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Why ‘Veere Di Wedding’ Is Not Your Regular Chick Flick

This movie generated controversy way before its release with several extremists calling for a boycott when the female leads used ‘Hindustan’ placards to speak about the brutal Kathua rape. And from what the trailer promised, it seemed like a movie which was going to be full of expletives, fancy outfits and the drama involved in big fat Indian weddings.

The film was also criticised as being ‘feminazi’ in its approach due to the butt-slapping sequence in the song Tareefan and the portrayal of the protagonists as party animals who drink and smoke without giving a damn. However, many people missed the point that this film never promised to promote feminism or to be a flag-bearer of women’s rights in the first place. It was just a film about four girls who had been friends since school and had become more like family for each other.

In the past, we’ve had the likes of “Dil Chahta Hai” and “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” showcase the friendship between a group of men and their discussions about love, sex and life in general and how they just go off on a vacation to relax and reconnect. But the trailer of “VDW” obviously didn’t go down well with many people because girls from good families aren’t supposed to smoke, drink and say the ‘S’ word for God’s sake! How could you mock the institution of marriage or not believe in it when eventually you’re just supposed to find a guy and get ‘settled’ in life? While I am not against the idea of marriage in general, I don’t believe that it’s one of THE most important things in life without which a girl is incomplete however successful and qualified she may be.

Many of us totally related to the character of Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan) who struggled with the changes brought about by the transition from a relationship to a marriage – the forming of new relationships, increased expectations and the horror of the blue background lights, heavy princess gowns and having to pass a fake smile to all random relatives you may not even know – all of which form a part of the typical grand Indian wedding. All of us have had our moms acting like Avni’s (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja) – desperately searching for a groom and chiding us when everyone from our friend’s group gets hitched and we’re nearing our 30s. Meera (Shikha Talsania), lovingly called ‘Mother Dairy’ by Sakshi, depicts how motherhood can change things and while it is one of the most beautiful things a woman can experience, it also comes at the cost of a lot of pain during labour and a deterioration in one’s sex life. Meera is all of us when we look at ourselves in the mirror and curse our body fat while on the other hand we just gorge on fried snacks not giving a fuck about what others think. By wearing that red swimsuit in Phuket, Meera proved that she was completely in love with herself and she would not let society’s idea of beauty define her.

Sakshi shows us the consequences of hastily getting married to a person you are incompatible with and that sometimes telling your parents the truth is the best thing you can do. Our parents too were young once and were wrong too at some point in their lives. They may not react as badly as you think. Kalindi’s final act of forgiving her father and accepting her step-mother make us realise that while we may resent our parents for the mistakes they made, ultimately they are also human and can be wrong at times. They still love you and want only the best for you. Even during the narration, Kalindi’s mother spoke about how parents often try to cover up their mistakes to make sure that their children don’t repeat them but fail to realise that children need to make their own mistakes in order to learn and grow as individuals. Avni may have had problems with her mother’s nagging but eventually, she laughs about the fact that at the end of the day they are family and they show their love by pulling each other’s legs and making snarky remarks. By turning up at the wedding, Meera’s bade papa showed that parents do have a soft spot for their kids and will forgive you with time and learn to accept your choices.

Sakshi’s epic ‘sanu ki’ reply to the annoying auntyjis defined a new level of savage which we all secretly wish to achieve everytime our nosy neighbours and relatives try to make snide remarks about our choices. While drowning yourself in alcohol for every occasion whether happy or sad is not something I would recommend (whether you’re a guy or a girl), she was totally badass and not ashamed about owning up to her lifestyle. Instead of being a hypocrite, she flaunted gaudy outfits, a tattoo on her neck and mouthed expletives at the drop of a hat. While this is not the picture of every independent woman, it shows how one should embrace oneself and not be ashamed of standing out.

The characters were also layered instead of the one-dimensioned heroines we usually get to see. Kalindi’s fear of tying the knot was totally justified due to her parents’ failed marriage and the flashy wedding organised by her fiance’s parents. While she was stubborn and obsessive while taking decisions and unfairly blamed her friends for her choices, she finally found the strength to let go of bitter feelings and reverse her hasty decision of running back to Australia. Avni showcases the struggle of a career-oriented woman who does dream of starting a family and decides to go for an arranged marriage when she fails to find love only to be disappointed again, eventually falling for somebody who is a polar opposite.

“VDW” is an entire package – it is an entertainer which shows how friends are there for each other during hard times and can offer moral support and insightful discussions on ‘charam sukh’ and that life is too short to overthink and one should enjoy it to the fullest by not letting other’s opinions get into one’s way of happiness. Swara Bhaskar’s much talked about masturbation scene shows us that we are ultimately in charge of our own happiness and we should not depend on others for it. While the movie may showcase a rich and lavish lifestyle, it talks about experiences which are universal to almost all of us and proves that women can be friends for life.


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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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