Where’s the Mardaani in You?

Bollywood saw the release of a movie recently named Mardaani. It was about a female police inspector trying to bust a racket of human trafficking and drug smuggling. It was an interesting concept, filled with a lot of hard hitting facts and perseverance of the human spirit.

But this is not a movie review. This is about a discussion and a further understanding of something else about the film; the name to be more precise.

The name of the film is “Mardaani” which means manly or like a man. In this context many people say it could also mean a brave lady.

Well someone I knew was pondering why they would name a film about women empowerment something so masculine, and I felt it was not exactly a connotation to mean masculinity of a woman; rather it hinted at energies at play.

About the film – I felt, (and this is a perception and not a claim to know what was in the creators mind when naming the movie) this title suggested at the use of masculine energies when demanded by the situation. It reflected the kind of style required to deal with a situation. And that is exactly how I saw the movie. I did not wonder or rage at the title.

The discussion got me interested to write about it, because we at Tatvã believe in honoring and respecting the energies at play within us at all times; and Mardaani depicts that women can have masculine energy as well – it’s not about men and women but rather the energies (male and female).

I recently attended a women leadership program conducted by Tatvã in Mumbai and I learned about energies at play within all of us. We all have read about Yin and Yang. We have heard this and maybe rolled our eyes, or researched further interestedly. Either way it’s a concept most are familiar with.

And this is how I believe situations should be dealt with. We all have different balances of energies at play within us. As I mentioned in my earlier article, some women being quieter by nature, can still lead with their own quiet leadership style.

The balance of male and female makes us whole. We all have feminine and masculine energies inside us and both these energies had their own have strengths and limitations. When an organization is dominated by either of them, there is a risk that the downsides of that energy will emerge. With a balance of masculine and feminine energy, the organization gets more of the strengths and less of the downsides of each.

We tend to focus on our own leadership style – one set of energies and then deal with situations accordingly; but sometimes we face certain barriers towards a working solution. At times like this we need to channel the other set, the kind that the scenario would demand. A good quality of a leader would be accepting that every situation comes with its own special needs and being flexible with oneself to cater to those demands. And here I would draw the parallel to the protagonist (played by Rani Mukherjee) in Mardaani; where she portrays the woman who channels her inner mardaani.

The masculine power is the power to create those things that can be controlled, shaped to will by the force of will as opposed to feminine power is the power to create those things that are beyond our control.

Shivani (Rani Mukherjee) refuses to be defeated by circumstance, society or conformity in her search to find Pyaari and bust the child trafficking and drug racket. It is a movie that paints a clear picture of these complementary forces of the self.

Leadership lessons could draw bold parallels from this movie and maybe we could learn to deal with situations better, understanding the nature of the circumstances and consequently channel the energies required.

If I were to put it a little more playfully, change with the times cause “The times, they are a’changing”.

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