Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A Very Humble Take On The Trailer Of 'Ki and Ka'

A lot has been said about the new "Ki and Ka" trailer already. It is after all an R Balki film, and he has impressed me with every one of his films, be it the much loved "English Vinglish", or the much lesser appreciated "Shamitabh". And, every publication out there is going gaga over the 'gender bending' fun ride that the trailer of "Ki and Ka" seems to be. But, I am having niggling doubts. Yesterday, my flatmate said that she believes feminists would really love this film. The immediate question that popped up in my head was, "Would an Intersectional feminist love this film though?"

You can watch the trailer here and leave your thoughts for me to ponder upon.

I have learnt that there is a vast divide between feminists of different kind; all don't wear the same feathers. Different people have different agendas in mind when they champion any -ism, as history is there to prove it. The thing is, feminism, a.k.a. gender equality as the lesser of the brave-hearts call it, has now become a jhanda that everyone loves to fly. It is truly a double-edged sword now. On one hand, capitalism is selling the idea of equality in the name of bringing about change. Feminism has now become a viable, saleable commodity now. Well, if it brings about a change for the better, then good for everyone. But is it really being achieved when so many people involved in this selling don't even know that feminism is not about male hating after all? Now, that is a topic that deserves much deeper thought and I need more time to delve into it. I am just trying to analyse the trailer of a film that is trying to tell me that revolutionary change is finally happening in Bollywood where gender bending and gender equality can slowly, but firmly, become a norm, rather than a mere breeze that will be forgotten tomorrow. I mean, this film is being anticipated as a potential game changer for Bollywood; that is big!
I am repeating to myself constantly that this is R Balki after all, and that man deserves more faith. But, I cannot shove off the niggling fear in the back of my mind that they (as in big bad world of Bollywood) will screw it up, yet again. First of all, while watching the trailer, things went downhill for me when Arjun Kapoor's character announces he is neither gay, nor looking for a sex change despite the fact that he wants to be a stay-at-home husband. Isn't this statement making it clear that even if now men can stay at home and not want a career, but they must remain affirmatively, heterosexually cis. Then again at the end, he is shown he is beating up a bunch of goons, establishing his normative 'manliness' even more firmly. Even Kareena's character gushes and states, that this display of machismo is making her feel things that she perhaps didn't feel for Arjun's character before when he was doing the more stereotypical 'womanly things' at home.

Is it really gender bending to wear heels, cook, and be a 'house husband', while you pointedly distance yourself from 'those gays and transgenders' for whom it is okay to be feminine, and quite expectedly so? Are you really telling a revolutionary story by simplistically reversing the stereotype that the man always pays the bills, and the wife always depends on the husband for money ghar chalane ke liye?

Is it really gender bending that the career-oriented woman is being attributed the role of the 'man of the house', and the stay-at-home husband wants to be 'the wife' and wear a mangalsutra? How is assigning gender to everyday activities, like cooking and giving long hours to your job, earth shattering or gender bending?

Intersectionality is a real necessity in our society. We can no longer fight for one oppressed section at the cost of another one. We can no longer win cool brownie points by distancing ourselves from other marginalised sections while championing the rights of another.

When I commented a much more condensed version of these very doubts on a Buzzfeed article about the trailer, someone pointed out to me that we have to assume these mindless gags are only there to attract the larger audience, and we better keep our hopes up till the film actually releases. So, till the film releases, I am also keeping my hopes up. Make me happy one more time Balki saab!

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Living In A Trance

We live in terror that if we ever show our true self, even to the one who has breathed into our skin and left traces in our bloodstream, we would automatically be deemed unloveable. This quote by Marilyn Monroe is so famous- "...if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

Sure we would love to practice it for real. But, in truth we refuse to ask for what we think we deserve because we are so terrified of being left all alone. Most days you pretend you are good with it all, your brain dictates you to be more pragmatic. But, certain days when you are already feeling low, you just turn into mush and slowly dissolve into the nothingness deep inside of your hollow heart. Every bit of defensive behaviour is just a way to protect our hearts from being broken again and again. You say things to break off ties, before they can. Decades long friendships come to end, lovers leave, parents die, cousins get too busy- you stood alone to look at the moon even when they were around anyway. You never saw the same things and felt the same things about them anyway.

Tend your bruises in silence, tend them alone. No one else has a magical salve to soothe your burns. We are not faces, we are not bodies; we are just trembling fingers and toes trying to make sense of everything. We are all living inside our own heads, where we are the perpetual victims. Do we ever come out of that trance?

of fires that burn through you
of deliberately unclean shoes
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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Coming Up Roses

Delhi has derailed me. Even now I find very little time for leisure. There is an overabundance of kulcha, chhole bhature, rajma, chhole and chawal everywhere. But everyday we (me and my other Bong-Delhi mates) try to make something for dinner, something that reeks of our home, even if it is the humble muger daal or dim kosha or mangsher jhol. We save just enough energy every night to taste home, once a day.

I feel extremely bad that I took such a long time to finally make this post. Amydus has been kind enough to be patient with me though. They sent this gorgeous lace peplum top as a preview of their then upcoming collection. I was delighted to see how well it fit me. I was told "wow haven't seen you in things like this before." I somehow never tried out peplum before. And I am kinda saving this one, to debut it during Durga Puja. I am growing restless now, to go back home. But, I don't know how strange it would feel to live at home again, right when I have found a rhythm here. We will see. Till then, read about the amazing size range offered by Amydus *here*. Ciao.

You can get the top here - Black Peplum Top (not an affiliate link)

Black Peplum Top - Amydus
Pink Round Glasses - New Market, Calcutta
Belt, Shoes - B.K. Market, Calcutta
Purple Pants - Stolen from sister

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