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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Autumnal Blues

During autumn, each year, Kolkata gears up for the autumnal festivals........ the biggest of which is Durga Puja. The fun and festivities are anticipated well in advance, the plans are made by the revelers, and the days of celebrations whiz past us - as if in a jiffy. Right now, we are awaiting more excitement, more enjoyment, as, post Durga Puja, it is the turn of the other festivities, climaxing with Kali Puja and Diwali. 

Why does my heart feel heavy? 
What do I apprehend? 
What does fear lurk in my heart? 
What are the myriad hues that catch me unawares? 
Why has my soul been singing the perennial autumnal blues?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reality - bizarre

Reality can be bizarre..... even simple reality at that!

Facing reality, as it is, can be a lot more difficult than it sounds.
It can be tricky; it can seem unreal, and a strange ball game.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thirsty ...

Thirsty? Asks the campaign. 
Thirst for what, you may ask....... 
Well, it could be a campaign for anything, 
not necessarily for some cola or bottled drink, which earlier would have been looked down upon as conspicuous consumption. Not anymore, since there has been a change in perception for all things that do not fit the description of 'necessary  - by definition'.
We have grown up as consumers, as they smart marketing men would tells us. 
There is a ubiquitous demand for the advertised comforts, 
things that quench an artificial thirst of ours....... 
a thirst that has been generated by a hype, or a craze, 
using our weaknesses, or aggressively targeting the repressed faculties.
The cynics would simply say, we are too stupid to fall prey...... 
the doomsayers would project a collapse of the old-order 
because of a sudden surge of our new found thirst...... 
the optimists would see newer fantasies spicing up the boring lives...... 
the pessimists would see the tinge of conspiracy and would even 
consider the thirst-manufacturers as the new super-villains working
towards a catastrophe, fulled by their gorging on our natural impulses.
We are no longer thirsty for knowledge - it is staid as a concept!

We are just thirsty for more...... more of madness,
more of mediocrity, more of intolerance, more of shamelessness, 
more of the things of a lesser, baser kind!
The more we drink, the thirstier we get..... but naturally.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

At the end of it all....... 'Abosheshey'

Abosheshey (At the end of it all) is a film that has touched me deep.

My heart went out to the characters, my heart melted with the protagonist's passion and zest for life. It is indeed one of the best Bangla films made in recent years. Interestingly, the film marks the debut of director Aditi Roy, aided brilliantly by the principal cast, the flawless cinematography of Ranjan Palit, and the praiseworthy musical soundtrack designed by Prabuddha Banerjee.
It is essentially a mother-son story, and as a special friend of mine has rightly observed that mother-son films seldom fail, principally for us Bangalis who (much like the Irish and the Hispanics have a cultural tradition that is steeped in special mother-son bondings). However, this film - despite the much-recognized motifs - is much more than a mother-son story. It deals with emancipation, loss, identity, legacy and continuity.

Ankur Khanna plays the son who connects with her estranged, and now dead, mother, Suchishmita (Roopa Ganguly) who has left a long letter for him, desperately hoping that one day he would return to his city of birth and would make an effort to know the city and also his long lost childhood from which he had been detached since his departure along with his dad (to America). The son eventually gets to know her, through all those intrinsic contents that made her the person that she was, of which he had been completely oblivious, and he is also able to discover the many unknown facets that intertwine though time.

The fact that the film celebrates nostalgia is reason enough for someone like me to love it. I can't help shamelessly craving for nostalgia. People who know me well say, that I am a sucker for nostalgia and, according to a dear friend, it is on account of my being a sucker for romance. I love serenading the nature, and the hills form the idyllic setting in my dreamscape, though in reality I have never been to a hill station, not yet. I have a love-hate relationship with the city of Kolkata, where I have been almost all my life, and the film has Kolkata as a character. The things said through words, and visuals, about the city of Kolkata are something that I fully empathize with.

Apart from Roopa Ganguly and Ankur Khanna, the cast includes Raima Sen, Sudipta Chakraborty, Suman Mukherjee, Manasi Sinha, Arijit Dutta, Ronjini Chakraborty, Bodhisatva Majumdar, Kamalika Banerjee, Avijit Guha, Amitabh Bhattacharya and Deepankar De.

Endnote: Nothing remains forever. But the memories linger on. Memories haunt and reshape the minds of those who are left behind by the dear departed. Sieving through memories may be a mellow process, but need not be steeped in melodrama, the narrative even unfolds a wee bit of suspense which steps up the dramaturgy but it never allows melodramatic excesses. In fact, the director, with the help of the editor Abhro Banerjee, has shown exceptional control and restraint.