Sushmita Sen starrer Taali: A well-known social worker and advocate for transgender rights, Shreegauri Sawant is headquartered in Mumbai. She was a petitioner in a historic Supreme Court decision from 2014 that gave transgender people legal status as well as a number of civic rights and protections. The Sakhi Char Chowghi Trust, a non-profit founded by Sawant, has been operating for many years. In 2008, she adopted Gayatri, a child. In addition to appearing on an episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati with Usha Uthup, a personal hero whose very huge bindis Sawant made her own, Sawant was featured in a popular Vicks advertisement.
Taali is a straightforward but respectful series that respectfully charts its protagonist’s exceptional and well-known journey. It was helmed by Ravi Jadhav and is currently available on JioCinema. After a brief prelude, the series starts in 2014, just before the landmark Supreme Court decision. We have a number of typical flashbacks as Gauri (Sen) tells a journalist about her remarkable life story, including her early years, a life transformation, her youth, and her motherhood.
Gauri, who was born Ganesh and was given that name (Krutika Deo portrays her in her earlier years with touching intensity), flees her Pune home. Police officer and widower her father never gets over the guilt (“My son is dead,” he says). Gauri does odd jobs in Mumbai, such as serving customers as a mustachioed waiter in a café. She works as a social worker on the side, but it turns out to be harder job than she anticipated. In one of its most insightful episodes, the program refuses to depict the transgender community—commonly and mockingly referred to as “hijras” in India—as a huge, monolithic tribe. We observe social and class distinctions; Gauri observes that “our conflicts are frequently internal.” Even as she begins a basic battle for respect