Sunday, 19 November 2017

'PADMAVATI' Hullabaloo

                   'PADMAVATI' HULLABALLOO

Creative independence is always encircled. 
If I ask a filmmaker, "Why do you make films?"
 In all likelihood his answer will be, "To satiate my creativity." 

It is justifiable. But, you make it for your audience. No?.
Then, isn't it your duty to respect the sentiments of the audience?

I have always maintained that a writer should be responsible. You can but you shouldn't write  on subjects which the culture and beliefs prevailing in your land for ages do not permit. 
Are the films hold more value than the history?
Majority will answer in negative. 

Creativity is presenting facts in an interesting and appealing manner. If you have to distort facts in the name of creativity, either you  doubt your talent or you love controversy. Having seen his previous films, I don't have slightest of doubt that the 'Auteur' Mr. Bhansali can ever be short of fodder for his creativity. He could have shown the same story by changing the names of the true historical characters and concealing its historical reference and significance.
None of the living progeny of Rani Padmavati can claim the authenticity of the folklore. However, the grandeur  of Padmavati's character and the reverence of people for her must be respected. 
Rani Padmavati (or Padmini) and Rawal Ratan Singh are iconic Rajputs. Leave out the despicable historical relevance of Allauddin Khilji for the Indians. 

Films should aim to entertain people or to force them to ponder on the social issues that demand attention of each and every constituent of the society. We, as a society, are by no means short of such issues.

Such rows and controversies always benefit a film. Mr. Bhansali and the cast of his films expressing their anger and distress over the opposition of his film is a complete eyewash and an indispensable reaction. The early intervention of Rajput Karni Sena helped Mr. Bhansali save crores he would have spent on the promotion of the film. 

The producer and the actors of the so called magnum opus PADMAVATI  trying to present themselves as victims.

Deepika says, "It's appalling, it's absolutely appalling. What have we gotten ourselves into? And where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed." 

Sorry to say, but this is hypocrisy. Doesn't she sound selfish considering that this film is her most ambitious project in terms of scale? Or maybe, because only a small group has problems with this film.
We all have read and heard the strong reactions of film stars when media encroach on their personal sphere sharing true or fictitious stories. Then, who gives them the right to showcase the events,  true or cooked, from the lifetime of people, not even alive and, the people who are worshipped and idolised?

you can't make people swallow your personal beliefs in the name of creativity when your creations sustain on the tastes and opinions of masses.
As an individual you may think that there is nothing wrong in practising  sex before marriage, for instance. Alright. But, what if the people you intend to read or see it refuse to think as progressively as you think? Writer's iterate over writing books keeping in mind the readers' inclinations and  the business of making films is no way different. Then,  Mr. Bhansali, his team and the whole film fraternity   must  respect the sentiments of the people who are protesting against PADMAVATI.

I do not endorse the violence and unceremonious statements of the protesters and utterly disapprove of the threats to chop off ears and nose of the actress in lead role. By doing so, they are bound to lose the sympathizers. They are not going to win this fight with violence, vandalism and hooliganism.

Monday, 9 October 2017


                                                  My Take

The honorable Supreme Court upholds the ban on the sale of crackers in Delhi and NCR on Diwali on Monday, October 9. I welcome this ban though the same has been criticized by many.

Come on! The SC has banned the sale of crackers. It is not a ban on celebrating Diwali.

Is this festival only about crackers? We always read that the Deepawali (literary means the lamps in a line) is the festival of light.

Some respectable people have demanded a ban on the rituals people of other religions observe on their festivals. A crying shame.

And, how this ban is against secularism? Hindus are a majority in India. So, a large population celebrates Diwali. Don’t you think we can set an example for all others by supporting this ban? This would give us a strong ground to condemn the similar wrong practices in other religions if there are any.

One of my revered friends wrote on Facebook “Nothing can be more secular than banning crackers on Diwali in India”. How true. How emphatic.

“Ban Acs, Ban cars, Ban Smoking”- the childish outcry I hear.

Yes, actually, all of these should be banned. None of these existed when life blossomed on earth and flourished for millions of years without any of these menaces and threats to life itself.

I have some questions for these people.

When you can’t tolerate a ban on something that you do for a day, will you tolerate a ban on the things which you’ve made the part of your life?

I want to ask whether the crackers had been invented when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhaya?

And, are momentary pleasures more important that you want them even if they cost you ages of discomfort?

And if yes, then don’t produce babies. Please. And if you have already brought them to live at this place already contaminated and unfit to live, kill them now. Because, you don’t have a right to leave them to live an unhealthy life because of your misdeeds.

I am a brahmin, a Hindu and I am proud of all my festivals including Diwali- The Festivals of Light. But, I represent life that dwell on this unique planet-unique because it supports life. For the privilege I and every breathing creäture on the earth, I have certain responsibility which, unfortunately, many like me don’t realize.

This earth is not the legacy we have got from our predecessors. We’ve borrowed it from our successors. We all are custodians of this environment as much as we’re the custodians of our cultural heritage. Celebrating festivals is our right in our secular country but within the precincts of my house. None of us owns this earth. So, this right doesn’t give us liberty to throw the refuse of our celebrations out of our house tarnishing the environment that belong to millions of other living creatures who don’t celebrate our festival.

Actually, The Supreme Court should not have imposed this ban.

The honorable court should have pronounced it in a different way.

The data showing pollution level must be displayed and announced three days before Diwali. Every seller must keep the record of the buyer with documents and the bills. If the pollution level rises on the Diwali day or within seven days after that, every person who bought crackers would pay a fine hundred times the amount of his bill?

That would have been more acceptable for the  intellectuals criticizing the ban.

I support and welcome cracker ban.

The views expressed are personal.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017



..... But, how important their judgement is?

G was up early. The insomniac's head was bulging with quotes he had coined through the night and his imagination had suggested a new twist in the story he was working on. He hit his desk and began working. 

The first tea came at 6:30 and two more followed at an interval of one hour each. Then, at 9:30 his wife called for the breakfast. He knew he cannot ignore it. He pressed 'Save'  and got up.
While eating breakfast, he remembered that he had to go to the bank. He had forgotten to deposit the money in his account and could not delay it anymore.

He swallowed the remaining morsels and started immediately. On the way, he saw himself in the rear view mirror. "Crumpled T-shirt, salt-and-pepper stubble, messy hair and he was wearing slippers under the track pants. "Nothing is odd," he smiled and pressed the accelerator.

Reaching the bank, he checked himself again in the  mirror. He looked tired, dishevelled and miserable. He did the only thing he could do; worked his fingers on his hair and went into the bank. He stood seventh in the queue. It did not take a long time when more people stood behind him than before him.

Two young men, just behind G were quacking nonstop since they'd arrived.  One of them had business in the bank and the other guy just accompanied him. G, out of habit, was calmly listening to the babble of the gadabouts

They were engineering students. Their idle talks hopped from their college to the slow bank clerk at the counter, then to the news anchor on the silenced TV mounted on the back wall. Then to the blind clerk who distributed all sorts of forms. And  then to G. 

Before the taller, bearded fellow who was not in the queue, spoke the first sentence on G, he was enjoying their conversation. The strangest part was that he spoke it in English. 

"He is here straight out of bed," the haughty young man said. It pinched G why his appearance didn't reflect his academic credentials. Nevertheless, he didn't turn his head.
"He is wearing a red shirt like six others in this room," the boy standing behind G spoke.
"It seems men acquire a sort of affinity for this colour with age," the outsider spoke. His remarks were  blunt.
"He doesn't seem poor but his lifestyle is certainly awful."
"Yeah. He doesn't dye his hair."

Every time they paused to inhale air, G resisted replying them, not intending a confrontation but just telling them that he understood English. 

"Such lazy people should go bald. That would save them some time to groom themselves."

"Yeah. Like Shakespeare's Othello."

Mention of the Shakespeare proved a spoiler.

G turned around and said, "Who told you  that Othello was bald?"

His intrusion into their discussion was  spontaneous. G too, didn't realize that he was restraining the same for a while. 
Open-mouthed, they gawked at him as if he were a ghost. Then, guilt forced their eyes change the direction. Fortunately for them, the man behind them signalled G that it was his turn at the counter.

G came out and waited for the boys. He had made up his mind to finish it off.

They seemed assured that G had disappeared when they walked out of the bank. Their guilt had vanished and they laughed shamelessly.

A tussle was going on within G between his ego and his wisdom. Should he talk to the boys and ask them to explain how and why is the appearance of a person important? 

Fighting with the dilemma, he kept looking at the boys who now, were walking away from him.  He smiled and returned home. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

SARAHAH... An Extravagant Indulgence



                                                  An Extravagant Indulgence


So, Sarahah is the latest buzz on the internet. It's just another messaging app but with a conspicuous and curious difference. Sarahah enables a person known to you to convey his opinion of you without disclosing his identity. They may praise you or pick you apart.

Sounds interesting.

Sarahah means 'honesty'.

Now, anybody can be honest with a liberty of being anonymous. The sender enjoys the privilege and receiver staggers into dilemma.
Our brain is biased towards praise. We, humans, have the tendency to embrace the nameless and faceless praise but do we value an unacknowledged criticism which otherwise too (when it has a face) is often difficult to swallow.
 We appreciate anonymity  if it is benevolent. In that case too, the burden of gratitude keeps the more humane mortals anxious to discover the identity of the angel. I doubt if there are many takers of Malevolent anonymity.
We are seeing numerous Sarahah messages that people share on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. All sorts of rants- the  sugarcoated compliments, the wrinkled reprobation kept under the watch for some time, the shy confessions suddenly been stripped, amorous inclinations have found words. 

Nothing wrong actually.

Nothing wrong if you read the scripture in the Sarahah-square and let it go. But, is it that simple. Appeasing or disturbing, these short texts would keep hovering on the edge of our consciousness and give our brains a needless occupation. However hard we may try to discard and forget it, we would scrutinize the list of our acquaintances and keep guessing. Is it really worth our time?
So, Sarahah is going to be a strong reason for someone smiling to himself or in an unusually bad mood.
Sarahah will definitely go down well with people who are emotionally sound. However, it will be devastating for sensitive people.
Sarahah will make narcissists blush more. Certainly. But, think twice if you have a fragile heart.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017



                                                                                   -A SHORT STORY

Roshan is keenly watching all the advertisements today because he has to participate in an advertisement enactment competition tomorrow.
He has been outstanding in Quiz, Essay writing, and Poem-Recitation. His brain never lets him down.
However, enacting an advertisement for selling a product is a different ballgame for him. Here, his appearance would matter. Synchronization, content, and performance would be the key. 
Unlike every day, he isn't fighting with his sister for the TV remote. Neither does he urge her for switching to his favourite cartoon channel. And, even stranger is that he looks at the TV screen only when the ad break comes and scribbles in his notebook. He reads the notes when the program resumes.
He is nervous.
Tomorrow is Saturday. He has to put on the white uniform with white canvas shoes. His uniform should not be shabby. He runs out of the room and returns with his rundown canvas shoes and the bottle of liquid polish. 
One thick coat and his carefulness change the look of the shoes.
The morning dawns. He is shaky as if it is the biggest test of his life.
His fellows always say, ' You can beat everyone in academics but we will settle the account in dramatics and sports.' He knows that they are better in these fields but he wants to give them a stiff competition.
The school auditorium is full of cheer and anticipation. The nonparticipants, sitting on the carpeted floor, are eagerly waiting for the participants to enact the advertisements which they watch on TV with some innovation. They expect a great show from their talented peers.
The stage is about four feet high. Eight participants, two from each house are sitting in the right corner. The sweat of nervousness has wetted their red faces. 
The hall is beaming with life. Its lonely and hungry walls cherish the whispers, giggles and childish nimbleness.
The announcer reaches to the Mic. Her greeting words mingle with the elated utterances of the chaotically busy audience. She repeats louder. Silence and stillness follow. She reads out the rules,' Every participant will pick up two chits. He or she can choose one product and will have to enact an advertisement.' 
The four judges are ready with their pencils and heedful eyes. 
Roshan is first to go up. He draws out the chits from the bowl with trembling hands. He unfolds them one by one and mumbles, 'Shoes and Ketchup.' He thinks for a while and hands over the 'Shoes' chit to the announcer. Her lips read the word to the mic for the audience to hear.
Roshan parades forward from the back most of the stage saying, 'Bata is the best quality, ' he jumps, 'My sportswear, schoolwear, and party wear.' He runs back and repeats. 
'There is a hole in your Bata sole,' someone in the audience shouts and guffaws. More taunts and laughter follow. Rohan freezes in the middle of the wooden platform. His toe feels the cold polished surface as he walks away.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017



Many unlike me
Proudly, enter into the vagina
When release from the penis.
A fraction of your manhood
To many, we're genies.

People celebrate their fusion
Happily implant them
And eagerly wait for the parturition. 
You threw me coercively
Though I was reluctant
I had no option.
My mother  
Dreaded my insertion.

Fusion, she didn't expect.
For I belonged to someone
She didn't select.

I entered
As if I was a thief.
Even to the dying ovum
I wasn't a relief.
She loathed me like shit
I shamed her womb
And cursed me when
It grew into a tomb.

Perpetually, she weeps
Ever since you 
Threw me here.
I longed for existence,
Not, to be unwanted I swear.

I feel like an orphan
Though I have
Mommy and Daddy to call.
Raindrops never lament
When, from clouds, they fall.

I am a curse
I am your sin.
Maybe, she'd throw me
Into a bin.

You chose me
For your lust.
What a wanton disregard
A shiny dime in the dust.

You won't give me
Your name.
I am your child
Would you ever claim?

Celebrity in his own right
Proud crawler is a sperm.
You fell from grace
And made me a
Filthy worm.

I wish I'd died too
Like my siblings.
Better to perish
Faceless and nameless
Than to born by swindling.

Monday, 13 February 2017



Raising children is an art. It's an experiment in which success is imperative. No child is born bad or good. They are like a formless lump of clay and upbringing gives them shape.

As parents we want our children to grow into successful people, rich and reach a level higher than what we managed to touch. Nothing wrong in that but, often, we take away their childhood from them and burden their minds with our experiences, our definition, and inferences of life, our methods to grab success and our notions of society. We want them to borrow our shoes and follow our trails. The world we live in deem success and affluence as synonyms. Wanting our children to grow successful we create a sanctum for money in their unripe minds.

Of course, the reason is that we care for them and love them but, the love and care get adulterated by our fear. We don't want them to suffer and struggle. We don't want them to commit mistakes. We don't want them to stumble or fall and end up making them weak. We doubt whether they can get up after falling down, whether they have the mental strength to cope up with failures. We aspire that our children must succeed in the first attempt because neither we can afford nor life will give them the second chance. We forget that pressure turns coal into a diamond.

It's good that we want to give them everything but the worse is, we want them to be satisfied with what we put in their platter, often without caring to know their wants, likes, and dislikes.
The reason, I think is our own insecurity. We don't want life to repeat to them what it did to us and here, by doing this we present life as a problem and enslave them to acknowledge and accept our uncalled for and unwarranted help to solve that problem. We spoil the fun that solving a riddle gives and living a mystery brings. We make our children handicap. More inconveniences we have had in our lives, the more cautious we are in bringing up our kids. I am not talking about pampering and making the child like a hand-reared lamb. It's his right and our duty as parents. We ought to love our creations.

Many times, I read that we should teach our children to be happy.  I wonder, what if the child finds happiness in troubling, beating or killing others.
I say we should tell our children that the most important thing is that they are kind. And, this telling must be indirect. Showing it to them lest we shall sound as preachers. We can be kind ourselves and indulge in the acts of kindness and be a model for them.

I am a mathematics teacher for twenty-four years now. My son wanted to drop maths and take Computer science in lieu of it. Though reluctant, I didn't make a fuss about it and allowed him to go ahead with his own choice. He is happy and pursuing Mass communication now.

Instead of deciding what they should do, we should make them confident of choosing what they want and be determined to carry out everything they take up.
We should appreciate their efforts and not the performance.

Most of the parents become the support for their babies and treat them as 'babies'  until late. They claim that it is their love. I, as a father, is no exception. However, I feel parents should act as a guide showing both sides of the coin and let the child decide which way he wants to tread along.

My mother used to keep some money in the God's altar. I, a five-year kid, once stole five rupees from the God's kitty. When my mother inquired, I expressed my ignorance. She found the coins in the pocket of my knickers.
My father came as a guest teacher in the primary school I went to on his off days. Next time, he purposely came to my class. While teaching Subtraction he asked a question which went like this, 'Mother kept eleven rupees in the God's altar. Gaurav stole five rupees. How much money was left with the God?'
All my mates looked at me. I was in tears. I thought my father was a cruel man. Still, I don't know if he was right in doing so but, I never stole after that.

Encourage the children to play sports. One parameter of good upbringing is how a person behaves after winning or losing. This defines his conduct in dealing with people more successful and less successful than him. Where others stand in life must not make us feel superior or inferior.

At the basic level, parents should only watch the behaviour of their children.
Gratitude is the best attitude. Children must practice to be gratuitous towards everything and everyone.
Studies show that people who are in the habit of expressing gratitude are more helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving—and they’re also happier and healthier.

We must expand their circle of concern. A person's concern for his family and friends is no big deal. Challenge is to make them think about the people outside the circle. That includes the concern for the community - the neighbours, the hawkers, the shopkeepers, the house helpers and everybody they come across. This challenge can easily be achieved by teaching them to build relationships and value the relationships they build.

Again, preaching will not do. Parents themselves, must be role models for their children. Children watch how their parents deal with the relatives, neighbours and friends. Be generous and tolerant with relatives. Be polite and helpful to neighbours. Visit and invite your friends often. When the children will know that you are still connected with your school friends, that will certainly inspire them.

Don't protect your child like a shield, walk behind him like a shadow.
Never appreciate them when they tell you about the vices of their friends, classmates, teachers or anybody. Instead, ask them what virtues does he see in that person. In all likelihood, he would deny any. Don't give up and ask him to find out. Follow up. Tell him that you would like to meet those people.

I was about ten and went out to play cricket with other boys. Once a month, my father would call some of the boys and talk to them. He would ask how they were doing in their studies. What did their fathers do? Where did they live?  Did they abuse? I thought the practice was weird as the boys teased me.

As parents, we should not shy away from pointing out the mistakes of our kids, behavioural or otherwise. If not us, someone else will and if the child is not in a habit of hearing bad things, he is going to suffer and this would leave him miserable later or sooner. I have seen people blindly favouring their kids. This is the biggest blunder people do. We should inculcate the habit of accepting follies in our children. They are bound to make mistakes in life and the world would not be on their side every time. Staring down their shortcomings can put them on the path to lasting happiness else they will suffer in one way or another. 
If he is right, stand with him come what may. If not, scold him and make him realize. 

One of the nicest things I have read about parenting is from Hrithik Roshan. He says in an interview that he loves his sons, not because he is their father but because he likes the persons that they are and he wants them to love the person that he is and not only because he is their father.
How true!

We all, as parents, must try to become the people whom our children can like. 

I as a father would like my children to grow up into fearless, cheerful, compassionate, kind and never-feel-insecure individuals and I am glad my upbringing is going in the right direction 
so far.