GAVRI

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After years had the chance to watch and enjoy ‘GAVRI’ yesterday at the residence of Shri Raghuveer Singh ji Meena – Ex MP from Udaipur.

I remember as a kid an entire trope of Gavri performers from the nearby village of Badi would perform at our residence. If my memory doesn’t fail me Kuka, Chapliya were the names of some of these local Folk Artists. What really amused us kids then was these men dressed to the hilt as women !!thumbnail (9).jpg

Times flew by, did manage to get a glimpse of Gavri performances being played here or there and yesterday was really up, close and personal.

For the uninitiated Gavri, is a 40-day long festival celebrated in July and September of each year in the Mewar region of Rajasthan. It starts from Rakhi and concludes 9 days after Ganesh Chaturthi. It is an ode to Goddess Gauri – the wife of Lord Shiva thus the name GAVRI, her blessings are invoked at each such enactments.

Only men perform so they even play the characters of women. This is performed by the Tribal community of Mewar – an area that compromises of South Rajasthan.

 

During the 40-day Gavari season, all players IMG_20190912_131901-01.jpegpractice strict austerities to maintain reverent contact with the living earth and the immanent spirit. They avoid not only sex, alcohol and meat, but also shoes, beds, bathing, and eating greens (which might harm insect life). They eat only a single meal each day during the season. They also cannot go back to their homes during these 40 days no matter what the situation demands.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavari 

 

I am sharing some of the pictures of yesterday’s performance.

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The government or for that matter even us, need to share some responsibility to protect and promote these local traditions or it will be matter of time our new generation will only read about them in their textbooks and newspapers.

University Elections

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छात्रसंघ चुनावों के नतीजे २ दिन पहले आ गए. जीत का जश्न और हार का गम अभी जारी है. दोनों ही जाते से ही जायेंगे.

लेकिन एक सवाल जो हर साल होने वाले इन चुनावों में मेरे मन में आता है की इन चुनावों में छात्र हित में क्या काम किया जाता है? एक साल बहुत कम है कुछ बदलाव लाने ले लिए, लेकिन फिर भी जो ज्ञापन, आंदोलन चुनावों से पहले होते हैं और वोह छात्र हित की बातें बाद में नज़र क्यूँ नहीं आती.

हमारा निवास उदयपुर के उस रोड पर स्थित है जहाँ शायद छात्रसंघ चुनावों की सबसे ज्यादा गहमागहमी नज़र आती है. मेरे स्कूल के दिनों में चुनाव के वक़्त तो घर से बहार निकलना मुश्किल हो जाता था यहाँ तक की लोग अपनी दुकानें भी बंद ही रखते थे. नामांकन रैली, वोटिंग डे और विजय जुलस ऐसे दिन तो जो इस एरिया में रहने वालों की दिनचर्या में बदलाव ला देते थे.

मैंने कॉलेज मुंबई से किया जहाँ इस तरह के डायरेक्ट चुनाव पर पाबन्दी थी. कैंपस में शान्ति थी. 7 साल के कॉलेज में (ग्यारवीं से पोस्ट ग्रेजुएशन तक) सिर्फ दो बार ही वोट पड़े वोह भी एक प्रयोग के रूप में और शुक्र है की वोह भी बाद में कंटिन्यू नहीं करे गए.

लेकिन हमारे यहाँ यानि राजस्थान में स्थिति सुधरी लिन्दोह कमेटी की सिफारिशों के बाद, पहले जैसा हुडदंग नज़र नहीं आता था, थोड़े नियमों का पालन होने लगा, थोड़ी सख्ती दिखने लगी. फिर भी एक आदर्श छात्र चुनाव प्रक्रिया आने में अभी और वक़्त लगेगा !!

आशा है आने वाले समय में हमारे छात्र संघ चुनावों में धनबल, बाहुबल और जातिवाद से निकल करे ऐसे नेताओं की फौज तैयार करें जिनको देख कर युवा और खासकर युवतियाँ राजनीती से जुड़ना चाहें देशहित के लिए.

जब तक यह हो क्या यह संभव है की अब हर साल होने वालों चुनावों में पिछले बार वाला अपना लेखा-जोखा प्रस्तुत करे?

MISSION MANGAL

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Mission Mangal is part fact-part fiction film about India’s mission to Mars. This success achieved in miniscule budget and by the team of underdogs!!

Following are the reasons why you should watch the film:

  • First and foremost is to celebrate the success and achievements of ISRO. When some people were stuck in cattle there was a leader like Nehru and Scientist like Vikram Sarabhai who dared to dream. It was for their vision and nurturing talent and scientific temper that this mission was managed in a budget of around Rs. 450 crores, less than the budget of the Hollywood Film AVATAAR
  • For Akshay Kumar : For he is the new age Manoj Kumar. SRK and Bhai can have their Eid and Diwali but Mr. Khiladi rules the box-office thru 15th August and patriotism.
  • For the team of underdogs who come together to achieve greatness and proving everyone wrong.
  • To have great back stories about the lead actors tackling themes such as Infertility, Casteism, Astrology, children abandonments of aged parents and most importantly maintaining the home-office equation by working women.
  • For making sure that these back stories never deviate from the main plot.
  • Luckily there are no melodramatic patriotic movements, no forced love angle and no jabardasti ke songs (well they could have had one less)
  • For the great ensemble cast who seemed secure in their roles and didn’t seem to undercut anyone.
  • For Vidya Balan who is in top form, btw when is she not? She is plays it perfectly as a women follows her passion without any guilt of compromising on her domestic front. For me she is the Lady Aamir Khan who can play any role with élan but again that may be unfair she is her own without any comparison.
  • We Udaipurites have to watch this one as our very own INDIRA IVF as they are the brand partner for this film. Watching our home grown enterprise making a mark on the Silver Screen and internationally too is a proud-proud moment.
  • For not making space jargon and science too complicated, by catering to the lowest common denominator.
  • Every story has a hero and a villain and this one too has one. He is the devil’ advocate, American returned , NASA trained Scientist Dalip Tahil. लेकिन थोडा ज्यादा ही negative हो गए.

So you see I have gushed and gushed about this film and you too must  do that by watching MISSION MANGAL !!

JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA

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The title of this film initially was Mental Hai Kya before they changed it to Judgementall Hai Kya. This was done to pacify and be political correct after the Psychiatrists took offence.  So I shall follow the latter title and be Judgy as hell, which I am usually is!!

This film is about a little girl Bobby (Kangana Ranaut) who loses her parents to freak accident and thereby develops a mental condition, so I am made to infer by the filmmakers. She grows up to become a dubbing artist, a wannabe actress with her own mental issues. A pair of young couple comes to live with as tenants in her house and in which eventually the wife is burned and killed. The suspect is both the Bobby and the victims husband (Rajkumar Rao) and they both accuse each other for this crime, however both eventually gets the clean chit from the cops.

Post interval Bobby meets this guy again who is now married to her cousin living in London and what follows is the doubts and accusations towards each other. They both are wary of each other and try gathering dirt from each ones past to strengthen their case. This being a murder and a Psychological thriller I am not going to reveal anything more.

So being Judgemental AF this is what I think:

What Works:

  • The Brilliant Kangana Ranaut, she aces at playing these roles. Unhinged and unafraid to play such a character.
  • Some of the jokes and the characters work in the first half, especially the cops and her doormat of a boyfriend.
  • Rajkumar Rao is again someone who always lifts up any character he plays.
  • I like the take on Sita ji and the use of chaupai from Ramcharita Manas.

What Fails:

  • Despite it being just 121 minutes long, it feels long which means sometimes it is not going anywhere.
  • The second half is such a slog just wanted to fast-forward to the end.
  • The climax is overlong and it takes forever to come.
  • I do not really understand the symptoms of Bobby’s mental illness wish they could have elaborated that to, maybe know her better.

To deliver my closing remarks in the Judgement of this film: The Ayes get drowned in the din of the Nos.

समझे ?? नहीं ??

400 शब्दों की एक बात इस को आप मेरे हिसाब से skip कर सकते हैं !!

KABIR SINGH

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Finally saw the film Kabir Singh after weeks of dillydallying.  With not so flattering reviews from one of my favourite movie critic, I had made up my mind of letting this one pass however as the days progressed and with that its box office collections and a strong word of mouth, I was left with no option but to cede to the popular demand.

Three weeks have passed since its release so this one is not going to be a conventional review, I mean अगर तीन हफ्ते बाद भी फिल्म रिव्यु देख कर movie जानी पड़े  तो आप से गुजारिश है की आप इसका online stream होने तक का इंतज़ार करें.

I have a confession to make I did enjoy the movie!! Was it because my expectations were low initially?? Hell, No!! It served its purpose of being an escapist entertaining cinema. The songs since the day I saw the film has been playing on a loop.

The whole brouhaha about it being a misogynist film and its portrayal of bully of a hero is true.

To justify the actions of a bully just because he happens to excel in the medical profession is too much. A flunky graduate with such anger issues would have counted amongst the neighborhood louts, but in this he is someone who is tolerated by all.

To have a girl marked as one’s own by the bully without her consent is straight out of the 1980’s, I mean which girl allows that?? Bcoz I passed colleges in the late 90’s and I am still looking for answers.

How long do friends and family tolerate and keep standing for a bully who puts his own interests and anger issues in the forefront? He is an alcoholic, ready to pick a fight and snorts cocaine (BTW an aunty sitting behind me does tchh, tchh when he does that) at the drop of a hat. To each his own in dealing with the heartbreak and Devdas too took to bottle in early part of the last century, didn’t he??

Yes Shahid Kapoor is the bully , Kiara Advani is the girl that gets marked and it is their love story that sets the screen ablaze.

Despite all the above I did enjoy this film, because there are some movies like Article 15 that we enjoy and want to emulate and there are some like this one that eulogies imperfections that we lap up.

Is there a dichotomy to this? I do not know?

Me enjoying this film make me a misogynist too? I do not know?

Do I justify violence against women, an emphatic NO !!

Can the vagaries of the heart ever be understood and questioned? I do now know.

Somehow all this reminds me of a Punjabi movie scene that went viral on social media some time back: https://youtu.be/EwpdMobhlp4

What I know is Shahid Kapoor excelled as Kabir Singh a character I wouldn’t want to know or deal with in real life but isn’t Cinema also about showing the character we abhor.  Kiara Advani brings out the vulnerable side of Preeti. For Preeti is the calm that douses Kabir’s angst and fire. It’s the classic cases of opposites attract.

So to conclude it did make for a good watch and if u plan to watch it then please book the ticket in advance as even after 3 weeks they aren’t easy to get.

ARTICLE 15

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ARTICLE 15

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to—

     (a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or

     (b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.

Article 15 is the second in the list of the Fundamental Rights that the Indian Constitution guarantees to its Citizens.

This movie as the name suggests is based on this very Right. Ayushman Khurana plays this young IPS officer who after graduating from St. Stephens and studying abroad returns to join the Indian Police Services to fulfil his father’s wishes and gets posted to this back and beyond of Uttar Pradesh for using the term ‘Cool Sir!!’ with Shastriji – The Home Secretary.

As he takes charge of his office the area get embroiled in the missing and eventually deaths of two teenage Dalit Girls and the search for the third one. There is the caste equation in play and the need to maintain a given Social Order for everyone to live in harmony. His girlfriend who is an activist based in Delhi who acts as his emotional – guiding anchor and shows him the way.

B.R. Ambedkar exhorted Dalits to flee the countryside and move to the cities to escape the shackles of caste. “The love of the intellectual Indian for the village community is of course infinite, if not pathetic,” wrote Ambedkar. “What is a village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness and communalism?” This is what the setting in the film epitomizes.

This movie has three main stand out heros, namely :

  1. Ayushman Khurana – The last movie I saw of his was Andhadhun and in that review I had written that he is turning into 21st Century’s Amol Palekar considering the characters he was playing, how wrong I was !! This is a film he owns the role of the anglicised Police Officer. The depth, the gravitas and the dilemma is such enacted perfectly.
  2. Anubhav Sinha – It took him nearly 17 years to find his calling in the kind of movies he wanted to make. From touching the Hindu – Muslim divide in Mulk and now handling the Caste Equations in this ones. He doesn’t sugar coat the harsh reality of today’s India. There is no holding back and and he spares no one and calls out the names as they stand.
  3. Dialogues – What crackling dialogue !! Hitting out on the political parties, the caste  system and the system, to quote a few:
  • “Main Or Tum Inhai Dekhai He Nahe Dete… Hum Kabhi Harijan Hojate Hai, Kabhi Bahujan Ho Jate Hain Bus Jan Nahe Ban Pa Rahain Hai… Ke Jan Gan Mein Hamari Bhe Ginte Ho Jai”
  • “Jo hum dete hain vahi aukaat hai sir”

jpr78646467573897193-largeWhat we see in this movie is not that happens something in some far away land, not too far from the cities we live in a Dalit Gdalitroom can’t ride on a Horse, no one wants to eat from a Dalit’s hands in schools that are supposed to remove this very idea of untouchability.

How long before the millennial old notions of social order is finally consigned to flames?

How long before we start accepting the idea of everyone being equal before even talking against reservations??

Go watch this movie for it deserves not only to be seen and but also to be imbibed.

The Artist House

“It is also to be noted that standards of morality in a society change with the passage of time. A particular activity, which was treated as immoral few decades ago may not be so now. Societal norms keep changing. Social change is of two types: continuous or evolutionary and discontinuous or revolutionary. The most common form of change is continuous.

However, a practice which may not be immoral by societal standards cannot be thrusted upon the society as immoral by the State with its own notion of morality and thereby exercise ‘social control’.

The words ‘obscene, indecent or profane’ are disjunctive, implying that each has a separate meaning. Prurient appeal is an element of the obscene, but the normal definition of ‘indecent’ merely refers to non-conformance with accepted standards of morality.”

These above paragraphs have been delivered by none other than the Judges of the highest court of the land i.e. The Supreme Court of India.

I quote this judgement in the context of the recent hullabaloo in Udaipur on the opening, functioning and now censuring of The Artist House (TAH).

I have a confession to make here, I have not visited this place even once and there was this one time I did want to go but was refused entry as ‘Stags’ weren’t allowed that night !! Our group of boys (In our head we still are) couldn’t take anyone as our better-half’s had gone for their annual summer pilgrimages ( I hope you do get the joke or else read no further) and we obviously couldn’t take anyone else for fear of its repercussions and reprimands.

However, since then whatever updates I have seen of Social Media about the TAH, I am scared to even venture anywhere near it, for fear of being ‘UNCLED’ by the extremely hip crowd. I mean, to see such a crowd enjoying is something that reminds me of my Mumbai college days of the 90’s. OK!!  Even then I was never the cool kid but of what was still then just a ‘Metro Phenomenon’. And then TAH happened to Udaipur.

Hats off to the guys behind this place for their vision and adventurousness to give such a place to Udaipur. I have family and friends visiting this place with rave reviews.

But the way this place has now been targeted is appalling, if there is a legal problem then so be it and let the owners deal with it legally but I have a problem for this place being branded immoral and a den of all the vices. There is no one set moral system that fits all and even if there is one who decides for me?

The values and morality can’t be cherry picked and please do not impose a warped ideas of what is right and wrong on educated, adult, youths ( I do not know if I fit in the last category) of Udaipur !!

So go ahead and enjoy The Artist House, dole out the bucks and remember they close at 11:00 PM now !!

WAIT & HOPE

“All human wisdom is contained in these words: WAIT & HOPE!!”

I read this beautiful quote a few days back and this set me thinking !!

What do I really hope and wait for?? For starters there are zillion things but if it were to ever boil down to one thing besides the happiness of my immediate family is to see that one person pay for their deeds.

Like a typical scorpion I can forgive but can’t forget, but with this person there is just so much negativity filled inside that even the former can’t happen.  With a character flaw so strong that even Ekta Kapoor’s vamp can be put to shame. So while I wait for Karma to work its magic and I just hope things the payback happens sooner than later while the angst is still there and the magnanimity of others doesn’t take over !!

I can’t help but wonder a what if scenario !!

What if the drama was nipped in the bud?

What if the lies were called out?

What if fleecing the terminally ill didn’t happen?

What if the kleptomania was there for the world to see?

What if people didn’t easily let get themselves thrown out?

What if the legacy wasn’t for them for usurp?

What if the forged signatures were available for the world to see?

What if your own makes you pay for your deeds?

What if ……..

Shakespeare’s Mark Antony’s famous words, ‘The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones,’ aptly captures their continuing deeds !!

In the end I just hope that the good doesn’t get buried inside and wait to see that each and every lie extracts its price!!

Elections 2019

Last evening voting finally ended of perhaps the longest fought General Elections of the biggest democracy of the world i.e. India and with that started the debates and opinions on the numerous Exit Polls conducted by one and sundry.

I do not know what will happen on 23rd May 2019 and I also do not want to believe these polls but what I do know is that these elections have laid bare our deep seeded hatred for each other, our communal outlook.

I am ashamed of the utter rubbish some of my social media friends have vomited in their posts unabashedly and unapologetically. They talk about US and THEM !! I mean which previous government has ever stopped them from practicing their religion other than some fake news they read, share and quote from some obscure social media updates.

What will be the takeaway for our future generations from all this. We all have our own individual allegiance and choices. We may not agree with one another but to fester and feed on fault lines of what happened 70 years back is helping no one.

Why have we come to point where everyday thing are measure on communal lines:

पशु बाँट दिए गए, भाषाएँ त्याग दी गयीं, बात ग़ज़ल/क़वाल्ली से लेकर दादरा/ठुमरी तक होने लगी, एक मासूम हारमोनियम को तानपुरे से लड़वा दिया. सियासत और चली तो शमशान और कब्रिस्तान को भी नहीं छोड़ा गया और बात तो तब सर से गुज़र गयी की जब ठंडाई और रूफ-अफज़ा के गुण गिनाने लगे गए !!

और फिर मित्रों ने कहा की इलेक्शन में यह सब तो होता है अब आगे बड़ते हैं.

नहीं भाईसाहेब नहीं!! जब गोडसे का आप खुलेआम महिमामंडन करते हैं तो यह सियासत नहीं आपकी कुंठित मानसिकता है. इतनी कड़वाहट और ज़हर को ना जाने निकलने में कितने साल लगे. ७० साल के घाव तो  भरने दिए नहीं, नए और दे दिए.

रहिमन धागा प्रेम का, मत तोरो चटकाय, टूटे पे फिर ना जुरे, जुरे गाँठ परी जाय.

रहीम कहते हैं कि प्रेम का नाता नाज़ुक होता है. इसे झटका देकर तोड़ना उचित नहीं होता. यदि यह प्रेम का धागा एक बार टूट जाता है तो फिर इसे मिलाना कठिन होता है और यदि मिल भी जाए तो टूटे हुए धागों के बीच में गाँठ पड़ जाती है.

मालूम है की शायद ही फरक पड़े, पर पढियेगा और सोचियेगा ज़रोर !!

BITCHING

Is Bitching the right word or is it too politically incorrect and for that matter is hearsay or gossip the right word??

Whatever term one may use it is here to stay and for everyone to hear, say and repeat. Just the other day someone remarked that even men are such gossip mongers!! Yeah yeah we are, but in 21st century are any gender roles strictly compartmentalized?? When she can do his work why can’t he do her work??

And what better medium to facilitate the above than the most used feature of our handsets i.e. the screenshots. The images/ chats get stored for eternity to be shared, used as a reference point and just to have a great time at someone’s expense. I know of a men’s whatsapp group that specializes in discussing social media updates of their friends based on these very screenshots.

Just wondering if it is about us, whether it is less offensive if you hear it from a secondary source and not straight from the horse’s mouth. I mean अगर मुंह पर नहीं बोला तो क्या फरक पड़ता है?? Some time back I heard about a relative making a snide comment about me, I did feel bad initially but haven’t we ourselves been guilty of the same.

Ideally there shouldn’t be any of it but we do not live in a perfect world and it is kind of OK if it isn’t malicious and outright slander like this person I know who has her life time built on slandering one and sundry and age hasn’t slowed her a bit !!

Karma is a Bitch and what gets thrown around comes around for you to haunt, ALWAYS!! And till the time it comes back keep taking screenshots and recycling information.

PS: Why does is it have to be the feminine of canine species cant it be the other way?? After all 21st century….