8 March 2017 | by Shruti Kohli | New Delhi
There’s a now famous riddle which made the civil services candidates uneasy sometime back. It goes like this: A father and a son meet with an accident at the same time. They are taken to different hospitals. The son needs surgery. But the doctor refuses to perform the operation saying, ‘I can’t do this! He’s my son.’ How’s this possible?
Imaginations ran wild. But it didn’t help it seems because none could guess that the doctor was the mother, because when we say doctor or engineer or investment banker or you-name-a-profession, ah! even chef, it invariably draws a male figure in our heads.
So it’s only okay that a customer, enamoured by the success of Gurdeep Singh’s sweet business, automatically credits his sons for his flourishing business, without even knowing whether Gurdeep Singh has sons or not. It’s just spontaneous.
The goosepbump moment happens when Gurdeep Singh, played by Aamir Khan, corrects the customer that it’s the daughters and not the sons. And when he does so, he is not correcting a speech malfunction. He is correcting a social malfunction.
Though the advert is flanked by soaps which aggressively promote contrasting and astonishingly regressive perceptions about women and their place in society, it has managed to stand out. However, this 50-seconder runs the risk of fading away sooner in the midst of more boldly presented longer-running soaps, which stay on screen, and in our living rooms, for much longer than it takes to twist an average psyche.
In such a scenario, Aamir Khan err Gurdeep Singh and Daughters carry the colossal burden of keep intact the game started by our men in blue at the IndVsNZ match in Vizag in October last year when they played in jerseys which had their mothers’ names. Nayi Soch Part One, that is.
To begin with, there might be someone, just that one someone, who might already be planning to pull down his ‘ XYZ and Sons’ signboard and replace it with ‘XYZ and Daughters’. With that, ‘Gurdeep Singh and Daughters’ would have established a new regular which would hold the authority to lead the old order out of the system. It would have established the Nayi Soch. So be it.
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