Is the Hallmark Card Dream Killing Women?

I cannot get the following headlines off my mind:

“I am going to kill myself today bcoz Mayank has driven me to it. He finally let me out but I can’t repair what he has done,her last words read.

“Delhi Air Hostess Learnt About Husband’s First Marriage Month Ago.”

Her family claimed that Mr Singhvi used to physically abuse her and they also accused his parents of harassing her for dowry.

I don’t want to specifically write about Anissia because it is still too early. We do not know if it is a murder or suicide. I don’t want to judge a woman I did not know. Especially a woman who was cremated two days ago.  I also do not wish to scrutinize the life of a woman who died. Still, writing this article in the hope that it may help someone.

I read an article this morning on about how parents should support their daughters and make them get out of abusive marriages and not give dowry. I also read comments (probably from Anissia’s friends) getting defensive saying that she was very strong, and had supportive parents. Her father was in the Army.   She was financially independent and it seems that money was no motivator was her to get stuck in the marriage.

 Then what happened? Why is she dead?

Why are so many intelligent, financially independent women in our society preferring to jump or hang themselves rather than being called the D word?

A friend of mine updates her whatsapp display picture every other day with a smiling photo of her husband and herself.  What you cannot see is the bruises on her body which are concealed in her DP.  Messages are sent to friends asking for helpline numbers. What is more regular? The injury or the status updates?

Friends try to convince her to get out. She says that there are happy times too. She is not willing to leave him.

Is it our fault that she is still with him? Are we not doing enough?

If you see Anissia’s social media profile, there are so many happy, couple photos. A good-looking couple posing and holidaying at beautiful locations.

This is common.  Friends posting pictures with their husbands. Beautiful, happy pictures. People commenting:

Lovely couple!

Hottest couple!

Stay blessed!

Smileys. Emojis. Likes. Comments. Social approval.

What lies beneath?

We love the life we wish to project to the world. We are in love. We are in a blissful marriage. We are happy. We try hard to make our lives close to what we like to portray. Sometimes we believe it too.

In contrast, I have friends who are divorced or never married. They are into their 30’s, 40’s. Some of them want to get married. Others are okay being single. To the world, they may be “unmarried.”

Poor girl. She must find someone soon. Time is running out.

Bechari divorce ke baad decide ki shadi nahi karegi dobara.

Some of these women are actually living quite peaceful and joyous lives. Marital bliss is not the only bliss the universe has to offer. They may not get to flaunt holiday, couple pictures. They may not have done pre-wedding, pregnancy photoshoots. They do not get to add statuses like ‘Aww! Feeling loved with so and so!’ or ‘Woke up to this surprise from my sweetheart’. But they are still leading good lives. Every day that they wake up they don’t have somebody who makes them feel like filth. Yes, occasionally they do feel left out at family functions and weddings. But it is still better than being treated badly every day.

What am I trying to prove?

We all fall for social pressure. We envy people who seem to have love and money. We create a lie and then spend the rest of our life miserable trying to live up to it.

Don’t fall for the trap. Nobody, nobody has everything in life.  You don’t have to have everything either. It is okay to not have a partner to flaunt. It is okay to not have a vacation in Europe. It is okay to be not earning a lot of money. It is okay to be not married. It is okay to not have children. It is okay to be divorced.

What is not okay is to be dead at 39 after jumping off the terrace. What is not okay is leaving behind old parents and a brother who will spend the rest of their life attending court hearings and running ‘Justice for Anissia’ campaigns wishing they were dead too.

And what justice will they get? Even if the husband and his family get punished (which I doubt) will this woman come back?

The society does not care about you. They don’t care if you are happy or sad or rich or poor or married or single.  At least not for long.  Please do not waste your life for the society. The only thing that matters is you. Please do what is right for yourself.  I have written about this so many times before.  Please, please be strong. Please do not commit suicide for such idiots. And please do not stay with them to test how much more you can suffer.

Yes, every marriage has good days and bad days.  But if for you the bad days means getting hit and thinking about hanging yourself then it is not worth it.

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Related articles link:

The Intelligent, Young Woman – Wasted In Marriage

She saved her marriage. But what about her life?

 

 

 

 

 

Lust Stories: Definitely Worth A Netflix Watch!

Finally got a chance to watch this. This movie is available on Netflix and has four stories.

  1. The one by Anurag Kashyap

The first story stars Radhika Apte and Akash Thosar. Akash was in Sairat, which I watched recently. In this movie, he looked much cuter.

Imagine a life where you get commitment from a husband who loves you “selflessly”. Yet, you get to “explore” with other guys. Separate the two. After all, you can’t find everything in one guy – stability, commitment, sexual compatibility.  The husband has no objections rather encourages the wife to have fun. Sounds like some fantasy!

Well No! Human nature is complicated. Jealousy, possessiveness, mood swings, longing for love in a hook-up!  Fantasy does not really turn into reality and who better to show us this than Radhika Apte as Kalindi.

Kalindi is initially relatable. Then she becomes too crazy for me to accept as a real person. But she is definitely fun to watch. The beauty of this movie is that they are not trying to show her as good or bad. She just is! Confused! Flawed! Selfish! Moody! She wants to explore but has no idea how to deal with the consequences. In fact, she has no idea how she will feel the next moment.

  1. The one by Zoya Akhtar

We see a couple going at it.  Within few seconds the girl squats on the floor, lifts her salwar to her knees and starts mopping the floor. She is the maid sleeping with the employer.

I admire Bhumi since her first movie. But I feel with every movie she just gets better and better. In this movie, she hardly has any dialogues. We see her going about her daily routine, scrubbing the floor, preparing tea, serving snacks all the while emoting with her eyes.

In one scene, the employer’s mother tells the maid (Sudha) , ‘Bhaiya ki shadi pakki ho gayi hai tumko bhi bahut badhai.” It made me smile.

Bhaiya. Bhabhi. This is how we address people in this country. The society has created the most appropriate way to clarify that it is a ‘clean’ relationship.

People still do what they have to do…

  1. The one by Dibakar Banerjee

This one was slow-paced and a bit boring in the beginning.  It was a delight to watch Manisha Koirala, though after such a long time. She has grace!

Reena is having an affair with her husband’s friend.  Why? “Main tumse chidh jati hoon yaar,” She tells her husband honestly.

She is not afraid of divorcing her husband. What about her children?

Jaise baki divorce ke baad bachhe palte hain, mere bhi pal jayenge.”

The best part of this story is that Reena never considers herself a victim.  In fact, I felt both the men did not match up to her.

  1. The one by Karan Johar

The story has a different tone from the rest of the movie.  It is loud and cliched. What can we expect from Karan Johar!

Rekha (Neha Dhupia) is a character made only for entertainment, entertainment, entertainment with zero credibility.  Her clothes are too flamboyant for a school librarian. Or for anywhere.  In fact, her character is the most thoughtless character in this otherwise refreshing movie. She uses a vibrator in the school library, and then refers to it as a “pati” because it satisfies her.  This was right after she declares that men are useless when it comes to satisfying women!!

But she is not the central character in the story. It is her friend, Megha who has an arranged marriage with Paras.  Paras is none other than Vicky Kaushal from Raazi.  I had liked him a lot in that movie, and this is a completely different role which he has carried out very well.

Megha is not sure if she should marry Paras.  She tells her mother that she never studied in a co-ed school. She was never even allowed to go out with a boy and have ice-cream.

“Isliye to kehti hoon kar lo shadi. Fir jitna man ice-cream khate rehna.” Her mother replies.

But what if this ice-cream which you were forbidden to have all your life, for which you waited so desperately, the one which you have to have for the rest of your life leaves a lot to be desired?

Paras plays the average husband very well. Loving, sweet, and hopeless in bed.  He is so clueless that he happily tells his wife in one scene, “Tum bhi to bahut maze leti ho. Maine dekha hai!”

Kab? The wife wanted to ask, and do did I.

Overall, it is an interesting mix.  Pretty good for a Netflix watch!

Image source

Netflix original ‘Lust Stories’, Instagram (karanjohar)

 

 

 

 

Sairat Vs. Dhadak!

I watched the trailer of Dhadak and I was not at all impressed.  Although Ishaan looked like he had potential, Jahanvi has a long way to go.  The internet was ripping the movie apart with Sairat Vs Dhadak memes which were hilarious. I had not watched Sairat.  It was available on Netflix. Being a three hour movie, I completed it in two days.  Here is what I felt about it:

  • Lead actors Rinku Rajguru (Archi) and Akash Thosar (Parshya) were outstanding. Rinku has a simple yet expressive face. Parshya’s two friends have also acted brilliantly. Their body language, expressions, the social awkwardness is all so natural. You do not feel like you are watching a movie rather you are watching regular people going about with their life.
  • The movie does not romanticize eloping and living in a hut happily ever after! When Parshya and Archi have to live in a slum, Archi is upset. She is disgusted by the place. There are no ‘Akele hain to kya ghum hai, chahe to hamare bus mein kya nahi’ type songs. The moment they start living together, real life problems start.  Buying groceries, cooking, quarreling over extra salt, getting jealous of her male colleagues, missing family – It paints a realistic picture.  Archi looks like she does not have a lot of money.  Her hair, her clothes, her female collaegue with whom she shared that she missed her family are all realistic.  Yes, kiddos. Running away and living in a small hut built with love is not such a great idea!
  • The music!  I have downloaded Jhing jhing Jhingat! It is a riot! The way Parshya and his friends are dancing, and Archi and her friends dancing in the balcony – love it! Yes, they would obviously not be dancing together in her house and the director was mindful enough of that.
  • The ending! What can I say. The last time I felt like this was after watching Rita Morgan’s death in Dexter, season 4 finale as Dexter finds baby Harrison in a pool of blood.  I wish I had watched this movie in the theater.

Now coming to Dhadak.  Yes, I know the movie has not even released.  Ishaan and Jahanvi are just kids and I hope they do well in life. I especially feel bad  for Jahanvi who has suffered irreparable loss at such a young age.

But after matching Sairat, I feel all the memes are totally justified! As Kangana Ranaut rightly said Karan Johan is undoubtedly the flagbearer of nepotism. With all the grooming, training, genes,there is no comparison between Archi and Jahanvi! Please watch Sairat. Archi and Parshya are not star kids. But they know how to act. The movie has soul. Look at Jahanvi’s hair in the scene when they are running away and compare it to Archi’s hair! It makes me laugh. Did she run away with a hair stylist? You know what, Mr. Johar. It is okay to look middle class.  It is okay to look average. It is okay to have wavy hair.  That is how we, 90 percent of women in India look.  Go take a tour of India. There is a whole world without glamour. It does not take anything away from the essence of the movie (provided the movie has it in the first place).

I know anybody can have merit, star kids too. But there are so many talented people in our country. I wish they got a  fair chance instead of people who were lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth.  In which other country do we see this – Hero ka beta / beti hero / heroine? The whole khandaan gets a ticket to Bollywood!

Some of the memes were mean, but here is one which  is only making fun of the movie, and not people!

Sairat Vs Dhadak!!

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Savita Halappanavar’s Death Led To The Change In Abortion Law In Ireland

Who was Savita?

I am quoting the following lines from the preview of the book, Savita – The tragedy that shook a nation by Kitty Holland:

“Seventeen weeks pregnant and facing a miscarriage, Savita Halappanavar and her husband Praveen walked into an Irish maternity ward in October 2012. Unwittingly, the couple also walked into that deeply controversial arena in which Ireland’s legislative position on abortion remained unresolved. A week later, Savita was dead from septicaemia. Reports of her death and of the refusal to allow Savita a termination of her pregnancy sent shockwaves across Ireland and around the world. Once again the subject of abortion was catapulted to the very top of the agenda in Ireland. With the pro-life and pro-choice camps claiming the moral high ground, both sides in the bitterly contested battle sought to appropriate Savita’s story and her image.” 

I had shared a video recently on my page about how Irish citizens all over the world are voting for change. Irish nationals who were not in Ireland, and unable to travel, were even willing to sponsor tickets for someone else who could travel, but could not afford it. It was a beautiful moment to see people (women and men) bringing about a change for the benefit of women.

I also watched videos of women saying that they are ashamed that Savita had to go through something like this in their country. They felt for her.  It took six years but they managed to bring about the change.  There were protests and vigils, with banners such as ‘No more shame’, ‘My body, my choice’.

I cannot imagine what Savita and her family went through. She was not from Ireland. She was living there because her husband was working there. They were expecting their first child. She was 31. She died because the hospital denied her an abortion as the fetus still had a heartbeat. In an interview, her mother had said, that to save a 17 week baby they killed her 31 year old baby. She died a painful death. Doctors could have saved her. But the law denied the doctors the right to protect her.

After a landmark voting, the 8th amendment of Ireland’s Constitution will be repealed and replaced with an “enabling provision for the regulation of termination of pregnancy”. 

Savita’s family and many Ireland based campaigners wish that the law should be named  ‘Savita’s Law’.

Every year, so many women from Ireland travel to Britain to get an abortion. One woman was holding a banner that said, ‘Our country killer her. But she saved our lives’.

Few thoughts on this:

India has  better laws than Ireland when it comes to abortion.  I have written about Indian abortion laws in an article on Women’s Web. Ireland had one of the most conservative laws on abortion in the world which they are changing now. I respect the citizens of this country and the lawmakers for taking this step. There may be been many more who became victims to this draconian law. Savita’s death came to light because it was the death of a foreign national and therefore received a lot of media attention. But this tragedy shook them. They wanted to make it right. They voted for it.

How many women from foreign countries get raped and murdered in India? A Lithuanian woman was recently found murdered in Kerala after being sexually assaulted.  I do not want to get into the details of how barbarically she was killed. It was horrific. She had come to India for ayurvedic treatment. A Swiss couple was attacked near Agra, leaving them severely wounded. These are the ones I have read about in the news recently.  Just google ‘tourist killed in Goa’ and see how many results we get.

What do we do about it. Have our laws changed?   Ireland can say, ‘No more shame.’ ‘Never again’.  They are capable of change. But we are not.   We will continue to feel ashamed.

Some people are  saying that they are ‘pro life’ and against abortion. A lot of them are women. I am shocked to see how any woman can say something like this.  I am seeing blanket statements such as  ‘I am pro life! ‘ ‘I am against abortion! ‘ How can her mother kill her child’ etc. These statements are judgmental, insensitive and in cases like Savita’s extremely stupid.   Why should anybody get to decide what another woman does with her body? I don’t understand why some people feel they are the moral police. Do they think that a woman is simply a baby machine who was born to successfully deliver babies even if it means putting her own life at risk? Don’t even get me started on the argument about thinking before getting pregnant etc. Let me remind the moral police that it takes two people to create a life (and therefore a responsibility of two people), but it is only one person, the woman who carries the child inside her body, and she is therefore the owner and decision-maker of that life.

I don’t like to say things like, ‘Her soul will now be at peace’ but if there is  such a thing as  peace after death, I pray and hope that Savita has attained it.

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Break-Up Of Bromance – The Latest Fault Of The Indian Wife

Break-Up Of Bromance – The Latest Fault Of The Indian Wife

Wives have traditionally been put second by husbands, after their in laws and his extended family, and now after a bromance too?

Year 2011: A movie titled ‘Pyaar ka punchnama’ had released. After watching it, I had told a male friend how I did not like the portrayal of women.

“Why don’t you protest when all movies show men as villains? Haan? This movie shows the reality of women!”

Read more.

A Senseless Tragedy Reveals The Misogynist Horror Of ‘Incels’

Yesterday morning I read the news of the horrifying van attack in Toronto. What kind of a person would do something like that, is the thought that came to my mind.  Later during the day there were viral videos circulating on the internet titled ‘The cop who did not shoot’.  Yes, the cop  could have easily shot the suspect who was attempting a ‘suicide by cop’ situation but instead he acted calmly and made him surrender despite the suspect shouting ‘Shoot me’.

By the end of the day, before I went to bed, I read that the attack was allegedly carried out by a young 25 year old man who had published a post on Facebook before carrying out the attack. What I read next was so disturbing, and something I had not known before.

Who are the Incels?

The suspect of the attack identified himself as an Incel.  ‘Incel’ is short for ‘Involuntary Celibate’. This is a community of men who feel that women do not give them sex, and as a result they are single or in other words celibate without a choice. They blame women for choosing conventionally more attractive partners as sexual companions leaving them alone and sexually frustrated. They refer to such women as ‘Stacy’ who will reject them, and instead have sex with a hotter guy who they refer to as ‘Chad’. The Incels also refer to the people who end up dating and having normal, sexual relationships as ‘Normies’.

The post of the suspect read as follows:

“The Incel Rebellion has already begun. We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys. All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger.”

Who was Elliot Rodger?

Was this the first ‘Incel attack’? No.

In 2014, A 22 year old killed six people in California.  He wanted revenge because women had denied him sex and love although in his own words he was a good guy. He believed he was the true victim.

Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me,” he said. “I’m 22 years old, and I’m still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl.”

“If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you,” said Rodger in his  video.

What is the manosphere?

The incel is just one of the communities online that feel that men are the true victims of modern society’s ‘feminism’. There are other groups that feel that men are at a disadvantage now owing to women’s sexual liberation.

Incels, on the other hand, believe themselves to be so undesirable that they’ll never be successful when it comes to love or sexbecause of how they were born and how they look,” said Natasha Kini,a New York-based journalist . Gaining dating experience or learning pick-up techniques won’t help, they believe.”

Toxic masculinity

If you search on the internet, you would find out that some of the Incels believe in  “punishing” women through mass rapes, stalking ,acid attacks and other violent ways.

What is more disturbing is that there are people who may not believe support killing of women, but they do place the responsibility on women to prevent such attacks! They believe that women should be “nicer” to average looking men.

Where does this sense of entitlement come from? In my article ‘Be a virgin until marriage, but a whore thereafter’ I had written “The universe does not owe you sex because you are a man”.

Obviously, these killers do not feel that way. They feel that they are entitled to sex and any women who does not have sex with them is a a whore who has sex with someone else. I have heard this line from so many self proclaimed “good guys” that men are the “true victims” now.

Is it because they days women actually have a choice? Traditionally they got married and became subservient to men.

Through this “rebellion”, the alleged Incels want women to feel scared and go back to their place in society where they were voiceless, choiceless and powerless and the social order, and equality would get restored. How dare women decide who they like, and who they have sex with? If they have sex with another guy, they are of course sluts! If they do not have sex with a guy, they are arrogant and deserve to be punished for rejecting a poor guy’s feelings!

How can women even think that they own their bodies? They were created for the pleasure of men. How dare they deny men of it?  That too such “good guys’?

Loneliness is a terrible, terrible thing. Wanting to have a romantic relationship, and not being able to find a partner for the same is also terrible.  Rejection hurts. It hurts men, and it hurts women. But this!! I am speechless. I have written on a lot of sensitive topics, but this one has made me feel nauseated.

 

What do you feel about the recent amendment to POSCO Act?

The President has approved the ordinance to make the POSCO Act more stringent.

Here is what you need to know:

What is POSCO?

Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences

What are the amendments?

  • Increase in minimum punishment from 7 to 10 years extendable to life imprisonment
  • If the victim is under 16, minimum punishment has been increased to 20 years
  • In case of gangrape of victim under 16, minimum punishment has been amended to a life term
  • In case victim is under 12, minimum punishment has been increased to 20 years or life term or death penalty

Also, they are looking at a mechanism for speedy disposal of rape cases within six months. The Cabinet prescribed that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

What I feel

Obviously, this is a welcome step. However, I would like to clarify that while all headlines read ‘Death penalty for rape of a child below 12 years’, it is in fact ONE of the other punishments. It does not necessarily mean that rapist of a child below 12 years will be given a capital punishment, it could also be a life term or 20 years imprisonment.

I felt the punishment should have been death penalty irrespective of the age of the victim, and there should not have been any loophole. We have seen in cases that when it is at the discretion of the court, death penalty is usually not awarded. I remember the murder of a lawyer in her own flat by the security guard, who had attempted to rape her. The judge had not given him a death penalty because she felt it was not “rarest of the rare case”. The guy had stabbed the girl 16 times and slit her throat. Was that not enough for death penalty?  I also read later that the accused had managed to jump parole but got arrested later. The judgment in this case had not just disappointed me, but disgusted me. Human right activists who have a problem with death penalty, please feel free to keep such demons in your house. You are free to adopt them, and take care of them and confine them within your house if you are so concerned about their rights. Please do not contaminate the society with their presence, and your stupidity.

Yes, I know this is a good step. But still, I am disappointed.  This is not enough in my view. Please do share your views.

 

 

 

So What Is Your Hichki?

Earlier this week somebody I saw the video of the new ‘Ek do teen’ from Baghi 2. Jacqueline Fernandes’ outfit, her expressions, men ogling at her made me cringe so much that I swore Bollywood can do nothing better than objectifying women.

Yesterday I watched ‘Hichki’. I did not know much about the movie except that Rani Mukherjee, one of my favorite actresses plays a teacher.  I remember reading the name Sidharth  Malhotra in the newspaper in the context of the movie. Of course I missed the ‘P’ in the name, and the fact that he is the director. I told my mother that Sidharth Malhotra is the hero of the movie!! I was sure I read right, and kept waiting for his appearance until ‘The End’ when my mother told me ‘Tumhare Sidharth Malhotra ka to guest appearance bhi nahi tha’!

Just when I had completely given up on Bollywood, here was a movie about a woman who wanted to be a teacher. She has Tourette syndrome and cannot complete a sentence makes involuntary sounds like ‘Chaa Cha Waa Waa’ .  Not a very glamourous thing to do, and I do not think any actress could have pulled it off (maybe Vidya Balan). She is fully covered throughout the movie, has her own struggle, but has learnt to accept it and focus on her strengths. There is no romantic angle in the movie (what a relief)! The songs are in the background and help the pace of the film.

The movie has an underlying message:

Accept yourself! We all have something which we consider as a ‘flaw’. Get over it! Because if you don’t you get stuck with it. Your ‘flaw’ does not restrict your potential. But your own complex does.’

For someone it is stammering. For someone else it is their poverty.

I was touched by the movie. I googled ‘Tourette syndrome’ and watched videos of people who live with it.  Some have a flinch, others make some sound. It is called ‘tics’. I am sharing a video of a woman who involuntarily says ‘Biscuit’ in every sentence. She is quite happy and cool and motivates other people to have the ability to laugh at herself.

Zindagi tere ghum ne hamein rishte naye samjhaye

We continue to live with our shallow concerns such as how we look and how other people are going on better vacations that us.  We don’t like our color, or height, or weight and we also reject people of the opposite sex based on that. And then there are people who just want to be accepted. So, what if they are a little different. Aren’t we all different from each other? That is what the little girl (young Naina Mathuri) said to the teacher – Just treat me like everyone else.

I especially liked the way the ending of the movie. Rani’s acting was brilliant. The kids were also all a superb fit for their role. Bollywood has seen ‘school’ stories before with the likes of ‘Student of the Year’ kind of garbage. Rich, good looking kids who come to school only to fall in love. This was a real school story. I felt nostalgic and remembered the convent school I attended.  Sparsh Khanchandani had an important role. I kept telling my mother this is the same girl as Ichcha from Uttaran. She recognized her by the time half of the movie was over. Supriya and Sachin, real life couple played Naina Mathur’s parents role with much conviction. While Naina’s mother was supportive of her and loved her unconditionally, her father was embarrassed by her condition. I am a fan of Supriya and Sachin and it was a treat to watch them on screen. Other kids also acted brilliantly. Another girl, Natasha who played a rich kid is already a TV actress (my mother told me) but I don’t think I watch enough TV to know who she is.

The kids in this movie were getting a good opportunity through the ‘Right to education’ Act. But they were not willing to utilize it. They felt like victims, and that they would never be equal to the privileged kids, no matter what.  Naina Mathur tells them that there is only a difference of one thought to take the step from ‘Why’ to ‘Why not’. I loved that line. All of us have some hichki or another. Accept it. Get over it. Move on and live your life. Because it is not the hichki that stops you, but your own mindset.

Thank you to the makers of this movie. This was beautiful. Loved it. Please keep making sensible cinema and please stop making romantic movies with idiotic songs!!

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Bollywood! False Masculinity And Abuse of Women

One of the most vibrant movies of Sridevi, Chaalbaaz was on Zee Classic over the weekend. Watching Sridevi on screen has always been a delight. But ever since her untimely death, it has been all the more hard to resist watching her movies, knowing that such magic cannot be recreated again.

I don’t know how many times I would have watched Chaalbaaz as a kid. I have it memorized. My mother and I were discussing how we like Seeta Aur Geeta more than Chaalbaz. Father disagreed. He said Sridevi’s acting was far beyond excellence.   I went to the kitchen and missed a scene. My father called out to me, “Did you just see that? He grabbed her hair!”

I quickly ran back to the living room. Here was an angry Sunny Deol grabbing Sridevi by her hair. Reason: He thought he had seen her (her twin) with Rajnikanth, walking together!

He said to her something like, “Main to tumse sharafat se baat kar raha hoon. Aisa karne se to yahaan qatal ho jate hain”.

What a shareef guy! He did not kill her! Just abused her verbally and physically!

He said it so matter-of-factly as if killing a woman for cheating was a rule and not killing her was nice of him! Sharing the link. Scroll to 2:04.

All these movies I loved as a kid have been completely ruined for me now. Violence against women was so normalized! The recent killing of a woman who was stabbed multiple times, and its coverage in media brings us back to the stone age.

I was reading through some of the comments of how some men believed that when a guy cares and loves a woman so much, spends all his money on her, yet she leaves him or cheats on him what is he supposed to do! Some men even wrote that there is no place for “nice guys” in this world that has been taken over by “faminists”!

Unfortunately, relationships don’t come with a guarantee card. As unfair as it may be, people can leave. At any time. Men. Or women. If a woman cheats on you, please feel free to leave her. But her life is not yours to take.

I remember having a conversation with two of my male colleagues about an article I had written on “honour killing”. These two educated, modern-looking men who I interacted with daily, had lunch with argued that “in that situation any man would feel so angry that he would want to kill the woman!”  One of the the guys said that if his long – term girlfriend  cheats on him, his first reaction would be to kill her too! Obviously, the women were shocked. So these guys ended up changing their statements later. They said we misunderstood. They were just trying to speak from the killer’s perspective, what goes in his head!!!

Bollywood has created so much crap during my childhood that took so long to unlearn. It did much damage to our mindsets. The fact that I do not remember this scene as something objectionable means I probably found it okay. I remember another movie in which Aamir Khan had slapped Madhuri Dixit and he now truly regrets being part of such show of false sense of masculinity. Not only this, women like me also grew up believing we deserve abuse!

Mindsets take time to change. But  some people love to be stuck in the 13th century even today.

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Yeh Mausam Chale Gaye To Hum Fariyaad Kareinge

Like most people who woke up to this news today, I thought it was a hoax. The whatsapp groups were flooded. And so was the Facebook Newsfeed. Few searches on Google confirmed it. When I switched on the news channels, it was so real.

In sapnon ki tasveeron se, in yaadon ki zanjeeron se Apne dil ko kaise, hum azad kareinge

When I was in school, my elder sister and her best friend had a fan club of Sridevi Vs Madhuri Dixit respectively.  I guess our generation was lucky enough to have two reigning female superstars. I usually copied my sister for everything. But this was one of the times I would make my own choice.

“I like Madhuri Dixit even more than Sridevi”. I would say. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was my favourite movie. And Salman Khan was my favourite hero.

My earliest memories of Sridevi’s movies is of my sister telling me the story in a nutshell. I watched them much later in life. Or probably I had watched them when I was younger. But I understood them much later. Because they were all so meaningful.

Sachcha Koi Sapna Deja Mujhko Koi Apna Deja

A child will not understand the meaning of this song. When you grow up, you would understand how loneliness will make you crave for just anyone…Yes. Anyone!

Koi Kash Dil Pe Zara Hath Rakh Le Mere Dil Ke Tukdoh Ko Ik Sath Kar Le

Was it just me who sympathized more with Vinod Khanna in the last scene?

Main to hoon pagal munda, tu hai meri soni kudi. Yaaaah

Army was one of those movies that was not as famous as her other ones. But I just loved this song! There was another movie called Mr. Bechara. Again one of the lesser known ones. It would come on television frequently . I loved that one too. It had a funny song, “Lage mujhe sundar har ladki. Ho paise wali ya kadki.” I liked that song also because I believed that Sridevi finds all girls pretty. She would find me pretty too if she ever meets me.

Another not so famous movie that I would watch on television was Aulaad!  I used to feel so bad for both the mothers. I don’t even remember the ending.

When Laadla had come out, I had learnt something new. “You understand. You better understand!”  Whenever I would fight with my sister  I would end the argument with that statement. I had loved the last scene of the movie when Sridevi becomes all domesticated, wears a sari and says to Anil Kapoor while handing over a tiffin box “Shaam ko ghar jaldi aayega”. (I was too young to be a feminist then).. 

But I think my favourite movie of Sridevi remains Lamhe.

Tera man tarsa re, paani kyun barsa re, tune kisko yaad kiya

“Anil Kapoor loves Sridevi. She dies. Then her daughter grows up and falls in love with him!” – My sister had told me the story.

“What!” I had replied. Way ahead of its times, this was a masterpiece! Every scene was a visual treat. It was again one of those movies I watched and understood after becoming a teenager. No woman from our generation had completed school without dancing to ‘Morni baga maa bole aadhi raat maa’.

I love all the songs from that movie. They are in my pen drive. And downloaded from Gaana too. For me ‘Kabhi main kahoon’ would be one of the most romantic song ever.

Beauty. Acting. Dancing. Grace. Can any actress of this generation even compare?

Hotho se honth mile na bhale chahe mile na bahe bahon se, do dil zinda reh sakte hain chahat ki bhari nigaho se  

The answer is No. They can wear the skimpiest clothes possible. And do a 100 kissing scenes. They will not look half as sensuous as Sridevi in her plain red sari and white sari.

Actresses do a come-back after a break. Their movies are at best forgettable. Sridevi gave us English Vinglish.

“Mujhe pyaar ki kami nahi hai. Bus thodi izzat chahiye.” Every woman could relate.  Navrai majhi became the national wedding anthem.

I had to write a review for Mom. I had  watched it within a day of release.  When I wrote the first draft of the review, I had gone completely carried away by Sridevi’s performance. I had written that the scene in which she sees her daughter in the hospital for the first time should be shown in acting schools as a lesson on how to emote grief. I had dedicated some two – three paragraphs on how Sridevi is the best! Nobody can match her in any way!  I was asked to rework. I had completely overlooked the word limit and spoiler consideration! But such is the impact Sridevi had on everyone.

Why did she have to go?

 Main vaapas aaunga mai vaapas aaunga, jaa rahaa hun mai yahaan jaan apni chhod  ke 

My heart goes out to her young daughters whose lives have not even begun yet.  Mona Kapoor had also passed away just before Arjun’s Kapoor debut release. The same thing happened to Jahanvi.

Judaai judaai kabhi aaye na judaai.

The people who are commenting about drugs, surgeries, pressure to look slim that “killed her”, please have some respect. She has not even been laid to rest yet. She is not alive to refute you or speak for herself.  Just because she is famous does not mean her death is for you and me to  analyse. She is a person who died. Leaving behind a family.

Bijli girane main hoon aayi, kehte hain mujhko hawa hawai

Sridevi ji, you will be the only Diva for me, and for millions of others. Your eyes. Your smile. Your face, your grace.  Your dance. Your movies. You acted at a time when people used to comment on how some heroines look better in Indian vs Western. You were exquisite in both. Your acting was mesmerizing  in the last two movies of your life, as it was 10-20 years ago. You played your age. And you did it beautifully.  You had beauty. You had substance. You had talent. You were born to shine.

I had blogged  after Reema Lagoo ji had passed away. I will say it again.  Everything good associated with my childhood is gone.

Ye lamhe ye pal hum, barson yaad karenge, yeh mausam chale gaye to, hum fariyaad kareinge.

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