By Aashika Ravi
Move over The Garden of Eden, Agents of Ishq bring us the Garden of Consent in their new music video Ishq Ke Garden Mein Marzi Hai Minimum.
And oh, what a place it is to be a woman. Allow us to convince you to pack your bags and get on the next train (of thought) to AOI’s Garden of Consent.
This is a flower-bedecked Utopia where women have sex “tan se, mann se or fun se”, but always “jaaneman se, sakhi.” The cool kids in the Garden of Consent roll a die and play hopscotch to determine what sexy times they’re going to get up to today and construct kinky fantasies as their supportive girlfriends cheer them on. So wholesome.
But beware, the spunky girls in the Garden of Consent, actors Shikha Talsania, Tuhina Vohra and Samvedna Suwalka do everything only by their marzi. Coz #MarziIsMinimum.
Men here are happy to be background dancers, swing-pushers and distractions in yellow chiffon sarees, and sit back sweetly as women take the wheel when it comes to romance and consent. Just the way we like.
After Tuhina Vohra rolls a three for majboori, she and her back-up singers (yes, you get those in the Garden of Consent), perform an unimpressed qawalli where they drop several truth bombs like “Rishton mein rehta nahi hai udhaar” (Love is a choice, not a debt that is owed.) Their claps are actually clapbacks, btw.
The video is partly based on a study by AOI’s collaborator, Delhi-based NGO Nirantar, which explored links between gender-based violence and sexuality, and transports us into Ishq Nagar, where we are taught about consent, romance and sexual freedom in a more fun way than Tata Sky Games has ever imagined.
It also features a casting coup bigger than K3G or Takht. At least, big for us! The video features several of AOI’s collaborators – folks from India’s first transgender dance troupe Dancing Queens, from Mumbai-based award-winning non-profit Point of View,The QKnit, an online LGBTQIA+ collaborative and the NGO Humsafar Trust all star in the final dance party where balloons of Consent, Marzi, Ishq and Dating float around and everyone is all kinds of jolly. This is the kind of happily ever after we can get behind. TLF’s founder Nisha Susan may or may not be happily dancing around trees herself.
In the meantime guys, don’t forget to tell any haters that tann se, mann se ya fun se karna is all ok. After all, the important thing to remember is that “Ishq me marzi ke bina kaisi savaari?”
If you are unable to reach us this week, it’s because we have relocated to the Garden of Consent and network is very selective there.