Women and Careers

I went to watch Mission Mangal two days back. This was a huge deal for me because A) I haven’t been to a theatre since the day Z was born and B) please see point A. So, I really didn’t care which movie I was watching or which theatre I was watching it at…I was just there to eat popcorn, drink coke and maybe fall asleep somewhere in the middle of the movie. This was the hope.

Until the movie started and I realized that this might actually be worth watching. I enjoyed the movie and the story it told about the Mars Orbiter Mission. What an incredible achievement that was! But there was something else that caught and held my attention. In a movie dominated by strong, women characters, I loved the portrayal of their stories, their choices and the men who supported them. Some vocally, some silently.
Whether it was Vidya Balan telling her unsupportive husband, “I love my work and I won’t let you make me feel guilty about it.” Or Taapse Pannu’s injured army officer husband saying, “I waited five years to marry you because you wanted to be a Space Scientist. Why are you sitting by my bedside playing nurse?”

These were the scenes that truly got my attention. As someone who has worked from the day I left college, I found it refreshing to see women not be apologetic about their choices. Also, for the men in their lives, barring one, to be supportive without making a huge hue and cry about it.

How many times have you heard female friends say “I’m really lucky. My husband and in-laws let me work.”

As Farhan Akhtar asked of Rahul Bose in what is to me an iconic scene from Dil Dhadakne Do, “Why does she even need your permission?”

Why do women often have to listen to “Your children are going haywire. The house is a mess. You need to concentrate on your home and family more.” Why is it only her responsibility to juggle everything? Can’t it be a team effort?

And in a world that sees us fighting these battles every day, it’s refreshing to watch a movie about women and men working together to achieve truly incredible things together – They’ve set out to conquer the Universe. Our little corner of Earth should certainly be an easier battle.

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