This Women’s Day take a look at the 8 Women of Substance
Sakshi Malik: Pahelwan Ladki
This was the year of two female wrestling movies. Though Sultan glorified Salman, the story premise was based on Anushka dreaming to win an Olympic gold in women’s wrestling. And then there was the iconic Dangal that highlighted the story of the Phogat sisters. However feel good factor was generated by these reel stories, nothing could beat the real story of Sakshi Malik, the Olympic bronze winner from Moksha village in Rohtak, Haryana. Not only is she India’s first female Olympc medalist, she has a master’s degree in physical education from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak too.
Though recently she has been embroiled in some controversy over non-fulfillment of promises by the Haryana Government, Sakshi Malik is the star of a new International Women’s Day campaign celebrating the daily victories and struggles of women in India.
Dipa Karmakar: Produnova in Board Exams
I am sure Produnova was a term never heard of by too many Indians before the Olympic performance from Dipa Karmakar, the petite Bengali girl from remote Tripura who rewrote Indian gymnastic story single handedly (or should I say on the pole vault and somersaults). She is one of the only five women who have successfully landed the Produnova, which is regarded as the most difficult vault currently performed in women’s gymnastics. How much impact she has had on her small state can be gauged from this simple story.
The students sitting the Tripura Class 12 Board English exam were given a comprehension exercise that required them to read a passage which talked at length about the celebrations organized by the Tripura government to honour Dipa. Sample a few questions:
How long did it take for Dipa to climb up the dias?
Which ministers were present in the stadium?
In honour of Dipa a holiday was declared on August 23 at all educational institutions by:
- The chief minister
- The education minister
- The director of education
- The secretary of education
Need we say anything more
P V Sindhu: No Mobile, No Biryani, Only Olympic Medal
Her mobile phone was taken away. She was not allowed chocolates or other fast but attractive foods. There was no possibility of a boyfriend or any social life. While these might look insurmountable to this 1995 born gangly lass, for Pusarla Venkata Sindhu there was light at the end of the tunnel and it came in the form of an Olympic silver medal. Under the strict regime of Gopichand, this Hyderabad-based girl who used to travel 56 km daily to reach the coaching camps, Sindhu had shown ample testimony of her desire and grit to hit pay dirt. Long in Saina Nehwal’s shadow, 2016 was when she came onto her own—not just Olympics, in other Grand Prixs too she has been Indian badmintons flagbearer. After the Olympics finals, she got her biryani and mobile back—she also got a BMW; now, no doubt there will be several ‘aspiring’ boyfriends, but looks unlikely, Ms Sindhu will have time for them.
Trupti Desai: All Women are Pure, Period
The lady who stormed into the hearts of Gods—well literally, in Shani Shingnapur temple, in the Mahalakshmi Temple, in the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple; and in the right secular sentiment at Haji Ali dargah too. The Home Science graduate who founded the Bhumata Brigade and was part of Anna Hazare’s crusade, she was incensed that all women between 10 and 50 were not allowed in these temples or even more insultingly these religious sanctums needed to be purified with milk if even by mistake a woman who is yet to have menopause enter. Reason: according to the religious bigots, all women having menstruation are impure. Desai’s scientific rejoinder: without ‘men’struation, there will be no men (and these bigots are incidentally all males). While Phase 1 of her war is over (the Sabarimala temple in Kerala is her next target), the battle is yet to be won as there are (not surprisingly perhaps as women are women’s worst enemy) many females too still opposing her protests.
Kangana Ranaut: No Khan for this Feisty Lady
“Is it essential for us to save the memories of our love affairs whether they’re sperm stained panties or gifts that were given to us by a lover as potential evidence for a future when he’s trying to escape or say no?”
“While growing up I realized as a girl child I was a liability on my parents”
“My male counterparts are paid thrice the amount. No one can guarantee success of a film so why such discrimination? “
“They make you feel that if you are overtly ambitious, no one is going to admire you and you are not a nice person. In my experience, the more successful I get, I see a lot more proposals from men. I have been around for 10 years and the more successful I get the more crazy they get.”
“I don’t find anything upsetting or gross or degrading about fighting with a mental illness: Bipolar or Schizophrenia.”
“Women empowerment does not mean you create complex among men. Then it will take 20 more years to empower men. It is all about evolving as a soul, as a human being. It does not mean that you become a sexist.”
Now one woman who can make all these brutally frank quotes within a year’s time, need to be celebrated, or rather saluted. I was never much of a fan of her, but now I am impressed that this is one iron woman who wears the pants.
The final rejoinder: how she took on the Khans.
Karan Johar asked Kangana which Khan – Shahrukh, Salman or Aamir – she wants to work with? To which Kangana Ranaut had replied, “None!”
Priyanka Chopra: No More Desi Girl
Desi girl had her makeover, and became Videshi in Hollywood. Ms. Quantico, has earned International fame while she keep coming in different chat shows time to time. Recently she has become brand ambassador for Assam Tourism, She will drive the campaign, “Awesome Assam”. Will she get back to India to say this, or she will just shoot it from LA.
While many on social media debated whether she wore a kaju katli, or a blanket cover to the Oscars, the point is she has become Indian entertainment’s global face this year. If even for this she has to show frontal nudity and sex on the bathroom, so be it.
Sonam Gupta: Not the Real One, But Still a Celeb
All bewafas of the world rejoice. Or more accurately, all Indian bewafas have a blast. Being a bewafa no more means downing yourself in tears, or having a nervous breakdown (in case of girls) or gulping down Old Monk or smoking away Gold Flakes in all its glory (for boys).
Nowadays, being a bewafa can make you an instant celeb, thanks to viral power of the Internet or the social media. Just ask Sonam Gupta (who the hell cares who she is, where she is from or wo kaunsi chakki ka atta khati hai). Bottomline is ‘Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai’; and all the Romeos (both the open and the discreet ones, and even the old uncles) of this country are concerned about it.
Even the female fraternity is bothered; some emphatize with her bewafai, some (in a case of typical women jealousy) are happy she is bewafa and the older aunties are checking out whether the bewafa Sonam Gupta can become their bahu.
End result: Sonam Gupta is the third most searched personality in 2016 according to Google India after US president-elect Donald Trump and Indian Olympic medalist P.V Sindhu.
Sonam Gupta has been a hit throughout 2016 and also recently featured in question papers of IIT Guwahati, a premier Indian educational institute. Toh bhaiyo aur behno, (aur mere sab mitron), Sonam Bewafa hai, agar ye mausam mein aapko sanam bewafa karna hai, take a chance on Google. Maybe you will get to chance pe dance with Sonam Gupta soon.
well until then enjoy this comedy.