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This Independence Day, watch stories that encourage unfettered thinking!

Mumbai, Aug 9 : Freedom is not just an abstract idea; its presence or absence is clearly perceivable in the way we think and process life. Are we bound by dogma, or can we see beyond our conditioning to think freely, connect with others without preconceptions, or have thoughts that are truly independent?
This Independence Day, watch stories that encourage the concept of free thinking, challenge norms, and foster viewpoints unimpeded by prejudice. From the empowering teleplay ‘OK Tata Bye Bye’ to the emotionally charged feminist tale ‘Tumhari Sulu,’ these productions ignite introspection and reflection on India’s multifaceted narratives.

1) OK Tata Bye Bye

This Zee Theatre teleplay begins when two filmmakers Mitch and Pooja arrive at a little village to document a sex worker’s life. They soon realize that there is more to her than her profession. Pooja is judgmental about this line of work but is forced to confront her own hypocrisy when she is asked how she is different from the women she looks down upon. Is she happier than a sex worker who lives and works on her own terms? Mitch and Pooja then have to deal with life-altering revelations that compel them to question their own prejudices. The teleplay stars Geetika Tyagi, Jim Sarbh, Prerna Chawla, and Sarika Singh. Filmed by Ishan Trivedi and directed by Purva Naresh, the teleplay will air on 13th August Sunday on Airtel Theatre, Dish Tv Rangmanch Active & D2H Rangmanch Active

2) Tumhari Sulu

Sulochana Dubey (Sullu) is a Virar housewife but a dreamer at heart. Someone who wants more than just what her life as a wife and a mother offers her. Often mocked by her twin sisters and underestimated by her parents, she dares to apply for the job of a radio jockey and gets it. Her late-night show ‘Tumhari Sullu’ grows in popularity and her empathy, wit, and warmth soon win over legions of fans. This creates much heartburn within her own family and complicates her domestic life. The film very subtly shows how domestic pressures and lack of family encouragement can prevent women from chasing their dreams. And how with just a little bit of courage, they too can be more and do more with their lives than just cook, clean and raise their children. The film stars Vidya Balan, Neha Dhupia, Manav Kaul, and Abhishek Sharma and is directed by Suresh Triveni.

3) Rang De Basanti

Should students just focus on their studies and remain unaffected by events unfolding in the country? Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Rang De Basanti’ reminded the nation in 2006 that though independence has been won, freedom must still be protected by Indian citizens, including students whose future depends on how free the country is from corruption and violence. The film was instrumental in also sparking a wave of civic activism and captured the nation’s imagination via young protagonists who challenge the system responsible for the death of a patriotic pilot. From play acting as freedom fighters, they transform into instruments of radical change. The film stars
Aamir Khan, Siddharth, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni, Kunal Kapoor, Alice Patten, Soha Ali Khan, Waheeda Rehman, and Cyrus Sahukar.

4) The Vagina Monologues – India Edition

This provocative and intersectional play originally penned by Eve Ensler in 1996 has now traveled all over the world and has also been performed in India. It attempts to address women’s sexual agency, consent, issues like abuse, genital mutilation, reproduction rights and health, menstruation, and a lot more from the perspective of women of diverse races, fluid identities, and ages. Celebrated as one of the most important examples of radical theater, it brings collective attention back to unheard stories and issues that are considered taboo. In India, a play like this is even more relevant because it encourages women to engage with their most authentic selves. The cast includes Sonali Sachdev, Avantika Akerkar, Mahabanoo Mody-Kothwal, Dolly Thakore and Jayati Bhatia. Directed by Kaizaad Kotwal, it is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

5) Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha

Love as they say is a many-splendored thing and even when it is complicated, denied, buried, and lost, it makes its presence known. This stage play directed by Rakesh Bedi addresses this very fact as it brings together two high school sweethearts Preetam Kumar Chopra and Hema Roy in the autumn of their lives to relive why they could not be together and had to marry people they did not love and were incompatible with. The play shows how societal pressures and personal weaknesses rob us of the happiness we are entitled to. The play stars Anupam Kher, and Neena Gupta and has been staged around the country. Don’t miss it when it comes to your city.

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