The drive of a stuntwoman

Jun 11, 2016, 11:38 IST | Dipanjan Sinha

A documentary on a domestic abuse victim who became a top stuntwoman in Bollywood finds many takers on the Web

Geata Tandon, 31, had a life full of hurdles. She fought them, overcame them and has now turned her life into a story of inspiration. She is the woman behind the stunts of celebrated faces of cinema like Deepika Padukone and Parineeti Chopra, but takes her life of courage lightly.

Geeta Tandon on a stunt bike
Geeta Tandon on a stunt bike

Joyna Mukherjee turned the story of Tandon’s life into a 15-minute documentary for Culture Machine’s channel Blush as the first video of the series Blush Originals on May 30. Already, the video has been viewed over 300,000 times. Mukherjee says she had decided to pursue the story of Tandon a couple of months ago, after she read about how Tandon survived domestic violence and has now made a name for herself in the film industry as a stuntwoman. “I found her story incredible, it was something that had to be done,” she says.

Geeta Tandon
Geeta Tandon

She, however, was not sure how to break the ice and ask Tandon to talk about her past. “When I met her for the first time, I was apprehensive about how to approach her. One needs to exercise a certain degree of caution and sensitivity when interacting with a survivor but I was amazed at how full of life Geeta is. She is chatty, speaks about everything and they way she deals with her past is really something to learn from,” Mukherjee says.

Tandon was married to an alcoholic when she was 15 years old, and was subjected to physical abuse regularly. Finally, when she was 20, she managed to gather the courage to move out of the marriage with her two children. She moved between odd jobs to survive with great difficulty and eventually made a name for herself in the industry as a stuntwoman.

“Even her grit as a stuntwoman is exemplary. She has suffered an injury on her spine and even burns on her face but still, she enjoys her profession. In way there is nothing unlikely about her being in the profession she is, she owns it,” Mukherjee explains.

The series Blush originals, Mukherjee says, will focus on inspiring stories about strong individuals. The next story will be released on Father’s Day and is about a man who runs an orphanage in Panvel for children with HIV/AIDS “We would be looking for unusual stories of courage in humble surroundings. Something that inspires us to go that extra mile and do things,” she says.

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