Why you should absolutely watch Badhaai Ho?

Apart from the platonic reasons that it’s a very clean family movie and that there is Mr. Ayushmann Khurrana in this one and that maybe it’s so Delhi in nature that you will love it and because Ms. Sanya Malhotra sports the most amazing kurtas and jewellery, there are a few more serious ones-

  1. The Kaushik parents have a lovely relationship. Beyond the fact that they have it in them to cherish each other physically, they have a beautiful bonding. He puts his arm around her while reading her poetry, he notices when she dolls up, he sticks up for her self-respect when the boys misbehave and he is a friend to her when she needs to rant about the mother in law.

Friend, husband, father, son- Mr. Kaushik slays it! @raogajraj you rock!

And of course when he starts talking in English the moment Renee comes home! That’s all of our adorable dads, hoping to make an impression on the son’s girlfriend!

2. In this day and age of break ups and instant sex, Renee and Nakul have a sort of mature relationship. It doesn’t take her a second to walk away when he exchanges words with her mother and it doesn’t take a second to come back once he has apologised. Funnily enough, in spite of working in the same office, they maintain decorum and neither of them file a sexual harassment suit to get back at the other (just kidding, but this happens all the time you guys!).

They not only love each other but respect each other’s’ background and families.

3. That conversation that Nakul has with Renee’s mother- when he says that “I know Renee is disappointed in me. She should never have to be embarrassed about bringing me home to meet her mom”. Also at the end, he stands his ground saying that someday I hope to become something like my parents. While he didn’t wax eloquent for his lady love, his value system is clearly in place here and what’s better he had the skill to articulate it too.

4. How insanely and unapologetically human is this family!

From dealing with shame and guilt to concerns over how the older kids will behave to how the society will look at them, they are weirdly humane in the whole process. There is no over the top disrespect, the kids know their boundaries sort of and once they come around, the elder son steps in as the caregiver to his mom.

5. And how the mother in law stands for the daughter in law! Fantabulous! So while they are fighting over rocks and scissors, they are actually in a very strong relationship. Love doesn’t always need to be explicitly said so, but in the age of selfies and pouts and groupies, maybe we say it too often to make an impact. The Dadi in her rajaai and walker nails it! Ms. Surekha Sikri adds a rich layer to an otherwise nuclear family; something that most of us growing in fast paced lives don’t understand.

mel-poole-729159-unsplashAlso if this isn’t enough to get you to the Cineplex, go for Ms. Neena Gupta. An actor par excellence, elegant, beautiful and cultured! When the neighbours come over to congratulate and say that they are jealous, that one scene where she’s flushed and shy in the kitchen, that scene is to die for. Go for that scene.

Advertisements
Image

MeToo

We live in a country where you don’t discuss things like periods, sex, masturbation, condoms, tampons- you get the drift.

And you ask why I didn’t come out with it sooner? Why complain now?

Well meaning relatives become visibly uncomfortable if my tee rides up my back or my neckline plunges below the norm. The solution is – long close necked clothes.

I am groped on my way back from school. Some cyclist decides to violate my 13 year old body. So in a mini second I am transformed from a little girl going to school to somebody who’s constantly obsessing over the size of her breasts. I have been objectified even before I understand what that means.

And you ask why i didn’t come out with this sooner?

When I kiss my partner, you take it upon yourself to morally discipline me. When someone forces themselves upon me, you want me to prove it and walk you through the ordeal.

I know the casting couch exists. It’s my choice to still venture into the industry. Too bad. I should’ve known it was the norm to be violated. So basically- I can’t pursue my aspiration or do what I want to do because somebody else can’t keep it in their pants. Ok. Glad we cleared that up.

My 5 year old niece doesn’t wear skirts when she goes out to play. She wears knickers and then shorts. I am sure her mother isn’t trying to protect her from mosquito bites.

And you ask why I didn’t tell you sooner?

Tell me, what would have happened if I told you sooner?

Would you have believed me?

Would you have taught me to defend myself?

Would you have told me to keep quiet?

Would you have told me get on with life?

What would you have done?

Every time you ask me “why now?”; you reinforce why I didn’t tell you then.

Whichever gender you identify yourself with, #MeToo is inevitable. This is in first person, because if it happens to one of us, it has happened to all of us.

Start asking “WHAT NOW?”.

Parenting through Conversations

I was watching Keira Knightley’s chat on The Ellen Show. Cinderella and The Little Mermaid are banned in her household, the former because a woman shouldn’t have to wait for a rich man to rescue her and the latter because one should never give up their voice, especially not for a man. 

They were but wonderful movies to me that keep me glued to the screen even at an age when I can safely not be called a little girl. But I do agree with Keira’s point of view, only that it takes the magic out of the movies. One of my friends was telling me that the Internet steps in as a pseudo parent, it does no good but means no harm.

As a parent, you’ve got to keep yourself and your child informed of the many options out there. That it is alright to love/ like somebody of the same sex, that it is alright for a person to not conform to a specific gender identity, that it is alright for parents to have multiple marriages, that it is alright to not adhere to a religion, yet be spiritual, that to be spiritual you don’t have to be religious. You get the drift.

All what you read above are my filters. While leading lives where we promote zero waste and tell kids not to waste electricity and tell them to be nice and to work hard, the world out there is scary.

To raise strong and wise children, there never was a more difficult time.

In the course of following my passion, where I coach 16- 18 year olds on their strengths, I have met some wonderful mini- adults. People, who are thoughtful, very articulate and genuinely understand their own value system.

The one quality that I have found in each of these kids that I am referring to here is the “ability to hold a conversation without feeling offended”!  Talk to them about anything from misplaced feminism to systemic misogyny to Elon Musk to LGBTQ, they are able to hold their own in a conversation. Very rarely do they resort to raised voices or withdraw from a conversation just because it doesn’t rhyme with their value system.

This freedom of expression comes from homes where dialogue is encouraged and enabled. The motto is- Don’t talk about it if you don’t feel like it, but always remember that not talking about it will not make it vanish.

There are a few ground rules in homes like these-

a.     Don’t leave in the midst of a conversation; you don’t have to agree with everything but you most definitely have to have the courtesy of hearing them out

b.     When parents fight, the best way to teach your kids conflict resolution is to work out the conflict through conversation, not behind closed doors. Conflicts are a part of life, shielding your children from that only hampers their development

c.      When you don’t know enough about a subject to have a point of view, express willingness to learn or do your own research

d.     Never never never raise your voiceto be heard. Never. 

e.     It is great to be passionate about certain topics, people, places; it is okay to have strong views about them too, but it is not okay to disrespect people that have dissimilar or antagonistic views

Crucial conversations with people on the verge of becoming adults gives us a rare insight into the kind of society that we are slowly transforming into. It’s a subtle change. One day you will look back and see nothing is the same.

But then that’s the case with everything, isn’t it?