Sunday, 18 January 2015



Sundays are so welcome for the working woman especially if you have that Saturday off to do or let’s say do away with all the household chores. I really look forward to my Sundays because it is the only day when you can fill your ghada (pot)…not with sins(in the common parlance) but with magical moments of selfless contemplation.

I am sure a lot of us know that feeling.

So in one of these moments, I happened to pick the MINT LOUNGE (Saturday copy) and go through articles. I always read Aakaar Patel and Natasha Badhwar’s columns. This time I was reading the one by Shoba Narayan. It’s called The good life.

The article talks about Matunga and the Tamilain who dwells there, specifically the Palakkad Tamil. The article reflects on how the patch of land that connects certain communities and the human association with proximity to ones identity. Truly the piece is well written and implemented. (For more read

After reading the article a lot of questions were buzzing in my mind. I call myself the modern Nomad. Roots from J&K, links in Punjab, born in Gujarat, studied in Delhi, Pune, Bombay (still not Mumbai then), Chennai and married to Bengal (Bengal mind it not A Bengali……married to the Land of Tagore &Ray, Bengal) .

Where is that patch of land which I can call mine?

I struggled for years with this question through childhood, youth and now midlife crisis!!

I had though devised my formula and that formula is as simple as it is : CINEMA .
For me it began as early as 7 years of my arrival on the green planet with cinema like Elippathayam (The Rat Trap) by Adoor Gopalakrishnan or maybe Devi by Satyajit Ray. 

One cannot even fathom how our erstwhile Doordarshan shaped who I am and probably gave me my mental patch of land. 

Today, there are many Indians who live abroad who probably go through the same crisis that I did when they struggle with their transnational identities. There is now a clinical term to define the cinema that addresses and connects them to their roots : it is called Diaspora Cinema.

The second half of the twentieth century, referred to by some demographers as "the century of migration," is distinguished by the magnitude, direction, and composition of international migration. Diasporic cinema refers to the film making of any dispersed community that lives away from its country of origin.

National identity in India and Bollywood dream machine has been of interest to the academicians mind for years.

A lot of cinema today is also clearly oriented towards this need/desire of the NRI community which drives them to watch cinema and inspires directors back in the homeland to set the Box office rolling.  One wonders how the new segment looking for that Patch of land and the producer thinking of the x crore club incredibly are able to satiate each others need.

My thought will need a sequel…so you keep reading….I will come back in a couple of days with more info on the same lines…

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Top ten things to watch out for in 2015

Top ten things to watch out for

As the New Year approaches, one sees a lot an analysis of the past year with a desire to understand an year gone by….
So I thought let me take the lens and flip it 180 degrees to understand what are the top ten things that one should watch out for in 2015!
But Before I begin its important to start with a
Disclaimer :
The list is very subjective and completely my take . Any resemblance to another humans thought is purely coincidental!
Warning : Being pessimistic is bad for health, it is important to read the following write with utmost hope because I haven’t written it with 100% hope alone. Too utopian. Create the hope yourself, be the change.

So let begin the countdown

10. whats next in Bollywood women?
    all weekend newspapers, magazines are talking about how the Bollywood heroine has emerged form the shadows ….if interpreted correctly , how they no longer run around trees, be the hero’s arm candy but now actually play the lead in their own right !. I have been studying this phenomenon since 2010…so I think the thing to look out for in 2015 is what will be the next metamorphosis . Hoping with all my might that it shouldn’t be they displaying the man as arm candy. Though it sound equivalent and empowering, it definitely isn’t

9. how much of water will be left and rivers?
everyday I cross ad river turning first into a dwindling stream but now resembling a pond . My heart sinks. In yesteryears it was called the Yamuna, I can’t all it that today . What a cost to pay for development. Rivers are the source of life, the mothers, gods of human survival on the planet. Hoping that I see my river come back in stream.

8. will India rise above religion
I thought I voted for good governance, my vote had no web or real connectivity with my religion. Can this country I belong to, educate the world on a true democratic functioning. Will the India that could shine but is right now trying to fall at the feet of a God imagination of myopic individuals rise above all.

7. what will be the next fear or psychosis
first it was public functions, then markets then disowned toys, railway trains, airplanes… it is school. Of all the places in the world, the attack on helpless young school kids. it may have happened thousands of miles away, but every parent now will live with the dormant feeling of fear when kids go to school .
what more can even happen !

6. will football take over a nation of 125 crore
now for the hopeful. Cricket ahs the new competitor. At last, do I need to say more. Hoping though that football cant be fixed. 

5.  will we see cleaner India
Swach Bharat brought the real hope in our hearts, The daily questioning of why our surrounding suddenly look like heaps of waste strewn everywhere did reach the corridors in Luytens clean corridors. Lets see how much can we clean.

4.  will Arnab’s news still be entertaining and Kapil laughriot be the same
The potential Arnabs and potential Kapils are all gearing up. All imitation has failed. Will they retain their lead?

3. will the robot finally make a debut  at our doorstep
How can a countdown exist without Human being next best friend or only friend today- the lovely GADGET! Any kind any shape any colour…it is so impressive you forget to even raise your neck to see other fellow beings. So will 2015 bring the robot to our house programmed to talk only what we want to hear.

2 will southeast asia finally emerge as the dragon that’s woken up?
They are all looking at the East. Will the region fiannly rise from that slumber or it’s just a numbers game. Wondering…

1.    will we find that new habitable planet !! with friendly aliens
Finally , now that we are hellbent on ruining our dearest habitable planet and have already started conditioning ourselves to movings elsewhere. First destination being Mars , I wonder if 2015 will bring more news on the other options….possibly with company …..LETS keep those fingers crossed!

In any case , have a great year ahead and no harm preparing your own list of top ten wishes.


The title of my piece clearly reflects the analysis that the cinephile in me is doing.
The instigator to this thought process is my viewing of the film PK.

The newspaper reports are either taking of the controversies or the box office collections but after watching the film, my first response was
‘The effervescence of a directorial debut’

For those of you who are still wondering why I say this is because I hold Rajkumar Hirani in high esteem as a director. Before I say further, I must remind you with the fact that Rajkumar Hirani's first directorial venture was Munnabhai Mbbs (2003), which is considered a cult classic. The approach to a journey of a Mawali faking being a doctor and the peripheries of everything else so cleverly chalked out. I was floored by the construction and implementation of the thought.
PK did not create any of that feeling in me. The combination of a meticulous director and a perfectionist actor and the result that ensued lacked the innocence of that first time director to take all of us on a journey which can be absurd but can still create ripples in your soul.

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Since I am talking about that sparkle in a first ever effort of cinematic storytelling, the names which immediately strike me are Vishal Bhardwaj .
His first directorial debut was children's film Makdee, which was critically acclaimed.
Another example could be Vikramaditya Motwane who released his debut feature film, titled Udaan (2010). The film was not immediately successful at the box office when released, but is regarded as a cult film.

I wonder how the craft of filmmaking affects a person who cracks the formula in the very first go. Does it wither away with time in some people or does it need a re-polish every few years. If one thinks from the point of view of these celebrated directors, maybe honest critics start dwindling away in their circuit as they rise up the ladder …almost like the Emperors new clothes story. But how can me a mere mortal know !

I can only comment humbly on the final product as a consumer!

PK also brought in my mind comparisons in how the subject was treated in the film Oh my God , which to me has been one of the most uncelebrated works in the recent years. The film subtly ruptures the entire fabric of religious fanaticism and the lack of vision in the legal system. And most importantly no inclusion of the favorite emotion that Indian directors play with ‘love’ no matter what genre they indulge in. Kudos to Umesh Shukla who directed the Indian drama film Oh My God.

I still am on the effervescence and shall wait for my thought to explode when I see another screening of a acclaimed director …till then,  let me sip my adrak chai!