Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Hasn't mother already seen it all?

I was reading a story about a new film called Pankh. It was clearly written to titillate and to shock. At the same time, it raised a few questions in my mind. Here is what it said:
Director Sudipto Chattopadhyaya is extremely miffed at the lurid bent given to Pankh...The nude sequence will qualify as the boldest ever in an Indian film. It comes at a time when the boy-hero must prove to his domineering mother that he is, after all, a man.
Says the director, "I've never spoken about this sequence before because the content is bound to be projected out of context. It's actually the climactic moment when the hero Jerry (Maradona Rebello) can no longer bear with his mother's taunts about his manhood. Jerry takes off his trousers to show his mother that he has a d...k like any man..."
Do you think that such a thing is logical, that a guy has to show his dick to his mother to prove that he is a man? I mean, hasn't his mother given birth to him, wiped his potty when he was a baby, given him bath? Didn't she know already that the baby had the necessary appendage?

If his mother was taunting him about not being a man, perhaps she was talking about his personality or his behaviour?

So there I am, a bit confused, waiting to hear more about it, when the film comes out. I don't know, how does the screen play deal with this sequence, but in real life, I can imagine a today's urban mother, when she sees her teen age son nude like that, is likely to say, "Jerry, didn't I tell you to change your underwear everyday? How long you have been wearing those dirty undies? and don't stand there like that, you are going to catch penumonia!"

What do you say?

PS: I have read another story about the film. It is an interview with the leading actor of the film, Maradona Rebello, and that clarifies the situation. In the film Jerry is traumatised by the experienced of being cross-dressed by his mother in his childhood. Thus, perhaps the scene described above, can be explained.

Actually I am glad that Pankh is attempting to touch on another aspect of human sexuality. Though debates tend to focus on the gay-lesbian-straight issues, in reality, the issues related to human sexual identity are many more, perhaps infinite. Our identities in terms of "to be a man" or "to be a woman", depend very much on the kind of sexual orientation we feel inside us, but also on expectations and attitudes of other persons surrounding us. Expectations and attitudes of key figures like parents and siblings are probably even more important in this sense.

Thus, I can understand that a child to be cross-dressed by his/her parents when he/she is too small to understand or pose resistance, may be equally painful as those children who feel that they belong to the other sex, but are forced not to cross-dress by their parents, fearing ridicule of others.

So kudos to Sudipto Chattopadhyaya for touching on this sensitive theme and best of luck to Rebello for daring to go into uncharted territories in bollywood world, as an actor.
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