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Padam Shri Arunachalam Muruganantham is considered to be one of the most innovative minds in the country. He has the credit of developing low cost sanitary napkins for women. His sanitary napkin machines are installed in 23 states of our country and the government has also recognized his hard work by conferring upon him the Padma Shri award. The low cost sanitary napkin machine machine was developed by him in 1998, and has helped poor women with their hygiene ever since. It goes without saying that Arunachalam met with a lot of social censure and ridicule for working on menstruation, which is a taboo topic in India.

Recently Shri Arunachalam disclosed to the media that he was hounded for months by Twinkle Khanna, who he had never heard of. He says, “This is not one of those movies that happened in a day or a week. It took us nearly one-and-a-half years to give it shape. A girl called Twinkle (Khanna) had been chasing me endlessly for rights. She tracked my every move. She desperately tried to reach me even when I was in Malaysia and the US. She finally caught me in London. My friends were curious about why Twinkle would want to meet me. It was only then that I learnt she is Rajesh Khanna’s daughter. I remember telling her, ‘Akshay Kumar has also been trying to get me for rights’. She laughed and said, ‘Yes, he is my husband’.” 

With sheer honesty he revealed that he wanted a Hollywood film to be made on his life and was reluctant to saying yes to Bollywood. But he could not turn down Akshay and Twinkle, who had been so sincere in their efforts for getting the rights. Talking about Balki (the producer of PAdman), he said, “She came with a man I’d never seen or heard of earlier. We had lunch and spoke at length about the story. The man wanted to smoke and I, as a rule, send all smokers downstairs. He was spotted by my neighbours, who told me the next day that he was renowned filmmaker Balki. Everyone knew him as he’d directed Kareena Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.”

The film revolves around a topic that has been taboo in our society for centuries. It will be very interesting to see how Balki navigates around this story, without offending anyone!


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Lavanya Mehra

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