Twinkle Khanna On being a Producer of ‘Padman’ and Talking About Periods To Her Son

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Actress turned Interior Designer and Writer, Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs. Funnybones known for her sass and uninhibited humor and comments on current issues along with her husband, Bollywood actor – Akshay Kumar is producing the movie “Padman” – a biopic based on entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganathan’s life.

Arunachalam Muragunathan’s work of inventing low cost sanitary napkin making machine and fighting period taboos is covered in various media platforms, blogs, motivational talks but this is the first time that there is a feature film being made on him, his life and work. PadMan directed by R.Balki stars Akshay as Murugunathan and will also feature Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor.

It is a huge breakthrough for the masala churning Bollywood that a mainstream movie is talking about Menstruation and attempting to bring about awareness to eradicate taboos in our society and homes around periods.

In of her recent interviews during Padman promotion, Twinkle said, “Something that has been hidden in the darkness, furtively wrapped in newspaper, will finally be in the spotlight so that a young girl can go up to her parents and say that she needs sanitary pads over the ubiquitous fairness creams.”

“The only reason that I decided to produce this movie after writing a fictionalized story about Arunachalam Muruganantham was because I felt it was an important story that needed to penetrate households across India. Cinema is the only medium that has such a wide reach,” IANS quoted Twinkle as saying.

Akshay Kumar, the lead actor of Padman opines, “This problem (period taboos and myths) is there in every country on different levels but in ours, it’s huge. It’s an important film. Ye ek aisa mudda hai jo har koi haath nai lagta (This is a subject that no one wants to address).”

Further, with the resolve that he might be able to create some difference with his movie, Akshay said, “If you change nothing, nothing will change. It’s not about being bold, but about breaking taboos that hold us back. I have lived with women all my life, yet I have learnt more about the topic while making this film than ever before. I do not mind who I offend or whose stomach I turn by being bold, this is not the Stone Age; menstruating is natural.” He also adds that currently, it’s 82% of the female population of our country who don’t have the access to sanitary pads. He hopes that even if 5% women out of 82% get the awareness, he has won the battle.

Twinkle and Akshay also mention that as responsible parents, they have made sure that their son, Aarav Bhatia knows everything that he should know about periods and that they are comfortable in having open dialogues within the family about the subject of periods. Here’s a cue that parents, in general, can take in making conversations around this natural phenomenon easy, without embarrassment so that their children (daughters AND sons) are more informed, aware and sensitive regarding menstruation.

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