On Swara Bhasker’s birthday, quotes that define her stardom, feminism and swag
Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker, who first left an impression on the public memory with her earthy performance in Anand L Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu (2011) as the practical friend of Kangana Ranaut aka Tanu, turns 30 on Monday.
Swara was born to security and strategic affairs expert Commodore Chitrapu Uday Bhaskar and professor of cinema studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Ira Bhaskar in Delhi. After completing her bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Delhi, she pursued her master’s in Sociology from the JNU.
The actor began her acting career with Madholal Keep Waiting in 2009 which was a flop. She also worked in Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai-starrer Guzaarish before bagging the famous role of Payal in Tanu Weds Manu. She essayed a few memorable roles in commercially hit films and then grabbed the opportunity to work with veterans Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh in Listen...Amaya (2013).
In 2016, Sawara played the lead role in Ashwini Iyer Tiwary’s Nil Battey Sannata and the film went to become one of her most critically acclaimed films. Swara also bagged the Screen award for her performance in the movie. Next year, the audience and her fans were in for a surprising twist when they watched her in the lead role of Anarkali in Avinash Das’s Anaarkali of Aarah (2017).
Apart from her onscreen personna, Sawara has always ensured she voices her opinions, unabashedly, even in an industry that mostly prefers to stay mum over burning issues of the society. Be it calling out the star-struck functioning style of Bollywood or naming and shaming online trolls or voicing opinions on everyday affairs, Sawara never shies away from speaking up.
On her 30th birthday, here’s a salute to Swara Bhaskar, the woman’s spirits and ideology: A look at some of her best quotes that define her personality:
In her open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Swara wrote, “Women are not only walking talking vaginas. Yes, women have vaginas, but they have more to them as well. So their whole life need not be focused on the vagina, and controlling it, protecting it, maintaining it’s purity.”
On people who claim they are not feminists: “I am an unapologetic feminist. But I think it’s a misunderstood term. My question to those who say that they are not feminists, frankly, would be ‘why not?”
On people misusing laws: Feminism is not a conspiracy to entrap men in fake dowry cases and fake rape cases.
On being a frequent victim of trolling online: I think that the time when someone tries to shut you down is the test of your conviction, and that gives me the strength to rise above the fear of ‘what will happen if I do this.”
On late Sridevi’s stature in Bollywood: “Her greatness lay in the fact that she was able to shine with the sheer mettle of her performance in films that were so clearly written for male stars. Her greatness lay in the fact that in 1989; at a time when (generally speaking) the hero-dominated-action-formula film — which relegated heroines to five dance numbers and some romantic scenes and helpless screaming in the climax was the staple product of ‘Bollywood’ — Sridevi carried almost totally on her shoulders a commercial entertainer, Chalbaaz, all the way to smashing box-office success.”
On star kids in Bollywood: “Also, we’re a star-driven industry not a talent-driven industry and unless this doesn’t change, you can call it nepotism or feudalism or whatever you want to call it. The fact still remains that children of stars come with a certain kind of advantage.”
On her character in Anaarkali of Aarah: “The bravest thing we’ve done is to actually create a character that makes audience feel uncomfortable. I used to argue with the director that let’s not apologise on her behalf, or give any justification of her character. Let her be someone who makes a person, who is very moralistic, feel uncomfortable. Let’s cash in on the fact that ‘yes I am characterless, so now what’ and I feel that has been the bravest move.”
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