This Jungle tale (perhaps) only for grown-ups

 

Disney’s much awaited attempt to recreate Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle magic does complete justice to the VFX and cinematic experience promise, however the little child in me, perhaps misses the emotional connect I had with the original series..

junglebooktriptychgallery

Film: The Jungle Book

Director: Jon Favreau

Cast: Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Neel Sethi among others

Mowgli(Neel Sethi), the little man-cub is the jungle’s latest find, who draws the attention of almost every creature on grounds of love, warmth, curiosity, jealousy and even fear. While Bagheera(Ben Kingsley), the panther nurtures and protects him, he is gleefully accepted into the wolf clan as family, and serves as the only source of threat for Shere Khan (Idris Elba), the king of the jungle. Mowgli quickly learns the tricks of the jungle and treats it like his home while befriending everyone from the lazy hibernating Baloo (Bill Murray) to the mighty elephants who created the jungle. However, in his expedition into the deep jungle, he is also enticed and attacked by many other creatures including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), the poisonous python and King Louie( Christopher Walken), the mighty monkey. As Mowgli journeys his way to being a man with powers to create ‘the red flower’, the audiences sweep their way through the intricacies of the jungle experiencing this jungle odyssey just as close as can get!

The voiceovers for the characters fit the bill perfectly, while the creepy background score sets the perfect ambience. The special effects give the story a fresh and modern outlook, however, the emotional connect from the original classic series, seems to be lost somewhere, also making it slightly improper for the young audience!

For what’s the jungle book without the good ol’ Mowgli face and the Jungle anthem!

….And where they made furrows with their tusks, there the rivers ran…

© 2016 reachyashika. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

The New Year brings with it, two irresistible men and a regular mystery! Wazir’s rolling titles bring in more excitement than the plot itself!

wazirFilm: WAZIR

Director: Bejoy Nambiar

       Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Hydari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, John Abraham

Farhan Akhtar’s Daanish Ali is a dedicated ATS officer whose soul lies in his family- his wife Roohana(Aditi Rao) and his little angel Noorie. A series of unfortunate events while reaching the terrorists, and the family is shattered with Noorie’s death. Daanish’s life falls apart while being suspended from duty on one hand and being blamed for his daughter’s death by his wife. He must find peace somewhere and while he is about to take one of the toughest decisions of his life, his encounter with this slightly eccentric chess teacher Pandit Omkar Nath(Amitabh Bachchan) changes the course of his life. He must learn and master the game of chess, this being his daughter’s last wish and this is where the mystery unfurls. Danish has now befriended the paraplegic Panditji and must help him in his tryst to find Wazir.

Both the actors bring in their respective strengths and seamlessly carry the otherwise thin plot and a close to obvious mystery. Aditi Rao too does justice to her part while John Abraham could be just a hit and a miss. A stronger storyline is expected of Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi’s partnership who have given us some wonderful stories like Mission Kashmir and Munnabhai respectively. Shantanu Moitra and his melodious tunes bring back Sonu Nigam’s voice in Tere Bin and the song reverberates.  Ankit Tiwari’s Tu Mere Paas is an equally hummable tune. What steals the show is the Atrangi Yaari between the two men which truly brings a smile to your face.

A decent watch for all fans of these two men and a fair start at the movies, Wazir could have done better with a mightier script!

Score: 3/5

© 2016 reachyashika. All rights reserved.

It’s been a special rendezvous! 81st and a long long way to go!

It was a regular Tuesday morning and the BMTC bus scrambled its way through the Bangalore morning 2013-09-28 11.51.31traffic. My thoughts were accompanied by my regular morning doze of music while I had my earphones clearly plugged in to avoid the noise around. Switching channels and wandering about various stations, I zeroed in and finally stopped by Jiya Re from Jab Tak Hai Jaan. “Khud hi se maine ishq kiya re…” gushed the effervescent voice of Neeti Mohan singing to the melodiously fresh tunes of Rahman. The words made me feel happy…they made me feel me! I listened intently, “…udte udte phir ek lamha maine pakad liya re…” and before I knew it, the lines swiftly paved their way through various channels of my ears straight into my heart striking that memorable note that made me smile broad and wide as though blushing through into eternity.

I remembered the last time I managed to or rather tried to pull off a certain charm in front of the charmer himself. I was standing in the long queue under the basking sun waiting eagerly for my turn with a book in my hand thinking to myself, “ I can’t simply get away with a regular book signing while I’m standing in front of the man who weaves his words with as much ease as he weaves his charm around with his simplicity..what must I say to him? Must I say I am a huge fan? Uh No! Too regular…Glad to have met you in person Sir? Nah, too general for a lifetime opportunity that I have…” What then? And before I knew it, , I was there, right beside his chair.

That warm smile coupled with the peaceful white kurta, he looked at me and said in his deep poetic voice, “ haan ji.. toh kahiye, aap hain?..” Charmed that I was while I told him my name , he smiled back while penning down his signature on my book, “…from, GULZAR” Yes, I was standing right in front of Sri Sampoorna Singh Kalra, Gulzar for all his fans and I couldn’t have walked away with just a signature especially after the beautiful and memorable morning that he had gifted me(and a few others) with–a  morning of lyrical beauty, of poetry and of life in his times, that I bore in my heart even after I left the grounds of Crowne Plaza, in Electronic City,  Bangalore. I said to him, “ Bahut khushi hui aapse milkar, kya pata, udte udte shayad yeh lamha main bhi pakad lu…” He suddenly looked up, in between the inks that he worded on to my book, his reactions , his smile and his reply almost letting me know that I too had managed a tad little portion of what may be known as charming with words!! It felt good. I felt good.

That morning and the day right after- my successive mornings with Gulzar, with his words, his anecdotes, his charm, all came gushing by while I heard the song yet again on the radio today on this bus journey when the Radio Jockey said, “ We wish Gulzar saab a very happy 81st birthday”. I almost lived once again that morning spent sitting on the lush green grass intently listening to the unique jugalbandi of Gulzar saab and Prasoon Joshi, with “ Aao Nazm kahein”,  a close to 90 minute session at the Bangalore Literature Festival in 2013.  They are wording relationships, a few significant people and nature’s glory in the most simplistic ways and we listeners lay mesmerized craving for more with each passing poetic piece. The day thereafter had been special furthermore, whilst veteran journalist Bhawana Somaya, slowly and steadily cultivated the best out of the lyricist with a remarkable list of evergreen songs of his career that came in an installment each, followed by a one on one tell-a-tale as the writer shared his experiences, anecdotes and a few memorable moments with the who’s who of his career! While I closely recorded the conversation, I realized I had been so deeply involved that I ended up singing along, “..Tere Bina Jiya Jaaye na…bin tere tere bin saajna, saans mein saans aayi na…”,  “..Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chuney..” , “..chaand ki bhi aahat na ho, badal ke peechhey chalein…chupke se”, until “..Chali re, junoon ko liye..pinjre se uda dil ka shikraa, khud hi se maine ishq kiya re…”! The session seemed to be over in a jiffy but the after feeling lingered for as long as I could remember! I was ..well, ….CHARMED!!

Such had been my encounters with poetry, ..with simplicity,… with beauty!! ‘It’s been a special rendezvous.’

© 2015 reachyashika. All rights reserved.

Love’s Labour,(is it) Lost?

 

Come February and you’ll see the autumn leaves shed their lovely green colour, slowly and steadily breaking off from the branches of the tree. Come February and you’ll soon notice the hullabaloo of the ruckus made out of one of the purest and most supreme forms of emotion- Love it is!

autumn-leaves-257428_640

“Love is a familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but love.”

The Bard had tried his hands at attempting to define the complexities and the depths of love in the early sixteenth century and here we stand today celebrating the so called day(week and even month) of love in the e age of today with apps unbound and portals profound, almost sweeping the labour and the art of wooing and caressing the lover with undying efforts and intensity.

‘Yeh Chaand sa roshan chehra, zulfon ka rang sunehra…yeh jheel si neeli aankhein koi raaz hai inme gehra, tareef karu kya uski, jisne tumhe banaya”; said the flamboyant Shammi Kapoor to his lady love Sharmila Tagore in Kashmir Kii Kali during the 60’s; while Rajesh Khanna went, ‘humein tumse pyaar kitna yeh hum nahi jaante, magar jee nahi sakte tumhare  bina’ in the 70’s and 80’s; and then finally the king of romance. Shah Rukh Khan going, “…teri baahon mein mar jaayein hum”, amidst the lush green ambience of romantic Switzerland in the 90’s.

 

Wooing the lover was an art and this art involved dedication, pursual and thereafter, immense joy involved with the process of having been a part of creating the art. Dadaji didn’t wait for a certain Valentine’s day to get Dadi a set of Gajra’s. Neither did Papa wait for a valentine week to lend Mom, a helping hand in the kitchen. It wasn’t a daily affair either, but they did it every now and then, just to bring back that warm and loving smile on the lover’s face. It wasn’t special ‘cause it ought to be special, it was a moment they shared together and that moment of togetherness was what made it special.

 

The new age romance star goes yo; “take your ID, passport, credit card and zipper, kar na koi fikar, just do everything quicker..cause yaar tera superstar desi kalakar, main put jatt da manda nai haar..”

 

Said the withered leaf to its tweaked out deciduous branch ; “I’m done. Why stay stuck on when I can fly away and move on!”

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

The yo lover is smart in his moves, better still he even has choices all around and knows that there’s always a plan B, a C, or even a D… He has the yo smartphone with a dozen apps. He adds a cheesy status on to it with a close pout picture and posts it around making it a yo love affair. The hand written love letter (that was sometimes even delivered by the pigeons) and thereafter the Archies and Hallmark cards, that smell of warmth and care even a decade later, are conveniently replaced by Valentine What’s app/Facebook status messages. The gift, the flower, the jewellery, even the dinner are all just a click away. Hey, why take the pains of going mall hopping when we could have it all delivered at the doorstep!

 

Here’s to shunning the labour of blending thoughts with words in the hand written letter.

Here’s to shunning the labour of going out there with all the excitement and enthusiasm to find the perfect gift, the perfect card.

Cheers!!

 

“The cuckoo then, on every tree,

Mocks married men.”

The live oak there, stands evergreen and tall; loves its leaves, hates to part with it, and continues looking at the leaves with even more warmth and love each year, as they both grow older.

tree2

 

 

It’s been 27 years, since their marriage. He wakes up to that beautiful face each morning and looks at it with emotions deeper and stronger. He makes her a hot cup of tea, for a change today, and both share a laugh over this ever special morning tea. She arranges a special evening with a sumptuous meal; the fragrance of the candles, lighting up the atmosphere; some mild music; some casual conversations; only that, the venue is no 5 star hotel but their very own verandah! Well, that’s their special day. Their special date!

Love thy Labour!!

Only if we could infuse some labour into the so called love today! Talk of parables and far sighted prophecy, true said Shakespeare..

“These are barren tasks, too hard to keep.”

© 2015 reachyashika. All rights reserved.

Do you really care?

Your car stops at the traffic signal, you look at that beggar with pity in your eyes; you slide down your hand in your pocket and drop a penny in his hand. He moves on, and you say to your friend sitting beside you, “god! Just look at the state of the country, absolutely poverty stricken” and then you move on talking about the next happening thing in town.
Was it just another passing affair? Did you really care?

‘Breaking News. Bombs shatter the city, some killed, others injured.’ Astounded, you glide through the news channels. ‘Terrorism has taken a toll over the nation.’ this becomes the heated topic of discussion for a while. You keep a moments silence for those who suffered in the disaster.
Was it worth just a few moments of despair? Did you really care?

You’re just out of a night club; its almost the wee hours of the morning; you drive down to the nearest roadside dhaba. He comes in to take your order; you look at him; “why is he working at a dhaba when ‘this little boy’ ought to be going to school!” You wonder for a moment and then get back to regulating the sound of the music in the car.
You know, there maybe so many such little boys. You just sit back and stare. Do you really care?

It’s a 15th August, a 23rd January; you play/sing those patriotic songs; you hold that flag with pride. But look back, think again. It’s about your own nation, your own country. Do you really care?

What makes you special?

 

Born as human beings, possibly the most incredible species on earth, each one seems to be knowingly or unknowingly dragged into the rat race of being discerned, of being recognized, of being special! Says a top notch sports athlete, “I have worked hard for this position, people love me, I am special!” ; while an ace actor speaks, “ God has been really kind, all my efforts have paid off, my fans around me make me feel each day that I’m special!”. The devoted mother of a mentally weak child is ostensibly aware of her child’s disabilities yet there is nothing more precious to her than her child. She remarkably exudes the confidence and boundless love which evidently makes the child feel special and regardless of his backwardness as compared to his peers he is made to believe that he is just ‘differently abled’ and not disabled! When a nestling child makes his first attempt to walk for the very first time, the joy, fulfillment and contentment in his mother’s eyes are more than enough for him to realize that he is special indeed! This eventually leads us to the conclusion that each one is special in his or her own way. But what is it that makes him special?

 A simple but deep question. Are achievements and consequent successes in life enough to make us happy, enough to make us feel we’re special? Does the joy of having achieved awards, medals, trophies etc stand on self efficacy alone? Would the happiness of this athlete be the same had there been no audience cheering for her while she won a gold medal; would the joy of having achieved fame and success be the same for an actor if it yielded only pay cheques but no fans running just to catch a glimpse of him or clamoring for his autograph; would the child feel the same had he no support from his mother. Are these loved ones just another amongst the herd, are they simply people around you?

Imagine the sense of pride that runs through your veins when your mother stands beside you to tie the knot of your convocation robe; the sense of joy when your little sister brings you your favourite chocolate as you win the first prize in a competition; the satisfaction when your father grabs your hand and says ‘ I am proud of you’; when your friend forgets all about him/herself just to be there for you, to celebrate with you! Life without these people would be a stagnant lake with all the stones of achievement sunk deep inside. On the contrary, their  mere presence around you makes you feel special, makes you feel, you and you know that no matter whatever course life takes, they will always stand by you and support you. Nevertheless, your life resembles the picturesque fast flowing waterfall with all the pebbles of success plunging forward pushing other heavier stones as they come along.

When times were tough, when things weren’t smooth, you never even had to look around, there were so many hands held out for your support even before you asked for it. So when you’re successful, when you know you are special, its not because of your achievements alone, but because of the beautiful people around you who colour your life with happiness, who make you feel special.

So, just find the people around you who love you, who truly care, and when you’ve found them, jst grab them and don’t let go because these gems are precious and extremely rare!

“A Father-Son Son-Father Relationship”

“A Father-Son Son-Father Relationship”

 

When you were born and were almost unaware of the world around you, just holding you made ‘him’ feel so proud, so responsible. When you cried relentlessly, ‘he’ always made those funny faces just to see you laugh. When you wanted a friend to play with, ‘he’ always took out some time for you, sat down with you and forgetting all his important work, ‘he’ played those baby games with you which you enjoyed. ‘He’ held those little fingers of yours and helped you walk. ‘He’ helped you even at those times when you didn’t even ask for it, ‘he’ guided you at all times when you needed him, ‘he’ your Father. Very soon the seed that he had sown bore fruit and gradually matured into a full grown individual, that’s you! You are burning with unbounded energy but slowly he has started losing that strength, that dynamism.

As we grow older the unending ties of the world seem to become of so much importance to us that we tend to ignore those little moments of happiness. Moments spent with our parents, moments spent with our family. It may not always be the case that we don’t care but we probably don’t have the time to express that care through words or actions. Just give him a smile sometimes, tell him how much you love him, and help him out with his work even if he hasn’t asked for it. Trust me he would love it and you will love it too! Even simple gestures towards our loved ones make a long lasting impression in their hearts.

P.S- father and son is just an expression that I use for parents and children

© 2010 reachyashika. All rights reserved.