Before writing this article, I would read about what eggshells I must tread on for the sake of the platform and of course, for my safety. One of the year’s biggest surprises, OMG 2, was censored before it was even released. Because of course, too much power concentrated in the hands of a few would be too much to savour for any otherwise holy entity of the country. Yet somehow, director and writer Amit Rai tenderly manages to touch upon a topic as sensitive like masturbation in adolescents, and thus brings the whole dialogue around in a refreshing way.
Adolescence is innocent and beautiful, but not without its beating heart of curiosity. The other side of the story is the uncontrolled hormones. The human body prepares for adulthood and its many responsibilities of reproduction in order to prepare the human being to understand the physical ability of procreation. When I was approached to write about this idea, many little tangents sprung from the roots of my mind – Should I explain who Shiva is to us as a God? Are his abilities relevant to this discourse of dialogue around the film and for this article? Did Akshay Kumar turn things around in the most unexpected manner? Also, why shouldn’t he? Unlike my previous articles, prepare for a different ride through the following concepts.
Today, as a country, we still misunderstand the holy and the unholy. The lines have blurred for most religions interpreting beliefs in strange manners that we now address as fundamental. In the film, Akshay Kumar’s character as the reigning messenger of Lord Shiva looks over a young boy’s life by guiding his father in understanding that only a layman’s clear dialogue about sex and body positivity can enlighten society. His heavy palm on the boy’s head is the fortitude that most growing men need in their day and age of adolescence. Here, Lord Shiva provides a surrogate father figure to both the son and his father, turning things around in the most surprising manner and warming anyone’s heart.
Many dialogues around body and sex positivity arise with the sensibilities of Gen Z’s generation, thus, asking questions about their bodies. Doctors have started opening dialogues online about awareness of sexual products and consultations that surround fertility checks, contraceptives, etc. Why is this happening? Because awareness is key. As children, we all learnt what good and bad touch is supposed to be, yet somehow women suffer the worst of brutalities that leave leaders’ heads hanging in complete shame.
With holy communities asking questions and assuming the worst very quickly, the debate and resolution around women’s safety are still in question. But when a film like this comes around with the apex icon of masculinity in a man like Akshay Kumar, the dialogue becomes a safe and pleasant ride to learn and absorb. With a near-perfect representation of Shiva, Akshay Kumar adorns the role to pave a path for men to find their manliness and guide the new age masculine, setting a new precedent. With this film, we simply ask. Is it the boy or is it the society? In real life, women always ask. Is it us or is it society and patriarchy? It’s sex positivity. It’s body positivity. Its education. Maybe this Navratri, we will be blessed with a Mother Durga who will show us how in a different manner.