NH 10.

NH-10-Poster

My date who preferred her siesta to going to a movie with me yesterday, decided exactly the opposite to day, treated me to a movie and even drove one way! We had a relaxed outing but the movie was anything but relaxing to watch. India has now got its own wanna-be Quentin Tarantinos and rural India provides enough opportunity and story lines to oblige them. This particular one is based entirely in Haryana and the story revolves around the practice of honor killing for same gotra marriage.  It gets your adrenalin pumping about a quarter way through and it does not stop except during the intermission.

Gurgaon is where the story begins and moves on to NH 10, National Highway number 10, for the uninitiated. A young urban couple off for a motoring holiday take a country road off the highway and witness a brutal attack on another couple for breaking the gotra code. One thing leads to another and the story ends with a massive bloodletting by the heroine.

The beauty about the film is its simplicity, dark portrayal of a live social problem in that part of the country, and the caste/gotra equations there.

Anushka Sharma comes up with an amazing performance. Apart from playing the lead role, she has also co produced the film and the presence of Anurag Kashyap as another co producer ensures that there is never a dull moment.  All the other actors, unfamiliar to me, deliver very credible performances, but it is Anushka who carries the story on her shoulders, and how!

I have just added another actress, Anushka Sharma to my list of favourites!  And almost like icing on the cake, one of my old favourites from the 1980s Deepti Naval, delivers a powerful and unexpectedly vicious performance with panache and aplomb.  Hard to compare her role here to her unforgettable Miss Chamko role.

I have mentioned in a few of my reviews of Hindi films that I am increasingly getting impressed with what the current crop of producers, directors and actors are coming up with and this is yet another instance of such a conclusion.

It is a film worth seeing for people interested in seeing a heroine oriented story told in a highly professional manner, who can put up with a lot of violence. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have no hesitation in giving it a [rating=6] rating.

The Second Best Marigold Hotel.

Second_Best_poster

This film will not make any sense to someone who had not seen the prequel The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which fortunately I had. My friend Ramesh with who I had gone to see the sequel had not and I had to explain quite a few things. His two loves, Jaipur and Mumbai featuring in the film mollified him somewhat but some DVD seller will now benefit by selling him the prequel.

I had wanted to see how Richard Gere would fit in into the cast and I was quite pleased with the way his role developed.  From some comments made earlier by friends who had seen the film overseas, I did not expect his role to be more than a cameo and I was very pleasantly surprised.

Judi Dench and Maggie Smith give their usual top notch performances, and Dev Patel, if somewhat hamming at places, is very credible.

Despite my date for the afternoon having decided to choose a siesta over her ancient escort, I am glad that I went.  More so, because I drove after a long time.  All in all a great afternoon, with the movie being the icing on the cake,  but I caution my readers to see the prequel before you see the sequel to understand the story better. I have no hesitation in giving it [rating=6] rating.

Incidentally, there is a little monologue delivered at the end of the story by a cameo actor which came in handy as things are wont to in my life to offer a comment in a blog post by another reader.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

 

Change!

shaniwar-wada

A town that once went to bed early is now up well past midnight, with pubs, cafes & eateries staying open, hosting residents of a city that has changed from a pensioners’ paradise to a young metropolis.

That is how this morning’s article in The Times Of India, Pune edition, about my home city starts. Please read on to learn about what a decrepit old codger I have become. The writer certainly had me and all my friends in mind when he wrote – “Old timers recall the sleepy roads of Pune of the late Eighties.Hostellers from the early Nineties recall fun Sunday evenings in Deccan, which would end with them rushing to catch the last bus at a rather late hour of 8pm, after which the bus frequency dropped.”

But, make no mistake about it. Neither I nor my friends would like to live in any other city in this world.

Education IV.

swami-vivekananda

I think that with this post, I will stop writing anything more on this subject unless something else triggers a new thought process.

In my blog post Education II, Pravin commented as: “What is the purpose of education? It is not to get the JOB… as yours only has an MBA 🙂 all B-school talk about their placement! The purpose is to enhance students analytical, creative skills et al.  When that happens automatically people would understand what they are being fed with is at times nothing more than garbage. Even the idea of “Education is under attack” would be analytically weighed by “educated” people :).”

I had responded:
“Well said Pravin.”

But, Pravin being Pravin and I being I, the matter will not rest there till I elaborate for Pravin who, to use Maxi‘s words, keeps me on my toes. So, I went to my library to find the one quote that I wanted to share with Pravin which is so good that I want to share with all my readers.

Three Monkeys
“Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man. Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making, assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library. The ass carrying its load of sandalwood knows only the weight and not the value of the sandalwood. If education is identical with information, the libraries are the greatest sages in the world, and the encyclopedias are the Rishis.”
~ Swami Vivekananda.

A Sacred Song.

For me, and as it will be be for millions of Indians, the most sacred song will be this.

No matter how many times I hear this, I get goose-pimples.

This one is from Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a Bhajan on Vitthala.

Another great song which gives me goose-pimples is this one. It is an unusual version but powerful nevertheless.

This topic was suggested by Lin, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently eight of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, PadmumShackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since so