Filmmaker Tahira Kashyap has written an open letter on patriarchy after the occasions of current weeks in Bollywood. Tahira, within the letter printed by Mid-Day, mentioned she is ‘jolted by this new wave of anger against patriarchy’ after the arrest of Rhea Chakraborty and the web protest towards it.
Tahira talked about how all girls have to undergo patriarchal set-ups within the society day-after-day. She recounted a current episode when a relative asked her to serve food to her husband, actor Ayushmann Khurrana. Tahira mentioned that the relative appeared impressed with Ayushmann performing family duties reminiscent of serving food. “He made a snide remark while slipping two tikkis into his plate, ‘beta you should look after your husband, feed him more greens’. Before I could react, my wise mother quickly put two more tikki’s in his plate and ushered me, the ticking time bomb, aside,” she mentioned.
“Needless to say I was appalled at first. But once that feeling subsided I wondered why I was expected to feed greens to the man?,” she added. Tahira didn’t relent and went again to the relative. “Red hot with anger, I turned around and went up to the relative and said, actually he is making me a salad tonight, I’ll ask him to make an extra serving for himself’. I was tempted to crush his toes as I made the speech, but held myself back and simply stomped out of the living room,” she added. Tahira mentioned she feared being known as names for her outspokenness, like Rhea was. “After all, who wants to deal with name-calling? I mean with ‘vishkanya’, ‘gold digger’ and ‘Bengali women’ doing the rounds I don’t want ‘khoon ki piyaasi’, ‘toes crushing’ ‘Punjabi women’ to start another wave,” she mentioned.
The filmmaker additionally recounted a current occasion when she and Ayushmann had joined his brother Aparshakti and his spouse Akriti on their assembly with a realtor. They have all purchased a home in Panchkula for the entire household collectively. “The agent threw open the charts on the table. We huddled over it trying to figure which room should go where. As the four of us were mulling over where to have an exclusive master bedroom space for mom-in-law and father-in-law, the agent’s assistant jumped in with an ingenious suggestion. ‘We should have a service kitchen along the main kitchen, both the Khurrana bahus would want an exclusive space to cook nai?’” she mentioned, including that this time she didn’t attempt to conceal her response to his phrases.
“The boys were generous and only gave the poor chap an astonished look. But us girls weren’t that generous. This time I looked truly bloodthirsty. I think he saw embers of fire burning in my eyes. Figuring out he had said something wrong, the assistant quickly changed the subject. Till date every time I meet him and offer to get something exclusive from the kitchen for him, he vehemently refuses. I guess he doesn’t want me entering the rasoda anymore,” she mentioned.
Tahira additionally talked in regards to the unreal expectations from girls to ignore harassment and disrespect. She recounted the time she was groped at a temple when she was simply 12 years outdated. “’How is ignoring a lame comment by a roadside Romeo unreal?’ You may ask. It is unreal. Keeping quiet, enduring is unreal. Even before puberty hit me, I have been bottom pinched so many times that I, like every Indian girl, have lost count – be it standing in queues outside a single screen theatre or lining up outside a mandir waiting for a chance to pour milk over shiv-ling and see the linga ‘drink’ it. Somehow I never got to experience the latter as I opted out of the line after getting groped. And I was all of 12 at that time. And that too at a pious place. If someone had called out these filthy minds for what they are, perhaps I wouldn’t have to experience what I did,” she mentioned.
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She ended her notice with a shout out to ‘smash the patriarchy’ motion run by these demanding the discharge of Rhea Chakraborty. “I can’t begin to fathom (but don’t want to ignore) what must be happening to the rest of us across different strata of the same patriarchal society. So until the equation becomes equal, “roses are red, violets are blue, let’s smash the patriarchy, me and you,” she wrote.