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Try as I might, I couldn’t sleep last night. Not only could I not get comfortable in my usual position with my head pillowed on my arms, but I also could not move around freely to get comfortable without jingling loudly enough to wake my roommates. The reason? Bangles. As I walked around the villages in Sirmaur, the women had been horrified by my lack of marriage symbols- the single strand mangalsutra was not enough apparently. One of them had been kind enough to press some on me- a dozen on each arm. They were sparkly and pretty, but they were as limiting as handcuffs.
Which is fitting, because the women there lead a fettered life. They lack a choice in nearly everything. True, even for most urban women, education is dictated by finances and family and not always in that order. However, these women lack a say in everything.
I had gone there to assess water harvesting measures. It is the women that do most of the fetching of water. Not one of them was willing to decisively state what she would like. ‘How can I? Speak to him when he comes back.’
A young bride of four months was being taken to the nearest town for fertility treatments. Thankfully, the doctor was a good man and instead of taking advantage of the family’s need and fleecing them, prescribed for her what she needed most- iron supplements. I worry that the in-laws desperation will drive them to another, less ethical doctor. Did anyone question her? No. I am glad that atleast this way she will be able to battle her anemia, but the reason is not concern for her, but that she reach full production capacity as soon as possible.
And it is not just a child they want – it is a son. Girls do not count for much in this society, being regarded as byproducts of the important business of getting sons. The pair here are a brother and sister who love each other as only siblings can. Their father, when asked about his children, says that he has one son. I wonder what will happen to the boy when he grows up. Will he be more considerate, more appreciative of his daughters? As for the girl, I can only worry.
Chicu lives in Uttarakhand and defines herself as a natural resource manager, traveller, and latent gardener. A civil engineer by training, she works with the People's Science Institute, a non-governmental organization working towards read more...
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
When Jaya Bachchan speaks her mind in public she is often accused of being brusque and even abrasive. Can we think of her prodigious talent and all the bitter pills she has had to swallow over the years?
A couple of days ago, a short clip of a 1998 interview of Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan resurfaced on social media. In this episode of the Simi Grewal chat show, at about the 23-minute mark, Jaya lists her husband’s priorities: one, parents, two kids, then wife. Then she corrects herself: his profession – and perhaps someone else – ranks above her as a wife.
Amitabh looks visibly uncomfortable at this unstated but unambiguous reference to his rather well-publicised affair with co-star Rekha back in the day.
Watching the classic film Abhimaan some years ago, one scene really stayed with me. It was something Brajeshwarlal (David’s character) says in troubled tones during the song tere mere milan ki yeh raina. He says something to the effect that Uma (Jaya Bhaduri’s character) is more talented than Subir (Amitabh Bachchan’s character) and that this was a problem since society teaches us that men are superior to women.
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