My body, my mind, my choice: Deepika Padukone

Published: March 29, 2015
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Bollywood starlet Deepika Padukone, who recently won the respect of many after openly speaking out about her battle with depression, stars in a powerful new short film, My Choice, part of Vogue India’s social awareness initiative #VogueEmpower.

The short film has been directed by Homi Adajania and produced by JSW and Sangita Jinda and is based on a piece written by Kersi Khambatta.  

The video stars 99 women including the likes of director Adhuna Akhtar, Bollywood critic Anupama Chopra, model/lawyer Scherezade Shroff, actor Nimrat Kaur and other women who have made a difference in their respective careers.

Adhuna Akhtar. YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB

Related: Deepika wells up during first TV interview about her battle with depression

When asked why the director used 99 women in particular, she replied: “I liked the idea of telling people I originally had 100 women planned but God said the last one was too busy right now.”

Nimrat Kaur. YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB

During the course of the short film, these women tell viewers all the things as they see as their right.

Here is a transcript of the film:

My body, my mind, my choice

To wear the clothes I like; even if my spirit roams naked

My choice; to be a size 0 or a size 15

They don’t have a size for my spirit, and never will

To use cotton and silk to trap my soul is to believe that you can halt the expansion of the universe

Or capture sunlight in the palm of your hand

Your mind is caged, let it free

My body is not

Let it be

My choice

To marry, or not to marry

To have sex before marriage, to have sex out of marriage, or to not have sex

My choice

To love temporarily, or to lust forever

My choice

To love a man, or a woman, or both

Remember; you are my choice, I’m not your privilege

The bindi on my forehead, the ring on my finger, adding your surname to mine, they’re all ornaments and can be replaced

My love for you cannot, so treasure that

My choice; to come home when I want

Don’t be upset if I come home at 4am

Don’t be fooled if I come home at 6pm,

My choice; to have your baby or not

To pick you from 7 billion choices or not

So don’t get cocky

My pleasure might be your pain

My songs, your noise

My order, your anarchy

Your sins, my virtues

My choices are like my fingerprints

They make me unique

I am the tree of the forest

I am the snowflake not the snowfall

You are the snowflake

Wake up

Get out of the shit storm

I choose to empathise

Or to be indifferent

I choose to be different

I am the universe

Infinite in every direction

This is my choice

“In my family, my father is the only male in the house, but all of us have a voice,” says Padukone.

Deepika Padukone. YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB

“I’ve always been allowed to be who I want to be. When you’re not caged, when you don’t succumb to expectation, that’s when you’re empowered.”

Related: Deepika’s 10 best public appearances

The powerful initiative, launched with the magazine’s seventh anniversary issue, aims to encourage people to think and act in ways on issues pertaining to women’s empowerment.

Previously, the same initiative came up with another video on domestic violence. The video, titled “Larke nai rotay,” (boys don’t cry), shows boys being told they are not ‘supposed’ to cry ‘like girls’ since a very young age.

It ends with a shot of a man about to tear up while hitting his wife/girlfriend, and stars Madhuri Dixit who says, “Instead of telling boys not to cry, we should tell them not make girls cry.”

#VogueEmpower’s message is rather simple: It starts with you.

The short film originally appeared in Vogue India, and can be viewed there. 

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Reader Comments (9)

  • harkol
    Mar 29, 2015 - 5:15PM

    Amused that this article calls Deepika a Bollywood Starlet!!

    She is the No.1 Heroine in Bollywood, having given highest number of 100cr+ hits in past 3 years. She is also the highest paid female model in India to boot!!

    “Starlet”? huh!!Recommend

  • rangacharya Kulkarni
    Mar 29, 2015 - 10:46PM

    Simply superb! I am sure that this will change the way we look at women. I get something to be cherished for all the time.Recommend

  • Buroung
    Mar 30, 2015 - 2:24AM

    Probably Deepika has got inspiration from the books of Osho Recommend

  • Mar 30, 2015 - 3:16AM

    Doopyka Paddykonee is a very good actress. Wish her the best.Recommend

  • Mar 30, 2015 - 7:24AM

    When will all these folk understand that you are indeed free to make your own choices, but you are chained to the consequences of those choices you make.Recommend

  • Kaleem
    Mar 30, 2015 - 12:11PM

    Sorry many of things do not fall in our culture. I cannot endorse this poem just because its breaking traditions. West has given this choice to women and we have not learnt from their misery. Specifically, these lines are very hard to justify:

    To have sex before marriage, to have sex out of marriage, or to not have sex – My choice

    My choice; to come home when I want – Don’t be upset if I come home at 4am

    Overall the theme is good though. Recommend

  • DeepuFan
    Mar 30, 2015 - 12:21PM

    testRecommend

  • Sundarika
    Mar 30, 2015 - 6:30PM

    this is not feminism but feminist fundamentalism or feminist chauvinism………going in the same path as male chauvinism………..i would suggest deepika read the works of Mary Wollstonecraft ,the founder of modern feminist movement to get the idea what feminism means……..both male and female are needed to make the universe work,,the both are needed equally for the process of creation and evolution….universe is no ones monopoly, definately not vogues….and what about that line about cheating…..well,to cheat,to steal,to rob,to misinterpret,well no doubt lady wollstonecraft have to hide her face in shame seeing where this movement is heading to……seriously we blame jihadist, we reject ku klax klan, we abhor extremism, but do we???Recommend

  • arjun
    Jul 23, 2015 - 1:50PM

    my life my choice my wish is also same for men…
    all have rights to live their own life in their own way…Recommend

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