Lipstick Under My Burkha has got to be the most controversial movie of 2017.
The CBFC presided by Pahlaj Nihalani had left no stone unturned to curb the release of the movie specifically because it explores a ‘forbidden’ part of life in India: the sexual fantasies of a woman.
Sexual fantasies? Libido? Of women?
You’ve got to be kidding me. Every Indian woman is just supposed to accept the thrust of the penis inside her vagina and that’s it. What has an Indian woman got to do with things like: cowgirl position, cunnilingus, chocolate flavored condoms?
And that is exactly where a movie like Lipstick Under The Burkha succeeds. I do not think it is a very classy movie or it’s content very artsy. Neither is it a very high-grade movie with an exceptional plot or something.
However, what it does do is it questions. Lipstick Under My Burkha, through various brilliantly placed scenes, questions the prefixed sexual role of an Indian woman. A role which is just confined to: marry, f***, have children, f*** more, have more children.
I bring to you a list of such scenes throughout the movie which are bound to leave some people squirming in their seats.
1. Buaji masturbating while on a sex chat over the phone
This has got to be at the top of it all. While on a sex chat with her much younger swimming instructor, 52-year-old Buaji (Ratna Pathak Shah) masturbates and moans in orgasm at the sexy voice of her lover. This was one scene portraying a nangi budhi aurat which could offend 50% of the nation’s men at one go.
2. Shireen waxing her pubic hair to please her husband
Shireen is somebody who is subjected to marital rape almost every night in her own bedroom. Her husband uses sex as a method to punish her and as the parlour woman remarks, she has never been touched with love “waahan niche.”
In fact, she has never even been kissed by her own husband! In an effort to curb his sexual disinterest and make him notice her, Shireen resorted to all things possible, ranging from cooking to waxing her privates.
3. Leela’s mother taking up nude posing as a profession
Leela comes across as a free spirited parlour woman who doesn’t want to marry. Yet. She completely enjoys her sex life with her boyfriend and breaks into a fit when her mother fixes her marriage somewhat forcibly.
To contain Leela’s anger, her mother tells her that she has done a lot which an ordinary mother would not have done. The audience dismisses the dialogue thinking it to be a typical dramatic outburst.
However, later in the movie, we see that Leela’s mother is a nude model who poses for artists in art classes.
An unemployed Indian woman whose husband died of alcohol intoxication leaving a huge loan burden did not wither away into nothingness. She gritted her teeth and did whatever was necessary to bring up her daughter, irrespective of whatever society might think of her.
4. Leela’s “sex toh kar le” brings out all her frustration
Wanting to avoid her marriage, Leela decides to bolt from Bhopal to Delhi. Before leaving, she visits her boyfriend, thinking that he’ll come along. They visit the bathroom and just as things were getting hot and steamy, her boyfriend pushes her away.
He calls her something akin to a nymphomaniac and still Leela shouts out with all her strength asking for sex. Yes, women have sexual needs too; deal with it, men.
5. A hijab clad mannequin head falls off, reminding Rihanna her actual position
Rihanna, unfortunately, born into a conservative Muslim family seeks the freedom of stylish clothes more than anything else in the world.
She is seen stealing dresses and shoes from malls while simultaneously always moving around with a bag which contains her black burkha. Perhaps, it is an intentional irony that her family makes a living out of stitching burkhas.
In a scene towards the later part of the movie, a hijab clad head from the various mannequins falls off, landing right next to her. She is seen carefully picking it up, uprighting it and putting it back on the floor. For all of the secret devil in her, Rihanna cannot abandon that one thing which has defined (?) her very existence till now.
The women in Lipstick Under My Burkha teach us an important lesson: to dare. Maybe they are not successful in the end, maybe Shireen still has to tolerate her husband’s painful thrusts after being promoted to a sales trainer, but even then the women don’t stop having “Lipstick Waale Sapne.”
Image credits: Google
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