Friday, 26 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 159

Quantity over quality
26/07/2013, Mumbai

Iss hafte 11 releases hain. We are reviewing just 2.

Eros produced, Shashant Shah directed Bajate Raho, mushkil samay se guzarte hui Mummyji aur uske pariwar ki kahani hain.

Mummyji yaane Dolly Ahluwalia ke imaandar Bank Manager pati ko fraud mein phasaya jata hain. Iss sadme ko bardasht na karte hue Daddyji guzar jaate hain.

Ab bank unke pariwar se 15 crore ki wasoonli chahte hai aur wo bhi 15 dino mein isliye Mummyji, uska beta Sukhi yaane Tusshar Kapoor, dost Mintoo yaane Vinay Pathak aur Ballu yaane Ranvir Shorey mil kar ek plan banate hain jisme dheere dheere, shamil hote hain aur bhi kirdaar.

Purane zamane mein Manmohan Desai achon ke saath acha aur burro ke saath bura hone wali mazedar film banate thhe.

Bajate Raho aise filmon ka chootte budget mein avtaar hai jo Dilli ki chotti galiyon se nikalkar bade aur rangeen sapne dikhati hai.

Film ka hero Dolly yaane Mummyji hai aur film ka rasilla villan Ravi Kishan yaane Sabharwal hain.

Manmohan Desai ki film mein Amar Akbar Anthony milkar villan ko sabak seekhate thhe. Ismein Mummyji ka pariwar milkar sab ki band bajate hain.

Ye Manmohan Desai ki tarha pot boiler na sahi har kirdaar ko insaan ki tarha pesh karti hai. Film ka best performance Bagha ki bhumika mein Brijendra Kalla ka hai jo har scene mein aap ka dil jeet leta hai.

Bajate Raho ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 3 stars.


Manish Tiwary directed Isaaq Ganga kinare basse, do dushman pariwar, Kashyap aur Mishra ya yun kahiyye do premee, Rahul aur Bachchi ki kahani hai.

Kashyap aur Mishra jab bhi milte hai goliyon ki bauchaar hoti hai aur unki dushmani mein tadka lagate hain ek,

Varanasi ki police aur doosre, Reti ka Raja urff Lal Salaam ka leader.

Prateik-Amarya refreshing pair hai magar unki prem kahani Romeo Juliet se kosso door hai.

Uttar Pradesh ki bhasha aur muddein se hum wakiff hain aur wohi jhagde fasaad, maara mari ko 2.5 ghante tak bardasht karna mushkil hai.

Iss khoon se lath path Isaaq ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte 1.5 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 158

A book is born - Part III
25.7.2013, Mumbai

My tenth book and third book on Bachchan Amitabh Lexicon (2011) is a compilation of selective words from the alphabets of the English language associated with different scenes from the actor’s body of work – scenes where he made you cry, laugh and all shook up. Like he says in his film Namak HalaalLo karlo baat…aaree English to aisi aave hain ke I can leave angrez behind…I can talk English, I can walk English, and I can laugh English…”

Mother Maiden Mistress (2012) co-authored with Jigna Kothari and Supriya Madangarli is celebration of women in Hindi cinema from 1950 -2010. It has been a long hundred years since Dadasaheb Phalke portrayed a man as his heroine in Raja Harishchandra (1913) and women have a come a long way since then both on and off screen. Mother Maiden Mistress documents the journey of women characters in films post partition to new millennium where the definition of the mother, the maiden and the mistress have changed beyond imagination.

Talking Cinema (2013) my twelfth book hit the stands last week and features passionate conversations with actors and filmmakers on their craft. Have you ever wondered what do actors think about before a shot, have you wondered how they prepare for a crucial scene? Have you ever wondered what the director feels when his set has to be demolished after the film is completed? Behind the greasepaint and glycerin, and into the heart of what gives the audience goose bumps, Talking Cinema goes behind the scenes with several of film fraternity’s best known stars and filmmakers to unravel what goes on in the mind of an artiste. The book is about the skill, effort and resources that go into the making of a scene stealer or a classic.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawnasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 157

A book is born - Part III
24.7.2013, Mumbai

It was an ordinary day and I was checking my mails when I came across Publisher Rohit Gupta of Pustak Mahal asking me for a quick easy read cinema book. Fragmented Frames (2007) is a collection of essays delving on the genesis and growth of cinema, capturing the magic and the madness of show business. It travels you through varied subjects and phases of the dream world and was proudly released by Gulzar saab in Mumbai.

Krishna- The God who lived as Man is a tran-creation of Kajal Vaidya Oza’s Krishnaayan in Gujarati. It is my only book outside of cinema and there are too many miracles associated with it to be passed off as co-incidences. 

Lord Krishna is the eighth child of his parents; I am the eighth of my parents. It is my eighth book and it is published in the year 2008 and these are sufficient reasons to justify why the book occupies a special place in my heart and will continue to do so for ever.

The 90s decade besides the computer, electronic media and the internet saw the rise of web portals. I was heading a creative time appointed to create a portal exclusively on Amitabh Bachchan and was compiling credits and trivia of all his films. 

A chance meeting with Neville Tulli of Osians was the beginning of a magnificent book Bachchanalia (2009) published a decade after my first The Legend on the actor in 1999. Bachchanalia is a celebration of an actor’s extra-ordinary body of work spanning 4 decades and 100 plus films.
(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawnasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 156

A book is born - Part II
23.7.2013, Mumbai

Story So Far was an initiative by India Express Group to document Hindi cinema from the origin to the year of publication 2003. Books like these are made special by the rare pictures. My fifth book Cinema Images & Issues (2004) are a collection of film essays - some explored as academic study, while some retained as stubborn memories that refuse to fade. The concerns for the issues, I admit, came in much later after I had sufficient exposure and the confidence to disagree and debate on what I watched on screen and read on the subject.

I had no idea that attending a dance ballet by Hema Malini as Draupadi and commenting on it in my editorial would result in my sixth book Hema Malini - Authorised Biography (2006). This was my second biography after Amitabh Bachchan co-incidentally both superstars of the 70s and the 80s. Initially Hema Malini wanted a book only on her as a dancer but I insisted on including the woman and the actor because I knew the publisher would not be happy printing her affair with dance and Hema understood and accepted my decision. The pressures and the process of journeying her life and getting to understand her as a person is an experience I will always cherish.

(To be continued)
Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawnasomaaya

Monday, 22 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 155

A book is born
22.7.2013, Mumbai

Most of the stories we read in childhood began with three famous words, long, long ago…

My story as an author began in the summer of 1999 when I penned a chronicle on Amitabh Bachchan profiling his life and times. My art director of the magazineI edited at that time illustrated my narrative with file pictures and the result was a book! Amitabh Bachchan: The Legend was the first biography on a celebrity structured as conversation. When it was time to find publisher all of them insisted that I rewrite the content as prose. I disagreed because I wanted to retain the voice of the actor and also the voices of those who worked with him – his leading ladies and his filmmakers and they had to relent.

The 90s decade was an important era in journalism for it introduced computers and the internet. The year 1999 ushered the electronic media and the first flash of the new millennium menace paparazzi, at that time understood as euphoria, was evident at the launch of my debut book in Mumbai’s when the cameras went crazy clicking the superstar. I’m often asked how long it takes to write a book, it is never an easy question to answer because I work on my books along with my regular job as a journalist and columnist. 

My second book Salaam Bollywood (2000) tells about my experiences as a film journalist. In my early days I was often asked how it felt to be a film scribe and if I believed in the people I wrote about. I did. The book is about the other side of stardom. The better side, of creativity and compassion, of warmth and wisdom - that an outsider will never know...The irony however is that for those I write about, I will always remain the outsider. The book was originally titled Salaam Showbiz but my UK Publisher felt a title with Bollywood will bring better sales!

My third book Take 25 (2001) is a tribute to the 80s decade, a lowly phase for Hindi films but a landmark in film journalism. This was an era of leisurely feature writing where actors shared their hearts with us and we lovingly spread their colorful quotes over double spreads of art paper with glamorous pictures. The book captures a leisurely era and a baggage free mindset when life was innocent and joy was in small things.
(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Friday, 19 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 154

Three releases this week aur ye hai mera Friday ka faisla
19/7/13 - Mumbai

Ship is different

Kiran Rao produced aur Anand Gandhi directed Ship of Theseus teen kahaniyon ki ek film hai.

Pehli, ek vision impaired photographer ki, jo dil se tasveeeein kheechti hain…

Doosri, ek sant ki, jo zindagi vishwas aur ussulon pe jeeta hain...
Teesri, ek stockbroker ki, jo paise ke uttar chadhav ke sath saath, sachai ki khoj mein hain...

3 vichar, 3 kirdaar, 1 writer.

Ship of Theseus film nahi anubav hai –shant –anokha - dilchasp.

Ship of Theseus ko Big Entertainment Ratings mile hain 3.5 stars.

Powerful DDay

Darr Motion Pictures produced aur Nikhil Advani directed DDay Karachi mein chuppe, India ke most ‘wanted’ criminal ko pakadne ki saazish hain. 

Ye satya ghatnao par adharit – akhbaron mein padhi, news channels mein dekhi aur surkhiyon se prerit screenplay hain.

Film ka subject serious hai isliye treatment bhi sanjeeda hai! Film mein dialogue,music ya vyavhar se koi chichori baat, item number ya manoranjan ke liye action nahi hai.

Kahani sarhad paar ki hain aur katthin paristithiyon mein darshaye gayi hain.

DDay ko hum aatnkwadi ki dastaan, ya shaheedon ki gaatha ya phir adarsh aur jasbaad ka sunghursh bhi keh sakte hain.

Shankar Ehsaan Loy ka music, Niranjan Iyengar ke lyrics – Ritesh Shah ke dialogues aur saare performances: nayi ladki Shirswara, Shruti Haasan, Huma Qureshi, Arjun Rampal ya Irfaan Khan, sabhi extra-ordinary hain!

Magar sab se bahtareen hai, laal chashme ke peeche, Marathi bolte hue Dawood jaise haivan ko insaan banate hue Rishi Kapoor!

Itne saare characters hone ke bawajood, director sab ke saath nyay karte hain.

Kal Ho Na Ho aur Salaame Ishq jaisi romantic films ke baad, Nikhil Advani aap ko stress filled Karachi aur wahan ke mahaul ka luftt karvate hain.

Film hisson mein tanaav poorna hain – iske bawajood, aakhir tak  jakkad ke rakhti hain. Film mein koi  relief nahi hai magar terrorism bhi koi mazak nahi hai!

DDay ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 3.5 stars.


Old fashioned Ramaiya Vastavaiya

Kumar Taurani produced aur Prabhudeva directed 
Ramaiya Vastavaiya, 80 ke dashak ki Maine Pyaar
se prerit hai.

Ladka Autralia se hai aur ladki gaon mein palli badi hui hai.

Ladke ki maa ladki ke bhai ko beizzat karti hai isliye ladki ka bhai ladke ki pariksha leta hai.

Jaise purani filmon mein hota tha, ismein comedy/ action/ romantic/ music ke alag alag tracks ke saathPrabhudeva ki choreography aur Jacqueli Fernandes ka item number!

Hero Girish Kumar ko ek perfect launch ke liye sab kuch diya gaya hai- dance – drama -  action - romance aur shandaar promotion.

Iske bawajood baat nahi banti.

Shruti Haasan achi adakara aur dancer ke saath saath naazuk aur sundar hai.

Ramaiya Vastavaiya ko dono behtereen kalakaro ke liye Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 2 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 153

Shivam ka Nasha
18.7.2013, Mumbai

There is nothing more infectious than the enthusiasm of a newcomer and even though I have writing about cinema for decades, I still get drawn into their web of dreams. Similarly, there is nothing more touching than the concern of a parent whose child is on the threshold of a career and even though I’ve witnessed many such anxious moments, I still feel moved by their outpourings.

I first met Dr Mrunalini Patilmany years ago while serving on The Central Board of Certificate. We
shared many committees together and that’s when I learnt that she had put her medical career to pursue her long time dream, filmmaking.

Mrunalini directed Marathi film Manthan that not just won her critical acclaim but got her new projects as well. A few years ago, she became my neighbour when came to live in my building and I discovered that her son Shivam is a terrific dancer and a budding actor training under Barry John. We got accustomed to watching Shivam in all kinds of commercials ranging from Airtel, McDonalds, Coke, Eno to Tic Tac and to be fair the young boy made an impression in all.

Sometimes, I would bump into Shivam in the elevator and he would update me of his progress in career.  He debuted with Bejoy Nambiar in MTV’s Rush and was ecstatic when Jism director Amit Saxena signed him for Nasha opposite Kingfisher model Poonam Pandey.

Yesterday, I bumped into Shivam again and he took me home to show me his poster and promo of the film. Releasing on 26 July Nasha is a prime example of a film made by independent producer and what is commendable, all territories pre-sold before release.

So not many people know about Shivam as of now, but neither did they about John Abraham and Bipasha Basu till directorAmit Saxena made them stars in Jism. It can happen again, everything is possible in show business!

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 152

Facebook zindabad
17.7.2013, Mumbai

Two years ago Tips Music Company was wondering if they should get on to the social network. They were warned that it was tough and the only time they would get hits would be when a new soundtrack was due for release. At the time Tips had just one film up for release but they accepted the risk as a challenge. They introduced a strategy where in the site refreshed memories of the 90s music and after a while fans to the site were hooked. Suddenly there was a demand for the music of Khalnayak, Rangeela, Imtihaan, Phool aur Kaante and Raja Hindustani and end of two years Tips had crossed the 2 million mark.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 151

Atul Kulkarni plays slain journliast 
16.7.2013, Mumbai

In the 70s a chain changed the destiny of Amitabh Bachchan. Now more than 30 years later the remake of chain may alter the destiny of many. Director Apoorva Lakhia has a new twist to his Zanjeer 2.0 and the cast of the film is sworn to secrecy to not divulge any details of the mystery.

Zanjeer 2.0 is premised on the subject of 'Oil Mafia’ and will portray Ram Charan battle his way to eliminate the deadly cartels and  versatile actor Atul Kulkarni who has played interesting characters in all his films, will play crime reporter of a daily paper J-Dey who was murdered under mysterious circumstances. 

Kulkarni will leave no stone unturned to add that special touch to his character as he has done to all his roles in the past.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 150

Silence is golden
15.7. 2013, Mumbai 

Brahma Kumari proposes an atmosphere of silence and spirituality in life. They advice us to surround our life by silence even when preoccupied or interacting with others.  We have to earn to not ask if what we said or did was accepted or not.  We need to evolve faith that if there’s purity in thought, word and action then God is with us. So next time you speak, think, act ask yourself do you mean what you say? Are you not reacting on impulse for words cannot be taken back and actions cannot be revisited.

Bhawana Somaaya / @ bhawanasomaaya

Friday, 12 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 149

Jeeyo Milkha
12-07-2013, Mumbai

ROMP produced aur Rakesh Mehra directed Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Olympic athlete Milkha Singh ki kahani hain.

Heroes’ pe film banana waise hi mushkil hain aur zinda heroes ki kahani darshana aur bhi mushkil.

Aaap ko haal hi mein aisi koi film yaad hai, jisse dekhne ke baad, aap ko kahin bhi, koi kami mehsoos nahi hui..?

Aisi koi kahani yaad hain, jis ka har scene, dialogue, har kidar, rishta aur jasbaad  ko izzat aur nyay se pesh kiya gaya..?

Aisa film sangit, jahan soch, awaaz aur shabd ka vishay, sur aur taal ka sahi mano mein sangam hua…?

Aisa performance jahan hero, uski taqat- kamzori, haar-jeet mein aap ko puri shidat aur imandari se shamil kiya ho..?

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag 1935 ke Punjab Brit India mein shuru hoti hain, azaad Hindustan mein pali badhti hai,

Melbourne, Tokyo, UK, Rome aur azaad Pakistan mein ghum kar, Chandigarh ghar lauti hain!

Kehte hain kiMilkha Singh jab har subah daudte thhe, apne pasine ko balti mein boond boond bharte thhe.

Aaj, unpar darshayi gayi film mein, har department mein chotta bade actor, artiste ki mehnat, boond boond nazar aati hain. Farhan Akhtar role ko nibhaye nahi jeeye hain.

Ek scene mein, Pakistan General Milkha ko dua dete hue, kehte hain “ Tum daude nahi, udde ho…!”

Hum writer Prasoon Joshi, actor Farhan Akhtar aur director Rakesh Mehra ko salute karte hue kehte hai “Aap daude nahi udde ho..!”

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag ko, hume dil khol kar hasane aur rulane ke liye Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 5 mein se purre 5 stars!!

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 148

Action louder than words
11.7.2013, Mumbai

Writing through Movement II with Yuki Ellias and Mahesh Dattani curated on popular demand that will include a brief summarization of all the essential elements from the first session will comprise story-writing, infusing conflict with motivated action concludes that Action is actually a Reaction!
The workshop is a sequel to Writing through Movement, held in April 2013, by Literature Live.
Part II to be held in the second week of July promises to be a more interactive over two day session. Acclaimed playwright, stage director, screen writer and filmmaker Mahesh Dattani will bring his expertise to explore the nuances of a creative field. The workshop will be held by Literature Live on 13-14 July and those interested may contact 9819340044.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 147

10.7.2013, Mumbai
Brad Pitt's World War Z’s has grossed $263 million at the world wide box office within just 10 days of the release. The film is generating positive reactions from word by mouth publicity. Directed by Marc Forster, screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Drew Goddard, the film is based on the novel by Max Brooks. The reactions to the film have been overwhelming and people have been sending pictures of a cassette and ask us if the title was available digitally. This set the team to churn out compilations of songs they didn’t think would become popular in this day and age. 
Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day: 146

Postcard from Bardoli
9.7.2013, Mumbai

In 1928, drought-stricken farmers of Bardoli, Gujarat, embarked on a Satyagraha against the increase of land tax rates imposed on them by the British India government. This successful agitation, led by Vallabhbhai Patel, earned him the title ‘Sardar’. Written by Ramu Ramanathan, directed by Jaimini Pathak Postcard from Bardoli is set in post-liberal India, when we were battling for food, education, employment and economic security. 

Mihir grows up in a world full of promise. He is free spirited, happy until the Bardoli Satyagraha changes his life forever. Drawing inspiration from his hero, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Mihir embarks on a perilous journey much against his father’s wishes. Enacted by Amol Parashar and Jaimini Pathak the 80 minute play tells about those who learn nothing from history and are condemned to repeat it.
Showing on Tue 9th and Wed 10 July @7 and 9pm Prithvi Theatre, Juhu.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Monday, 8 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 145

Vatayan @ Keats House
 8.07.2013, Mumbai
In collaboration with the prestigious Keats House- Hempstead (once occupied by the Romantic poet John Keats) and the UK Hindi Samiti, the Vatayan : Poetry on South Bank celebrated its tenth anniversary and 100 Years of Tagore’s Gitanjali, in the Nightingale Room. The day began with a picnic on the beautiful lawns of Keats House, where Indian and British poets and poetry connoisseurs shared many glorious afternoons.

The second session began with a warm welcome by Mira Kaushik, Director of Akademi-South Asian Dance. Dr Padmesh Gupta, President of the UK Hindi Samiti recalled how 30 years ago late Dharamvir Bharti and he were invited to recite their poems at Keats House. To commemorate that memorable event, the programme commenced with a tribute to Dharamvir Bharati’s famous poem, Kanupriya, presented by the established choreographer and Kuchipudi dancer, Arunima Kumar and her disciples.

Poet Madhu Chaturvedi, was the guest of honour and broadcaster Rama Pandey and Dr Achala Sharma, paid her tribute by reciting her poems. Dancer-choreographer, Chitra Sundaram presented the Britain’s poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s famous poem, Penelope, in a bhava version.
Such felicitations are rare in present times and transport you to a different era.

BhawanaSomaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Friday, 5 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 144

'Policegiri' is routine 'Lootera' steals your heart!
05/07/13, Mumbai

TP Agarwal produced aur Ravi Kumar directed Policegiri purane aur naye dashakon ka mishran hai.

70s ke dashak ki kahani hai : yaane wohi police- politician nexus jahan Prakash Raj illegal dhahdhon ke malik hai aur Sanjay Dutt police aur goonde ka combo hai.

80s ke dashak ka crime hai : yaane wohi juaa/ sharab/bomb/bar/crime aur corruption. Tab Shahenshah bhes badalkar zarroratmand ke masiah thhe.  Iss baar hero police ka chola pehankar goondagardi karta hai.

90s ke dashak ka stereotyping hain – jaise Muslim baap aur Hindu maa aur ladka ladki ka taqrar ke baad pyaar ho jana.

Aur 2000 ke dashak ka Singham style action hain.

Film ka minus, film ke gaudy sets/costumes/double meaning dialogues aur crowded frames! Har scene mein 100 junior artistes /200 passing public aur 300 dancers hain.

Film ka plus, film ka villain Prakash Raj hai jo boring role ko anokha banate hai. Raj pehle South hero hai jo apni sab Hindi film mein chamakte hai.

Policegiri Sanjay Dutt ke career ki shayad aakhri lead hero film hogi, jisme wo romance/ comedy/ aur action karte hain!

Prachi Desai sundar hai. Policegiri taarif ke bhale hi kabil na ho seeti ke qabil hai.

Policegiri ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hai 2.5 stars.


Phantom- Balaji produced aur Vikramaditya Motwani directed Lootera O Henry ki story par adharit  1953 ke Kolkatta zamindar pariwar ki kahani hai.

Pakhi, yaane Sonakshi Sinha apne baba ke saath, shant zindagi jeeti hai jabtak archeologist Varun unke dil aur kothi mein hulchul nahi macha deta.

Lootera aise bite hue daurr ki kahani hai, jab zindagi mein thehrav tha – awaaz mein shehad ghulta tha aur rishtey aur rangon se mausam badalte thhe.

Sirf do locations aur kuch ginne chunne characters ko lekar, director Vikramaditya Motwani ek dilchasp kahani mein aap ko bahtareen sangit/ likhawat/ cinematography mein jakkad lete hain.

Aam taur pe kahani mein surprises hona zaroori hota hai –magar Vikramaditya ki khasiyat ye hai ki wo aap ko kahani title mein hi bata deta hai.

Film ka minus film ka leisurely pace hai – ye vintage car ka safar hai toh helicopter mein udne wale isme soch kar jaaiye.

Sach toh ye hai ki Lootera film nahi ek kavita hai, ek aisi kavita jisme kahani ke andar kahani hai aur Sonakshi- Ranveer iss kitab ke paanon ke beech rakhe  sukhhe patton ki yaad hain.

Lootera ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3.5 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 143

Jahnu Barua dissolves lines between regions
4.7. 2013, Mumbai

Tomorrow 2012’s National Award winning Assamee film Baandhon (Waves of Silence) directed by 11 time National Award winning director Jahnu Barua will release all over India. This is the first Assamese film to release outside the state with English subtitles. About an elderly couple- Dandeswar and Hkawni whose lives are deeply impacted when their grandson goes missing in the attacks of 26/11 in Mumbai. Baandhon captures the turmoil and the upheavals in their lives and how they come to terms with the void in their lives forever.

Baandhon has received critical acclaim in the film circuit and also awarded by the Indian government. Director Jahnu Barua is the most celebrated Indian filmmaker who has been honoured at every international film festival. Baandhon is a new direction for the filmmaker who with the help of efficient distribution will introduce the finest Assamese cinema to rest of India and begin a new dialogue for regional cinema.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 142

Jail Diary xvii
3.7. 2013, Mumbai

When Sanjay left for Arthur Road, sister Priya Dutt asked him to maintain a jail diary so that he could later reflect on what he went through. Had their father Sunil Dutt been alive he would have advised the same. Sanjay agreed even though he was never good with pen and this he kept his promise if not as a diary then via a letter a day to his wife and so far, he has kept his promise. So has Manyata despite juggling many duties as a wife, home keeper and mother.

Sanjay learns that his producers of 'Policegiri' are keen to premier the film in Dubai but Sanjay writes to Manyata requesting TP Agarwal to instead host a charity premier in Mumbai and send collection to victims of Uttarakhand. Rahul and TP Agarwal agree with him and stall premier abroad.

Sanjay feels calmer and hopes that all goes well with his film. A thought occurs to him. This is the first time since his debut, a film of his release in theatres and even though he is in the city, he will not be there to watch it. Strange!

(To be continued)
Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 141

Jail Diary xvi
2.7. 2013, Mumbai

It is three days since the release of TPAgarwal’s 'Policegiri' and Sanjay is anxious to know about the reactions at the theatre. He has worked very hard on the film and he hopes the film lives up to the audience’s expectations. He is realistic enough to not expect an overwhelming as in the times of Munnabhai but a box-office success to a solo starrer at this phase of his career would be reassuring.

Sanjay re-reads the letter sent by Manyata. She has been writing a letter every single day and sending it to him by register post. She writes detailed stories about children, home, family and friends. For the past few days however she has also been updating him about about close friend Bunty Walia talking about good old days in print and producer Rahul Agarwal sharing anecdotes during the making of 'Policegiri' and positive message from his co-star Prachi Desai.

Manyata’s letters always fill Sanjay with hope because she is very positive and believes that miracles occur when you least expect them to. Sanjay has faith that if you keep calm and think good, change will come soon and until then, he will wait patiently.

(To be continued)
Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 140

Balance Sheet of Life
1.7. 2013, Mumbai
There is something arrestingly attractive about Shivani of Brahma Kumari. Call it her aura, her voice or just her evolved self but every time she is in front of the camera or the microphone, you cannot look at anything else. It is not just about what she says but also about how she communicates that makes her special. She addresses complex issues in the simplest manner and resolves pressing problems.

On Sunday, at Hotel Sea Princess Brahma Kumaris hosted a talk by Shivani and the setting was perfect to connect with self and Almighty. After brief greetings and meditation exercise by elder sister Yoginiben, Shivani took the podium. She speaks softly and like always, begins almost tentatively, then slowly, like a master musician taking control of his notes; Shivani conquers your heart and mind!

She travels many topics but eventually it all leads to our sanskaras and karma, she explains that while we worry incessantly about our bank credits and debits we seldom pause to ponder over our karmas. It is important to be vigilant about oneself, to watch our thought, word and action every day, every minute and consciously work upon it so that we don’t consciously or unconsciously never hurt others, the only way to watch oneself is to guard your thought, word and action.

Brahma Kumaris have a simple mantra: kum bolo – dheeme bolo – dheere bolo – meetha bolo.
For starters we can try doing that...

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya