Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Angry Indian Goddesses: Girls, girls, girls – at last

India never got its Sex and the City moment, Friends Rachel-Monica or Girls. It seems Indian women just can't be friends on screen. But with Angry Indian Goddesses, the girlfriends have arrived.

Angry Indian Godesses, Sex And The City India never got its Sex and the City moment, Friends Rachel-Monica or Girls. It seems Indian women just can’t be friends on  screen. With Angry Indian Godesses, the girlfriends have arrived.

About two decades ago, dinner conversations in middle-class urban homes in India revolved around the lives of Tara, Arzoo, Sheena and Kanchan. The story of the friendship between these four sassy, young women from the Zee TV series Tara briefly changed the course of television. Soon thereafter Kittie Party happened as did Lipstick- both giving us a glimpse into the world of female friendships. It was assumed that TV underwent a transformation, a novelty factor was attached to these story lines, and they were termed “path-breaking”, even “brave”.

It was odd for ’90s kids who had grown up with these stories in real life to understand the hype around those shows back in the day. Often, women dressed up like Tara and sounded like Sheena; there was kitty party gossip with women indulging in long conversations about work, bosses, men, perfume, politics, society and neighbours.


And then overnight, these friendships disappeared from the TV screens, made way for the ‘saas-bahu’ conflicts. They had, anyway, never made it to the Hindi films which only recognised friendship between men. So when after two decades, a Hindi movie calls itself an “all-out female buddy film”, you have to sit up and take notice. Pan Nalin’s Angry Indian Goddesses, which releases Friday (December 4), is about every woman or at least that’s what the trailer claims. It’s about the relationships between a group of BFFs, about the most normal, common relationship that exists.

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A still from Friends. A still from Friends.

From the cult friendship of Jai-Veeru in Sholay (1975) to Sudhir and Vinod in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983), from the enviable bond that exists between Aakash, Sameer and Sid in Dil Chahta Hai (2001) to Imraan, Arjun and Kabir’s holiday in Spain in Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara (2011) – “bromance” found an audience. But what happened to the women? They were pitted against one another over the love of one man, they were related by blood or they hated each other’s guts and were willing to slay. India never got its Sex and the City moment, Friends Rachel-Monica or Girls. It seems Indian women just can’t be friends on screen.

In Homi Adajania’s Cocktail (2012), you almost see an every-day friendship burgeoning between Meera and Veronica but then a man interferes, and all changes. As it did in 1998 when Anjali and Teena almost make it as best friends in Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. With Queen, things changed a little. Not only did we see Rani and Vijaylakshmi forge a bond in Paris over Bollywood music and hangovers, there were also glimpses of Rani’s comfortable, old friendship with Sonal, who taunts her about her “virzinity ka vrat” back in India. But these were mere glimpses.


With Angry Indian Goddesses, the girlfriends have arrived. With Angry Indian Goddesses, the bunch you see chattering in the metro, dining and drinking at a rooftop restaurant, holiday in Goa or skyping from different parts of the world, may finally get legitimate representation.

First published on: 03-12-2015 at 04:19:51 pm
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