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When Bollywood pushed the sexual frontiers

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Download Girlfreinds Wallpapers"Girlfriend", which has lesbianism as its theme, is hardly the first time that Bollywood has dared to cross the sexual frontiers.

Way back in 1953, Kamal Amrohi made "Daera" where the sexual frustrations of a young woman (Meena Kumari) married to an ageing, ailing man were symbolically represented by dark cavernous shots denoting a deep sense of longing.

"Daera" was considered ahead of its time. But what about Mehboob Khan's "Amar" (1954) where Dilip Kumar, then in his heyday, seduced and impregnated Nimmi even while he was engaged to Madhubala.

Premarital sex had arrived in Hindi films.

Download Murder WallpapersStrangely, protected sex didn't raise its head in Bollywood films until two years ago when Mallika Sherawat urged her lover boy Himanshu Malik to buy condoms in "Khwahish".

Prior to that, pre-marital sex in Hindi films was synonymous with instant fertility. In "Aradhana" (1969), the first of many elaborate melodramas on unwed motherhood, Sharmila Tagore was impregnated by Rajesh Khanna on a windswept night.

In the 1972 film "Pinjra", V. Shantaram chronicled the lustful liaison between an entertainer (Sandhya) and a staid school teacher (Shreeram Lagoo).

A year later, in Shyam Benegal's "Ankur", Shabana Azmi played the adulteress-wife of a physically challenged man.

And in the 1973 sensational hit "Julie", Laxmi sleeps with her neighbour while no one is in the house.

Premarital sex in all these films was furtive, sinful and filled with retribution. Sex as a joyful act was perhaps experienced for the first time in Basu Bhattacharya's "Astha" where Rekha, playing a sex-weary housewife, went out to get pocket money by providing sexual pleasures to strangers.

The shocking premise provided a kind of turning point to the relationship between sex and mainstream Hindi cinema.

Today, when "Girlfriend" gets uninhibited about lesbianism, one can only say it has come a long way!


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