Who would have thought a throwaway comment about a “silly ex” would lead to defamation cases, police intervention, even sillier exes making a scene and the woman at the center being accused of all kinds of nutty, unfounded things. Imagine what might have happened if Kangana Ranaut had actually named the ‘ex’.
She didn’t name the ex-man or men. But some of them have either named themselves or shamed the ones before them. If it wasn’t in such bad taste, Adhyayan Suman’s interviews might actually be seen as tragic, pathetic even. But the sense was that the chap spoke out of turn, and slandered her at will. And then, when public sentiment appeared to be turning against him, his parents stepped out of the wings only to make matters worse.
The Sumans may have figured that their son’s interviews were not helping his cause enough. Allegations of a cheap publicity stunt, and washing dirty laundry in public were flying thick and fast. Since the boy had painted himself into a corner, the parents made a show of strength. But repeatedly describing your son as ‘unsuccessful’ and a ‘nobody’? I felt more sympathy for him after reading the BT interview with the senior Sumans, than the one Adhyayan first did with DNA.
If this was the west (read: Hollywood), the young struggling actor – whose next film is, ironically, called ‘DNA of Love’ – might have consulted his lawyers by now to file a case of mental trauma! It would add another plot point to this already messy story.
Adhyayan Suman has been dodging Twitter trolls and columnists with caustic pens, denying he has any vested interest while spring-cleaning his emotional closet at this time. At the same time, Ranaut is staving off missiles being fired by the spin-doctors of Bollywood (no witchcraft, please), yet she looks composed and in control. No name-calling or mudslinging, but a steady commentary that women have been soft targets for too long.
During her recent interviews, she maintained the same response: She’s made mistakes along the way, but she’s also self-made. She’s grown up, but not apologetic about who she is. Derogatory, offensive and often false words cannot hurt her, and should not hurt other women either. Her journey, as she said on NDTV, was not from one posh Mumbai suburb to another, but from a small town in North India to the top of her game. She’s the underdog that won’t be tamed, and let’s face it, that’s a threat to a male-dominated industry that thrives on cliques.
Who knows what really goes on between two people in their private moments? It’s not for us to judge – but we do, without asking the right questions. It’s about who fires the first shot, even it is off someone else’s shoulder. Kangana was judged for being successful, for being a non-conformist (maybe even a bit silly herself) and for fighting back. Adhyayan is being judged for speaking out of turn and taking his fight into someone else’s boxing ring. The difference is that Adhyayan played the victim card; Kangana already had the queen.