If I could be you, if you could be me for just one hour-
If we could find a way to get inside each other’s mind,
If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
I believe you’d be surprised to see that you’ve been blind.
Walk a Mile in my Shoes [audio] by Joe South.
What happens when a young man named Kiran (Gaurav Pandey), tired of seeing how women seemingly get a better treatment -at the bus station, the bus, at work- than him, wishes that roles could be reversed in contemporary India? Then, one morning he wakes up, and instead of yelling for his morning cup of chai to his sister Chhaya (Ronjini Chakraborty), he wakes up to the sound of his sister asking him for hers.
That’s the set-up to Vikram Gupta’s 15min. first episode web series Man’s World, which is being produced by a side-YRF production called Y Films. It’s a mini web series that only lasts four episodes (that maybe runs for 1hr. in total), so the pace is fairly quick- by the second episode, Kiran has already been inhabiting this parallel universe for three months, facing a possible promotion at work to being showcased to the potential in-laws as the groom-to-be by the last two.
The series also boasts an onslaught of YRF cameos such as Bhumi Pednekar (ep01), Ayushmann Khurrana (ep03), Parineeti Chopra (ep04), and Meiyang Chang (ep02), who features in -possibly- the best episode as the co-worker who is accused by both men and women of using his body to get ahead– he also happens to get the best cameo intro walk to get its point across. That episode also features Soni Razdan as Kiran’s boss, and Kalki Koechlin who teaches us all how to flip someone off like a woman.
My only minor criticism of the gender-flip is that it places gender in traits and actions, for example; Kiran’s pal is shown pumping iron in the normal world and doing his beauty routine towel on hair with his manicure when the world is upside down. Women pee on the walls, spit tobacco like nobody’s business, or watching lurid YouTube videos while working, as presented by sleazy cop Richa Chadda (ep03). It’s not as subtle as the gender-flipping in Monster Hunt. However, it fits the context of South Asia’s custom of bride-guarding and bride-parading in bridal meet-ups. I object to the term “gentle-ladies,” though. I think within that reality, they should have still used “gentlemen” with the emphasis on the “men,” and it would still work. But that’s just nitpicking. I had a lot of fun watching this, and does drive the message home.
Also, major props for Anupama’s inclusion as Vidhi Vinodini Chopra.
Can’t wait for their next project, Bang Baaha Baaraat [Teaser].
You can check out the first episode on YouTube, and a playlist of the series is available on Y Films Channel.