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The Kedarnath miracle - When a stone saved Mahadev!

As i was returning from office the other day, the hot gossip going on in the local train was how a rock had prevented the Kedarnath temple from getting washed away during the horrifying floods, when all but seemed lost. About how the almighty apparently savedhis temple and thus re-established the faith of his followers through this act. While a section of the crowd seemed to agree to this, there were some who didn’t. They argued on the fact that if there was indeed a god, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Thousands woudn’t have died at his doorstep. What was in discussion was the following event.
Kedarnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and situated near the Mandakini River in India in a valley of the Garhwal Himalayas, was constructed in the 8th century and folklore has it that Shree Adi Shankaracharya himself , oversaw the building of the shrine. Considered as one amongst the holiest temples in India, it is on the must-see list of every devout Hindu. For the trekker…

Theatre Review- The Siddhus of Upper Juhu

As the classical Bollywood number goes ,” Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahan, zara hatke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan!”
While it is still the city of aspiration and dreams, majorly due to Bollywood , once you land up the problems of this metropolis hit you. Bad roads, Noise, Water/Electricity problems, Neighbours who behave like strangers etc are just a few ones that the hustle bustle of the city hides behind its glowing lights. Whether you own a house or are a tenant, the experience or rather exposure to the crumbling infrastructure of the city sucks you in. Yet ask any true blue Mumbaikar and the response will be” Mumbai jaisi koi jagah nahi hai Boss!. Mein toh yahi settle hoga. Iss citymein kuch toh baat hai!” This is exactly the Dna of Balwinder Siddhu aka Bubbles( Rajit Kapur).  A financial executive who has poured out his life’s savings into an upper rise in Mumbai. Giving him company is his parsi wife Behruz (Shernaz Patel). In spite of living in a fancy locality, ( Andh…

Massage play review- Laughter is the best massage

Had heard quite a lot about this play Massage. Besides being in the running for quite a few years now, what intrigued me was the concept of one guy playing plays 24 characters. The main protagonist was essayed by Rakesh Bedi, who is more known for his comic roles in Bollywood, but has more to him that just comedy. This play is a testimonial to that.  A seasoned actor in a play written by a seasoned playwright Vijay Tendulkar is a double whammy for any theatre lover. Had missed watching it on a couple of occasions earlier, hence this Sunday when I got to know that Massage was to be staged in Matunga, booked it at the first go. The play essentially is about the struggle that lakhs of Indians face when they come to the dream city of Mumbai, lured by the prospect of becoming a Bollywood star. Happy Singh as the name suggests is a happy go lucky guy who comes to Mumbai to chase his dreams of becoming an actor. Starts his struggle with an internship as the 4th assistant director under a ty…

Dangal movie review : Daddy’s dream,Daughter’s achievement,Son of a Gun-Dangal!

Behind every successful man there is a woman goes the conventional saying. Well what if we rephrased it to say, behind every successful woman there is a man! That's exactly what this movie Dangal is all about. Redefining the conventional norms associated with gender.

The setting is Haryana, a state with one of the worst sex ratios in India today. Where khap panchayat is stronger than most courts or governments. Patriarchal to an extent that most villages do not have brides for their gabru jawans (young men), since most girls get killed in their mother’s wombs.  And to think that in such a society, a guy dreamt of making his daughters sporting heroes is somewhat surreal. Add to that the traditionally male dominated sport of wrestling and one might say in Haryanvi “Bawla hai key!”
But then that is what defines a true wrestler. Not the daav or the wrestling move that he throws in the ring but the fights that he withstands in real life. And Mahavir Phogat is one such persona. Played …

Loretta Play Review: Loretta- Go..A for It!

Loretta. The papers described it as a goan play based on the popular Tiatr form. Ab Theatre toh suna tha, but yeh ‘Theater mein Tiatr’ pehli baar sun raha tha. Googled  and found out that this Tiatr is a type of musical theatre popular in the state of Goa since colonial days, the  language mainly being Konkani. The drama consists of 6 or 7 acts called pordhe . The acts are interspersed by songs which need not be directly linked to the content or the issues of the main drama. There are 2 or 3 songs between each of the acts. In case you find that too much to comprehend, guess for the lesser mortals one can say,these are like Nautanki fillers! Short and maybe not so sweet for some but definitely effective!
Goa, with its free flowing culture and charm, always  lifts up your spirit in more ways than one. Now a goan charm combined with this folk or Tiatr style of storytelling, was a potent cocktail. So decided to give it a shot over the weekend. Now a shot in Goa will have a different mean…

Movie review: The Jungle book.Niklo chaddi pehenke!

Carefree and free spirited, running around the Jungle in a yellow chaddi with the song playing the background-“jungle jungle bath chali hai pata chala hai, chaddi pehenke phool khila hai… phool khila hai…” the images of Mowgli and his friends are still sharp in my mind.  Have lost count on the number of Sundays this animated series entertained us on the idiot box on Doordarshan during our childhood days. Mowgli’s friends were our friends and we all hated, some even feared Shere Khan. Even in our group all of us had names. I, for one was Bagheera, the panther. Mowgli’s trusted friend/mentor guide .Missed out on being Mowgli since I was big for my age amongst my peers and on Baloo because there was someone bigger!
Was awaiting this one and when the movie released in India this week, was amongst the first to catch it over the long weekend. The plot is nearly the same. Mowgli, a man cub is discovered by Bagheera and handed over to Raksha and Akela, the wolves who raise him up as their ow…

Movie review- film deKI ya picture deKa

After Cheeni kam, Shamitabh yet again in Ki&Ka we have a unique concept from the director R Balki . His ideas are unique for sure and quite quirky. This time around the quirk is on the preconceived gender roles that we as a society have decided for our ladKAs(Boys) and ladKIs(Girls) . While the ladkas have to be the breadwinners , ladkis have to take care of domestic duties, be at home and play the supporting role to their men. This is what has been a traditional norm in the Indian society. While this has definitely changed  in the last 10 years or so, we have still a long way to go in being a gender equal society, especially where the mindset is concerned.
Kia(Kareena Kapoor Khan) plays a strong headed, ambitious corporate woman who is all about to challenge this mindset. Single, successful and unmarried she is completely career driven and does not believe in just being a pillar of support to a building, when she can be the whole building herself. Success driven she has her goal…

Movie Review: Spectre – No License to Kis..!

So there it was. Much awaited post the success of Skyfall, the next 007 movie starring Daniel Craig yet again as the british intelligence agent- James Bond. The expectations were quite high. With M (Judi Dench) dying in the previous installment and the intelligence establishment under uncertainity , much was dependant on how things would lay out next. Hence the script had to be equally good if not better than Skyfall and tighter too. Well this is where exactly, Spectre let’s you down.
What starts off superbly, filming a death parade in Mexico (day of the dead), followed by an amazingly shot hand to hand combat in a revolving chopper,  loses its steam midway. Bond, this time around, is after an organization called the Spectre .An organization, which from a long time, has been wanting to rule the world through an intelligence gathering system created by it. And to make the world leaders fall in line, it uses terror and its moles/contacts in high offices. Franz Oberhauser (Christopher W…