Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The days of seeing women as the mad-woman-in-the-attic or the-angel-in-the-house seems to be getting over now. No longer is the female protagonist a “boodhi maa”or“kunwaari behen”. No longer is she a commodity bartered between two best friends. No longer is she left as a mortgage with a lecherous villain who oodles and doodles at her sight until the knight-in-the-shining-armour returns for her rescue. No longer does she have to wait for her twins to reincarnate in their second life to save her from the tyranny of the village landlord.

She is the woman who decides what ideology she wants to pick up for herself and does not mind a pre-marital sexual relationship (Chitrangada Sinha as Geeta in Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi). She is the woman who leaves her nested home to come to a metro city to fulfil her aspirations of being a writer and falls in love with a man much younger to her (Konkana Sen as Aisha in Wake Up Sid). She is the single parent who brings up her 12-year old son suffering from progeria without seeking help from the biological father (Vidya Balan as Vidya in Paa).

She is not “a”, she is “the” now.

But, of all these, the one movie that has aims to alter perceptions of the Hindi film heroine is DevD. They are the new age reincarnations. So there is the I-cannot-live-without-cocaine-Chanda and the Dev-I-can-live-without-you-Paro. Women too are finally seen as sexual beings (whoever thought they were asexual amoebas!) and being totally unapologetic about it. So, where Paro does not mind telling her childhood love that she “touches” herself, sends him her nude picture, takes a mattress on a bicycle to “bed” her love and has a one night stand with him after getting married. Paarvati of Devdas is Paro.

Chanda on the other hand is the new age young girl who is discarded from the “good society” because of her MMS clip that once got circulated in school. To sustain, to survive, she turns into a prostitute or a CSW (Commercial Sex Worker) as her “kutte waala client” would call her. She lives on lines of cocaine, but she does not live on pain. She is the “fallen women”, the Eve who becomes The Mary by reforming Dev. She blurs the Victorian idea of the dichotomy between the Virgin Mary and the Eve.

When we see Chanda staring at Dev as he enters her brothel and Paro looking at his bare chest and saying her husband is not “old” in the bed, we see the voyeurism dynamics changing in front of our eyes. The Male Gaze has become the Male Being Gazed. So, while Paro cleans Dev’s clothes, Chanda gives him a bath. One cleanses the body, the other cleanses the soul. Redemption of the patriarchy then happens through a non-virgin female agent.
It is all about Love, Truth and a Little Malice.

All this is troublesome and unacceptable to a mind fed on constructs. So, while new-kid-on-the-block, Ishqiya presents to us a female lead Krishna who is desirable in her rustic cotton saree look. She is lustful even when she sings with her sitar. ’Widowed’, she does not mind two unknown men staying in her house, emotional with one, physical with another. And at the same time, she is fiercely aggressive when she points a gun at both when she suspects foul play. She takes control of things, sexually and otherwise.

Women in the Indian film industry are finally seeing the light of the day. For a change, their sexuality is being taken naturally and hence explored. LSD, a recently released movie, is not about the hallucinogen LSD, but about the stone-ness of Love, Sex aur Dhokha. It is about women totally unabashed about their sexuality evident from an obvious example where the girl has no qualms making out in the store-room of the very store that she works in. The film has further explored the unventured territories of female sexuality. One only hopes that more of such movies are made, after all when you kiss a woman, let us not forget, that the woman is kissing you too.

Disclaimer : Read the title of the post.


Ashwin said...

Ha ha! All for this?! Good one!

PS: I have watched only one of the movies that you had mentioned about - but I still get the point!

Ashtung said...

honestly dude...left it half way

saurabh said...

nicely presented dude..

but my take on LSD is different.. the womenfolk represented in this movie are more like girls these days.. although expressing themselves sexually free but at the same time vulnerable to "dhoka".. they never see that coming or rather ignore it..

Insignia said...

First, I loved reading each line, read it twice.
Your thoughts are refreshing and for once, THE facts. This is how a woman of today is, substance, no nonsense, she knows what she wants. And a go getter.

And at the same time, they are sometimes stupid, they dont foresee things :-)

Abhishek said...

In terms of the manner of writing, for me, this is the best I've read from you (and you've written some pretty good ones mind you). About the content, good work.

Nipun said...

Awesome post Bhaiya..:)
I just couldn't blink even once while reading this one.
Amazing thought bubbling..
I must say that you have presented women in a better way then what the directors or producers of the movies wanted. Hats Off for this work bhaiya!!
A new dimension to think about..:)
All hail the new bollywood.
*When u kiss a girl, she is also kissing u.*
Gajab h yaar..:)



Lincoln said...

it was a wonderful read :) gud one

Pratik Gupta said...

@Ashwin : I guess that one will be none other then the mighty Dev D :)

@ Ashtung: Expected, Quite Expected....for you I have got some stuff at Google Buzz...Go, Have fun :)

Pratik Gupta said...

@Saurabh: Tum to senti ho gaye miyan. Everyone is vulnerable to Dhoka my friend But I got your feelings...you will get your gurl dude...Banglore calling !!

Pratik Gupta said...

@Insignia: I am so Glad that you liked it. You rightly pointed that they are changing but You cant expect them to be something they cant be...Its the duality in their nature which is the most amazing feature and It should prevail.

Pratik Gupta said...

@Abhishek : This was a Praise or an Insult :)
BTW this is a social experiment...details will be revealed later....

Pratik Gupta said...

@ Nipun: I guess you got your line :) But I am so gad that you liked it so much....Hope to write it in the smae manner...Thanks :)

@ Lincoln: Hey Thanks for liking and commenting on the post....Have fun :)

Chanz said...

Pratik, i have to agree to this... the times have changed and it is evident in the movies these days..

even though I am a women, I would still agree with all that you said...

Btw, i loved this post.. The content, the flow, the language used... everything was remarkable.. Loved it till the end..

When u kiss a girl, she is also kissing u... you have really found out the heart of the issue...

Abhinav said...

Agreed yaar good read

Sorcerer said...

great post dude..coming here after a short break and yeah.iam happy to read such a wonderful post.

you said things in in a totally new dimension.awesome work bro

Pratik Gupta said...

@Chanz: I am so, so glad that you liked it :)

@Abhinav : Thanks mayte!!

Pratik Gupta said...

@Sorcy: :) Thanks Thanks !!