Mumbai -Kabir Ali……
Big B’s larger-than-life, famed affable persona was on full display at India Today Mind Rocks. Getting the crowd to eat out of his hand, he broke into chaste Hindi to demonstrate feigned surprise in his trademark style. Director Shoojit Sircar and actor Taapsee Pannu were in their element too with impassioned arguments on why when a woman categorically says no, it’s important to respect it. The notion of consent is not negotiable, they argued. In a post-Nirbhaya India, despite an underlying reluctance to change, the spectrum of outdated sexual mores is diminishing. Unfortunately, the excuse of ‘log kahenge’ is still used to good effect, effectively cutting off women’s agency to decide for themselves. No is not a word, it is a sentence. Shoojit Sircar’s Pink draws upon real events to present an account of how influence and prestige are routinely used against women within the larger scheme of patriarchy. He speaks of a conversation with a doctor who said all his acid attack patients are women-through Pink, he seeks to convey a semblance of the perpetual sense of insecurity that women live with.
On a happy note, women still laud him for a scene in Vicky Donor which has the lead actress chilling with her mother-in-law over a drink-it’s a lovely scene that saans-bahu serials should take note of. It’s the little things that make a lasting impression-he got the idea for the scene from an incident at home. He succeeded in convincing his mother to try a little whiskey when she was stressed out and she insisted on having it in a steel glass.
Taapsee Pannu says her role in Pink was satisfying-she appreciates roles that have the capacity to trigger emotions in people. Women need to know that they too can kick ass. For Amitabh Bachchan, his mother taught him to never take anything lying down.
Tapsee: (On AB) Even after all these years of being an icon, this man doesn’t take anything for granted.
Tapsee: In a case where a girl doesn’t back down, it feels like a personal success for me. She elaborate son the magical experience of working with Bachchan senior.
Shoojit: Vicky Donor deals with light moments all seemingly in the friendly neighbourhood of Lajpat Nagar but let’s not deny the reality of Delhi-a woman walking on the streets after 8 pm will inevitably face some harassment.
Shoojit: Only women can help other women
AB: While shooting Pink, a lot of men in the crew broke down.
My mother was my biggest inspiration; she combined compassion and strength in equal measures.
Sidelight: When a student from the audience asks Amitabh Bachchan to recite a dialogue from one of his films, he says, “Hum toh baat cheet karne aaye they, par aapne imtehaan le liya.”
India Today Youth Summit is an annual date to remember. The aim of this daylong event is to give young people the unique opportunity to interact with their icons – the real achievers who have struggled, overcome and today are acknowledged leaders in their fields. Come, listen to them and be inspired by them as they recount their unique experiences and give you their Mantras of Success