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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: Portrayal of women in Indian cinema must evolve further

Writing is a source of happiness for Madhu Mishra, this week’s winner and student of School of Education, Apeejay Stya University

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Madhu Mishra, first year student with School of Education, Apeejay Stya University says writing is pure pleasure for her. “In fact, it’s the best way to express my emotions and feelings, as well as my point of view on certain topics in a most polite way (laughs).” In an interview, Madhu reveals why she chose to write on portrayal of women in Indian cinema.Edited excerpts:

What inspired you to write this piece? 

Like I mentioned in my piece, Indian society is highly driven by a patriarchal mindset till today. In fact, in most societies men are still considered as a breadwinner and decision-maker in the family. It’s disheartening to see how women are categorised to make sacrifices only to take care of the family. They still aren’t treated equal to men. Cinema has been projecting this societal mindset. I had read a global study on women characters in films which mentioned that Indian films ranked high on sexualising women. And such portrayals in cinema and soap operas may have a detrimental effect on society. Hence, it is time for a change.

What kind of topics do you like reading and writing about? 

I pick to read short stories on social issues such as women’s empowerment, humanity, poverty and homelessness.

Any writing inspiration?

Since I was young my mother always inspired me to write. She used to recite so many meaningful and emotional poems or sing folk songs to me that encouraged me to write and learn more about different cultures and topics. To add further, I love to read the writings of Munshi Premchand, Phanishwar Nath Renu and Arundhati Roy.

At what age did you write for the first time? 

I wrote my first essay on ‘My Family’ when I was in class 3. Subsequently, I also participated in an essay competition in which I wrote on the theme ‘Honesty is the best policy’. When I think back, I feel that these two moments allowed me to experience the joy of writing. The topics are still closest to my heart. I give credit to my mother for motivating me to write.

Any articles you are working on currently?

I am actually trying to write something on ‘Vision versus Reality of a Woman’s life’.

How do you upgrade your writing skills? 

I read a lot of books and novels and short stories. Listening to poetry and reading are the best ways to improve one’s writing skills. 

How much time do you spend on writing articles? 

Writing is like a source of happiness to me. So, whenever I get time I write down my ideas for articles or stories I wish to write about. Sometimes, I also write  poems or shayari. 

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy? 

I am also a singer and spend some time of my day practising my music. I love to dance. 

After completing your course from Apeejay, what are your career plans?

I plan to take up teaching as my career in the future. And I feel writing will always play a core role in my life both in my professional as well as personal journey. I will also try to pick up some short-term courses in creative writing. This will help me in my teaching career as well.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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