Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category


When the end credits of Newton will roll, you will be prompted to an unusual song ‘Chal tu apna kaam kar’-roughly translating to keep doing your work. This is what pretty much sums up what this cinematic marvel tries to convey you in 2 hours. There are no long speeches imploring us to do the right thing, no theatrical background music, no redundant sadism and yet Newton scores at every point. This is a tale extremely relevant to our times.

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Years ago there was Issac Newton who shook the world with his pathbreaking explanation of gravitational force, and here we are introduced to Nutan Kumar aka Newton Kumar, who wants to exercise honesty and induce sense of righteousness at every given situation.  Air dropped into the dodgy Naxal prone area in Chattisgarh, Newton and his teammates are given the task of conducting elections in a fair and smooth way. However, it is not a cakewalk as it looks like. Risks are involved, even with their lives. At one point in the film, Aatma Singh, a para-military commander, along with his subordinates arm-twists many Aadivasi’s to turn up in the polling booth. When they are overwhelmed with a huge list of party symbols, Aatma Singh absurdly asks them to assume the Electronic Voting Machine as a toy and press any symbol they like, be it “Gajar, muli, or cycle”, because as per him it doesn’t really make a difference. Yes, and then we claim we are the largest democracy in the world. If not election, it definitely looked like a trade fair.

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Without divulging much about the story, I would say that Newton sets a platform to show the fierce collision with rigid sense of duty and realistic stumbling blocks. It often takes the form of a satire that asks uncomfortable, hard and courageous questions, which Hindi movies generally try to avoid.

As mentioned somewhere in the film “great change doesn’t happen overnight. This jungle took years to grow.” Since childhood we have learned about the little drops that make the ocean. Newton talks about those 1% people, the little drops, which make the difference without making hue and cry about their good deeds and honesty. We are not doing any favour to anyone if we are being honest, if we are truthful, if we are serving our country, or if we are abiding laws. This is what we are supposed to do, isn’t it? Precisely this is why Newton feels amused when he gets an award for punctuality in an office where working hours start from 9 in the morning. All he did was arrive at office daily at sharp 9 am.

Newton reaffirmed my faith in the idea that a country improves brick by brick. We do not need to go out and be a hero or wage war on Twitter. Just do your bit and the country will take care of itself.  Place your brick and you will be heard. Newton is not a hero and he doesn’t even intend to be one.  I will end this article with the same thought as the movie.

Chal tu apna kaam kar,

Akal dikha na shakal dikha na,
De na nasihat kar na fazihat,
Yun na traffic jam kar,

Chal tu apna kaam kar,

 

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

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There is a scene in Lion in which Nicole Kidman reveals to her on-screen son Dev Patel that she was never infertile but she chose to adopt him because she wanted to give a better life and a second chance to someone less privileged. This pretty much sums up the essence of director Garth Davi’s directorial venture Lion; hope, second chance, warmth and unconditional family bonding.

As we know by now, Lion is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley who got separated from his family at the age of 5, gets adopted by an Australian family and after 25 years emerges victorious in his quest for his biological mother with the help of Google earth. On paper, it looks a simple yet unique story. But, what Garth Davi brought out on screen is bound to pull your heart strings and moist your eyes for sure.

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Lion starts with five year old Saroo, played brilliantly by Sunny Pawar, pilfering coal lumps off a train with his brother Guddu. The fact that they exchange these coals for mere two milk packets-while craving for Jalebi– speaks volume about their financial condition. They take it home proudly to their mother, a labourer, who serves it in a bowl as their dinner. Few minutes more into the movie, Saroo is 1600 Kms away from his hometown Khandwa. He gets lost and is tragically transported to Calcutta, West Bengal (the story starts in 1986 so Calcutta, not Kolkata) in a passenger train. Alone, hungry, homeless, with no one to understand his language, Saroo’s journey becomes more heartbreaking with every passing minute. You can see him roaming the busy streets of Calcutta with a cardboard sheet as his bed. You just keep praying and whispering that nothing unfortunate comes his way. His runny nose, dirty nails, torn clothes and soiled hair will remind you of several kids you come across daily either begging or sleeping under a subway. Escaping human traffickers twice, Saroo lands up in a swarming orphanage from where gets adopted by an Australian couple played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham.

Life changes for good. Saroo (now Dev Patel) grows up to be a well-settled ‘Aussie’ and a hotel management student. However, a fleeting glimpse of Jalebi at an Indian friend’s house brings back all those old memories. He relies majorly on Google Earth and his vague visions to locate a place that he doesn’t even remember the name of. We see him go through a series of emotions when his efforts fail to lead him anywhere. He is obsessed, he is helpless, he is recluse, he is angry….he is anything but happy. We can relate to his agony and ordeal at every point. Until one day he maps out his home, like literally.

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Lion unearths what coming back to home means, what finding out yourself amidst all chaos means, what believing in miracle means, and what family means. You will also know why it is called Lion. When Saroo finally meets Kamala, his biological mother, you can feel the embrace, the squeeze, the kiss and the tears. Back home, I wish I had my mother to do the same. Lion will break your heart. Carry some tissues with you while watching this one because the lump-in-throat moments are many in the film.

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 P.S: Much like the protagonist of Lion, even I have relied on Google for images. All images are result of Google search and I have no copyright over them. 


Pink!

Feminine…Girly…Effeminate…Flowery…

These are the first musings that come to mind when we hear of this colour. Since yesterday I have added a new connotation to this word, strength.

Picture a situation. Three girls go for a dinner outing, fancy some drink, have a good time with decent looking acquaintances and intend to return home just like they usually do- unscathed. However, the length of their skirt and their affable attitude towards a group of men at wee hours makes them women of “questionable character”. This is the premise of director Anirudha Roy Choudhry’s PINK.

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We have Meenal Arora, Falak Ali and Andrew Tariang, three working professionals, who stay as tenants in a posh area of south Delhi. After a rock concert, they are invited to a nearby resort for dinner by a group of “educated, suited booted men” whom they befriended during the concert. Some inappropriate touches, forceful groping and filthy remarks provoked Meenal to smash a bottle on the head of one of the guys who happened to be relative of a powerful politician. The injury left him profusely bleeding, almost on the verge of losing his eye, and also with a vengeance to ruin the lives of these girls because “ladkiyo ko unki aukaad yaad dilate rehna chahiye” (girls should be reminded of their standing time and again). Later what unveils is an eye-opening courtroom drama powerfully led by the character of lawyer Deepak Sehgal, played by Amitabh Bachchan.

At one point, Amitabh Bachchan’s advocate character mouths such poignant dialogues that we feel shameful for being tied down to shackles of morality for such a long time. A woman who drinks is considered a characterless woman, whereas for men it’s simply a health hazard. He also goes on to establish that we as society have self created certain “safety modules” for women, according to which a woman must not appear gleeful or touchy while talking to men, should not go out after a certain time, should not be allowed to use mobile phones and most importantly should not drink. Abandoning any of these safety module criteria would not only jeopardize your wellbeing, but also be taken as a “hint” that you are open to any kind of assault.

Pink is not an ordinary movie. It will jolt you out of your comfortable world of resilience and introduce you to an unsettling patriarchal mindset prevailing perhaps since the origin of mankind. It puts a lid on all the slut-shaming we do for women who does not fit in the bracket of “ache ghar ki ladkiya”. And yes, for a long time we were battling to find out the real meaning of feminism and confused it with male bashing. Pink digs up the actual Feminism which somehow got buried under mindless protests, facebook posts and newshour debates. It delivers a message that needs to be heard loudly. If a woman says no, regardless of her appearance, it means NO! So hands off. She can be a woman you met recently, your friend, a sex worker or even your own wife….the meaning of NO should not be diluted at any stage.

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Times have changed but not the definition of womanhood. So, how do you define an ideal woman? Let me guess; one who sings bhajans, wear traditional clothes, cooks perfectly and prefers family gatherings over parties? We smirk upon women who wear short clothes, come home late, drink alcohol, and are friendly with the opposite gender. The truth is there is no way to define womanhood. Because defining itself means confinement. Let the women figure out their own choices and potential, just like we allow our men to do.

Pink is one movie that stirs up an issue that we usually sweep under the carpet and let go. For all those who are grappling with the blurred definition of modern women, always remember

“No is not a word but an entire sentence. It doesn’t matter if the girl is your girlfriend, a sex worker, or even your wife, no means no.”

Anirudha Roy Choudhry, take a bow!

 

 

 

 

 

 


I want to thank Readers Cosmo for coming up with an honest review for The Paradox of Vantage Point. Here is the link:

http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/2015/12/the-paradox-of-vantage-point-by-indrani.html


On 15 May 2008 two innocent lives were lost in House No. L-32 of Noida. One of the deceased was 45 years old Hemraj, and the other one was a bubbly, vivacious 14 year girl Aarushi. A promising life lay ahead of her. Unfortunately, it was cut short abruptly because of someone’s sudden impulse. Who was that someone? The Noida police, media channels and two distinguished teams of CBI left no stone unturned to bring the ‘truth’ to the surface. What we were left with was the character assassination of both parents and child, Narco test of three suspected domestic helps, CBI closure, divided opinions of public, and finally sentencing of life imprisonment to the parents for the charge of double murder in 2013.

What we didn’t know was that many more layers were also entailed in this tale of brutal slaughtering. Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar is that attempt to bring to forefront almost all the imperative investigation and case details meticulously and condense them to a two and half hours motion picture. First things first, it takes spine of a steel to take up a subject that is controversial enough to be regarded as one of the most high-profile and mysterious murder cases of the country till date. Writer Vishal Bhardawaj and director Meghna Gulzar, in spite of the possibility and leeway of over dramatization and incursion of songs in a Hindi movie, stuck only to the facts. It is shot completely in a documentary style, leaving the audience with an open end just like the Rashomon style (a form derived from a Japanese film in which there are different versions of the same incident). So, Talvar doesn’t tell you who was the killer that night; rather it focuses more on the botched up investigation process, helping the viewers to draw their own conclusions.

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Having followed the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case fervently since past 7 years, Talvar gave me many points to ponder upon. It’s intense. It’s gripping. It’s disturbing. It’s hard-hitting. Irfan Khan and Neeraj Kabi as the cinematic version of Arun Kumar and Rajesh Talwar respectively, are powerful. Seeing Konkana Sen Sharma on screen after such a long gap was satisfactory. Your heart would ache every time the teenage girl’s throat is slit on that fateful night. Talvar deserves to be seen by each one of us because it is a reflection of our system, our society and our media. If this movie is also sidelined by some leave-your-brain-at-home kind of movie then something is really wrong with the choices we as movie goers are making. Next time, we would not be in a position to anticipate Masaan, Maanjhi and Talvar.

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Who was the actual killer that night? Well, I am as clueless as you all. It can either be the parents or the domestic helps. What really matters is …… On 15 May 2008 two innocent lives were lost in House No. L-32 of Noida. One of the deceased was 45 years old Hemraj, and the other one was a bubbly, vivacious 14 year girl Aarushi. A promising life lay ahead of her. Unfortunately, it was cut short abruptly because of someone’s sudden impulse………

Rest in Peace Aarushi. You definitely deserved better.

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

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For all those kind followers, who were waiting for the first teaser of my book, The Paradox of Vantage Point, the wait is over.

Get a peek into the premise of the book.


It was an unfussy Monday morning where getting reading and reaching timely on office was the main agenda of the day. Until my phone rang; it was my father on the other end. “You try to come by today or tomorrow. Your mom has suffered hyponatremia, it’s something related to very low sodium level in blood, due to which she is in ICU and unable to recognize anyone.” Can you imagine the throttle when someone tries to stuff pile of cotton down your throat? Yes, it was exactly the same sensation that I felt after putting down the phone call. We knew that she was unwell, but a call like this from an optimistic man like my dad was totally uncalled for.

I rushed to the other room where Ratul, my husband, was occupied in selecting the ideal Monday blues shirt for him. “I need to leave right now for Kolkata. Please book the tickets for me. Mom is not responding well.” I fumbled in despair.

“What? Okay, wait I am doing right away.” And as he switched on his laptop to book the tickets, he continued “I will also go with you. I will not leave you alone.”

A drop of tear trickled down my eyes as I said, “But, you are not left with much leaves. You already took more than 20 holidays for our wedding.”I could sense the determination in his voice and see the commitment in his eyes when he said, “It doesn’t matter. I will see what can be done”.

The 2 hours run from Vapi to Mumbai airport on that fateful Monday morning is something that transferred me — now I feel– to the world of farthest trance. On one hand, my devil side was having negative thoughts that what if I fail to make it on time, while the sanguine side kept praying endlessly on a loop. It was the most genuine, sincere and longest prayer to god in my life. Your mind tends to bring to table all possible awful consequences in situations like this. And I, just like any ordinary person, was terrified that my phone, when switched back to normal mode from flight mode, will act as a harbinger of bad news.

It was nearly 5:15 when we landed in Kolkata. I was told that the visiting hour in Apollo Hospital ICU is from 5 pm-6pm. The distance from airport to hospital was almost 15 kilometers. On an average day, it would have taken good 40 minutes in Kolkata’s infamous traffic. Reaching hospital at or after 6 would have meant waiting for another 12-15 hours to see my mother, who was on a totally slippery slope. It was a battle against time in every sense. Ratul kept requesting the taxi driver to accelerate like it was his last drive, while I kept gazing outside the window tight-lipped. Finally at 5:45 I entered the Apollo gate and saw all my relatives, brother and father standing and waiting for us. Without looking at my eyes directly, my father handed me the ICU visiting card and told meekly, “Its 2nd floor. Bed No. 230.” Only one person is allowed at a time to visit ICU so naturally no one would accompany to help you search that chaotic, confused place in a big hospital, or no would be there to hold your hand when you slowly walk towards the place of resurrection.

I had just 10 minutes in my hand now. Overlooking the ever-waiting lift, I stomped up the stairs as fast as possible. With every passing second, my mouth was getting drier and mind was getting burdened with illusion of self-pity. Finally I saw bed no. 230. My heart refused to believe it was her; her face had become considerably darker, whole body was swollen, hair was mucked, lips had black and blue patches and saline drips attached to two places. Worst, her hands were tied to bed and she was struggling to get them released. According to the nurse, her constant attempts to remove all her drips last night made them do this visibly callous thing.

“Ma, aami eshe gechi.” (Ma, I have come).

“Ma…Ma”

I kept calling her until she looked at me. At first she failed to recognize me. No matter how strong you are, when your own creator looks through you, all your reservoir of confidence dries up instantaneously. My eyes welled up, but I tried not to make it apparent.

“Aamar hath e batha. Malish kore de.” (My hand is paining. Massage it). She kept repeating these lines constantly. Later that night, I came to know that she was saying this same and the only thing to everyone.

It was a horrifying first-hand experience when you could see that your life was descending into pits and yet could not show any movement. Amidst all the genuine concerns, prayers, some worry-coated gossips, we strolled in the hospital lobby for hours. The situation was such that you could not even show your tears since it will make your old father more weak and frail. There was a roaring lion inside who was waiting to come out and fly into a rage; as an alternative, I decided to stay calm and make the situation light with smooth talks.

From Tuesday onwards our lives had changed. Eating properly, taking bath like your usual self, sleeping till 8 in the morning, going home, checking facebook and responding on whats app took a back seat. It seemed my father, my brother, Ratul and I had rented a small place permanently in the hospital lobby where we took turns to sit in the two seats available (sometimes not even that). Whole day we were roaming with the luggage that came with us from Vapi. We didn’t even have time to go home and leave our luggage at home. A guest house near the hospital was our new habitat for sleeping.

Tuesday was scariest of all days; she didn’t wake up the whole day. All we could hear was her loud, shrill snoring, which was unusual because she doesn’t snore in normal days. My brother started with some Google search about low sodium level and blurted that it can even lead to coma in severe situations. The last nail in coffin was when the doctor said that the condition is so critical that even they can’t comment anything concrete anything at this stage. I would have sunk deep had Ratul didn’t held my heart gently on that day. Some circumstances are difficult to put down into words.

Wednesday started with usual coming of relatives and lined up ICU visits. Suddenly I noticed that my dad was wearing the same shirt since last two days as he didn’t go back home after Monday. Ratul took charge of bringing a new shirt from nearby shop and without any hullabaloo he did what was need of the hour. As clock struck 5, the ICU visits commenced. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but keeping all the apprehensions aside, I walked inside again. Today, I knew she recognized me as she smiled at my glimpse. Today her hands were not tied. It felt as if someone pumped oxygen into me.

“Kemon acho” (How are you?). That’s the only thing that came out of my mouth at that instant.

In an unclear and stammering way she replied, “Energy nei.” (No energy). Those two words were feast for my spirit because at least it meant she was back to her senses. I rejoiced and said, “Tumi bhalo hoe jabe, chinta koro na.” (You will be alright. Don’t worry). She just kept staring at me for a while and then said, “Ekhane kobe obdi rakhbe? Thakur rokkha koro aamake”. (For how long they will keep me? God save me.) “You are fine Ma”. I said. And with that two security guards came to take me down as the visiting time had ended.

Suddenly, I saw people rushing with camera in their hands from one corner to other. I could not fathom what was going on. A scene like that in a hospital area was bizarre. One of the patient relatives looked at my puzzled expression and yelled, “Arey Raima Sen shooting korche”. (Hey Raima Sen is shooting here). For a second, I got flabbergasted when I saw Raima Sen right in front of me. She was enacting a scene wherein she was there to visit a close person and thus was very sad. It was a surreal experience as what I was going through in real life she was performing out there through her gloomy expressions. We usually say that movies are a reflection of our real life, but today I felt it very closely. The scene required her to walk down the stairs sullenly, while I did something similar in lift. This was perhaps the epic example of fiction meets reality.

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Thursday arrived and we were anxious to know whether the treatment and medications were working as expected. My vigor reached a crescendo when her latest morning report stated that her sodium level is now gradually increasing—though still far from the normal range, but she was coming back to track at least. The usual lobby-waiting sequence continued till evening. Suddenly, my father was called by the doctor upstairs. Alarming!!!! I started sweating. He handed me the bottle of water and ran hastily. Every word fell sharply on my ear at that moment. Before I could dig more deep into pessimism, my dad called to inform that the doctors are planning to shift her from ICU to general ward as she was out of danger.

This was Room no. 515. Ecstasy and seventh heaven would be an understatement to describe that moment. We were allowed to meet her now anytime. In another 3 hours she was shifted to the general ward. We wasted no time in going and talking to her, this time at 5th floor and room no 515.

Tora kothae thakish? Aamake chere jabina. Ekhane thakbi aajke.” (Where you all go away? Don’t leave me and go. Today you live here.) As soon as we entered the room she said in an irritated voice. Even her impatience and anger seemed adorable and amusing now. Four of us surrounded her and the week-long buried emotions and conversations started flowing.

I came out of the room, then the corridor, then the lobby…..to breathe the whiff of fresh air at last. However, it was interrupted by unruly mob. Yes, again some shooting. This time it was the Sarathi Rana of the movie Kahaani (Pramabrata Chatterjee).

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My phone beeped. It was my colleague. Apparently I had won the Employee of the month award for May 2015. I looked at the hospital building, the luggage on one hand and Ratul’s hand clinching my other hand….our eyes met and we smiled. My mother got discharged 2 days after that i.e 13 June 2015. I hugged one of the aunts with whom I had a bitter relationship and didn’t talk for years. I got closer to many of my cousins during this tough time. Most importantly, after five months of marriage, I fell AGAIN in love with Ratul.

I don’t know if it is true that everything that happens is for a reason, but I came back feeling a lot more light and affirmative than before. Tough situations are your ammunition because they are designed to make you a better person and propagate compassion. There is no point in sulking in grudges because you may never know when the opportunity of evoking hearty laughs comes to an abrupt end. Every day now when I wake up my only agenda is to be more considerate and kind than yesterday. Writing is my only way of catharsis and today, after putting down the journey from Room no. 230 to 515 on paper, I feel a weight is lifted off my shoulder!

Dylan Thomas was right in saying………..

“Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”

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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.


For those who usually have a hard time in keeping pace with avalanche of film-related information, Kunal Deshmukh is the name behind movies like Jannat, Jannat 2 and Tum Mile. Howbeit, this article is not about discussing his cinematic achievements or failures so far. This morning Kunal Deshmukh is again back to limelight(not because of any of his upcoming endeavor) because of his resurrecting escape from earthquake-hit Nepal.

Kunal, who went to Kathmandu last week to attend the wedding of his school friend, ended up spending the most horrifying three days of his life there with his girlfriend Sonali. Yes, he was stuck in the same 7.9 magnitude earthquake that rattled the breath out of Nepal. Although he is back now, it will take a while for him to get out of the heartbreaking ordeal he went through.

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Explaining the mental and physical trauma he said, The ground moved violently beneath your feet and it makes your stomach feel squeezy. There were people crying and collapsing being on the edge for so long. For those two days, we survived on chips, biscuits and water that the little shops were selling, but we didn’t want to eat as the loos were so bad. Amongst thousands and thousands of people, there was just one toilet and no one to clean it, so if you landed up going to the toilet, there was shit lying everywhere on the floor.”

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Too many thoughts were vying for my attention after reading his experience, but finally my thinking nerves were stretched as violin strings to a connotation. Mostly it has been seen that art imitates life; in case of Kunal possibly his cinema got imitated by life. In 2009, when he directed Tum Mile—based on the story of a couple stuck in a natural disaster of Mumbai floods- he barely had any idea that someday life may come full circle with this concept.

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The way I am looking at it, the analogy between fiction and real, in this case, is mysterious and totally unavoidable. Filmmakers usually try to present us a slice of real world by taking themes inspired from real life. What happened with Kunal is diametrically opposite. His story of a couple surviving amidst a natural crisis for few days is obviously in the same lines of his own movie. Those of you who have seen Tum Mile would consent to this I am sure. I agree that the screenplay of movie was slightly lose, leading to its failure, but today I can only presume one thing that when world falls to shreds you have no other option apart from wringing your hand in hope. Perhaps life has different ways of teaching you to maintain equilibrium despite all the emotional storms coming you way.

Kunal has come back as a changed man. With a new found gratitude and reverence he says, “Before leaving I was thinking of which film and which producer, but now I don’t care anymore. I will never ever complain about the small stuff in life.”

Experiences like this are not just a piece of news, it is life. Knowingly or unknowingly it may define our way of living. Often life induce emotions that fills your psyche with strong, very strong prayers, every now and then. It gives you the assurance to chart your own course, show gratitude and rise above adversity and intolerance. Instead of sinking under the weight of pretensions, let us pray for exuding positivity at every situation of life. The fact that the whole world is coming together to provide aid to Nepal- so that their disrupted life gets back on track-speaks volumes about the prayer and positivity I am talking about here.

God bless and protect all mankind!

 

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

 


No, the chief minister of Maharashtra was never Prithiviraj Chauhan. Not even in the wildest dream of people with the same name. Yet, a budding bubbly actress made one of the major laugh-inducing blunders in the chat show of Karan Johar called Koffee with Karan. Alia Bhatt–riding high on her back to back success of 2 States and Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya–could not answer who was the CM of Maharashtra accurately a couple of months back.

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What followed was an apparently mortifying ride wherein the Twitter and Google was flooded with stuffs like “Alia Bhatt memes”, “Alia Bhatt Jokes” and “Alia Bhatt dumb”. Embarrassing indeed for any person, let alone a popular A grade actress. This went on for many months, and the discovery of new memes and mockery of her IQ just wouldn’t stop. It was a laugh riot on different social networking sites. And going by the obsession of general public with celebrity humour, it wouldn’t have ceased at least for couple of decades more.

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It is said that the most loved comedian is one who can start with making fun of himself, technically known as self-deprecating humour. Alia Bhatt is not a comedian; she is an actress, but somewhere it appears she took this funda of self-deprecating humour seriously. She knew that if she can come up with the most hilarious parody on her alleged dumbness then at least she can reach an outlet if not stopping it entirely. Instead of blowing fuse on all her dumbness-celebrating jokes, she decided to collaborate with All India Bakchod (AIB) and came up with a hysterically entertaining 10 minutes Youtube video that shows how Alia develops her brain muscles by taking membership of ‘Dumb Bells Gym’. In the video she is shown to be an ‘acute case of Darsheel Safary’ and how! You will find many more uproarious references in this video that also includes the special appearances of Mahesh Bhatt (her father), Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra.

I would call it a smart decision. You can’t refer Alia Bhatt dumb after this because I feel only a sharp and mature mind can have the guts to take potshots at oneself, especially on the same medium that once could not get enough of her memes. This video transported me 2-3 years back when I was known for taking dig at everyone including me. However, an incident engulfed me into vortex of misgiving when a girl called me “Joker” for having the potential to make anyone laugh at the drop of a hat. I just couldn’t take it at that instant and refrained from letting my witty side out after that.

Few weeks down I knew that I was not doing right in suppressing myself. I am a quintessential happy-go-lucky girl and my loved ones admire me for that. There is no way a mere “Joker” remark can penetrate me and initiate a barrage of rage. I thought of walking up to that girl and saying, “Yes I am a Joker, and I am content as I am involved in a noble job of bringing smile on people surrounding me.” But, then explaining it to my inner self was far more important than to someone else. I liberated myself from those negative thoughts at that very instant and realized that there is no harm if I can laugh at my weakness and have a good time with others.

I completely adore and respect this attempt of Alia Bhatt and AIB group called Alia Bhatt – Genius of the Year’ because it takes lot of guts to ridicule yourself in a healthy way. Please do watch it guys for it may leave u giggling even when the documentary is over. Way to go Alia!!!!!!!

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


“It does not have moments that stay with you.”

“You better carry saridon while seeing this”

Yes! You guessed it right. It is another Friday and the film critics are gearing up for what they are best known for- spitting venom on the fate of a movie or weaving a new hierarchy of glory for the entire team behind the movie. But, the question remains that is the credibility associated with the judgement of film critics still taken seriously? If the reception of certain movies by our India public is anything to go by, our Hindi film critics need to consider serious change in their profession.

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Ironically, movies like Humshakals and Grand Masti were given zero star ratings unanimously from each and every reviewer. Yet the former collected over 70 crores and the latter set new record by entering the renowned 100 crore club despite being labelled a crass adult comedy. Not just this; Chennai Express- the second highest grossing movie till date- was called a “mindless” attempt at making people laugh. And the same critics tagged Aashqui 2 as a “soulless” movie. Of course the results are known to everyone. The list is actually never-ending.

On the other hand, amongst the 2014 bundle, films like Dedh Ishquiya, Highway, Gulaab Gang, and City Lights received astounding feedback from critics. These movies, as per them, had an element of hitting the bull’s eyes with the unique story presented by the makers. However, we were caught in a moment of disbelief when these movies barely managed to recover their production costs.

From the past few years, it has become quite clear that the box office numbers and the ratings given by the critics are at variance. People no longer bother about the ratings that get published every Friday; instead- thanks to the anecdote of paid reviews-they tend to go against what is being thrown at them every morning in the form of a website article. Even a decade ago, the scenario was different. People used to swear by the judgement value of film critics. Reviews were meant to discuss the pros and cons of a film so that people do not end up wasting money on a bad film. Fortunately or unfortunately, the lack of genuine and unbiased reviews in the recent times has murdered the professional magnitude of these so called film critics. Today, everyone with a social media account is a reviewer. The cine buffs seem to be at loggerheads with the likings of critics; they will go for every movie that is trashed by the reviewers. The recent success of Humshakals is probably a wakeup call about the fizzling condition of the critics.

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I am not sure whom to blame for this condition- the less evolved intellect of Indian film audience or the cynical reviews. It is a silly game to get into. But one thing is sure that journalism, in any area of specialization, is all about showing mirror to the society. It’s high time now that the film critics need to find a good grounding for themselves.

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As for today’s released movie…ummm…I think Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya is going to earn good money. Not because it is a good film, but it is moderately run down by our critics. And you know what signal it means for the movie goers…

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


When we stepped into the new millennium in the year 2000 things were changing at a rapid phase. Even the Hindi film industry was trying hard to move out of their comfort zone and present something new to the audience. But, the work of a Bollywood actress was still more or less very much the same; she was expected to mouth some romantic dialogues, run around the trees, shed some tears and get wet under a water fall.

A student of psychology, who had just appeared in a brief role opposite superstar Shahrukh Khan in Dil Se, had the backbone and conviction to consent for a role that talked about pre-marital pregnancy and the reaction of Indian society way back in 1999-2000. The film’s name was Kya Kehna. Yep. You got it right. It was none other than Priety Zinta. Her unprecedented fearless act was followed by playing a CBI officer in Sangarsh and then a prostitute in the official remake of Pretty Woman in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. When live-in relationships were still a taboo in India, she starred in Salaam Namaste and still maintained the earnestness. She chose only those roles that defied all old school thoughts related to a Hindi film “heroine”.

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Her every act proved that she is more than meet the eyes and her bubbly dimpled smile is just one of the many layers of her personality. However, her best act of courage—for which she was touted as the ‘only man in the industry’–was yet to come!

In the year 2001, Bharat Shah, financier of the film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, was arrested on the grounds of using money from Pakistan based gangster Chhota Shakeel for this particular film. Police succeeded in recording several telephonic conversations of Bharat Shah, Chhota Shakeel and the producer of the film Nasim Rizvi. During this time, the statements of many celebrities were documented saying that they received threatening calls from the underworld. These celebrities were Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Mahesh Manjrekar, Rakesh Roshan, Anees Bazmee, Priety Zinta, Harish Sughand, Ratan Jain, Sanjay Gupta, Ali Morani and Mohammed Morani.

Call it the love for their family or the reluctance to get into any tardy legal process, all the people mentioned above turned back to their statements. Except one! It was Priety Zinta. Unlike her colleagues and friends, she stood firm with her earlier statement of receiving threatening calls and maintained the same confidence in court. The actors we see bashing 50 goons at one go in movies distanced themselves from the truth when the time of interrogation came. True to her personality, the fearless blood in Zinta could not turn her hostile at any cost. In 2003, she received the Red and White bravery award for singlehandedly standing against the Mumbai underworld.

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I still remember cutting that newspaper article and sticking that in my personal notebook of “Inspirations” when I was in standard 10th. Following that incident whenever anyone asked me who do you idolize the most in life, I used to answer in a split-second that it has to be Priety Zinta. I think knowingly or unknowingly I have imbibed the boldness and straightforwardness from traces of her life activities. Apart from regularly writing about female infanticide and human trafficking in India, she also took the financial responsibility of 34 orphan girls from Rishikesh.

A lot of time has passed. From the reigning queen of Bollywood she became a business entrepreneur. Gradually she was forgotten. When she tried to make a comeback with Ishq in Paris, she decided to produce it herself. Not sure whether it was because of an outdated script or the lack of Zinta magnetism that led to its record-breaking debacle. It could not sustain even 3 days in theatres. Soon there were reports of her going bankrupt. But, those reports were refuted by her.

Cut to June 2014, Priety filed a police complaint against her business partner of Kings XI Punjab cricket team Ness Wadia -who also happens to be her former boyfriend. As per the FIR, it is alleged that he abused and molested her inside Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. It was indeed shocking and disturbing news.

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Coming something like this from an actress who had maintained so much dignity for 15 years was quite unsettling. But, what surfaced after that completely preposterous. Some sources close to Wadia clan started claiming that she is doing all that because she is “jealous” of the new relationship Ness is into. There was an outbreak of anti-Zinta tweets that majorly called it a publicity stunt to save her disappearing career. Some people even compared her to Rakhi Swant. If this was not enough then even country’s one of the most respected columnists Tavleen Singh is giving statements like:

“Shame on Preity Zinta for making a molestation out of a tiff between ex-lovers when little girls are raped and hanged for nothing.”

My heart aches to see that there is no appreciation and support for a woman who has never taken refuge in double standards. Someone whose decisions are an inspiration for many young girls can never resort to such cheap ploy for media hype. Her life is an open testimony that Priety Zinta is a name that has no qualms in calling a spade a spade. I am not sure what will come out of this legal altercation, but I just hope that people analyze things before passing out any judgement and do not classify all actresses as attention-seeking women, especially someone who has conducted all her life with honesty and courage.

I will end the article with some points of Priety Zinta’s public statement regarding this matter:

“I may not be super wealthy and powerful but I have truth by my side and I’ve worked very hard all my life and tried to earn respect for myself as a self made professional. It saddens me that no one at work or around ever stood up for me in the past when I was abused and insulted publicly. This time I was left with no option but to take this stern step as this incident happened in front of way too many people.

I humbly request the media and my supporters to pls focus on the issue and the incident that happened in Wankade and not turn this and me into a TV soap. This is not easy for me and my intention is not to harm anyone but simply to protect myself and to stand up for myself. I don’t want any sympathy from anyone but I will sincerely appreciate it if people do not try to take away my dignity in the process of my fight for respect at my workplace. I think after all these years I deserve it and I’m not asking for too much.”

Think yourself…..is she really asking for too much?

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Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search.


I am not her worshiper. I am not even fond of her professional skills. No news about her has the potential to interest me. But this time, it seems, former beauty queen and actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was determined to shun her critics and drive the paparazzi crazy with her breathtaking Cannes Film Festival appearance. Her Roberto Cavalli off-shoulder dress was something to talk about, and as even her husband Abhishek Bachchan puts, it forced everyone to keep “eyes wide open”.

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In the past few years, there have been endless speculations about her dreary Cannes appearances and her increasing weight post pregnancy. In fact, some of the her overweight looks were so appalling that people who swore by this Devdas beauty wanted to shoot themselves between the eyes. I won’t deny. I was also one of those people who ranted that her time is over and she is good only for home utensil advertisements.

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But, yesterday when I saw this goddess on the red carpet with confidence oozing from her eyes and smile, I was sure of one thing that marriage or motherhood can never eclipse the glory of the woman residing within you. The experience of getting back to shape and avoiding media glare for a significant time must have been exhausting at one level, but exceedingly stimulating at another. She has proved to be a hands-on wife and mother till now and no one can deny that. And when the moment came to showcase her gorgeous diva side, she did that too but at her own pace without getting into any number race.

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Often we get exhausted exploring just one facet of our relationships. Nevertheless, events like this and efforts from celebrities like her are a reminder that sometimes you have to hit the rock bottom to recognize your vision and get the fortitude to silence your critics with élan. Whenever someone tries to propel in the direction of liberation, it definitely gets a mention on my blog. The catch is, no matter how many responsibilities and relationships you are handling, you need to define your awesomeness every once in a while just like Aishwarya stepped in and punched the geared-up pessimistic critics right in the face. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Disclaimer: All pictures are a result of Google search.