The Magic Of Kangana Ranaut 

In an industry where only star kids get the best of everything and outsiders have to struggle, we have a wonderful exception in kangana. She is bold, vivacious, fearless and most importantly real.

I have been following her interviews since the time she was interviewed by Anupama Chopra for the Front row, ironically promoting her movie Krish3 for which she has become quiet well known for albeit slightly for different reasons.

It has been years I have followed any actor as a fan. I think of them as just that now – an actor, who is made to be God like in this country for no reason whatsoever. I mean why are they revered as such? Do they help others? Do they make the world a better place? Do they speak for those who can’t? Do they stand up for what’s right? A simple answer to all these questions is a big fat NO.

Nor are they expected to. Then why all the hullabaloo surrounding them? Especially the males? Are they different from any other non acting males? Do they have something special that males who are not actors don’t have other than a big fat paycheque? They are certainly not good role models who are mostly just self obsessed and promotes unhealthy male image.

For the last few years especially since 2012 we have seen a huge shift in the audience taste. We no longer like the old masala formula based movies. We want content that is meaningful, even if it is larger than life or requires us to suspend our belief for two hours or so.

It is only in the last one year or so, this demand has fully boomed thanks to digital ‘invasion’. People don’t deserve to spend their hard earned money for a ride that isn’t worth their bucks.

So movies like queen, kapoor and sons, hindi medium, Dangal or a Neerja works and not tubelight, jab harry met sejal or A gentleman doesn’t.

Between all this we have the default mode of portraying woman as ‘love interest’ or the ‘ever ready to sacrifice’ or the mother characters to play. Everything has to revolve around the hero even though in real life it doesn’t work that way.

Granted cinema isn’t ‘real’ and it is just a way to enact a fantasy but why should that fantasy require only female dumbness and the males to be the perfect creatures.

The recent AIB video featuring Kangana mocking the sexist film industry is one of the best entertainment I have come across in ages. I love Kangana for that. She deserves every accolades for been gutsy.

I don’t understand why the industry is so insular and nepotistic. Why isn’t an actor who does not belong to the film fraternity not appreciated as the one outside it. Unlike family businesses film industry cannot be undemocratic. Because it is based on talent. Yes hard work and luck plays a huge factor but industry babies already have some of it in their favour thanks to their star parents.

Recently Ali Fazal has been able to portray the lead role opposite Dame Judi Dench (for gods sake) in Victoria and Abdul. How many big stars can boast of the same. But no one talks about it. But Priyanka Chopra playing villain in a tiny role is a ‘Big deal’.Thankfully Irfan khan is getting his due both internationally as well as in India.

So why is Kangana made to be the bad guy by the industry for speaking the truth? I guess it’s cause truth is a bitter pill to swallow.

She is setting a great example for other women in this country to follow their dreams. Am appalled at the other actresses from the industry who are keeping mum or taking a sly dig at her instead of standing up and accepting the truth. It will only benefit them in the long run.

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Truth is all the so called stars in this hindi film industry has a huge PR machinery behind them who makes sure they are seen and heard everywhere. Things that has nothing to do with their talent are talked about more instead. Besides when the whole industry is run by some filmy family or the other why would talent matter. They just want to feel like gods whom the public should worship.

It is high time we as the audience stop accepting these mediocre actors and demand high standards from all the three – actors, directors and writers.

As far as Kangana is concerned I surely hope great success for her, cause a talent like hers should not be wasted because of this self appreciating film industry who can only promote their own.

Female actors too should be given the opportunity to make as much as their male counterparts. If older actors past 40 are employing younger girls in order to save money, how will established female actors start an eco system similar to what the khans do if they are not given their worth just so they can save money?

Especially like Akshay Kumar. His last few films have seen new comers like tapasee pannu or a nimrit kaur or Bhumi padnekar opposite him (not to belittle their talent). Gone are the days when he worked with ‘stars’ like Kareena, katrina or a priyanka. Even alia was paired with shahrukh who is a good thirty years older than her. Just imagine in real life if a girl was romancing someone that older we would either caution her or call her mad. So why this exception in movies? At least make a believable story. Why is she there just to fall in love with the actor? Though Dear Zindagi had a story but that’s besides the point.

This is not just about the hindi film industry but about all the major film industries including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam. Movies where heroes are shown as Macho where they beatup ten fifteen guys in the air, I mean WTF.

Where are these good guys in real life? They are harder to find than diamonds. Trying to find solace in the movie heroes just cause you can’t be one in real life is an unfortunate reality in our country. Let us please stop revering these fake heroes and encourage real life ones and stop making wrong things associated with been a man and masculinity.

What Kangana represents shouldn’t be slotted into “movie promotion” and as someone whose “success has gone to her head”. She comes from a very real place and such voices should be encouraged so that nobody gets slotted in certain boxes and everyone gets to benefit from those who fight for what’s right.

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My Two Cents


 

The other day, in fact a week ago one of our neighbours popped into our home. She is not really our neighbour but our neighbours daughter, who lives in the nearby town. Apparently she is looking after the house since her mom is out of station.

Among the small talks, there was one thing that caught my attention which if you look at it didn’t really have to but the fact that it got my attention is why I thought of sharing it with you.

Out of a random topic we began talking about visiting temples and about our religious inclination. It was just a causal mention not even the main topic we were talking about. What she said in response was that she is very progressive in her outlook and therefore isn’t very religious which in turn means she doesn’t visit temples and such on a routine. Of course what she does in her personal life is none of my concern but it got me thinking nevertheless.

Do people in our country – the educated and (so called) liberals think that been progressive and religious go hand in hand? Does becoming less religious mean you are more positive in your approach, that you are an elite of some sort? That you look down upon the ones who are religious?

Am not a religious person, never have been from the time I have been introduced to it. But I do consider myself a follower of Santana Dharma who does believe in its teaching. I don’t know why people of other religion go to their place of worship but to me in particular it is because of the peace I get from the energy in the temple. There is something different in its very air when you enter a temple and pray.

But being progressive has nothing to do with religion IMHO. I mean religion is a part of your identity not your outlook in life. Of course it can heavily influence your views and opinions and that’s where the problems lie. A religion which decides for you is dictatorship in my opinion.

I know our country is going through a so called religious awakening thanks to the ruling party but my point has nothing to do with politics but with beliefs. You can be both progressive and religious. It depends on how you view your beliefs.

To be progressive is not to be biased on the basis of caste, creed, sex or gender, place or religion etc. To treat everyone equally. To not let personal differences come in between your other commitments.

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To be religious is to follow a particular faith which gives you satisfaction, an identity and a structure or a path in life. Every religion has a tipping point and no matter what each will reach theirs.

I don’t even want to start about been secular and religion, two different things stitched together by a party for their own selfish interest, almost ruining this country. This is about a personal belief, that’s all.

Believing your faith to be backwards is one of the downfall Hindu’s are facing today. I don’t know if it’s a British mentality thats still left behind or propagated by secularist but if one thinks so then they have no idea about their own faith and it is high time they study it before they begin critiquing it.

Yes certain customs are backward but it is the fault of the people who made them. Every place has its own custom and it is up to us to eradicate the bad ones, don’t blame religion for it.

If at all I have something to say, it is this: Nobody is going to respect you if you don’t respect yourself and similarly nobody is going to respect your religion or culture if you don’t respect it yourself. Change begins with you.