Connect with us

Featured

Subhash K Jha Interviews Gazal Dhaliwal, The Transwoman Who Has Written The Lesbian Drama Ek LadkiDo Dekha Toh Aisa Laga

Subhash K . Jha

Published

on

First of all,how does it feel to be celebrated as  a bright young writer  for your work in Ek Ladki  Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga?

To be honest, I’m far from thinking highly of myself or my talent. I always tend to find flaws and issues in my work after I watch it. And then, try my best to learn from them, hoping that I can write better in my next work. That said, it certainly feels nice to hear compliments , especially from people who don’t know me and simply write in to tell me how much they enjoyed or were moved by the film. I allow myself to take a moment and acknowledge the hard work I have put in and feel grateful for having been able to tell this important story, especially because of Vinod sir, who agreed to produce the film.

How much  of your own experience have you put  into the  film ?

Not consciously.But of course, when I think about it, there is no denying that my life’s experiences have found their way into the film. Firstly, I happen to be an introverted person like Sweety. I did live a life of suppression, feeling caged in my own body, for two and a half decades. Secondly and more importantly, my parents understood me and chose to love and protect me just the way Balbir does for Sweety in the end.I must also point out how my life was different from Sweety’s. I had a lot of friends all along the way and there were a couple with whom I was always able to share my challenges. In that regard, Sweety had it harder than me.

What  is  the  best  compliment you have  received for your work?

Someone tweeted  that she went to watch the film with her mother. After the movie, she came out to the mother and told her that she is a lesbian. The mother was silent all day. The next morning, she made this girl’s favourite breakfast for her. And that said it all.

This tweet was the best possible compliment for me. Shelly Chopra Dhar, the director of the film, and I had always thought that if we were able to change even one person’s heart through our film, we would have won. This girl’s story, somehow, validated me and the work put into the film.

Do you  think  this film is  significant step forward  for  the  lgbtq community? Do you feel  Indian mainstream  cinema has a long way to go before  gay relationships acquire  normalcy?

The film is LGBTQ 101 for mainstream Bollywood. Like Rajkummar Rao’s character, Sahil, says in the film , “Pata nahin iss play ka kuchh faayda hona hai ya nahin, par kisi ko toh shuruaat karni hogi. Abhi toh sab so rahe hain“. All the messages , tweets , calls , emails I have received over the last few days tell me that the LGBTQ community is quite happy with the film and their representation. The film is far from perfect but just its existence is certainly a significant step.Having said that, we do have a long way to go before we have done enough ,provided  that is even possible to do. I have seen the film about 3-4 times with audiences, and in each one of those shows, several people got up and left through the second-half. That tells you where we stand. It is those people that we need to speak to through our films., and I really hope that we can continue to do so.

Your journey from  a male trapped in  a female  body to finally being liberated ….I cannot begin to imagine the pain suffering trauma and dilemma…how did you cope with it all ?

That’s a very tough question to answer. I try to not think about that period of my life. It feels almost like another lifetime. I think the underlying theme of my life was suffocation and helplessness. I focused a lot on academics and theatre to divert myself from that theme. The other thing that kept me afloat was the fact that I was an extremely loved child. These few things never let me feel that my life had no meaning and that helped me cope.

 At what age  did you finally come to terms with  your gender aberration and  how did you deal with the  psychological  and physical  conflict of  a  female trapped in a female  body?

By the age of 5, I was aware of that aberration, even though I had no name or explanation for it. Then, at 17, when I found this boon called internet, I searched online for this condition… and found out that even though it is rare, Gender Dysphoria does exist, wherein a person born with one sex identifies as the other sex. That helped me feel valid and accept that I was not a crazy person. Eventually, in my film school, some of my friends and I made a documentary film on transsexuality which helped me and my family to finally accept that it was time I went ahead and fixed my body.

 How  difficult  was  the  process of re-acclimatization from  male to female?  Did  you find acceptance immediately  after the change or  did you have  to struggle to establish your  new identity among your friends?

I would say it took me about a year’s time to feel confident in my new identity. One has to deal with a certain lack of confidence and insecurity facing life’s situations with a completely new name, wardrobe, pronouns and of course, people’s gaze and whispers around you.However, around my close friends, it was a cakewalk. They would go out of their way to ensure that I was comfortable around them. My best friend would help me with clothes and styling. I have been very fortunate in the family and friends department. My struggles were largely internal ,with my own self.

 How important is a family and a supportsytem for someone in a situation as confounding as yours and what is your suggestion to those  out there in  similar gender dilemma  who don’t have a support system?

Family and support system are invaluable. Being born as LGBTQ comes with immense loneliness because a large part of the society is not ready to even listen to the idea that this is natural or that it is even possible. This loneliness sometimes even leads to some people ending their precious lives. That’s the reason an understanding family is crucial. A family that thinks of their child’s happiness before the society’s approval is a family that every person deserves, especially an LGBTQ person.But if you do not have that support system, please remember that your life is precious nevertheless. You WILL find people who love you. Just wait a little while. In the meantime, try to love yourself. Your life is as important and as beautiful as anybody else’s. Please value it, respect it and respect yourself. You will automatically attract respect and love from the world around you. You deserve kindness and if you’re not getting it from outside, find it within you. Be kind to yourself.

 How  supportive has  the entertainment  industry been? And what are your plans for  the future?

The only reason for anybody to earn respect in their workplace ought to be their talent and hard work. It has been no different for me. My life-story has played no role in my career. And that’s the way it should be. Yes, I may be a source of curiosity or surprise for some people in the industry, but I’ve learnt to understand that.I’ve made some very close friends, like Tanuja Chandra, in the industry, who have shown me immense support and encouraged me to tell my stories. I recently wrote a short film “A Monsoon Date”, directed by Tanuja, in which the lead character, played by Konkona Sensharma, is on her way to a date where she is going to come out to the guy and tell him that she is a transwoman. The film is currently being sent to festivals.I’m currently heading a writers’ room for a series which will stream on a well-known OTT platform. Other than that, I have a couple of scripts which are in the process of being pitched.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must Read

Featured24 mins ago

10 Things You’d Like To Know About Isabelle Kaif

Isabelle’s so-called debut film Time To Dance was in the pipeline for almost a year. It is entirely Salman Khan’s...

Featured28 mins ago

Selection Day Season 2 Review: Powered By Samad & Tailang’s Performances

Selection Day Season 2(Netflix) Starring Mohammad Samad, Yash Dholye, Rajesh Tailang, Akshaye Oberoi, Mahesh Manjrekar Rating: *** ½(3 and a...

Featured32 mins ago

Music Teacher Review: It Re Makes You Pine For A Filmmaking Teacher

Music Teacher(Netflix) Starring Manav Kaul, Divya Dutta, Amrita Bagchi, Neena  Gupta  Directed  by Sarthak Dasgupta Rating: **(2 stars)  Not all that looks somber subdued  and layered at the  top...

Featured1 day ago

Karan Johar Stares At The Biggest Flop Of His Career

The  maverick producer Karan Johar who has given the  film industry such historic  blockbusters as  Kuch Kuch Hota hai,Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Dostana is  now  looking at  the ...

Rishi Kapoor's Next Movie Gets Postponed Rishi Kapoor's Next Movie Gets Postponed
Featured1 day ago

Rishi Kapoor: I Should Be Back Soon!

There  are cheerful tidings  for  all the friends, well wishers  and fans  of  Rishi Kapoor.  The actor whom we all love...

Featured2 days ago

Exclusive: Hrithik Roshan To Play Rama In Madhu Mantena’s Ramayan?

Here  is  the  most sensational  casting coup of  the year.  Hrithik Roshan who  is currently wrapping up his role  as  the world-renowned mathematician Anand  Kumar ...

Featured2 days ago

Vishal Krishna Won’t Lose His ‘Temper’

Popular Tamil-Telugu  star-actor Vishal Krishna’s  new film Ayogya which is  a remake  of  the  Telugu hit Temper has  been controversial from  the  moment  its  first poster ...

Featured2 days ago

Psychological Experts Question The Mental Poster

Mental Hai Kya, the  new rom-com featuring Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao seems  to be getting more than its share of controversial attention, thanks  to medical experts who find...

Tanushree Dutta Is Not Scared Of Getting Bullied Tanushree Dutta Is Not Scared Of Getting Bullied
Featured2 days ago

Tanushree Dutta On Why She Spoke Out Against Alok Nath’s Casting In A Devgan Starrer

Tanushree Dutta is back in  Los Angeles where she lives.  But she continues to make  her presence felt  in  the...

News & Interviews3 days ago

Mahesh Bhatt Flung A Chappal at Kangana Ranaut?

The film industry has had just about enough of Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli’s rants. Alia Bhatt is being...

Featured3 days ago

Saif: “Please Don’t Stalk Taimur”

Protective Papa Saif Ali Khan who is discernibly disturbed by the constant attention given to his 2-year old son Taimur,...

Featured4 days ago

More Collegaues To Come Out In Support Of Alia

At last an actor from the film industry has taken a resolute stand against Kangana Ranaut’s ongoing rant against Alia...

Featured4 days ago

Harleen Sethi,“Me & Breakdown? Ha Ha”

An overzealous report in a section of the press claims that Harleen Sethi is emotionally shattered after her breakup with...

Featured4 days ago

Kalank Movie Review: It Is Drop-Dead Gorgeous!

Kalank Starring  Madhuri Dixit,  Sanjay Dutt, AliaBhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur,Sonakshi Sinha Directed  by Abhishek Varman Rating: ****(4  stars) After  I  finished watching  this long winding  but  ultimately  satisfying  tale  of...

News & Interviews5 days ago

Kangana Ranaut And Rajkummar Rao Starrer ‘Mental Hai Kya’ To Release On 21st June

Balaji Motion Pictures announced today that their next film, the Rajkummar Rao and Kangana Ranaut starrer ‘Mental Hai Kya’, an...

Featured5 days ago

Kalank 10 Unknown Facts

It is the most expensive Karan Johar production to date, so lavish and costly that Karan’s Dharma Production had to...

News & Interviews5 days ago

Here Is Why Sanjay Dutt Stays Away From Kalank Promos

We haven’t seen much of Sanjay Dutt at the promotional events of Kalank. And the reason is Raj Kumar Hirani....

Featured5 days ago

Amitabh Bachchan’s Demand For A Bonus Is Not A Joke

Netizens are busy speculating how far Mr Bachchan was bantering with Shah Rukh Khan when he tweeted about a bonus...

Featured5 days ago

How Big Will Kalank Be At The Boxoffice?

The Karan Johar production which opens on Wednesday is expected to do a business of at least 120-30 crores during...

Featured5 days ago

Alia Bhatt Speaks To Subhash K Jha On All Things Kalank, and Kangana.

Why does Kalank look so much like a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film? You are saying that because this a world...

Featured6 days ago

India’s Most Wanted: Terror Redefined

The all-too-short teaser of Rajkumar Gupta’s India’s Most Wanted re-aligns the complex dynamics of militancy- terrorism by pinning the violence...

Featured6 days ago

Did Saif Lodge A Police Complaint Against The Paparazzi?

Has Saif Ali Khan finally taken a firm stand on the issue of his little son Taimur’s over-exposure in the...

Featured6 days ago

How Safe Are Political Rallies For Women? Activist-Actesses Answer

It is elections time and many high-profile glamorous women from the entertainment industry are forced to fly to out-of-the-way towns...

Featured6 days ago

Entertainment Industry Raises It Voice Against Azam Khan’s Cheap Vulgar Comment On Jaya Prada

Vani Tripathi Tikoo: “This man(Azam Khan) has a history of vulgar misogynistic remarks against Jaya Pradaji. He has called her...

Featured7 days ago

Laakhon Mein Ek Review: It Leaves You Pained & Angry

Laakhon Mein Ek(Amazon Prime) Starring Shweta Tripathy Directed by Abhishek Sengupta Rating: *** ½ (3 and a half stars) The...

Featured1 week ago

Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt Have A History, And Not A Pleasant One

If Sridevi had lived she would have played the role of the doomed tawaif Bahaar Begum in Abhishek Varman’s mega-starrer...

Featured1 week ago

At Nearly 3 Hours Playing Time, and Hiked Prices, Kalank Worries Exhibitors

The producers of Kalank, Karan Johar , Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios have taken a collective decision to hike...

Featured1 week ago

Benefiting From Badla, Rumi Jaffery On Amitabh Bachchan-Emraan Hashmi Coming Together

Writer Rumi Jaffrey is gung-ho about his proposed thriller Khel where he gets to direct Amitabh Bachchan for the first...

Featured1 week ago

Vivek Oberoi’s Modi Act Loses Steam & Esteem

The unexpected  clamping-down  on  the  much-debated bio-pic on PM Narendra  Modi would affect  Vivek Oberoi much more than anyone  else associated  with the  film.And not only...

Pankaj Tripathy Pankaj Tripathy
Featured1 week ago

Pankaj Tripathi’s Dreams Come True, Dream Career & Now A Home In Madh Island

As  Pankaj Tripathi, arguably the most  interesting contemporary actor of Hindi cinema, speaks  about his rise from  a nobody in Bihar...

Featured1 week ago

Did Priyanka help Reunite The Jonas Brothers?

BWhile  Yoko Ono’s relationship  with the legendary  John Lennon is said  to have been one of  the  primary reasons why ...

Featured1 week ago

Varun Dhawan’s Next Project To Be Announced On His Birthday, 2 Of The Chartbusters To Be Repeated

April 24 when  Varun Dhawan turns a year older, would be the  day when  the actor’s next film Coolie No 1 ...

Featured1 week ago

Alia Reacts To Kangana’s Comments

Kangana Ranaut continues to take nasty potshots at  Alia Bhatt who  undoubtedly is ruling the  boxoffice at  the moment and working with almost  every major filmmaker...

Featured1 week ago

Madhu Mantena Gets Anand Kumar, Hrithik Roshan Together

 The bio-pic Super 30 on ‘mage-mathician’  Anand  Kumar is  ready for a July release. And the film’s  promotion  promises  to be  as  interesting as  the ...

Featured1 week ago

Student Of The Year 2 Looks Like A Colourful Carnival Of Cornball Antics

To his credit the high-profile Karan Johar gave us three stars, or maybe just two, in Student of The Year....

Featured1 week ago

Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai Movie Review: It Gets A New Angrier Avatar

Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai Starring Manav Kaul, Nandita Das, Saurabh Shukla Written & Directed by Soumitra Ranade...

Featured1 week ago

Alia’s Grace Reaches Across The Border

Among the many reference points that Alia Bhatt has used to inculcate an old-world grace in her personality for her...

Shatrughan Sinha  Shatrughan Sinha 
Featured2 weeks ago

Shatrughan Loyalist Releases A Song Praising PM Modi

Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani who has referred to himself as Shatrughan Sinha’s Hanuman on many occasions in the past and was...

Featured2 weeks ago

Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Grandsons Send Legal Notice To Shastri Bio-Pic Maker

It seems last-minute legal hurdles to the release of a film are now becoming a norm, even from supposedly sensible...

Featured2 weeks ago

Uri Director Speaks On The Death Of His Actor

Uri Aditya Dhar still can’t believe that Navtej Hundal the actor who played the Home Minister in the blockbuster war...

Featured2 weeks ago

EC Bans Narendra Modi Bio-pic

The Election Commission has acted wisely and resolutely by stopping the April 11 release of Omung Kumar’s PM Narendra Modi,...

Featured2 weeks ago

Pritam’s Atrocious Tune Ruins Madhuri’s Graceful Movements

Madhuri Dixit  on  the dancefloor , swaying to a Kathak  beat in flaming  orange  as a  group of  chorus dancers...

Featured2 weeks ago

What Is The Point Of Shahid Kapoor Doing An Arjun Reddy?

The teaser of Kabir Singh, nee Arjun Reddy, is out. There is both good news and bad news. The bad...

Featured2 weeks ago

“The Don Franchise Belongs Only To Shah Rukh Khan”

Nowadays entertainment portals choose to start a fire without any smoke. So when the world woke up to the announcement...

News & Interviews2 weeks ago

Where Is The ‘Fan’ Who Wanted To ‘Kill’ Varun’s Girlfriend?

Just two days ago the internet and print media went berserk with a story about a “crazy fan” who wanted...

Featured2 weeks ago

Swara Bhaskara Spends Her Birthday With Kanhaiya Kumar In Bihar, Shabana Unable To Reach

The combustive strong-willed ball of fire Swara Bhaskara turned a year older on Tuesday April 9 and she found herself...

Alia Bhatt Most Successful Heroine Alia Bhatt Most Successful Heroine
Featured2 weeks ago

Alia Bhatt,Have Power Must Use

Recently the phenomenally successful Alia Bhatt was seen supporting and promoting the small relevant film No Fathers In Kashmir which...

Featured2 weeks ago

Revisiting Shakti Samanta’s Amar Prem

From its opening montage of a young rustic girl watching her callous husband bring home another wife, to the dying...

Featured2 weeks ago

On Jaya Bachchan’s Birthday Her 5 Finest Performances

It’s hard to pick, really. Jaya Bachchan…nee, Bhaduri was an exceptional talent. She ushered in the era of the new-age...

News & Interviews2 weeks ago

Is Vicky Kaushal Getting Infatuated By Katrina Kaif?

Vicky Kaushal needs to be warned. He’s moving too fast and moving in the wrong direction. The super-success if Uri...

Advertisement

Most Popular