Being You: Reel-life bohemians, real-life hyprocrites



While half of the world is still talking about success (or failure) of ADHM (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), we Indians are trying our best to showcase the hypocritical face of our society.

I have always been a movie person and totally believe that movies are the mirror of society. But this does not seem to be the case with our much-loved Bollywood cinema. Otherwise why on earth would Karan Johar portray life of Indians in London full of ecstasy, love, liberty, live-ins and freedom of expression whereas, back in India, the reality is totally different?

You don’t agree with me. Right?

Ok, I know you have many arguments to put forth. Maybe, partially, you liked the movie or are confused with the ratings, which are labeling the romantic drama as the most overrated movie ever written, produced and directed by Karan Johar. From giving two stars to four, critics are pleading with Johar to deliver a newer, sharper film. One of the most unusual couples — Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (though her father-in-law Amitabh Bachhchan has also been in the news for making an odd romantic couple with the late Jiah Khan, 45 years younger to him) also couldn’t make much difference to the movie.

A typical Karan Johar movie, ADHM, is full of utterly beautiful people, exotic locations and is flooded with high emotions which most viewers won’t understand until they themselves have experienced them. Though the movie was not successful in catching the pulse of its audience, it managed somehow to showcase the messy love-friendship-hate relationships of Indians. The story may have left you wanting more or less of everything, but one thing which is certainly marked to the degree is emotions and feelings of humankind.

Rest of the things presented in the film are becoming hard to digest in Indian society, especially in the wake of the recent moral policing done by the RWA (Resident Welfare Association) of one of the posh societies of Gurgaon, the millennium city (as it is often called these days).

On one side, I am watching the characters kissing in open spaces, sharing apartments, making love and doing whatever they want to live with the person they love and on the other hand a totally different angle of Indian culture presents itself.

Palm Grove Heights in Ardee city, sector 52, Gurgaon

While in reality a 24-year-old woman from Barcelona was evicted from her male friend’s apartment in an upscale housing society in Gurgaon’s Ardee city; in cinematic life two strangers, Ranbir and Anushka meet in a pub and go on a kissing spree. Since it’s not possible to reconcile the two situations at any level, I would urge Karan Johar to stoop as low as the incident itself and portray Real Indian Society. If he does not wish to do so in his next rom-drama, I would request the jathedars of our society to rise up and match with the basic needs and feelings of the natives of this country.

If you are still wondering why the woman was not allowed to stay with her friend, then let me tell you that the reason was that both were unmarried. As claimed by the RWA, the rules of their society don’t permit unmarried male and female friends to stay together in a house. Surprised? You are not alone as I rolled up my eyes too when I read this news. The reason for this moral policing was too weird to believe.

Untitled-1The Barcelona woman, Carlota Burrel Mas, came to India to do an internship with a human rights organisation in Delhi and wanted to stay with her friend for a few days before she could found a place of her own. But on 8 October, when she reached the apartment of her friend Mohit Agarwal, a consultant with an MNC, at Palm Grove Heights in Ardee city, sector 52, Gurgaon, she was denied entry by the security guards. The incident not only showed the ugly, illogical and backward side of India, specially Delhi-NCR, it also raised questions whether cinema is actually the mirror of the society, as I have always believed.

Being a diehard fan of all types of movies, I have been watching Bollywood, Hollywood, Russian, silent or any language film as a matter of fact. I watch them because they give me a glimpse of the cultural representation of that country. It acquaints me with people of that society, their homes, clothes, interiors, roads, behaviour and what not. But the Gurgaon society incident and ADHM movie has changed my vision altogether.

In the times (as shown in the movie too), wherein a man and woman’s relationship is not confined inside the boundary wall of just being friends or just being married, how can a welfare association of one of the top cities near the Indian capital evict a foreign national (that too a woman) on such ridiculous grounds?

Man-woman relationships have evolved to new heights and so has society, since the basic function of a society is to serve the ever developing humankind. And if your society is not able to fulfill this most staple role, then consider your nation doomed.

While Delhi is struggling hard to breath in this smoggy air, which has broken all the past records this year, this incident has made sure that we fight for other rights than the right to breath in clean air.

In some housing societies in India, an unmarried young man cannot have a female friend staying over at his place; he cannot even visit some societies as he is a bachelor. In other ones, black foreigners do not have permission to stay, in some others non-vegetarians are not allowed and so on.

Yashica Jalhotra is worried that this incident might give a plot to Karan Johar for his next movie. Oh no! Another melodrama on the way…

Suggest more plots, means ideas, to her at [email protected]