Screen legend Zeenat Aman recently appeared on a chat show and shared some pearls of wisdom about women being capable of financially supporting themselves.
Ms Aman added that self-dependence allows women to make the right choices for themselves.
The Bollywood screen icon was speaking with host, influencer and actor Kusha Kapila.
Aman said, ‘Every woman should be confident and capable of financially supporting themselves. This allows them to make choices for themselves and control their own future. When women have financial resources and opportunities at their disposal, they can overcome obstacles, pursue their passions, and make decisions that align with their goals and dreams. Being financially independent isn’t just about having money; it signifies the freedom to live life on one’s own terms, without relying on others. It’s a way to achieve fairness, make their own choices, and evolve into the best version of oneself.’
‘If a man is ever intimidated by that, show him the door. One thing I would advise young women to try to do is get financially independent and invest in themselves. You know, dating and relationships then becomes a natural choice, not you’re getting into a relationship because you think you have to, and then you do it on your own terms and conditions,’ she asserted.
Aman’s personality is a hit on social media
Aman first gained fame as a model in the ’70s before transitioning to films. With hit movies like Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Yaadon Ki Baarat, Don, and Laawaris under her belt, she was one of the most popular actresses in the 70s through the 00s.
Ms Aman has remained a popular figure in Indian cinema. Recently, she has had a social media renaissance and has hooked the new generation with her insightful views on life in the limelight
Aman is vocal about women’s issues and has become a delight on social media for a whole new crop of cinemagoers and netizens alike.
Aman on men who believe that women should follow certain rules
In the same show, she also elaborated on her opinion on men being conditioned to believe that women should have a certain set of rules. She believes that it all depends on parenting. Citing her own example, she divulged that she has been a ‘breadwinner’ in her family since the very young age of 17.
She said, ‘I’ve put my shoulder into the wheel and done what was necessary, and my sons have grown up seeing that, and every relationship that they’ve had has been with women who are strong and independent and who’re capable of having an opinion and making choices, and they treat that as the norm because they’ve been raised by a mother who is just that. So, I think it’s very important for parents to raise their sons in a way that women are respected and women are given autonomy. It’s how you raise your children that make all the difference.’
In anothe post, Aman wrote, ‘This is a caption for men. Please don’t be afraid to hold your mother/sister/wife/aunt/girlfriend/friend’s handbag when they ask. Or for that matter, even when they don’t ask, but you can see that they’re struggling or have been carrying it for too long. I can guarantee that you will need something from it someday, if not every day. Nothing screams insecure like a man who’s afraid of or disgusted by things associated with women! Tampons, handbags, makeup… whatever it is. Get over it.’
Aman speaks about the drama on the sets of ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’
Zeenat Aman went down memory lane as she shared a still from the song ‘Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal‘ with the late Shashi Kapoor. She also recalled special memories from the film, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram‘ that was released in 1978.
Aman shared a still from the song ‘Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal‘ from ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram,’ sharing some beautiful core memories from the song’s shoot.
In the photo, the actress looks stunning in a red skirt and off-shoulder top. She also wears traditional gold jewellery. Meanwhile, Shashi Kapoor is seen in an all-black outfit.
Sharing the back story of the picture, Zeenat Aman captioned the post, ‘Shashiji and I in a still from the song ‘Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal.‘ Giant mushrooms, pink clouds, bellowing smoke, enormous flowers, sexy outfits, otherworldly prop..this fantasy song sequence from ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram‘ went the whole nine yards. I’d go as far as to call it something of a psychedelic trip)!’
She further wrote, ‘Few people know of the drama that went on behind the scenes though. My director Rajji was an aesthete to the core and was known for working with some of the most beautiful performers from the south, the likes of Vyjayanthimala and Padmini. He also had a taste for classical dance, and had conceptualized this entire song with that in mind.’
Aman recalled that the song’s narration left her apprehensive and she ‘burst into a flood of tears.’
‘But this was my first film under the RK banner, and I was not a classical dancer by any stretch of the imagination. When Rajji narrated the sequence to me, I burst into a flood of tears! I was convinced I would make a fool of my self and sink the entire film. Through hiccups and sobs I explained my predicament to him. Rajji laughed. “What will I do with you convent girls and your two left feet?” he exclaimed.
He did do something of course. He instructed legendary choreographer Sohanlal to teach me mudras but not any complicated choreography. Simultaneously, genius costume designer Bhanu Athaiya created a range of sensational outfits, and art director A. Rangaraj mounted a stunning set. And thus, the SSS team created a wonderland.’
Zeenat Aman speaks about dating and relationships
Speaking about dating and relationships on the chat show, she noted ‘Dating is an incredibly personal journey, and you must navigate it on your terms. As women, we are subjected to so many pressures in life, but here’s what I’ve learnt: go with the flow, pursue your passions, experiment, cherish your relationships, and build a life that fills your soul.’
‘Then, when love comes along, it’ll simply enhance the beauty of your existence, not define it. Finding true chemistry is rare, and when you do, seize it with both hands,’ she added.
During the conversation, Zeenat spoke about how dating has transformed into a healthier landscape for the younger generation today with conversations around mental health, therapy and depression no longer being taboo.
43 per cent women in India believe dating is healthier (more honest, more open, with a focus on prioritising mental health) for 18-25-year-olds today than it was before.
Zeenat Aman’s Start in the Movies
Zeenat Aman made her debut in the movies with Dev Anand’s ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna‘ and by her own admission, the film made her a ‘star.’
In another of her now widely-read Instagram posts, Aman shared the story of how she got her first big break and how she was one of the lucky ones to find her ‘starmaker’ in Anand.
‘When entering an industry like Bollywood, every actor hopes for a starmaker. Someone who sees the glimmer of potential and ambition that has perhaps only been visible to the self thus far. Very few are so lucky as to find this person, but I was. My starmaker was Dev saab‘ she wrote.
It was 1970, and I think O P Ralhan was feeling quite sorry for me. He had given me a bit part in Hulchul, it had made little impact, and I was already packing my bags to relocate to Malta with my mother and stepfather.
Dev Saab and his Navketan team were casting for ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna‘ at the time. In his largesse, O P Ralhan suggested that they meet me. I vividly remember what I wore that day. A fitted yellow top, a fawn-coloured skirt and glasses with yellow frames. My mother was at the meeting (remember, I was still in my teens). So she held forth, while I spoke when spoken to, and packed tobacco into my pipe. The meeting concluded, and a few days later the landline jangled. I was asked to come for a screen test, and that is how I came to be cast as Jasbir/Janice.
Oh, but the saga doesn’t end here. My family was ready to depart the country, but Dev saab persuaded my mother and I to delay our travels. So instead we flew to Kathmandu, stayed at the famous Soaltee Hotel, and waited long days to be called to set to shoot! I was frothing at the bit by the time it was finally time for my scenes. The first of which was a bus sequence. It makes me laugh to watch it now because I know I’m practically spitting out my lines in my impatience to prove myself!
In those days it took much longer to make a film from start to finish. Two or three years even. My mother and I once again prepared to leave Mumbai, and yet again Dev Saab persuaded us to stay. He promised to edit quickly and get the movie into the cinemas. Sure enough, the film released, it became a huge hit, and I became a star.
My immigration plans were now indefinitely postponed, and Dev Saab started writing another script with me in mind…’
On the film front, Zeenat was last seen in 2019 film ‘Panipat’ in a cameo role. She next has ‘Margaon: The Closed File’ in the pipeline.
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