The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

Life is so precious! — December 17, 2014

Life is so precious!

A few days back, I witnessed a very gruesome incident. I was walking up the stairs after getting my breakfast. I saw some huge thing fly. At first I thought it was a bird and then I heard a thud. My first instinct was that some luggage or a big bag fell down from one of the top floors. I peeped down from the railing and saw a young man’s limp dead body! I looked around stunned and called for help. Soon there was police and ambulance!

Later on we found that he was a young man of around 30 with a wife and a 3 year old daughter.

His dead body keeps floating in my mind.. I am unable to take it off my head. But what bothers me the most is a thought that I wish I could have reached him earlier and stopped him from taking this extreme step.

A look at his daughter’s face made me cringe on the cowardly and gruesome act! We face lots of hurdles in life and will have lots of challenges… suicide may seem like an easy way out sometimes but the problem that led you to end your life doesn’t resolve on its own… not to mention the tremendous pain you subject to everyone who loved you! That little girl for no fault of her own is now an orphan at the age of 3!!! She will never know her father! His wife is now a widow at the age of 30! She will spend her life taking care of their daughter on her own!

I hope and pray for his soul to find peace but I also wish he hadn’t done this. Life is too precious to end like this… It is beautiful! Yes there are sad days but also ones full of bliss! To concentrate only on the bad is unfair!

Always remember to face life’s problems head on and fight like a brave soldier!

Satyamev Jayate – A candid review — May 7, 2012

Satyamev Jayate – A candid review

When I first saw Aamir’s casual look and approach in the ads of Satyamev Jayate, I told my husband “This is going to be a flop. Aamir is trying too hard to be casual. This is going to fall flat on his face” In fact, the ad where he claims that this show will change your life and comparing his show to stalwarts like Mughal-e-azam saying,”If a film like Mughal-e-Azam can beat all norms and barriers, why cant our show!” That ad was too much for me to take. I felt it reeked of desperation – a last resort to make people watch the show!

As you can say, I wasnt too positive about the show. So, when I switched on my TV to watch the first episode, I was ready and willing to confirm my initial prophecy.

I was wrong.

So wrong.

I watched the show last night. And totally loved it. Also, because I feel very strongly about Female Foeticide and Infanticide situation in India. What Aamir said about the issue did not come as a surprise to me since I had already read about Mitu Khurana’s case and even blogged about it, but I am certain it was a definite eye-opener for the whole of India. Female foeticide is a gruesome fact which is a big dark blot on the canvas of modern India. The fact that the educated and well-to-do are so heavily involved in this crime is a testimony to the fact that this is not just an affliction of the less privileged! In fact, Bharati who lives in the slum of Vastrapur area is a shining example of that! I am determined to look her up in my next trip to Ahmedabad and tell her to keep going strong!

Some of my famous lines from the show:

Atyachar karna jitna paap hota hai utna sehna bhi paap hai (It is as much of a crime to put up with torture as it is to commit one) – Parveen Khan

Zindagi hamein bahut kuch sikhati hai, kabhi hasati hai to kabhi rulati hai… par jo har haal me khush rehte hain, zindagi unke saamne sar jhukati hai (Life teaches us a lot, it makes us laugh sometimes, it makes us cry. But those who remain happy in all circumstances, life bows down in front of them) – Parveen Khan

I would like to reach out to all of you and implore you to watch the episode. You will not be disappointed.

You can watch it here:

If you really think needs to stop, do not waste one more second. Go right away and cast your vote here.

When women rally against their own kind — February 21, 2012

When women rally against their own kind

An issue as sensitive as rape had compelled many women in the past to take their own lives or bear the mental trauma for all their lives. Just thinking that women can turn an indifferent eye towards rape is a very disturbing thought! The sheer helplessness of a rape victim and the mental scar is something that even men can show empathy towards. In such circumstances when women turn a deaf ear to the cry of a rape victim, I feel nothing but immense rage towards my own kind!!

Recently, in one of the busiest streets of Kolkata, a woman was raped and dumped after brutally being beaten up. Not  just that, she was jeered at by police officers and not taken to the hospital as is required in such cases. To top it all, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee goes out to say “The incident is contrived and intended to malign my government. Truth will come out”.

To the woman who came as a ray of hope in the otherwise devastated State, Shame on you!!

Crying is my birth right and I shall have it!! — January 19, 2012

Crying is my birth right and I shall have it!!

Ok, I admit.

I am a cry baby! I cry at the drop of a hat over anything and everything… Sometimes I cry for the silliest of things (like when my plant died after it was ignored because Noobie and I were travelling)…

Any good movie, book, blog, song or tweet is enough to make my cry.

Sometimes I get annoyed at myself, coz here I am sitting in the office and I read a report on some hungry children in Kenya and there drops a tear!! Now, its awright when at home, but at work, being caught wiping tears with a tissue can get really embarrassing!

If I am not wrong, I must get teary-eyed at least once in 2-3 days! In fact my hubby makes a lot of fun… Sometimes when I cry for no reason at all, he makes his oh-god-what-now face and says ‘Bahut din ho gaye the rone ka weekly quota khatam kar rahi ho?’ (Many days have passed since you last cried. Are you making up for the week’s quota?)

So, you get the point. I basically love to cry…

But I sometimes wonder ‘Is it a bad thing to cry’?

I can almost imagine Amitabh Bachchan roaring on the top of his voice ‘Mard ko dard nahi hota’… Basically crying has always been associated with women. Another stereotype. Reason? Possibly because women arent afraid of being mocked for crying or for that matter afraid of openly expressing their emotions. Men, on the other hand, are! They like to keep everything bottled up. In my honest opinion, it is important to cry some times, to get all the negative energy out… I am sure all will agree that crying definitely makes the head and the heart lighter…

Crying is not a sign of vulnerability nor is it a sign of weakness. Keeping pain bottled up may make you look macho/strong temporarily but eventually the volcano will burst and the lava will come out stronger than never before…

So, my dear friends, cry away! 🙂

Salwar more provocative than a Saree? — January 6, 2012

Salwar more provocative than a Saree?

I enjoy reading award related posts. One of the prime reasons for that is you get a chance to learn about some very good blogs which you may have never come across. I came across one such blog through Smitha – Shail’s Nest, and through her blog I read this article which got me inspired enough to write about the topic that has always bothered me: “What goes on in the psyche of a man who wants to impose himself on a woman unwilling to comply?

I do not know the answer to this question. Who knows why some creeps do the unthinkable! But there is one thing I do know: If all the women in India were to start wearing Sarees instead of salwar (which is the most prominently worn outfit across India), it will definitely not aid in bringing the rapes down as suggested by Seetamma and V Dinesh Reddy (See excerpt below)

Seetamma, in an interview earlier this week, said women needed a dress code “for their own good”. The independence of women, she said, had nothing to do with wearing modern clothes. What, according to Seetamma, might keep women safe from rapists and sundry low-life? “Only a sari,” she declared, “with long-sleeved blouses invokes respect for women, nothing else.”

Seetamma’s remarks represent the nadir of modern Indian thought and are the latest in a series of offensive, unthinking and plain stupid comments by public officials, who in a right-thinking country should have been forced out of office. Instead, many Indians, especially men — probably the majority — likely agree with them.

The latest round of absurd comments began last week when a reporter in Hyderabad asked Andhra Pradesh director general of police V Dinesh Reddy why the police had failed to stem the rising graph of rape (more than three a day in 2011) and murder. This is what the learned Reddy had to say: “When you are taking (sic) food that gives good josh, (my best translation: playful energy), as time goes by you tend to be more naughty… rapes and all cannot be controlled by the police. Even the villagers from coastal Andhra Pradesh, where it used to be more traditional, are wearing salwar kameez. All these things provoke these types of things, which is (sic) not in control of the police. So, rapes per se, increase or decrease, you cannot attribute (this) to the police.”

Are you serious? Do these people really believe wearing a saree is going to command more ‘respect’ for women? On what basis? From a logical, rational standpoint, a saree always gets more attention because it shows a lot more skin than a Salwar, which is covered from top to bottom… I love and respect saree as an outfit but it is irrational to say that a salwar is more provocative than a saree… Despite all the pinnings and caution, all those who have worn sarees at any point of time will agree with me that a saree is essentially a large piece of cloth. The number of mishaps/oops moments possible when wearing a saree far outweigh those when wearing a salwar!

Let us now move out of the realm of which clothing attracts perverts. Because frankly, I whole-heartedly agree with the conclusion of the author in the article – atrocities against women have nothing to do with what she wears. A pervert’s gaze will remain pervert whether you cover her in a burqa or a bikini!

If we go back a little in history… In the land of Ram Rajya, or even in the Mesopotamian era, the description of women’s attires often includes a bikini-top along with an angavastram tied around the waist. And yet, such atrocities against women were unheard of in those times. The whole purdah system came into place when the Mughals invaded India (More on this later).

Alas! Our so-called-leaders fail to fathom this and instead of going to the root of the problem, are busy torturing the victims further! As I prepare to end this piece, the question continues to linger on in my mind…

Demons in white! — December 21, 2011

Demons in white!

I was shocked beyond words when I saw Dr Mitu Khurana‘s story on ABC. You can read the entire story here.

I was shocked not because this is a story of a woman fighting for her rights to save her twin daughters from her husband and her in-laws. I was shocked because the woman is not one of those countless, helpless women that throng rural India and are subject to unmentionable exploitations every day. The victim here is a doctor, a paediatrician!! Whats even more shocking?? Her monster of a husband is a doctor too!!!!

The story made me angry! And along with it, I was engulfed by immense sadness. I was under a huge misconception that we, as a nation, are progressing. Apparently not! As Dr Mitu pointed out correctly,

With advancement in technology, people are coming up with more advanced ways of killing the girl child.

Not only did her husband and inlaws try poisoning her so as to induce abortion, her mother in law actually threw her 4-month old daughter down the stairs!

The only silver lining in the otherwise devastating story is that all is not lost. We have women who are running orphanages for girl child who are discarded by their family.

In Elizabeth Vargas’ words:

Poor women who cannot afford these services will simply kill or abandon their babies.   Some will take their newborn girls to a drop box, usually in the middle of the night, and leave the baby there.  One drop box is at a place called the Unique Orphanage in Punjab.  We went from the village with no women, to the orphanage with no boys.  There are only girls here…60 of them…all cared for by a wonderful woman who will raise each and every one.  It is striking to see all those little faces, some two days old, others teenagers, all unwanted by their biological families.  They are actually the lucky ones.  Their parents didn’t kill them.  They now have someone who loves them.

The orphanage is crowded – I counted three, sometimes four girls in each bed — but also immaculate.  No one knows their real birth date, so once a year they have one giant birthday party for everyone.

 I have always had immense respect for the men in white coats. In a lot of ways, they depict all that is good with our society. They depict technological advancement and man’s victory over the inevitable (or we would like to think). But, when those white coats are put up for sale for a couple of thousand bucks, there is very little nobility left in the ‘noble profession’.

You are with me, Always! — December 5, 2011

You are with me, Always!

Sia woke up with a jolt… She was sweating and found herself crying profusely. In the last few days, she had felt the restlessness she had never felt before… She gazed out of the window, the world was fast asleep… everything seemed peaceful and calm… almost like the peace before the storm..

She woke up the next morning and narrated this to her husband. He kept a loving hand on her shoulder and told her not to worry.. It was little consolation to Sia, who kept thinking of her Nani (Maternal Grandmother), who hadnt been keeping well for the past 2 years. Sia remembered hurriedly paying her a visit 2.5 years ago. Fragile, yet warm as ever, she could remember Nani gently brushing her hair and asking her “Khush to ho?“. She had been married for 6 months then and she could see the concern in her Nani’s eyes. “Main bahut khush hun, Nani. Mujhe dekh ke nahi pata chala aapko“, Sia chided with her Grandmother gently prodding her to take care of her health and not worry about her. She left the next day with a promise to come back soon. It had been 2 years since and Sia had not had a chance to go visit her Nani. She would write her letters and try to talk to her on the phone, but her heart ached to meet her.

Her heart sank when her mother told her to drop by and visit Nani during her planned Diwali holidays at her in-law’s. Nani’s lungs had started giving up on her. Mama (Maternal Uncle) being a cardiac physician was beginning to get worried. They had already revived Nani a few times. Everytime her lungs gave up on her, she would be plugged onto a dozen machines and brought back… Mama was not willing to give up on her… Nor was she willing to give up on life… Such was the strong-willed Nani

Sia had just landed in India… all happy that she would be seeing Nani soon… until that fateful call from her sister that promised to tear the world around her.

Nani was no more…

Sia had heard in fables and folk tales that the very pious at heart have the boon of ‘Ichcha Mrityu‘, the ability to leave their body at will. She saw this when her Nani decided to pass on… She chose the best day and time to do the same… Sia was shattered… Not just because Nani was no more… but also because she couldnt meet her fav person… “It was probably the best”, she told herself… her last memory of Nani was the same cheerful, effervescent and strong person she always was… She wouldnt have been able to see her get weak…

Today, almost a month since Nani moved on… Sia always finds her presence around her… She knows her beloved Nani will always be around her… guiding her… protecting her…

CWG 2010 – Perspective by an Indian — October 1, 2010

CWG 2010 – Perspective by an Indian

I was born and brought up in India – I studied, built myself a career, got married in India – It was only recently that work took me to different parts of the world, but as they say you can take an Indian away from India but you can not take India away from an Indian. I have and will always be unabashedly, undoubtedly, a true blue Indian!!

You speak a word out of the line, and I will not sit down and listen. I will stand up and fight – defend the honor of the Nation that made me who I am!

So, when media all over the world (Especially Indian media) was thrashing the country black and blue over its underpreparedness to host the Common Wealth Games, it was a surprise (and sometimes a shock) just observing fellow countrymen’s reactions! Ah, not to mention pretty amusing at times! Now, these are some of the things that happen if you are staying outside India.

  1. You desperately try to fit into the new culture/society. Suddenly skirts become shorter and holding hands/PDAs become more acceptable.
  2. Cooking your own meals is as rare and uncommon as clean and traffic-free Indian roads – Fridges are stacked with frozen food of all sorts. Who has the time to cook these days?
  3. You start alienating/dis-associating yourself from anything “Indian”.

Having said that, m glad not all go through these transitions 🙂 while, some very seriously do!

So, coming to CWG, it was pretty interesting to note everyone’s reactions. To put it mildly, “ashamed” and “embarrassed” were the most commonly used words… the others words pretty much dont matter. The message was clear: People were ashamed of being identified as belonging to a Nation where the toilets werent clean and dogs soiled the mattresses meant for the athletes. Oh how tacky! How would they face their firang team mates the next day at work? Oh! India had really put them down!! Oh, how shameful!!

The pictures released by bbc were discussed – Shameful – Corruption was blamed for everything and anything that went wrong – Disgusting – Kalmadi should be hanged – India unprepared to host such a big event – Shameful – Where has the tax-payer’s money gone? – Disgusting – All athletes backing out – Shameful – Not just reading but forwarding lewd insensitive remarks on the situation – Disgusting

At the same, I found many who had complete belief. And this is all they had to say:

Yes, we screwed up. We went disastrously wrong with a lot of things. But, let us stand united, and put on a great show! This is not just my country’s reputation, but “My” reputation at stake now. If I can not actively help in the process, I can do my bit by not bad-mouthing those who are putting in an effort

I have only one question for all of you who felt let down: If you have a grih-pravesh or a house-warming party at your new house, and I come in a few days early, uninivited, click the pictures of a house still being readied for the big show and put it all over the place for people to laugh at. Would you want your family members standing by your side and condemning the act or joining in the ridicule, pelting stones at you?

Am I just being a romantic or does that make sense?

Movie Review: Udaan – Pure, raw emotions splashed all over the screen! — July 22, 2010

Movie Review: Udaan – Pure, raw emotions splashed all over the screen!

This review may have spoilers, but trust me, no amount of spoilers will ruin this movie for you… It is the entire experience of those 2 hrs that is worth every penny!

I thought a lot before writing the review, is there one word that truly describes the movie? Cant be… coz it is as difficult to describe this movie as difficult it is to describe the most pristine of emotions one feels!

It is a simple story… that of a drunkard father trying to bring up 2 sons and doing a miserable job of it. His life has turned him into a raging maniac who has absolutely no control over his temper… and an unrepentent cynic who refuses to see anything remotely good in his children. He thinks they are useless and worthless, but it is actually his reflection of his own self! He treats his children as a commodity which has been thrown at him – does not show his love for them or rather insists on being called “sir” instead of “papa” or “dad”.

The best part of the story which actually forms the crux of the movie is the relationship between the two half-brothers, Rohan and Arjun! They have nothing in common – were not even aware of each other’s existence – and yet they share a common pain – their dad!

The character of Ronit Roy in the movie has sooo many different layers to it that it leaves you baffled!! On the onset it may seem like here is a maniac person who wants nothing to do with his children, at the same time, we get to see his softer side when he apologizes to his sons for his misdemeanor! You empathise with him, loathe him, are apalled and disgusted by him… all at the same time!!

But the icing on the cake is the little kid, Arjun! He does not have many dialogues to say or many things to do, but every little thing he does and every time he get that little smile on his face, your heart flutters with joy at seeing the little one smile, which is not very often! The calmness with which he faces inhuman torture gives you goosebumps! This kind of made me think, that this is probably one of those things that make a person so hard hearted! The soft emotions that a 6-yr old child should have are completely missing from this one because he has not seen any form of love in his life!

If you have not already, then go… rush… this one will be worth every penny!!

Random Question #3 — July 5, 2010

Random Question #3

Reading about Viveka Babajee’s suicide sends shivers down my spine.. what irks me is that there are many so-called successful women who end their lives because their relationship did not last! The list includes Kuljeet Randhawa, Nafisa Joseph, et al

With all the talks about women being as strong or more than men… with all the talks of equality to genders… such incidents are a big slap on the face… On one end, when the women of this world are trying their best to match pace with the men around, on the other hand, established successful women who should be an inspiration to others, are ending their lives… The prominent reason being failed relationships! And this nullifies all the effort towards building a nation full of stronger, more confident women!

My question for today is:

With all talks of women liberalisation, is a man still the universe of a woman? Is it worth ending your life in love?

When the city bled… — May 27, 2010

When the city bled…

I belong to the city of Ahmedabad and though I was not born here… I say I “belong” to this place. I know I speak for everyone who has stayed in the city ever that there is something about this place, which makes it your own. And what makes a city special? Its people… warm, loving and caring people who embrace everyone with open arms…

And when the very same loving people turn into vicious blood-thirsty animals, the city bleeds! This is happening to my city right now… at this very moment… And what pains me beyond anything is the fact that this is not the first time it has happened and unfortunately, not the last time as well!!

Back in 2002, I witnessed the massacre and blood-bath myself and to tell it was a ghastly sight would be an understatement. Acid bulbs being dropped, vehicles being set on fire, people being stabbed in broad-daylight, houses/shops being set on fire… do not even begin the describe the horrific sight of a riot.

I am not short of reasons to resent the Britishers for having ruled us for centuries… the biggest being the “seeds of hatred” they sowed inside the hearts of people in this part of the sub-continent. The hatred a Muslim feels for a Hindu and vice-versa. More than 60 years after they left us, we are still paying a huge price for the the “Divide and Rule” policy they adopted. They may have stolen our “Kohinoor” but this was the biggest damage they did to our soul – something that will take much longer for us to come out of… I am not sure if we will ever… But, I hope someday we do…

Here is a snapshot of some statistics regarding riots (Source1, Source2)

I would like to add to this that all these numbers mostly indicate crimes done to minorities in India (Muslims/Sikhs). However, it will be unfair to indicate that numerous innocent Hindus become targets for rioters almost on a daily basis in many Minority dominated areas of the country. And all this happens in the name of God. One small incident catapults to unprecedented porportions because of fragile religious sentiments.

I have only one thing to say to all Rioters: Kill, Burn, do what you want. But, DO NOT commit crimes in the name of God. No religion propogates violence and neither your Bhagwaan, nor your Allah is happy to see you do this. Wake up… before its too late!

Infidelity: What’s the fuss all about?? — March 18, 2010

Infidelity: What’s the fuss all about??

Tell me if I am wrong… please do… but I just cant seem to fathom behavior of common junta over a couple of things that have come up in the past…

When Monica Lewinsky came forward with an allegation that Bill Clinton, the then President of the United States of America had had an affair with her, people all over America went berserk – right from demanding a public apology to the death of his political career caused by his impeachment.

I somehow dont get it… What exactly was his fault? Did he commit a murder or force himself upon another woman? Did he embezzle millions of dollars of tax-payer’s money? Did his affairs in any way make him any less efficient as a President? What he did was definitely not acceptable – cheating on his/her partner is an unpardonable crime… But did it deserve the kind of National importance it got? Probably not… What transpired between him and his mistresses was actually no one else’s business.. It was between him and his family… They were the only ones he was answerable to… no one else! But, seems like suddenly the whole of US was full of morality preaching pundits. I would really like to know that out of all those people, how many had never cheated on their partner??… I am pretty sure that percent would be minimal… and yet, when it came to their President, every one conveniently forgot all that he had done for the nation… All that mattered was his infidelity.

Just the other day I was watching a Golf program… All they did was talk about Tiger Woods infidelity. Oh come on! Why cant people separate a celebrity’s professional and personal lives? Tiger Woods is an excellent Golfer. Period. What he does in his personal life should not hamper his image as a Golfer… but sadly, it does! I really appreciated Obama’s statement yesterday, where he admitted that Woods was still a terrific Golfer… Suddenly, people do not remember him for all his victories – the only thing they remember about him are his affairs! A very sad state of affairs, if you ask me! Why do we have to elevate all these famous people onto a pedestal and then throw them onto the ground if they even show signs of being “human”!?

People have, in the past, committed several heinous crimes much more gruesome than an extra-marital affair. Do we see people reacting wildly to that? Well… maybe yes, but not as much as they react to a moral crime!

Whats your take on this? Am I completely wrong in thinking this way? Go on… tell me…

Has CAT lost its credibility? — March 3, 2010

Has CAT lost its credibility?

I have been observing the whole CAT 2009 drama with supreme interest. The more and more I hear about it, the more I doubt the credibility of CAT (Common Aptitude Test) conducted by the top B-schools of our country. CAT is one of the most sought after examinations and studies have proven that IIMA is the most difficult institute to get through in the world – with the ratio being 1:1000.

With such high stakes, can CAT afford to be slandered?

Listing down some objectionable/flawed instances that marred the most-sought-after Exam in India.

  • Most exam centers had technical issues with candidates not having their centers as mentioned in the Admit Card.
  • Technical hazards like Server issues/Computers rebooting on their own
  • The difficulty levels of the exam on any given day was not comparable – Hence, it is not surprising that most of the candidates receiving IIM calls are from the first 3 days of the exam, when the CAT paper was the easiest of the lot.
  • Some candidates who did not appear for the test on the initial slot, gave the re-test! No one to question them…
  • Some candidates who had a test of more than 140 mins were asked to report the same to the concerned authorities and give a re-test – barring which, their scores would be considered null and void. Nothing of that sort happened. I personally know a few candidates whose exam was for more than 150 mins – they did not bother with the re-test and duly received their scores. This means that some candidates took more time than allocated, thus having an undue advantage over others!

Gazillion such facts and stories are out there where people have got away with doing just about anything during CAT ’09, thus making it a joke and a major fiasco! Not surprising then that the credibility built over the past 50 years has been lost, with a lot of colleges refusing to accept CAT scores as admission criteria!

Whats your take on this? Did you appear for CAT last year? Or did you know someone dear going through the tortures?

Please share your thoughts.

Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara – Sadly PALE!!! — January 26, 2010

Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara – Sadly PALE!!!

I am a die hard fan of Indian Integrity and the whole concept of “Unity in Diversity”. And nothing better could represent the sole soul of the nation than “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”

I am apalled, aghast, disgusted after seeing the new representation of India in “Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”.

Here goes my review of the same:

Strengths

  1. Amitabh starting the video – gave it a powerful start. Shankar Mahadevan and gang followed it well with a good rendition

Weaknesses

  1. Are you trying to show India without The Taj? I mean, seriously? In the 17 min long video, you could not devote a few seconds to the most recognizable structure in India?
  2. No Lata!? Without her voice, can a video on India be complete? Her beautiful voice gave us goose bumps in the earlier version and we are super lucky to have had her around during the re-make – and the makers missed out on that!!?? Sad!
  3. No Sachin or Dravid? Basically no representation whatsoever of Cricket, the most loved religion of India!
  4. Too much of Mumbai in the video.. How about the ghati of Kashmir or the Backwaters of Kerala or the tea-gardens of Assam or the beaches of Goa?
  5. Deepika and Ranbir looked rather stupid merely acting and not adding any value to the video. From the looks of it, they seemed like they were doing yet another film and not a video on National Integrity!
  6. Really poor representation of WB – They could have roped in Sourav – the prince of Kolkata!
  7. And no one better than Gohil to represent Gujarat? They could have got Mallika Sarabhai back! Or roped in Prachi Desai or Paresh Raval.
  8. The fusion of Shiamak Davar and Kuchipudi was done in real bad taste
  9. Aamir’s portion badly shot and a novel touch to the tune of the song has made it disastrous. His portion did not add any value at all to the whole theme.
  10. Sonu Nigam looks disgusting… he looks like a firang bozo! His portion was sadly easily editable!
  11. The video was trying hard to give enough footage to all the stars involved – Just one line given to every one of them would have sufficed – ensuring little digression from the theme! In the earlier version, all the stars were shown, not as stars, but as aam aadmi. Most were just there, contributing their bit in an unobtrusive way!
  12. Not an iota of mention of Chandrayan? One of our bigger scientific achievements of the decade!
  13. Many portions of the song seemed completely out of tune!
  14. They could have used the famous child stars in portions involving kids.

The video frankly seemed like it was trying hard to satisfy the vanity of each of the stars involved! They could do with some serious editing! It started with a good intention, which was not successfully met. Wished they had concentrated more on showing the real “India” and less of pomp and show!

To cut a long story short, the 17 min long video no match for its short and crisp 6+ mins old counterpart!

I give it a thumbs down! Wats your take?

[PS Prepared with some creative inputs from Praveen]

Book Review: Gaban by Munshi Premchand – Unbearable! — December 17, 2009

Book Review: Gaban by Munshi Premchand – Unbearable!

Sorry for the long hiatus… Noobie and I had gone on a 3-week holiday to India and that was super hectic, with us shuttling from one place to another!

Now that I am back to Singapore, normal life is slowly getting restored… and my apologies for not having responded to all your wonderful comments, will do so in the earliest.

Meanwhile, I got a chance to read Gaban by Munshi Premchand, one of my fav Hindi authors and to say the least, I was truly disappointed. The book is about a confused and weak man who keeps running from all problems and his first-greedy-and-then-sensible-wife who undergoes this awesome transition.

Initially the book is interesting and keeps you hooked, but very soon you start loosing interest because of the plethora of too many characters being introduced at various stages and too many twists in the story. It becomes a very exhausting read. It should have been properly edited with irrelevant portions taken out. They truly drag the story and take the punch out of it.

In short, a book that should be avoided at all costs.

Not worth your time!