Sharing anecdotes : Raveena Tandon had a lot of stories and examples from her own life to share as she chatted with members of the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) during a programme about women's entrepreneurship and empowerment. Along with Raveena, Kalyani Saha Chawla and princess Diya Kumari were also special guests for the session.
Flashback : To make the session more interesting, Raveena and Kalyani shared a little about their childhood. "I am in this industry by default. My dad was always in movies, he made movies like 'Khel Khel Mein', 'Khud-Daar' and 'Jhootha Kahin Ka'. When I would go with him to film parties and get-togethers, people would ask him when was he launching me.
He would look at me and say, 'Yeh isko, kaise?' Right after school I started working. My dad always made us work, so I washed a car for `10! I was treated equal to my brother, I knew how to change the tyre of car and like my brother, I also learnt to ride a bike. I was quite a tomboy," shared Raveena. Kalyani shared that as a child, she was also taught to work hard.
"My paternal grandfather (dadu) was a businessperson and he always told me that you have to earn your money. When we were young, there was nothing called pocket money, so I would wash a car or do something and that bought me a soft drink and puchhka and I had to sing Mumtaz's Jai Jai Shiv Shankar to get free moori.
My grandparents were a big influence in my life. My dadi was a fashion icon and she taught me about fashion. She was Reba Rani Saha and she took her middle name Rani very seriously," said Kalyani.
'It's good that we have more women-oriented films now': When Raveena was asked about women in the film industry and how the scenario has changed over the years, she said that though we have always had films with strong women characters, there are more women-oriented films being made now.
She said, "There was a time when male actors would dress as actresses in films, but slowly, women have evolved in this industry. Every decade has a woman-oriented film that's left a mark.
There was Mughal-E-Azam, Mother India. Then in my time, I did films like Satta, Daman and Shool, which presented strong women characters. In recent times, there have been films like Mary Kom and Kahaani.
Today, many actresses choose movies which do make a difference. But in our times, we have seen a lot of violence against women, we read every day about it. I met Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother, at an event, and she was in tears and said, 'The system has failed me'. All that has to be brought forward through our films."
'I was paid more than male actors in Satta' : Talking about the pay gap between male and female actors in Bollywood, Raveena said, "It's been a major topic of discussion in the Hindi film industry.
A female film director will charge the same amount of remuneration as their male counterpart would, but when it comes to actors and actresses, it depends on how much work or scenes they have, it comes down to days they are giving.
Unfortunately, we mostly had hero-oriented movies earlier, but when I did a film like Satta, the male actors did not make as much money as I did. I was the highest paid actor in that film.
Now everything has equalized as stories have changed. Earlier, we would wait to gain experience and turn producers, but the young crop now, whether it is Anushka Sharma or Priyanka Chopra, they have ventured into production right after their fifth film and they are taking equity in films that they do, so the scenario is definitely changing."
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