1. Stop stereotyping yourself
In case you still haven’t watched the Ayushmann Khurrana and Nushrat Bharucha-starrer 2019 Bollywood blockbuster film Dream Girl, watch it NOW on ZEE5! A tightly bound script, Ayushmann’s versatility and hard-hitting dialogues like “Trust ka koi gender nahi hota,” Dream Girl is all fun and food for thought, in equal measure. While the movie makes you laugh, it also leaves you with many thoughts to reflect upon. Given the state of gender-bias and stereotyping, the movie offers excellent and timeless takeaways challenging the commonly-accepted norms of masculinity and workplace.
Ayushmann essays an unemployed man Karam, who lives with his father Jagjit in Gokul, Mathura. The narrative orbits around a well-educated man taking up a job at a ‘friendship’ call centre to pay off loans and earn a livelihood. His job involves him disguising as a female Pooja and engaging in a flirtatious phone conversations with desperate callers (both male and female). Even though it starts off as all fun and play, the plot organically offers lessons on gender and workplace stereotypes, without being preachy in a single frame.
The first lesson being — stop stereotyping yourself. Without any hesitation, Karam, who has grown up playing Sita, Draupadi and Radha in stage plays, jumps at the opportunity to take on a woman’s identity. The ease with which he starts working and calling as Pooja is a beautiful reminder of self-acceptance. Gender doesn’t define your skill-set, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
2. Encourage a world with gender fluidity
When Karam first enters the call centre, it’s all pink walls with females sitting in cabins knitting and doing crochet. Prima facie, it’s a woman-dominated area that he steps into. However, on his very first day, he becomes the star performer and manages to pay off his debts in no time. Karam’s stint is proof that gender has nothing to do with talent. A gender-fluid workplace is the need of the hour and what the world needs! We have to discipline ourselves into thinking and believing that women can fly fighter jets while men can be Michelin-star chefs.
3. No room for assumptions
Karam’s employer W-ji rejects his candidature solely because he is a male and he feels only women can flirt over phone calls. Karam not only outperforms his peers but also shatters and exceeds W-ji’s expectations! Never assume, hire on merit and merit alone.
4. Love has no religion
In a beautiful monologue, Karam explains to his father how love has no religion. Although the same has been preached and practiced forever now, not by all. Honour killings are still rampant and that implies we do need to understand that love knows no limits. Love has nothing to do with one’s caste, creed, race or religion. Annu Kapoor’s character Jagjit wastes not a second in converting while Roma falling for Puja is another strong step in the direction of same-sex relationships.
It is about time that we actively eliminate all these biases from our lives and promote an equal environment.
Think you can add more to the list of lessons Dream Girl taught us? Feel free to share it with us in the comments box below.
Watch the song Bharat Salaam, saluting the heroes of 26/11 from the movie Hotel Mumbai.