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When women directors were uncommon, Kalpana Lajmi made women centric films. By daring to love and marrying a much older man, she proved her bravado.
When women directors were uncommon, Kalpana Lajmi made women centric films. As with her films, her own life too was unconventional and lived on her own terms.
It was 1993 when I first heard this name – Rudali. That was not the age of google, so film magazines and newspapers were the only things one could lean on. I did so too.
Written and directed by a certain Kalpana Lajmi, Rudali was creating ripples is what I heard. Dimple Kapadia was phenomenal. Bhupen Hazarika’s music was something that one might not have heard ever before. And then, the movie itself was new, unheard of, raw, enticing and earthy.
I couldn’t manage to see the movie then. But later, when I saw, it left a permanent mark on my soul. I revered Kalpana Lajmi for even attempting such a narrative on celluloid. Bravo.
It had always been a thing with me to read about people. And this lady intrigued me to the hilt. When I read more, I came to know who she was and what she did. Then a few of her other movies came about like ‘Darmiyaan- In between’. There was a song in that film, ‘phighalta hua yeh sama’ which was one of my favourites. Again a curious story line with an unusual narrative. Then came ‘Daman’, and ‘Chingari’ with Sushmita Sen, and more. I was even more drawn towards this maverick filmmaker. Just that I still wasn’t aware of the word ‘Feminism’.
And, then I heard that she was Guru Dutt’s niece. Well.
As I grew up I learnt about her relationship with Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. It was surprising, yet heartwarming. Today, as I write this, I feel glad they didn’t hadvesocial media then. They would have been ripped apart with scathing jokes and memes. It was love for a man who was 36 years older than her. A man who made her what she was, inspired her to make a world of her own. And as Kalpana Lajmi often said, she absorbed and consumed the man she loved and lived with. These two souls were together for 46 years, till Dr. Hazarika passed away at the age of 83, seven years ago. They took care of each other despite the social and family resistance.
I say, and always say, some relationships are boundless and undefinable.
Kalpana Lajmi was a true feminist. She sculpted a kind of womanhood that people seldom can do. She had her own mind and stood responsible for all her doing and misdoings. At an age where female filmmakers were a rarity, she not only directed and worked with top names of the industry, she also made movies that spoke about the myriad emotions and facets of womanhood. And, her unapologetic stance towards woman’s sexuality was consuming enough to make you sit and ponder.
We talk about feminism a lot. But seldom get the meaning right. Here was one lady who carved a niche for herself without explicitly discussing feminism. But she did it ably with aplomb. Surely, it hasn’t been easy for her. But she chose her path and walked on it. She dared to love and live at her will.
Kalpana Lajmi moved on to the other world. Maybe she will meet her Bhupenda and stays at peace. But for us, she leaves a trail of work to see, ponder and absorb. A life to look and absorb, copiously.
Image Source – YouTube Video
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An avid reader, a blogger, a book reviewer, a freelancer writer and an aspiring author. She has an opinion about everything around. And through her writings she reaches out to the world. A mother of read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words.
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.
“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”
Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.
While boys are taught to naturally own the space they enter, girls are taught to give up, to accommodate, to adjust since "it is their primary responsibility to keep families and relations together."
Yesterday, I was watching these 4 young girls around 16 – 17 years old play badminton. They were having fun, goofing around with all 4 of them equally involved in the game.
In some time two of their male friends joined them, and as part of round robin, the 2 boys replaced two of the girls. All good.
As the play continued, I started noticing a change in the way the game was being played. The shuttle was played most of the times between the two boys and there was a sense of competition and aggression brought in. The other 2 girls playing soon starting losing interest in the game as they hardly got any game time. Even if the shuttle came towards them, the boy in their team would move and play that shot. They soon moved to the sidelines as the boys continued to play.
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