RA.ONE: Androgynous male makes debut in cinema
While everyone has been talking about Chammak Challo by Akon as having set the pace for Shah Rukh Khan starrer RA.ONE, an interesting side light that is appearing in the teasers is not being commented upon, though it underlines the coming of age of the gender relationships as they are shown in Hindi cinema. Just rewind to the scene where Kareena Kapoor is trying to knead dough and has messed the situation and in that situation walks Shah Rukh Khan. Conventionally it would be expected that he would help Kareena Kapoor in completing the process, but he adds to the misery of Kareena by blowing the powdered wheat on to her face.
It might appear an innocuous act to generate humor in the film, but it is an important societal comment on the gender progression. In this age when a woman feels that she is equal to a man in all respects, then by that virtue when she has to face an ignominious situation in the kitchen she should not expect sympathy.
Just a few months ago AARAKSHAN also had the same situation where Saif Ali Khan eventually taught Deepika Padukone how to make chapattis. Indeed, this chapatti scene in Hindi films, more when a female star is slightly progressive, has been used as a comment as her drawback to learn the basics expected from her when she reaches a marriageable age. It had in all probability started with KAALIA where a Parveen Babi was trying to make an omelet to show that indeed she is well versed in nuances of kitchen as well to be a perfect bahu, but with disastrous results.
Shah Rukh Khan in RA.ONE by blowing away the dry wheat powder on Kareena Kapoor's face is also sort of a message to scene writers for the future to do away with such scenes, as the times have advanced, have changed, and with these changing times there is no need for a girl to try to stick to conventional roles expected from her. One needs to move ahead with the times.
After all, RA.ONE is a futuristic film and in one way or the other it needs to throw up portents for the future. This being the case, then why not addresses the issue of chapatti making, and presents it in a different manner as well. After all, a way to a man's heart now no longer be through the chapatti that a woman makes, it can be bought from the market and presented by heating it in a microwave as well.