Today, the entire world is celebrating International Women’s Day. Firstly, hats off to all women in the world for taking care of their loved ones and loving them unconditionally. In India, women are considered as goddesses but when it comes to giving them equal rights, the male-dominant society tries to control them with orthodox rules.
In Bollywood, we have seen so many films in which female protagonist face problems when it comes to living life on her own terms. Right from the old films to the new ones, male-dominated films to women-centric ones, we as an audience have seen the representation of women which reflects the Indian society.
In India, almost 60 per cent women are still victims of harassment, eve-teasing, domestic violence, safety issues and most importantly societal pressure. In a recently released film Thappad, director Anubhav Sinha beautifully portrayed the issue faced by a woman in her marital life. The film starts with ‘just’ a slap but eventually ends up telling you how men try to dominate women and how women’s let go attitude affects their self-respect.
In Thappad, along with Taapsee Pannu, one actress who caught everyone’s attention was Geetika Vidya, who played the role of domestic help. In the film, Geetika’s character Sunita gets brutally beaten by her drunk husband. The actress has beautifully portrayed the role of Sunita. Geetika made her Bollywood debut in 2019 with the film, Soni.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020, Thappad actress Geetika Vidya recently had an exclusive chat with Filmibeat in which she spoke about women and their issues, social films and much more. Excerpts
Some people feel one day is not enough to celebrate womanhood while others celebrate this special day to the fullest. What is your stand on this?
Women are those special beings who tend to give up and let go of a whole lot of things for a purpose or multiple purposes that they believe in. They give in 100 per cent on various fronts to ensure that no one would be left dissatisfied. For these wonderful beings, who give so much and expect so little in return, I feel being celebrated for a day could never be enough. Being able to appreciate them wholly and to the fullest, every day is something that everyone should practice.
Soni and Thappad were women-centric films with a social message, so while working for the same, what is that one thing that hit you hard about the issues faced by women?
There can never be a single specification of issues faced by women which is above another. Each turn which has a problem, a sense of dissatisfaction, or a trial that should not be present, is something that should be a concern. The magnitude of the problem must not define the severity of the solution you look for. Every difficulty is important to look at, evaluate and most importantly, SOLVE.
Do you think women-centric films can change the mindset of Indian society?
The only thing that can change the mindset of the society we live in is an innate need to change the patterns of occurrences around us. If that does not take place, the will to change will never survive. However, that being said, ‘women-centric films’ can always play a role in garnering support, in sensitizing people to difficulties faced by women that you, as a viewer, may not be aware of. The building of awareness is the most imperative aspect of films like ‘Soni’ and ‘Thappad’.
In India, women get brutally harassed at every place mentally, physically as well as emotionally. So being a woman, what tips you would like to give all the females to face these situations?
In situations where women are being ‘brutally harassed mentally, physically and emotionally’, tips will not help as much as we wish they could. What would help someone facing these trials, no matter the gender or sex, is complete unconditional support. A sense of belongingness, protection and the feeling of ‘someone has my back’ is what their near and dear ones should provide for them without a second thought.
Thappad received a good response from the masses. But on the other hand, director Anubhav Sinha said in an interview that women are also responsible for the violence because of their ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude. What is your take on it?
He said what he feels. Would not want to comment on what he feels.
This year, you were considered as one of the strong candidates for the Filmfare Best Debut Actress Award for Soni but Ananya Panday received the same for Student Of The Year 2. How did you feel about it?
How do you think I would feel about it? I feel Blessed! & Happy for Ananya Panday.
Tell us about an inspiring woman in your life and what qualities you learnt from her?
My grandmother Mrs Kapoori and my mother Mrs Vidya. I have seen them be humane, resilient and happy come what may. I strive to be like them each day.
Lastly, what do you want to tell all the ladies on the occasion of Women’s Day?
Love yourself, know what gives you happiness, what gives you pleasure and learn how to be your own provider.