Monday 20 March 2017

Beauty & the Beast-Movie Review

We all knew about the age-old fairy tale. Yet, many of us cynical adults went to see it in the theatres.

Because ‘Beauty & the Beast’ is not just about the 3D glasses you get to wear. Or the colorful cinematography you get impressed with. And not even the lyrical songs the characters break into every now & then, giving you a yesteryear feeling of watching a musical ballet instead.

Beauty & the Beast is a story full of metaphors, whose ‘characters’ roam around the streets even today, in every nook and corner of this twenty-first century world.

So if you take your eyes and minds off your cellphones for a moment and look around yourself a bit more carefully, it won’t be long , before you find them. Yes, every single one of them, around you, at some point of time.

The young Belle, a strong intelligent single woman, whose happiness on just ‘getting educated through books’ confuses the society. She is laughed upon by the old, she is gossiped about by the young, but she is never forgotten, by any of them. Her independent status, the society cannot digest, and thus they are ready to ‘tame’ and ‘name’ her if necessary, for their ‘common benefits’. Sounds familiar? There’s more.

The very handsome, self-proclaimed ‘Hero’ of the society, Gaston, who wants to marry this headstrong Belle, not only because she also happens to be the most beautiful in the lot(of course!) but mostly because she appears ‘unachievable’. She is intelligent enough to avoid his types, but this trait of hers seems to him to be a downright insult to his manhood, on the very which the other local girls who are drooling over already. He is more the ‘local Bhai’ who feels that every girl of the ‘basti’ should be falling for his ‘good-looks’. He wants a girl because ‘he’ wants her. The girl, should just be grateful! The society agrees.
Well, how many girls in this world still get married to such ‘Gastons’, I really can’t tell you the count. But they are many, and this much i can tell, that the life they lead, could give birth to a hundred more 'fairy-tales' not necessarily with a happy ending.

Last but not at all the least, our very favorite, the Beast. The one with a twisted face and a loving heart. The one who learnt the lesson the hard way and waited for a rescue, through a love, which will see only his beautiful inside. Oh, so many of us identify with him, don't we.  We the average-looking types? The introverts, who do not show off their goodness around. The unselfish ones who do toil in the background and sacrifice the limelight. How many of then get their Belles I wonder. But of course our Beast surely gets lucky with the beautiful Belle.

Because sensible Belle falls in love with him too, because with him, she can finally ‘talk’. Because in contrast to the dominating Gaston, the beast gives her her freedom, the true mark of unconditional love. The Beast in love at last is not a beast anymore, and is actually a prince , in everyone's eyes. Because people who are good at heart, whatever their physicalities be, ultimately look beautiful, to one and all.

Beauty & the Beast is a actually a lesson to everyone who judge people by their looks. A warning to every girl that the macho hero of her dreams might not be the 'prince charming' after all. And a reminder to all the boys, who judge girls by their 'statistics' first. And to the society too, who still cringes their nose at dark-skinned girls and short-height boys.Who still make hullabaloo over the colors of skin, white,brown,black. The modern day 'beasts' are still on their look-outs for the very few Belles available. Good luck to them for their own little 'happily ever afters'!

Lion-The Movie review

What happens to your life when God pushes you back to the darkest corner of the wall?

What happens when you are lost, helpless, broken and don’t have any idea about when the situation will change, or even the faintest assurance that the things will at all change.

What happens when you know that the people you love the most, your family, is going through the same amount of pain as you, and you can do nothing about it, absolutely nothing. For twenty-five years.

Life then becomes an unending pain. A vacuum of existing in the present and living in the past. And ultimately an elongated search, for the real self within.

It is this desperateness, Lion, the movie, will pull you all into.

The story of Saroo Brierley.
A tale of immense human courage, of how a little boy faced unimaginable difficulties and survived through,with admirable poise and a mature calmness way beyond his years.

Little Sunny Pawar aka Saroo, rules your heart from Shot one. You smile,when he beams back love at his proud protective elder brother. You laugh at his little mischiefs,when he is able to behave like a child in the few truly happy moments of his life. You are then on the edges of your seat when he’s about to fall into traps, and you sigh with relief when he assures us, time and again, that he’s smart enough, to manage on his own,without anyone's help.Thank you very much.

Your heart goes out to him when he keeps searching for his brother and mother in a strange crowd. He matter-of-factly states to all that he needs to see his mother. But when he understands,that it is no more possible, he accepts, with an admirabe composure and moves on.Perhaps it was because of this attitude, that even God stopped testing the little boy and gave him what he deserved at last. Love.

It is difficult to hold the attention of the audience when the story is known to all. But the adept direction of Garth Davis hooks you from the word Go.

What is more amazing here that since we know that the characters are all true,somehow it is that realization which makes us go through a plethora of emotions.

We gasp with shock at the unexpectedness of how real people turn out to be, in this cruel, blood-sucking world. So much so that you start suspecting even that second glance from a stranger, be it a friendly man or a motherly woman. Because you know, that everybody out here is at a war of their own, struggling and fighting, to exist, and if lucky, rise above. Be it at the mine site breaking stones, or stealing coals and risking your life for a packet full of milk for your little brother. Be it a child trafficker selling her body and soul to a pimp or a policeman who supplies helpless children to powerful men. Everyone is fighting their invisible wars and hoping to win.

But the ultimate war here is the war within. Brilliant actors Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman portray the tussles inside of the adopted mother n child with such grandeur that I hear quite a many sniffs in the audience throughout the screening. Our favorite Deepti Naval, in a little cameo, shines in a silent moment of just expressions, when Saroo for the last time, asks for his mother.

The first half of the movie rests on the little shoulders of Sunny Pawar, who comes across as a real discovery.I sincerely wish to see more of him, not just as a child actor, but as a strong ‘character’. Because he certainly has, the ability.

The Cinematography by Greig Fraser is sheer painting. Right from the first dissolves, of the scenic Australia to the powdery plains of Khandwa, the deeply emotional story of Lion has a very passionate camera following it throughout. Thank God for that. A tumultuous train journey captured with brilliant use of camera and picture perfect frames using just natural light need special mentions.

Outstanding editing work by Alexandre de Franceschi, bring alive the childhood of Saroo when he finally meets his mother after twenty five years of separation. And as happens always in our real 'worldly' life, nothing did remain the same ,other than a mother's love and a few cherished memories.

Go and watch Lion, if you haven't already. You will learn a thing or two about the rules of life. The turmoils and tests we all must go through, to survive with our heads held high. The 'hearty' use of our intelligent minds, which is needed for all, to make quick decisions and escape pitfalls.And the grace we all must show, at all times, before accepting, that whatever happens, always does happen, for only the best.

Thursday 2 March 2017

Morning Memories

A tiny arrow of light 
shoots straight into my dark curtained room,
up to my bed, on my face .
The bathroom is lit. My Grandma is up.

Awake.Silent.Dazed. I lie there still and trace her movements.
Through the guarded sounds
and tell-tale smells.

A tinkle of bangles
A muffled whisper, of morning chanting
A wisp of watery fragrance
fills the air.

Her jasmine scented oil leaves a trail
as she hobbles back
to her room after the bath.

The opening of the door to the balcony.

A minute later, she glides back,
with a burning incense stick in her hand,
she enters the kitchen.

Sometime later, 
there'll be an aroma of sweetened milk tea in the whole house.
The radio will be switched on and the volume will be increased,
just a little careful bit.

Few seconds of pause
and then a cool moist palm
will be placed on my forehead.

I close my eyes, pull up my covers
and wait.

Tuesday 28 February 2017


Adil and Ayesha 

had had an arranged marriage last week.

Now on their honeymoon in a hill station, 

they tried to fall in love. 

They spoke They confessed and They laughed about it all. 

However on their last night, 

Ayesha looked furious. 

"I gave you every chance Adil, to come clean.

I was ready to forgive, if only once you'd have stopped deceiving me. 

But you didn't."

Seeing his shocked face she explained,

'" Last winter, that night in Delhi, 

you were there with your friends 

trying to grab that poor beggar girl 

off the street. "

Adil's eyes had widened in bewilderment.

She continued,

"True, you had tried to stop them. 

But when they ignored, you didn't leave.

Instead, you chose to remain there and look. "

A pregnant pause.

No words came out of his mouth. 

A question, bulging in his throat, unable to come out.


She spoke again,

"It was me driving the jeep that night Adil.

The jeep,

which kept coming back to you guys, 

until it chased all of you away. "

She had packed her bags already. 

Before leaving, Ayesha turned back one last time,

"The only question which keeps haunting me now is...

had I not been there that night, 

you too, 

would have devoured the girl, 

isn't it ? ".

Monday 27 February 2017


Wish characters could write their own ends. Wish the actors playing them could rescue them from this helplessness.
A fiery little ‘banjaaran’ is bought off a street performance by a visionary businessman. He then tames this ‘wildness’ into a feisty and fashionable Miss Julia. But for obvious reasons, he is unable to tame her heart, which is still lost in the wilderness it had come from.
Rangoon the movie, promises from the very beginning, to be made to appreciate Kangana, the ‘queen’. It is she, in a welcome change, who gets a royal ‘introduction’ into the story and she accepts it with aplomb.
Because here is a performance which overshadows everything, the other performances, the confusing storyline, the gigantic sets, the excellent cinematography and of course, the soulful music. Because, when Miss Julia enters, you look at only her and when she exits, you wait, only for her.
Cheers to both the male leads, a painfully restrained Shahid Kapoor and an equally, if not more controlled Saif Ali Khan, who gracefully accept the reign of the ‘queen’ over the entire film.  The brilliant actors that they are, they have shown bravery in accepting itself, the roles of characters who are nothing but providers of plot points to a scattered story to which the heroine acts and reacts. So it is a welcome change indeed to see the heroine ride into the den of enemies and save her prince charming, the heroine to make the first move in her own love story and the heroine again to playfully defeat an exceptional soldier in swording. If only the climax too could keep the queen’s flag flying high.
Good songs, poetic visuals and excellent dialogues. We only wish the script had focused on one story in completion instead of getting scattered into so many snippets of different ideologies.
Rangoon should be watched, for all these positives and of course, for the queen onscreen, Kangana Ranaut.

Sunday 19 February 2017

U & I

I had'nt seen you yet
But I spoke up
About you
To them
For you

They had'nt seen you too
But even they chose to speak
About you
To the doctor
Against 'us'

But then, as you see
We both lived

One day I'll tell you how...

Till then, it's this tiny you and this new me,
Two powerful women,
in their making...


Whenever I see you,

sipping from those plastic bottles kept on the table?

I miss
those long relieved sighs, you used to let out

in those hot summer afternoons,
when you took time,
to sip from me instead,

your much-used, now-forgotten,