Movie Review: A Billion Colour Story

a billion colour story

I was born during the post Babri Masjid Hindu-Muslim riots in Thane. We were among the few Hindu families who were living in the Muslim populated area of the city. I was brought up in a secular atmosphere and even today I live my life with the same thought of secularism and unity. One of my best friends is a Muslim and another is from a Hindu orthodox family but I share the same bond of love and faith with both of them. I believe I am a practical person in my day to day life but when it comes to my country and it’s religious tolerance, I transform into an idealistic person.

That’s why when I saw ‘A Billion Colour Story’ (2016, Director & Writer: Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy) yesterday, I was able to relate to every single thought of the movie. The movie tells a story of a modern nuclear family. Hari Aziz, 12, is the son of a Hindu mother and Muslim father. His filmmaker parents moved from Australia to India to experience and live in the poetry of India they were brought up in. They are fighting to survive and produce a film amidst the chaos of this non tolerant country. Hari’s mother soon realizes that India is no more poetic and it never will be. But her husband has faith in the nation with diverse culture.

a billion colour story 1

The movie talks about intolerance in terms of religion, relationships, faith, knowledge, racism and suspicion. The lethargic and corrupt stand of law and order in support of this intolerance make us cringe. Hari’s father’s blind trust in the system is patriotic at the same time it makes him look foolish. Before the climax, his idealism, his believes turn him into a person without purpose. His lost eyes make the audiences pity him. It makes us angry as the only good soul lost his hope because few people went rogue.

One more thing I specifically noticed in the film is the generation gap. For my generation,(born in the 90’s) the concept of generation gap is of a decade. But for those who are born in the new millennium, every passing year is a generation gap. 12 year old Hari getting into a relationship, taking help of Google instead of his parents for answers, his searching what happened in Godhra on his smartphone or talking to his father about Jan Dhan Yojana made me drop my jaw. In a conversation with his girlfriend Sofia he says, “why go to school when we can learn everything on internet?”, this made me rethink the debate on curriculum and schooling system in our country from a very different perspective. His generation is more open to social media and internet, which has shaped his personality immensely.

For a long time, my mother was asking me to go to a foreign university to pursue higher education. But I was never interested as I don’t want to leave my country. Finally I have said yes and now applying to a couple of foreign universities. But I agreed to her on one condition, that no matter what I will come back in a couple of years. I want to live in the country in which I was born and brought up. No matter how corrupt, intolerant or violent it is, I am an idealistic nationalist. I believe in the terms of unity, secularism and equality on which our constitution was built.

The climax of the movie (which I can’t reveal as I don’t want to give away spoilers) made me believe that we create the intolerance and only we can get rid of it. It will take a lot of time, energy, resources and lives to achieve the goal. But if we don’t want our country to freeze in one colour, one thought and one idea, we need to come back, be innovative, trust in our judiciary and executive to bring back the poetry India once had.

Today, in my personal life as I am fighting a man who abused my mother and me on facebook, we are getting the right support from the Police and Judiciary. A large online community is supporting us. When we started the fight, I was an idealistic citizen who was told that this is not going to be easy and I may loose my idealistic approach soon. But even after two weeks I stand strong on my beliefs and known in my heart that we’ll get the rightful justice.

If you are losing your faith in this country, to its system then I would suggest you to watch this movie before giving into the mechanic intolerant crowd.

Watch the trailer here:

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Movie Review: Blue Jasmine

blue jasmine

When I saw Blue Jasmine by Woody Allen, it reminded me of two things. One: the famous ‘The Story of Stuff’ video and two: South Indian movies.

‘The Story of Stuff’ tells us that how much greedy and self absorbed we are.  We don’t think of anyone else before us. We are selfish enough to see someone getting hurt because of us and half of the time we are the cause behind the pain. In the movie Blue Jasmine, Jasmine was selfish enough to call the police and tell them the truth about her husband’s works which eventually lead to his death, her bankruptcy, her sister’s engagement broke and her step son hatred towards her. I have seen many south Indian movies. They all have multi-story screenplay. The stories are crafted in such way that you feel like you are watching at least 3-4 movies in one ticket. The biding elements to these stories are the leading characters of the film. That’s what I felt with Blue Jasmine. In the movie, Jasmine was the binding element of various sub-tracts.

Woody Allen is a genius. Just like his other movies, he has done his best work. The script is crisp and engaging. The characters are strong and very clear. Every character carries their own emotion and attitude. Then be it Jasmine, her sister or the pervert dentist for whom Jasmine works as a receptionist. He has given each character their individual threats. Here I would like to talk about Jasmine’s habit of talking to herself. She is constantly in fight with herself. She is full of guilt and selfishness. She knows she is doing wrong but her nature doesn’t allow her accept. Eventually she starts talking to herself. This clearly shows her unstable nature and psychological disorder.

The movie shows that how difficult it is to just move on. Jasmine has to move on from her failed marriage, dead husband, and complicated relationship with her sister and her dear city New York. Woody Allen touches the heart of the audiences with Jasmine’s emotional journey of moving on. The character of Jasmine has numerous shades. Jasmine’s increasingly desperate vocal, physical and emotional presence on the screen keeps you mesmerized. She has a habit of constant drinking which again highlight her low confidence. Her cracked smile, awkward panic in her eyes makes her an exhausting character to be with, to watch and, presumably, to play. But Cate Blanchett worked her way out and grabbed an Academy Award for her performance.

Cate Blanchet
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

Woody Allen’s movies have this peculiar comedy touch in them. But here the tragedy is far away from the comic senses. Though tragedy can be shown in a spoofed blanket of comedy but Woody Allen choose to go straight and it works right.

The tragedy element of the film makes me to focus on one character i.e. Augie. He is the fiance of Jasmine’s sister Ginger. He has a lot of money (got by luck in lottery) and he plans to invest it in his dreams. But the money is washed off by Jasmine’s fraudster husband. He never wanted to invest the money but he did so because of Jasmine. And now he blames her for his broken dreams. At the end, he confronts Jasmine in front of her fiance which leads to her break up. Now many may think that he is a douche bag but I strongly think he was absolutely right at his place. He is an individual, who got money by chance, which he lost because of a person’s mistake and he is furious with that person. Woody Allen doesn’t make him any villain. He justifies him in a very possible way. And he becomes the tragedy King of the film.

The film is very ahead of its time. Mainly because it highlights the up growing class issue. Jasmine lives a very high class life in New York with her pricey bags, shoes and dresses. She is rich enough to provide an expensive hotel stay for her sister along with a car and a chauffeur. But she soon ends up broke as her fraudster husband commits suicide in jail. Here two things can be taken in account. One: she pays for her sister because she doesn’t want to spend her time with her. Because she doesn’t belong to her ‘class’. But when she goes bankrupt the first person she goes to is her sister. The irony behind this thought is greater than anything.  Two: though she is broke, Jasmine travels through First class on her flight to her sister’s place. Her sister disapproves this but Jasmine doesn’t care. Even being broke doesn’t take the ‘class’ away from her mindset. Later she works at a dentist but soon she gets into a relationship with a wealthy man where she finds closure. It’s not the man; it’s the money which gives her the closure. And Woody Allen proves again that he is the Boss!

woody allen
Woody Allen

Jasmine is also shown on the verge of nervous breakdown. Her sister tries to help her timely but she fells for it. Woody has crafted the draft around the theme of self-delusion. Jasmine’s self-delusion soon takes her to disintegrate. Though she has a hint that her lover might be cheating on her, she keeps a blind eye on it because she can see the perks of being his wife in her high society. Later in the story she lies to her fiance about her dead husband because she fears and the lie takes her down. This is a typical class-self struggle.

Woody has written and directed many female characters but Jasmine surely stands apart from all of them. Throughout the film we hold different emotions for her but at the end we feel sorry for her and pity her. She is a damsel in distress. She ends up broke, homeless and insane. Her instability can be seen through her tiger eyes dropping mascara or the cream Chanel jacket she wears too often, which connects her to the lavish life she once had and now desires for. She can’t get away from this but clinging to the broken pieces of her past life gives her false hope and negative pleasures.

 

PC.: Google

The Story of Stuff:

Why I Hate Online Shopping Ads?

In today’s world everyone loves to shop and look fashionable. Everyone means women, men, children, infants and even pets. Quotes like ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ feels like ancient language. Now-a-days first impression is considered as the single most important impression. So obviously the things which affect your first impression become the essentials!

We are told since childhood that to look better, one has to have a clear skin, clean clothes, neatly combed hair and tidy shoes. These are the basics and can be managed in anyone’s budget no matter how rich or poor you are. But the real challenge comes when you get ready in your own way to dazzle the world with your first impression and suddenly an ad pops on your laptop or tab or TV or smart phone saying if you DON’T use this specific product, your first impression won’t last. That cleverly crafted evil capitalist ad suddenly makes you the ugliest duckling of the world.

Your skin is not so clean anymore because it’s brown, tanned, has pimples and blackheads (which you never realized before). And most importantly you have not done the ‘no make up’ make up look before stepping outside! You belong to a lower middle class or poor family because your perfectly ironed kurta is not so perfect anymore as you got it from your city’s famous street bazar a year ago and it has touched your skin for more than 5 times (It doesn’t matter how much you like the fabric or color). You won’t get any guy’s attention if you are going to tie your hair in a single braid. You should at least use shampoo, conditioner, serum, hair mask, hair mist, hair gel and other 12 dozen hair oils. On top of that, kick off your comfort zone and keep your hair open. The above mentioned products will take care of the damages made by wind, sun, rain, sweat, dust and other tangling agents. And most important part of your first impression, are your shoes! Because whoever is meeting you for the first time doesn’t care about you. That person rather cares about what shoes you are wearing! So you should have matching shoes for every single pair of clothes you have!

These very direct messages are delivered to us by a number of online shopping portals through social media or traditional media forms. They give us the broad messages asking us to be yourself, to be who you are and meanwhile very swiftly they slide ‘their’ message saying if you use our product you’ll be yourself, if you use our product you’ll be who you’re. They tempt us to buy all those products which we clearly can’t afford to buy. The next thing we know, is that we are left with filling carts afters carts on different sites and the shopping bookmarks and apps on our laptop screens and phones keep growing. At some point we realize that we have entered in the haunted house of Frankenstein monster but its too late to back off now. We have already fallen in love with him & his disillusioned house and believe that whatever he says is right. So we keep looking, keep filling the carts, keep checking our bank balance at the end of each month, keep feeling sad and vulnerable for our poor wardrobe, keep wishing for more and more and more…

Even I fell for that Frankenstein a long time ago. Like any other person, even I like to flaunt new purchases. Sometimes my cautions helps me to say no and stops me from falling for these ads. But sometimes to save myself from the imaginary judgmental looks in other people’s eyes I give into the fake social pressure and BUY!

 

 

Big Bad Words

Dnt keep calm

I have a big mouth with big bad words
So the people say when they mess with my world
When they dictate, pry and control
I easily name them ass hole!

The shady promises and the rosy dreams,
People offer rainbow cake with whipped cream
With sunshine and sunflowers we ride on white unicorn,
They turn into dragons when I refuse to share my precious crown
The rage takes over every inch of my cell
In that fraction I tell them go to hell…

The guilty pleasures I take leave my eyes wide open
A packet of condom with the mark of my devotion
Men or women I choose my player,
But then they call me slut that makes me a slayer!
I am the snow princess but they treat me as Rudolf,
I lose my temper and order to fuck off!

Then there are times when world stops fighting
I control my rampant and become a fan of hugging!
Finally the moment comes when I am about to say peace
But someone pisses me off again and I say mince meat…

 

PC.: Google

Junkyard

Jpeg

Something raw, something old
How i feel with garbage that’s old
Its beautiful, its classy
Its junk, its messy

Reminding me of my soul
It helps me to find a goal
A collage of furniture
It represents my mismatch nature

But Merlin Monroe on the wall
Convinces me not to fall
Life around me looks so mechanical
Three clocks on the wall makes it so predictable

Names and numbers jumbled in my head
Lets me breath by writing then on a plate
Cut out from the outer spirits
I find my route in this gibberish

Be it old, be it new
I am staying here for a moment or two…

Inspired by: Junkyard Cafe, Bandra

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Junkyard-Cafebandrahill-Road/172903319791525

Pain and Pleasure

Untitled

The John and the Bentham are two sides of a coin
2 feet in one shoe,
That’s the struggling life of the two!

The Bentham is a chef,
He measures everything with one aspect
Pain and the pleasure are the cherry of his cake,
He serves everyone right to avoid any mistake…

The John is messy,
But with answers witty and sassy
Using words like utilitarianism he overcomes the Bentham
With Socrates and a pig by his side, he lets everyone fathom!

What is right and what is wrong?
Pain and pleasure to measure along…
This is what drives them apart,
This is what gives world a thought
As the Bentham indulges in quantitative narcissism
The John gives the world qualitative utilitarianism…

 

 

*the poem is in the reference of two different thoughts on the theory of Utilitarianism by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill

Supernatural

IMG-20170618-WA0005

Vampires, witches, zombies, ghosts,
Werewolves, hybrids and sirens…
In the world is full of supernatural creatures
I thought I was the only human!
But then I looked inside myself
To find the monsters stored on shelf…

A dead soul, a wicked mind,
Lazy feet in crowd leaving brain behind
A hollow spirit which calls for night,
A beast within which howls on twilight
All those mood swings on purpose which confuses everyone
Dominated by sensory organs who work like devil’s gun!

Now I realize I am never lurking inside
I’ll never be ready for such unexpected surprise!
The blood and flesh are nothing but decorated canopy
I am no better than a complicated human fantasy!

 

PC.: Durgesh Parmarthi

Festivals of India: Tarnetar Fair, Gujarat

India is a diverse nation. Everyday people are celebrating something in various parts of this huge nation. We know about many religious and cultural festivals but have very basic (in many cases none) knowledge about the art themed fairs & festivals celebrated across the country along with some traditional religious festivals which are pulling many tourists now a days.

This specific Travel series of mine concentrates on the calendar of those festivals which every Indian should proudly attend and enjoy!

tarnetar umbrella
Local man with a colorful umbrella

When?

The fair is held for three days every year in August. The 2017 dates of the fair are 25th to 27th August. The 2018 dates are yet to be announced.

Where & How to Reach?

The Tarnetar Mela is also known as the Trinetreshwar Mahadev Mela. The mela or fair is organised in a village called Tarnetar in the town of Thangadh. Chotila is the nearest town or city center from Tarnetar which has ample options for accommodation. There are a few lodges and small scale hotels in Thangadh (8.2 km i.e. 17 minutes away from Tarnetar). But still I would recommend you to secure your stay in Chotila. Chotila is very well connected by roads to all the major cities in the state. The nearest railway station to Chotila is Than Junction, which is 23 km i.e. 35 minutes away from the destination. The nearest airport to the destination is Rajkot (45.1 km i.e. 50 minutes away).

Gujarat tourism also offers special packages and tented accommodation which you can review on their official website.

Tarnetar- chotila map
Tarnetar-Chotila
fair 1
The entrance gate for the fair
temple
The Trinetreshwar Mahadev Temple

What is it?

The fair is held at the grounds of the Trinetreshwar Mahadev Temple. The festival and the mela are celebrated together as a ceremony of the wedding of Mahabharata characters Arjun and Draupadi. According to numerous mythological tales, Draupadi swayamvar took place in Tarnetar. This was the location where young Pandav Prince Arjun won Draupadi by piercing the eye of a fish in the pond. The tradition of holding such a swayamvar continues here even today. Unmarried men and women from tribal communities visit the fair looking for a prospective match. According to the customs the men stand under embroidered umbrellas looking for a bride while the women go around with an umbrella looking for a groom. The single women wear red zimi (skirt) and married women wear black zimi. The bachelor men wear colourful dhotis, artistically designed waistcoats and a Pagadi (head-cloth twisted at an angle).

This vibrant mela opens you to the colorful and vibrant Gujarati culture.  Women wearing colorful costumes perform folk dance to music and showing off their glittering jewelry. Rabari women of nearby Zalawad perform the famous circular folk dance called rahado. Nearly two hundred women perform rasadas (a famous traditional dance form) in a single circle, to the beats of four drums at a time and the tunes of jodia pavas (double flutes). You can also enjoy a cattle exhibition in the fair. The villagers also organize Rural Olympics along with bullock cart and horse race. The colorful umbrellas are also one of the main attractions of the fair. Many bhajan mandalis (groups who play religious music) attend the festival to entertain their audiences with their strong voices and special instruments. A large portion of mela covers shopping stalls for tourists. People sell coulorful umbrellas, ethnic jewelry and small statues of deities as well as traditional attires with tiny mirrors embroidered into the clothing.

The fair is attended by more than 50,000 people each year. Kolis, Rabaris, Bharwads, Khants, Kanbis, Kathis, Charans, the Harijans and the Desh-rabaris participate in this fair in huge numbers.

Around the destination

Kutch is 303 km away from Chotila. If you are visiting the fair, I will surely advice you to visit Kutch along.

 

PC.: Google

Festivals of India: Kerala Boat Race

India is a diverse nation. Everyday people are celebrating something in various parts of this huge nation. We know about many religious and cultural festivals but have very basic (in many cases none) knowledge about the art themed fairs & festivals celebrated across the country along with some traditional religious festivals which are pulling many tourists now a days.

This specific Travel series of mine concentrates on the calendar of those festivals which every Indian should proudly attend and enjoy!

boat race 5
The famous snake boat

When?

There are many boat races in Kerala like Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Neerettupuram Boat Race, Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race, Pulimkunnu Boat Race, Karuvatta Boat Race, Haripad Boat Race, Mannar Boat Race etc. that take place in the waters of Kerala each year during August & September. But the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alapuzzha is the most famous, biggest and oldest boat racing competition in Kerala. It is the one which you should not miss. It’s also one of its kinds in the world. It’s held on the 2nd Saturday of every August. The race will take place on 12th August in 2017 and on 11th August in 2018.

 

boat race 4
The Trophies

Where & How To Reach?

The boat race takes place on the Punnamada Lake near Alapuzzha. The race courses are 1370 meters in length. From Alapuzzha tourists and locals (who are ticket holders) are taken to the destination by jetty. The last jetty leaves at 11 am.  Tourists are expected to take their seats in the pavilion by 12 noon. The Punnamada Lake jetty point is just 11 minutes away from Alapuzzha city center. The ticket prizes ranges according to the pavilion you choose to sit in. You can book the tickets on book my show, on their website as well as at the venue itself. But it’s always safe to book the tickets in advance if you want good seats. You can carry your own food and water to the race but make sure your bag isn’t too heavy.

Sr. No Categories of Tickets Rate
1 Tourist Gold (Admit 1) Rs. 2500/-
2 Tourist Silver (Admit 1) Rs. 1500/-
3 Rose Corner (Admit 2) Rs. 750/-
4 Rose Corner (Admit 1) Rs. 450/-
5 Victory Line (Admit 1 Rs. 300/-
6 All View (Admit 1) Rs. 230/-
7 Lake View (Admit 1) Rs. 150/-
8 Lawn (Admit 1) Rs. 100/-
Alappuzha to Punnamada
From Alapuzzha to Punnamada Lake
route map
The Destination Map

What Is It?

The Kali-Vallangal i.e. racing boats are a spectacular sport to watch. Around 100s of people row the sleek snake boats through the water in a synchronized manner. Even a little mistake by a single person can be harmful for the whole team. The participants go through riggers sessions of diet and practice for the whole year to win this competition. It was first started when the then prime minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru visited the area in 1952. He was so impressed by the snake boats that he donated the silver trophy and thus began the racing game. Watching hundreds of oars held by strong boatmen, working with the rhythm of water, the drums and songs is mesmerizing. Every year nearly 2 lakh people attend this event from across the globe. It’s also known as Kerala’s F1 races.

 

Where To Stay & Other Activities

Alapuzzha is famous for it’s backwaters. There are many luxury hotels, home-stays in and around the city. One can also rent a houseboat to stay in. Air BnB offers amazing deals on their app and website for the roof in Alapuzzha. August is the best season to visit the city and enjoy the scenic views.

You can read more about the same on their official website:

http://nehrutrophy.nic.in/pages-en-IN/default.aspx

 

PC.: Internet

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