Sunday February 18, 2018

How Tanu Weds Manu Returns questions Societal Notions of Manhood and Womanhood



By Prerna Grewal

The eagerly awaited Tanu Weds Manu Returns proved successful in meeting the expectations of most viewers. Perky and fast paced, it was a roller coaster of laughter, having special significance for those who could trace a colloquial thread.

The cast, the music, and the time invested in exploring and portraying distinct cultures definitely deserve acclamation. While they contribute to the grandeur and charm of the movie, they also manage to shroud certain problematic elements within the movie. This article focuses on unveiling some of the darker elements from the comedy.

One of the major confrontation scenes in the movie, where the two doppelgangers (Kusum and Tanu, both played by Kangana Ranaut) encounter each other for the first time, is followed by a cold war of words where each is bent on dismissing and eventually demeaning the other. Kusum finally gains an upper hand over Tanu through various arguments. One of these arguments is that neither has Tanu been able to sustain her marriage nor has she been able to have a kid. Tanu and all her supporters are dumbstruck, seeming to accept the bitter truth, and unable to provide a defense. The following question looms over the entire dialogue, but no one seems to acknowledge or address it. Is having a child and somehow managing to sustain one’s marriage the only thing that validates a marriage or one’s being a (better) woman?

Why was Tanu, in spite of her wit and perkiness, rendered dumbstruck? One might argue that Tanu, unlike Kusum, had no other identity apart from being Manu’s wife, and therefore, is incapable of coming up with a defense. However, the fact that she is demeaned on the grounds of not being able to sustain her marriage or not having a child is in itself problematic.

The same argument can be extended to the revelation of the secret of Tanu’s friend Payal (Swara Bhaskar). Her friend undergoes artificial insemination to finally be able to conceive. At the same time, she does not inform any of her family members and carries the secret around as a mental burden. This again becomes reflective of the dominance of delineated notions of manhood and womanhood that pervade ours and, by extension, the society’s mindsets. The entire scenario manifests two major societal pressures; validation of one’s marriage through a child and validation of one’s womanhood or manhood. In fact, the two share an interdependent relationship.

Inability to reproduce often brings a person’s manhood or womanhood under society’s scrutiny. It is out of fear of society’s questions and derogatory labels that she decides to conceive through alternate methods. Further, she even refrains from telling her husband about it because he, being a product of the society and having internalized its notions over time, might also end up being traumatized.

Somewhere down the line, everyone needs to grasp the following lesson out of the movie – people, rather than being defined through preordained notions of masculinity or femininity, should be valued for their individuality. Being successful in sustaining one’s marriage or reproducing does not certify one’s womanhood or manhood.

Irrespective of the movie’s adherence to preordained beliefs, the movie also acts as a significant contributor in setting new parameters where one no longer needs a typical hero to make a movie work. Kangana Ranaut, through her commendable performance, proves capable of holding the entire movie together.

Apart from this, the supporting cast plays a major role and contributes to the humor and diversity of the film. In fact, Jimmy Shergill, despite being a part of the supporting cast and the villain of the prequel, ends up attracting more sympathy than the hero.

While problematic factors need to be acknowledged and analyzed, the movie’s charm lies in its ability to attract appreciation or positive criticism irrespective of these factors.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Piyush Mishra: The Man Who Is Also Known As India’s, Bob Dylan

Piyush Mishra is undoubtedly the kind of talent which only comes along once in a while

Piyush Mishra is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter. Wikimedia Commons
Piyush Mishra is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter. Wikimedia Commons
  • Piyush Mishra is a born star and his achievements are incalculable
  • Piyush Mishra shifted to Mumbai in 2002
  • Self-destructive in nature, Piyush Mishra admits that his anger drives his creativity

The Bollywood industry has plentiful stars but not like Piyush Mishra. He was born 13 January 1963 and is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter. Piyush Mishra is a born star and his achievements are incalculable. He started writing lyrics with the film, Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2002 and subsequently wrote for Black Friday (2004), Aaja Nachle and Tashan. Piyush Mishra’s songs gave industry back to back hits like “Aarambh Hai Prachand” (Gulaal, 2009), “Ik Bagal” (Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2, 2012), and “Husna” (MTV Coke Studio, 2012).

Piyush Mishra’s Life

He was born in Gwalior to Pratap Kumar Sharma. However, living in the authoritative household of his aunt, developed a rebellious streak in him, which showed up in his first poem, ‘Zinda ho haan tum koi shak nahin’ (Yes you are alive; of this, there is no doubt), he wrote in class 8th.

“Zinda ho haan tum koi shak nahin, saans lete hue dekha maine bhi hain,

Haath aur pairon aur jism ko harqatey khoob dete huey dekha maine bhi hain,

Ab bhale hi yeh kartey huey honth tum dard sehtey huey sakht see lete ho,

Ab hain bhi kya kum tumhaarey liye, khoob apni samajh mein toh jee lete ho”

He shifted to Mumbai in 2002, actor, lyricist and screenwriter, and receiving acclaim for his acting in Maqbool (2003) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). Around this time, he began to be drawn to the theatre – it was at places like Kala Mandair and Rangshri Little Ballet Troupe in Gwalior that his talent for the medium was first identified. Piyush acted as Maniac in operation three stars (an adaptation of Dario Fo’s play Accidental Death of an Anarchist).

Also Read: 8 Facts About ‘The Queen of Indipop’: Asha Bhosle

A lost and vile drunkard from the past has today become an almost ideal family man. Climbing from a dark weak background, he emerged as an example of self-transformation. He’s gone on air and has often reiterated in the media as being “ganda” and “neech.”  Now, let the dead past bury its dead; he’s done everything to swap this image. In 2010 he attended a course of Vipassana in Igatpuri.

Piyush Mishra received acclaim for his acting in Maqbool (2003) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). Wikimedia Commons
Piyush Mishra received acclaim for his acting in Maqbool (2003) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). Wikimedia Commons

Here are 20 Piyush Mishra facts that will amaze you about the journey of one of the most talented actors of Bollywood:

  1. When it comes to actor’s past journey, Piyush Mishra is a born rebel, 51 odd years of Piyush Mishra’s life are defined by a mix of disturbed childhood, wasted adulthood and an undeniable genius for arts and creativity.
  2. He grew up in Gwalior and was adopted by his father’s eldest sister at an early age
  3. Growing up in an authoritarian household incited in his rebellion and creativity both. Piyush Mishra attended Carmel Convent School, Gwalior, which according to him was the ‘wrong school.’
  4. Self-destructive in nature, Piyush Mishra admits that his anger drives his creativity.
  5. Priyakansha Sharma was his real name, which he changed to Piyush Mishra, by filing an affidavit when he was in class 10.
  6. Piyush Mishra moved to Mumbai as recently as 2003, before which he spent 20 years as an unruly and alcoholic theatre artist in Delhi. This was the most poetic and destructive phase of his life, marked by 24 hours work, alcohol and women.
  7. Piyush Mishra graduated from NSD (National School of Drama in 1986) and started a theatre group “Act One” with contemporaries like director NK Sharma, Manoj  Bajpai, Gajraj Rao and Ashish Vidyarthi.
  8. After becoming graduated from National School of Drama in 1986, he was considered to play the lead role in the famous blockbuster “Maine Pyar Kiya”. Piyush never made an effort and Sooraj Barjatya signed Salman Khan.
  9. Piyush Mishra did his film debut with Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se in 1998. He played the role of a C.B.I investigating Officer.
  10. Piyush Mishra television debut came with Tele-series, Rajdhani in 1989. He also worked in Shyam Benegal’s “Bharat Ek Khoj” and appeared in a horror TV serial, “Kile Ka Rahasya”.
  11. Piyush Mishra wrote lyrics of the famous musical score “Arre Ruk Ja Re Bande” and it gave him fame as a lyricist and singer. The song from the movie “Black Friday” is perhaps the most popular Indian Ocean song till date.
  12. He also gave stinging music for Anurag Kashyap’s “Gulaal,” And, he’s never had any formal training in music. He composed the music in 8 days and won the Stardust Award for “Standout Performance by Music Director: Gulaal”.
  13. Piyush Mishra songs from the movie Gulaal such as “Ye Shahar Humara Sota Hai” and “Yara Maula” are improvisations of songs Piyush Mishra did during theatre days.
  14. Piyush Mishra wrote dialogues for “The Legend of Bhagat Singh,”; it won him the award for the best Dialogue at the Zee Cine Awards
  15. Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, and Sai Kabir are the filmmakers Piyush shares a close bond with Anurag Kashyap, he says is a “Bad Habit.”
  16. If you remember Rockstar you can’t forget Dhingra, the music company owner who reiterates “image in everything… everything is image”
  17. All his dialogues in “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” were self-written. The most famous of which is “Saj Gaye Lute hue sajinda jaise behte hai… aur yaar gaye magar hum besharam zinda jaise behte hain.”
  18. Piyush Mishra sang one of the most memorable Coke Studio India songs, Husna.
  19. Some of the Piyush Mishra movies are Gulaal, Gangs of Wasseypur, The Shaukeens, Pink, Dil Se and many more.
  20. He is well known for his performance in Swadesh Deepak’s Court Martial as Suraj Singh, first with Ranjeet Kapoor (1991) and later under the direction of Arvind Gaur (1996).
    Piyush Mishra shifted to Mumbai in 2002. Wikimedia Commons
    Piyush Mishra shifted to Mumbai in 2002. Wikimedia Commons

    Also Read: The Aspects You Don’t Want To Miss About Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

    Piyush Mishra is undoubtedly the kind of talent which only comes along once in a while. It’s not an overstatement, hence, when one says that Piyush Mishra is India’s, Bob Dylan. While most of us swoon over his songs and poetry, not all of us know about the roller coaster of a life he’s had. Receiving popularity at a later stage in his life, there are several aspects of his life that his fans don’t know.