Post the release of Happy Bhag Jayegi, a lot of people are commenting about the character portrayed by Jimmy Shergill, who again plays the role of an almost-groom waiting to be abandoned by his wife to be. Yes, he never gets the girl, and somehow I find filmmakers basking in such a perception of his portrayal. Every movie he does, he follows the same protocol, despite knowing his caliber and his fan following. Jimmy is one of the cult actors, who despite of never possessing a full-fledged role, has managed to be on the good side of the audience.
So, post this discussion, I realized that the actor is stuck in the image. That is, he has compromised all his images so as to give more importance to the described one. And due to the acceptance of the audience to such an image, he hasn’t been able to do full justice to himself as an actor and explore his versatility. Also, the filmmakers are not providing any break or respite to the actor, are they?
This further made me think – are we, the audience, stuck in one particular image, while letting go of many others? Are we accepting of the different facets of someone’s personality, or are we just perceiving them to be misleading or secretive in nature?
If people dare to exhibit multiple personalities to one particular group, or different personalities to different, do we blame them and judge them for the chameleon effect?
The more I think of it, the more I realize that Jimmy Shergill is not the only one who has to reel under such unfair judgments. I think, nowadays, even Narendra Modi is stuck in the image of promoting Hindutava and consequently, influenced nationalism, which indeed was one of the reasons of him coming to power. He used this image of his, and now the entire country is reeling under it, he cannot directly attack such extremists in the fear of being hypocritical. He gave power to them, and sadly, he’s stuck in the same quandry.
Let’s progress from individuals to the defined genders in our country. As a woman, I am stuck in the image of being an emotional wreck, always the damsel-in-distress, physically weak and a liability or dependence on others. What happens when I break such images? I am branded as a lesbian, the ultra-feminist, and an unemotional creature devoid of any sensitivity. So, do I maintain such imagined images of mine, so as to find more of acceptance than ridicule?
For a man, he is possibly stuck in the image of being a macho man, unemotional, techy, and the bread winner of the family. Now, there are men who might cry while watching The Lion King or The Notebook, who like the color pink, and who don’t really want to carry the responsibility of taking care of the family. Such men, who happen to get stuck in the image of a ‘woman’ are branded as a pussy, momma’s boy, and probably a gay too.
I am a quiet person, and probably a shy one too. However, when I am hit by a wave of fury, my anger knows no bounds, and immediately I may feel sorry. But why should I? Maybe because I am stuck in the image of being shy, and such is the hyper personality of mine that, when it surfaces, I begin to question myself and wonder-
Am I responsible for being stuck in some image? Am I too scared of being judged or disliked that I, somehow, force myself to behave in a manner that is expected of me? Am I too reluctant to be me? Is it just me wearing the forced mask, or does everyone else do the same?
After all, in the end-
One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.