Our Changing Times :)

Edited to add: Managed to add this impressive, inspiring video here, finally! Thanks to Aaarti🙂

Some movies make me feel good. Very good. We were just going to sleep, I wanted a quick look at the News before sleeping, and Flightplan was going on on Star Movies. Jodie Foster looking for her daughter all over the Plane, and nobody remembers having seen the child on board. It’s just another entertaining movie? Yes, but here it isn’t a tough dad, but a brilliant mom, maybe an intelligent but an ordinary mom who’s the hero.

And then the other day, ‘Rang de basanti‘ was showing on some channel and there’s this Air Force Officer Ajay (Madhwan) who has just introduced his fiancee to his mother, the girl, Soha Ali Khan touches the mother’s feet and Madhwan teases her and asks her to touch his feet too, because he is her husband, her pati parmeshwar. That had my attention. Will she ? Won’t she? And I smile with delight and relief when she mock-angrily chases him around the TV screen. Hindi movies have definitely evolved:) In old Hindi movies a girl and boy could only talk if they were soon to get married. Here you have a bunch of girls and boys who are just hanging out together. In ‘Bunty aur Babli‘ Babli laments that she would have gone crazy if she had to make one more martbaan of pickle. What!!! An Indian girl admitting she has interests other than making pickles and papads for her family? But it isn’t just women who benefit from being freed from stereo typecasting. Abhishek Bachchan cooking in Dhoom, and Hrithik Roshan frying an omelette in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai were more true of the modern Indian men than Rajesh Khanna raising his hand to hit his wife(Mumtaz I think), causing his mother to object, “No! Not in her condition! She cannot help me in housework only because she is going to give me a grandson”. So it was acceptable if he beats her black and blue if she was not carrying their family’s waris, and it was also acceptable to beat her into helping his mother.

Why I prefer Shahrukh Khan to Amitabh Bachchan…

I think Shahrukh Khan is the one brought these changes first…he spoke openly about how he fell in love with wife Gauri, how she wore a mini skirt and looked so good etc etc – Compare this to Amitabh Bachchan, a Police Officer telling Zeena Aman when she comes to complain about someone whistling at her, (was it in Lawaris?) and he asks her what else did she expect when she dressed like this. And she asks what’s wrong with these clothes, he says “Bahut kum hain” (They aren’t enough). Actors are role models for people, and Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna contributed their bit to our gender bias . Well, so Shahrukh speaking of his wife with affection and respect made her the most envied wife in the country. Femina called her the woman with best ‘karma’. Shahrukh Khan also fasted with Kajol on Karvachauth in DDLJ.

Unfortunately I rarely sit and watch a complete movie and never remember the names, but even I can see the movie scene changing.

Indian Advertisements have always been ahead of Indian cinema in showcasing social changes. There’s this ad that goes “Car baree ho gayee, aur beti bhi!” Nice to see a Dad accepting a check for a bigger car from his daughter! Another one I like is the Frankfinn ad, where the girl is different…

Edited to add on 13th Sept 2008: This beautifully researched, detailed post by Neeta, talks about the changing portrayal of women in Bollywood.

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24 thoughts on “Our Changing Times :)

  1. w.r.t. the SRK and AB comparison…

    Do keep in mind the changing times, too. As society evolves, people are more comfortable with speaking their minds…

    Yes, times are definitely a-changing!

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  2. hmmm…gotta agree with Dad on that…very few bolywood movies are made to change audience behaviour in most cases they just reflect the society we live in.

    Movies like Rang de basanti or Kya Kehna are few and far between…

    U are right IHM times are changing…but my worry is the movies are creating another type of equally sad stereotypes.
    The ‘don’t care for anyone but myself’, ‘working and therefore independent (can have a voice), etc etc examples.

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  3. You know, I never liked Shah Rukh Khan too much in his movies (except for DDLJ of course!) but I think I was hooked on him when I first heard him speak about his wife. The article also had some of their snaps I rememember, and I went all mushy seeing how he loved and respected and cherished her… Girly fantasies and all! 😉

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  4. You can’t blame AB for being born in an age when filmmakers weren’t gutsy enough to make films with assertive women protagnists. That was the age of the angry, young man, remember?

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  5. And remember Abhimaan- that was a movie which made being a woman more successful than her man a sin of sorts…I hated that…

    The times they are a changin

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  6. Wow….nice post. By the way which movie was it….about Rajesh Khanna going to hit his wife? The ads are real nice 🙂

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  7. I think that if movies were made with the yesteryear values, they would sink without trace. The world has changed and entertainers have to reflect the modern scenario

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  8. Nice post… love the way you’ve connected movies to real life, cos i think a lot of times people imitate what they see on big screen, even tho its silly..

    hey, to put in a youtube video, all u gotta do is select the code given in the box next to the video and paste it in your post msg box here on blog… 🙂

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  9. Nice post… love the way you’ve connected movies to real life, cos i think a lot of times people imitate what they see on big screen, even tho its silly..

    hey, to put in a youtube video, all u gotta do is select the code given in the box next to the video and paste it in your post msg box here on blog… 🙂

    Like

  10. movies refect society and at the same time are a means of bringing about gradual change in society..

    i am not a movie buff myself.. i find most bolloywood movies hard to digest.. mostly i watch movie in parts on cable!!

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  11. Very interesting read, as usual!

    Times are definitely changing, atleast outside India. In most cases I’ve seen, the husband and wife take almost equal responsibility in bringing up the child/looking after the household. Ofcourse its a very different story, when the husband’s mother is around. But yes, have to admit, things are much better today, than they were a couple of generations back.

    And I love SRK too, so I completely and vehemently agree with your post 🙂

    In case you feel like reading my penny-worth opinion on (1) Ekta Kapoor’s crap (2) A typical crappy Hindi movie, please click on the below links:
    http://writerzblock.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/haire-krishna/

    http://writerzblock.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/kya-story-hai/

    Cheers.. Pallavi

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  12. Its a nice post on the changing times and attitudes, Really enjoyed reading it. BTW I hyperlinked one of ur posts in my latest post. 🙂

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  13. Apologies, this is warped realism. You prefer Shahrukh Khan to Amitabh Bachchan because of what characters they have played (and gone on to have success with) in movies?
    Please do realise, it is not Amitabh the police inspector who was saying ‘Bahut Kum hain’ to Zeenat, it was Amitabh the actor reading out his lines.
    And yes, you will mention that Amitabh did not rebel against the director then, did he? Well, here’s the answer. It’s just a job one is doing. This is the equivalent of Prem Chopra saying that since it is demeaning to women, he would not play the part of a rapist in movies. Ah, and taking it further, there would be no actors playing evil characters in movies, and you have got your movie utopia!
    Good actors like Amitabh realize that their role is to be puppet to the director, and this is something he has mentioned repeatedly.
    Here’s a question, in his personal life, has Amitabh been anything but exemplary in his treatment of women? And Amitabh, yes I agree, does not praise his wife’s legs often in public, but I suppose that is because being from an older generation, his sensibilities are a little different (and note, not better or worse), and also because really, Jaya’s legs might not be a match for Gauri’s! Amitabh has gone about praising his wife as being an exemplary woman often, though… and not in the pati-vrata gharwali sense, but as really someone he respects immensely as a human being.
    Do realize, movies follow the cultural trend of the generation, and not the other way around. So yes, at one point in time wolf whistles at scantily clad women were kinda okay by a certain mass of society (and yes of course it is wrong , and those bastards should be whipped). Just like lynching blacks was okay by a certain mass of society, and thereby ‘Birth of a nation’ was a big hit once upon a time. And yes, no movie actor, by refusing to act a certain role in a movie, as far as I can remember, has changed society’s views on anything at all. No?

    But then, crazed stalker (circa Darr), is always a wrong thing, no? No. That was good performance by Shahrukh, and a great cine-going experience.

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  14. I loved the car-beti ad , left me teary eyed when I saw that first. I really wish my dad would have accepted gifts from me when I was earning before wedding. He made me save all for my wedding 🙂

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  15. retrosexual When Prem Chopra acts as a rapist, he is the ‘bad guy’, he will not be a role mode, in fact just the opposite! When a much respected, loved and admired actor says anything regressive, it is taken as gospel. There were many progressive actors and directors before him, older then him, Raj Kapoor (Prem Rog, Sangam), Yash Chopra etc have made progressive films, it seems Amitabh Bachchan got trapped in regressive roles.
    Shahrukh Khan in Darr was not a good guy either, it was very clear that he was harassing the heroine and would be punished by the ‘good guy’, the hero.
    And about Mr Bachchan’s popularity….must do a post on this 🙂

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  16. retrosexual When Prem Chopra acts as a rapist, he is the ‘bad guy’, he will not be a role mode, in fact just the opposite! When a much respected, loved and admired actor says anything regressive, it is taken as gospel. There were many progressive actors and directors before him, older then him, Raj Kapoor (Prem Rog, Sangam), Yash Chopra etc have made progressive films, it seems Amitabh Bachchan got trapped in regressive roles.
    Shahrukh Khan in Darr was not a good guy either, it was very clear that he was harassing the heroine and would be punished by the ‘good guy’, the hero.
    And about Mr Bachchan’s popularity….must do a post on this 🙂

    Like

  17. Appreciate your memory for remembering the old movie dialogues.

    Though, I am not a great fan of SRK, I totally admire him since he’s a clean chap in his personal life unlike other actors like Saif or Aamir who divorced their wives after 10-15 yrs of marriage and pose as heros on silver screen .

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  18. the movie was Dostana (bahut kam hain) and I recall being annoyed even at that age.

    and i second chandni. I am not a huuuuge SRK fan. But I do think the bachchan mania needs to be curbed.

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  19. LOL… My Mom watched “Abhimaan” just once and has hated Amitabh Bacchan since then. She says she watched Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham and Mohabbatein only because it had her “darlin” SRK. And refused to watch Bunty-Babli coz it had AB jr (“apne baap jaisa hi hoga”). LOL…

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  20. IHM, As usual – great post! The ads are great – guess, these are all signs that times are indeed changing.. While I prefer Shahrukh to Amitabh anytime, I guess their on-screen personas do tend to reflect on their times as well..So probably, would not want to directly compare them.. But here’s to lots of Shahrukhs!

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  21. Pingback: JKG Badges! :) « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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