy for sophisticated Kubja, Krishna's lover in Mathura. The older versions tended towards the burlesque with some problematic behavior of the heroes, which later versions downplay. Shurpanakha becomes the negative example of the vamp who is punished severely, we hardly hear about Sita's reaction. The Gopis’ jealousy of Kubja is extensively described in the medieval sources, but the televised version turns Kubja into an exemplary devotee and completely erases the erotic aspects of the encounter with Krishna. Contemporary films too tend to turn such co‐wives into long‐suffering devotees, absolving the men from all blame and recommending self‐sacrifice in the interest of their men for wife and lover alike. Movies discussed are Hamara Dil aapke paas hai, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Devdas, Main Tulsi tere aangan ki, and Souten.

Keywords:   Shurpanakha, Kubja, vamp, co‐wife, jealousy, Hamara Dil aapke paas hai, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Devdas, Main Tulsi tere aangan ki, Souten

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