Be very, very careful before you choose to add a suffix to the word ‘sexy’.
Satire

Meet and Greet: Bollywood’s Long-Term Tryst With ‘Sexy’ & ‘Nude’  

‘Sexy’.

Shh! Don’t read that word out loud. That’s not very becoming of you.

Now, be very, very careful before you choose to add a suffix to the word ‘sexy’.

Filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan received a letter on Tuesday from the Central Board of Film Certification, ordering him not to exhibit S Durga (earlier called Sexy Durga) as the board would need to re-examine the film.

Earlier, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry too had made its reservations crystal clear. The staunch watchmen had pulled out the Malayalam movie and a Marathi movie, Nude, from the 48th edition of a film festival in Goa this month.

Posters of ‘Sexy Durga’ and ‘Nude’ (left to right).  

Durga CANNOT be deemed sexy. Because, you know, with sexualisation comes disrespect. The two are indivisible. That must be set in stone.

Also, nudity, in 2017, is still something that makes me want to pull an Alok Nath. As a sanskaari Indian, I was born with my clothes stitched around my body. Chancing upon exposed skin is like spotting a UFO.

(Also Read: Padmavati Joins the Camp of These ‘Dirty Pictures’)

But a quick jog down Bollywood’s memory lane left me sweaty and out of breath. Right from the 1930s to the 1990s, I was spotting UFOs, a dime a dozen!

There is nudity and there is subversion; And then, there are fierce, attractive women armed with the ability to command respect.

Is the perversion something that can’t be exclusively attributed to this kalyug? That can’t be true!

If it is, I am pretty sure I am living life backwards. If I make a quick, rough list of all the movies that were labelled "immodest", then by the time I get to the 1930s, perhaps my moral compass will have some closure?

Let’s check:

(Also Read: CBFC Orders ‘S Durga’ to Not Be Screened at ANY Venue)

The Ishh Factor – Over the Decades

Here are a few recent films that ruffled feathers . (No, I’m not counting Lipstick Under My Burkha)

Angry Indian Goddesses

  1. Women likened to goddesses. Check.
  2. Exposed skin.Check.
  3. 'Sexy' Indian goddesses. Check.
Angry Indian Goddesses. 

Parched

  • Women with agency. Check.
  • Radhika Apte. Check.
  • Nudity. Check.
  • Sex. Check.
Parched. 

The Dirty Picture

  • A fierce Vidya Balan baring more than my sanskaar would ever allow me to.
  • Nudity. Check.
  • ‘Sexy’? Check!
The Dirty Picture. 

Margarita With A Straw

  • Masturbation. Check.
  • Nudity. Check.
Margarita With A Straw.  

A Bit Before That, as Far as Memory Serves Me:

The single, hands-down winner of the 80s:

Ram Teri Ganga Maili

  • Nudity.
  • ‘Ram’ – in a movie that has Mandakini baring it all under a waterfall.
  • Again, nudity!
Ram Teri Ganga Maili. 

Wait, the 70s Had ’Em Too?

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

  • Sex.
  • Sex.
  • Sex. Also, Raj Kapoor’s most fearless gamble.
Satyam Shivam Sundaram. 

Siddhartha

  • Nudity.
  • Simi Grewal (who, unlike me, is not caught in a time-warp).
Siddhartha.  

Oh No, Not the 60s!

An Evening In Paris

  • Nudity.
  • A "sexy" like-never- before Sharmila Tagore.
  • Bikinis (Gasp!).
An Evening In Paris.   

Wait, I’m not sure I want to continue with the list.

If Fearless Nadia and Devika Rani (known for her 4-minute long kiss onscreen) ushered in the kalyug as early as the 1930s, is it weird of me to be “scandalised” by nudity and “sex” in the 2000s?

Nude and S Durga seem to have angered those in power for reasons that have been chewed to death and buried deep underground. It is 2017, and an art film is being deemed inappropriate for containing elements that made their way into our collective consciousness (through B-Town’s commercial films) a long, long time ago. 

Excuse me, I&B Ministry, while I travel back to reach a time-appropriate school of thought.

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