BAJIRAOMASTANI

21 Mar

BHANSALI DOES IT AGAIN !!

 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali does it once again by creating a grand movie,BAJIRAO MASTANI

 

Based on a Marathi novel, depicting the life of Bajirao, the Peshwa of the Chartrapati of Mewaar, the movie is a love saga of Bajirao and Mastani ,the illegitimate daughter of a rajput king and his Muslim mistress.

Bajirao takes over as the Peshwa of Marwaar, after his father’s death at a very young age, displeasing many but proves his metal with his exemplary war skills and political knowledge and reaches new heights of success. While helping the king of Bundelkhand, he falls in love with Mastani, who is a great warrior herself and saves Bajirao’s life during the battle. In spite of the strong resistance and displeasure of his mother and society, he marries her and has a son .His wife Kashi resists but finally accepts Mastani, for happiness of her husband, but their son and the society fail to do so and capture  Mastani and finally both die craving for each others love and company

 

Though based on a historic background the movie, like most of Sanjay’s movie, is out and out a la Romeo Juliet, love story further dramaticed by adding the good old  love triangle of man, wife and the other woman.

The story is old and simple but the presentation in Bhansali’s style has put life in it. Ranvir Singh has again proved his metal with extraordinary acting and a superb characterization of a young peshwa. His body, dialect, dialogue delivery, mannerism and action are almost perfect. At places he is a little comical ,casual and funny, typical of him, but probably that was a part of Bajirao’s character. The overall portrayal or the role he played was realistic but besides a warrior, he emerged as a great romancer and a ultimately a failed lover. Deepika Padukone, in the role of Mastani has been superb and truly lived the role of the other woman. Unlike  the aggressive other women of many stories, Sanjay’s Mastani is submissive and willing to accept her unaccepted status in family and society and Deepika has brought this out superbly by her soft n slow dialogue delivery, efforfull monotony,dull clothes, little to no makeup and negligible jewelry at most times and above all a non confrontist attitude and even a sympathy gaining bland facial expression. Kathak performed by her on the song, mohe rang do lal,was a real treat and enchanting. In spite of sans the external glamour ,Deepika has looked glamorous and even sensuous by the confidence of her faith in her love and her willingness to fight the world for her lover. Priyanka Chopra, as Bajirao’s wife Kasi, has shown great histrionics and a wonderful portrayal of a faithful wife, devoted daughter in law, loving mother and above all a mature lady. Her acting, dialogue delivery, mannerism, get up and dancing were superb, but well above all this were her expressions of helplessness ,torn between love, duties and betrayal. Priyanka brought all these out most effectively making this role one of her many memorable ones

 

Talking of a Sanjay’s movie is like talking of Bhansali himself, because he is seen all over his movies. With his vivid imagination and passion for movie making and portrayal of romance and love, he has once again painted  a love poetry on celluloid and proved that he is the true Dream Merchant. Only person with whom he can be compared as a film maker is Raj Kapoor, but even Raj Kapoor often gave in to commercialism but as many of his movies before Sanjay has again proved that he puts his life in his movies. The sets of the movie and the locale are realistic and larger than life and the cinematography is soothing to the eyes and involving. Unlike the glamorous display of bright colors, which are sine quoin of his movies, keeping in sync with historic aspect of the movie, he has maintained a faded dull brown and grey hue uniformly throughout the movie but even this dullness sprayed with frequent use of fire, lamps and lights brings out the gorgeousness of a black and white picture of Marlyne Monroe with red lipstick. The screen play is effective and dialogues impactful. There is a fair blend of use of Marathi, hindi and urdu to keep the ethos of the story realistic but still acceptable to the masses. Bhansali’s obsession for his movies is so clearly evident by the hangover of his earlier movies in his new productions as also evident here, with conspicuous glimpses of Devdas and Ramleela.His flare for group dances, dhol, clouds of gulal and diyas have been expectantly and aptly repeated giving a feeling of dejavu. The dance of Deepika and Priyanka was almost a replica of Dola re Dola of devdas. The overall choreography of the movie has been great though at two instances, in the individual dances of Ranvir n Deepika he has used contemporary dance, not prevalent in those days, probably to reach out to the masses.The editing is of the highest order and overall impact of the movie is highly inclusive and entertaining.

 

Bhansali’s direction has been memorable as always with his god gift of successfully infusing the souls of the characters of his story realisticaly in his actors. His venture with music in this movie has been applaudable too with hypnotizing background score, beautiful soul touching lyrics and enchanting hummable music and songs. Action has been excellently and beautifully done or rather choreographed to the extent that even the hard core war scenes look like  dance sequences similar to a ballet performance. Few scenes from the movie leave an everlasting impact on the mind, the mahabhoj for Brahmins, the recitation of prayers, the struggle of Ranvir with the arrows and the hallucinations of attacking warriors in the end, being few. Ranvir and Deepika share a great on screen chemistry and have actually set the screen on fire at few places though the scenes were shorter than expected. Bhansali has always used a very pleasant blend of sensuality and even erotism in his movies with great expertise, but without being disappointed I felt they were less in this movie, in spite of adequate and valid reasons and opportunities. Or is it that the censors have clipped a little more. I definitely missed an erotic duet dance of Ranvir and Deepika. Bhansali is always guilty of repeating pieces of his earlier movies, but in mastani,first time he has gone outside home and borrowed impacts from someone else’s creation. Many scenes takes one back to the all time super hit movie ….Mugle Aazam. The sheeshmahal, Deepikas dance, Dialogues to her by Chatrapati, her arrest, her portrayal as a captive and her death are borrowed, stolen or recreated from Mugle Aazam.This this an indicator that his next venture is on Samir and Anarkali…….would love to see their story through Bhansali’s eyes.

 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is so obsessed with Romeo Juliet and Devdas that he can narrate them repeatedly in different forms or transform any story on their lines, but what I fail to understand is that why is Sanjays hero so helpless. His heros are born to love…..well accepted, but why do they really have to fall in love. Love incapacitates Sanjay’s hero and makes him almost impotent, something I can’t accept. True love should give  strength but wonder what he displays….the strength of his commitment or the weakness of his love. Bajirao Mastani is however a master piece and must see by all cine lovers and a movie which will be remembered in top movies of Sanjay, Ranvir, Priyanka and Deepika

 

Sanjay Kapoor , Bareilly

 

 

 

MISS YOU MUMMY

01 Jul

MUMMY , WE SHALL KEEP YOU ALIVE !!!!!!!!

It’s been almost three month when mummy breathed her last on 3rd June, this year at 7.15 pm. I know it’s late to write now, but in spite of several attempts I just couldn’t muster the courage to write about her in the past tense. My mind fails to accept the fact that she is no more. But I agree with my mind, because she is with us and around us even now, and in fact even more than what she was when she was alive.

 

Smt  Savitri Kapoor was the daughter of Shri Moti Lal Mehrotra of Lucknow, a leading businessman of UP, born  on 30th September 1930 ,the sixth daughter amongst her twelve siblings. She grew up in a huge extended joint family at their ancestral home at Ganeshgunj, Lucknow and though she was good in Maths, she didn’t go to school after class five. Married to her eldest sisters dewar, Mr Vijay Krishna Kapoor in Dec 54,she bore three kids in,55,57 and 59,me being the youngest.

 

Though she had no formal education, she was a unconventional lady,,,,,much ahead of her times,embracing modern and liberal thoughts. She was a lady who believed in practicality, education and woman empowerment. At times when ladies are busy making jewelry she used to save for our education. She almost forced our father and fought with our grandfather to ensure that we studies in the best convents. Her concern did not stop with admission, she took the responsibility of looking after our studies too.She didn’t study for herself but she studied for us. She would put us to bed early and read our text books, wake us at 4am and we three would study from 4 to 6am daily. She had planned our days for us so well that we had time for everything, games, play, friends, self, hobbies, studies and even  an hour of daily compulsory afternoon nap. Even the most qualified teachers in the best of the schools today, undergo training, workshops and seminars to plan studies these days, but she use to do it so well that we were always a chapter ahead in all subjects in the class and were ready for tests and exams any day to the extent that she never let us miss any occasion on the pretext of ongoing or forthcoming tests or exams. With no tuition and support she managed our studies till sixth standard when we were big enough to manage them ourselves and help each other.

 

Her management skills, planning, discipline, respect for time and punctuality were par excellence, enough to earn her two honorary management degrees. She was so strict a disciplinarian that we could never think of bunking school or getting late. We always well dressed and never went to school without proper tiffin. She was good at multitasking and had great respect for time and had excellent time management and never wasted a moment in unnecessary gossip..She was a straightforward lady and never minced her words to hide the truth. She expressed her views emphatically, but ensuring that she didn’t hurt anyone. She was stricter than our teachers and ensured that we spoke in English amongst us at home, and gradually she too picked up enough to understand all we said and could reply too in broken sentences. She made us socially wise too by making us participate in house hold work, take responsibilities and learn to handle money and do shopping at a very young age. She had faith in her children and trusted us, and we never lied to her.She had a great sense of the strengths and weaknesses of each one of us and she handled them so well that we became complimentary to each other and her efforts hid our weaknesses and enabled our strengths to grow.

 

She was a great homemaker, a superb cook and a wonderful host. She had the blessings of Ma Annapoorna, and she could feed three – four guests at any time with a proper meal. She was a pure vegetarian but cooked excellent mutton. Most of what she cooked was the best and she was blessed with speed at work, which enabled her to have lots of time for all her other domestic and social activities. The taste of her food still lingers in our minds and the best of global food can never match that. She was very good at embroidery and knitting, and we wore beautiful colorful cardigans knitted by her. She knitted fifty smart shawls to gift to ladies for my brother’s wedding.

 

She was a strong lady with a great determination and could cross any hurdles and face any problems and challenges to see her wishes, plans and dreams come true. She was bold and far ahead of time and far from orthodoxy or backwardness, so very prevalent amongst ladies and even men of her age and social background. She used her skills well to execute her events and all her functions, from a birthday party to our weddings stood apart in themselves as memorable events. She was practical, non superstitious and God fearing. She didn’t spend hours in pooja and in mandir because she knew that the home and we needed her more, but ensured that we celebrated all the festivals with great fun and fervor. She had an obsession for cleanliness and she used this to ensure that our very small house was always spic and span and shining clean. She was a lady with foresight and futuristic outlook, something that even the men of those days lacked. Way back in 1957 she sold all her wedding jewelry to buy a plot where our home stands today and ensured that we build the double storey in 1988, as soon as it was possible and before daddy’s retirement.

 

She had a very good taste, very different from the other ladies around us in the family, relatives and social circle, and hence we were always best in what we wore, ate, had or did and she ensured to hand over the good taste and love for maintaining a standard of living to us. Initialy she saved all for us but after our marriages, she had a big and the best wardrobe for herself and was always well dressed for weather and climate. Whatever we are today, we owe it most to her, because besides lot of other good things, what she taught us most was to be happy at all times , to respect what God is giving, have a sense of self respect, enjoy our small and big achievements with pride and above all to live with heads high and dignity in all circumstances.

 

Besides being a wonderful mother, she proved to be a great mother in law too. She not only accepted bhabhi and my wife with open arms and treated them as her daughters, but from the very beginning she gave them an identity and status in the family and a say in all family matters. Unlike the conventional mothers in law, she was a bridge between the son and bahu and in fact in most circumstances supported the bahu more than the son. This enabled them to be as close to her as we were and in fact even more. She wasn’t their voice, but gave them their own voice. She practiced a unique balance of command and freedom and was a friendly mother in law who motivated, taught and encouraged her daughters in law, as a mother does. She taught my wife cooking, pushed her to learn driving and on her own expense made her peruse further qualifications and was the main person to motivate her to pick up a job. Mummy was that rare saas who wanted to see her bahus spend least time in kitchen. She also ensured a no conflict scenes between them and our sister and created the most desirable scenario of peace, harmony and respect for each other in the family. She taught us helping each other and above all sharing and developed a strong bond of unity among the three of us and our spouses

 

She was an inspirational and unconventional grandmother too. Not the conventional story telling granny…but the guiding and motivating one. She would inspire her grand children to study, to be good at all, to play together and above all to love each other and be part of family. On every festival or occasion she ensured that all the three generations participated and worked together in arranging for the function. All, from eldest to smallest had earmarked duties and all knew it well. It was a well rehearsed drill, and it was a pleasure seeing nine people from daddy to my youngest daughter working together making sweets and pakwaan on every Holi, Diwali or any other festival or function. The team work gave speed to every work we undertook, with excellent results. Even during holidays she ensured that all kids study for an hour and undertake creative activities. She discussed their dreams and goals in life with them and encouraged them to attain them and above all taught them to grow up with love and bonding for everyone in family. Her relentless effort bore exemplary fruits and enviable results,  that the gen next is not only well established and doing well in life but our family can boast of having six children who never fought with each other, leave alone getting abusive or physical.

 

After successfully completing all her domestic responsibilities, well after the grand kids were big enough in school, she added a new chapter in her life to keep herself occupied. Over the last twenty years of life she turned towards social work and Satsang. She became a very active member of the Ram sewa mandal of Lucknow and started going for satsangs and bhajan to Hanuman setu mandir and several other places. She used to have good bhajan sessions at home every second Saturday, religiously and without any break and started being popularly known as second satureday wali auntyji. She had great love for this and for all attached with it, and showed phenomenal will and stamina to participate in all activities till a week before her death. We all knew about her popularity but much more surfaced after she passed away when hundreds came to mourn her departure from this world.

 

She was not a career woman but a socialite in true sense. Hail thunder or storm, she would never skip an occasion to join anyone, no matter how distantly she knew them, in their joy and sorrow or moments of need. This was often in spite of her ill health or with disregard to her strict schedule and health and at times even overlooking her discomfort. She was there to help each and everyone, even without their asking for it, financially, emotionally, morally, physically and in any way she could do herself or muster help. She was the honorary head of innumerable families who consulted her in every matter for seeking advice and guidan

 

Mummy was an Iron lady. She would consult all and take inputs and finally decide and do what she thought was best, and even though we often objected in the beginning in retrospect she was always proved to be correct. Mummy was a great team leader and could get work done efficiently and effectively and what she enjoyed most were the morning post breakfast two hours, getting the house hold work done. She followed the principle of supervised freedom, where she decentralized work but kept a watch. She loved her home and worked hard till her last breath for her grahasthi, monitoring the menu of meals and work of her servants even till the morning of her death,

 

She was a fortunate lady. Someone who saw all her dreams and ambitions come true, well within her life time, with her determination, hard work, honesty, boldness, sincerity, practicality and planning. She was a very practical lady with no pretensions and always ready to experiment and embrace new things and to keep pace with changing times and trends. She was so good at planning that she planned her death too. She organized a small function at Lucknow to welcome her youngest granddaughter in law on 2nd  Jun and hence the whole family was there around her. She didn’t suffer at all, was just in bed for two days, and didn’t trouble anyone, saw and touched her great grand children at 7pm and amongst her children and grand children, peacefully breather her last at 7.15pm in my lap, on 3rd June, which happened to be the auspicious day of Bada mangal.

 

Have taken longest time ever to pen this down, and it might be disjointed and lack flow and continuity, because though I enjoy my writing, this has been the most painful. They are rather stray thoughts as there is so much to say, share and write and I didn’t know what to choose and what to omit. It’s difficult or rather impossible to accept that she is no more. She was the anchor of the family, and in a family of 23 members of four generations, just her departure has created irreparable damage and disturbed the balance. Her beloved home at Lucknow is closed, my visits to Lucknow have decreased, everyone one misses the daily telephonic conversation with her and above all she is not with us.

You may have left us and gone mummy, but we shall keep you alive,

in our thoughts and hearts and memories,

in the menus of daily cooking and in the food you cooked the best,

in the daily routine and in the spectacular upkeep of our homes,

in keeping the Lucknow home, just as you kept,

in following everything you practiced,

in continuing the life that you made us live and were proud of,

in the discipline, multitasking and time management you practiced and taught us,

in doing well and growing in our careers to the best that we can,

in keeping your commitments and relations alive,

in loving all whom you loved,

in taking your dreams ahead,

in, striving to progress and do better and best in life to make your blessings work,

in staying with love, peace and harmony as you wanted,

in handing over the strong bonds of unity of the family to the fourth generation

in doing everything that will make you proud of us,

in being a ideal parent and inspiration for our children and grandchildren as you were and

in keeping you around us healthy, smiling, full of life ,love and energy, eternally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spare the DOCs

01 Jul

WHY ONLY DOCs !!!!!!

 

Two recent incidents where doctors were badly beaten up by relatives of patients who succumbed to their illnesses…….our most unwanted, scary and above all inhuman. One of these patients was over eighty and in advanced stage of cirrhosis with liver failure and renal failure in critical care in ICU.

 

Before I proceed to pen down my views I would like to claim that doctors are lucky to have been chosen by God and blessed by Him to heal…..and we all connected with medical services should never forget it and put in our best efforts at all times and in all circumstances for the health and life of patients.

 

Medical care has become a service and is being offered as any other service including medical tourism……but all this is at the need of the patient and usually his relatives. The five star hospitals are more for the comfort and convenience of relatives than for the patient and in most cases medical treatment rendered is same

 

Just because one can afford to or has paid the bills of medical services being provided and promised by the owner of the medical set up…..it is no guarantee to no complication and no death

 

In spite of being a very ardent believer and preacher of the principle, that every doctor should respect the faith ,that the patient, imposes on him or her, especially in a surgeon, in handing over one self, in a state of anesthesia to be cut(operated) ,I cannot resist but put forward my views ,to defend the doctors.

 

The common complaints against doctors is that they spend less time, act pricy and are hard to get around, its difficult to get an appointment, advice plenty of investigations, give multiple drugs, overuse painkillers and sedatives ,charge heavy fee and the biggest misconception in the society is that all doctors are multimillionaires and carry bags of money home every day…………….and finally that he doctor didn’t do enough to prevent complications and death

 

Before accusing a doctor next time of all these do get an experience of a hotel, a holiday, a lawyer, an interior decorator…….and even of just an ordinary electrician, plumber, carpenter, mason…..and do visit the service centers of banks, mobiles, internet connections, credit cards etc…you will then get an idea of their tantrums, quality of work, rates, bills, overshooting of time frames, incomplete work, number of visits ……..and the worst that in spite of all this in most situations, the work never finishes in the way it was planned or conceived and we often discard it or just give it up and move ahead buying a new or changing plans of just accepting whatever we get unwillingly

 

I agree that medicine is a profession different from most because it has human health and life attached to it, and I can assure that most doctors respect this humanitarian aspect. But while all other experts, professionals, and service providers exploit the normal man in the name of expertise why cant a trained experienced and well qualified doctor charge for his time and services within the accepted norms.

 

Investigations are essential to reach the depth of the case and are often asked for and prompted by the incomplete knowledge of the patient and his family derived from internet. Most doctors are hard pressed for time and so cant spend much time during prime OPD hours but never fail or refuse to answer and relevant queries and if they can understand a investigation report just at a glance it speaks of their experience and their expertise to see the exact reports that really matter to plan the treatment

 

We should all understand that, the doctor is, just a very small part of any medical set-up, be it private or government, and is often as helpless and  harassed as the patient ,if not more, by the system .Long queue, non availability of drugs, non functioning equipment, inadequate and inefficient para medical staff, improper care by nursing staff, waiting lists for surgery and bed crunch, are all well beyond most of the doctors ,most of the times.

 

Leaving an instrument inside the body, during surgery, removing the wrong organ and at times prescribing wrong medicine, are mistakes, that should not happen by anyone ,but as human as a doctor can be, they do happen, in spite of all checks for prevention, like any other mistakes that occur in any filed be it engineering, marine or driving! We are human too, and liable to err, though we should try our level best to avoid such unwanted mishaps.

 

Complications and deaths are an integral part of all medical care and though we all put in all our best endevours to improve quality of care and ensure practice of safe medicine, deaths and complications will occur……but a good doctor should never get immune to them and should never stop striving to prevent them and to bring their number to least and negligible if not nil.

 

Doctors are there for providing medical help and treatment but they have never claimed to be and are not Magicians! If your lifestyles swings from one end of overexertion to a totally mechanical and sedentary life leading to severe body ache, or if the stress of your life turns you into an insomniac, the doctor has no alternative but to repeatedly prescribe pain killers and sedatives, even if you become an addict, specially if you are not willing to change your lifestyle. The Doctor can advice, but cannot, exercise, diet or change a lifestyle for you, even if you can afford a personal phycian  for yourself !

 

Doctors are as human as anyone else, and hence besides having all the human follies, have desires and ambitions and commitments too .If a 20 year old undergraduate, with just a 3-6 months on the job training, can charge 200-300 rupees just to look up a TV, comp or a washing machine, why cant a 35 year old post graduate specialist charge a fee of Rs 500?Life of a pilot is tough, but there is no profession which is more taxing ,in physical, mental, emotional and financial stress, as medicine, and an average doctor is minimum ten years behind his counterparts in any field, in terms of designation, earning and comfort .And most of the doctors do not earn as much as most people think they do, and the earning is definitely less than, the others at that age and stage ,in any other career.

 

The doctor has a family too and needs to maintain a standard……I agree that no malpractice should ever be practices but why is a doctor made to feel guilty for earning even by the normal lawful means

 

Medicine is a noble profession, and we all respect the faith of the patients in us, and though we must all ensure to avoid any situation that may endanger the life of a patient or worsen the condition, we need a little more compassion from the clientele ,in recognition of the stress under which a doctor works normally, and at least of a common man, who wants to earn a living and can err too!

 

If the clientele acts as they have acted in few incidents recently, it will be difficult or rather impossible for doctors to take risks and treat critically ill patients

 

We can assure best efforts but not best results always

 

To end ,I would like to assure on behalf of all from the medical fraternity that we are doing our best where ever and in whatever circumstances we are and most mishaps are unintentional and unavoidable and we sincerely pray for the recovery of all our patients. We also request all our clientele to treat as human beings and not as infallible medical magicians or programmed robots who can never err in judgment or fail to fight the decision of fate and destination and decisions of God

 

Prof Sanjay Kapoor ,Bareilly

 

NUDITY as ART

01 Jul

GLORIFYING NUDITY !

 

Was aghast ,surprised, shocked and amazed at seeing the latest ad of Department of Tourism of West Bengal (OUTLOOK, Sept 01,2014)

This ad created on the theme of DURGA PUJA to attract tourism to the land of Ma Durga, has a picture of a unfinished idol of Durga, in mud and clay, sans clothes and bare chested.

In spite of sincere prolonged deliberation and even after stretching my imaginative imagination wide, I failed to understand the significance of portraying Durga nude to lure tourists.

Does the Department of Tourism want to send the message across that the state is so poor that it can’t even dress Ma Durga ?

It gives me a feeling of de ja vu ,of the stormy reactions we all saw few years back to certain paintings of M F Hussain.

How does this ad become acceptable.

Sorry, friends, I may be sounding non artistic, but my small brain fails to understand the purpose of displaying a goddess with an uncovered torso and don’t find any creativity in it !

 

Sanjay Kapoor

Qualification of politicians

01 Jul

QUALIFICATION PLEASE ?

 

Couldn’t have agreed more with Shobha de, who has effectively, simply but emphatically highlighted the two aspects of being educated.

(The Yale Fail-the sexes-The WEEK,Aug 31,2014)

While on one hand the honestly of the film actress Sarika in accepting publically that she has not taken any formal training ,makes her stand out educated enough to conduct herself with humility and dignity, on the other, we have our Honorable HRD Minister Ms Smriti Irani, who exhibited her uneducated status, nullifying and undermining the importance of the qualifications she did posses ,by lying about her education !

But the bigger question that does arise is that in a place like India where there is mandatory minimum qualification required for even the job of a peon or a class four employee, shouldn’t we have some minimum qualification required for becoming a MP and playing with the present and future of the country

 

Dr ( Prof ) Sanjay Kapoor

Delhi

CLUB 60

01 Jul

The Show must go on…………………..

Club Sixty was a wonderful movie for many reasons, a good movie, seeing Sarika on screen after long, one of the last ones of Farooq Shiekh and above all it left me thinking and scared as I would be in that boat in next few years !!

It is a movie based on the post retirement life of few so called senior citizens. The story revolves around a couple, played by Farooq Sheikh and Sarika, both doctors and in their early sixties, who move to Mumbai from Pune, after winding up their work and home there, to get away from memories of the recent death of their only young son. They settle in a flat and while the wife picks up a job, the husband is too depressed to work or even cope up with day to day life. A very overfriendly lively gujju inmate of the building ,Mannu bhai, forces his friendship on them and much against the wishes of the Doctor, forces him to join the Club Sixty ,a club exclusively for senior citizens. He introduces the doc couple to his gang of four more lively men….all in sixties, enjoying life in spite of all their personal problems. One has lost his wife and kids in an accident, one stays alone as his family including wife is settled abroad, the other’s wife eloped with his friend, one stays with his wife as his son has decided to live with his rich in laws in same city and the fifth is struggling to look after his paralytic wife, single handed.

All these men have made each other their family and are happy and contended with their life and fighting all odds bravely. They live life to the fullest, with their club life, sports, socializing, parties, drinking and even women! Their genuine concern for each other is excellently shown in various incidents including the one where one of them who is alone in India has a heart attack and how these friends of his ,not only take care of him but also bear the expense of the treatment. They force the doctor to come out of his depression and become part of their fun gang and even celebrate their dead sons birthday to celebrate his memory in a most touching way. The doctor comes out of his shell and even successfully operates on the gujju friend when he has a sudden brain clot and restarts his career as a neurosurgeon and saves the friends life. The over talkative Mannu Bhai cannot talk now, but continues to be happy and enjoying life.

A very simple but strong story has addressed a very pertinent contemporary issue of living alone in post retirement age with myriads of problems, main being the loneliness and neglect from children and family members. The plot is good, dialogues realistic and screen play has spontaneity and flow. With good direction the movie has an effective editing, simple presentation, pleasant songs and music and above all a capability to force the audience to relate with it. Farooq Shiekh has given a strong performance, worth being remembered has his last movie. It was good to see Sarika back on screen after long and she appeared even more seasoned as an effective actress. Raghubeer Yadav has acted superbly as Mannu Bhai and Satish Shah has contributed significant entertainment as one of the gang members. All other characters have done justice to their roles.

The movie has many messages, the present age of sixty for retirement is no age to retire from career or life and though you enter the so called group of senior citizens, one is never old enough to give up enjoying life ,so all should keep the child within alive and be young at heart. Family is important but one needs to be independent and find love of family in friends who can be of great help in need. The main however, being that we all have our share of problems and sorrows in life, but we shouldn’t ever give up as nothing is bigger than life and the show should go on.

Club Sixty, with the wonderful message of adding life to years and not just years to life is a must see !

Sanjay Kapoor, New Delhi

 

RAM LEELA

01 Jul

Yet another ROMEO JULIET from Bollywood !

Had seen Ram Leela few months back, on the day it was released, and though I liked the movie,I was kind of put off by the foul language used in it and so as a revolt to it, I did on write on the movie. But could not write off a all time love epic, re created by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, so saw it again recently.

Ram Leela is yet another mega movie from Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the true dream merchant of Bollywood. The movie, based on the all time famous love epic, Romeo Juliet, has all the ingredients of a Bhansali movie ,love, sorrow, color, dance and music and forces the audience to be reminded of his earlier movies like, Devdas, Dil De Chuke and Sawariyaan. Sanjay has very beautifully and subtly blended the story of Godfather too, in his re narration of Romeo Juliet.

The story revolves around five hundred years old enmity between Rajadis and Saneras, two neighboring clans of Gujrat, dealing in illegal trade of weapons and other underworld activities. The Romeo , Ram is the son of the head of Rajadis and Leela, the Juliet is daughter of the lady Don of Saneras. As expected they fall in love and elope but are traced and brought back to re ignite the enmity and initiate a chain of attacks from each of them on the other leading to a lot of deaths from both clans. During a plot to kill Ram, Leela’s cousin shoots her mother instead with an intension to take over the clan. He however fails in his plans, as the lady Don survives and Leela takes over the command of Saneras. The cousin, under forged instructions from Leela, initiates a shootout on Rajadis, who retaliate, leading to a massacre and molestation of ladies. The widowed daughters in law of the two clans convince the Don Godmother to end this goliyoon ki raasleela (ballet of bullets).But sadly, as the story was destined to be, while all agree to end the enmity and get the two lovers married, Ram and Leela ,unaware of this compromise, shoot each other !

The movie is out and out a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, full of splendor, grandeur and fervor and his unique art of storytelling of celebrating sorrow and tragedy in romance. His movies are known to be solely his, but this is one exception where a significant credit goes to Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. Deepika has given her best performance till now and may be her most powerful role from her future films too. Sanjay has successfully brought out her sensuality and beauty along with a memorable display of histrionics. Ranbir, too has exhibited superb acting as a raunchy Romeo and has emerged as a spectacular dancer all set to give Hrithik,Shahid and Ranbir a run for their money. Ranveer has once again declared his claim for the top rank in male leads in the present generation and has become the heart throb of girls and guys alike as a trend setter, from this movie, especially in dance steps. Besides being good individually, the two have presented a sizzling chemistry together and actually succeeded in setting the screen on fire with their bold and hot love scenes. Supriya Pathak is highly impressive as the Godmother and it is not only her most memorable performance till now but may be the best portrayal of a LadyDon in Hindi cinema. Priyanka Chopra was entertaining and welcome in her item number and added significantly to the glamour of the movie.All other actors have done justice to their roles and its good of Bhansali to give many TV actors roles in this film.

The movie is a nice indianised adaption of two powerful stories, with good screen play and fast flow and exciting spontaneity. The violence could have been decreased but luckily it was portrayed in Bhansalis unique   unoffensive and non horrifying way to the extent that even the floating dead bodies appeared just out of a ramp show. Dialogues were good, entertaining, witty and impressive but I was put off by the cheap use of double meaning words and phrases. The language was slightly offensive and unwarranted, especially for a Bhansali movie. Background score is excellent and music enchanting. Songs are melodious and hummable, with ang laga le,ram chahe leela,dhool baaje and lahu mooh lag gaya, all becoming very popular. There is however some resemblance of the music with his earlier movies, like Dil de chuke sanam. With bigger than life sets, colorful costumes, and an aesthetic blend of taste ,perfection and erotica, the movie is a treat to the eye and a poetry on celluloid. With superb direction and sharp editing complimented with cinematography of a very high standard, the overall impact of the movie is of  utmost impressive splendor.

Ram Leela is overall an magnificent and brilliant movie, definitely not to be missed.

Brig Sanjay Kapoor VSM ,New Delhi

 

SEX AND RELIGION

01 Jul

SEX-The Unutterable Word : HEIGHT OF HYPOCRISY!!!!

It’s shocking to see yet another blow on freedom of expression on views and on journalism with a recent book of Wendy Dongier, titled, The Hindus: An alternative History, being banned from publication and circulation in India, by efforts of so called Hindutva-vadis. (Religion hotter than Sex-The Week,April 06,2014)

The reason being that Dinanath Batra ,a retired teacher and his team thought that the authoress had approached the Hindu scriptures with a sexual scanner. Wonder why Sex is still considered a taboo and the unutterable word. Can life ever be separated from sex? Sex forms an integral part of all living beings including humans and is a basic instinct and a normal physiological need like hunger and thirst.

Sex and sexuality can never be separated from our lives and this was very well understood by our ancestors and even the gods themselves, both being more realistic than us and less hypercritic than the so called social guardians of today. Hindu scriptures and mythology is not only replete of sex, but mentions every form of sex, from premarital and post marital, polygamy and polyandry and even gay sex. They not only practiced, enjoyed, spoke and wrote about all types of sex and sexuality but in fact actually celebrated and glorified sex…..the Shivlingam and Kamakhya Devi just a few prevailing examples.

The only way to stop the exploitation of SEX in all its form is to open up to it and to embrace it ,in its pure and unadulterated form, within the norms of society

TWO STATES

23 Apr

Intercast Weddings !!!

Two States is a simple clean sweet and entertaining movie, based on Chetan Bhagats’s Novel of the same title. The book and the movie have tackled the issue of intercast weddings in India and their acceptability in our society. Since I had not only read the book but found it Chetans one of the best, I could relate with the movie better and with greater acceptance.

India and the society, more so in north India ,has moved a long way over the last two decades to accept inter cast weddings and have even started accepting inter religion weddings. It’s a welcome change and while till few years back inter cast weddings always meant love marriages, today we are seeing plenty of arranged inter caste marriages too. In spite of the so called advancement and acceptance, such weddings still face a lot of hurdles and problems, from date and time of wedding, venue, dresses, rituals, menu, gifts, hospitality, customs and above all expectations and emotions. The intensity of difficulty varying from mild to even unmanageable depending weather the wedding is love marriage or arranged and on the stubbornness of parents and the say of the bride and the groom in the family.

Two States, explores the journey of love ,an affair of about three years and marriage between two MBA students, from different states, a Punjabi guy and a tamilian girl. Though the affair was smooth and the boy and girl, the best one could look for, the difference of states did create several, common, prevailing, relatable and expected hindrances. The differences between the orthodox culture loving tamilian family of the girl residing in Chennai and the estranged Punjabi parents of the boy from Delhi have been brought out maturely though the story has been further complicated a little by the bitterness and non speaking relations between the groom and his father

Arjun Kapoor has looked impressive as a Punjabi munda and has acted very well. This being his third movie, he has shown promising performance and one can look forward to him being one of the youngsters to do well in Bollywood in the near future. Alia Bhatt has looked very sweet and charming and has once again displayed good histrionic talents. But one expected more from her, especially in a KJ movie, as she failed to look like a Tamil girl, in looks, attire, mannerism and dialogue delivery. Amrita Singh and Ronit Roy have acted well as the grooms parents and Revathi and Subramanian have done justice to their roles of a conventional and traditional Tamilian couple.The story has been adapted very well from the book, maintaining the authenticity, and the screenplay and dialogues are strong, natural, and contemporary granting the movie flow and spontaneity. Songs are good and music along with the background score melodious. Karan Johars direction is good as expected though the glamour of KJ’s movie is missing, probably a deliberate directorial effort to maintain the authenticity of middle class. Editing is good with excellent cinematography, especially the wedding scene being very impressive, exotic and picturesque. The second half is a little dragged and could be shortened a bit.

Two States is a good entertaining movie specially for youngsters who have a great probability of landing in inter state matrimonial alliances

Brig Sanjay Kapoor VSM,Delhi

Aankhoon Dekhi

12 Apr

FLY FREE !!!!!!!!!

Ankhoon Dekhi , written and directed by Rajat Kapoor is yet another wonderful movie, which can be called, art film, parallel cinema, off beat movie or whatever…. the fact is that it is a super movie but the sad part is that it came and went, probably unseen, unheard and unsung!

The story moves around a lower middle class family, of two brothers, elder working for a travel agency and younger a CA, living together, on the first floor of an old typical north Indian building in the interiors of Delhi. While the events in the movie for sake of creation a story move around the love story of the elder brother’s daughter, the younger brother’s family moving out to live separately, job of the elder brothers son and the daughter’s wedding, the story is more about the elder brothers mind set. He suddenly realizes that most of what they are doing in life is fake and based on second hand information and knowledge acquired on hear and say basis or reading books. He refuses to be a part of this system and to rely and use any such knowledge or information that he has not acquired himself, to the extent that he even quits his job and in phases stops to interact or talk with people.

A very simple story with a good flow has a commendable authentic screenplay and dialogues which are realistic and natural. Sanjay Sharma has acted superbly as the main lead, the elder brother and Seema Pahwa has exhibited histrionic talents of a great quality, playing his wife. She has excellently depicted a middle class north Indian housewife in fifties and reminds one of young Dina Pathak. Rajat Kapoor has himself played the younger brother and as expected has done justice to the role. The other characters have been well casted and all have delivered excellently. Music and songs suit the story and the direction is marvelous. Good editing, spontaneity, and realism are strengths of the movie. But the strongest point of the film is the authenticity which has been handled so well by Rajat Kapoor. The house, the furniture, clothes, clothes, dialogues; all add up to create a scenario where you feel a part of the family. The half sleeved crushed cotton shirt, worn over a Lucknawi pajama ,with the vest peeping out from under the shirt (Sunday longer than Monday-as we called, when we were kids) made Rajat look like a typical middle class north Indian man at home.

In a very simple and effortless manner, the movie has succeeded to subtly bring out the message about the monotonous life that we all live like robots or puppets. Our education, upbringing, social norms, domestic commitments and liabilities compel us to live a mechanical life which is devoid of life itself. It highlights the inner cry of a common man to break the bonds of duty and breathe free in open space and live as per his desire, free and in a position to lead life the way he wants. The sham and drudgery of routine conventional hand to mouth existence has been brought out as an unbearable ordeal. The inclusion of the man’s nephew in the story who has a problem of talking nonstop and is remedied when the man hears him out all times, has silently highlighted the fact that we all have lots to say too, for which we do not get genuine ears.

The ending of the movie has been left ambiguous, where the man jumps off the hill and is seen floating in the air. The pessimist may view it as a suicide and the optimistic will see it as breaking of the shackles of social life to live free and fly ! Overall and excellent movie, with a very relevant contemporary message.

Prof Sanjay Kapoor,Delhi