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It's 1947 and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl bears witnesses to tragedy as her ayah is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence.
Tara and Maya are two inseparable friends in India. Their tastes, habits, and hobbies are the same. Years later, the two have matured, but have maintained their friendship. Tara gets married to the local prince, Raj Singh, who soon succeeds the throne as the sole heir. After the marriage, Raj gets bored of Tara and starts seeking another female to satisfy his sexual needs. He notices Maya and is instantly attracted to her. He has her included as one of his courtesans, and is intimate with her. Watch what happens when Tara finds out and the extent she will go to keep her marriage intact. Written by
In order to film in India, the production had to use a fake title "Tara and Maya". Indian authorities would not have permitted the film to be made there had they known its true title and content. See more »
The story of this film is set in the sixteenth century. Young Maya is running through red chili pepper drying in the sun on the palace grounds. Chillies didn't reach Indian cuisine until the seventeenth century. See more »
I loved being with him. I would have done anything just to be with him.
Teacher of the Kama Sutra:
What kind of love are you talking about? Real love? If you're looking for real love, you've chosen the hardest task of all, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
But I was ready. I wanted to give myself to him.
Teacher of the Kama Sutra:
Love does not mean surrendering, "losing yourself". It is a call to ripen. Don't look for straight lines, Maya. Life is never like that.
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Story is almost overshadowed by scenery and atmosphere
Maya is a servant to Princess Tara in 16th century India. They've known each other since childhood and have grown up as friends (or so we're led to believe). As a young woman Tara watches enviously as Maya is given lessons in Kama Sutra (an ancient 4th century guide on how to make love) by a famed courtesan Rasa Devi. Tara is allowed to observe during these classes. Maya secretly envies the life of Tara, she hates being given Tara's hand me down clothes and constantly complains to her aunt about her life as a servant. The girls grown up and Tara is to be married to Raj Singh, a neighbouring king. Unfortunately for Tara, Maya learnt a bit too much during her Kama Sutra lessons and ends up deliberately seducing Tara's opium addicted husband on the eve of her wedding! This is brought about because Raj Singh looks at Maya with lust at his first meeting with his wife to be and she is so jealous she spits at Tara and tells her to leave the pre-wedding ceremony. Tara has a brother, Prince Vicky, a hunchback who is openly ridiculed by many, who has been in love with Maya since childhood. Vicky sees Maya seducing and bedding the king and is distressed and furious! On the wedding day as Tara is leaving the palace to go to her new palace Maya whispers to her "All my life I have lived with your used things but now something I have used is yours forever." Tara doesn't quite understand this and at the same time Vicky tells his mother that he wants to marry Maya and she must arrange it for him. Maya is approached with this proposal and refuses, and an enraged Vicky tells his mother of Maya's betrayal with his sister's husband on the eve of the wedding. The queen throws Maya out of the palace banishing her from the kingdom. Maya roams the land alone and lost. Tara rejects her husband's sexual advances as she has heard how painful sex is supposed to be the first time and he calls her "Maya". So the king leaves her bed and takes more and more opium and more and more mistresses and no one is happy. On her travels Maya meets Jai Kumar, the king's sculptor, who falls for her seductive charms and she becomes his most favoured model and lover. Maya falls in love with Jai and for the first time in her life she feels out of control. In the meantime the king is still obsessed with Maya, pretty much ignores his wife and continues to bed other women when he's not searching high and low around the kingdom for Maya.
What happens when the king catches up with Maya? What is the king's relationship with Jai Kumar? Do Tara or Maya ever achieve happiness in their lives? Just how vindictive can people be in the name of love and lust and revenge? I would rate this 7 out of 10. It's a very sensuous and beautifully filmed piece of work with excellent acting (whether or not you like the characters). For those who like romance, with historical drama and jealousy and spite all rolled into one, this is worth watching. Also if you like soft-core sex you might want to check it out too! To summarise the story I'd say it was predominantly about a poor girl trying to get revenge over a rich girl after years of being made to feel inferior even though they are brought up as best friends and by seducing the latter's husband on her wedding night she extracts the best revenge she possibly can, although ultimately this leads to tragedy.
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