Netflix show that spotlights menopause

Bombay Begmus Pooja Bhat

Bollywood star-turned filmmaker Pooja Bhatt plays the lead role in Bombay Begams

Popular culture is generally associated with young people. However, the new Netflix series, with the lead of a 49-year-old woman fighting middle-aged devastation, is welcomed by highlighting the woman’s lifelong battle with her body.

Lani suddenly left the board in a scene with Bombay Begams, played by Bollywood star Pooja Bhatt.

While her colleague is trying to figure out why, the camera finds her in the bathroom, splashes cold water on her face, and tries to dry her armpits under a hand dryer.

“Most people said she thought she had a heart attack,” says Namita Bandea, a gender editor on the news website. Article 14, “But I knew exactly what was going on.”

What was happening to Lani was menopause.

Lani (literally the Hindi Queen) is smart, intelligent, clear and runs a big bank as CEO.

But when it comes to her own needs, she gets hooked and even goes into refusal mode when a young female colleague sympathizes.

There may be several reasons why Lani wants to hide it, Bandare says.

“There is a typical menopausal female boss stereotype-irrational, frustrating, awkward-and she is a professional and doesn’t want to be known to her colleagues.

“Another reason may be that she is beginning to agree with her body and women are expected to deal with it on their own.”

Pallavi Joshi in the painful pride scene

Bollywood actress Pallavi Joshi plays a woman experiencing menopause in Painful Pride

According to the Indian Menopause Association (IMS), 150 million women live in the country with menopause. The average age of menopause is 46.2 years, 51 years worldwide. The most common symptoms are burning, night sweats, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and loss of interest in sex.

“Women spend almost one-third of their lives on menopause, but there is little awareness of it,” says Dr. Anitasha, a gynecologist and IMS secretary.

Dr. Shah, who has been practicing in the western city of Surat for over 30 years, says that less than half of the women over the age of 40 who come to her with symptoms of menopause have what is happening to their body, and He says he knows the reason.

This is because menopause is more taboo than menstruation in India.

“In the last few years, we’ve had campaigns before and after menstruation and even watched mainstream Bollywood movies like Pad Man around the subject, but menopause remains completely invisible,” says Bandare. ..

It’s daunting how many secrets and silences are inevitable for half of the world’s population.

In the West, several attempts have been made to raise awareness of the transition.

Last September, the UK first introduced menopause to the school curriculum. There are also dozens of clinics that women can visit to find peace of mind.

Also last year, a former American first lady Michelle Obama made a headline When she talked about the fire she had while in Marine One, the president’s helicopter, before an event with then-President Barack Obama.

“It was like someone put my furnace in the core and raised it, and everything started to melt, and I said,” This is crazy, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do this,'” she said in a podcast.

“It’s important information that a woman’s body is passing through her. It’s important to take up space in society because half of us are experiencing this, but we think it’s I live as if it weren’t happening, “she added.

Michelle Obama was filmed at the 2019 Beating the Odds Summit

Michelle Obama talks about her experience with menopause last year

In India, we certainly pretend that it isn’t happening, says Bandare.

“We have a few women in the political leadership of the era, who play a leading role in the enterprise, but no one talks about this transition.

“Women are taught to be silent, so even clear women with leadership do not talk about issues related to our body.”

Given this lack of conversation, it’s not surprising that 71% of Indian adolescent girls said they were unaware of their period until they started.

Campaigners say parents rarely prepare to know that something will happen to their daughter. And this lack of preparation leads to very inevitable fear and anxiety when a girl enters puberty.

And the same is true when a woman suffers from menopause-leading to similar fears and anxieties. When the hips get thicker and the skin begins to sag and mood swings, many women worry that they are considered over-prime and even irrelevant.

“In fact, our bodies change, but no one, even our mother, prepares us for it. If menopause isn’t so noticeable, we’ll handle it well. Let’s do it, “says Bandare.

Dr. Shah says the Indian Menopause Association is working to change that.

“When a middle-aged woman visits my clinic with her daughter or daughter-in-law, I take this opportunity to educate them about menopause,” she says.

“I talk to them about both physical and psychological symptoms. I say they have treatment and available help. Most women are unaware of the screening program.”

Lack of information and stigma are the number one reason millions of women continue to suffer in silence.

The short film “Painful Pride” on this subject, produced in 2019, was screened at a film festival and has won several awards, but has not yet been released commercially.

Director Samitra Singh, then 28, says he knew nothing about menopause until he was asked to direct the film.

Shin told the BBC that Bollywood actress Pallavi Joshi, who plays a woman suffering from burning, sleep disorders, itching and nervousness, is starring. She is also afraid that her husband will flirt or leave her because of her diminished interest in sex.

“The story is about the acceptance of change by her and her family, and the perception that menopause is not a disease, but just a stage,” he says.

Bandar says we need a lot of conversations about menopause. And shows like Bombay Begams and Painful Pride may help.

“We’re just starting to talk about menstruation, but it’s still far from talking about menopause. The needs and concerns of 150 million women don’t seem to matter,” she says.

“But I hope things change. Who was talking about sanitary napkins and sanitary napkins five years ago? But today we’re talking about it, so that’s a step forward.”