Chhe Din, Ladki Not In: Will the Year of #MeToo Usher in a New Kind of Bollywood Hero?


Chhe Din, Ladki Not In: Will the Year of #MeToo Usher in a New Kind of Bollywood Hero?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

It’s going to be a tough evening for Amit Shah. Imagine having to go for a date with someone who you know has no interest in dating you. This person has made their intent clear not only in private but also to the public at large. And yet, you must go. Basically, like an enforced meeting for an arranged marriage that your parents are threatening you must want.

The Sena, which has been pretty clear about not wanting to be tied down by any political relationships in the near future, has announced that they will contest the 2019 elections as a single party. The politically promiscuous BJP, however, clearly has trouble taking no for an answer, and is sending the strapping Amit Shah over to Uddhav Thackeray’s house – presumably with a boombox playing Marathi street songs on loop – to win the Sena back.

Unfortunately, while Amit Shah’s track record of wooing voters is on point, it is unclear whether he is capable of doing this on a date – (don’t believe us, type Amit Shah + Woman into Google). A man not really known for his soft skills or gentle persuasive ways, Mr Shah will have a tough time taking anyone on a date. What we’re really expecting from this political date is a whole lot of awkward silence and low-key xenophobia culminating in a big, old nothing.

But here are three things Amit Shah can do to woo Uddhav Thackeray.

First Date Surprise

Who doesn’t love a grand gesture on the first date? Nothing impresses a potential partner more than a wedding proposal or two hours of crying in a public setting. But this doesn’t seem like Mr Shah’s style. His style is more setting-up a meeting in a closed room somewhere in the Mantralaya, and then surprising Mr Thackeray by taking him to an undisclosed location. This will show off his spontaneity, and that he’s willing to put the effort into finding out more about a person.

Feats of Strength

Nothing says 1940s romance like the sight of a man lifting something he really shouldn’t be lifting, standing by a woman who is slightly awed by this feat of strength. Giving this same principle a modern-twist, we’d suggest Mr Shah set his date for Valentine’s Day, and spend the hours going around in a truck and harassing actual couples. But only north Indian ones. I have a feeling the chief of the Shiv Sena will enjoy this. A lot.

Dark Sense of Humour

In most Cosmopolitan polls, you’ll find that a sense of humour is the best quality a person looking for a relationship can have. Before your date, it would be best to brush up on a few jokes that’ll keep the conversation lively through the night. Something gives me the feeling that in this case, both our participants might have a dark sense of humour. I’d lead with, “What do potholes and condoms have in common? They’re both a form of population control.” Or, “How many opinions does it take before your religious sentiments are hurt? Trick question, my sentiments are always hurt.”

Follow these tips, Mr Shah, and you’re sure to be a hit not just with the Shiv Senas of the world, but also the MNSs, RJDs, and dare we say it – Congresses. But before you go around Tindering political partners, remember no one likes the overly opportunistic guys.