House husbands & gender justice


ki ka


Ki & Ka, a light-hearted love story that incorporates melodrama and a social message, tries to break the stereotype of gender roles by showing the lad-ka (boy) as a house husband.

Arjun Kapoor as Kabir is passionate about becoming like his mother, an artist and a housewife. Unlike his father, the rich builder Kumar Bansal, he is not interested in devoting his life to running a successful business. Ka believes the corporate world makes everyone yearn to keep climbing higher and higher on the corporate ladder, until the human becomes more of a robot. At the end of his life, he lies on an expensive bed in some private hospital, thanking his stars he could afford to die in such luxurious surroundings.

Ka isn’t a lazy layabout: as portrayed in the movie: he is just not like other men. He is not egoistic, he cries in the beginning of the movie, missing his Mom, whose hand he used to hold tight during flights, especially during take-off and landing.

Fortunately, the audience is not supposed to believe that his crying is a sign of weakness; rather, the incident that triggers his weeping in the movie is where his mother, the pillar of his Dad’s building, is accused of doing nothing in life. She is not valued for looking after the family. This reminds us of a familiar syndrome: that wives are appreciated only as support systems of successful husbands. They are not put on any pedestal for performing important roles throughout their lives in a typical Indian family — as wives, responsible nurturers and care-givers for all and sundry.

This movie does not let you escape into a wonderland, as Hindi movies usually do. Ka is happy if his wife Ki played by Kareena Kapoor keeps herself busy. His attitude is the epitome of gender equality; after they meet through an online marriage site, the girl clarifies the boy will not stand in the way of her education and career. Ka does not just promise — he delivers. The lesson of gender equality goes down very easily in Ki and Ka, with its fast-paced action and effervescent personalities.