Who could have thought that Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu will spark off dazzling dinner table debates at home? I saw the movie with mom, dad, sis and Geet (yeah! Polly has been rechristened Geet. It was long overdue). Although the movie was above average, it broke many boundaries around how girls are expected to behave in our society. The movie projected the female protagonist as someone who had 6 past relationships, who had a great capacity for beer, who likes her personal space, is not worried that she is 27 and not married and can talk freely of sex and can rate a guy’s and her own butt.

*spoiler ahead*

I loved the fact that even though the guy acted like a typical guy and took she-is-roaming-with-me-and-introducing-me-to-her-family as she-loves-me, the girl stood her ground and did not buckle under the pressure. She wanted him as a friend and that’s that. They still annul their marriage. And she does not care that he is super rich.

*spoiler ends*

We have seen similar movies before – Salaam Namaste, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Kya Kehna, Jab We Met and many others where the female leads are strong. Similarly Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu made the female protagonist much powerful than her male counterpart which is very rare in Bollywood movies. It gave her the right to decide in the end.

Now, before I indulge you with our dinner table debates, I must tell you that dad is quite cool with guys and girls befriending each other and going out for movies and parties. He has never stopped me or my sister from enjoying ourselves, although they are more cautious with sis. They are also comfortable with the whole girlfriend-boyfriend-affair-shaffair scenarios. Of course, dad and mom say things like it’s against our culture and stuff but they hardly believe it themselves. They just have to say it to maintain the Indian-culture façade (the same way you mechanically brush your teeth when you wake up) so that we don’t mistake them to be dangerously liberal.

The whole debate was about Dad having a problem with couples staying together without marriage. Okay, I know this doesn’t go with what happened in the movie but he was commenting about Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan. He could not understand Bipasha and John also who were together since the Big bang and then separated. He might have a point here but then I reminded him that everyone in question were adults and we do not have any right to question what they do in their personal lives. You know where this is going right?

Dad thinks that we live in a society and we have to live by its rules. Why do you have to live with a guy for 5 years and then jump partners after you get bored with him (he meant – after you had sex with him)? There is nothing sacrosanct in the whole affair.

I told him (in less obvious terms) that maintaining your virginity before marriage does not make the whole affair sacrosanct. That is a bit outdated. Secondly, everyone look out for new partners if things do not work out between couples. You don’t have to turn into a nun after your first breakup. Thirdly, our society is the most nosey and hypocrite society in this world. We are fine with girl infanticide, child labor, rapes, corruption, riots, dowry and so many other evils but we find it very objectionable when two consenting adults (who have the right to choose our Prime Minister) live together. It’s actually none of our business. *mom, sis and Geet nodded vigorously*

And this went on and on. It was funny because although dad saw my point in the end, my parents find it very hard to believe that our society has changed so much. I did not tell them that a lot of people have sex with their partners before they get married. I also did not tell them that Geet and I saw a college going couple kissing each other for 1 ½ hours as we watched Source Code in the theatre. It might be too much for them.

I can understand where he is coming from. He was brought up by a disciplinarian who locked up his daughter in the toilet if he found her talking to a boy. My parents were not very liberal with me and my sis initially. They had their apprehensions. Giving their son certain freedom might lead to their daughter asking something similar. But they loosened up and thankfully so. They still raise their eyebrows at sis at times, but she is a maverick. And I am outside their radar ever since I married Geet.

Frankly speaking, I myself would not have been very comfortable about a live-in but that certainly does not mean that I would pass judgment on anyone choosing it. It is also important to understand that movies like Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu explore just one end of the spectrum. India is too diverse in its thoughts and opinions that accepting what happened in the movie as a norm would be foolish. Also, we have to understand that only a small percentage of our generation (especially urban) has moved ahead and understood that the nose is to smell the roses and not to poke in someone’s affairs. The rest of the present generation and a majority of the older one is tied to its belief system. They live in a matrix of society, wired into its complicated circuit.

But yes, whether we like it or not, there is a change and it’s happening right under our nose.

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

10 Comments

  1. Maddie February 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    This is one movie that has broken down stereotypes about gender roles and attitudes. We did see the likes of it in Wake Up Sid but this one was a complete role reversal, with the girl doing better than the guy, talking openly about sex, speaking her mind, and having an opinion, just about everything.

    • Amit February 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Yes and that is why even though the script was not that good, I think it should be seen once. If we can bear Ra One and Bodyguard, then this movie is like Mother India in comparison.

      • Maddie February 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        Even though I profess to be a die hard SRK fan, I couldn’t make myself watch Ra One. Surprisingly though, I could sit through Bodyguard and secretly enjoyed it.

        By the way, have you watch vicky cristina barcelona?

      • Amit February 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

        I was an SRK fan once but then I was exposed to world cinema and realized how big a nautanki he was. I can’t bear Salman Khan and his stupid comedy.
        Yesssss!! I have seen VCB and loved it! I am looking forward to see Midnight in Paris now.

  2. Reema February 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    loved the post.
    “Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer. ~Shunryu Suzuk”

    • Amit February 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks Reema. I think that perfectly sums up the constant tug of war the world is in ever since we gained a brain. 🙂

  3. scorpria March 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    I’m glad that there are parents who can have such an open talk with their “kids” (who might have kids of their own :D). I thought miner were the only ones 😀

    I think the say we stop being judgmental and nosey as a society, and give our attention to things that really need it, we might progress a bit more. I don’t see that happening in our generation anyways 😀 hopefully, by the next, it’ll turn to be a better, more understanding, accommodating one!

    • Amit March 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Not yet! 😉
      Yeah, I find my parents quite open minded when I look around but then every generation has its limitations. I don’t blame them. It’s the way we are seasoned.
      If you move away from the cities, our generation is an exact carbon copy of our previous generation. There is a very small minority that has changed, otherwise the scenario is pretty scary.
      I think it will take another 100 years or so for us to cut off the nose.

  4. Wanderer June 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Appreciate that your parents are open to have conversations like this with their children. Many believe that it is taboo and not to be talked before children. Only if they knew, that we know so much more than what they do in certain matters 😛

    • Amit June 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      Yes, I agree. Parents really need to talk to their kids sometimes to understand how much the world has changed. They will be surprised how much their children know.

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