‘We are the stories we tell ourselves,’ says Shekhar Kapur. We have listened to his TED talks, followed him on Twitter, read his blogs; but nothing beats seeing an Oscar nominated filmmaker in a room full of women entrepreneurs, talking about stories. After all, all of us have stories and in Shekhar Kapur’s words, “men fighting back has become a cliche, when women fight back, they fight back with spirit and that’s what it’s all about.”


FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) arranged a session with Mr. Shekhar Kapur, where the discussion started with Shekhar Kapur talking about his stories and ended with the audience sharing theirs. Hosted by Ruchika Gupta, a Governing Body member of the organization, the event saw some of the most influential women from FLO, including Neeta Boochra, President of the National President of FICCI Ladies Organisation.

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“I’m told, the power is shifting.. In India it used to be male power, it’s all women’s power now and I think I am in a sea of power right now,” said Mr. Kapur as soon as he picked up the mic. As the discussion went on about stories, he was asked about his film stories’ influence on him. In response to that question he talked about how making the national award winning film, ‘Bandit Queen’ changed him.


He said, “I am not burdened by being a Punjabi macho man anymore. I was before. I grew up in Delhi and I was told I had to be a man all the time. And then I went and explored the idea of rape, gangrape and what causes rape… and I came to the conclusion that rape actually, is an act of humiliation…and then I asked myself why men want to humiliate women? The answer was: to feel better about themselves. It’s the lack of self-worth in a male that makes a man go out and rape a woman. And then I asked myself , ‘how much self-worth do I have?’”


Mr. Shekhar Kapur has been a strong advocate of women, and his work proves this. All his films, starting from ‘Masoom’ to ‘Elizabeth,’ have had strong female characters who refuse to be the victim. Mr. Kapur, in one of his ideations, said that he often wonders why men never take on their wives’ names. When asked about this he revealed that when he heard that George Clooney married Amal Amalludin, he couldn’t stop thinking about how funny ‘Clooney’ sounds. He laughingly added that if Clooney changed his name to George Amaluddin, it would add to his sex appeal.


[Picture Courtesy: The Indian Express]