Move over Superman, Batman and Deadpool, make way for the PadMan. The story of real life (super)hero Arunachalam Muruganantham will soon be played out on the big screen by (in all likelihood) Akshay Kumar. For those who don’t know Muruganantham, he is the school drop-out from Coimbatore who made it his life’s mission to provide low-cost sanitary napkins to poor women across rural India. Ummm... would this provide enough fodder to make a mainstream Bollywood film, you wonder?
The unconventional subject can be attributed to the fact that the idea was pushed by Twinkle Khanna.
The film has been conceptualised by Twinkle and will be the first production that’s going to roll out of her newly launched production house, ‘Mrs Funnybones Movies’.
Muruganantham, also known as ‘India’s Menstrual Man’, has already been widely documented and reported about by both the Indian and international media. Twinkle herself has based the story ‘The Sanitary Man from a Sacred Land’ in her new book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad on this Padma Shri winner.
Well, why wouldn’t the amazing journey of a school drop-out who now lectures at Harvard, besides IITs and IIMs back home, make for an engaging film? The guy is now rubbing shoulders with Bill Gates and James Cameron no less.
Here are some interesting elements from Muruganantham’s life:
- Muruganantham wanted to provide a clean, low-cost sanitary pad for his wife after discovering that she used dirty unhygienic rags
- He experimented by making pads out of cotton, which did not work
- He used his experiments on his wife and sisters to check if his indigenous pads were effective but they refused to continue using them after a few trials
- Muruganantham approached female medical students to try out his product, but they were shy and refused
- He then decided to wear the sanitary pad himself
- Muruganantham went around with a pad in his underwear and a bottle filled with animal blood, which would squeeze out the blood on to the pad at regular intervals
- His neighbours started calling him a ‘pervert’ and his wife decided to leave him hoping it would bring him back to his senses, and even served him a divorce notice
- After 2 years of research and findings, Muruganantham figured out how to procure the exact material he needed and the process to manufacture a good quality sanitary pad at home
- Muruganantham’s low-cost sanitary pad making machines are now sold across India and are even being procured internationally
- In 2014 Time magazine featured him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world.
Quirky, emotional, life-affirming, inspirational with a ‘true story’ tag - Muruganantham’s story has all the ingredients to make for an interesting Bollywood money-spinner. And with reports of Akshay Kumar fronting it, you can bet this off-beat real life saga will have enough mass-appeal.
For now, it’s over to Twinkle Khanna and director R Balki to make this film as extraordinary as the menstrual man who inspired it.
Watch Muruganantham’s TED Talk in Bangalore below: