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We need more confident men like Ranveer Singh who don’t let the society’s definition of (toxic) masculinity refrain them from doing the right thing and following their heart.
Being a celebrity comes with lots of responsibility as a vast majority look up to you as a role model, and Ranveer Singh is doing a fine job at being an ideal crush and role model for the new generation.
Amongst the recent developments that have brought forward the many things problematic with the entertainment industry, Ranveer Singh is a fresh breeze.
Honestly speaking, his debut roles could have never predicted the growth he has shown as an actor and the variety he has brought in his so many different performances.
His career arc shows such unparalleled development and he seems to fit in every character so seamlessly that it seems that each of his characters was tailor-made for him: whether it is the role of a Peshwa or a barbaric villain Khilji, he did complete justice to them. He has not role-typed himself into a dimpled good boy, a classic man-child or an action hero.
He models himself into all of these and many more. He is a warrior; he is a villain; he is a tragic-hero; he is a ruffian. But to me, his multi-faceted personality and life has much more to offer than his films.
He is the torch bearer of gender equality and breaking gender stereotypes in the entertainment industry. He is bringing about the change by being the change, without explicitly saying anything about it.
He being a celebrity is a role model for many. And the fact he didn’t let the trolls discourage him from his statement dressing which is often regarded as outrageous and eccentric. Dressing in this fashion was a powerful move on his part because he slammed down the door that was closed for centuries in the face of men for the sake of maintaining grave masculinity. To watch a heterosexual male who is often praised for exuding a powerful masculine aura dress up in skirts and bright colors broke several taboos and stereotypes that earlier used to amount to homophobia.
This power move created a safe space for heterosexual and homosexual men alike to dress according to their choice without the fear of violent consequences.
He broke in the misogynistic entertainment industry’s problematic behavioral pattern by desexualizing item numbers starting from Goliyon ki Raaslila Ram Leela’s “Ram ji ki chal dekho” (which is not one of my favorite numbers yet a notable deviation from the 90’s songs where the introduction of women was a sexualized one, with one or the other item numbers). It was the start of a pleasant change that became more dominant in his other movies.
Since then, in Ranveer Singh’s movies we have seen him dancing in a solo peppy song with the obvious and pleasantly relieving change of not seeing women dancing on numbers that reduce them to mere sexual objects. Whether it is Bajirao Mastani’s “Malhari”, Gunday’s “Jashn-e-ishqa” or Padmavat’s “Khali Bali”, his dance moves presented the society with a different viewpoint of a solo male item number or song of celebration. These songs celebrated male camaraderie and bonding over something other than ogling women. Again, his solo numbers helped in seeing the dance as an art form and not something sexualized and reduced to a mere form of seduction done by women.
His wedding pictures with Deepika Padukone also broke gender stereotypes when his picture wearing an angrakha kurta went viral where he could be seen taking the twirl. A picture that has been stereotyped as being a mandatory bride pose was nailed by this groom.
During his wedding reception, he was the best man and the maid of honor to his wife while helping her adjust the heavy saree pleats. His entire relationship with Deepika is something straight out of dreams and this particularly makes him a complete man. He is a person who is a friend and confederate to his wife.
People have seen and heard stories about toxic men inflicting greater pain on their partner because of their exes and previous relationships. But here we found a man who let his lady recover from the trauma of a relationship with a toxic ex coming from a powerful family. He let her become comfortable in her skin when media personnel were all digging further into her trauma because of the notorious tattoo. Even when she was spotted with him, media never refrained from asking her about the infamous tattoo while her ex was all in grins.
Ranveer didn’t let the dark shadows of her past engulf her again and always has the most humble and witty response ready for the gossip mongers. He is always full of praises for his spouse and always explicit in his display of love, affection and pride in her. He is secure enough to publicly admit that she is a bigger star than him and dedicate all his success and inspiration to her. He brings power to their couple by maintaining balance and equality in this relationship. And their smile at any public or private event doesn’t appear forceful.
In my opinion, we need more confident men like him who don’t let the society’s definition of (toxic) masculinity refrain them from doing the right thing and following their heart because such people inspire by being comfortable enough in their own skin.
Dr. Nishtha Mishra is an internationally published author. She is a Doctorate in English Literature from one of the reputed Central Universities. She has been an all round topper and has 5 gold medals to read more...
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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