by Uma Kaushik
In the 21st century, Director Balki, in the insufferable ‘Ki & Ka’, (how can you take a movie with a title like that seriously??!!) redefines the Indian Wife:
“She who sits at home, while her husband goes out to work, she who sweeps, mops and dusts, she who cooks and cleans, she who sticks out her hands and asks for money from the earning spouse, she who has no ambition or drive …
She is the Adarsh Biwi!”
So we meet Ki, (Kareena Kapoor, gorgeous, but trying too hard!) ambitious career woman. (please note that if you are a working girl, Director Balki believes that you can’t cook or keep a clean home – remember, only devoted housewives can do such stuff?!)
Enter Arjun Kapoor, IIM-B topper (because it’s very important for us to know that he is doing nothing with his life, despite being, ahem, a ‘topper’, out of choice!), flabby and cutely unfit (because Bollywood only expect its heroines to be unreasonably fit & fab – what double standards!) whose only ambition in life, is to be a housewife, like his mother!
What is left unanswered is, what the hell the dude, the son of one of the richest men in Delhi, has been doing till then??!!
After some ridiculous scenes, including Kabir’s Dad, asking his son to check inside his underwear, to confirm that he is a man, Ki & Ka (cringe, cringe!) get married.
The optimist in me hoped that now we could settle down to watch a decent, sensitive portrayal, of a stay-at-home-husband, who looks after the home front, while his capable spouse, earns their living.
But instead, this is when I had to remind myself that this was a phamily platform & that I could not cuss & use foul language …
Ki puts the mangalsutra around Ka’s neck, because the non-earning, dependent partner, becomes the wife, who wears the mangalsutra (our stud wears it bracelet ishtyle, on his wrist!) & he/she, who sports the mangalsutra, dons the kitchen apron …
So Ka begins his morning, sweeping the house, cleaning the living room, making coffee, churning out gourmet breakfasts & dinners, goes grocery shopping, attends kitty parties (because he is a ‘wife’ and apparently wives don’t have friends of their own!) & sticks out his hands to demand money for running the house!
Half-way through the movie, the realization dawns on me, that I am not a good wife. The only broom I would ever hold, is when my wish to become a witch is finally granted & I fly away on it!
I think gratefully of my ‘Ka’, who before starting a long day at work, gently closes the door, to allow me to sleep a little longer, puts on the kettle, gets coffee ready & sometimes, even loads the dishwasher, before quietly leaving for work. I hope Balki is not reading this, because he will have a heart attack!!!
The movie, through the kitty party circuit and ladies in apartments, make housewives look fat, frumpy & irrelevant!
Talk of lost opportunities. What could have been an uplifting story of changing roles and blurring those rigid lines, of the husband being the bread winner & the wife being the home maker, gets reduced to a parody, where the man, to assume responsibility of the house, while his wife goes to work, has to wear a mangalsutra, touch his mother-in-law’s feet, sweep & dust and hang out with only females!
My recommendation? Save yourself some money & time & avoid ‘K & K’. Instead, treat yourself to an outing with your spouse/partner/friend, because my dear friends, most of us are leading lives, with far more interesting stories & way more Kickass & Kooler ( ‘Ki & Ko’!!!) than ‘Ki & Ka’!
Uma Kaushik writes of movies and culture, smells of life and laughter.