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Bollywood Movie Legends

Raj Kapoor - Bio Graphy
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Happiness, yes. Only, what kind of happiness. Happiness that springs from self-gratification, as disallowed by traditional gender equilibriums. Or one that is permissible through self-abnegation - the good woman's hallmark. Naturally, the woman on the pedestal would always opt for the second kind of happiness, simply because she is super human in so many ways. Obviously, happiness, self-expression and satisfaction for this larger-than-life woman must be one that transcends banal forms of bliss.

It wasn't accidental that Kapoor's heroine's were by and large portrayed as victims. In Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Zeenat spent her life in the shadows and was willing to be humiliated by a husband who rejected her for a superficial disfigurement on her face. All this wilting and waiting upon on an errant, arrogant and brutal husband, without ever questioning or curbing her love for him. In Prem Rog, the widow is the prototypal damsel in distress who must be saved from misconstrued customs by the hero (Rishi Kapoor). Left to herself, she is willing to comply by and mutely acquiesce to all kinds of injustices. In Ram Teri Ganga Maili, she is subjected to a one-night wedding by a tourist-husband (Rajiv Kapoor) and spends the rest of the film time as a helpless single mother who flits from brothel to boudoir, in search of her infant's missing father. Only to find him settling down to a new betrothal. Again, Ganga, despite her exploited situation is quite helpless and undemanding of her rightful due. All she does is simply dance on her lover's wedding day and that, too, with a long veil which covers her face and decorously contains her agony.

Thus, the women in Kapoor's films have, by and large, never aggressively cried out for justice and atonement. On the contrary, they have been more than willing to silently scuffle and sob in the shadows as silent victims of male injustice. And the fact that they have always been rescued and redeemed by the hero conveniently tilts back the equilibrium to status quo by proving that there are no inherent contradictions in the gender balance nor are there any inconsistencies in social attitudes sanctified by religion. Men, as a rule, are not biased. And traditional gender politics is actually not inimical to feminine bliss. For a good husband, a good father always puts the woman in her rightful place - on the pedestal. Quite forgetting the simple fact that pedestals are meant for divinity, not demanding/ thinking, feeling, questioning individuals.

Ironically, Kapoor even tried to garb his camera's quest for sensuousness behind a fine veneer of propriety. The heroines in most of his films have displayed their physical charms with unusual benevolence and Kapoor has successfully weaved in the glory of the female form into his visual opulence. Yet, with a qualification. For, in Sangam, Vyjayantimala pirouetted like a wild cat and tried to titillate the hero in the song 'Main ka karoon Ram, mujhe budhdha mil gaya, only because he was her lawfully wedded husband. And since artful seduction is part of a devoted wife's duty, the heroine's libidinal ardour was quite proper.

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