What's In The Surname?

November 28, 2017 5 Comments

Married V/s Maiden Name: Conflicted Masculinity?

I was browsing through TOI newspaper and landed on an article wherein the author suggested that "men who let their wife use their maiden surnames even after marriage are more feminine and have less control in the marriage". 

I went like- WTF! like really? Just cause a cultured man who magnanimously let his wife keep her identity becomes a henpecked?

On the contrary, I believe that the men who amicably let their wife have a choice of the surname are rather more masculine and mature. After all, a man's masculinity and power is not in dominating a woman over her surname. Any matured man, who worth his salt would understand the struggle and the efforts that a woman would have taken to carve a niche for herself, or make a name of self. Such man would understand, empathize and respect but not enforce one-sided, regressive patriarchy on the person he calls life partner and aim to spend his entire life with her. I dunno the falling structure of the society but marriages [and not weddings] are still the sacred association and cannot be mitigated over concerns as tiny as this.

A woman is a living entity and not a house whose ownership can be transferred from the existing owner's name [her father] technically to the new owner's name [husband's] name. Give her a right to choose, right to co-exist, right to maintain her entity that she accepted from her birth till date. 

Woman and Surname Game

We are circa 2017, a world where we talk about gender equality. While am certainly not a feminist but it is undeniable that no matter how we have developed, in a country like India, women, at larger pockets are still considered as the weaker sex and often dominated in a repressive patriarchal society. I am not in favor of or against the patriarch or matriarchal society, for me, both tend to loom to a distant extreme and may lead perpetration of either sex. The man who wears a pant or the woman who wears a pant is such a cliche to me. Let me clarify when I say regressive or repressive patriarchal society, I clearly indicate the nonequality over the right of education, right of career, right of remarriage, right to freedom and life included.

Besides, there is no harm or feminity defamed in embracing your husband's surname, as long as it is an open choice and not an enforced culture.

Forget Surname, I have seen many women made [forcibly] to change their name post marriage. However, in Hindu law, so far as I know, that a woman has a right to continue with his name, a couple has a right to change their children's surname, the way they want to [including or excluding their family name, while creating a whole new surname]

Whether you accept or not, man or woman, our full name often acts as a unique identifier, irrespective of the fact whether it is a famous surname or the common one. 

Do we expect a man to change his surname his post marriage to a woman? So why only a woman has to change her surname?

How Does Changing Surname Guarantees Commitment?

There was another study published in express.co.uk that suggested that women who do not change their surname post-marriage are less committed.

Are you telling me that the couples who have changed their names post marriage did not have any commitment issues or separated? How about the husband who cheats on his wife in spite of her change in her surname? Or how about the wife who happily changes her name and surname post the marriage to the one given by husband yet cheat on him?

Born with a Surname; Married with Another, I am the Change that is not called development!

Before you jump the guns, this is not a personal upheaval but a general observation. If I have to further share my personal opinion, I was born with a certain surname which was not chosen by me. For a larger [and formative] part of my life, I was called "Khetan Fan". Mockingly as well just in a light jeer. If I had my way, I would have changed my surname to my Nana/Nani's as they were the people who did my upbringing and I was very fond of them.

There came a point when surname did not matter to me but a larger chunk of the population know me with my full name wherein my surname acted as a unique identifier. I was propositioned by guys with some interesting and popular surnames including a famous cricketers' name, a business tycoon-ish kind of surname but dude I was looking for a life partner and not a surname. I am a human being and not a cattle who is distinguished by her master. Nor am I Aishwarya Rai, the most beautiful woman in this world who can take the liberty of selecting any name and still be identified, irrespectively.

Jokes apart, no pseudo or bra-burning feminism here. But a gentle plea, to let the name be. Let it be an equal choice to select the name/surname you want to keep. I understand that in India a man and a woman are not just married to each other but respective families. But stop equating a girl's love and respect for a family by virtue of her surname. 

Another shocking study published at Daily suggested that it highlights a man's inability to take care of his family. Really? now you are generalizing this to disempowering of a man? Hostile sexism I must say!

The WCWD Rule

In 2014, the Women and Child Welfare Department (WCWD) gave the women in Maharashtra the option of using either their fathers’ or husbands’ names in all official documents. Children can now mention names of both parents or remove the father’s completely if they choose to. 

Why just option to choose between one? A woman can keep/drop both the names or choose a new random one. However, it is a fresh change and can be a precursor to some effective changes.

The Tricky Issue of the Married/Vs Maiden Name

Let's cut short this long tail and understand a basic fundamental right. Changing names is not an easy task and far from practical. You are not a Rapunzel living in an isolated, ivory tower where you just change your name and sing a happy tune in your newfound identity over the abandoned one. It is a herculean task and needs balancing entries in your educational certificate, passport, bank documents, aadhar cards, pan cards and so on. Imagine if you have an online presence wherein your name is your keyword in the Google Algorithm?

And if done forcefully, be ready to bear the brunt of the forced identity crisis that your woman may undergo immediately or years to come. There are better ways to ascertain your partner's commitment towards you and your family. Ways above not just changing the surname or adding the trendy new, regal sounding yet excruciatingly clumsy, hyphenated long names. Let's keep everyone happy, even if we sound like Rum Pel Stilt Skin or those hallucinated characters from Indian Soap Opera- Raja Rawal Rudra Pratap Singh or Anna Marie Joseph McNally [Whole generation in one name]

Ever wondered what Rum pel Stilt Skin meant? I love the sound of it though.

Concluding A New Beginning: Married NOT SOLD!

A woman who has left her family to come live with you accepts you/your family with all your moles and wart, takes care of them. But hey you, you just cannot accept her with her choice of name?

Once again, let it be a choice, a choice just like that. Rather than making it an issue of ego or control. Life is tough, look at the beautiful things, look at harmony.

Culture is about sanctity and sanity. Do not equate it with surname legacy.

Giving up on a name that you have nurtured for 20+ years at least is complicated and does not guarantee anything unless collectively included.

So save us from the epiglottis of long, tongue-twisting name or gender flaring researches. Be the rose, distinguished by the fragrance you emulate. Name is identity and not the ego.


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Movie Review: Qarib Qarib Single

November 19, 2017 , , 0 Comments

Qarib Qarib Singlle is a story of two individuals who differ in their personality but have a common need for dedicated companionship.

Qarib Qarib Single or QQS is an endearing story of a 35-year-old Jaya AKA Jayashree who is a self-reliant, independent woman living a lonely life in her posh apartment. When she is not working, she often chats with her younger brother who had moved abroad for his education or the so-called friends who turn to her when they want her to run small errands for them including babysitting their kids. She is a military man' widow and was very endearingly told by a friend that is she does not start to mingle, she may risk turning back to a virgin. 

Scared as hell or tired with her empty life, she logs into a Tinder kind of dating website "Ab Tak Single" where she meets Yogi, a free-spirited eternal romantic, who may not have "Ab tak chappan" girlfriends but had 3 solid affairs ranging from Varanasi to Jaipur to Gangtok.

As expected, he is not the guy Jaya was looking for and she even tries to scoot out. As expected, he did not let her scoot out so easily before they both can meet all his GFs to affirm if they still pine for him or not.

Together they travel the road never traveled. It is a fun-filled road/ air/rail trip movie and stops at the mountain trolley in Gangtok. 

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Qareeb Qareeb Single starring Irrfan Khan and Parvathi T is a must watch film. Irrfan's Yogi is as charming as ever. He has a depth of character, a great sense of humor and an absolute deadpan acting to leave you engaged. 

If I have to sum up QQS in a line, I would say- Pura Pura Irrfan Khan Film. 

A lot of local flavors are induced in the film from Varanasi's Chatori Mathari to a beautiful "The Baker's Cafe" in Gangtok.

It is a mature love story but not the one where lovers die for each other, and that is what you will love about this film. It is endearing and has full of Irrfan khan charm.

Parvathy compliments him quite well. Her occasional outbursts in Malayalam are sweet, even though she was cursing her hero, it looks hilarious. She plays a perfect pair to Yogi's shenanigans and she looks perfect for the role. And I love the fact that she is not a skinny actress but a mature woman who does her part just so well

The movie has its own cliche of scenes but Irrfan Khan makes them look fresh and enjoyable. 

There are two surprise cameo by Nehi Dhupia and Esha Shravani played with equal elan.

Numerounity Verdict: The movie has a fantabulous first half but a weaker second half. The music is quite good and is smartly placed to keep the flow. Overall, it is an interesting watch.

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Movie Review: Tumhari Sullu | Vidya Balan All The Way!

No Spoilers ahead

There is something about the women-oriented film especially the ones wherein the lead character tries to rise above her mundane life and achieve something. All these women are saree clad from a middle-class family who have given up their career for their marriage or kids. Designer sarees and cliche apart, whether it was "English-Vinglish" or recently released "Tumhari Sullu", the women characters are well written, endearing and above all highly relatable.

And that is where Tumhari Sullu excels!

Tumhari Sullu is an endearingly Sweet Film

Tumhari Sullu is a story of a peppy Sullu [excellently portrayed by Vidya Balan] who is full of fun and have a zest for life. She is a not so ordinary woman with ordinary dreams. All she wants is to carve her a little name, get acknowledged and do her act right. Whether it is participating in a lemon and spoon race or random radio contests. She has a winning streak in her in spite of fewer strong stereotyped objections around her. She loves her family which includes her son and an adorable husband. She is a woman you and I will love to meet and be friends with, a woman quite rare to find, a woman who is highly relatable.

I dunno why but I could relate to Sullu in ways more than one. Call it the storytelling or the powerful portrayal of the powerhouse Vidya Balan, she crease-lessly brings the joys and traumas of a middle-class housewife. Vidya's Sulochana aces every scene, frame by frame without looking like The Vidya Balan but Sulochana, the Sullu character she is portraying.

Vidya's Sullu is ably supported by Manav Kaul's Ashok who is a super doting husband and am sure that after watching this film, lots of sensible girls will look for a husband like him than the non-existent Raj or Rahul of Larger than Life Hindi Films, men who are full of them.

Ashok is down to earth, simple guy who is eternally smitten by his wife. He manages a stressful job at a lalaji firm, plays a perfect host to his wife's family and a perfect husband without showing any sign of male egos even when wife embarks on a different career path including playing a "sexy saree wali bhabhi doing a late night radio show". In between, blame it on the turn of events including a bad career phase in the current job, he gets little disturbed by the lewd remarks/side effects on wife's chosen career but soon rises above the mediocre and hearts her back. Another fantabulous performance to watch for. He may not be an ivy league educated guy, speaking chaste English or living a high fi life but he is high on life even though it means changing bedsheets or singing "batata vada" with his wife.

And then there are other characters including Sullu's unempathetic twin sisters, her colleagues at radio station including her boss Neha Dhupia.

Neha Dhupia is another delight factor in this film. she has a small but significant role in this film which she plays with equal aplomb. And if you are able to keep away from ogling at her style sense, you will like her subtle and sober performance of the Mariyam. I did notice those Forever 21 styled accessories, after all, I am a beauty blogger as well 😉😉

Tumhari Sullu is a very grounded story with an equally good screenplay and a wonderful star cast. The music is so-so except the Ban ja meri Rani song that will be a hit on car radios and pubs. Music used smartly to keep the flow of the narration and a quick susu breaks! 

There are some very endearing scenes in the film including the one where Sulochana talks to Albeli Anjali for the first time or when she peacefully settles a piss of a caller while peeling peas over Matar paneer or aloo matar theory [OMG the tongue twisters] or the scene when she subtly tells her complaining family that agreements or disagreements, she will continue to seek their help as they are the "family". 

Do watch out for the scene when she brooms up the otherwise pricey neighboring grocer who refuse to home deliver any order below Rs 500. Dude, it is reality and it works though you need not have to use as husky-sexual tons that Sullu did, it may land you in issue in real life.

Numerounity Verdict: Tumhari Sullu has a peppy first half, a not so peppy post-intermission, a hurried climax, but power-packed performance by the lead actors. Tumhari Sullu is a must watch film. Go ahead and book it to watch with your spouse or girlfriend. It is refreshing, fun and interesting. If you are a Vidya Balan fan, you will love it. If you are not, you will become one after this movie on a strictly buy one, get one -like Vidya Balan, Like Manav Kaul basis. Bonus!

Numerounity Rating: 4/5

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No Country For Disabled- Neera

November 06, 2017 0 Comments

Neera, barely 20 years old women in Chattisgarh, is almost 90% disabled. She cannot walk but only crawl using her hands. Every day she needs to crawl to fields to defecate. Imagine yourself as Neera, wherein your entire body is listless and you can use only your hands to move, even to fulfill your basic ablutions.

So to attend your need of call of nature, you need to crawl through the dirty bylanes as there is no toilet in your home or vicinity. There are some public toilets here and there but let's not talk about their cleanliness level. When the well-functional, well-equipped toilets that have full-time cleaning attendants in Malls or most of the Indian Airports are creepy and filthy, least you can expect from a local toilet in small towns. 

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Susu, Captainship & Guptaji at Bigg Boss 11

November 04, 2017 , , 1 Comments

This season of Bigg Boss is one of the most interesting seasons. Notwithstanding the fact that contestants have really done their homework well, they are using their game strategy quite well thus far. 

I am quite hooked to this season and end up watching almost all episodes on Voot including the raw footage in shorts section of the website.

If you are following me on Twitter, you would have seen my views on different episodes, contestants, and the tasks. If you are not following me on Twitter, follow me now @numerounity

I have been planning to do a weekly quickie of stuff that happened inside the house and on the show but given time constraint, have "ben" refraining so far. Yes, I have "Ben" refraining cause after a "no-show", poor visibility- Ben finally got in the captainship race. No thanks to her "cash-fixing" alliance with Priyank and the poor A-Cash. Yes, I began the show by not liking the popular bad boy A-kash but he is playing his game well off late. Yet, he has conveniently "ben" ushered out from best performance nominations [No thanks to ever insecure Miss Hina Khan] and the team conveniently chose another set of "not so visible-not so contributing" contestants to participate in the race.

All the "cash fixing" exercise of Poor Ben went down the "Susu" drain cause even Bigg Boss does not want her to be the captain it seems. Now I know why my mother insists me on drinking more water and how kegel exercise is so important for women. It is "Ke-gal" after all.

#BB11 #JokeOfTheDay
Question: What is the favorite Song of participants after this week's captainship task?
Answer: Ke-gal hai? Aji koi nahi! [song ref for dummy]

So our poor Ben behen is out from the captainship task. She may have held her liquor but she could not hold "Dhinchak Pooja's Licorice" I mean she could not hold glasses of water. Or was it because she got scared of the idea of being in between two "Susu" releasing man? Well, we may know about it in the Su-on to be out episode tonite.

Tonight's episode is indeed gonna be interesting as it is "Weekend ka Vaar" wherein Mr. Salman Khan will make his week-long awaited appearance to bajane band and Ben of the housemates.

Band Bajao reminds me of our poor, Bhartiya pursush Vikas Gupta who had become viral in India not because his "at the back of my arm" tennis elbow, "Hare today, fever tomorrow" in Jail appearances but I guess it is the "haath" of Miss Shinde to make this lost boy so popular. 

I saw many tweets saying how inhuman Shilpa Shinde was with our lost boy. Tsch Tsch! When Sapna does it with Arshi, it is entertainment. However, when Shilpa Shinde did, it was blamed to anti-human. Dude, let's accept it. She broke no rule and was entertaining. Unless you look for some babaji type entertainment on a reality show like Bigg Boss.

The Guptaji in my house likes the mastermind Guptaji on the show. I too could have esp the way he deploys people around to get his work done [super managerial abilities I must say] but Bigg Boss burst my itsy bitsy appreciation by reflecting so many odds of his personality. Had it not been Shilpaji, this Guptaji could not have survived the house or gain as footage. 

Bigg Boss, Iss baar aap Shilpa Shinde ko sahi pakde hai! She has a very effervescent and entertaining presence on the show. 

Shilpa may be a poor business woman but a perfect entertainer. We love to see her more, maybe win.

Well, that's all for today's NumerounityXBiggBoss post. I hope you liked my post. Let me know. I would try to come up with more such posts.

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Numerounity Question of the day: Who do you think will be ousted from BB11 house this week?


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When Newton Had Bareily ki Barfi with Rajkumar Rao

November 03, 2017 , 1 Comments

I have recently met a new acting powerhouse who served me a delicious sweet fare called Bareily ki Barfi. Well, no I am not talking about Ayushmann Khurrana. He is by default a charmer ever before he stepped into the shoes of Vicky Donor. I am talking about an actor who I have seen since Ragini MMS days, going stronger by the films he did, only to woe me finally with a "Bareli ki Barfi". 

Rajkumar Rao, I am so impressed with your Pritam Vidrohi that if someone asks me to name another legendary character after Geet in Jab We Met, I guess the name on my TOMA or recall would be yours Pritam Vidrohi.

Needless to repeat, that I barely ever liked the actor. Even though I watched many of his movies including the solo and "trying to be funny" Behen Hogi Teri. Blame it on the paltry characters he played or the better roles that he did which I may have missed out. 

When I decided to watch the film Bareilly ki Barfi, the only enticing factors were the storyline in the trailer that I may have seen once, the good line up of some amazing supporting cast like Seema Bhargava and Pankaj Tripathi and the fact that the film is directed by "Nil Batte Sannata" Director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari who I like because the wonderful film she made and not the fact that she is the wife of the guy who directed Dangal. Naah-Naah!

I was little kya, heavily disappointed with Toilet Ek Prem Katha and went to watch this movie flush the bad experience I had with the Akshay Kumar starrer. I am so glad that I did. 

Bareily ki Barfi is one of those movies trying to be located at smaller towns of the country, trying to shower in the flowing Ganga of this genre, mouthing those kinds of dialects, living in almost real houses wherein the heroine is the best in the town who does disco dance sans any dream sequence in Switzerland. 

It was about time, the lead story put me off to sleep when Pritam Vidrohi enters and gives a brilliant "teen ka tadka" with Seema Pahwa and Pankaj Tripathi. His may be a supporting character but he totally over-ruled the lead actor- Ayushmaan Khurrana.

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