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

five hole main

Donated equipment from Vancouver on its way to hockey-mad northern India

KENT SPENCER VANCOUVER DESI The neat thing about a Canadian effort to donate hockey equipment to the Himalayas is that there is a lot of…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Hindi superstar Ajay Devgan to shoot parts of Bollywood blockbuster in Alberta

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD A highly anticipated Bollywood film will be using the snowy mountains of Alberta as a backdrop for a three-month shoot. Shivay, scheduled to begin shooting…
Continue Reading »

gandhi beer

Connecticut brewery says it will rename Gandhi-Bot beer after complaints from Indian-Americans

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut brewery will no longer use the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi on one of its beers…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

NHL announces that World Cup of Hockey will return next year in Toronto

By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS COLUMBUS, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey is back with a new format as the NHL seeks to…
Continue Reading »

NHL announces that World Cup of Hockey will return next year in Toronto

By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS COLUMBUS, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey is back with a new format as the NHL seeks to…
Continue Reading »

CBSA officers seize 17 kg of suspected heroin at Toronto s Pearson Airport

THE CANADIAN PRESS MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canadian border officials say 17 kilograms of suspected heroin was seized at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after a flight…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

shiamak

Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar gets Canadian dignitaries grooving with a dance lesson

VANCOUVER DESI A number of Canadian dignitaries got their very own personal dance lesson from the guru of Bollywood dance himself, Shiamak Davar, while attending…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A nine-year-old Palestinian girl  suffering from scoliosis sits as her mother shows her back x-ray as she is treated by U.S. pediatric orthopedic surgeon Hugh Watts (L) February 18, 2004 at Al-Quds hospital, in Gaza City. Abid Katib/Getty Images

Seven-year-old Scoliosis patient in Western India cured by revolutionary surgery

IANS Mumbai  – A seven-year-old girl in Mumbai suffering from Scoliosis is the first in Western India to successfully undergo a new and revolutionary procedure…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

Former Vancouver notary public fined $33 million for fraud related to multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

JAMES KELLER THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — A former notary in Vancouver who allegedly spent almost a decade collecting at least $100 million from investors…
Continue Reading »

South Asian senior woman gets PR

After years of lobbying, 84-year-old South Asian woman secure in Canada

JEFF BELL TIMES COLONIST VANCOUVER ISLAND — Surjit Bhandal, the 84-year-old Saanich woman whose family successfully fought for her to be able to stay in Canada, has…
Continue Reading »

desi dance

Theatre school project still resonates 11 years later for Port Moody’s Anita Majumdar

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Port Moody’s Anita Majumdar had no idea her final theatre school project more than 10 years ago would end up defining…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian Bollywood film actress Jacqueline Fernandez poses during the launch of Scholl's latest innovation in foot care in Mumbai on January 22, 2015. AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

Do you want to travel to Dubai with Jacqueline Fernandez?

DIBYOJYOTI BAKSI HINDUSTAN TIMES Several actors nowadays are known to take an active interest in the promotion strategies of their films. Another actor, who has…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Hindi superstar Ajay Devgan to shoot parts of Bollywood blockbuster in Alberta

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD A highly anticipated Bollywood film will be using the snowy mountains of Alberta as a backdrop for a three-month shoot. Shivay, scheduled to begin shooting…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is pictured here in a still from his latest espionage thriller, Baby. The movie has been banned in Pakistan. HANDOUT.

Akshay Kumar’s latest film Baby banned in Pakistan

HINDUSTAN TIMES Akshay Kumar’s espionage thriller Baby, which centres around an Indian spy’s mission to capture a terrorist from a West Asian nation, has been…
Continue Reading »