I must have been 4-5 years when I saw Abhimaan, hardly understanding much (mom being a movie buff, I saw many movies with her, completely clueless as to what was happening in the story!). It’s a fascinating story of male ego fragility in dealing with women’s success in professional fields.
Couple of decades later, with liberalization & growing desire amongst women for economic emancipation, brands (Fair & Lovely, one of the early ones) started the narrative of ‘women who were no less than men’. Stories of women breaching male professional bastions. Bollywood followed, but with an interesting angle – the man as the mentor to the woman. Chak De and Dangal being the front runners. It allowed for the male superstar’s role in the movie, ensuring box office success.
In the last decade, many brands (P&G most consistently) have touched upon the issue of gender balance when it comes to a working woman. Pointing out the need for men to #sharetheload. The latest #cadburydairymilk film, while being much loved in context of the previous film, also saw some responding with – ‘what’s the big deal? A woman playing cricket?’ Perhaps, they are missing the role of the man here. He is not jealous, he is not her mentor, he is not necessarily even ‘supportive’ of her pursuit like the #Raymond or #Ariel men. He is just an awestruck fanboy, heroine-worshipping his friend’s ‘masculine’ achievement. Reason enough to celebrate with some Cadbury, isn’t it?