Kumari Srimathi is an interesting take on dysfunctional family dynamics, and what they do to people. At many junctures, the lead characters feel claustrophobic around family, and the show captures all this, along with a woman’s need to be financially independent, in a convincing manner. This article will help you understand the challenges a woman must face before she can peacefully run a business.
Why Was Srimathi Desperate For Money?
Srimathi is the elder daughter of Devika and Visweshwar Rao, who had promised her now-deceased grandfather that she would not let anyone sell their ancestral home. Srimathi felt attached to this place because of her childhood memories. She eventually wanted to move back into the house after she along with her mother quietly walked out, owing to her uncle Keshav Rao’s displeasure with taking care of them.
Srimathi’s grandmother also walked out with them because she could not live with the fact that her flesh and blood were acting selfishly. This was the beginning of the dysfunctional family dynamics that we discover as the movie progresses. Every joint family in the country reaches a point of crisis where there is a conflict between the old and the new order. The new order tends to be more pragmatic, unlike the former group.
Keshav Rao and Srimathi are in the middle of a property dispute over this ancestral home that is financially draining the latter’s family. The young woman is adamant about taking back the property because of the promise she made. The final verdict does not go in her favor, but it doesn’t side with her uncle as well. She was given six months to offer 38 lakhs to purchase the rest of her uncle’s share in the property. This came across as a fair deal, but she did not have the cash to make this transaction, and her uncle was also not keen on selling it to her. Keshav Rao had plans to sell off the property if Srimathi is unable to bring in the said amount.
Since the two of them are working towards reaching their goal, Keshav Rao wants to sabotage everything Srimathi has planned. Meanwhile, Srimathi wanted to get quick cash, and she was out of ideas on how to do that. Her job with a meager salary might not help her, so she must find a way to save her ancestral home and move back there in six months.
What Is Her Game Plan For Getting Fast Money?
Srimathi’s father had walked away from them because of increasing debts, and he never came back into their lives. Srimathi, being the eldest daughter, had to take up the mantle to take care of the property dispute despite her mother and grandmother not being in favor of it. Srimathi was adamant because she wanted a roof over their heads they could call home, and this ancestral home was their safety net.
The only way to acquire fast money was to work many jobs in a day and redirect all her salary towards savings, either that or Srimathi would have to begin a business that would bring her profit quickly. Srimathi and her best friend Sriram came up with the plan to start a bar and restaurant as she feels this is the only way to recover money quickly.
Srimathi and Sriram treated this as a business that is not gender-specific and conducted their research to understand the financial ROI and whether it would be enough to not just sustain her family but also get back her property from her uncle. They ran into her old college mate, who runs a chain of bars in the city, and it further fueled her urge to begin a bar and restaurant. She feels there was a need to give people a decent space for their indulgence. Since the plan was set, all Srimathi will require are clearances to make sure the bar opens without any hassles.
Srimathi, unlike her mother and grandmother, is adamant about going ahead with the plan and does not let anyone question her decision. She also has people around her who thoroughly support her endeavor. Sriram is one of them, and she is also joined by her school crush, Abhi, who seems to have harbored feelings for her since their school days.
What Are The Obstacles She Faces To Starting A Bar?
Srimathi herself thought the process of starting and running a bar would be simple. She was not ready to face the barrage of questions being thrown at her, insinuating that, as a woman, she should not be running ‘immoral’ businesses. It projects the hypocrisy of society, the stereotypes they carry about women, and the kind of work they are supposed to do as per the unwritten norms. Srimathi was unaffected by the questions since she was clear about her goals, but it was the people around her who showcased concerns about whether her business would become a success or not. Srimathi was not planning to run the bar and restaurant illegally, and she had all the rights to acquire a legitimate loan from the bank but was rejected on several illogical grounds.
Srimathi also had to face the wrath of bureaucracy and bribery on the path to getting licenses and approvals. This was just another standard procedure that one gets to see in government offices. The problems she faces at these offices are all about the frustration all of us face. There is no sugar coating when it comes to the money she had to spend and the gold she had to sell in the hope of getting a liquor license, but nothing goes as planned. Sriram and Abhi always stand by her side during these tough times, as Srimathi started wondering if she would ever be able to achieve her goals.
Does She Finally Open The ‘Taj Mahal Bar and Restaurant’?
After a lot of hard work and tediousness, Srimathi finally opened her own “Taj Mahal Bar and Restaurant.” The liquor license was also given to her by an old college mate of hers who had several of those in his hand. She was forever indebted to him, and thus kickstarted her dream. Srimathi finally achieved something that many women were not supposed to in her hometown.
Since there was always a first time for everything, Srimathi started earning good money from the business. She defied the odds because she never deviated from her goal, which was to get the ancestral property back. Her uncle, Keshav Rao, tried to get the place shut down based on a technicality in the hope she would not be able to earn enough to pay him back. We believe Srimathi did a brave thing, even though there were agitations against her establishment from women who did not want their husbands to get drunk and come back home and abuse them.
This was a genuine problem that was solved by Srimathi. The women were offered a decent deal that would make sure their husbands did not get blind drunk. It was probably not in her hands to see to it that these men would not resort to physical abuse after getting intoxicated. Srimati probably did not realize the consequences of the bar she opened. Her only intention was to offer a safe and hygienic one-of-a-kind space for them in the village and probably work on the hospitality skills that the men would not get in any other bar.
Why Does Her Father Come Back?
Srimathi one day came back home to see her father being berated and insulted by their grandmother for abandoning his family years ago. The woman was shocked to see her father back after so many years, while many thought he had passed away. He claims to have been working in the Middle East for many years in the hope of earning enough money and clearing their debts. Srimathi, her sister, and her mother are not thrilled to find him back as part of the family after being absent for twenty years.
Even though they agree to let him stay at the house, they are bitter towards him for unceremoniously leaving them to fend for themselves. Though Devika was proud of her journey of living life with dignity, her anger stems from the fact that, as a husband, he was never there to help her raise the kids together. We feel their anger is justified, and it was only fair to be realistic about the situation. Visweshwar Rao came back in the hope that the family would be happy to see him and accept him wholeheartedly. These scenarios only work in the fictional world. Devika and Srimathi go out of their way to prove that they are happy without him and not having him around has become a habit.
Visweshwar Rao caught on to his brother’s ruse. Keshav Rao had presented a fake will to the court, and Vishweshwar now threatened to file another case to prove that the document was forged and he might face jail for having submitted false evidence. Visweshwar Rao probably wanted to prove his mettle by carrying out this stunt and wanted to safeguard his family from being ousted from ancestral property. He probably did take one action right and it was about time Vishweshwar Rao started doing his duty.
Does Srimathi Get The Ancestral Property Back?
Thanks to her father, Srimathi got an extension to gather the last bit of the remaining money to pay her uncle back. She got her ancestral property back, and Srimathi was happy that she was able to fulfill her grandfather’s dream. Her goal was only to restore the place to its former glory, but on that journey, Srimathi discovered herself to be far more empowered than anybody else around her. This trait is one she probably got from her mother, who had to start from scratch by selling snacks when she was rendered helpless, homeless, and penniless. Srimathi had to do the same thing.
The journey and goals were different, but the path of uncertainty was there, and both mother and daughter were able to cross many obstacles to finally reach where they were. The family was happy to be staying back in the house, which was essentially theirs, and she is grateful that her uncle did not create further nuisance for them.
The show ends with Srimathi finding the original will left by her grandfather that was hidden in a box with a combination lock she found accidentally. Srimathi had not expected to come across this legal document, for she believed something like this probably never existed. She was able to guess the combination of the lock and open it to find distressing contents in it. It is initially not revealed to the viewers what was in the will, but we assume it contained details that will probably put Srimathi on the backfoot as a resident of the house. She comes to know her uncle is in huge debt. To help him out, she offers up her bar and restaurant to him in the hope that the money he makes from the business will help him clear the debts.
Srimathi probably did not want to be the person he was when her family was in dire financial constraints. Srimathi can probably start another business now that she has some experience. She wanted to rise above it and give her uncle and cousin a chance to be financially sound. Keshav Rao wholeheartedly takes up the offer, and we believe he learned his lesson, albeit a bit late.
We believe the will that Srimathi came across might have stated the house to be Keshav Rao’s property, which could be the reason she was worried. She cannot let the property go to her uncle because she knows he will sell the place in no time, and all of them will be homeless again. Maybe the grandfather had hoped his son would always stay true to the promise he made after his passing, but the scenario right now had changed. The will could also be the reason why she gave away her business so that her uncle could stay busy with it and not bother any of them going forward. To avoid a family feud again, she tore up the original will and disposed of it in the hope no one would ever find the contents of it. For the first time, Srimathi thought of herself and her family, which made her take this extreme step.