Producers of the family entertainer Pad Man added to the ever-growing anticipation for the international release of the world’s first feature film on menstrual hygiene, as they gathered at an exclusive event in Juhu, Mumbai to share the first song ‘Aaj Se Teri’ to an assembly of journalists.
Amidst the colossal response from audiences and critics for the trailer, which garnered over 35mn+ views in just a few days, India’s most idolised star Akshay Kumar, actress Radhika Apte, co-producers Twinkle Khanna, R Balki (also writer and director), KriArj Entertainment, SPE Films India, and music stars Amit Trivedi, Kausar Munir, gathered at the event to reveal the song and the heights the film has already achieved worldwide, even prior to its release.
Crooned by the soulful Arijit Singh, penned by Kausar Munir and with music by Amit Trivedi the love song ‘Aaj Se Teri’ is a heart-warming and totally cute number that we certainly love!
‘Aaj Se Teri’ epitomises a concoction of sensitivity and innovation, thus coinciding with the core message of a man who is willing to risk it all, including his marriage, to protect, empower and change the life of his wife and millions of other women. It follows Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte in their romantic journey of passion, excitement and compassion, teasing the sweet chemistry between the lead pair. Drawing on the film’s plot, the first track brings out the pioneering side of Akshay’s character in the film, who is seen using quirky ways to make his wife happy. Playing a man, all women dream of marrying, Akshay Kumar delivers the perfect portrayal of real-life Pad Man Arunachalam Muruganantham of whom always kept his wife’s comfort at heart. Throughout the song Akshay Kumar is seen labouring for his wife, creating a special seat for her comfort on his bike, constructing an onion cutting machine from a toy to stop her from crying when she cuts them and picking flowers for her hair. It’s these outlandish inventions that gave the Pad Man his title as the crazy superhero, and leaves the audience with a constant smile throughout the song.
Talking about the song, lead star Akshay Kumar said, “I have had the fortune of having some memorable love songs in my career, from Wada Raha Sanam (Khiladi: 1992) to Hans Mat Pagli (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha). But what makes ‘Aaj Se Teri’ special is the innovation my character brings in for the love for his wife. After all, ek superhero ki love story hai (it’s a love story of superhero).”
The song is close to the story of the real PadMan Arunachalam Muruganantham who thought of innovative ideas to keep his wife happy, while inventing the low-cost sanitary napkins for women. Also speaking on the importance of the message behind the laughter and entertainment, Akshay Kumar added, “I have never seen boys and men talking about the periods. I recently overheard a group of young men outside my vanity van who were talking about this. We want to address the taboos around periods which women have to face every day. From not entering the kitchen to not touching pickle.”
When asked about how the film will penetrate the mainstream audiences in India, co-producer, best-selling author and renowned champion for woman empowerment, Twinkle Khanna said: “We have spoken to various ministries and together we are going to make sure that school girls and principles all have the opportunity to see this film, to help penetrate the message of the film where it needs to be understood.
We are hoping the film starts a conversation at the very least, so that for instance, girls can go to their parents and say they need sanitary pads in order to go to schools, and as girls go to school, this increases their opportunity to get into the work force. Thus raising awareness of issues relating to menstrual hygiene is important as this has a multiplier effect across the board in society.”
Akshay Kumar’s co-star, Radhika Apte said, “I am very thrilled to be a part of this film. The topic is very sensitive and the way we are conveying the message is very honest. The script has to connect with the readers and Akshay Kumar is the perfect actor to play this role. His innocence and the way he portrays the character is so genuine and honest that you end up getting completely hooked on it. I have always been a fan of Balki’s films and I very grateful to be a part of this one. I come from a family of doctors and I was informed about periods beforehand.”
Writer and director of Pad Man R Balki said, “When I heard the story, I knew it had to be told, but I didn’t know it would be through film. I didn’t want it to be a preachy or documentary film but instead one filled with entertainment , so I followed this thought when writing the script. Audiences watch films to be entertained and in the process, if they can take home a message then that’s even better. It is a film for the family to enjoy, not just for women. Men should talk about this issue, because at the moment they don’t have clue about it. Women are already aware but it’s also important to change the men’s attitude in order to push the message. The film is all about awareness for all the family members.”
Co-producer Arjun N. Kapoor of KriArj Entertainment said: “For us it’s an honour when a star like Akshay Kumar asks us if we would like to produce a film, there is only ever going to be one answer and that’s yes. The kind of films Akshay Kumar has been doing for the country, and in fact for the world, including R Balki and Twinkle Madam is commendable. We are five men and five women on the stage who are gathered here for this film and this is the equality we want. Going ahead I would like to see more women come to the forefront. It’s a proud moment when we work on films like these to share a message.”
Co-producer Vivek Krishnani, Managing Director, Sony Pictures Entertainment, India added, “Pad Man is our first film of 2018 as we continue to ramp up local production in India and build our slate. We are extremely glad to partner with Akshay, Balki, Mrs. Twinkle Khanna and Kri Arj Entertainment on this exciting journey because this film is truly special for all of us present here. It’s a family entertainer that is bound to warm your hearts and will make you think at the same time. As Sony, we are excited to take it to the audiences worldwide.”
Pad Man releases in cinemas worldwide on the 26th January