Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren’t you letting your boastful ego do the talking?

Dear Kangana Ranaut,

Who had thought, that one episode of ‘Koffee With Karan 5’ will become such a rage! Thanks to the tussle of opinions between you and Karan Johar, ‘Nepotism’ promptly became a familiar term.

I will be honest with you. We were looking forward to your presence on Karan’s couch. I, being a free-spirited, independant woman, have had illimitable admiration for you. You’ve knocked down your opponents so many time, just with strokes of razor-sharp words. You were and are unapologetic about having an opinion. You pleased no one and let your work do the talking. You entered the industry from a humble background and with no godfather to back you. You borrowed no superstar’s support to become ‘you’. After all these years, everything that you possess has been earned by you.

And so, that night when you cribbed about Karan Johar being a ‘movie mafia’, it left me disheartened.

I am sure I am not the only one who admires your outspoken, straightforward and courageous approach towards life. We remember how the ugly tiff with Hrithik Roshan left you at the receiving end of the most undesirable expressions; but you still were sticking to your stand. But tell me something. How did it all begin? Because you decided to address your ‘silly ex’ in public during an interview; something that your ‘silly ex’ himself never did. It was followed with a heap of counterattacks, which did nothing but disgrace you. Your personal affairs were dug out in public, because you chose to blame an apparent former lover for rumours spread about you. Not sure who was more silly here.


You’re a woman, upfront about your choice. We heard you rejected ‘The Dirty Picture’, which later went to Vidya Balan and became one of the best films in her career. We also heard you refused a number of films including ‘Sultan’, ‘Airlift’ and more. You refuse films when the female lead is not given an enough meaty role. You refuse films wherein there is no parity in remuneration of the male and the female actor. You were all in for equal treatment of female actors, and we cheered for you. No one called you names for the choices you made. No one called you a snob, a humbug, a charlatan, a pretentious revolutionist. And today, we humbly ask you, does making his own choices make Karan Johar a movie mafia?

True, Karan has set of actors that he really likes. And they would probably keep coming back to his films, whether produced or directed by him. But then, Anurag Basu has made nine films so far and three of them feature you. You have been a part of two most successful films of Aanand L Rai and he apparently is writing another one, keeping you in mind. No one raised a question, because you deserved them. When you claimed Karan Johar was a ‘movie mafia’, you meant he sidelined anybody and everybody who didn’t belong to the league of his favourite actors. May be he simply chose not to work with you, like you don’t want to work with Khans as you want equal mileage?

You said Karan was seasoned at nepotism. Let us accept it straight; every performer he once launched, has gone on to prove themselves. As put by Alia Bhatt, one can only give you the first opportunity. The rest, you earn. Sadly enough, we don’t talk about Sidharth Malhotra’s debut (which also happened through Karan) as much as we discuss Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan’s debut. From a background nowhere related to films, Sidharth today is a prominent actor. We do not discuss how people like Shashank Khaitan and Punit Malhotra got their directorial breaks, thanks to Karan.

Just before ‘Rangoon’ released, we caught you boasting, calling yourself the ‘third hero’ of the film. Is there anything less in being a Heroine, Kangana? After making so many conscious choices of films that are carried by the female lead, why do you need a ‘hero’ tag to glorify your contribution to the film? Or deep inside, does a man’s presence in the same film patronise you? Feminism gone wrong?

You know the deal? We all have our moments. We all make choices and they sometimes clash with each other. The day you left home after a face-off with your father (who didn’t encourage your CHOICE of becoming an actress), you surely knew life wasn’t going to be easy. I think the challenge is to ground yourself on moments when your inner self wants to burst out in pride.

We want you away from the face-offs. We want your calmer version, supervised by yourself and not by your ego. Verbal wars will not help you fight the ‘male chauvinism’ you claim to deal with.

P.S. Chauvinism has got no gender. It is very, and very much on one’s perspectives.

Sincerely,

A fan.

Kapoor & Sons: Caught the plight of homosexuals tenderly and yet made 'coming out' look doable

Kapoor & Sons: Caught the plight of homosexuals tenderly and yet made 'coming out' look doable
Image Source - YouTube

Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921. The house proudly flaunted that to the world, nestled in the greens of Coonoor. No one knew the darkness that was inside, the demons that were individually dealt with. But then, isn’t every family like that?

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?

Two years have passed by since this Shakun Batra-directorial, story of a dysfunctional family had come to our lives. However, amongst the various themes that tore apart the family and eventually brought it together, one that truly had the power to transform, was that of homosexuality.

Not many know, that the role played by Fawad Khan, that of family’s elder son, a successful author, was actually offered to many A-listers, who turned it down, eventually leading him to step into the shoes of Rahul. And it was, indeed, a very big step on his part. He was venturing out of his territory, a man who has such a huge female-fan following, and comes from a country with religion as its main running philosophy. He did the role and brought such conviction to it that we were forced to stand up and applaud, his courage, and the beauty with which his character was carved.

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?

Since times immemorial, all our memories of gay characters on screen have been that of carelessly effeminate and unimportant roles, which are just there to add a comic element. The stereotype has been high to an extent that often the champions of the same channelise it and promote it, for it is wrapped in the shiny paper of presentation. The biggest example of this was ‘Dostana’, which was an amazing story of friendship, still used homosexuality as humour, as its backdrop. Ironically, it came from the same production house, though nearly eight years before that.

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?

But ‘Kapoor & Sons’ begged to differ here. The character here was real, someone who was hiding himself, for the society, his family. There was surreality to the theme of homosexuality here, which had the power to jar us inside out; and that, it did.

Two scenes from the movie specifically hit me. First one is when Sunita (Ratna Patak Shah) finds out that her ideal elder son, whom she adores and is proud of, is not straight. The aftereffects of the same jolt you, because the reaction is just what an Indian mother gives, in any situation that is beyond her control; uncontrollable anger at the offspring, and then uncontrollable guilt, of blaming herself and her upbringing. The scene is filmed so beautifully, that your eyes sting. The way Fawad’s facade falls and his fear is marked across his face, which is then replaced by the anger of hiding himself for all those years, and mother’s dilemma and hurt, it all comes out in a naked and real manner.

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?

Another sequence is when Rahul (Fawad Khan) comes back home after the showdown with his mother and the death of his father totally uproots whatever sanity his family possessed. He sits with his mother, with whom his last encounter was one of his coming out, and she asks, hesitatingly, about his partner. A subtle way of expressing acceptance, the way they hold hands, without saying anything, it stays with you.

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?

It may not be one masterpiece, but ‘Kapoor & Sons’ will forever remain a favourite for finally breaking the mainstream stereotype of a gay man, in Bollywood. And for that, no matter how many bans, I will forever be waiting for Fawad Khan to come back, and give us more performances; with dare and conviction.

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?

An ode to Sridevi, the queen who inspired the queers long before it became mainstream

An ode to Sridevi, the queen who inspired the queers long before it became mainstream
Image Source - Pinterest

“I am a kid from the 90s but still can’t forget those days when, me-myself was not out and proud about my preferences. And inside my own sweet world would dance in front of the mirror on many songs, but majorly on ‘Hawa Hawai’ and ‘Main Teri Dushman, Dushman Tu Mera’. These songs were just not tunes for me, it made me feel exactly what I was; a QUEERby birth”.

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?
Image Source - India Forums

The news of the legendary diva Sridevi being no more with us is still hard to believe, as she was part of my and every queer’s childhood memories. While in the late 90s my bunch of friends would idolise a star from the West as their gay icon, me being a full-fledged Bollywood fanatic was in love with Sridevi and she was a diva I used to worship (and will forever). Her golden costume and perfectly done makeup in ‘Hawa Hawai’ made me feel, “Yes! There is someone like me out there who loves bling and all things loud.” Her feather headgear in one of the songs from ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’, touched my drag Queen‘s soul. One of the lines from her song ‘Hawa Hawai’ which is ‘Soorat Hi Maine Aisi Paayi’ transported me into a world where I thought that there is someone narcissist just like me. Sridevi’s charm was on my mind and the feminine side in me just wanted to be a replica of her.

Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?
Image Source - Pinterest

The gone actress has not only given a lot to the Indian cinema, but her sass and talent of naturally moulding herself into any character gave her an upper hand in whatever she used to do. When many gay men were struggling and were confused about their sexual orientation they found a connection to their on-going pain in Sridevi’s roles. Whether it was Sridevi as a meek Anju and ferocious Manju fighting for everything wrong in ‘ChaalBaaz’ (1989), Pooja’s mutiny against the everlasting societal conditions in ‘Lamhe’ (1991), Seema’s confidence-filled and fearless dance in the ‘Mr. India’ (1987) song ‘Hawa Hawaai’ or her role of a naagin (snake) coming out to the world about her dual identity in ‘Nagina’ (1986), Sri’s roles had a deep connection and were etched in every GAY man’s mind.


Dear Kangana Ranaut, aren't you letting your boastful ego do the talking?
Image Source - giphy.com

And how can one miss ‘Kate Nahin Kat Te’ song of Sridevi from ‘Mr. India’, where she owned the song and made every gay guy’s dream to dance on it once with his man. This particular song was wild, seductive and equal parts bold. Sridevi draped in a sky-blue coloured saree with a matching bindi and of course adding fuel to the fire was her dancing moves. Even at the end of the song, a fully wet in rainwater, Sridevi stretching herself on a pile of hay – ‘Tumne jo li angdayi hai’ – where the diva nibbles on straws with a drenched fire in her eyes, leaving Mr. Kapoor to chivalrously lie on a distant haystack.

While mostly when the film fraternity was in a zone where feminine men were used as a tool to add fun elements on the silver screen, Sridevi was a ray of hope for the LGBTQ community. She was like a powerful symbol for the QUEERS. Her role resonated each and every gays struggle, and also echoed their dysphoria into her characters. And with her, all the queer children surpassed the narrow-minded stereotypes which they were labelled with. Lastly, she might be gone, but the colourful rainbow universe she opened for all the fellow LGBTQ people remains there intact..

Hail the QUEEN! RIP Sridevi.