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‘Dil Bechara’s’ Manny Echoed Sushant’s Feelings For Him After He Left Us

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Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi-starrer Dil Bechara is an adaption of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and carries along with it, the madness and love, before filling our hearts with heartbreak and misery. The movie got released on 24th July, 2020, on the OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as all movie theatres are shut indefinitely. The movie has been directed by Mukesh Chhabra and is his debut film as a director. It is also Sanjana Sanghi’s debut film.

Call it irony or something else, but Rajput’s last film is based on an emotional roller coaster ride that left people choked after it ended. The movie is about two people who are united by destiny and circumstances; they meet and fall in love. The couple has the most unique and quirkiest names we have heard in the history of cinema.

Rajput plays the role of Emannuel Rajkumar Junior aka Manny, and Sanghi plays the role of Kizzie Basu. When they both meet each other for the first time at a college fest, Kizzie is roaming around the college and stumbles upon Manny dancing to a Bhojpuri song while paying tribute to Rajnikanth with his best friend JP, played by actor Sahil Vaid. Manny asks her what her name means, to which she replies, “Someone who doesn’t leave easily.” To this, he teases her by calling her a “Chipku“.

Just like any other Bollywood romantic film, their story is filled with multiple scenes of madness and mayhem. As the story proceeds, we see passion and romance and between them becoming a lot more intimate. Those who have seen the Hollywood movie The Fault In Our Stars or read Green’s book know how the movie ends and why it is so emotional.

Characters like these, who have some terminal illness, are filled with hope and joy, as they try to fill the air with happiness with their free-spirited demeanour. Just like Aman from Kal Ho Naa Ho, Rajput joins the elite list. Here’s an actor who had it in him to take on risky roles and blend into its psyche. He was given dialogues that echo the feelings he probably had in reality. There is a scene in which he is talking to Kizzie’s father, played by actor Saswata Chatterjee, wherein he says that he has a lot of dreams, but could not fulfil all of them.

There is another scene where all cancer patient are sitting in a cancer support group meeting and Manny stands up to talk about his osteosarcoma, due to which he loses one of his legs. But nevertheless, he says, “I am a fighter and I fought well.” It’s difficult not to get emotional when this scene comes in the movie. Manny is one of those characters whom you would want to be friends with, want to console and have a conversation with. Manny also has some adorable scenes with Kizzie’s mother, played by actor Swastika Mukherjee. Whenever the two sit with each other, there is both awkwardness and joyousness in the atmosphere.

As far as Kizzie is concerned, she is a fragile and an emotional soul, but there is something daring about her too. Sanghi has an innocent presence and fills her role with panache. The movie is seen through her perspective, as she is the narrator and, true to her name, fights till the end and faces all hardships and battles that come her way.

A screengrab of the film. Credit: Disney+ Hotstar

Chhabra, the director of the film, allows Kizzie and Manny to take the movie into their own hands and let their emotions and feelings flow smoothly. As far as the music of the film is concerned, AR Rahman’s music blends with the mood of the story, as he understood the storytelling well and knew the kind of music it needed.

This is Bollywood for you, filled with romance, music and a happy ending. But in case of Dil Bechara, it failed to tick the last box, as Kizzie says at the beginning of the film how she always wanted a Bollywood-ish life, and how harsh the reality could be; how it’s impossible for real life to be the exact replica of reel life, and how there is no happy ending in the former.

As the film reaches its climax, Kizzie’s words begin to echo in our minds, as it is the last time we will see Sushant Singh Rajput on screen. One scene in the movie that gave me goosebumps was when, after his funeral, Kizzie, along with her family and friends, comes to the screening of the film they made, and gets emotional when Manny asks her for the last time “Seri, Kizzie Basu?,” and she emotionally nods her head and says back “Seri” to him. That was the time when it all got real for me to realise that Bollywood has lost a young, talented and hardworking actor such as Sushant.

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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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