“What does being me (a woman) mean?” The session began with the moderator Koel Purie Rinchet asking this question.

Three of the lead characters–Sayani Gupta, Kirti Kulhari and Maanvi Gagroo–from the web series, Four More Shots Please, an Amazon Prime original series, along with the director, Rangita Nandy, not only answered the question but also challenged notions and offered interesting insights.

The team were part of a panel discussion which was hosted at the recently concluded India Today Conclave in Delhi where the team were invited to share insights on millennial pysches.

It began with Nandy who spoke about shows on women usually depicting women oppression. “We wanted to do a fun and strong piece on women. We can fight every battle and still have fun,” she said. Nandy also said that 20 years ago they would not have had an audience for such a show. Gupta agreed and added that till now, especially in Bollywood, women are seen as virginal beauties, always looking pretty like a flower pot in the background, waiting for men to woo them. “As a society we undermine the fact that women can desire sex,” she said.

Today, Gupta believed, there is a shift in the narrative and women have become agents of change. Kulhari added that sexuality is individualistic and not gender-based. “The kind of society we come from it is somehow just understood that men lead the way,” she said. Speaking about our society, Gupta explained how our history shows a much more liberal mindset. To which Gagroo added that even Amir Khusro’s poetry was written in a feminine voice and that unfortunately today women are seen as women only, nothing beyond that. This is why Gupta interjected with a new definition of feminism. “Feminism is not about men and women, it is about people in power,” she said. So, what is the role of cinema? Nandy believed that it a medium that beats the stereotype, especially a series like this which shows women who drink, smoke and use foul language exist and are not judged by one another for it. Like Nandy, Kulhari also challenged social norms during the session. “It is so normal for men to party and smoke however, when women do the same, you say it’s not normal. Cinema can change this. We normalise it for you,” she said.

All four agreed that they got interesting reactions from their families. Nandy said that her mother when she saw the first two episodes said, “Is this really necessary?” But then she committed so much to the characters, it became natural for her. It was almost the opposite for Gagroo. She was the one who was nervous to do the show because she had not even done a make-out scene on screen. She made her parents read the script and they said, “You know its acting and it’s fine, as long as there is no nudity.


The show ended with the moderator asking the ladies to shout out a oft spoken phrase from the show, “Meri vagina ki jai!” They asked the audience to say it as well. When a woman did so, they ended up coining a new term, ‘ovaries of steel’. Truly, a thought provoking session that shattered stereotypes and gave the audience ample food for thought.

Four More Shots Please is a Amazon Prime Original web series which was released on 25th January, 2019.