'Kitna acha hota, agar acid bikta hi nahi, milta hi nahi, fikta bhi nahi!' This dialogue from Deepika Padukone starrer film, Chhapaak, directed by Meghna Gulzar is enough to give us chills down our spine. With this film, our society can now understand and see the acid attack survivors in a different light. We are part of a world that gives big lessons on real beauty but scares away when they see someone different without even knowing their struggles or what happened to them. But Laxmi Agarwal's life story gave courage to millions of acid attack survivors to come out in open and talk about their physical, emotional and mental pain. (Recommend Read: Anurag Sharma Is All Set To Marry His Girlfriend Nandini Gupta, Wedding Functions Begin With Satsang)
Chhapaak is not just a movie but an eye-opener for all of us because we have been ignoring acid attack survivors for a long time. We look away the moment we see them, without giving it a thought on how they will feel. Offices don't give them jobs and people don't interact with them, but the film hits hard on these societal notions. It is about the chilling acid attack incident on a fourteen-year-old, Laxmi Agarwal by a 32-year-old man, who supposedly fell in love with her. Laxmi's constant rejection made him angry and he threw acid on her face in the year 2005.
It was a tough journey for Laxmi to come out in open and address the issue after being locked inside her own home for eight long years. But she did it and gave courage to millions of other girls and in the midst of it, she fell in love with Alok Dixit, and together they created their own little world. Laxmi also gave birth to a beautiful angel, Pihu. Recently, in an interview with the Mid-Day, Laxmi revealed her daughter, Pihu's reaction after watching Chhapaak. She shared that usually, her daughter leaves a film half-way, but patiently watched this one till the end. She then posed questions, one by one, all of which Laxmi addressed patiently. After the film, Pihu showered her with lots of love. She also went and hugged Deepika.
For those who don't know, Laxmi and Alok were in a live-in relationship and after the birth of their child, the two parted ways on account of some differences. In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Laxmi revealed the changes she felt in society. She had said, "The ones who you don’t know will give you more love when they come to know about such news. The ones who already know you are the ones whose behaviour changes. After I was attacked with acid, everyone had left me. But then, when I came into the limelight on TV shows, they would see me on TV and say, “We know her! She’s my friend.” These are the same people who, when I would run into them on the road, would say hurriedly, “Oh I really need to rush off somewhere." (Also Read: Saif Ali Khan Gave An EPIC Response When Asked About Going Pub With Taimur Ali Khan And Ibrahim)
In the same interview, Laxmi had talked about how an acid attack survivor feels and the questions they are blasted with. She had shared, "Victimisation is the wrong way. The problem is, if someone is attacked, the question people start asking is, “How will she get married now?” Then the fact that I am a girl, and we are considered to be burdens right from the time we are in our mother’s womb. The biggest problem for parents isn’t to educate their girls, it’s about their dowry. And if she gets attacked in this manner, then she becomes an even bigger liability."
She had further added, "Is our face the only thing important for marriage? If a girl’s finger gets burnt people get so worried, but what if it’s your face? So I always tell people that I never was a victim, will never be a victim and shall not let anyone else become a victim too. The word ‘bechara’ only comes into the picture when you are victimising someone. If you treat them in that manner, you would probably think of giving them Rs 1 lakh as a donation to help them out. But I would suggest that in a way you should adopt them instead. You should teach them, or help them with their monthly fees or expenses. You never know if that Rs 1 lakh is being spent responsibly. So after supporting them in their education, they would get a job and a monthly earning through that- which is better than the money you would give as help. People would want to marry her, and whoever does, will not be able to say that ‘no one wanted you.’" (Don't Miss: Neena Gupta Talks About Her Regret Of Having Her Daughter, Masaba Gupta Out Of Wedlock)
Well, Laxmi is definitely an inspiration for millions of girls!