A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South

Author: Damini Kulkarni

Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi

Othering the Unlikeable Woman in Hindi Cinema

When I saw Alia Bhatt’s gloriously flawed Kaira in the film 'Dear Zindagi' (2016), I felt so gratified I could have jumped up and cheered. To paraphrase, she resolutely sheds the burden that Hindi film heroines have been hefting on their always-delicate shoulders since the first hero whistled wolfishly across the street – the need to be relentlessly likeable.
A posterised image of a woman walking down a supermarket isle with a bag slung over

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“Large will not fit you.” / She is scoping me, up and down, eyes / Flicking fast and darting away / From the roundness of my breasts / To the happy jiggle of my thighs.
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