ACTRESS RATNA PATHAK AND KONKONA SEN HAVE TAKEN A DIG AT GENDER ROLES IN ‘LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA’:

Ratna Pathak Shah is one feisty woman who has a place of her own in the industry. The legendary actress who never fails to surprise her fans with her acting excellence is back with yet another surprising role of Buaji in the film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ which has been in the news for its tryst with the censor board. And accompanying her in the controversial endeavour is the acting powerhouse Konkona Sen Sharma who was last appreciated for her directorial debut ‘A Death In The Gunj’. Talking to TimesofIndia.com, along with co-stars Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, the ladies got vocal about the film, gender issues, the ‘objectionable content’ and more.  On being enquired about whether the film was just for the metro audience, Ratna Pathak Shah made it clear, “I don’t think so. I hate to make such categories for the kind of films or kind of audiences. I think it’s a very fluid state right now. No one knows what will work and what will not. Nobody is taking any guarantees. New concepts and new ideas seem to be working right now. So I think it (‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’) will be significantly new, different and interesting.  To this Konkona added, “There are people coming to us who are telling that they are interested in watching the film. It’s not like we are going to tell anybody.”  Opening up about the film, Konkona who plays a Muslim housewife in the film said, “The film encompasses so much. It talks about things of significant importance and is doing it in a very entertaining and compassionate way with vulnerability. It scoops you up and makes you involved. People were like waiting for such a thing to pitch for.”  Lending more weight to the topic, Ratna adds, “A revolution must not be a disruption because it takes time to recover from them. I hope it doesn’t become destructive in a crude manner. It also has to shape people up. Change is difficult for men, women, everyone. People have to be dragged kicking and screaming to another level that is more thoughtful, progressive and forward looking. Else there would have been sati even today. When we started talking about stopping child marriage, widow remarriage, women education, against dowry system; it was opposed. We must not think it will happen in a jiffy. And that is the biggest learning of my life.”  She elaborated, “Post independence we thought all projects are over like gender inequality, caste system, communalism because we made laws. But that was a mistake and now everything has blown up on our face. So with all these things, we move one step forward and five steps back so we will reach there one day, tumbling and struggling.  The film directed by Alankrita Shrivastava talks about women and their hidden fantasies. On freedom of women being a threat to the society, Konkona came forward to make a point. She said, “It is very convenient if we box women and men within certain roles that we are supposed to do this and men are supposed to do this and not do this. Then everything is fine and we are safe. But then there are many different issues that pop up like females fantasize, violent against women etc. It’s very convenient if women lead their life like they are supposed to, look after the house and raise kids. If some of them want to work, they can do that ‘also’. Because if women take a stand one day that I want to go out and fulfill my ambition then who will look after the house and raise the children? That’s very inconvenient.” Ratna too joins in to sarcastically, “Then who will make the rotis and water the plants?” Konkona adds, “Without women doing these things, men can’t go out or do the things they do.”  On being asked about whether her character of a middle-aged widow in ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ had a real life connect, Ratna says, “Of course that’s why we loved the script. It may not be directly like my life but I know people like these. There are quite a few who are so busy looking back that they trample. The society expects all to behave in a certain way. We are constantly telling everyone what to eat, what to drink. what to wear. Tauba! Hopefully, we grow up, society grows up.”  The Times  of  India : 21st. July,17

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