Archive for May, 2015


Its not even a week when Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular votes. A constitution that allows the same-sex couples to walk the aisle together was indeed a historic event wherein today Ireland is seen as the torchbearer of human equality on all grounds. Cut to 27 May 2015, couple of days after the profound victory, you open the newspaper and see that India has also put a step forward towards a more acceptable and evolved world. Defying all the “standard” norm of a civilized society, Krishnanagar Women’s College in West Bengal paved way for the world’s first transgender principal- Manabi Bandopadhyay.

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This bold move, taken by the College Service Commission, has propagated a strong social message that a successful professional career is only based on your talent as opposed to sexual orientation, caste or colour. Despite all the suffering and societal intimidation, Manabi worked hard, earned first class degree and became a Bengali lecturer in Jhargram College. Today, after becoming the first ever transgender principal, she is nothing less than a sough-after celebrity. However, this journey was never an easy one for her.

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Manabi, born as Somnath Banerjee, was fascinated with classical dance and music since childhood. Somnath’s inner soul always howled that probably he needs to deviate from what is expected out of him; he wanted to break free and get soaked in the joy of being a woman. Alas, Somnath was taunted ruthlessly by his father and forced to visit psychiatrist regularly where he was given sleeping pills. Even after attaining a doctorate degree, he was called a Hijra and asked to vacant the professor quarters. After getting support from West Bengal Human Rights Commission, a Bengali transsexuals group was established by him and a notice was sent to the college. She also penned down the national bestseller Endless Bondage that talks about the condition of transgenders.

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In 2003, after many years of discrimination, Somnath underwent a sex change operation and liberated his soul from the forever enslavement–she was now Manabi. To her delight, she could wear a saree and savour her feminism like every woman.

Soon she fell in love with a businessman and married him. However, her husband was forced to leave when they were recurrently attacked by the people who were against this “unnatural” marriage. The court case that followed recognized her as a minor since she was only 3 years old as a WOMAN when the incident took place. (delusional, isn’t it?) Apart from being accused of child abuse and witchcraft, she was once beaten up by group of eunuchs at a rally. Still nothing could tame the ever-growing quench of empowerment and equality within her.

 

 

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Leaving behind all days of misery, Manabi Bandopadhyay has today become a name to reckon with. Because of her will-power to move away from the prototype, her feet is no longer chained to the door that was keeping away her from happiness. Assigning her as the principal of an esteemed college wisely establishes that caliber should always be kept above social expectations.

While the whole country is battling the issue of feminism and rape- physical rape to be precise, the struggle story of Manabi -and several others like her- makes me wonder that still a lot has to be done to prevent the emotional rape that LGBT section is subjected to on a daily basis. It’s high time that we understand that the self-respect of an individual should not be injured because of frantic pretensions. Because putting chaos over credibility will only lead to suppressing of individuality. For now, kudos to Krishnanagar Women’s College for passing on the baton of goodwill ahead.

As someone has rightly said, “’To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly”

P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them


Sometimes you need part 2 to fall in love, that’s the philosophy director Anand L Rai’s Tanu weds Manu Returns doles out. While the earlier installment ends with the union of the mad duo tanu and manu, leaving the audience to assume that they are happily ever after, its sequel picks the story four years after that. Almost every romantic movie show us the path that why and how opposites attract to fall in love eventually. However, what remains still a mystery is that whether people who are extremely different as chalk and cheese can actually stay and grow old together; if yes, then for how long!!!!

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In a mental asylum of London, amidst professional marriage counselors, we are shown two overtly dissatisfied people who once took the vows to stay together in every situation of life. Keeping her exaggerated and blunt character intact, Tanu compares her husband to adrak (ginger) who is supposedly getting wider from every side. While Manu, a visibly tired and restless husband, retorts that he is not a lighter when questioned about the lack of ‘spark’ in life. After some divorce -shrouded ego stints that brings both of them to India individually, Manu finds himself getting attracted to Harayanvi athlete Kusum aka Datto- lookalike of his wife Tanu. With some days of quirky stalking and unbridled laughter situations, Datto reciprocates the same and both decide to get married. All hell break loose when this news is passed to Tanu via Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Shergill)- who is nothing short of brilliant in scenes where he is venting his frustration that how he is always deprived of his prospective bride. Yes! In part 2 as well. All thanks to doctor saab Manu Sharma. What happens next forms the crux of the story.

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Tanu Weds Manu Returns is an enjoyable fun ride from the word go. It makes no pretense of being a preachy take on how to make your marriage work. Instead, it brings to us the little nuances of a middle-class north India based families and renders it a laughable spin. Every character in the movie are mouthing the most witty, rustic and vivacious lines you have heard in recent times. The show stealer, however, is the double role played by Kangna Ranaut. After Queen, this will probably the other movie for which she would go down in history and sweeping awards at every award ceremony possible. She plays the arrogant and over-the-top Tanu as effortlessly as she plays the sorted haryanvi-speaking athlete Datto. So much that you actually end up believing that they are two different people. She relies less on make-up and haircut. On the contrary, she goes deeper and succeeds in bringing out the different dialect, mannerism, gait, thought process and personalities of people with same face to the forefront.

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One of my favourite moments from the movie is the introduction given by Chintu to Raja Awasti when he is inquired about his closeness to Tanu. He declares, “Hum hain kandha. Jab ladki dukhi hoti hai to humare paas aati hai. Aapne jhatak tha to doctor aa gaya, abhi doctor ne jhatak diya hai to hum hain. Jab hum jhatakein to to tum wapas lapak lena.”

Well thats Tanu weds Manu Returns for you – colorful, rustic, enjoyable, realistic and total paisa-vasool.

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When you walk out of theater laughing and seeing the fellow viewers clapping and hooting, you know the filmmaker has achieved what it set out to do in the first place.

One word for Kangna Ranaut- Banno tera swagger sach me SEXY!!!!!

P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copy right over them.


The media is getting berserk and the common man is breaking into debates every now and then. The much-awaited verdict is out. Salman Khan’s fate was sealed yesterday when the case with several twists finally found its culmination; he was sentenced to 5 years of Jail in the infamous hit and run case of 2002. After Sanjay Dutt, this time our judiciary left no stone unturned to catch up with Bollywood.

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Many are feeling sympathetic and giving him an area of consideration because of his humanitarian work associated with Being Human NGO, while some are erupting in joy as apparently it has been established that law is above everyone. DW Deshpande, the session court judge who brought this verdict, was hell-bent on making this an exemplary decision. However, it is a known fact that, to his loyal fans, he will always be the invincible superhero who is –just like his on screen persona–good at heart but can resort to “little” law breaking aberrations when need be.

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Since yesterday I have been exposed to a steady stream of opinions. The sentiment that came through was either the thought that Salman Khan was paying the price of being an actor or how he deserves this for not giving value to human life. Honestly, I don’t have any stance at this moment. On the contrary, I have few questions that are refusing to leave my mind since yesterday.

  • Why it took 13 years for the witness (driver Ashok Singh) to claim that he was driving the car?
  • Why the sudden disappearance of Ravindra Patil- the key witness who later died of TB after leading an abandoned life- was not taken seriously?
  • What was the mistake of Constable Ravindra Patil; his sticking to one statement that Salman was drunk driving at more than 100 kms/hour on that fateful night?

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  • Why the investigation pace was so botched up that it took insane 13 years to arrive at the facts on a mere hit and run case?
  • Why the media is more obsessed with getting the viewers visuals of Salman and his family rather than the victims or their loved ones?
  • How can Salman Khan return to home on the same day when he was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced to 5 years of jail?
  • Did the tedious legal battle made the victims give statements like, “the jail term to Salman will not fill our stomach. We just want compensation. Nothing else.”?

Surely he has a heart of gold and I really respect the kind of body of work he has in terms of philanthropy. In the coming days, we will see many more facets of this trial while the life of common man will return to normal and the superstar will perhaps continue with his movie run. But, in the democracy of India many questions stills needs to be answered and until then you can take sides and blurt anything in the name of support or justice.

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P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.