Reeling back in time when Mani Ratnam’s Roja was released. Arvind Swamy casually lighting a cigarette, inhaling some of that nicotine for respite before making a destiny decision. A coy Madhu takes a peek at him and goes “Cigarettu!!” Arvind Swamy cares a hoot for being that supposedly ideal boy from Tam Bram family who has no bad habits. Screw ya’ all. But then, he is a ‘man’. He takes a shot. He survives.
Now, moving back to the present. Must thank Sudheer Varma for making a leap. And the new girl in the block, Kriti Sanon. The kid who moved on to the lanes of Tollywood with Mahesh Babu’s “1 Nenokkadine” plays an ultra-cool role of a modern day young woman in Dohchay. Defying all the cliché and puffing away on the Hero’s face while establishing her identity. Adding in a dash of smoke to go with road side Chai. Same goes with the director’s leading lady in Swamy Ra Ra.Kriti’s role in the film may be forgettable. Even trivial. For that’s what women in Tollywood are meant for. But hey, she made a real statement for the current generation of free spirited women. These women puff for a respite. Visit night clubs for a quick drink and yes, balance the role of that ideal Naari at home front.
Come BPO culture into the country, both virtues and vices tagged along swinging. The economy was practically saved with employment skyrocketing, hiring young boys and girls to make their career and create a win win. The so called ‘occupational hazards’ crept in, in the name of independence and high spending habits. Free spirited young women carrying a pack of Marlboro and lazily smoking away in office corridors. And why not? Isn’t being too ‘Indian’ too much of a burden to carry around, with expectations setting in to make the country look global? Oh those hypocrites who wouldn’t let the tainted BPO bachelorettes to rent in. Our children and grandchildren will be spoilt, no?
What is interesting is the transgression of Telugu cinema and the new directors who are trying to make it look real for women these days. Despite all the other eye candy roles. These kind of characters actually define who most of us are, in the real sense. We will shy away from this, even debate. But then, isn’t this the real world? Women who can be both modern and traditional, adapting to the sullen two faced society where tradition is masked to cover all the other inner follies.
Thank God there are no over hyped ‘Soundarya’ centric roles playing monotony here. All saree, no brain and very timid. Or sometime even excellently multi-faceted while bending down their head to a male chauvinistic pig. There needs to be a space to be created for women characters, like they did in Dohchay, where a little reality is thrown in with a lot of theater. Marlboro Lights along with half sarees and hair extensions. I like it. All those on screen ‘Vallis’ who wear shorts inside the bedroom and Salwars outside. Embrace a little.
So, smoke away, my dear ladies. It’s your life, your call. Decide your destiny while still dealing with the great morons who exist in Indian societies.
But yes, a statutory warning as you lead the reins in all domains – Cigarette Smoking Is Injurious To Health. Smoking causes cancer, They Say.