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Made In Heaven Season 2, one of the most-awaited web series was released on Prime Video, and since then, the show has gathered a lot of praise and love from the audience. But one episode which has been in the headlines is Episode 8 titled The Heart Skipped a Beat, starring Radhika Apte as Pallavi Menke. 

The episode was lauded for a lot of reasons, but one of them was to show a Dalit Buddhist wedding on screen which is definitely rare to see in Hindi cinema. 

Yashica Dutt shares her thoughts on the response given by the Made In Heaven team 

In a conversation with The Quint, Yashica Dutt expressed her thoughts about the response she received from the makers of Made In Heaven 2. When the author was asked if her claims have been denied, she said, “I’m still processing it, but I would like to say that it’s very disappointing. I feel that the tone of the response comes from a very condescending and calculated place. All throughout, I’ve shown nothing but solidarity and support for the episode. I’ve gone online and said, ‘please don’t ban this episode, please don’t cancel it’ and I’ve been telling people to watch it because it’s such an important and significant portrayal of Dalit life on screen in a way we haven’t seen before.” At the same time, Dutt wished that things could have been better. 

During the conversation, when the author was asked how she feels that the makers of the show have denied that Pallavi Menke’s character was inspired by her, she said that she doesn’t want to comment on anything soon. 

On the other hand, Dutt said, “Even the viewers said that I should be credited. you can’t dismiss everyone’s opinion and say that the character doesn’t bear any resemblance to me. I am not denying that there can be multiple inspirations, but I am just asking that at some level do recognise who this character is based on.”

When Yashica Dutt was asked what kind of similarities she saw between herself and Pallavi Menke’s character, she said that even before she sat down to watch the episode, one of her friends had ‘hinted’ that the character might be based on her. But the author shrugged the thought as she believed the show was about weddings and she is still unmarried. Soon after, she started seeing tweets that were claiming the same thing as her friend claimed and then she saw Episode 8. 

So, the very first similarity that Dutt saw was that Pallavi Menke had also written a book about “coming out” with her identity and Dutt has also written a book named Coming Out as Dalit. Secondly, the way Pallavi Menke manages to answer the question on reservation in the episode, Dutt shared that she also answers in the same manner and also gives the example of her grandmother being a manual scavenger, just as the Made in Heaven 2 character.

Towards the end of the conversation, Yashica was asked if Neeraj Ghaywan’s acknowledgment was enough for her as the maker took to Instagram to share Dutt’s contribution to the field. The author said Ghaywan did acknowledge her and that was ‘incredible’. At the same time, she mentioned that because Instagram’s reach is limited, the audience will never be able to acknowledge the contribution of the “real person”.  

Yashica Dutt’s allegation on Made In Heaven and Zoya Akhtar’s response 

After a few days of the web-series release, Yashica Dutt, a Columbia University alum and author of Coming Out as Dalit, slammed the makers for using her work without consent and without giving due credit. Dutt took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share a long post that said that Neeraj Ghaywan, Zoya Akhtar, and Reema Kagti took certain incidents from her life in order to make Pallavi Menke’s character.

Following Yashica Dutt’s claims, the Made In Heaven 2 team took to social media on August 17 to publicly announce that the makers of the web series didn’t claim any of Dutt’s work. An excerpt from the post shared by Zoya Akhtar on her Instagram handle read, “We categorically deny any claim that Ms Dutt’s life or work was appropriated by us.”

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