KM Sarjun’s 28-minute Tamil short Maa explores the repercussions of teenage pregnancy on an average Indian home. Though the message is preachy and underlined in bold, the film does amply reflect social realities.
Fifteen-year-old Ammu (Anikha) tells her mother hesitantly that she is pregnant after a sexual encounter with her schoolmate. Her mother Sathya (Kani Kusruti) is anguished, torn between her authoritative and conservative husband and her daughter’s pressing emotional needs. Ammu invites her father’s censure even when she wears shorts and goes to practice hockey, so telling him of her plight is unthinkable.
The film mostly steers clear from exploring female sexuality, but sheds light on the contradictions of a mother-daughter relationship. While Sathya swings between compassion, anger and concern, Ammu is more broken at the thought of hurting her mother than she is worried for herself. Maa also touches upon the stark differences in the repercussions for boys and girls exploring their sexuality.
Sarjun previously attracted public attention for his short film Lakshmi, about the plight of a woman in a loveless marriage, which received social media uproar for depicting an extra-marital affair.
Maa is available for viewing on the YouTube channel of Gautham Menon’s Ondraga Entertainment.