Did You Really Say That About Your Wife And Daughter, Ranbir?!

Doing this once may be a mistake, twice and people could still give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is a habit now. For someone who positions himself as modern and reasonably evolved, this is just… particularly clueless.

So Ranbir Kapoor said that he hoped daughter Raha wouldn’t have his wife Alia’s personality. He said this because Alia’s personality is ‘very loud’ (which according to him, is a synonym for ‘vivacious’) and two girls like this at home would be ‘daunting’ for him (everything in life must be so arranged as not to be ‘daunting,’ of course.)

Now this shouldn’t have gotten my goat, but it did. Once may be a mistake, twice and people could still give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is a habit now. For someone who positions himself as modern and reasonably evolved, this is just… particularly clueless. Let me womansplain.

What did Ranbir Kapoor say about Alia Bhat? Again?

He hopes that his daughter will be quiet, like him, so they can both ‘handle Alia’. Basically he made the equivalent of a bad WhatsApp ‘wife joke’. There is so much Indian Uncle energy in what he said – I wonder if this has to do with the fact that he is 11 years older than his wife? How about some self-awareness, uncle?

An uncle before your time Ranbir?

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So apparently he thought it was funny to speak publicly about how much pregnancy weight his wife had gained – right before her stupefied eyes. Then at the promotion of a film he spoke about how daal-chawal is best after a while in life (referencing his line from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani where he decries the humdrum sameness of domesticity). Then he tells us that wife Alia is the ‘tadka’ (spice) and the ‘achaar’ (pickle) of said daal chaawal. (Sigh!)

In the past he has also mocked Anushka Sharma for her anxiety. He suggested that she is something of a hypochondriac pill-popper; adding that “we accept her” and that she is ‘precious’. So nice of you! He has also mansplained to Katrina Kaif for “not saying something properly”. A repeat offender this guy.

Just clueless?


He may want to portray himself as the dude about town, but the Uncle in him keeps making an appearance. ‘Ghar pe mujhe maar padegi’ (my wife will hit me) is yet another unsavoury wife joke that casually references domestic violence.

Yes, this is just how we Indians speak; it’s colloquial – but we really shouldn’t, right? And if one wants to position oneself as progressive and forward thinking, one really needs to choose one’s words carefully…. At least in public, right? Maybe just ensure that an uncle doesn’t pop out each time one opens one’s mouth?

Uncomfortable with all the change?


Industrialist Harsh Goenka is prime candidate for the title of Indian-Uncle-In-Chief. He frequently makes ‘jokes’ like this one, is made to realise the folly of his ways and then deletes such tweets. So perhaps he – and other uncles – are simply unaware of how casually misogynistic and sexist they are?

We all have these guys in our families, in our workplaces, our social media and most certainly in our WhatsApp groups. They will send a ‘joke’ like this and when called out, they will petulantly complain that people cannot seem to take a joke these days. They are clueless about how punching down is simply not funny.

‘Poor’ men, all so confusing na?

I get how all this is confusing for so many of the men around us. These are often nice blokes devoted to their families and probably adore the women in their lives. Most of the time, they are perfectly amiable and they actually mean well. The problem is that they are supremely unaware of their privilege and how all our systems are structured to favour them.

For instance, many men are uncomfortable with women who speak openly about their periods and choose not to use hair removal products (it doesn’t affect them and they don’t want to be bothered by ‘all that’). They are surprised when they are told not to make off-colour ‘jokes’ or sexist comments.

They are being asked to change and they don’t like it. It confuses them – the fact that are being asked to place themselves in the shoes of others for a moment; develop empathy and learn something at this late stage in life.

Ranbir Kapoor is 40 – at the risk of being ageist (clarifying here that I am older) may I suggest that he learn a thing or two at his late stage in life? Can I hope that the next time he opens his mouth an Indian Uncle doesn’t pop out?

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About the Author

Reena Daruwalla

A former lawyer, now freelance writer, fauji wife, mother, singer, knitter and lover of my own cooking, I have altogether too many opinions and too few convictions. The more I learn the more I am read more...

38 Posts | 27,647 Views

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