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  Entertainment   Bollywood  13 Jul 2017  It takes time to change the society, says Ratna Pathak Shah

It takes time to change the society, says Ratna Pathak Shah

Published : Jul 13, 2017, 12:07 am IST
Updated : Jul 13, 2017, 12:07 am IST

Ratna Pathak Shah talks about the slow but substantial growth in the mindset of people, the importance of sex education and more.

Ratna Pathak Shah (Photo: Bunny Smith)
 Ratna Pathak Shah (Photo: Bunny Smith)

For someone of her experience and stature, agreeing that the society has evolved and progressed from what it was 10 years ago is quite a strong and definitive statement. Ratna Pathak Shah, the veteran actress who has been making headlines for her so-called “bold” role in the much-awaited film Lipstick Under My Burkha, acknowledges the fact that any change in society takes a lot of time.

“I come from a generation that grew up post Independence. It was such a happy, lovely time to be in. We were highly mistaken to think that concerns like gender, caste and communalism were all done and dealt with. But now the whole thing has blown up in our face. These are some of the most complex issues of present times. But there has been development which is very uneven. Change happens slowly,” she said during the promotion of Lipstick in the city.

Ratna’s response was in answer to repeated questions being posed on how a “lady-oriented” film like Lipstick was rejected by the censor board, and how this is reflective of the regressive nature of our society.

The actress believes a film such as this which portrays life as seen by a woman could not have been made and accepted about 10 years ago. “The society has never been ready to hear anyone with an opposing point of view. Even today, people get bothered when women want to tell their stories. But ye sab thode din ki baat hai. For instance, I don’t think we were ready for a film like Lipstick 10 years ago. And now this film will soon be out for the public and they  should question some kind attitude at least,” she believes.

“Being a part of this film has been a big learning experience for me,” she adds, “This film casts many women and there were many men on the sets too. The male gaze on the set was respectful, without any exception. I’ve been on enough film sets to know what kind of vibes go around. For a film like this, the shooting went very smoothly, and that was unusual for me.”

Discussion around the film and its “explicit content” has been doing the rounds for a while now. And Ratna points out an important aspect. “This film will do a service for the purpose of sex education. India is in desperate need of sex education, because people don’t want to talk about how we became such a huge population. People are just like ye sab toh bhagwan ki daya se ho gaya,” she says, evoking hearty laughter.

Finally, speaking about her role in the film and if it was challenging to play an old lady with sexual desires, she says, “Initially, it did make me wonder what my family members might think of my role. I knew they would question it, and back then I didn’t know how to answer those questions. But now, I’m ready for all kinds of questions. Because apart from sex, there are many other issues about which we don’t talk openly. They include our emotions, homosexuality and generation gap amongst others. For me, it was a good role to play, but not more challenging than anything else I’ve done before.”

Tags: ratna pathak shah, lipstick under my burkha, sex education