T.G.I.F – शुक्र हैं शुक्रवार हैं

13 Apr

As I woke up today I realized that today is Friday the 13th – the unluckiest day by many legends. As I was reading about the beliefs around this day and date, I came across this wonderful quote:-

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

– Thomas Jefferson

So well, lucky or unlucky, its a Friday!! And it definitely is a reason to smile and hope for a refreshing weekend.

I had written a poem like this long long back. This poem is a variant of that one. For those who cannot read Hindi, my apologies for not being able to translate it. But, the title literally translates to Thank God Its Friday 🙂

आज देखिये चरों ओर,

खुशियों की बौछार हैं|

मानो कोई त्यौहार हैं,

शोखियों में घुमार हैं|

शुक्र है शुक्रवार हैं|

*

आँखों में है चमक नयी,

और होटों पर मुस्कान हैं|

एक सुनहरे वीकेंड का,

बेसबरी से इंतज़ार हैं|

शुक्र हैं शुक्रवार हैं|

*

टिक टिक करती घडी की आज,

तेज़ बड़ी रफ़्तार हैं|

आधा महिना हुआ ख़त्म,

आज मिलने वाला पगार हैं|

शुक्र हैं शुक्रवार हैं|

*

खुशियों से हो आप घिरे,

यह ही मेरा अरमान हैं|

इस ही बात पर आपको मेरा,

प्यार भरा नमस्कार हैं|

शुक्र हैं शुक्रवार हैं|

[55 Fiction] – The Revival

5 Apr

He tried to make a beeline through his discombobulated chain of thoughts. Measuring every word, every emotion carefully, he finally decided to pen them down waiting anxiously for them to shout back.

A sudden realization of the seeming futility murdered his resolve. But, the words persisted, conquered and the revival happened –a noble attempt!

Image

P.S – I guess this is just another hopeless attempt at getting back to blogging after a really long hiatus. And I must thank Sudhi for sparking this idea!

A Few Good Films..

2 Jan

Every year we come across films which make it big at the box office for obvious reasons and some are mere disappointments. And then there are those that showcase the ability and courage of the filmmakers who don’t take the beaten path – films which are made out of genuine love and passion for cinema. Without blabbering further, let me list down two such films which I feel were true gems of 2011.

A hearty story, an earnest attempt and a simple narrative, Nila Madhab Panda’s directorial debut is nothing but a master’s stroke. I am Kalam is a tale of Chotu, who works at a small road side eatery in a remote location in Rajasthan. While on one hand he is battling financial crisis, on the other he aspires to follow the ideals of President Kalam. His never ebbing desire to study and to be able to go to a school is demonstrated with such innocence that it makes one’s heart go all the way out for Chotu.

Chotu delivers tea and snacks at the village headman’s villa where he meets Ranvijay, the headman’s son who is prohibited from mingling with the masses. The film essays the contrast in the lifestyles of two distinct strata of the Indian society through these two characters. In essence, the story enunciates the social struggle for education in rural India without being verbose in language or loud in expression.

The biggest asset of I am Kalam is in fact the simplicity with which the narrative has been built. Harsh Mayar has rendered a heart warming performance as Chotu. Gulshan Grover’s eloquent portrayal of Bhati, the owner of the food joint is a sheer pleasure to watch. The journey of characters throughout the film showcase different emotional upsurges in a consistent way which keep the audiences glued. A highly recommended film for those who want to experience good cinema!


In a plethora of block busters, a film like Bubble Gum comes across as a breath of fresh air. There are only a handful films which cater to teenage audience in the true sense.  The wonder years of everybody’s life – carefree and filled with pluck and hope. This film by Sanjivan Lal takes us back to the wonder years when the dimensions and definitions of ‘being cool’ were tremendously different.

The protagonist, Vedant is an average boy next door who is as eager to enjoy the Holi vacation as is everyone else in his class. The film begins with Vedant’s crush for Jenny, the daughter of a police officer in the neighborhood. Like every other story, there is a villain by the name of Ratan who is competing with Vedant for Jenny. The film is filled with a bunch of fun filled anecdotes when both the lads try to impress the damsel. The turning point of the film is when Vedant’s dumb and deaf elder brother Vidur comes home for vacation and hogs all the limelight and affection of their parents played by Tanvi Azmi and Sachin Khedekar. The film encompasses teenage trauma, puppy love and sibling rivalry with finesse and elegance.

Bubble Gum is based in Jamshedpur and rightly captures the small town charm of the city. It is also weaved around the festival of Holi symbolically connecting different colors of the festival with different shades of life and the joy of appreciating them. Delzaad Hiwale has given a phenomenal performance as Vedant and Sohail Lakhani shines out as Vidur. The cinematography and art direction too stand out in making it a wholesome experience. For those who want to see an honest movie with a feel good factor, Bubble Gum is a must watch!

The views mentioned above are strictly my own. Different films works for different people. Hope to see many more good movies in 2012, here’s wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year!

धैर्य सो रहा है

13 Jul

Another Wednesday, another attack. While on one hand I am infuriated at the fallacies of the security agencies, I feel terrible for the deceased and those who are suffering. I am not a big proponent of Mumbai standing back on its feet and all that jazz. How many times should she stand back, fight back? How many times is her perseverance going to be put to test?

I am probably at lack of words to state the discombobulated emotion. This is probably my spontaneous outburst..

आग का बवंडर, दहशत का है मेला,

स्वप्नों की नगरी, आतंक का है खेला|

ज्योत बुझ रही है, अंधेर हो रहा है,

आंसुओं की आड में, क्यों धैर्य सो रहा है?

*

सिकुड़ती है तरंग, कायरों के गर्व से,

झुलसती है उमंग, हमलों के पर्व से|

वो अथांग सागर, असहाय हो रहा है,

आंसुओं की आड में, क्यों धैर्य सो रहा है?

*

मौन सिसकियों की राजनीत हो रही है!

वीरों की भूमि, संतप्त रो रही है!

भयहीन वीर कल का, निर्बल सा हो रहा है|

आंसुओं की आड में, क्यों धैर्य सो रहा है?

*

दाता तुझसे पुकार, कण-कण में बल दे,

अंगार दे, चैतन्य दे, निष्ठां मगर अचल दे|

वरदान देने तू क्यूँ निर्वाक हो रहा है?

आंसुओं की आड में, क्यों धैर्य सो रहा है?

*************

P.S: Apologies  to the Hindi impaired. I don’t think I can translate it well in English.

Life’s Like That: Of Memory Loss and Nostalgia

23 Jun

The Unknown Girl

I had a very sharp memory. Trust me, I did! My friends usually burst out in laughter when I try to convince them about this. I had called to wish my aunt a happy birthday and she quickly stated that Facebook has really made remembering birthdays easy. Well, you don’t really have to remember them now. A nice pop up or a side bar does it for you. I told her that I maintain a spreadsheet with all the birthdays listed on it. So far I trust my memory to look at the spreadsheet. The day does not seem to be very far when the application will trigger an email from your inbox as well. I am simply surprised by the level of emotional disconnect I would have eventually.

I was traveling to New York a couple of weeks back in the train. As I stepped in the train at my stop, I noticed this girl with a familiar face getting in as well. I knew that I knew her! But, I chose to disregard me noticing her as there was just no way could I remember her name. The subway in NYC is as accommodating as the local trains in Mumbai. With every stop it makes, a few people manage to edge out, a few squeeze in and the re-shuffling is never-ebbing. So, after a couple of stops, this unknown girl was right next to me and not noticing her was like disregarding Baba Remdev’s fast! 🙄  Before I could even think of greeting her…

She: Hey Hi Himanshu! What a pleasant surprise? How have you been? XYZ told me that you went on to pursue Master’s. Are you done with it? Oops! Lot of questions… Take your time… 😛

Me: Errr… Yeah!! 😀  (At this point, neither did I remember her name, nor did I recollect who XYZ was!! Duhhh!! ) I am here for an internship. I am going to be around until the end of August.

She: Oh that’s great! We should catch up sometime. I am going to get off at 14th. Where are you headed to?

Me: Oh just meeting a couple of friends near 33rd.

She: I guess you changed your number? I have the old one.

Me: Aah.. yes.. I am sorry, the shift from being at work to being a student happened in a jiffy for me. I could not inform a lot of
people.

She: Yeah. I get it. So, what’s your new number?

Me: Oh yes! I am sorry… It’s blah blah blah… What’s yours?

She: I’ll ring you up once I am out of the train.

Me: (Why couldn’t she just give her number? She had to give the insurmountable “missed call”!!! ) ok sure!

I don’t think she even thought that I wouldn’t remember her name. She did give me a “missed call” and I have this number saved in my phone as the “The Unknown Girl”.

I have been trying to figure out her name by asking possible common friends. But behold! Whenever I ask this question to anyone, I only give them an opportunity to have loads of fun at my cost! 👿 😦

Nostalgia

A few weeks back I got a call from an unknown number. The first thought that came to my mind was that it would be another recruiter calling me to convey rejection. I was going pretty crazy with the internship search then. But well, the sound on the other end of the phone was certainly not that of a nonchalant recruiter.

He: Hi! Am I speaking with Himanshu?

Me: Yes.

He: don’t tell me you still haven’t recognized my voice?

Me (After a blink, viola!!): Ohhhooo!! 🙂 Its you!!

It was an old friend of mine I had lost touch with over the years. Getting back in touch with friends is just so truly invigorating. We indeed had a lot to catch up on. We talked about the amazing trip that we had made while in college. We revisited all our typical hang outs through the conversation, talked about exams, talked about movies and several other nothings of the world. After the call, I got back to the internship hunt, but probably the anxiety was a little abated by the smile on my face… 🙂

Well, there are some moments which erase out of our memory too soon and there are these other several moments that we cherish and reminisce for a lifetime. I have certainly come to realize that neither of the two is in our control!

Life’s like that – Of moments to forget and moments to remember!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Life’s Like That” is a segment where I narrate incidences that have transformed from mere thoughts to wonderful memories. Click here for more posts in the segment! 🙂

Movie Review – Stanley Ka Dabba

25 May

Probably the one quality that describes childhood the best is innocence. Amole Gupte captures this very quality with immense penchant in his latest offering – Stanley Ka Dabba. After Taare Zameen Par, this film once again enunciates the sensibilities of Amole, both as a filmmaker and as a parent. Stanley Ka Dabba is an ode to the gamboling freedom of children and a satire at the worried adult lives of the twenty first century.

Stanley, the protagonist is a forth standard student of the Holy Family School. The first few minutes of the film showcase the sheer fun that Stanley (Partho) has with his gang of friends in the school. The screenplay quickly presents a sketch of every character in the narrative. The Hindi teacher Babu Verma (Amole Gupte) who digs into the lunch boxes of students and teachers alike, the typical Science teacher Mrs. Iyer (Divya Jagdale)  who only means business and the charming English teacher Ms. Rosy (Divya Dutta) who is probably every boy’s crush. Stanley is clearly the favorite buddy of the entire class. His entertaining anecdotes are popular with everyone in the class. However, he gets in the bad books of Babu Verma for he never gets his tiffin box. The turning point of the story is when Verma scolds Stanley and asks him to enter the school only if he has a Dabba. Almost from the first frame, the director builds an enigma about Partho’s life out of school. Where does he live? What do his parents do? And most importantly, why doesn’t he get his Dabba? Stanley’s Dabba strongly symbolizes the reality behind his enigmatic existence.

One of the key highlights of the film is the effortless and warm performances by the child actors. Partho is adorable in every bit of his presence on the screen and his gang of friends made me nostalgic indeed! The film has been made through acting lessons over the weekends and the children have not missed a single day of school. Divya Dutta shines bright as Ms Rosy and Amole Gupte wears the “Khadus” title in an entertaining yet convincing way. The film never flashes out of the boundary of subtlety. There are no preachy dialogues nor are there any tear jerking scenes. It is the sheer simplicity that the narrative has to offer which captivates the audience.

The background score is predominantly used for narrating parts of the screenplay. In my humble opinion, the songs may not really be good to listen unless one has the images of the film to map the lyrics to. Having said that, Shankar Mahadevan’s stirring rendition “Nanhi si Jaan” lingered on my mind for quite a bit.

Stanley, figuratively puts forth several questions which we probably overlook easily while going about our daily chores. His mysterious Dabba while on one hand states that it is love and affection which can bind us all together; it also throws light on the probable fallacies in our societal notions and jaundiced opinions on the other.

There is a little bit of Stanley in every one of us! Stanley Ka Dabba is a journey back in the years of our lives which are probably the most cherished by most of us.  It expands the horizons of perceptions outwards and peaks inwards with a sensitive flavor that creates a  heartwarming experience. For all those who want to watch a simple film which can probably give your cerebrum something to ponder, go for it!

My Rating:

Seasons in Haiku

24 Mar

A Haiku is a a form of Japaneese poetry with 17 syllables in three lines structured such that the first and the third lines have 5 syllables and the second line has 7 syllables. There are several varieties of Haiku which have evolved over the years. Our dear Megzy has already mastered the art and I am a huge fan of her Haikus.

I was sorting some of my photographs when I thought of putting up a picture and writing a Haiku for every season. Here is the end product of my attempt…

Winter (View from my apartment after a snow storm)

Winter’s spell – warm barn,
snow capped hills and chilly breeze.
Calm in still white peace…

Spring (Sunset from my apartment just after a rainy spell)

Spring’s blossom – cheery bright.
Witnessing nature’s delight.
an engrossing sight…

Summer (Dry and parched Grand Canyon)

Summer’s fury – harsh heat.
The Sun mercilessly blazing,
noon shadows gazing…

Fall (Colorful & fiery leaves at Bear Mountain, NY)

Autumn’s gift – misty milieu.
lapping water, warmth in the sky,
leaves – colorful n dry…

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