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Khayali Pulao is like a breath of fresh air, it raises the question that even today why do we cage the dreams of girls?
During this lockdown, social media platforms became one of the most used sources of entertainment. The Internet is full of both creative and gloomy content. We were exposed to news and new content far more heavily than normal days. In these times, a short film got released on YouTube titled ‘Khayali Pulao’ on 9 July. The film is 26 minutes long. You will not realize when the film ended.
The film has few but very interesting characters. The protagonist is Asha (Prajakta Koli), who is a class topper. She attends an all-girls school. One day the sports coach (Yashpal Sharma) of the school along with a girl in shorts announces that they have to form a handball team for a match on the Republic Day. Asha gets fascinated with the shorts which the girl was wearing. Other important characters are Asha’s friend, teacher, and parents. The story revolves around how Asha gets into the team only to wear those shorts for once. And this is a feminist story.
The film starts with a powerful message “Laxman rekhaiyan kheechne se pehle aapne aap se poochiye, kya aap Laxman hai?” And it is imperative to ask this question. The film is about the gender differences that exist which stems out from the patriarchal system.
The movie is about a girl, who is like any other girl, like you and me, who wants freedom. I will call her a feminist. Like women and men are not singular bodies and have plural identities, likewise, our feminism is plural. My feminism can differ from your feminism.
I can have easy access to education and resources which a woman of the same age cannot enjoy, and have to fight for every day. This can be due to a few of many social structures working simultaneously of caste, class, religion, age, ethnicity, language, and disability to name a few. Her feminism is wanting to wear shorts. Her feminism is to be known as ‘Wonder-woman’ instead of ‘Superman’.
Her feminism is accessing the internet on a smartphone. Her feminism is using a Facebook account. All these things are considered morally bad for women in a patriarchal society. In a scene, her father is offended by a girl who uploaded a picture on Facebook wearing a top and jeans. Whereas, her mother worries who will marry that girl. These are the conversation we hear everywhere, only the form changes, but the core message remains universal.
For me, Khayali Pulao is powerful and a must-watch short film if you want to watch some critical commentary on the issue. I recommend this short film for everyone.
I am a postgraduate in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Care and Education,
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