Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Six Lessons - "Dear Zindagi" attempts it big!

This post was first published in Feministaa.

They say a film that is good is one that is honest. But no, not here. The beauty of Dear Zindagi is really in its pretense. For, it does a tight ropewalk between intellectual high tea of essential life lessons, and a soothing, upfront, breezy way of telling us an anyday story of an anyday girl. That is the only way to tell this story so that it can reach till us, so that it can do its work. So that it can make a difference, after all. Dear Zindagi is not an arty film, not at the least. And yet it is so pleasant and so ahead of its time that you feel almost grateful. Dear Zindagi is among the standing proofs of Indian cinema having come of age. It is a milestone, too, in a way.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Children Stories - fears and freedom!

This article was first published at Feministaa

How much can books make or break lives, I often wonder. What role do they play in shaping up who you are? Well if you ask me, I’d say quite a lot.

And yet, do we realize the power of printed words? Do we realize our restrictions with them, and our responsibilities? Do we realize what the bedtime stories cane do to our children, when we say them?

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

কে এই ভিকি রায়?

This post was first published in Rabibashoriyo, Anandabazar Patrika

২০০৮ সালে, গোটা বিশ্ব থেকে চার জন ফোটোগ্রাফারকে বাছা হয়েছিল, নিউ ইয়র্কে গিয়ে ওয়ার্ল্ড ট্রেড সেন্টারের পুনর্নির্মাণের ফোটো-ডকুমেন্টেশনের জন্য। নির্বাচিত চার জনের দুজন আমেরিকা থেকে, এক জন হংকংয়ের। আর চতুর্থ জন, ভারত থেকে। ভারত থেকে? কই, শুনিনি তো!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Peshwa (by Ram Sivasankaran)

When history is killed in printed letters from education board prescribed textbooks, it easily translates into simple quantum of scores upon annual marksheets. Good kings and bad kings, inheritances and battles, dates and events, problems causes and solutions. Lucky few chapters find resonance with stories told at home, like those of the freedom fighters, or those which stay for matters of future wisdom, the Indus Valley Civilization or the Joan of arc. For a thorough bong with adequate communal history to learn from and talk about, our exposure to kingdoms stayed sadly restricted to the famous Mughal lineage for its sheer magnificence, and to young king Sirajudullah on account of humane sympathy. The Maratha kingdom and its precise politics, sadly, never made a cut at a personal level until last year it jazzed up the silver screen. A compelling revelation, that they too fell in love and suffered, fought battles also of internal nature, sacrificed. And before the effect entirely faded, suddenly came by a chance for a commissioned book review, The Peshwa by Ram Sivasankaran.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Off the focus, of the limelight!

This column was first published in Feministaa.

Taruna Ashwani was the next name in queue in the row of social (media) storms, and rightly so. For the uninitiated, THIS is what she did!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Does India Know?

This column was first published in Our Front Cover.

In 2009, four people from across the globe were summoned to photo document the reconstruction of the world trade center in NYC. Two of them were from the United States of America, once from Hong Kong and the other, well, from India. Yes, from India.

The question is: Does India know?