VISAFF: Documentary a refreshing portrait of urban Indian women (w/gallery)

Published: October 23, 2013
sapna

Celebrity hairstylist and clothing designer Sapna Bavnani

GLEN SCHAEFER
THE PROVINCE

The feature documentary Scattered Windows, Connected Doors (3:30 p.m. Saturday), a profile of eight iconoclastic Indian women, finds at least eight different ways of shattering stereotypes about urban life in India.

Pushing boundaries is the one common thread among the women profiled by directors Roohi Dixit and Ziba Bhagwagar.

Shabnam Virmani is a singer, filmmaker and scholar of the mystic poet Kabir. Photographer Anusha Yadar has turned her lens on celebrities and everyday people alike, and tells how she points her camera back back at herself as therapy — that inward gaze perhaps the one common link between these two.

Corporate executive Rekha Mehrotra Menon earned an MBA and started her career at a car company, the first woman to work at a factory of 3,000 men. She laughs that they didn’t even have a women’s washroom when she joined. She’s matter of fact about juggling a career with her other role as the mother of two now-grown children, saying she always took time away for herself from both of those roles.

Shilo Shir Suleman is a free-spirited twentysomething, a painter, animator and author of children’s books, who talks about how travel has always fed her creativity.

Meanwhile, advertising creative director Swati Bhattacharya tells how she never moved out of her zip code in a life of school, marriage, work and family. (Her Che Guevara coffee cup suggests a mind that has nonetheless wandered far afield).

Preeti Shenoy says she never thought she would be happy with a life centred on family and children, but she was — until she started blogging about the loss of her father and found herself with a career as a best-selling, internationally-published author and poet. She tells of being scrummed by reporters at an event as her husband and children looked on proudly. “The Internet changed my life,” she says.

Vidya Pai is a shop-owner and LBGT activist, with an easygoing manner. “The mere mention of sexuality (in India) gets people’s panties in a bunch,” she says. That doesn’t stop her.

Similarly unstoppable is celebrity hairstylist and clothing designer Sapna Bavnani, who talks about how her teenage love for boys on motorcycles was a problem for her conservative family.

“I decided that anything Indian, or what an Indian woman is supposed to look like, I’m going to do the opposite,” the heavily tattooed stylist says.

The film screens as part of a day-long program of female-themed films, but both men and women can find something in these eight distinct stories — eight singular career paths — which combine for a mosaic portrait of urban Indian society so refreshing that one never notices that not a single male voice is heard.

gschaefer@theprovince.com


Anusha


Picture 1 of 8


Tags: , , ,





Featured

Indian food recipes cuisine

Learn to make Indian foods at home

Recipes for Pani Puri and Spicy Potato Patties from Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla LAURA BREHAUT CANADA.COM Spices, and the way you use them,…
Continue Reading »

police-desi-shooting-gang wars

Vehicles flee after shots exchanged in Abbotsford

VANCOUVER DESI Police are investigating after a report of shots fired and vehicles fleeing the scene Thursday evening in Abbotsford. Around 7:30 p.m., Abbotsford police…
Continue Reading »

desi man charged with arson

Son-in-law charged with woman’s death in Richmond fire

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI The son-in-law of a woman who died in a fire in her Richmond home on Monday has been charged with second-degree…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Indian food recipes cuisine

Learn to make Indian foods at home

Recipes for Pani Puri and Spicy Potato Patties from Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla LAURA BREHAUT CANADA.COM Spices, and the way you use them,…
Continue Reading »

police-desi-shooting-gang wars

Vehicles flee after shots exchanged in Abbotsford

VANCOUVER DESI Police are investigating after a report of shots fired and vehicles fleeing the scene Thursday evening in Abbotsford. Around 7:30 p.m., Abbotsford police…
Continue Reading »

desi man charged with arson

Son-in-law charged with woman’s death in Richmond fire

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI The son-in-law of a woman who died in a fire in her Richmond home on Monday has been charged with second-degree…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Indian recipes-Vancouver Desi

Taste India: Mix creamed spinach with crispy paneer

RANDY SHORE POSTMEDIA NEWS When I go looking for ways to use garden greens, I often turn to Indian cuisine. Saag paneer is creamed spinach…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver-Surrey

Sikh community celebrates a harvest of goodness in B.C

JAGDEESH MANN VANCOUVER DESI For Vancouver publisher, Harbinder Singh Sewak, the dream was four years in the making. This week, as millions of Sikhs around…
Continue Reading »

Narendra Modi welcomed in Toronto

Photos: Modi-mania hits Canada

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of Indian Prime Mininster Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada. RELATED STORIES: “Rock-star” Modi to get Bollywood-style welcome at Surrey Hindu…
Continue Reading »

Desi-shooting-Surrey

11 of 19 Surrey/Delta shootings between South Asian, Somalian groups

Even the wounded won’t help cops investigate drug dealers’ war KIM BOLAN POSTMEDIA NEWS METRO VANCOUVER — Two groups of young drug dealers who have…
Continue Reading »

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears announce birth of first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) announced the arrival of their first child Tuesday….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

FRANCE-ENTERTAINMENT-CANNES-FILM-FESTIVAL

Bollywood divas Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor to dazzle Cannes 2015 (with photos)

IANS Mumbai – Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who is gearing up for her comeback on the silver screen, will be scorching the red carpet of…
Continue Reading »

Sonam Kapoor

Gallery: Bollywood fashionista Sonam Kapoor’s “Indian elements” at Cannes

VANCOUVER DESI As Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, our very own desi fashionista who likes fusion fashion and has often chosen classy ensembles with “Indian elements”…
Continue Reading »

Aishwarya Rai

Gallery: Aishwarya Rai’s hot and not styles at Cannes

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI When the world’s brightest stars walk the red carpet at Cannes this May, movie fans will be watching closely. Former beauty…
Continue Reading »