Here is Why Lipstick Under My Burkha Made This Lady Cry!

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Here is Why Lipstick Under My Burkha Made This Lady Cry!

The latest movie about women empowerment, “Lipstick under my Burkha” has been catching the headlines, and for all the right reasons. A movie which was initially banned by the Censor Board to be released in the Indian cinemas, the director made sure that the movie is seen- it went on to win awards and was recently released. Views and reviews, articles and opinions have been circulating the social media about this film, and everyone wants to give their opinion on the portrayal of Indian women in the film. Too bold? Too unrealistic? Too “sexy”?

A recent stream of tweets regarding the movie caught our eye- A girl went to watch the movie with her mother. And the movie was so moving, it moved her mother to tears.

The girl described how her intelligent, smart and bright mother, who was also a part of an extremely conservative family with an egoistic husband, teared up during many scenes of the movie. She connected with it- as she later described, she connected with the characters of “Buaji” and “Shireen” in the movie. Buaji is an older woman who reads erotica hidden behind her religious texts, crushes on her younger swimming instructor and yearns for sexual liberty. She finds pleasure in phone sex and masturbating (two things which are frowned upon if done by an Indian woman!). Shireen is a wife, oppressed by her husband both emotionally and sexually. She is a very smart salesperson and is the best in her company, but has to hide this fact because the woman working for money is viewed as something bad in her family. The girl’s mother perhaps connected with how Shireen is not allowed to work (Her tweets read, “Was married off young and couldn’t finish her BA” and “She wanted to study more and teach, but couldn’t end up doing any of it”), and how as an Indian woman gets older, she’s expected to chant the Lord’s name and not have any “physical” desires of her own! Because ew, who wants to see an older woman have those fantasies anyways?

The movie has been very effective in making at least a small section of our society think about what is wrong with it- about their expectations and ideas of an Indian woman and how it narrows down what she can and cannot do as she grows older, gets married, and gets aged. The writer of the tweets, Rohini, also said, “It is in no way a perfect film, but it is terrifyingly real in the way it explores the desires of (older) women. My mum’s reaction is proof.” The movie has managed to shock people because of how in-your-face and real it is. Some men will continue to condemn it and even protest against women watching it, but the women who’re quiet after the movie has ended, quickly wiping their tears, or are seen laughing along the scenes and enjoying the movie, know how real it is. And we do not need to prove it to anyone.

Check out the tweets that inspired this conversation:

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Have you watched the movie yet? What are your thoughts about it? Do let us know below!


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A listener, a learner, an observer. Coffee lover. Renowned for the poor quality of jokes made. A writer.

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