Simran: Kangana Impresses Yet Again

I know the movie has just released. So, I will not give a synopsis and ruin it.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Simran. The script may be “flawed” according to some elite reviewers but then again it is based on a true story. Yes. Truth is stranger than fiction.

What worked for me?

  1. Female protagonist. 30-year-old divorced woman. She cleans hotels for a living. She is not rich and does not wear expensive dresses. Her make-up, and clothes match her character. There is no hero. There is a “love interest”, who she is not really interested in. She is quite okay rather content with her single status.

2. No unnecessary songs. And no, the heroine does not transform to look gorgeous in the songs. Her look in the songs is as real and natural as in the rest of the movie.

3. In one of the scenes, Praful (Kangana)’s grandmother speaks to her (Praful’s) love interest who admits that he has been heart-broken before. She says that it does not matter if the relationship is the first. What matters is that it should be the last. Bollywood is finally getting over the “pehla pyaar, pehla nasha, pehla khumar”, becoming more practical and mature.

4. Praful asks her arranged marriage guy – What if she has some character flaws? He responds that he is a very progressive man. He wants his wife to be loyal to him after marriage but it does not matter to him if she has had previous or current (?) boyfriends. Praful tells him that is not what she means by character flaws! “Ladko ko patana to art hai!” By character flaws she means what if she is into gambling, or stealing!

A 30 plus man telling a 30-year-old woman that he is progressive because he does not have a problem with her having prior relationships!! That too in the context of “character”! The woman correcting him and showing him his place. Thank you Bollywood!

How many of us have met such “progressive” men?

The song ‘Single Rehne De’ is already being considered an anthem for single women.

Hafte mein chaar bekaar

Aise ristey lekar aate ho

Jaise daily mall mein

Window shopping karne jaate ho

Phir laakhon mein ek aisa sample dhoondh ke laaoge

Aur bina meri marzi us’se shaadi bhi karvaoge…

Can single women relate?

 

 

 

 

 

Shubh Mangal Savdhan – A good Start But Not Impressive

Finally I got a chance to watch Shubh Mangal Savdhan.

I was disappointed! If you have seen the trailer of the of movie, you know what the movie is about. When I watched the movie, I felt that it was nothing beyond its trailer. Bhumi’s last movie – Toilet Ek Prem Katha, and Ayushman’s last movie Bareily ki Barfi had raised the expectations. And ofcourse we cannot forget that their first movie together, Dum Laga ke Haisa was surprisingly refreshing.

But since this movie was an attempt on something different and bold, few parts deserve appreciation:

    • Sugandha always wanted a love story but the arranged marriage proposal ruined the opportunity for her. Still, she tries to create romance before her wedding. Without giving too many spoilers, let us just say that she does not hesitate in making a move.
  • Seema Bhargava has mastered the role of a worrying yet modern, middle-class mother of a grown-up daughter. I loved her role in Bareily ki Barfi also. (I enjoyed watching that movie but could not find anything in it to write about).
  • There was no non-sense about the girl’s “izzat”. Her father was more than happy to call off the wedding unless the boy resolves his “gents problem”. He genuinely cared about his daughter’s happiness.
  • Towards the end, Mudit gives a speech on patriarchy. “Mard woh nahi hai jisko dard nahi hota, mard woh hai jo dard nahi deta.” Patriarchy ruins men as much as it ruins women.
  • In a guest appearance, Jimmy Shergil tells Mudit that if the girl he is running after refuses him, he should simply come back. He better not be the “acid attack” types. First Mr. Bachchan. Now Jimmy Sherfill. Bollywood which has loved stalking, and ‘Ladki ki naa mein haan hai’ is finally spreading the message, ‘No means no’.

In this movie, Mudit was a sweet guy. He never got abusive with Sugandha, in an attempt to prove his “masculinity”. He defined masculinity as being good to your female partner. Sugandha is supportive of him too.

In reality does this happen?

Maybe not. But this is a movie. And it is trying to give a positive message. I won’t complain.

 

 

Kangana Ranaut on Aap ki Adalat- Refreshingly Original And Honest

I have been a fan of Kangana Ranaut. Not after Fashion. Or Queen. Or Tanu weds Manu 2. I have been a fan of her since I saw her in Gangster, when I was in college. Her acting was unbelievable for a first movie. People would say, ‘What! She is a nobody!’

Her beauty was unconventional. So was her story. A nobody from Himachal Pradesh. Very beautiful. Very talented. But she could not speak English. She was not a star kid. Nothing unusual about that. There are examples of non-star kids who have done well in Bollywood. The unusual part was that she did not care to be in the good books of the star kids and their parents!

Today, after watching her in ‘Aap ki adalat’ with Rajat Sharma, I am more in awe of her than ever. There are parts of interview that I just loved:

1. Nepotism

All famous and non-famous people have shared their views on her remark in Koffee with Karan that Karan Johar is “the flagbearer of nepotism”. People said that so many non-star kids have also done well. Sure! Ultimately talent matters. But do we really believe that people who are not from the filmy background get equal opportunities as the star kids? Star kids get a lavish launch with the best directors. They have friends and contacts from the industry. Even if their movies flop, they can always get re-launched with a home production. They are from the industry. Yes, there may be more expectations from them, more comparisons with their successful parents, and more pressure. But does that compare to the struggle of a 17-year-old girl who leaves her home in Himachal Pradesh with no connections in Bollywood? Someone who makes through an audition only because of talent, while supporting herself in an expensive city like Mumbai? Are star kids really on the same level as the millions of nobodies who go to Mumbai every day to try their luck? At the least they are financially secure, and have their parents to offer them guidance and second chances.

2. Her stand on fairness creams and item numbers

She does not endorse fairness products. She does not act in the raunchy item numbers that objectify women. It is remarkable for a country where even men advertise for fairness creams and do not care about its impact on society.

3. Controversy with Hrithik Roshan

At some point in the show Kangana said that Hrithik promised to marry her, but did not. Because of him, she ended up not marrying somebody else either who was willing. Now she is 30 and still single! Even celebrities think like this? I thought this was a very middle class feeling.

She said a lot on the show about the controversy involving Hrithik Roshan. I do not want to comment on it. Relationships are complicated even for ordinary, middle class people. It would be beyond complicated when famous people are involved, where the man is married / getting divorced, there is a legal notice with emails accusing the girl of being a psycho, and the whole world having an opinion on it.

But, assuming she was saying the truth, the letters she had written to her lover at that point were released in the public domain. She was threatened that her private pictures and videos would be released as well. I don’t know in what context such an invasion of privacy can be justified. She had filed a complaint in the Women’s Commission who also did not bother because the other party was more powerful. If a successful, rich, famous woman also does not get help in such situations, I don’t want to imagine the plight of the common woman.

Kangana said that she loved Hrithik at that point of time. He had initially told her he would never marry her, because he was already married then. But after his divorce, he did consider it.

I do not understand why so many women date married men. It is not good for the man’s marriage. It may never turn into a marriage for the women either. It may happen for celebrities because they have a lot of money. But ordinary men do not prefer to divorce their wives, leave their children, pay alimony and child support to their ex-wives and marry the woman they were dating with no serious intentions. They let the affair go on till the time that the woman is not demanding commitment. When she does, things go wrong. Yes, some may decide to end their marriage. But it is really the best choice to make as a woman when it results in breaking a family? Because love just happens? Great! If you believe in love, then there is hope. Go make it happen with a single man. (Of course I am not blaming the woman solely. It is the man who is committing adultery, but since I am writing from a woman’s point of view here).

I would like to believe that Kangana is telling the truth. But it does not matter what I think. We do not know what really happened. I wish people would stop maligning her by calling her “drama-queen” “cheap”, “attention hungry” “crazy” etc. Let us give the benefit of doubt to both of them!

How come people are so easily accusing her of lying for publicity? Do they know her personally? Because she is a woman? Because she is not part of the “cream” of Bollywood? Because she is outspoken? Or because she is successful in spite of all this? Famous people probably do not support her because they do not want to mess with the big people she speaks against. Ironically the same people get upset when she talks about Bollywood’s nepotism and favoritism!

Kangana, you are fearless. You speak your mind. It is not easy to speak up against people who run the industry in which you work. But you do it anyway! For every 10 people who like to demean you, there would be one woman like me who looks at you and says, “Wow! Finally somebody who is original, and honest!” You must continue to be yourself for the millions of women like me. Not every woman works in movies. Yet, she must have gone through something similar:

The one who has left her hometown for employment but is on the verge of giving up and packing herself back.

The one who has a job but does not know how to deal with group-ism and sexism at work.

The one who was in a relationship that was later denied by the man.

The one who has been called psycho by ex/current boyfriend because he could not find a better reason to dump her.

For all the women who may not have supportive parents, good relationships, money, great contacts or friends but only their work, and their conviction in themselves to become somebody from a nobody. We may not quite there yet, but we have started our journey.

And we need more women role models like you because we have no reference to deal with these situations.

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Mera Kuchh Samaan

Mera kuch samaan tumhare paas pada hai…

I don’t know what made me want to watch Izaajat now. Maybe because all the songs from the movie are on my pen drive, and I listen to them on my drive to work every day. Or maybe attending Gulzar Sahab’s poetry session at the Poetry Festival recently. After the session, I had looked at some of his books. There was one book that had the lyrics of all his songs. I could just read that book forever.

I knew the story of the movie though, despite not having watched it earlier. I usually do not like knowing anything about a movie before I watch it. But it is hard to not know the story of a classic movie that was made three decades ago. I had even read the story online few years back, probably in the context of ‘mature cinema’. I already knew that Rekha’s character was already remarried, and her husband would show up in the last scene. I also knew that Anuradha Patel’s character would be dead. How? Because every time a motorcycle song scene comes on television, my father says,

“Woh kaun si film thi, jismein heroine ka dupatta gale mein fas jata hai, bike pe?”

And my mother responds for the nth time, “Ijaazat!”

Woh shakh gira do, mera woh sama lauta do

I loved Hindi songs even as a child. My knowledge of old Hindi songs was much better than my peers. One time I was playing Antakshari with a friend. I must be nine, she would be around seven.

“Shuru karo Antakshari lekar Hari ka naam, Ma,”
she emphasized pointing to me.

“Mera kuch samaan”, I started singing, but was interrupted by her laughter.

“This is not a song!” she said.

“It is a famous one! You have not heard!!”

“But how can it start like that?”


“It does! I have seen it too! A lady leaves some of her stuff at a man’s house. So, she is asking him to send it all back!”

“Okay. Funny song! Why can’t she just pick it up herself? Why sing a song?”

“She has a long list of things. That’s why.”

Weren’t those years blissful when that was all these songs meant to us?

Patjhad hai kuchh… hai na

But a few days back, when I started watching the movie late night, I could not watch beyond the song. I was in tears, and had to stop. After a couple of days, I continued from where I left off.

The movie is poetry on screen. I cannot think of any other movie that has handled a love triangle so beautifully. I sympathized with all three of them, though Naseeruddin Shah’s character probably only in the last scene when he looks like a lost, lonely child. All three characters were respectful of each other. Sudha (Rekha) was a self-respecting woman who would not tolerate her husband’s adultery. Maya (Anuradha Patel) was passionate, independent and impulsive. She never really got over Mahendar (Naseeruddeen Shah).

Ek sau solah chand ki ratein, ek tumhare kandhe kaa til

No amount of sex scenes in our contemporary movies can show love and passion the way this movie did without showing anything. It made me cringe all the more at the current movies, which do not put any thought into the characters. In Ijaazat, it is very difficult to blame any of the characters. They were all so well defined and developed. I felt for all of them.

The songs are absolutely mesmerizing. Katra katra, Chhoti si kahani se, Khali haath sham aayi hai, are all awesome though Mera kuch samaan is arguably the best.

Mera woh sama lauta do

Ultimately that is what life comes down to. Time passes. Relationships end. The only thing that is left is memories. Cruel, stubborn memories that are like a disease that refuses to go. I don’t know how a haunting song like this can bring pain and comfort at the same time. But it does.

It is magic.

Toilet Ek Prem Katha – Don’t expect women to “adjust” to crap!

Watched ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’ yesterday. In the interval, I told my mother,

“They should have ended it here! Very effective message!”

Story so far:

Not so educated boy meets brilliant girl. Gets attracted because she is interesting. Marries her but then expects her to adjust for the most disgusting reasons. Why couldn’t he just marry a like-minded woman (read no mind woman). What is this need to marry a smart, progressive woman and then expect her to transform to a couple of centuries back? She leaves him. Great story!

“How can they end it here!”
Mother said. “He should be given a chance to improve things!’

So there it was. In the second half of the movie, our lover boy tries to convince his father and society and does everything possible to educate people on the issue, and ofcourse get his wife back.

Here are things that worked very well for me:

1. Yes, the issue was sanitation. But there was more. It was about changing the mentality of society. Understanding that the culture card is used for the most convenient, selfish and hypocritical reasons. “It is not about shauch, but soch!”

2. Women have accepted patriarchy. They do not speak up. They are themselves responsible for their state.

3. Jaya (Bhumi) says that she has lived a certain way all her life. Why should she change now after marriage? Don’t expect women to “adjust” especially to crap! (Pun intended)!

4. In one of the scenes, Akshay Kumar says (forgot his character’s name!) that if they do not build a toilet in their homes, no woman would survive in their families. All men would remain unmarried. Great message. I am glad that this was the message highlighted. It was a breath of fresh air for a society that always talks about women remaining unmarried if they don’t do this, do that.

5. Best point of the movie – We must first acknowledge that there is a problem! Change, reform is all secondary. We are so complacent, blissfully living in filth in our environment, and our minds.

6. For all those upset that this is a propaganda movie – Yes, a certain government had initiated the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It is one of the best things that happened to India. Why are we complaining if the movie is giving credit to them for their work?

And lastly, women one advice on a lighter note:

Before you marry a man, please make sure you go check out his house.

Lipstick Under My Burkha – Just Let The Women Be!

I finally watched the “lady oriented” movie, ‘Lipstick under my Burkha’. For those of you who do not know, a copy of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) letter to the film’s producer Prakash Jha had stated as follows:

“The story is lady oriented, their fantasy about life. There are continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused.”

Needless to say, there was an outrage. How can a movie be refused for being “lady oriented”, when movies such as Grand Masti, Kya Supercool hain hum and other rubbish that is male oriented and objectifies women is normalized?

I had shared an article on this sometime in February. The response was mixed. One gentleman has directed a question at me:

“Tanvi Sinha, would you show porn to your children, if not then how can you support a movie like this?”

I may not show porn to my future children.  But that does not mean that they would not watch it themselves eventually. Speaking of children…

Recently, I was trying to watch a movie on Netflix with my sister, 9 year old niece and mother. Father was also around in the living room, but busy on his laptop. I checked the parent guide for a particular Hollywood movie, and confirmed that it did not have any nudity.

The movie started. A woman took a home pregnancy test. She told her boyfriend she was pregnant. Ten minutes into the movie, my mother felt uncomfortable. This was Netflix, uncensored. Who knows what would come next? I was strategically reminded that ‘Dhishoom’ was coming on Star Gold.

I complied and disconnected Netflix. We started watching safe Bollywood. A pretty girl appears in a bikini. Varun Dhawan’ character is lusting at her, trying hard to look at her face while admiring her breasts.  There are some cheap jokes. There is a song “Janeeman AAh, Gale lag jaah” with some weird moves.

Everybody is comfortable now.  Good old Star Gold.  We are assured that there would be no nudity. We are watching what we have watched for years and normalized. Objectification of women, women fantasized from the man’s point of view, women not having any mind of their own, cheap jokes with double  entendre. Yes, all this is acceptable to show our children.

Coming back to the A rated, lady oriented movie – I completely enjoyed watching it. The script was crisp. The performances were outstanding.  Here is what worked for me:

  1. Ratna Pathak as Buaji is awesome. In an effective scene, a woman talks about looking for a bride for an old, widowed man. “35-40 saal ki ladki bhi chalegi!” Men obviously have needs. They can remarry at any age, to any age. But how can a 55-year-old women possibly have any desires?

2. The youngest female character in the movie, leaves home in a burkha only to change to jeans, in college with bright red lipstick. How many women do we know who did that in college? I even know older women living with parents who leave their homes completely covered , and end up changing into short clothes at pubs / friends places.

3. Konakana Sen’s character gets raped every night. Her husband is abusive, chauvinistic and a philanderer who is least bothered about her health. He has never heard of foreplay and does not believe in protected sex. However, she catches him romancing another woman. Seems he does know how to make a woman feel good! Just that the wife is his property, someone who does not deserve that affection.

4. The fourth character was the one I could not relate to at all. She runs a beauty parlour, and plans to start a business with her photographer boyfriend while being engaged to a stable, nice and boring arranged marriage guy. I did not like her character, and her scenes in the movie.

Now, coming back to the things that people have raised objections to:

  • Ample smoking scenes including the one at the end.
  • A confused woman cheating on her fiancé with her boyfriend
  • Some graphic scenes that may not be the most tasteful
  • Audio pornography?

Every time a movie like this is made, people attack feminism. Women empowerment is not about having sex, smoking, and getting pregnant before marriage. Okay!! I do not support adultery, cheating and smoking. But who said this movie was about how women should behave? Maybe it was just meant to be watched as a story from a woman’s point of view? Did we not see the warning, Smoking kills?

Another point of criticism was the ending. The women do not really do anything drastic to change their circumstances. They in fact seem to have conformed to patriarchy. In the last scene, they just all get together to express their disappointment about how dreams remain dreams. Reality is so different. But doesn’t it make it more realistic? Do we not do that in our daily life? With all our problems, shattered dreams, and unfulfilled desires, we share our feelings with our girlfriends and get a moment of relief.

What other movies have dealt with women’s emotions and desires, maybe with lesser visuals and more ‘seriousness’?

  • Remember that speech of Tabu’s character in the movie Astitva?
  • Nafisa Ali’s track with Dharmendra in Life in a Metro

What could have been a different ending:

  • Konkana divorcing her husband?
  • Ratna Pathak giving a speech on widows’ happiness like in movies such as Baabul?

Maybe. But no, this was not that kind of a movie. Every movie is differently made. Maybe in two hours, that’s all they wanted to convey.  Maybe it would have been boring if it went on and on with an ‘empowering victory’ for every character. Maybe they just wanted the women to be. The characters were real, and they were doing what they could in their own capacity to empower themselves. There was no conclusion. There was no preaching.  It was meant to be more entertaining, and I did enjoy it. Most people I know who watched it liked it too. Why can’t we accept it for what it was?

Maybe if we had 100 movies like this, “lady oriented” we would not have put so much pressure on it to be necessarily empowered. But we don’t. We have very few, and when we do we somehow want to justify it was worth so much of rebellion with the CBFC. It should earn its place with something useful for women like  – employment, voting rights, driving rights, rising against domestic violence?

Do we put so much thought into our regular ‘normalized’ , senseless Bollywood rubbish? Why did Badrinath gag his would be Dulhaniya in the trunk of his car? Why do our heroes smoke? Why is it cool for them to have multiple girlfriends?  No! it is just a movie, after all. If we do attack these movies, we are told: Why do feminists have to get so serious about everything? Where is their sense of humour?

So there. Women need not be fantasized. Women need not be idealized. They are regular human beings. Just let them be….

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Mom: Sridevi Impresses Yet Again, Despite The Glitches | Mom Movie Review

Sridevi starrer Mom is a powerful story of a mother, and draws you in, despite a somewhat unbelievable storyline.

Bollywood has matured over the years. It is refreshing to see that it now has lead roles for female protagonists who are in their 40s and 50s.

Read more

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap and The Queen Without the International Vacation

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I watched the movie ‘Jab we met’ again over the weekend. This time it made me think very differently. It reminded me of the movie, Queen.

These two are my all-time favourite movies.  The protagonists in both movies are women who have been ditched by the men who they thought were the ‘love’ of their lives. After the initial shock, desperation, and pain, both woman move forward in life, becoming better versions of themselves.  Here is what happens:

  1. Geet meets Aditya Kashyap who she eventually falls in love with him. Aditya is not a cowardly idiot like Anshuman. He cares about her and likes her for who she is. Aditya literally rescues her.  They live happily ever after.

2. Rani (Queen) ends up going on her honeymoon alone. There she sees life outside the confines of her life in Delhi. She makes friends from different walks of life, including a boy who has lost his family in Tsunami yet tries to be cheerful in life. She discovers an identity for herself, as she meets people who appreciate her culinary talents, increasing her self-worth.

3. Anshuman and Vijay, the respective exes of these women realize their mistake and come back. Geet and Rani get to dump them this time.

I completely support the endings, and like the way they were empowering for women. But do all men actually realize their mistake, regret their actions, and come back? The world would have been a much more perfect place.   In reality, people dump somebody for good. They may not come back.  What about women who don’t necessarily find another man like Geet? What about the ones who don’t get to travel like Queen but continue their routine life feeling worthless after getting dumped? Living each day with a spout of misery with the most cherished moments of their lives becoming mere memories  and evoking mixed feelings? How do they ‘get over’ someone?

I am not a therapist, but still that would not deter me from expressing my thoughts on the subject.

  1. The world is a big and weird place. There are all kinds of complicated people. Anything can happen. Stop torturing yourself with ‘Why,’ and ‘What ifs’. There is nothing you can do to change things.

2. Try some kind of fitness regime. Whenever I have done any form of exercise on a regular basis, I have felt good about myself. Set a goal. For example 30 minutes on the treadmill. When you achieve it, you will feel like you are in control of at least something in your life. Aspects of your life like relationships that involve another person may not be controlled. But this is something you alone can accomplish.

3. Get out of the house. I don’t mean to go and date. Focus on your interests other than men (I know I have used this line in my previous articles, I guess I just love it). You may not immediately wish to travel alone or with friends. The thought may make you feel sorry for yourself (as you would have rather gone with a significant other). Then don’t do it. But go for a movie, play, poetry recital anything that you find doable and affordable. Then keep doing it regularly.

4. Try working towards self-growth. You must have heard that ‘Living well is the biggest revenge’. Resist the urge to immediately find someone else to spite your ex. Do not be the other extreme  either –  Swear to ‘ruin’ your life by staying single to make him feel guilty. Instead, try to become better (eventually more successful) in whatever you are working on.

5.  Take care of yourself. Go pamper yourself with a spa or a facial. Look good. When I was younger I used to think that being good looking was a pre-requisite for looking good. But over the years, the definition of ‘looking good’ has changed.

My friend’s mother is undergoing chemotherapy. She has lost all her hair. She sent me a picture of the mother recently, bald and lean. She was a very beautiful woman, and it pained me to her this way. But there was something lively about her picture. She had put on a dark maroon lipstick, enough to brighten up her face.

‘Aunty is looking good’, I had texted her.

Was I saying something inappropriate? Is it okay to say that  when someone is suffering from cancer?

She had replied, ‘Yes, she is better. Thanks’.

Another woman I knew lost her husband unexpectedly few years ago. She was unhappy for the longest time. Her daughter posted a picture of her from one of their recent vacations captioned, ‘Mummy wearing salwar suit for the first time’.

It was a very natural picture. She was not even smiling. She looked consciously at the camera, squinting her eyes probably because of the blazing sun. The salwar suit was also very ordinary. She looked more graceful in her saris. But everybody had complimented her, including me.

What made her look good? Maybe the fact that she had put in effort to do something different. She had hope. Hope that although she had lost the most precious part of her life, she was still trying to make the best of whatever she had left.

So finally to all the Geets without Aditya Kashyap, and the Queens without international vacations, your life is still  big and potentially beautiful.  Look around you. Everyone is struggling with something or the other. You may not necessarily get an opportunity to ‘dump’ anyone the next time around like these women, but you can dump your negative thoughts for the time being. Life is a series of mundane days with some temporary highs, followed by longer ‘low’ phases. Give it sometime. Things will fall in place.

 

Reema Lagoo – And Childhood Memories

On Thursday morning, I looked at my mobile mundanely to go through the morning news feed.

‘Reema Lagoo dead after suffering cardiac arrest. She was 59!

What? She did not have any serious illnesses that we knew of. She was not even a senior citizen technically. How could she die?

As a kid, (like most kids born in late 80s), I was in love with Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. I was around six when the movie was released. I had already watched it thrice in the theatre. At that time, there were only single screen theatres, the impact being much more grand. My relatives who were visiting from a small town wanted to watch Hum Aapke Hain Kaun in the ‘bigger city.’ My parents and sister wanted to watch Bombay. It was no dilemma for me. I joined my relatives to watch my favourite movie for the fourth time. That was a bold step for a clingy six year old – to choose to be away from parents for three hours.

But how could I not? When I loved all the characters in the movie. They all dripped of nobility. Especially, the graceful Reema Lagoo. She was part of two of the most entertaining comedy shows at that time, ‘Tu tu main main’ and ‘Shrimaan Shrimati’. It was a different time when comedy was not about cracking perverted jokes, or making fun
of every other famous person.

In the interval, I had asked my uncle to get me Thums Up, (in those glass bottles), and chips. Today, I can’t imagine drinking cold drinks. I don’t even have them occasionally. And I could eat chips in a theatre, without using sanitizer? It was an innocent, less complicated, carefree time.

I remember watching an interview of Reema Lagoo. I think it may have been on Shekhar Suman’s show. He asked her, “How can a mother be so beautiful.” She had replied that when she was offered Maine Pyaar Kiya, she took it up because it was a good role. She had no idea that she would be typecast in mother roles forever. She added that once she was asked to play ‘Dharamji’s mother’ to which they both had a hearty laugh.

I used to take things at face value. It never occurred to me that in Bollywood, actors could actually not be the age they were depicted. I asked my mother, why couldn’t she play Dharmendra’s mother. My mother told me that she is very young. She is not even old enough to play Salman Khan’s mother. I was shocked! How could something possibly be unrealistic in my perfect movie?

When I heard that Reema Lagoo passed away, I felt like all the good things I associated with my childhood are gone, one by one. Her death has bereaved us of not just a great actor, but of an era. For me, that era represented values, and everything good and positive. How will watching her movies ever be the same again? She played mother to people not so young, yet she did not live to see the age that she played? It seems so unfair.

I find it difficult to say things like ‘May her soul rest in peace’. But what I do want to say is that she led a blissful life. Such a timeless beauty with a kind face and exceptional talent, that we all loved her as if we knew her, and she were our very own. We will truly miss her.