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Twinkle Is My Super Woman-Akshay Kumar

Twinkle Is My Super Woman-Akshay Kumar

 

Report By: Javed Kana

The real life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham or India’s Pad Man, is now a socially-relevant feature film starring Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor.

Kumar has been on a spree of picking unique subjects every year – from action to comedy to romance and biopics, Kumar has steadily showcased his acting prowess through cinema. Beyond that, he has brought to the core topical subjects that attempt to change society’s perception. After Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Kumar is set to release Pad Man – a film on creating awareness on

menstruation hygiene and related issues.

Over to India’s unique superhero!

You are fast becoming a pioneer of change by taking up socially-relevant films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and now, Pad Man. What drives you to take up unconventional subjects?

Because with power comes great responsibility, I want to not only entertain people, but I want to help create the change that’s needed in our country. I have a platform, now I want to do good with it, I don’t want to be just another famous actor who died of old age. I want to be someone who made a difference, and left a mark in people’s hearts…

Being the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, what aspects of his character have you imbibed in Pad Man?

My wife and I spent a lot of time researching him, visiting him, soaking up all the essence that makes this man unforgettable. He is not only got a cracking character himself, but his story is just so intriguing, you can listen to his thoughts and feelings all day. His own one liners are classic, his opinions and views of seeing things a certain way is so pure and rare, I really hope you all think I’ve done his story justice, because for me he really is a real life hero…

The subject of periods is taboo in many cultures. Do you have any apprehensions on how the film will be received by the masses?

Maybe, but we need to start a conversation on menstruation and not be afraid to discuss the issues that have impacted women and girls worldwide for centuries. This is a reality that needs to be addressed and respected, and it’s in men – where a lot of the change needs to come from. They need to step up and empower their daughters, wives, mothers and sisters, so they don’t feel abandoned or inferior when they are menstruating.

If many men were to cherish their wives’ lives the way I do in the film, they too will do anything to make every day of the month better for them!

I cannot force people to see things the way they ‘should’ be seen, but through the power of entertainment, I believe people will discover for themselves by purely watching this film, that this is something to be approached not tossed aside and stamped on with the shameful label of ‘Too Taboo.’

The trailer shows you wearing a pad to see how it works. What were your thoughts/feelings when doing that scene?

I was apprehensive but for precisely 30 seconds, when I was looking at the pink panty and had to wear the pad. I had that fear, and then I was okay.

What are your long term goals from Pad Man? What do you hope it achieves?

With our film, Pad Man if we are able to make even the slightest change as little as starting a conversation in people’s living rooms about menstrual hygiene, I will be happy since it is treated as such a taboo subject not only in rural areas but also in cities.

Of course, the big idea is to help, educate, spread awareness and make a change. We’ve taken the first step; hopefully the rest of India will follow.

The lack of use of sanitary napkins is common, not just in India, but also in many parts of our country – Kenya. What do you feel should be done to create more awareness and action on the subject?

First of all stop hiding it, wrapping it in newspapers and what not. We need to create awareness and acceptance that menstruation is natural. Menstruation is a gift to women to procreate the world; how on earth can any woman be made to feel ashamed and filthy because of it? I know there is a conversation (in India) about not levying GST on sanitary pads but personally, I feel forget tax free, sanitary pads should be made absolutely free.

This is Twinkle’s first production. How is she as a producer?

Twinkle is my SuperWoman. She is the bravest, most independent woman I’ve ever known, standing only for what is right. She lives for her morals, she fights for equality, and loves purely from her heart but only listens to her brain – and she has always been this way. But she also gives me the creative liberty as I do for her, to do what we feel is best for ourselves, and we have never impinged our wants or beliefs on one another.

With four releases expected from you, do you foresee 2018 to be your busiest year yet?

Not really. If you’ve followed my career graph, that’s the average number of films I’ve been doing since the past couple of years and that too quite comfortably. At the end of the day it all boils down to time management.

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