3 hours agoAuthor: Neeraj Jha
Mother died at the age of 9. Married at the age of 15. 2 kids at age 19. Divorce at age 21. The struggle started as soon as he was born. I made 500 rotis a day, worked in a spa center for money. Danced at weddings.
He had to starve continuously for several days. From where would it have been possible for two children to have money and water. I did not get the job according to the interest. Circumstances forced him to make work his interest.
Actually, I had no choice. He was neither of a big family, nor of money. Woman and man have created their own separate circle. I had to go beyond this. It was only in my hands… and then begins the story of my becoming a stunt woman.
jump into the fire. Car race amidst the flames. riding bike. To set the body on fire for a stunt. Going down from a height of 100-200 feet. Falling from a tall building. Jumping… Actresses in films who can’t work. Can’t take risk. I do that.
Stunt woman Geeta Tandon is in the picture. They get 4 thousand a day.
When stunt woman Geeta Tandon begins to introduce herself to her work and life, the scene of a car, bike, actress running in front of the flames in films starts floating.
Geeta says people are scared seeing our stunts in films. Enjoying and shouting too. But we do that. Sometimes the face and hands get burnt. Bones break. I lay on the bed for several months.
But I am doing this work for the last 14 years. This is what gave identity. Participated as a contestant in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi Season-5’. My job is to play with dangers. This is such a river of death, which is not insured, because we put our own life in danger.
Geeta carries with her in the early days of her life. She tells her story in a sequential manner, which she still holds on to while sharing. Sometimes she is unable to stop her tears even if she wants to.
Geeta starts saying in a muffled voice, Papa shifted to Mumbai as soon as he was born in Kota, Rajasthan. Mother died in 1994, then she was 9 years old. To be honest, my life started from then on.
When the mother was there, the uncle and aunt were also in love with each other. We used to inquire about our well-being, but after the mother’s departure, there was no one to caress us two brothers and two sisters.
Leaving us at home, Papa used to go to work. There was no one who could take care of our brothers and sisters. Cooking and eating by myself. At such a young age, I came to know that the more you work, the more food you will get.
When she turned 15, people in the neighborhood started saying to her father, ‘The daughter has grown up. Get married’, but father did not want me to get married. Although he also felt that if I get a good family, then my luck would change and I felt the same.
When Geeta Tandon got married, her husband used to beat her every day. Here too his life did not change.
Geeta says before marriage, she used to think, there will be a new house. New people and good food to eat. But nothing of the sort happened. The in-laws started harassing her. It went on like this for some years. I thought maybe everything would be alright after having kids, but nothing changed.
The age of 21 was passing. One day I even thought of committing suicide, but I knew that if I died, the situation would be the same for my children.
Came to live with her sister with two children, but her husband used to beat her and bring her home. He used to say, ‘Who is yours? With whom will you stay? Even if you are separated, you will do the wrong thing.’ But I decided to leave the house. Stayed in the Gurudwara for several days. Then started living with sister. I am not that educated. Nobody used to give me a job.
With her sister, she used to make rounds of the office every morning to get some work, but even after several months, no work was found.
One day while walking, a mess appeared on the way. There he got a job of making bread. Every day 250 rotis were made in the morning and 250 in the evening. Used to work here just so that I could take food at home too.
By then the father had had a paralysis attack. After a few months we shifted to another place. There she used to see that every day some girls used to get ready and go somewhere. One day I also went with him. Had to work in a spa center. Left within a day.
While walking, his owner said, ‘There is no husband. Apart from these things, what will you do in life? To be honest, the whole night that day I kept thinking that who does not have a husband. Divorce ensues. Husband and children die. So can a woman make money only by doing wrong things?
After a lot of hard work, I got a job. There was some shooting of Jagran, I had to stand in it. 400 rupees were received after the shooting was over in the evening. I was surprised. At the same time, I got acquainted with some people who used to do stunts in films.
One of them said, ‘You are like boys. Do stunt work. Will get money and work too. Since dancing was seasonal, I joined their community.
Geeta got her first stunt job in a serial. There was a stunt of hanging down from a height of 100 feet, for which he got Rs 1400.
After this Geeta chose stunt as a career. She says, locking the children in the house and going on shooting. The expenses of the house, the education of the children, everything started running from this. I have been doing stunts since 2008. At the time when I came in this industry, girls were not made to do stunts. There were very few people. When she used to go for stunts on the sets, people used to say, ‘Ladki hai kar nahi peyegi’.
So far my face has been burnt twice. I have had spinal fracture thrice, but I know that I can give my 100% in this work only. This is how the house runs.
Today I am working for many series. Fire brigade based story is coming, I am doing stunts in it. Apart from Hindi films, serials, I also do stunts in Bengali and South films. I am also fond of acting, but never got good roles like that. If I meet, I will definitely do it.
Now you can also read these three stories of Khuddar Kahani…
1. Received food worse than animals: Satisfied hunger with temple offerings, spent nights wearing sacks; Story of an orphan starting a pizza stall
When he was 5 years old, his mother died. After a year and a half, my father also passed away. He was so young that he could not understand what was happening. The people of the house tell that some serious disease killed both of them. (read full story)
2. Father’s death before going to Cambridge: Mother would make papads, I would sell them in the streets of Patna; Started ‘Ramanujan Coaching’ with 2 children of the slum
It was the year 1993-94. There was an offer for admission in Cambridge University. I was getting ready to leave. The mother was happy that the son would go to Cambridge, but we did not even have money for a plane ticket. (read full story)
3. I don’t like boys but girls
The story of Ankita Mehra from Jodhpur, Rajasthan was the year of 2017-18. I called Papa to a tea stall in Mumbai. He was given a letter of 16 pages. In the letter I wrote about my identity. (read full story)