Director Mudassar Aziz’s Pati Patni Aur Woh features a dialogue where Bhumi Pednekar is heard telling her prospective husband Kartik Aryan that she enjoys sex. This is a revolutionary thought for women in our country, who are often expected to not enjoy sex before or after marriage.
Mudassar wonders why sex is treated like a game of football in this country. “Largely for men to enjoy. Why can’t women enjoy sex? Or even if they do, why are they not expected to talk about it? Why are women in large sections of our society expected to be treated as merely procreative vessels with no thought about sex as anything but a means of reproduction?,” asks the director.
The director does expect a certain amount of backlash for Bhumi’s bold stance on sexual matters, “But Bhumi is a responsible actress. And I’d like to think of myself as a responsible filmmaker. I’ve been schooled by two of the most progressive filmmakers in our country, who always treat the women characters as individuals with a mind and body of their own. I am talking about Sudhir Mishra and Aanand Rai. I assisted Sudhir sir on a film for the first time; it was Chameli. In that film, the prostitute (played by Kareena Kapoor) was given the right to decide whom she wants to have sex with and whom not. In Aanand Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu, the girl does exactly what she wants to without caring about repercussions,” he explains.
He feels the sexual repression in our society leads to the kind of violent sex crimes that recently happened in Hyderabad. “It’s time we discussed sex with our children from the time they’re old enough to understand so that they grow up thinking of it (sex) as a healthy bodily function and not something that has to spoken about in giggly hushed voices. As for expecting women to not have sex before marriage, this is as unreasonable as expecting men to not have any sexual experience before marriage. If my sister or daughter were to tell me that she enjoys sex, I’d accept that proclamation with healthy respect. Getting shocked about women having pre-marital sex is passé,” he concludes.