Gully Boy: Intelligent, Fun And Endearing

There is the regular life. Where we study. We work. We take exams. We prepare for a livelihood.  We then earn from that livelihood. And then there is another life that we dream of. Where we don’t just earn. We live. Something nice. Something which makes us feel, Hum bhi kuchh hain..

Gully Boy is a movie in which a boy from a humble background, is told to dream, keeping in mind his ‘reality’. He however, brings his reality close to the dream. (This is a dialogue in the movie in Hindi, and I just realized I ruined it by trying to translate).

I know the movie released yesterday, so without giving too many spoilers, here is what worked for me:

1. As a writer, I could relate to how Murad (Ranveer Singh) found poetry in every day things. My friends often tease me how I find the potential for an article in everything. Little moments and observations create the best work. It reminded me of my story, Must You Finish Your Rotten Tea which I thought of  when I accidently put green tea leaves when trying to make regular tea.

2. Safeena (Alia) tells her mother that all she does is go to college, and study to become a doctor. Her mother asks what else could she possibly  want.

I want to go out, party, meet friends, talk to boys, put on lipstick, and do all of this, without having to hide it from you.

Story of every girl. We do not just want to study and be financially independent. We want fun and romance too. Without apologies.

3. Murad’s parents want him to study and do a day job. They do not want him to get distracted by passions that may not sustain him. This is what most parents would say right?  Makes sense. The hungry artists on the other hand would like to believe that Passion follow karo. Paisa ayega! But is this necessarily true? Does everybody become successful following their passion? But if no one follows their passion early on in life, how will there be a Sachin Tendulkar or Lata Mangeshkar?

4. “I got so many likes on my song. So many people watched it. And liked it”

 “So?”

“An artist creates something that makes someone feel good. Even after the artist dies, the work lives. It means something”.

I loved this dialogue.

5. I liked the ending. I hate the elaborate 45 minute  musical competitions in Bollywood movies which I do not have patience for. It was a bit abrupt but I liked it that way.  It was better than overdoing it.

6. The acting is brilliant. The last time I saw Ranveer Singh was in Simmba, a complete waste of his potential. More than Ranveer, I liked Siddhant Chaturvedi as MC Sher. Did a little research and found on that he was pursuing chartered accountancy!! Amruta Subhash as Ranveer’s mother is perfect for the character. Loved her expressions. Kalki seems to be playing the same type of roles again and again. Nevertheless, I like her a lot.

Now coming to Alia. She is a very good actress but I did not like the character of Safeena.  I feel a jealous, possessive, manipulative girlfriend should not be someone the hero should end up with.  Somehow, I felt that had it been a male character,  it would not have been portrayed as cool. Rather, a villain who the heroine would have rejected by the end.   The audience seemed to have loved her though.

Why did I think this way?

On my recent articles I have been receiving comments on how there are double standards in the way we perceive behavior of men and women.

If Priyanka Chopra says she needs a man only for children she is applauded, but imagine if a man said the same thing.

I guess the trolls have affected the way I see things now.   If anybody else feels this way, after watching the movie, do leave me a note.

Overall, go for it. It is fun for a one-time watch.

P.S.

Special thanks to my sister-in-law who gifted us the tickets for our first Valentine’s day after marriage. Hubby and I have been rapping ‘Apna time ayega… Kya Ghanta le ke jayega’.. since yesterday.

 

 

Manikarnika: When The Best Portrays The Best

The earliest memory I have of watching a  war in Indian history would probably have to be Mahabharata. Invariably, there would be what seemed like a sea of people for as far as I could look – on horses with a sword and shield. It looked too scary to be real. I would convince myself that it must be made up.

I have grown up. I have a better knowledge of history now. Still I cannot  imagine what it would be  like to get on a horse, with a sword and shield, out there for an attack, and get cut!  Then there was a lady who fought with a child tied to her back!

Sometimes, I try to place myself in that era. Would I have been brave enough? Would I have thought,

‘Sar kata sakte hain lekin sar jhuka sakte nahi’?

I don’t have an answer.  I am a very darpok person.  But I am also someone who values freedom more than anything else. Would I have given up my life for the sake of freedom of myself and my people? I guess I will never find out…

Rani Lakshmibai was a peace-loving woman.  She had principles. She did not believe in harming the innocent. But she had the responsibility of protecting her land, her home, and people.

‘Meri Jhansi nahi doongi!’

She fought bravely. She was fearless. She was a woman who stood by her principles, and fought for it, literally.

Khoob ladi mardaani, wot to Jhaansi wali Rani thi..

I was mesmerized by the movie. I love watching period films in theatre. It takes us to a different era altogether. The sets, the screenplay was very impactful. I certainly liked it better than Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies which get so silly, tampering with history and making unnecessary love angles, two women in love with the same man, dancing together! Manikarnika has stayed quite honest to the plot. The costumes worn by Kangana were also very beautiful.  She looked absolutely majestic. In the first half though, the songs could have been reduced.

In more than one scene, the mother-in-law of Manikarnika warns her that she is too free-spirited. She must remember her ‘maryada’. She recommends her to confine herself to cooking and household.  Thankfully, Manikarnika did what she liked anyway. It made me smile.

Women who remember the maryada – Well,  they are not liked anyway no matter how much they try!

Women who violate the maryaada – have the potential of becoming great!!

Veteran actor Manoj Kumar has said after watching the movie that ‘Kangana was born to play Rani Lakshmibai’.  I could not agree more.  It is evident, she has lived and breathed every ounce of the character, since the making of the film.

Kangana has  been involved in the direction of the movie, in addition to playing the lead role.

Here is the problem:

Kangana is immensely talented. She can put most actresses of her generation to shame.  She is also very beautiful. Her skin, her features, her figure everything is perfect. Now, add to that she does not follow the rules of the industry. She does not care about being in the good books of the biggies. She speaks up against nepotism. She acts in videos mocking the industry. She says industry parties are as boring as her Dilli wali bua’s talks. She is her own person. Unapologetic.  She also is vocal about her political views.

Most countries take pride in patriotism. But our country doesn’t. Anything patriotic, is considered too ‘nationalist’ for people to support.  A brilliant movie, about a brilliant person, played by a brilliant actor should have been appreciated to say the least.

But as I read the reviews, I realized that people’s personal dislike for Kangana, and their political views have made them reach unprecedented levels of ignorance.

Quoting some lines for famous publications:

  1. “The full name of the Queen of Jhansi was Manikarnika Tambe, but the film informs us she was nicknamed Manu, like the hero of the Tanu Weds Manu movies where Ranaut found such success as Tanu”

Seriously? The movie made up the name Manu because Tanu weds Manu was successful? I have read that Manikarnika was called Manu, and no she lived long before Tanu weds Manu was released!! At least come up with better criticism!!

  1. “A little later, she saves a calf from ending up as lunch for British officers. Can a film about nationalism be complete today without an act of gauraksha?”

The liberals love animals. All animals except cows!! Of all the things in the movie, this is what they choose to comment on!

  1. “Kangana Ranaut’s Soulless Film Reduces Laxmi Bai To A Stunt Queen”

Well, sitting in AC offices, people cannot imagine what life was like then.  What did they expect in a movie about war? Yes. There was dramatization. It is cinema. Cinema that offers entertainment, as opposed to a documentary.

I would say for people who do not like Kangana Ranaut, please skip this one. Please watch Simmba. Appreciate Sara Ali Khan – who had a 10 minute role in which she played a Masterchef Bimbo.  Then go on a rant on how ‘talented’ she is, and how there is no such thing as nepotism.

Fellow Kangana fans – This is a treat to watch!

For the people who are proud of Indian history, go for it. Not for Kangana, but to watch the story of this great warrior. The woman who was fierce and fearless. We have read about her in school. But her story deserves to be seen on the big screen.

Har Har Mahadev!!

Image source

 

 

Everything Wrong With Simmba!

Sangram Bhalerao (Ranveer Singh) is a corrupt cop. You see, he was an orphan. There was no one to teach him right or wrong.  ‘Pet paalne ke liye’ paisa chahiye.  There is a justification for why our hero turned out bad. He is also one of the most annoying characters I have seen in recent times.

Then  there is Shagun (Sara Ali Khan). She talks sweetly and serves food to the entire police station. She keeps track of which uncle has diabetes and forbids them from having sweets. No wonder our hero falls in love with this Mother India! What does a man look for in a woman after all – the ability to feed him!

Our hero is very jealous of a male friend of Shagun.  Shagun barely knows him, and it seems she has known her male friend for years. But when our hero objects to her hugging her male friend, she does not find this man creepy, jealous, possessive, and controlling. Instead, she falls in love with him!

Anyway, moving on, since our hero has no conscience, something drastic had to happen for him to change. When he was young, a noble  Didi used to teach him at night free of cost. Similarly, there is a kind-hearted young girl in the neighborhood who teaches poor kids. Our hero finds this girl respect worthy and she becomes his chhoti behen.  This behen gets gangraped and our hero avenges her death.

The only thing that I agree with in this movie was that rapists should be killed right away.  Justice delayed is justice denied. And these beasts should not end up getting away because of money and power.  I appreciate this thought. However, there is so much wrong with Simmba:

  1. Men like Simmba respect a certain type of woman. Someone they consider ‘clean and pure’. Simmba cared about a woman because she became his sister, because she reminded him of the Didi who taught him.  Would he have respected a woman in the pub, who drank and smoked and had boyfriends, and wore a mini skirt? Probably not. He would not have been able to relate to her.

 

2. Simmba helps people once they become his mother, father, sister. Why can’t this adult respect people for just being people? Why do they have to be related to him for him to have compassion for them?

3.In a bizarre scene, Simmba and his troop try to provoke the accused rapists by calling them ‘Naamard’ ‘Napunsak’ and suggest that a fertility test would have proven otherwise. This was extremely shameful and insensitive. Do they realize there are people actually suffering from physical problems and to challenge someone to prove their ‘masculinity’ is not cool?

4.The female judge blames the rapist’s mother. Why? Had the mother asked the sons to rape? Adults cannot take responsibility for their actions? In another stupid scene, the judge wakes up when Simmba tells her what if her daughter got raped? All characters in this movie are so devoid of empathy, sensitivity, and humanity that they cannot feel for another human being unless it is their own family!

 

Acting wise, this is easily Ranveer’s Singh’s most forgettable performance. An actor of his caliber was wasted. Sara Ali Khan has probably 10-15 minutes of role.  I heard someone in the audience say, ‘She is better than Sridevi’s daughter’.  In our sad nepotism struck Bollywood, where hero ka beta hero, and heroine ki beti heroine, there is no point having a discussion on talent when it comes to star kids.

Simmba is the flagbearer of toxic masculinity. Just because the topic of women safety is in, does not mean people who have not got their thoughts right can go ahead and attempt their shot at capitalizing on it. While a movie like Pink, tried to address the mentality behind crime against women, Simmba is just a masala movie desperately trying to impose a social message. Except it has no clue, what is the problem in the first place.

 

Beauty And The Beast Within

The cute child

“Bachche Chacha Nehru se pyaar karte the! Chacha Nehru khoobsurat the. Bachche har khoobsurat cheez se pyaar karte hain!”

I listened, admiring my beautiful Hindi teacher reading out a chapter on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.  The teacher was very fond of me. “You look like a doll!” She would say. I would blush.

An attractive teacher talking about a charismatic personality.  A reasonably cute looking child listening intently.  The beautiful atmosphere was interrupted as a girl in shabby clothes and slippers walked in along with our class teacher.  Her hair was brown, with knots, lacking any kind of nourishment.  Her complexion was dull.  She looked dazed as if she woke up on another planet. Her skirt looked more like a lehenga reaching her calf, matched with a miserable, baggy, shirt. It must be her father’s, I thought.

“This is Champa. She would be joining your class today.” The teacher said hurriedly. “Let her sit next to the class monitor for few weeks till we assign her another place. Meghna, you sit next to Komal for now.  Tanvi, Champa will be sitting next to you.  Please help her with the books, uniform etc.”

I was horrified! Champa’s admission was part of a reach out program, wherein a child from a nearby slum would be selected for education free of cost.  Some of us had heard about this proposal. We had no idea it would be implemented. I had no idea it would affect me. Directly!

The next few days were difficult for me.  But how difficult was it for Champa to fit in? Kids made fun of her brutally.  They asked her if she ever showered.   There was an outbreak of lice soon after she joined. She was alleged to be the origin. Guilty until proven innocent. She bought chapati or chuda for lunch.  She ate alone. She was different.

I was conscious of my behavior at school. I was never mean to her. But deep down I found her repulsive. I hated sitting next to her.

One day, after lunch I was playing with friends. Tag. Then on the Merry Go Around. The first bell rang as an indication to us to go back to our classrooms. As I was running, I felt a weird sensation. Within a few seconds even before I realized, I had vomited. In front of everyone.

There was some vomit on my perfectly ironed white shirt. And probably some drool on my face.

One teacher commented, “Such a big girl! Cannot even control herself!! Don’t you know there is a toilet?”

Some kids laughed. Others said “Ewww” and moved away in disgust.

I had tears in my eyes.  As I made the walk of shame towards the washroom, someone held my hand.  I turned in surprise.

There she was. Champa.  As expressionless as ever.  But holding me tight and safe. She held my hand and helped me clean up. She did not say a word. But stayed with me throughout.

Few days later, she stopped coming to school.  She disappeared as abruptly as she had appeared. Some people said that parents had complained about the reach out program. Others said the management felt it was not working out. Some said her parents had decided that studies would not do her any good. Nobody knew for sure.  I never saw her again.

The ugly duckling

Few years later, my father got transferred to the United States. I was a teenager by now studying in a junior high school at New York City. One of the poshest cities in the world. With people from all over the world.  All races.  There were blonde beauties. And Hispanic beauties. And Asian beauties. Girls my age had voluptuous bodies.  My breasts had refused to show up. My buttocks were also equally flat. I wore glasses. And braces.  I had round chipmunk cheeks. I was one of the shortest people in the class.

Kids were at the age where they bully. My school was no exception.  Some desi kids like me who did not fit in were told ‘You stink’  to our faces.  Some would express reluctance to sit next to us. While walking home, there was this once particularly big guy from a senior grade who would scream at me every day, ‘You are UGLY!!!’  just in case I had forgotten.

For the first time in life I felt what it feels like to feel inferior. In every way. I felt like I was at the absolute lowest strata of society.  Being popular, being liked by the opposite sex, getting proposals on Valentine’s Day could only be a dream. I would be grateful if the day passed without any major humiliation.

Is this how Champa felt..?

I became quiet.  I was still a very good student. Being intelligent was my pride.  The few people who got to know me said I was a ‘very nice girl’.  I had few friends.  But they would all vouch for me.

A transformation

Another few years passed.  I was back in India.  I blossomed late. But I finally blossomed. I looked much better in college and in my 20’s. I was now on the better-looking side. This ‘above average’ spectrum had its own set of issues. Women felt jealous and made mean comments, totally unwarranted.  Random people thought that if a girl  is  into her looks and puts on makeup it means she is dumb and shallow. I got attention from boys who were not at all serious and I had to deal with their obnoxious attitude at feeling rejected.  Some people found me arrogant when it fact I was just an introvert.

Was this still better than being on the other side of beauty…?

I have been on different sides of ‘beauty’ at different phases of life. Here are my thoughts:

Lessons learnt

Beauty is never isolated. It is not just about the shape of your eyes or the symmetry of your face. It is about what is considered acceptable.  It is a combination of other related factors such as social, financial, racial privileges. Someone who has features from another part of the world may be different therefore considered not good looking. People who have more money have access to fashion and cosmetology and end up looking the best possible versions of themselves.

When you HATE what you see in the mirror, nothing else matters much.  Most of the times you do not see what is truly there, but what others have told you about yourself.  You see your insecurities. For someone it is a big nose.  For someone it could a dark skin-tone.  For someone it is the weight. And it takes years, and years to become comfortable with it.  I used to pray regularly as a child, having studied in a convent school. The last wish in my prayers (after well-being and health of parents and sibling) was ‘God, please make me pretty!’ Like most kids, my prayer was memorized.   Even today, at 31, when I am distressed and start praying, this ‘wish’ repeats in my mind involuntarily in the sequence.

 When a lot of people find many different ways of telling you that you do not look good, you give up on your looks completely. You deliberately decide not to put in any effort.  Loose clothes, pony tail, no make-up- Beauty becomes a game one that we choose not to play. You cannot lose when you are not playing, can you?

Champa’s face haunts me still

We may have been treated badly. But that is no excuse for how we treat others. A lesson I learnt from Champa.  A lesson I would like to convey to young people. Hang in there. There are people who will see you for your inner beauty.  But first you need to see it.  Be kind to others. And yourself.  The people we like to talk to, hold on to ultimately are the ones who are pleasant and positive. We also need to become that person first.

A happy face looks beautiful and is a culmination of peace with self and others.

Author’s Note

This article has been written for a contest organized by Women’s Web for the Naturals Salon.

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.

Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.

Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I Realised That The Festivities I Cribbed About Were About Celebration & Family

When I Realised That The Festivities I Cribbed About Were About Celebration & Family

When I was a kid I waited eagerly for festivals. More people in the house, pichkari, pathaka, new clothes, cousins, sweets, fun, laughter. What was not to like about it?

But as I grew up, I started hearing things which made me cringe..

5 Women Say Loud & Clear: Mard Ko Dard Hoga, Because Dear Perverts, Your Time Is Up!

5 Women Say Loud & Clear: Mard Ko Dard Hoga, Because Dear Perverts, Your Time Is Up!

Men are afraid now, as the #metoo movement heats up, indulging in a lot of whataboutery and minimising of the claims of the women who are speaking up. 5 strong women counter this in a panel at #blrlitfest.

When Is The Right Time For A Woman To Speak Up

Almost 10 years ago, I was preparing for the Chartered Accountancy exams and looking for tuitions for the same. I had recently moved with my parents to Mumbai following my father’s transfer.

My father had asked his colleagues for an appropriate tuition class for me. I did not want to attend a big coaching class but wanted more personal attention. After asking his colleagues he found out an appropriate person.

The new tutor would be a man in his early 60’s / late 50’s.  A man with ample experience in teaching.  There would be two more students along with me – a boy and a girl. It was on the way from my office to home. My father had accompanied me on the first day. He took me there. Introduced me to the teacher. Met him. Spoke to him. Looked at the place.  Checked out the washroom. Met the other students.  Once he was satisfied that it was all good I started attending classes there.

Since the classes were in the evening after office hours, there were times when all three of us students would not be able to make it.  The other girl had gone on vacation. The other guy would be invariably late.  I would end up alone a lot of times. This tutor would give me a problem to solve.  While I would be working, he would move around the room. He would be singing some cheap song while checking me out.  He would then narrate the most inappropriate stories from his college days. Once he told me about some women who was very beautiful who fainted and how her skirt got lifted up. I don’t remember the rest of the story. It was too disgusting.

When the other girl came back, I told her how weird he was. She agreed. She told me some other incidents where his conduct with her was objectionable too. Our exams were coming up. It would be difficult to find another tutor who would complete the syllabus from where we left off, and be available at that precious one hour where we stopped by after our work, and be located on our way to our home. We both decided that he is an idiot but we cannot afford to leave the classes. And hence we continued. And so did his strange behavior.  I did not even know what to tell my parents so I just stayed silent.

One day, it was full house with all three of us students. The teacher asked me to solve a problem which I could not. He said it was an extremely simple problem.

“I do not know how you cleared the first level exams. If you do not even know this much! How will you pass the final exam, I wonder!!”

This was something he loved to say to us. Tell us how stupid we were and if we did not work hard we would fail. But this time something got to me.

It does not matter what you think. I have a passing certificate.” I replied. The other students looked up from their notebook. The teacher looked horrified.

“What do you mean?’

“I mean that your job is to help us clear the exams. Not to demotivate us. We do not need your certificate on our past achievement. We paid you to teach us for the next exam.”

He was fuming with anger. His face was red.

“How dare you talk to me like this!”

“Shut up!” I replied.  I was shocked at my own anger.

“Get out of my premises! Now”.

The other girl and I quickly packed our bags and left. The guy was a little slow. He was not sure whether he was supposed to leave. Would that mean he is joining our protest? Or should he stay there and express his solidarity with the teacher?

The girl and I were by now “out of his premises”. We both had not said a word to each other until now.

“Tanvi.. he asked for it!”

‘Yes he did!”

“You did not say anything wrong! When you said ‘Shut up’, you should have seen his face!! It was red!”

And then we both laughed. Of course I did not go back there again. The other two students continued till the syllabus got over.

I stayed in touch with the girl. She told me that the other guy felt I should not have said ‘Shut up’ to an elderly person. The teacher said to him that I was rude, uncultured, disrespectful. The student also felt I had unnecessarily been difficult. Of course, he had no idea how much anger had built up inside the girls all this time.

Perverts are everywhere. They come in all ages. They come from trustworthy sources. An elderly, harmless looking man introduced by your parents, someone they have met and verified.

Why didn’t I say ‘Shut up’ when he was singing a cheap song, looking at me from head to toe, stripping me with his eyes?

Why didn’t I say, ‘Shut up, your job is to teach’ when he was narrating that horrible skirt up story?

I don’t have an answer. I am just glad I spoke up when I did. And I would not want to change that.

How My Relationship With Festivities Evolved Over The Years

When I was a kid I waited eagerly for festivals. More people in the house, pichkari, pathaka, new clothes, cousins, sweets, fun, laughter. What was not to like about it?

But as I grew up, I started hearing things which made me cringe..

You are a girl! How come you are not interested in making Rangoli? What is a Diwali without Rangoli!

Do you know how to make any Indian sweets? This cake and all any one can bake…

You don’t observe any fasts!! How come? Sasural mein kya haal hoga!

I would see other women dress up, pray, perform rituals, and prepare special delicacies on these occasions. I started thinking it was unnecessary. I would especially rebel when somebody would say that I should do these things since I am “a girl”.

I hid during Holi, afraid the colors would cause an allergy on my face. Diwali was about complaining about pollution. I visited temples as per my wish as I did not believe in praying as an activity. To me it was something I did alone. Something sacred between me and God.

Last year on Ganesh Chaturthi, my mother had invited many people. I remembered how she had cooked so many things. How there was so much work at home. How I had worn a sari. How I had cribbed to her that there was no need to do so much at this age. How she had responded, “Yeh sab achcha lagta hai. Kuch utsah hota hai.”

This year the festivals came as they do every year. But my mother who keeps Ganpati at her home every year was suffering from a contagious viral infection. I was not supposed to visit her for few weeks. Ganpati Puja was preceded by Teej. Being the first year of my marriage, I was supposed to perform the Puja at my mother’s house. Again, this was also cancelled given my mother’s health.

During those few weeks, I would get up in the morning. Tired. The house helpers would show up at their wish, taking holidays most of the time. Doing the dishes became frequent. I dreaded weekends because it would mean brooming, mopping and laundry. When I was not at home, I would be at work. Another eight hours would be spent in meeting deadlines and working under pressure. The next few hours at home would remind me that few items from the grocery list were still pending. And that the plumber’s timing did not match with my office hours. Hence the leakage in the bathroom would continue….

The monotony of the daily grind was getting to me…

The things that I used to find unnecessary suddenly became a cause for a void in my mundane life. There was nothing to look forward to. I had always taken festivals for granted. I had never thought about what it feels like when you cannot celebrate because your family member is sick.

I was not the only one who missed the festivities at my mother’s house. One of my mother’s young neighbors said to her fondly, “Aunty last year we had such a good time at your place. The sweet you made, was just like my mother used to make! This year was so dull!’ 

And suddenly it all made sense to me. If women like me and her, who go to work, and have a decent number of friends can feel so empty due to lack of festival celebrations, what would it be like for women in previous generations who were confined to the four walls of their homes?

Thankfully, I have another family now. I celebrated the festivals at my in-laws’ place. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law spent a lot of time cooking, cleaning and procuring supplies for the Puja. At workplace also, it was ‘Ethnic Day’ where all the women decided to wear a sari. It is difficult to wear a sari in office (for inexperienced people like me) but nonetheless it was worth the effort because it made us all feel good and gave us a reason to pose for pictures.

My cook seeing that I was depressed had prayed for my family’s well being. She handed me kumkum with much conviction:

“Madam, I got it for your mother from the temple. Very powerful deity Madam. You give it to her.”

To the absolute shock of my mother, I sent the kumkum to her and repeated the exact words of my cook.

Why do the women in our country put so much effort in following rituals?

If you had asked me this question until some time back I would have told you it is all futile. Most rituals do not even make sense. The feminist side of me feels that most of our traditions reek of misogyny.

Festivals. Rituals. Traditions. They play an important role in the lives of women in India.

I always tried to escape from such stereotypes. But the past month made me understand something. This is an escape in itself for women…

Maybe it is the time we get to look forward to something other than the daily chulha, chauka and bartan.

Maybe it is the only time we get to wear that sari hidden in our wedding suitcase.

Maybe it is about socializing and meeting family members who we otherwise do not get to see.

Maybe it is about a young woman feeling the warmth of her hometown in the food cooked by a neighborhood Aunty.

Maybe it is about appreciating that the elders in our family are still present in our lives to teach us a thing or two…

Maybe being a woman is about not being judgmental. Maybe it is about appreciating that while I may not like to perform Karwa Chauth for my beliefs, for another woman it may be the brightest day of the year.

Maybe each one of us is struggling in our own ways, and we are desperately trying to catch the one tiny little ray of hope and joy. And the least we could do is let everyone decide for themselves what is that ray of hope in their life…

Image source

Andhadhun: Most Fun Watch In A Long Time

After hearing awesome things about this movie, I dared to go for the 10 pm show that too in the second row from the front. The theatre was buzzing with people. Houseful on a week day night show!  This movie is a thriller so I don’t want to spoil it. Just few thoughts:

  • The characters in the movie look ordinary but they end up doing extra ordinary things!
  • The retro songs are very well placed in the movie as one of the characters is a yesteryear actor. They add value to the feel of the movie.
  • Tabu is a delight to watch. She is brilliant! Such a versatile actress. My favourite movie of hers till date is Astitva. There is so much of drama to her character! But this drama comes naturally because of the situations. Bollywood is improving and now there are good roles for older actresses instead of the career getting over once a woman is in her 30s. It is such a breath of fresh air. We are not interested in watching colleges girls fall in love and run around trees.
  • Ayushman is one of his kind in Bollywood. He plays the role of boy next door with so much ease which makes people relate to him. Yet, has the good looks of a ‘hero’ which again makes us like him. Deadly combination!
  • Radhika Apte does justice to her role. So does the rest of the character who are perfectly cast.
  • Editing is crispy. There is no dull moment.
  • The dialogues are hilarious! There is so much going on the movie – murder, adultery, betrayal yet it will make you laugh every now and then.

Was telling my father about the movie, discussing some scenes with excitement. ‘After a long time, you seem to have enjoyed a movie so much.’ He said. That is true.  I don’t like most movies… 

Go for it! This movie is fun to watch.  Don’t miss it!

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