Many of you have probably seen her on-screen delivering her dialogues like she owns every character. But not many know that actor Swara Bhaskar is also a scriptwriter and a theatre artist as well. All of this, apart from often being the voice of women’s issues in the country. Remember Whisper’s “Touch The Pickle” campaign? Yes, that watershed moment on Indian TV when the taboos associated with periods were broken (tactfully and with a light note).
Well Swara was herself has been pioneering the change in attitudes towards period taboos. This International Girl Child Day, we’re honouring this versatile actor and her achievements.
1. Breaking Myths Away From Facts!
While many might shy away from talking about something as underrated as well as taboo as their period, Swara went ahead and openly talked about the time she got her first period. In the interview, she went on to add that her teacher asked her to touch a jar of pickle when she got her period. This exercise was to break period taboos that existed in society. Swara touched the pickle, it never went bad. Girls, go ahead and “Touch The Pickle”!
2. A Scriptwriter Out To Change Society
This Prem Ratan Dhan Payo actor wanted to explore her talent of scriptwriting and thus,
Swara the scriptwriter came into being. Swara’s script, Split Ends, is one of the thirteen final contenders in the Asia Society India Centre New Voices Fellowship for Screenwriters 2015-2016. A love story with 'Making Heroine the New Hero' as its theme, Split Ends is a complete gem.
3. An Activist Who Fights For Women’s Rights
In an interview with City Express recently, Swara spoke about how women should take charge of their bodies. Swara spoke about - “so-called values ingrained in us at a very subconscious level. Ambitious and successful women are also part of society, which is largely male-dominated and patriarchal, and many of them exhibit a discomfort with the female body and sexuality” - and how we can bring about gender equality.
4. A Woman Who Encourages Male Participation In Women’s Issues
In her interview with City Express, Swara also spoke about the positive role men play in eliminating the stigma around menstruation. She said men have to “act normal about it, talk about it and listen to us cribbing around that time of the month.” In her effort to remove the period stigma, Swara has often made her brother and friends go out and buy sanitary napkins for her! “It’s a character test also for potential boyfriends,” she exclaimed in the interview.
5. An Actor Who Breaks Bollywood Stereotypes
While most actors might shy away from playing roles older than their actual age, Swara broke all stereotypes to play the role of a mother in Nil Battey Sannata and walked away with a host of accolades. While Swara has been nominated for her film roles at previous award shows (Filmfare), her winning the Silk Road International Film Festival award for best actress in Nil Battey Sannata, was like the cherry on top of a very yummy cake.
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