3- Jocasta?

I continue to look at the men in her life, this is the third part. However before I enter the subject, I will (as per my habit) digress.

The Movie Industry is we know full of scandalous relationships, we have every type of otherwise relations romancing others. We have one making love with sister in law, (both types, wife’s sister, or brother’s wife)


However as on date they had been quite careful not to romance the blood relatives, you will never find an uncle romancing a niece or brother romancing a sister, even cousins, all the relations are with in law.


How many ways one can have a relationship on which the society would frown upon? the not even in law but out law-ed relationship? 

We all know of the Oedipus complex, as per Freud, this is the natural (and universal) identification of one with the same gender parent i.e. boy with father and girl with her mother, and hence, as they grow up, to enter into a relationship with the parent of the opposite sex. Later Gustav Jung confined this term to only males whereas in young girls this complex was termed by him as Electra complex.

To refresh, Oedipus was the child of Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes. The oracle of Delphi had predicted that the newborn will not only kill him (the father) but also marry his own biological mother. Both the revelation were equally shocking and scandalous, so he ordered the infant to be killed. However the people entrusted the job, didn’t do a proper work and when they left, the child was still alive, though barely, and had died of bleeding but for a passer-by (of a neighbouring kingdom), who saw him and took to his king, who being childless adopted.

The fellow grew up and then once in a road-rage (that happens today, it looks it did then too, but the races of Ben Hur and other movies does say it did). He went into a fight with another and killed the chariot driver and the passenger (who happened to be Laius, his father).

While wandering he met the Sphinx who was terrorising the neighbouring kingdom (which was his father’s and now could have been his). He managed to answer the riddles of the sphinx and thereby rid the kingdom of him. Happy the people made him the king and married him to the widow of the late king fulfilling the prophecy. Later he came to know and the mother committed suicide etc isn’t important here.

Thus the boy stalking his mother with obvious intentions is the Oedipus complex. And the poor woman, victim of it all was Jocasta.

As against it, the Electra Syndrome is, also from Greek mythology, related to the war of Troy, or its aftermath, as told in Iliad. Agamemnon, the Brother in law of Helen and the king after the annihilation and destruction of Troy, was killed on return by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon (with Clytemnestra) later revenged her father’s murder by killing her mother and her lover (Aegisthus), may or may not with her brother as aide.

So it is the Son in love resulting/or not in relationship with mother or genders reversed (of course the Electra is supposed to be a bit more complex than the simple Oedipus, but that is out of my syllabii. Only reference is for that it touches on my current thought process. 

In addition we have the incest, where the siblings enter into a relationship.
Now let us see how our Nutan has maintained the social norms, or had she? Her relationship with her men had been scandalous to say the least. She had in fact broken all the norms possible.

Marrying her son (Jocasta)

This was late in her life, but she did that,


This is that marriage. In the enthusiasm, added a few indelible portions. Who can ever forget the helpless rage of the woman, who had been lured into the fake love and marriage, and then when the purpose is solved, and she is for first time in selfless, deep and hopelessly in love, thrown off like what we say in Hindi, a fly from a glass of milk discarded without a thank you, and that too with the blame on her unblemished character, by the person she had truly fallen in love with. And the scene towards the last, when that person comes begging.

The feeling of hurt and hate which comes when one still cares a bit is there on the face, in absence of that soft corner, it would have been a rage. Show me an actor which can express this feeling, of hating a person who had wound her beyond repair, but unfortunately she still had a tiny soft corner towards him, whom she truly loved. The face speaks.

In her list of masterpieces people forget of this movie. Like Bandini this one also ranks on the top, and considering here she got in fact less than a third screen time. The movie was of Amitabh’s escapades, and his travails with second wife, Phool Bano (Padma Khanna). The exploited first wife Mehjubeen was the part of the story, or was it? Did it turn up to be the highlight of the movie? But that was the reason why the biggies (heroes) would have nothing to do with her. In this movie, she has dialogues to mouth, unlike the silent speeches of Bandini, but when she doesn’t have them, and in fact others are speaking, still she, as per her habit, speaks eloquently.

And the travesty of it all—that year’s filmfare award is won by- of all Dimple Kapadia in Bobby. She co-owned the award with Jaya in Abhiman, who, agreed acted well. But comparatively, can she stand anywhere near this performance? Can she do this? Can anyone do it? The Abhimaan type role was a chickenfeed for Nutan, or in fact it was a pure Meena Kumari type role.  

Of course it was all a joke that year – Nutan was nominated for main as well as supporting actress roles, and she didn’t get any. This movie was nominated for academy awards (Oscars), where it really didn’t stand a chance. It didn’t even get a nomination to finals (won ultimately by a French movie, “La Nuit américaine

Even the nomination was done in an inexplicable manner. Whether it deserved awards or not I am not talking about, but in that year, it didn’t win a single national award and still got a nomination in Academy. The best actress national award went to a heroine from south, Nandini Bhaktavatsala (Kannada). There were, and are, very good regional language movies and having not seen this movie, I will not comment on whether it was merited or not. I would rather point again that a movie that wasn’t considered good enough by national jurors (and this award is not box office, but by eminent experts), was nominated by the same machine for the Jules Rimet trophy.

Now coming back to our Nutan, and her anti-social affairs, can anyone guess actual reason behind this divorce? It was because like Jocasta she found that her husband is actually her son, of course courtesy some locket. Luckily she didn’t follow Jocasta way (go inside and hang herself) but preferred for a not too silent, nor too quiet divorce.


Was it the only time she crossed social norm? Of course not, she seems to be caring two hoots for all this. If this was where one would say that it was actually same actor, then I have something else.

What about romancing/ marrying actual father and son? And that she did more than once.

First time the father, being quite senior to her, and almost feeling like a guardian tried to avoid her. He even practically said so and as far as possible tried to have nothing to do with her.


But would she be reined by a mere mortal like him? She used all the arrows in her armour, threatening, pleading, even supplicating,


Till at last, after all he was human, and she was beautiful, he succumbed. Though to his credit, he did make a last ditch effort to escape and go underground. But she wasn’t going to let that happen and not only traced him at the place he had escaped but pulled him up and took him with her.


At a much later date, I found her having a life of domestic bliss, not as a mother, but as a wife to his own, and thereby her own, son. And here with the new husband (who is also her son) she had a couple of kids (Will they be defacto grandchildren?) and a dog too is thrown around. Almost duplicating the Oedipus mythology (only Jocasta had four children with Oedipus and here she stopped at two, the social frown at large families must have put the brake?)


Even for a moment we must not think it stopped here. Since it is clear that she still had her feelings and flings with the father (earlier husband, now father in law). Obviously she wasn’t going to forgive and forget her first love so soon. She managed to hook the father again, this time it needed a bit more effort, and finally she eloped with him.


With this attitude I just couldn’t believe that was the end of it, so I researched further and was I right. She continues her escapades. While still married (to his father? !) she wins him over again, then finally when she manages to get widowed, supplicates him,


And then they (mother and son) settle down together in a (not very blissful, at least the much allowed in the masala- family movies) married life,


However my sleuths couldn’t find what happened to the two (grand) children and the dog that were the results (not the dog of course) of the first marriage with the son. Looks to have been put in some orphanage? Or left on roads to fend for themselves?


It is a light hearted and bordering on scandalous take on Nutan. However we can say things of our Nutan (though same isn’t true if others’ try). I have heard a saying like this of Imperial time British – forgot the exact quote.

11 thoughts on “3- Jocasta?”

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