This was first written by my later mother Mita Basu on Facebook, in Bengali. It is a reaction to a recent TV commercial of Everest Garam Masala, featuring Amitabh Bacchan. I have translated the piece and also added my own perspectives, … Continue reading Maa Ke Haat Ka Khana When Maa Is a Service Provider
First published on Firstpost where I have argued that the Khadi Calendar debate have to go beyond the phallocentrism, and we have to look at feminist interpretation. From Gandhi to Modi, its one man replacing another. The DAVP calendar shows a … Continue reading Government of India And Khadi Calendar Where Modi Replaced Gandhi: Feminist Understanding
A father training his daughters to win sports medals may not be a revolutionary idea everywhere, but it is one in a state like Haryana. Continue reading Dangal Trailer Review | Ode To Aamir Khan
There is no wronged woman here who wants to take a revenge, no mother who is struggling and fighting all odds to raise her children, no multi-tasking multi-talented woman who manages both work and family, no fierce police officer or successful film star. Neerja was not Jhansi ki Rani or Devi Durga, she was just Neerja and that made all the difference. Continue reading Feminist Film Review – Neerja, not your predictable strong woman
For benefit of those who don’t want to spend money on a film which is not well made, let me give the crux of the gender bender points it tries make, but fails. Continue reading Feminist Film Review – Ki and Ka
Bhansali imagined 18th century Maratha and Rajput kingdoms where women had some agencies. And men respected women. Sadly he forgot to hire a writer to give words to his imagination. Continue reading Bajirao Mastani Feminist Review: Strong Women, Gorgeous Chandeliers
First published on Huffington Post India, received over 4K Likes
I heard the PM talking at the Gold scheme launch today. I observed that he was making these terrible blunders, one after the other and I was wondering just how bad it could get. Turned out, it was quite bad if not baddest. What did he do wrong? Well, he used gendered language.
“In India, women don’t have anything, house, car etc are all in the name of husband or son. But she has the gold. The way social structure is, gold is a big weapon of women empowerment. She won’t have home but she is owner of gold. Even the son would not question it, ‘it is mother’s’ they say. This is positive aspect of our culture that has provided for this women empowerment…we should carry on with this culture, our mothers and daughters should continue to feel safe knowing they have gold…” Said the nation’s PM.
See the full speech here
First published on The Huffington Post India
It was about time someone questioned the mainstream media’s lack of coverage of women stories. The article met with predictable defense, “Caravan is not a women’s magazine.” Right, women’s issues should be kept restricted to women’s magazine, the likes of Femina, Women’s Era, Griha Shobha and Savita, why would important journals of politics and culture write about silly less important topics related to women, seems to be the logic. This article needs to be read and understood in this context. Because this ‘othering’ of women is the problem. Why should women issues be always separated from the mainstream? Continue reading “Caravan Magazine takes 5 years to put a woman on cover, renders a bad apology”
Ms. Kiran Gandhi ran the London Marathon 2015 without any sanitary device while publicly bleeding. She said she did it for feminism. I think that is bull. I think it is 0% feminism and 100% publicity stunt. In addition, her story seemed a bit fake too. Perhaps it was an accident and the whole ‘I did it for feminism‘ spin was an afterthought. I mean, she was planning for this marathon for years, but she didn’t know her period dates were clashing with the marathon dates until the night before? Continue reading “Running marathon & other sports without tampons or pads becoming a mass movement”
Update: Kindly read the full review on Women’s Web as I have an exclusivity contract with them so cannot share the full review here.
There were at least three points in the film when I almost started weeping, there were points where I was anxious about what was going to happen and finally when I came out of the theatre I had a heart full of emotions but the mind was calm, as calm as the river Ganga depicted in the last scene of the film. The feeling was of surrender to the circle of ‘life and death’ of ‘loss and gain’. No more words, no more tears no more grief just sail away with the river and see where it takes you, to the confluence or to the other side of life. Continue reading “Feminist Film Review – Masaan – A story of desiring bodies”
I am here with another review in my series of Feminist Film Reviews. A shorter and proofread version of this review was first published on Women’s Web. Besides the feminist perspective there were a few other interesting observations about the … Continue reading Feminist Film Review – Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Regular readers of my blog already know about my Feminist reviews. These are film reviews done by me after wearing my feminist glasses. So this time I did an exclusive review for the women centric collaborative blog ‘Women’s Web’. Below is the full version of the review, they have put up an edited version. Continue reading “Feminist Film Review – Piku”
Feminists for some reason were very excited about the marriage between actor George Cloony and acclaimed international lawyer Amal Alamuddin. While the global media carried headlines that Cloony marries Alamuddin, the headlines on The Business Woman were ‘Internationally acclaimed barrister … Continue reading Disappointing! Amal Alamuddin changes name after marriage
Mardaani is just the kind of film I always wanted to see – a film with complete gender role reversals.
The hundreds of movies I’ve watched in my lifetime, I’ve always wondered how would it be if we changed the gender of the leading characters? In Mardaani, that’s exactly what I have. As a film its nothing unusual, its not something we haven’t seen before. It’s a regular cop movie, a larger than life hero whom the common man can worship because he can single-handedly save the day by kicking asses and knocking solid punches. There are the usual Bollywood elements such as the hero trying to fight the system that is not very supportive, predictable turn of events such as the case being pulled out of the hero’s hands and so the hero decides to carry on investigation alone without any support from the police department and eventually emerge as the winner. Continue reading “Feminist Film Review: Mardaani – An important film, because it changes the way we see women”
There is a new Airtel commercial on TV titled ‘Boss’. The ad shows that a woman and her husband both work at the same place where she is the boss. She gives some task to the husband and insists that it be finished within a tight deadline. He argues that it’s not possible but she asserts the he doesn’t have a choice, the task must be completed and shows him the door. Next thing we see is that she goes home cooks a nice dinner and video calls her husband, entices him with food and pleads him to come home soon. It turns out this is the same guy she was bossing around at work. Continue reading “Airtel TV commercial Boss – Half way to gender equality and Modern Indian Women’s Aspiration”
[In the wake of social media talking about the Burka Avenger I am republishing an article I wrote long back for the Bell Bajao Blog. The article was originally written in the context of France banning the burqa in public … Continue reading Burka Avenger – Anything that reinforces the Burqa/Hijab is NOT cool
How does a typical Indian middle class joint family deal with a divorce? With paranoia, hypocrisy double standards and melodrama. As exposed through the story of Ishti Kutum – the Mukherjee family is shattered on hearing the DIVORCE word from Archi. Broken marriage mean different thing for family’s sons and daughters. Ironically, the patriarch of Mukherjee family who is so concerned about Archi’s broken marriage and its effect on his family, have never uttered a single word regarding his own daughter’s estranged marriage. The legal position of both of Archi’s marriages, legal requirement of divorce and validity of Tribal marriage. Continue reading Ishti Kutum – Archi Mun’s divorce – Legal position of both marriages, validity of tribal marriage
My readers would be happy to know that the writer’s block has been lifted. A lot of writing is coming out these days, some personal, some for the book ‘This Is My Truth‘ and some for this space, my blog. The book hasn’t found a publisher yet, but am writing it anyway. These days if your content is good you can self publish and it would sell. The obsession for the TV Show Ishti Kutum continues as the show has become even more interesting. The that I was writing on it is going good, it is going to be a very long one, you all need to have patience to read it. Continue reading “Rani Mukherjee’s Aiyyaa – Preview – Comedy of a Woman’s carnal desires”
Madhur Bhandarkar makes films for the dummies. In the wake of the release of yet another cliched film for the dummies, Heroine, I am republishing my feminist film review of Fashion and other Bhandarkar Films. I have not seen Heroine yet, but I can predict what’s is it about.
One of the biggest movie production company in Bollywood, Yash Raj Films (YRF) made a debut in the Indian Television Industry in partnership with Sony TV.
Starting 1st Jan 2010, for three days in a week Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 hours 8 pm to 10 pm Sony TV will go red (the brand colour of YRF) and showcase some nice and fresh TV series created by YRF TV a subsidiary of YRF production.
From the look of it YRF TV promises to be fresh, out of the box, progressive and gender balanced. From YRF’s official announcement,
The offering from YRF TV will be “distinct” in their look, feel, colour, sound and language, with fresh, contemporary and engaging storylines – these shows reflect the dreams, aspirations & passion of today’s young India and are attuned to deliver “a unique and novel television viewing experience” which will not only appeal to the existing viewers, but bring new viewers to television. The shows combine the best of modern technology, scale and the exceptional story telling skills of YRF.
At the moment there are 5 shows, 1 non fiction Lift Kara De which is a reality show where a star would hunt for his/her greatest fan and in the process somebody’s life would be lifted. I didn’t quite get the show but Karan Johan is hosting it and the pilot episode had Shah Rukh Khan. Enough said.
Then there are 4 fictions, Mahi Way, Rishta.com, Powder and Seven.
‘Mahi Way‘ is a story about Mahi – a 25 year old single and independent girl who loves to eat, therefore fat and therefore a complete misfit in both her family and her workspace, a fashion magazine house. She never had a boyfriend but writes a relationship column in the magazine for people who are like her, misfits, because she knows what it feels to be one. Her best friend is hot and dumb, her other best friend is a gay. She has a perpetual crush on this hunk who works in the same building but she keeps bumping into this guy who she thinks is clumsy, annoying and brings out the worst in her.
Gender constructs suck big time. They just suck so much they boil my blood and make me hate every nice thing in the world. And I just wonder if they can make me, one who enjoys all the freedom in the world, so agitated then how traumatic it must be for those people who are forced to live under these constructs. They keep reinforcing such strong gender constructs at every step of the way that it becomes harder and harder to break them. Let’s take a look at few Indian Ad films as of now though gender constructs are rampant in all … Continue reading The gender factor:Indian TV commercials
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say ‘Khatron ke Khiladi‘ in a post which is categorised as Bollywood? Who else but arguably one of the most dashing, sexy and bravest action hero in Bollywood, … Continue reading Khatron Ke Gorgeous Khiladi
Conversation on Gtalk… (Note mom’s typing speed is one 100th of my speed, so I got edge over her while arguing, by the time she frames one argument and types it out I have said 5 more arguments. The conversation was in Bengali am giving the translated version) Me – Mom, when do you plan to come down to Bangalore? am planning to take a flat you can come after that and stay for some long time. Mom – Flat? have you seen already? how much would be the rent… Me – would be around 8-9K have not yet seen … Continue reading Conversation with mom
Introduction: “Change is the only constant”. That’s not my line but I particularly like it. I know just one way of living life, change. I don’t stay tuned to anything, body, person, concept, thought, believe, system, discipline, logic, reason, philosophy … Continue reading Feminist Film Review: Fanaa
I read it somewhere, that Shilpa Shetty said, any man showing interest in her or willing to date her should first seek her father’s permission. Really, why Ms Shetty? Because you are your father’s property? Or would ‘chattel’ be the proper … Continue reading Ms. Shilpa Shetty, thank you very much for conforming to patriarchy