Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 120

First Nandi, then Mahadev
30.5.2013, Mumbai

Have you ever wondered why we whisper into Nandi’s ear when we visit Shiva temple? There’s an interesting story behind this tradition and it was unfolded in a recent episode of Devon Ka Dev Mahadev on television.

Goddess Parvati has lost her memory and has to endure the eight stages of awakening to regain her identity. The final stage of meditation is impossible without the guidance of Shiva and to help her he has to be in the same state as his consort. Before embarking into the samadhi Shiva informs his children and his faithful devotee, bullock Nandi to not disturb him.

Kartike and Ganesh promise to guard his privacy while Nandi pleads with Shiva to allow him participation in his meditation. Shiva agrees and as long as Shiva meditates in the snowfall of Kailash guiding Parvati step by step to salvation, Nandi squats opposite his Lord soaking in the spiritual process.

Taking advantage of the vulnerable situation Shiva’s other son, Jalandar abducts Parvati and hides her in his imaginary world. He orders Lord Yama and Goddess of Death to perish his half brother and a great warrior Kartike.

The only way to control Jalandar’s mayhem is to awaken Mahadev from his meditation but that is adharma. On Lord Bhramha and Vishnu’s advise Ganesh has to do this but intelligent Ganesh finds a way without being irrevential. He bends on his haunches and whispers into Nandi’s ear and since Nandi is connected to Mahadev in an unconscious state Ganesh is able to successfully transmit his message to his father without disturbing his dhyan.

When Ganesh communicates with Nandi, he is respectful to not come in the way of Nandi and his Lord, a tradition followed till today by devotees offering prayers to Shiva.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Twitter: @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 119

Jail Diary - IX
29.05.2013, Mumbai

Today, finally, Sanjay is assigned his task in the prison. Everything that happens inside jail is according to procedures.  The counselor spends time with the inmates, understands their stamina and temperament after which an appropriate task is drawn for the candidate. For instance the last time, when Sanjay was in prison, he was assigned the task of making cane chairs. Sanjay had never imagined that he had the aptitude to create chairs but he did and one out of these was even auctioned after he was granted bail. Sanjay remembers the daily wages earned from these tasks, he remembers how he saved every penny of his hard work. This time the counselor has allotted him to make paper files. This is also because the authorities want to preserve his security and don’t want him to go outside his cell.

Sanjay is happy to start his task because this is the only way he can distract himself from thinking about what is happening outside.  His new film 'Policegiri' is due for release in a fortnight and had circumstances been different, this would have been the most productive time of his career. He is excited about Policegiri because it is his only solo film in present times and how it fares will determine his future in films.

(To be continued...)

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 118

Jail Diary - VIII
28.5.2013, Mumbai

May 25/ Saturday: It is three days since Sanjay has arrived at Yerwada and he spends most of his time catching on his sleep. Yesterday, his old pal Jyotin Goel’s 'Hum Hain Rahi Car Ke' released in Sanjay appears in a guest appearance as Inspector Karate. Life is indeed ironical that while he grants justice to all on the big screen, he is at the mercy of law in real life.

Today is a day when inmates are allowed to meet family and while the regular visiting hours is in the mornings, Yerwada Suprintendent, Yogesh Desai feels it is safer to block a separate time for Sanjay to meet his relatives to avoid distractions so even though Sanjay’s family has arrived in the morning they wait till noon for the others to finish and then talk to Sanjay in private.

Sanjay arrives in the allotted area wearing the prison cap; he appears composed and spends 30 minutes with his family and lawyer. When time is up, he embraces them all taking care not to show emotion and discreetly returns to his cell.

(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya / Twitter: @bhawanasomaaya

Monday, 27 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 117

Jail Diary - VII
27.5.2013, Mumbai

May 22/ Wednesday: Sanjay who has just fallen asleep and senses somebody waking him up. It is the jail guard asking him to get ready in five minutes as they are to leave the premise to travel to Yerwada in Pune.

Sanjay asks if Nulwala is going with him but is given no answers. At 4 am when Sanjay steps out of the jail he is happy to discover Nulwala traveling in the same car with him. This is indeed a surprise. Two extra police cars one ahead of the car carrying Nulwala and Sanjay and the other, behind them leave Arthur Road accompanied by 15 armed policemen.

The convoy takes Pune Express route and there is high alert all the way till they arrive inside the high security central jail at 7. Pune city police not informed about Dutt’s visit are taken off guard. Sanjay and Narula are sent for medical examination. Doctors say Sanjay is fine except that he has had no sleep in the last many weeks.

Some more formalities later Sanjay is allotted a convict number- 16656 - and led to his new, separate room which is in barrack III which is 10x8ft room divided with a partition for bath- toilet and sleeping area. There is no electricity in the room but since he is allowed to use a fan following a court order, a connection will now be obtained from outside. Sanjay is permitted home food for which the family has made arrangements but since the Tiffin service was not intimated of Sanjay’s arrival, his first day lunch arrives late and Sanjay uncomplainingly has the same meal for dinner.

Sanjay has had a long day and a strenuous week of keeping awake and worrying.  He is relieved to be in a room with ventilation and light, grateful for the table fan.

He is exhausted, very exhausted and drops on the mattress and for the first time in so many weeks to fall asleep within moments.

Bhawana Somaaya/ twitter: @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 116

Jail Diary - VI
26.5.2013, Mumbai

May 21/ Tuesday:  It is dinner time and Sanjay, Yusuf sit beside each other with their plates of dal roti. In better days they have shared greater meals in finer places but life is all about adapting to changes and today

is one such day. Sanjay regrets not being allowed to meet Manyata and Priyanka the previous day and wonders when they will be allowed another visit again.

It happens the same night. Priyanka and Manyata arrive with a special permission and are allowed to spend 20 minutes with him and they are grateful. All three hold hands hands tightly and their eyes speak more than words. Tears roll down Priyanka and Manyata’s cheeks but it is more in strength than in sorrow. When it is time to leave, they hold hands again and smile.

Late at night Sanjay and Nulwala chat from the back gate of their cells but after a while both are exhausted and retire to their barracks.

Sanjay lies on his mattress in the dark room thinking about his father Sunil Dutt. He wonders where he found the courage to face so many adversities time and again. A familiar ache is coming back but Sanjay makes a conscious effort and brush aside all negative thoughts…!

 (To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya/ Twitter: @bhawanasomaaya

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 115

Jail Diary - V
25.5.2013, Mumbai

May20/ Monday: Sanjay wakes up with a sinking feeling. It is evident to him now that the police have no intentions of shifting him to Yerwada Jail in the near future. If only they would shift him out of this dark hole without air or sunshine. He wonders what time of the day it is and what his children would be doing at this time. His wife Manyata had put up a brave front when she accompanied him to the court but he wonders how long she can continue to be strong.

He wonders how long he can continue to be strong. He recalls consoling his sister Namrata visibly shaken by the chaos outside their home in Pali Hill. The media was literally camped outside the bungalow blocking privacy of all the buildings in the neighborhood which was so unfair. She wondered what has happened because it was not like this the last time her brother went to prison. “Or was it because the last time dad was there to protect us from all?’ a vulnerable Namrata asked her brother.

She had not accompanied the rest of the family to the court because somebody had to stay back with all the kids at home so she was saved from the frenzy on the streets. There was no security to escort them to the court, cars bikes followed them on the sea link and jammed into their vehicle. Sanjay hoped he would never have to deal with a similar frenzy again where no one listened or showed sanity.

(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya/ Twitter: @bhawanasomaaya

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 114

A car for youth

Jyotin Goel ki Hum Hain Rahi Car Ke bachpan ke doston, Rahul aur Priyanka ki kahahi hain. Priyanka medical call centre mein kaam karti hain aur Rahul Banker hain. Priyanka mehnati, suljhi hui, zimmedar ladki hain aur Rahul hadh se zyada lazy, careless aur reckless hain.

 New Year eve ko Rahul party manana chahta hain magar Priyanka ko apni office se chutti nahi milti. Sanjog kuch aise ban jaate hain ke Rahul-Priyanka ko fauran hi, Mumbai se Pune by road nikal jana padta hain. 

Rahul sochta hain ke wo do ghante mein Pune pohanch jayenge, magar raaste mein kuch aisa hota hain ki dono mushkil se shaadi mein pohach paate hain.

Ye kahani hain unke Mumbai se Pune tak  ke safar ki, ya yun kahiye unke badalte rishte aur apne aap ki pehchan ki.

Film ki pace dheemi hain aur Juhi Chawla, Chunky Panday, Rati Agnihotri ke friendly appearances ke bawajood entertainment or humour quotient kum hain.

Thoda bohat agar film mein koi hume hasata hain toh wo inspector Karate ki bhumika Sanjay Dutt.

Director Jyotin Goel, Dev aur Ada ki youthful jodi dwara young audience ko target karti hain.

Film ka asli hero, lead pair ki kabhi na ruknewali gaddi hain.

Hum Hain Rahi Car ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 2.5 stars.


As beautiful as Paris

Preity Zinta ki Ishk in Paris kahani hai do ajnabiyon ki, jo Rome se Paris ki train mein milte hain, raat Paris ki sadkon par guzarte hain aur subah, dono apne raaste chal padte hain!

Ishk yaane Preity Zinta, photographer hain aur Paris mein rehti hain.

Akash, yaane Rehan Mallik celebrity agent hain aur London mein business karte hai.

Dono commitment free zindagi jeena chahte hain, isliye bichadne se pehle ye vaada karte hain ki iske baad, wo ek doosre se kabhi nahi milenge!!

Kismat phir dono ko saath laati hain, dono phir Paris ki galiyaan raat ghumte hain aur iss baar bhi, dono ek doosre se ek vada lete hain.

Ishk in Paris mein koi highs and lows/ twists and turns ya surprises nahi hain, phir bhi film dil ko bhaati hain, aur wo isliye kyon ki film ki likhawat aur kirdaar sache hain.

French actress aur Shekhar Kapur ki jodi casting interesting banati hain. Naya ladka Rehan Malik Shah Rukh Khan jaisa charming na sahi, apne role ke liye bilkul sahi hai aur strong ladki ki bhumika mein sensitive Preity Zinta film ki jaan hain.

50 saal pehle, director Shakti Samanta pehle Indian filmmaker thhe, jinhone apni film An Evening in Paris dwara humme France ki rangin sham dikhayi thhi.

Ab itne salon baad, director Prem Raj hume Ishk in Paris  dwara Cannes dikhate hain.

Ishk in Paris ishk ki tarha mulayam aur Paris ki tarha suhani hain. Ishk in Paris ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3 stars.

(For the complete review tune into 92.7 BigFm over the weekend)

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 113

Jail Diary - IV
23.5.2013, Mumbai

May 18:  Sanjay wakes up in cold sweat thinking it is Sunday and what his family must be doing at this time without him at home. For the last many years he had made it a point to not work on Sundays so that he can spend time with his kids. 

There are talks that he may be shifted to Yerwada Jail in Pune tomorrow morning and hopes he will be able to see his family before that. The mere thought of meeting his wife and sister once again fills him with hope and he prays that his wish be granted.

Wife Manyata and sister Priya Dutt arrive at the court but the media havoc outside delays formalities and at 6 pm the doors of court are closed on visitors. Sanjay learns about what has happened from a guard and does not react. It is his second night in the ill ventilated cell – and the midsummer heat is terrible! Sanjay spreads his thin mattress on the floor with then drops his head on the pillow brought from home. He shuts his eyes to dream, not sleep...

(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya/ Twitter: @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 112

Jail Diary - III
22.5.2013, Mumbai

May 17: Barrack number 12 at Arthur Road Central Jail is where Ajmal Kasab was put up a few months ago. Kasab was on the first floor while Sanjay and Yusuf Nalwala are on the first floor. The cell referred as Aanda is dark and suffocating so Sanjay spends the night chatting with Nulwala.  At dawn he distracts himself reading religious books he has carried from home and at 5a.m Sanjay rises to do his regular workout followed by snacks served in the prison. Time moves slow inside prison. At shootings, Sanjay never remembered lunch break but inside the cell -lunch, tea break and dinner are indicators of movement of time, of day embracing night followed by another day and night...

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 111

Jail Diary - II
21.5.2013, Mumbai

May 16: Sitting by the window looking at the first ray of the orange sun stream into his bedroom, something triggers inside Sanjay and his mentor Mahesh Bhatt is the first to notice it when he arrives a few hours later at Imperial Heights, Sanjay’s residence. Mahesh senses that something has happened overnight that helped Sanjay find strength within him to face his destiny. 

He is scheduled to leave home at 1.30 and minutes before that the entire family with all the children forms a circle holding hands and chants a prayer. His sister applies a vermillion tilak on her brother’s exactly the way their mother had bid farewell to all of them every time anyone departed a long journey. One by one Sanjay embraces every member of the family and staff and after a long, lingering look at his home, he steps out of the house towards the iron gate of the bungalow behind which wait innumerable media cameras.

A motorcade of cars led by the police jeep blaring a siren drives from Pali Hill but there is a further road block from the media at the Tada Court  that prevents him from stepping out of the car. Sanjay pleads with the media to let him go inside because he has a deadline but they are unrelenting. Finally, Sanjay jumps out of his Innova car and walks through the crowd hit on the shoulder and chest by TV camera crews.

Inside the court Dutt is ushered into the accused box, while his advocate Rizwan Merchant seeks permission from judge to allow his client to carry thin mattress and pillow as he suffers from steno stenosis in both his limbs and electric cigarettes without which he is prone to migraine attacks. Merchant requests home food and family visit for his client. Home food is granted for a month while order for family visits is yet to be passed. Judge agrees to all except cigarette, says ‘Quit smoking’.

(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya/ twitter: @bhawanasomaaya  

Monday, 20 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 110

Jail Diary - I
20. 5. 2013, Mumbai

For three months, Sanjay Dutt had been dreading the moment when he would have to leave all his loved ones and surrender himself to Tada Court. 

For three months, he had been breaking down at home, on the sets and at press conferences.

For three months, he had been preparing himself for his moment of truth but the harder he tried, the more vulnerable he turned.

Jail Diary is a journey into the mind space of a man serving his term inside the prison.
A man reared in the lap of luxuries and an actor loved by millions.

May 15: It is the day before Sanjay Dutt has to surrender and he is nervous as hell. He has not slept a wink in many days and as the hours go by, Sanjay trembles with fear. He wants to be brave but cannot fight his tears. If only he could turn the clock and live his life again but all he has now is regrets. His family has been rallying around Sanjay for many weeks now yet nothing they say or do can take away his fears. Late night when everyone has retired, Sanjay and Manyata and Sanjay tiptoe into the children’s room and watch the twins sleep peacefully. They stay awake all night holding each other’s hands waiting for the dawn that that will change their life forever.

(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya / Twitter: @bhawanasomaaya

Friday, 17 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 109

Gatsby is mesmerizing, Fundamentalist is thought provoking

17.5.2013, Mumbai

Iss hafte do International filmein release ho rahi hai – jisme Indian actors ne kaam kiya hai.

Baz Luhrman ki The Great Gatsby mein Amitabh Bachchan hai aur Mira Nair ki The Reluctant Fundamentalist mein chaar Indian actors –Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Chandrachur Singh aur Naseerudin Shah ka beta - Imaad Shah.

Itna hi nahi, Fundamentalist ki editing Ab Tak Chappan ke director Shimit Amin ne ki hai aur film ki closing mein aakhri message, Javed Akhtar ne likha hai.

Dono filmein Big American Dream ke baare mein hain aur dono kitabon par bhi adharit hai.

Scot Fitzgrald ki Great Gatsby Long Island mein basse amiron ki 1920 ki kahani hai jab America pure josh mein tha! Mohsin Hamid ki The Reluctant Fundamentalist post 9/11- America Pakistani ke badalte rishte ki kahani hai.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist ka scoring point real incidents, real locations aur lajawab music hain. Great Gatsby ka scoring point film ki kahani aur presentation jo 3D mein aur bhi alishan lagta hai!

Dono filmein bahtareen likhi –edited - photographed aur performed hain.

Jay Gatsby ki bhumika mein hero Leonardo DiCaprio aur Changez Khan ki bhumika mein hero Riz Ahmed flawless hain. Amitabh Bachchan Gatsby mein sirf ek scene mein aate hain aur purre screen par chha jate hai. Reluctant Fundamentalist mein Shaban Azmi aur Om Puri hero ke maa baap ki bhumika nibhate hain.

The Great Gatsby sapnon ki tarha sundar aur kanch ki tarha nazuk - Reluctant Fundamentalist haqeeqat hain isliye disturbing hai, magar ashavadi bhi.

Dono filmein apne genre mein extra-ordinary hain aur dono ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 4 stars.


Cocktail of Don & Do Kaliyaan..!

Yash Raj Films ki Aurangzeb, waise toh kahani hai do beechde bhaiyon ki, magar iske ke alava, film mein bohat saare parallel tracks chalete hain.

Aurangzeb ko hum family drama keh sakte hai, ya phir corporate world mein badhta corruption ka expose!

Writer director Atul Sabharwal police /politics aur business world par sawal uthate hain aur action genre ko realistic formula mein pesh karte hain. Isiliye film hero centric hote hue bhi, baki characters, chahe wo sirf ek scene mein Anupam Kher ho ya do scene mein Deepti 

Naval ko ahmiyat deti hain.

Film ka plus, film ki likhawat, anokhi casting  jaise Jackie Shroff - Amrita Singh ki pairing aur Arjun Kapoor ki maa ki bhumika mein Tanvi Azmi hain. 

Saare performances competent hai, nayi ladki -Sasha Aagha - Ghulam ki Rani Mukherjee ki yaad dilate hai. Aiyya ka hero, Prithvi aaj ka angry young man hai aur Rishi Kapoor itne dashakon ke bawajood bhi hume surprise karte hain!

Arjun Kapoor agar Ajay ke roop mein baahosh aur besharam hain, toh Vishal ki bhumika mein khuddaar aur samajhdar hain. 

Film ka minus, film ki slow taking hai, jo ek hi sur mein Gurgaon aur Delhi ke ird gird ghoomti hain. Bohat saare kirdaar hain, aur sabki apni back stories bhi.

Aurangzeb ab tak ki bani double role filmon ka mishran hai, kuch Don aur kuch Do Kaliyaan se churati hai, isliye thodi lambi hai, magar kuch alag hai.

Aurangzeb ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 3 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya/    

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 108

Non Fiction Festival
15.5. 2013, Mumbai

Did you know that a fiction writer is paid more than a non fiction writer because the publisher believes that  fiction will sell larger number of copies than  non- fiction? The non-fiction writer, be he a biographer or a scholar travels a difficult path first researching his subject and later making him/ her identify with his story but it is the fiction author who is celebrated.

Not anymore it seems because finally, a festival that will celebrate non-fiction writing and authors in India!

To be held in Mumbai between 21-23 June, 2013 Nehru Centre, Worli Mumbai ( the festival will cover a variety of subjects like business, management, politics, economics, health, fitness, spirituality, cookery and self-help books. This will be the first in publishing history where a platform will be provided to discuss the highs and the lows of non-fiction. Writers and authors from different fields will interact and discuss whether it is easier to write stories out of imagination or is it easier to write about facts and make real people identify with it?

Bhawana Somaaya/

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 107

Godfather of Journalism
14.5. 2013, Mumbai

If Baburao Patel, India’s pioneering film journalist were alive, he would be 104 years old this year. He dared to unmask the dream-merchants, a trend gradually picked up by future film glossies in the coming decades. Baburao launched India’s first film magazine Film India in 1935. It was the most popular film magazine of its time, widely appreciated for its bold stand on current issues and a scintillating style of writing.

It was said that Baburao’s column made and broke careers. Filmmakers dreaded his acid reviews of their films, for his comments invariably proved true at the box-office. Not surprising that he was the most hated and also the most sought-after journalist in show business.

Patel was the son of an illustrious advocate at the Bombay High Court but due to compelling circumstances, could not complete his schooling. That did not deter his confidence as he spent most of his time browsing in his father’s library at home. He enhanced his knowledge via self-education. He had big dreams for himself and he was unafraid to pursue them. It is said that he rejected his original surname, Patil because he found it too restrictive and altered it to Patel little knowing at that time that it would go on to become the most famous by-line of that era.

His wife, Sushila Rani Patel, yesteryear actress and a legendary singer hosts a music recital in the memory of her husband at her Pali Hill residence every year on his birthday.

Bhawana Somaaya/

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 106

Remembering Kaifi Azmi in Lucknow
13.5.13, Mumbai

On May 10 Kaifi Azmi’s death anniversary, IPTA remembers their leader with songs and poetry. Stretching across 22 states of India with a team of 12000 members they have a long list of  plays that have been running for years but one play that generates immense curiosity and draws packed houses within hours of advance booking opening is Kaifi aur Main.

Conceived in the memory of legendary poet and IPTA founder member Kaifi Azmi, the play combines the writings of Shaukat Kaifi and Kaifi Azmi. In two years the play has travelled all over India and abroad and evoked nostalgia in a cross section of generations.  Performed by Shabana and Javed Akhtar, the duo through riveting passages travel you through two momentous lives full of romance, drama, pathos, conflict, death and dignity. There is acceptance of turbulence, struggle without compromise on principles.

The play is a document of the socio-political era and the influences prevailing at that time. The narrative combines heart rending prose punctuated with Kaifi Azmi's memorable poems like Aurat and Makan and of course his memorable songs from Kagaz Ke Phool, Haqeeqat, Hanste Zakham, Heer Ranjha and Main Azaad Hoon set to music by Kuldeep Singh and rendered by Jaswinder Singh and his orchestra.

The two-n-half hour play unfolds the most extra-ordinary love story of all times. Every performance in every city is a magical experience.

Bhawana Somaaya/

Friday, 10 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 105

Gippy - Go Goa Gone -  Four Two Ka One
11.05.2013, Mumbai

Gippy for teenagers

Karan Johar produced Gippy - 14 saal ki Gurpreet Kaur aur uske aapsi rishton ki kahani hain. Gurpreet thodi moti aur thodi clumsy hain.

Class ke doori ladkiyon ki tarha nahi use ladkon mein dilchaspi hain - aur nahi sajne sawarne mein.Wo har raat icecream khati hain aur Shammi Kapoor ke ganon par dance karti hain – tab tak jab tak use pyaar nahi ho jata.

Gippy ke kirdar mein Riya Vij golmattol aur meethi hain - aur baaki namak milate hain Gippy ka chotta bhai - Arbaaz Kadwani aur bade dil walimaa Divya Datta.

Film one track - one dimensional aur slow hain magar. Plus ye hai ki Dharma Productions diverse subjects aur naye directors ko protsahan deta hain.

Gippy ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3 stars.


Go Goa Gone for whacky
Go Goa Gone kahani hain- teen dost – Kunal Khemu/ Vir Das/ Anand Tiwari aur unki Goa mein guzari ek hassen ya yun kahiye khatarnakh sham ki.

Ye apne Genre ki pehli Indian film hain – jo zombies ke baare mein hain.Aur kyon ki pehli film hain - isliye thodi ajeeb bhi hain.

Film ka minus – film ki burri zaban- jo subject ke hisab se jayaz hain – magar kanon ko taklif deta hain!

Film repetitive hain aur ek samay baad hum burri shakal/ burre vyavhar ko dekh kar tang aajate hain.

Film humourous hain – writing witty hai -aur sabhi actors ne kamal ka kaam kiya hain - phir bhi Go Goa Gone sab ke flavour ki film nahi hain.

Go Goa Gone ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3 stars.


Four Two ka One for MKD followers

Director Anwer Khan 20 saal Manmohan Desai ke assistant rahe.

Sunil Shah ki Four Two ka One ek tarha se Manmohan Desai ki filmon ko tribute hain – sirf ek antar hain – ismein bhai bichadkar nahi milte hain– suitcase bichadkar milti hai.

Mana ki Anwer Khan ki chotti budget/ chotti starcast/ mediocre film apne guru ki alishaan filmon ki parchayein bhi nahi chooti...

Magar unki filmon ki spirit zaroor pakadti hain - Four Two ka One bhi Manmohan Desai ki filmon ki tarha – 2 ghante mein sab ko poetic justice deti hain.

Four Two ka One ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 2 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya /

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 104

Treasure Trove
10.5.2013, Mumbai

Today Voices of India - a kaleidoscope of the rich aural inheritance of our country launches in Bangalore and later travels to several other cities of India starting with New Delhi on 28 June 2013 where Manish Tewari, Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India flags off the week-long exhibition. In end August, the ICCR and Weavers’ Studio in Kolkata host the exhibition for two weeks on their premises in the city following shows in Chennai and Mumbai.

The Archive and the website on the archive in Bangalore will be launched by Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj, Governor of Karnataka at the Alliance de Francaise followed by a week-long exhibition titled ‘Voices of India’.

‘Voices of India’ would be the first audio exhibition of its kind in the country where the oldest music of India is accessed through the latest technology using Smart Phone apps that would create a different kind of immersion into the music of the past! The exhibition presents a sample of treasure trove and represents the diverse voices of the country.

Recorded during the Gramophone era, right from the first recording artist Gauhar Jaan in 1902 till the 1950s the exhibition comprises pristine voices of classical music stalwarts like Abdul Karim Khan, Kesarbai Kerkar, M S Subbulakshmi, Gangubai Hangal, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and others to the rustic lilting folk tunes of Tamil Kavadi Chindu.

From the theatre music of Bal Gandharva’s Marathi theatre to the cinematic geniuses K L Saigal, MK Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, Bai Sundarabai of Pune and PLeela to the first recording of the National Anthem by the Vishwa Bharati chorus, devotional songs and speeches by Mahatma Gandhi.

An exhibition not to be missed!

Bhawana Somaaya/

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 103

The sun, the moon and the Oscar
9.5.2013, Mumbai

Japanese director Akira Kursawa said about our most revered filmmaker Satyajit Ray that if you have not watched Satyajit Ray films it is like breathing in this world and not having seen the sun and the moon.

A few days ago Delhi celebrated Ray’s films via a retrospective which was a part of centenary celebration of cinema. To recap his magnificent journey briefly Ray released his debut feature Pather Panchali shot with amateur actors and inexperienced technical crew in 1955. It told the story of a little boy Apu growing up in a village in Bengal.

Aparajito and Apur Sansar completed Apu Trilogy followed by Charulata about a lonely housewife and a musical fantasy Gopy Gyane Bagha Byne.

In a four decade long career Ray shot documentaries, short and feature films. He is the only Indian filmmaker to be awarded Oscar for Lifetime Achievement and the academy came home to do the honors because Ray could not travel for the ceremony.

Bhawana Somaaya/

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 102

The Last Harvest
8.5.2013, Mumbai

An exhibition of rare paintings by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore curated by Prof Siva Kumar was inaugurated at the National Gallery of Modern Arts, Fort a few weeks ago.

Walking down the passage admiring his paintings it is difficult to make up one’s mind what to admire Tagore most for? He is the country’s grand old man of letters; we have grown up on his poetry and songs and now his unforgettable imageries.

It is said that Tagore took to painting at a very late age and continued till he died and because he was not a trained artiste, he simply followed his heart. It is said that he loved painting more than writing and that is also because he did not take himself seriously as a painter and the exercise was more therapeutic for Tagore.

Tagore taught us that it is never too late to pursue art as long as there is passion.

Bhawana Somaaya/

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 101

Tracking Phalke
7.5.2013, Mumbai

On 3 May 1913 exactly 100 years ago Dadasaheb Phalke released India’s first feature film Raja Harishchandra.

A co-incidence that I started writing Think Tank 100 days ago and today write a blog about a book on the life and times of Dadasaheb Phalke called Tracking Phalke. Authored by film director Kamal Swaroop the book is published by NFDC. It is a proud moment for the board. Formed by the Government of India with the primary objective of developing Indian film industry, NFDC has to its credit more than 300 films in 18 regional languages that have won national and international awards.

The goal is to create domestic and global appreciation for the Cinemas of India. Not difficult considering its unique positioning and the fact that NFDC functions as a business unit, produces advertisement campaigns supplemented with 360 degrees support to government clients. It organizes South Asia's Global Film Market in Goa and Film Bazaar is its biggest co-production and distribution market for South Asian and is held every year in November, alongside IFFI.

Bhawana Somaaya/

Monday, 6 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 100

Move over Newspaper. Viewspaper is here.
6.5.2013, Mumbai

I have been exposed to the Web Chat by CNNIBN and now I’m getting introduced to Twitter Chat being hosted by The Viewspaper (@TheViewspaper). Today, between 7-8pm I will participate in their chat focusing on Women Security. Discussing subjects like crime against women, measures that we need to take in order to ensure women security, an analysis of the anti-rape bill and the stand that the government is taking towards making our country a safer place for women.

Aishwarya Dravid, editor of Viewspaper revealed that such interactions can lead to unexpected and ratifying revelation. All it expects from us is a precious hour of our time to join in the conversation, express opinion and tweet with #tvpchat.

Viewspaper was launched in 2007 and is India's largest youth paper comprising over 10,000 young citizen journalists. It is the seventh largest media company on FaceBook in India with more than 2,63,000 hits and recognized as one of the top eight socially focused businesses in the world in 2010 by the Ashoka Foundation, Staples Inc and Viewspaper represents the Indian youth perspective at the IMF, World Bank and G20Y. Recently awarded with the United Nations World Youth Summit Award for the best e-content on the web, Viewspaper has been unanimously credited for creating a platform for the youth and a new niche in media.

Catch me on the chat today between 7-8pm @TheViewspaper

Bhawana Somaaya/

Friday, 3 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 99

Talkies impress...Shootout shames!
03.05.2013, Mumbai

Shootout at Lokhandwala ke baad – Shootout at Wadala - director Sanjay Gupta ki doosri crime peshgi hai- jo author Hussain Zaidi ki kitab -Dongri to Dubai par adharit hain.

Ye kahani hai underworld mafias Dawood Ibrahim aur Manya Surve ki dushmani ki.

Jaise ki crime filmon mein hota hain – ismein bhi –gaali-galoch/ maar-peet/ dhamki-hafta/ extortion blackmail/ firing-encounter bharpur hain.

Fight master Tinnu Verma aapko - pathar/ kaanch/ loha/ lathi/ belt/ truck se behaal karte hai- aur kuch saansein bach gayi- toh villan ko golle ki machine mein pees dete hain.

Action mein agar kuch kasar reh gayi - toh dialogue writer Milap Zaveri- burri se burri zaban aur gaaliyon ka sehra pehnate hain.

Aur in dono se kuch zulm chuth jaye - iska khayal rakhte hain do extremely offensive aur vulgar item numbers jo besharmi ki saari hadhe paar kar dete hain.

Shootout - Wadala mein nahi - Theatre mein hota hain! Firing Actors par nahi -Audience par hoti hai!! Kapde Sophi aur Sunny Leone ke nahi - dekhne walon ke utarte hain!!!

Khoon se lathpath Shootout at Wadala ko Big Entertainment Ratings milta hai 1 star.


Viacom 18 produced Bombay Talkies cinema ke 100 saal ka celebration hain.

Aisa pehli baar hua hain - ki chaar directors ne milkar ek saath film banayi hain.

Chaar khayalat – chaar drishtikon – aur ek jasbaad!

Film ka message aur film ki intention har kahani /kirdaar / performance/ writer/ director aur vivaad se upar hai

Balke main kahungi ki hum khush naseeb hain - ki hum iss daur mein zinda hain - jahan cinema 100 saal ka utsav mana raha hain.

Directors Karan Johar/ Zoya Akhtar/ Dibakar Bannerjee/ Anurag Kashyap ki Bombay Talkies cinema ke sau saal ka tohfa hain - jisse hume – audience ko- sunehri yaad banakar rakhna hai…!

Bombay Talkies ko ye bohat hi special gesture ke liye – charon director mein baantkar - Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 4 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya/

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 98

Secret of Awareness
2.5.2013, Mumbai

Every time somebody comes to me for advice I find myself borrowing from the law of attraction – The Secret. My favorite line is seizing an image of talking to an old friend that you haven’t seen for a long time. Somehow somebody is going to start talking to you about that person or the friend is going to phone you or you’ll get a letter from her/him. Visualization is important because the pictures are you create pictures in your mind about what you want are the thoughts you generate followed by feeling of possessing them. It’s the feelings that create alteration and if you stay with the feeling it will always exits in future.

The book says it’s important to think your day in advance and to turn waiting into a time to create your future life. So next time you are waiting, utilize this time to imagine all things you want. Law of attraction grants you energy, so command it, believe it and receive it. Gratitude is an important part of life and we don’t show as much gratitude to people who have changed our lives as much as we should. The book asks you to make a list of things in your life that you need to feel grateful about. It tells you about the magic of the universe.

The universe knows of the shortest, fastest and most harmonious way between you and your dreams. Your job is to declare what you would like to have from the catalogue of the universe. If you want abundance all you have to do is to summon it. Think and then act on it for actions are couriers of thoughts. The book asks you to reduce all negative thoughts to the size of a pimple. It emphasizes on the importance of remaining still. All of us are aware that nothing comes into existence from the outside but the book underlines the theory of creating your future with your thoughts. It underlines that all of us are connected even if we feel can’t see it simply because everything in the universe is connected.

Affirmation brings harmony and Secret aids you in finding harmony, finding alignment. It aids you in becoming aware of everything around you – because that is where you find all your answers. To attract what/ whom we love we must transmit love – so awareness is all!

Bhawana Somaaya /

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day: 97

Will the real Godfather please stand up?
1. 5.2013, Mumbai

Dadasaheb Torne
As we come to the tail end of the centenary year celebrations writer Shashikant Kinikar of Deep Focus Cinema asks if it is Dadasaheb Torney and not Dadasaheb Phalke who is the godfather of Indian cinema.Pundalik 1912 came one year before Dundhiraj Govind Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra 1913. He writes that Torney and his fellow mates were so happy to receive the release print of Pundalik which could fetch successful results in India that none of them remembered to collect the negative of the film was retained by the laboratory in London.

According to Kinikar Ramachandra Gopal Torney alias Dadasaheb Torney’s pioneering
In 1931, Torney stated his own company Saraswati Cinetone in Pune and produced more noteworthy films but in 1942 was forced to shut the company due to financial constraints and bid farewell to filmmaking and some say India.

To read the full article, go to

Bhawana Somaaya /