Padmaavat: An Uprising


Unless you have been living under a rock you have heard of the movie Padmavati later renamed Padmaavat because an entire nation, including its politicians and especially it’s politicians, was obsessing over it.

Before I go further into the article here is a fun fact about the movie. This movie was one of the firsts where a woman was paid as much as an male lead in an movie and the director isn’t making a gung ho about it because he decided it is simply what the heroine is due.

Of course the director did not get a chance to highlight that as he was more worried about the fact that a generous bounty was set for the heroine’s head by senseless radical forces in the country.

And I call it an uprising. Why? Allow me to elaborate.

Why else would something as harmless as a movie elicit such a harsh response from political leaders?Especially one that is sure to reach at least a billion people.

Because a movie finally dared to do the unthinkable. A story that primarily involved Kings and empires suddenly had the audacity to be told from the Queen’s perspective.

The queen who out of her loyalty to her people and her king, sacrificed her life by self immolation inspiring generations of women for centuries.

The audacity.

Well, how can a story possibly be about a woman’s valour? No chance!We must have misunderstood!Hence spreads rumours like wild fire that the movie is distorting history.

Don’t worry Indian men! The rumors are all about you! Rumors were about her falling love with the wrong ‘man’! Let’s cause anarchy on the streets and ban it in our theatres because rumors are that she has fallen in love with the wrong man in the movie! How dare a movie supposedly do that!This is considering the fact that no one even knew the content of the movie. Just Rumors!

However, all this seems like a deliberate camouflage for much deeper, actual questions.How dare she try to make this movie about her?! How dare a a director think that a commercial movie could respect a woman, give her her due both in a Bollywood movie and in ‘his’tory and think he can escape without repercussions!

I don’t know if this is is a publicity stunt gone bad or simply rotten politics.

Movies portraying women have come before and will come after.But those have always been watched and pushed around and tolerated as they didn’t attempt anything strong. They stories were novel, sometimes cute even and the themes were generic hardships of women. Sure. Play in the theatres. Get all the sympathy you want. Get out.

But try to put a perspective to our history and we will destroy you.

Think Sita of the Ramayana. The silent damsel in distress in one of the most popular stories of Hindu Mythology.What would you do if a movie was made from her perspective. Silence it of course! What job does Sita have being heard?

Only uprisings need be to be squashed.

Only a movie where a woman demands due praise for her act of valour need be squashed.

There have been many before and there will be many after. But show me one on a scale this large . Hence it’s relevance. Padmavati is our Wonder woman. Padmaavat is her story and through her, the story of millions of women who were never praised for their valour.Not pitied, not despised, not sympathised with.

Praised .

And it will be the first of many.

Jai Bhavani



Returning home

I had lost my way. Lost my center, you know? That core space where the world around me aligned with who I was. And I was secure.

Then life threw me a bit of a curve ball.Not one single curve ball. More like a series of them over a period of time. I was emotionally battered way before I even realized it. I suppose one never really knows when one starts to lie to oneself especially someone who is skilled at pretending to others and for others that everything is OK in spite of themselves. Aren’t a lot of us like that?

Nope, no one died.

I wished I did though. Many times. So lost.

When to the world it looked like nothing could click better for this girl. I was simply flowing with the current. When masks of near and dear ones fell off.When people I trusted did not trust me back. When people I loved ripped off of me the ability to love the way I used to. You know how I knew I really lost it? When I no longer wanted to write.

The dreaded mind block. Not that I was great to begin with but it was my little space in the world and I was happy. Finally, when all the “buckling down and the smiling and pretending to be OK with things” charade hit the roof- no one saw it coming. I can’t blame the people around me for reacting the way they did. No one knew. The strong handler of things that I was. No one even understood it! And no amount of wishing it away or distractions or any of it helped.In retrospect I am thankful I guess. I don’t want to becomes one of those bitter old people who are so messed up after all that suppression that nothing really helps.Of course I found myself looking for help. I tried it ALL. The praying, the meditating, the believing in God thing,the BE positive gigs, the ‘you are stronger than this’ gigs, every freaking motivational quote, self help books, The Secret, the subconscious conditioning, conscious gratitude…You get it, right?

Nothing helped.

I was lost. So lost.

The hardest was part was the thoughts. Thoughts that spiraled out of control all the time. Made mountains out of molehills and sat silently when I should have spoken up.

Finally found real help.

Found an interesting method of healing.

To Just Be Myself.

To stop with the perfection and the being strong and all of that. To definitely get rid of all the hogwash mentioned above(Being positive and all that) as in my case it was only reinforcing my suppression of feelings.(Gosh, so messed up!)

And to unabashedly be myself with all the negativity too! Can you believe it!! All the anger , the rage, the hate, the insecurity..All of it.

To dare to be me. Raw. Human. Imperfect. At least to myself.To have the courage to own my feelings and not try to control them or suppress them or plug them in.

To be vulnerable.

Oh fresh hell.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not an introvert. I am the very opposite of an introvert. I am fully capable of communicating what I thought or how I felt. With a lot of charisma and passion even. But that’s the thing. I had even convinced myself that I had no problems. And even if I did, I hid it using pure charisma. Appearing nothing like I felt on the inside. People sensed something. But they just thought I was being two faced. Got the tag of liar, manipulator,faker, drama queen.I believed them too. But I was just trying to get on with life. To reconcile with all of it. To normalize enormous betrayals and abandonment and instances of being bullied. To push it all down and just get on with life!

However, my heart would just not let that happen.

And I battered on through the healing. Still battering on.I had no choice.One baby step at a time.

And finally the universe has been merciful to bring me some bit of direction.(Some background- I believe in astrology hence I believe the planets have aligned to provide a conducive platform for my healing too. Basically- Everything has it’s own time.)

After all the digging in and washing away of all the dirt that had piled on. I found it buried deep.Really deep. A bit of my space.My core. My inner river of peace where I knew I could find myself over and over again. The source of all my strength and clarity. A faint gleam. But a gleam nonetheless.

I can’t stop my recent experiences from defining me. It’s too late for that. But at least I am here. And I am writing.

And I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelmed and washed with peace I feel as I do this.

The healing continues in baby steps as