Lootera : Poetry in Pain and Love

Disclaimer: The piece below is NOT a review, merely a humble analysis or something similar, thereby not covering entirety of the film or its plot. 

L1Lootera made me cry. That perhaps, could say it all. But the film deserves much more to be written about it. To begin with the laurels, it opens with an elaborate Durga Puja at a Zamindar house somewhere in Bengal. We have watched Durga Puja portrayed in quite a few Hindi films, none of them much to my liking except Kahaani, perhaps. There were Parineeta and Devdas with gaudy, pompous imagery of the festival and over-jewelled women hovering near the idol rustling their expensive designer sarees. Kahaani, for the first time presented a real piece of the puja from the streets of contemporary Calcutta, normal women resplendent in plain red-bordered-white-sarees performing the vermilion ritual on Bijoya Dashami. Then came Lootera, with an old world Durga Puja in a village, exactly the kind of story many of us have heard from our parents and grandparents. There used to be one hundred eight earthen pradips (lamps) and the same number of lotus blooms for the Ashtami puja, there used to be makeshift bamboo platforms staging the local village play or hired ‘opera’s from Calcutta, there used to be wealthy Zamindar women dressed in dhakai sarees and full-sleeved blouses with their neatly plaited braids and silver brooches. All these recreated perfectly in Lootera made me wonder about the director being a ‘non-Bengali’ as we term such people. I don’t know if he did the research himself, but it is nearly perfect. I say nearly for minute glitches like a stud on the wrong nose of Pakhi’s sakhi Miss Majumdar. Bengali women wear their studs, pins and rings on the left plateau of their noses. There is also a minor aberration of the ladies wearing coloured glass bangles in a few scenes. Unless the village shown in the film was meant to be set in precise vicinity of Bihar, the women of Bengal never wore coloured glass bangles, especially Zamindar women who had kilograms of gold to spare.

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Book Review : The Homing Pigeons

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

Blurb View:

In the middle of the catastrophic 2008 recession, Aditya, a jobless, penniless man meets an attractive stranger in a bar. Little does he know that his life will change forever.

When Radhika, a young, rich widow, marries off her stepdaughter, little does she know that the freedom she has yearned for is not exactly how she had envisioned it.

They say homing pigeons always come back to their mate, no matter where you leave them on the face of this earth. The Homing Pigeons is the story of love between these two unsuspecting characters as it is of lust, greed, separations, prejudices and crumbling spines.

Review:

I had opted to review this book reading truckloads of accolades from reviewers everywhere. If you have read my previous reviews, you might be knowing that I’m weary of reading innumerable romance novels these days. Yet, the keyword on the blurb which appealed to me was ‘recession.’ Being a victim of this menace myself, I wanted to know how the author handled it in this book. And I wasn’t disappointed. The blurb promised a love story and it is one, albeit a different one.

The story revolves around the two main protagonists – Aditya and Radhika, and is narrated from their perspectives in alternate chapters. Fair enough, it starts with Aditya, the victim of 2008 recession. What would you do if you lose your job? Has the thought ever crossed your mind, dear reader? Deplete all your money, worsen relation with your immediate family, lose your senses, cater to various addictions, fall prey to weird situations – All of these happened to Aditya and he became a gigolo. I will not divulge the circumstances that made Aditya do whatever he did with a makeshift profession. I will not judge the author for the profession he adorned his protagonist with. All I can say is that loss of a high-profile job and an absolute penniless condition can turn people into different personalities altogether. It happened to Aditya in the book, and it definitely happened to many people in reality who had lost everything during a recession. The other protagonist Radhika has a complicated past and present, and probably a future too, as the book ends with such a hint. They never fall out of love, and yet are never meant to be together.

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Learn to Live, Live to Learn

I am sharing what ‘I Saw and I Learnt’ at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in.

doright-bloggers-contest-blogadda

At the commencement of this year around six months ago, I was travelling back to Hyderabad from Calcutta. As always with that route of travel, I was a little depressed to leave home and loved ones again toward a city I didn’t like. Thankfully the feeling didn’t last long because it were the ultimate time I would be travelling on that route. We were scheduled to move from Hyderabad to Pune in a few days upon our return from Calcutta, and that at least brought a streak of joy inside me. Normally when I travel by Indian Railways, I pray silently for a lower berth after booking the ticket. The God of Railways doesn’t like me much though. It has been a middle or upper berth for me each time I have travelled in the last three years. This last time turned out to be different, as the Gods were moved by my sufferings and I was granted a lower berth. A happy me arrived at the station for boarding and checked the passenger list, just in case. To my disappointment, the co-passengers in my coupe were three elderly people, an octogenarian gentleman, a septuagenarian lady and another gentleman just shy of being a senior citizen.

I was a little upset, yes. At the same time I and my husband prepared ourselves to offer the comfort to them. Being in my thirties, I am still capable of keeping my claustrophobia (of middle berth) in control than forcing the elderly into discomfort. We enjoyed the limited sprawl of lower berths for about two hours until the train reached Jamshedpur and our senior co-passengers boarded the coupe. I was half expecting a frail couple considering their ages on the chart, but was greeted with amazing smiles from two surprisingly agile people. The gentleman was the quintessential Bengali silver-haired grandpa with a permanent smile in his eyes, and the lady resembled my mother more than grandma. We promptly offered them both the lower berths that we had, as they panted for breath after running a long way to board the correct coupe. Their companion for the journey was a distant relative who was evidently very fond of them. It didn’t take much time to strike a conversation in Bengali, and then there was no dam to hold the free-flowing adda.

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When Silence Roars

(Inspired by the movie Lootera [2013])

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The snow-clad tree stood tall braving the blizzard,

for it had promised its last leaf to me, and you.

 

Silence has always been the bridge between us – me,

the princess and you, her knight in shining armour.

 

I chirped like a true Pakhi, the myna or magpie,

while you listened draped in a shawl of intent.

 

Now, my voice is miffed by blood and dread,

while you rant away chasing to hold the life in me.

 

Ours is a story of pain and love, where I

bare myself in words, and you express

 

When you say nothing at all.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Critique the Critics

Well, I knew this was coming someday or the other. I have been joking to my friends about the fear of getting killed by an author whose books did not receive favourable reviews from me. Something similar happened yesterday to a fellow book reviewer. Another author with three books already published wrote this in his status a day or two ago:

amit shankar 1

His third book, recently released, is being reviewed in the Indian blogosphere these days. A fellow reviewer of mine did not like it (she had valid reasons which she explained in her review) and rated it 2/5 which is the lowest rating on her blog. Other fellow reviewers who liked the book (for valid reasons again) were mentioned in the author’s profile. It is evident that the status is directed towards a particular reviewer or perhaps others too who wouldn’t write a favourable review.

What is more appalling than the status is further reaction from the author and his friends. I am awed by the atrocity of calling people names. Satire, is not everyone’s forte. And this is plain and simple wrath –

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