Dispensable Dudes OR Dependable Dudes
Definetly, winds of change are blowing through the musty
corridors of staid, old Bollywood. Suddenly, windows seem to have
been opened up to let in the breeze and sunlight. Cobwebs of the insecure
male mind are being swept out and heroines are asserting themselves
as individuals, if not on screen, at least in their personal lives.
Unlike the Raakhees and Dimples of yore, today's generation of goal-oriented
actresses will not accept ultimatums like "Either me or your career."
Nor will they accept domination of any kind, whether it is in the
form of know-all Nana Patekar or a know nothing Akshay Kumar.
Speaking about Akshay, he may have suffered bouts of amnesia about Raveena much to her
chagrin, but she knew exactly how to set his ailment right. Through
veiled messages via the media she cured him of all memory lapses.
From 'She is one of my friends" he progressed to "Yes, I do go out
for coffee and dinner with Raveena" to finally "I admit to Raveena."
In her own subtle way, Raveena made the macho-but-nervous karate expert
knowtow to her dictates.
Yes, many of the girls are madly in love but they definetly not
blindly so. Try laying down conditions to Pooja Bhatt or Sushmita
Sen and you'll be out of their lives even before you are out of
Pooja reveals what she expects from her boyfriends. "By Relationship,"
she said, "I mean someone who is important to me as a friend. Friendship
is also love to a great extent. I find the word 'love' so limited."
With her lust for life, it is not surprising pooja finds the oft-used
three words 'I Love You' inadequate. After all, as she analyses, her
loving someone is much more than, say, loving to eat ice cream. People
wonder why she can't find permanence in any of her relationships. Typical
of our mind-sets to wonder at her and not consider the inadequacies
of her boyfriends. If you can fault her it is on her choice of men. But at
least she has the courage to cut of dead relationships.
Nana may have played proffessor higgins to manisha
for a while but even Ms Doolittle walked out on her mentor , Didnt'she?
Just like Manisha Koirala, She, too, has drifted in and out of several
relationships from with a still-in-college Sameer to a man-of-the-world
Patekar. Just when one was beginning to feel sorry at her loss of
identity with the dominating older man ruling her life almost completely,
it was heartening to hear she was considering snapping ties with him. Who
was he, anyway, to publicly humiliate her dress sense? He may have played
proffessor higgns to her for a while, but even Ms Doolittle walked
out on her mentor, didnt she?
Flower girls, too, don't like to be taken for granted. And the Koirala
from Kathmandu is no ordinary flower girl. If Patekar thinks he's the
last word in acting, his young protegee has also proved she can deliver
power-packed performances. 'Teach me you may, but trample over me you
may not' seems the stand she has taken.
Today's heroines, increasingly, do not wish to walk behind their beaus.
Kajol holding hands with Ajay openly on the sets, symbolises the new
morality. The new generation walks hand in hand, with their boyfriends,
not docilely behind. If Ajay can cavort on the snow peaks of Switzerland
with a skimpily-dressed Sonali Bendre, so, too can Kajol with a Shah Rukh.
what applies to him, applies to her as well.
To Ajay's credit, there is no sense of insecurity where Kajol is concerned.
Totally confident of himself and where he stands with her, he doesn't
have to feel threatened by Kajol's co-stars or the way she dresses.
In today's time the Gulzars, Randhirs, Rishi Kapoors and Rajesh Khannas would
have found it hard to acquire wives. At least the glamourous, talented
actresses they took home would not have been theirs for the asking.
Babita was besotted enough by Randhir to give up her career for matrimony
but it is doubtful if daughter Karishma will do likewise when she
falls in love. Ajay devgan may have saved her life and ignited love
along the way but she opted for a blossoming career to a blossoming
love affair, without much ado.
Even Tabu who, till recently thought she'd complete her assignments
before marrying Sajid Nadiadwala, seems to have changed her mind. While
conceding that marriage with Sajid is defintely part of her future
plans, she also states that she will continue to work in films
even after that because she would not like to depend totally
on one person for her happiness. It never works that way, she observes
wisely, late but not too late.
The actresses of this generation have their priorities clearly chalked
out. There is no question of making a choice between boyfriend and
So, Juhi Chawla goes for exotic holidays with Jai Mehta in Bali and Goa
but she goes for equally exotic shooting schedules with Shah Rukh,
Aamir and Rishi. Once again, hats off to her industralist fiance that
he has the confidence to accept her as she is, career and all. He is
there, by her side, at parties and fun times. He is also by her
side when she needs him in moments of sorrow. Juhi likes her man to
be a well-rounded personality and Jai Mehta seems to fit the bill
perfectly. No gauche, rough edges here.
Confidence in themselves encourages the boyfriends to have confidence
in their actress-friends. "NO relationship will last long if it's a drudgery,"
Manisha once said. Perhaps that's why girls like her, Pooja and Sushmita
use the surgeon's knife when any relationship threatens to become one.
All it took for ex Ms. Universe to snap ties with Vicky was a phone
call. No weeping endlessly into pillows and appearing puffy-eyed on
When Gattu, Twinkle's ex-boyfriend, proclaims, "I don't need this
super-ambitious career-woman" he makes a laughing stock of himself.
For she could well retaliate with a "Who needs you, anyway?" Weak,
impish, he admits that he two-timed her when was going through an
identity crisis! The oldest excuse under the sun, it's not likely
to earn him many sympathisers.
Finally, it's your talent on screen that counts,
not some cultivated image-off-screen. If Sridevi was mouthing blatant denials because she was worried the
ticket-buying viewers would not approve of her if she said
anything more honest, she could have learnt a lesson or two from
Manisha. She has always lived life as she wanted to, never finding
it necessary to hide her drinks or her boyfriends but still viewers
thronged to the theatres to see her as a burkha-clad girl from a
small town in Bombay.
Didn't people simply adore Kajol in Diwale Dulhaniya...accepting her
as Shah Rukh's sweetheart even though-off-screen, everyone knows she
is the love of Ajay's life?
As one said earlier, fresh winds are blowing through filmdom. The present
generation of heroines are living lives on their terms, living lives
as individuals. And slowly but surely the men are accepting them for what
they are. Too bad if they don't. The loss is entirely theirs.
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