RIP Om Puri

RIP Om Puri

Om Puri is one actor who has worked both in Indian and International cinema garnering accolades in British and American cinema along with his successful run in Indian Cinema. He was a fellow of National School of Drama with Naseerudin Shah and later joined Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) , Pune also with Naseerudin Shah and he started his career like him in the Art Wave Cinema of the 80's but easily adapted himself to the commercial cinema later on in his career. I think a good actor is one who needs good films whatever be their medium and whatever be their audience. He was such an actor who won hearts of every kind of audience. Today on 6th January 2017 he died in his home of cardiac arrest. 

In his last days he almost remained in controversies for sharing his views in the various topic in the mainstream media. Most recently he was criticized for his comments on Indian Army for which he later apologized. Questions were also raised for his comments during Anti-National debates. His second wife's allegation of domestic violence on him also garnered the headlines. Leaving apart the controversies; he was known for sharing his comments openly on various national and international issues. He has won various awards in international and national platform including BAFTA, National Awards and Filmfare Awards. You can read more about his personal and professional life Here.

He has done great roles in various categories and has equally justified his each role. His role of a villain in Narsimha, Honest Inspector/Army-man in movies like Ghayal, Gupt, China Gate, Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha,etc. Or his comic roles in the movies Hera Pheri, Chor Machaye Shor, Mere Baap Pehle Aap, Dulhan Hum Le Jaenge, Chachi 420, Chup Chup Ke ,etc are all examples of his versatility and acting prowess. Except these commercial successes he has won awards in art cinema for his roles in films like Jaane Bhi Do Yaro, Aakrosh, Arohan, Ardh Satya, etc. 

We will remember him as a great actor who remained an important part of every film he has acted in and for popularizing Indian cinema internationally by acting in films there. I wants to mention Late Mehmood's one comment for him in his interview I watched years ago in which he referred him as the great actor having so many holes in his face to filled with about half kg mince meat as he forgot his name at that time. Rest in peace Mr Om Puri your vocal attitude on issues will be missed by this generation. 

Assembly Elections 2017

Assembly Elections 2017

This is my first post for the year 2017 so I want to wish Happy New Year to all of you. This post is also a kind of achievement for me since I am completing 500th post with this one. I am blogging since 2009 and it took a long time to reach here. Between my 1st and 500th post I have won many contests, recognized by many blogging platforms for my work, have earned some valuable readers, rewarded for various feats and have become published author by participating in two anthologies. Since my blog is now more into politics and society; I hope to continue my fearless writing in years to come. 

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Election Commission today announced polls in five key states of India i.e Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur. The electoral process starts with the notification of elections (January 11) and ends with the announcement of results (March 11). Model code of conduct is enabled after announcement which means political parties are not allowed to inaugurate any government projects or policies. Manipur is still in disturbed state which need to be controlled before it goes to polls and that I think will remain the main concern for the voters. 

Demonetization going to remain the main poll issue where opposition will count on the drawbacks of the policy and Narender Modi led BJP will shout out its benefits. Only the result will decide how note ban has affected the nation. As the campaign progresses I am sure I would find more poll related issues to write during this period till then we have to see that Election Commission ensured that Supreme Court order about not using caste, color, religion to ask for vote is followed by the candidates along with the money limit allotted to them. Till then God Bless India.

Sayonara 2016

Sayonara 2016

The start of 2016 was marked with Pathankot attacks and after that their was no looking back at the bad stories of this year. Pathankot attacks, Uri Attacks, Rohith Vemula suicide after which nationwide student's protest was there against the government which give rise to anti-national debate after sloganeering in JNU campus Delhi, rise of Kanhaiya Kumar, this year also saw several terrorist attacks in Brussels,Berlin, Turkey,etc and the continuing struggle for life of people of Syria, if there was a fight for race to President's post between Hillary & Trump in USA so there was consensus on Brexit in Britain, Mohammad Ali,Jayalalithaa,etc left us this year. 

An important part of India Kashmir remain in unrest after the death of militant Burhan Wani which still not came out completely from the tense situation. The demonetization of Rs 1000 & Rs 500 notes during the end of the year halted the nation which finding it difficult to come to normalcy in the near future, Vijay Malaya escaped the clutches of government and there seems less seriousness on investigations on the names come out in Panama Paper leaks, who can forget the picture of Dana Manjhi carrying his wife's dead body on his soldiers or of long queues outside banks after note ban. This year was full of troubles around the world. 

But that doesn't mean there were no instances of happiness or togetherness. Free Hugs movement in America try to spread love in the wake of racial abuses, Rio Olympics and T20 Cricket World Cup championship brought togetherness in the world, ISRO successfully launched many satellites in space and world stood united in the air of terrorism. It was a mixed year we can say but we can always hope for a better year, for better future and for better conditions for mankind to flourish. Happy New Year. 

Here I have made a video showcasing almost all the events of the year. 

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

My List : Top 10 Hindi Films of 2016

My List : Top 10 Hindi Films of 2016

This year saw many big releases, highly anticipated movies, controversial movies and many impact-full small budget movies but their are few which worked at the box office or really clicked with the audience. This year also saw many sequels like Rock On 2, Tum Bin 2, Force 2, etc but all of them falls below the expectations. Even some films in this list wouldn't be there if there are some better movies this year. Since I watched movies all round the year I considered it my duty to rate them according to my liking so I have prepared a list of top 10 movies of the year 2016. Feel free to mentions your favorites in the comment box. 

1. Fan: Shah Rukh Khan in an as Fan was commendable. The work on his look and the character is possible with the actor of his caliber only and under a big Yash Raj like banner. Maneesh Sharma who is the director of this film showcased his range with it after directing the films like Band Baaja Baraat, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl and Shudh Desi Romance. I am anticipating bigger and better pictures from him after this movie. This is definitely the top movie of the year. 

2. Dangal: As Fan belongs to Shah Rukh this one belongs to Aamir Khan only. No doubt this film is going to become the highest grosser of the year looking at the efforts of not only Aamir Khan but also the girls (Fatima Sana Sheikh, Sanya Malhotra, Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar). It was believed after release of Sultan which is also based on wrestling that business of this film will be effected. Director of the film Nitesh Tiwari who is also writer of the film has portrayed the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and her daughters beautifully. Songs are different which worked well with the screenplay. 

3. Sultan: Salman Khan film that too an Eid release is a sure shot formula for hit but this one was not cashing on only the stardom of Salman Khan. The film has a nice story, famous songs and shirtless-pants-less Salman Khan. Directer Ali Abbas Zafar found a new reputation in the industry after this film as his earlier two films Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Gunday was not much appreciated. 

4. Rustom: I have chosen this Akshay Kumar staring film because it gave an interesting turn of events to a historical court case which paved the way for the removal of jury in India. Melodious music and promotions by the most fit star of the industry open gates of success for the movie. Tinu Suresh Desai is the director of this movie. 

5. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Karan Johar directed film remain in the news for casting a Pakistani actor in the film. The actor who has only about ten minutes of role in this film gave it enough publicity to earn big at the box office otherwise film wasn't as good a love story as previous Karan Johar movies. The star-cast of Ranbir Kapoor,Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with the great music become one of the highest earner film of the year. 

6. Neerja: This year also remained the year of biopics. This one staring Sonam Kapoor as Neerja Bhanot who saved the life of American passengers without caring for her life brought out this story of courage to us. Sonam Kapoor was fantastic in her role of Neerja. Ram Madhvani directed this film which receives both commercial and critical appreciation.

7. Ki & Ka: This film talks about the age old system of society where men are meant to earn money and women to run the house. This film staring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Arjun Kapoor challenge this norm of society and show the complications emerged from it. R. Balki directed film earn full marks for concept and performances. 

8. Pink: This film also challenges the system of society meant for women/girls in judging their characters. Amitabh Bachchan as a lawyer remarkably points out biased behavior of society while defending the girls who were molested by a boy but become criminals themselves. Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury displayed proceedings strongly in this content based script. 

9. Udta Punjab: Udta Punjab with characters portrayed by Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhat, Diljit Dosanjh and Kareena Kapoor Khan depicts the turmoil of drug affected youth of Punjab. Controversies helped it to get publicity but this film was a truthful depiction of events without blaming anyone for the drug menace in the state. Applause for Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt for their performances. 

10. Dear Zindagi: It was a simple story of a complicated life of a character played by Alia Bhatt. Her life's complications solved by a psychiatrist played by Shah Rukh Khan. This movie directed by English Vinglish fame director Gauri Shinde gives you life lessons to remember for rest of your life. 

Apart from these movies I would like to name some good films of the year which missed this list from slight margins like Airlift, Sarbjit, Madaari, M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story and Rock On 2. There are few movies which deserves mention for their subjects in spite of their low budgets like Chalk & Duster, Saala Khadoos, Nil Battey Sannata, Traffic, 31st October, Dhanak and Parched. I am disappointed by some 'Naam Bade Aur Darshan Chote' kind of film i.e Befikre, Kahani 2, Mirzya, Raaz Reboot, Mohenjo Daro and Fitoor. 

2017 also has big movies waiting for us. I am excited about 2.0 (Robot 2), Bahubali 2, Raees, Jolly LLB 2, Jagga Jasoos, Rangoon, Meri Pyari Bindu and Tubelight. 

My List : Top 10 Songs of The Year 2016

My List : Top 10 Songs of The Year 2016

In Indian films songs are as important as salt in the food. Sometimes movies failed but their songs cover the losses and good songs many film-makers believes is a sure shot formula of a hit. I love songs and almost heard all the songs released in the year 2016. I have selected Top 10 songs of the year which I think are famous and popularized the films.

1. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) : This year too Arijit Singh remained top of the charts. This song beautifully summarizes the film and emotions dealt in it. Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics superbly works with Pritam's music. Others songs like Bulleya is a pop sufi song by the same duo in Amit Mishra and Shilpa Rao's voice. Channa Mereya is another song from this film which deserves a place in this list but omitted to accommodate other songs but this sad song again in the voice of Arijit Singh works magic in your ears. This album deserves all music awards this year because Cutie Pie,Break Up Song,Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo, Alizeh are all good songs. Standing ovation to Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya for this great album.

2. Jabra Fan (FAN): Fan has only one song and that too for promotional purposes but this has become like an anthem for all fans to show their love for their favorite star. Sharukh Khan as Gaurav Channa's performance in this song like a die-heart fan has bring out the emotions of all fans for their stars. #FanAnthem is composed by Vishal Shekhar, written by Varun Grover and sung by Naksh Aziz. It was translated in many languages which sung by different singers to spread the craze around the country.

3. Jag Ghoomeya (Sultan): Again a Vishal-Shekhar song that tops the chart. All versions i.e Rahat Fateh Ali Khan , Salman Khan and female version are all hits. Everyone was humming this Irshad Kamil written romantic soulful melodious song before the release of the film. Salman's dance move where he move his hips laying down on the floor was also caught by his fans soon after it come out.

4. Dekha Hazaron Dafa (Rustom): Rustom has two beautiful songs that found place in my playlist of the year i.e Dekha Hazaron Dafa and Tere Sang Yaara. Dekha Hazaron Dafa has found a place in this list because of ear pleasing lyrics of Manoj Mantasir and tunes of Jeet Ganguli which comforts your heart. It is among the best romantic songs picturized on Akshay Kumar.

5. Ikk Kudi (Udta Punjab): Udta Punjab is remembered one for the controversies surrounding it and second for this song sung by Diljit Dosanjh. Lyrics by Late Shri Shiv Kumar Batalvi teaches you how you can praise innocence of a girl. These lyrics combined with Amit Trivedi's music and Diljit's voice transports you into some other dimension where you feel the calmness,spirituality and the healing power of this song.

6. Lo Maan Liya (Raaz Reboot): Emraan Hashmi is the most lucky actor of the last decade with the kind of songs he got in his films. Every film of his whether it worked on box office or not has great music numbers; Raaz Reboot is the latest addition to it. Lo Maan Liya again a song sung by Arijit Singh (Music director - Jeet Ganguli) has entered this list but other songs like Raaz Aankhein Teri, Yaad Hai Na are also equally good songs.

7. Mirzya (Mirzya): Gulzaar sahab always surprises with his lyrics and in this song too the usage of words like 'Ye Wadiya Doodiya Kohre Ki' (Valley of White Milky Fog), Laal Chingari Ishq Di (Red Flames of Love),etc makes you wonder how he thinks about such analogue. It is sung by multiple singers Wadali Brothers, Daler Mehndi, Sain Zahoor, Akhtar Chinnal, Nooran Sisters that in the multi flavored music of Shankar Ehsaan Loy creates a passionate aura of love. If the movie has half the passion of the song it would be in the list of timeless love stories.

8. Hua Hai Aaj Pehli Baar (Sanam Re): Amaal Malik's music did wonders in many film this year. Sanam Re is a musical film having almost all melodious songs which are hit too. This song sung by Armaan Malik, Palak Muchhal, Amaal Malik and written by Manoj Yadav along with title track are more famous than film.

9. Soch Na Sake (Airlift): This song is an adaptation of Punjabi song and what a beautiful romantic song. Arijit Singh who has sung this song with Tulsi Kumar has become the king of such soulful melodies. Music of this song is composed by Amaal Malik and is penned by Kumaar.

10. Dard (Sarbjit): Sonu Nigam's velvety voice enhances the pain of this song. You went into the turmoil of character of Sarbjit. Jaani,Rashmi Virag has penned this moving song which is composed by Jeet Ganguli.

There are many more good songs this year and it was difficult to select only ten out of them. Some songs which I would like to mention here are Bulleya (Sultan), Darkhaast, Tere Naal Ishqa from Shivaay; Itni Si Baat Hai (Azhar),Jab Tak,Kaun Tujhe from M.S.Dhoni; Bolna and Ladki Beautiful Kar Gayi Chull from Kapoor & Sons, Sab Tera (Baghi), Sau Tarah Ke (Dishoom), Toota Jo Kabhi Tara, Khair Mangta from Flying Jatt, Tu Hi Hai (Dear Zindagi), Tum Bin and Dekh Lena from Tum Bin 2, Nashe Di Chad Gayee, Ude Dil Befikre from Befikre and Dhakad from Dangal. 

Hope we listen more beautiful songs in the next year. Happy New Year. 

Naive Traveler : Varanasi Trip

Naive Traveler : Varanasi Trip

Varanasi Trip happened suddenly. I went there for attending a marriage where my brother have to go but at last moment he send me in the 'Baraat'. An extra day was there in the itinerary for all those who want to roam around in that ancient city. Our births were booked in Shiv Ganga Express, looking at the winter fog spare time was also considered for journey but fortunately train was on time and it gave me two days to explore the city. 

Sarnath Stupa

Sarnath Complex with remains of monasteries there.

People in the baraat has planned for the outing on Varanasi ghats in boat for that extra day but when we reach on time I want to utilize that day too since the marriage was in the evening. I took an auto to Sarnath. Sarnath is a Buddhist pilgrimage. It is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Later King Ashoka has developed Stupa and Buddhist Monasteries there. It is protected by Archaeological Society of India and things evacuated from the site including remains of Ashoka Pillar is kept in the adjacent Sarnath Museum.  

Jain Temple

Sarnath Museum

A Weaver
80 ft Buddha Statue 

Mobiles,camera,bags, etc is not allowed inside Sarnath Museum so they provide lockers to keep your valuables. Modern day Buddha temple is also constructed near Sarnath where 80 ft high Buddha statue is constructed in combined operation of India and Thailand. Singhpur, a village approximately one km away from the site, was the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the Eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism, and a temple dedicated to him, is an important pilgrimage site for Jains. Sarnath complex is peaceful and a good place to spend your time in the ancient history. Weaver's village is also in that area and there are shops where you can see the work and buy the things. I came back to hotel that day after spending around three hours in Sarnath to get ready to attend marriage in the evening. 

Laughing Buddha in Budha Statue temple

Replica of Ashoka Pillar there.

Entrance of Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Dashshwamedh Ghat

Ghats from the boat

Ganga Flood Plain

Next day groom's relative from Varanasi took our group to Dashashwamedh Ghat. He booked a motor boat for us which gave us ride of the Ganga river and we saw almost all the ghats from the boat. Boat man rode us across the river in a beach type area which is actually the flood plain of the river. We enjoyed there and returned to the hotel to get ready for the train back to Delhi. I hope to go there again to see the Ganga Aarti which I missed on both the days due to unavailability of time. I also tried to visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple but it was two crowded that all my time would have passed there. There are some Pandit agents which are providing direct entry from the back door. Ghats need to be more cleaned and maintained keeping in mind the ancient history of that place.

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Don't Forget Aleppo,Don't Forget Syria

Don't Forget Aleppo, Don't Forget Syria

"Don't forget Aleppo, don't forget Syria" was shouted a suspected Turkish police officer after he shot dead Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in an art gallery in Ankara. His act of killing is highly condemnable and he was shot dead for the same but what he said must also be the concern of the world for the sake of humanity. We must think about Aleppo and Syria.

The civil war going on in Syria has resulted in the destruction of one of the oldest city in the world Aleppo. Russian bombardment has not spared even the schools, hospitals and residential area. The conflict started in 2011 with demonstrations against the Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad. He was supported by Russia while USA is against him. So when the people of Syria started peaceful demonstrations against him which some believed were sponsored by USA were dealt with force from president Bashar-al-Assad. This conflict gets complicated when Islamic State captured parts of Syria and joined the protesters in garb of conflict. It gave upper hand to Russia to freely attack Syria to eradicate rebels and Islamic State terrorists. As a result Syria has become a conflict zone where people are evacuating their homeland to save lives of their families.

The ancient town of Aleppo has been destroyed completely in these attacks. The ruins of civilization have replaced once structure of human prosperity. The world is silent for this inhumanity. Some believes Muslims deserve this since they are spreading terror in the world forgetting that terrorism is now an organized syndicate which works for money. It has nothing to do with religion. The innocent children, women and men who are losing their lives in Syria are human first. They have basic necessity of food and shelter like any human being. The ignorance of world to the cause of those affected with such tragedies making them prone to accept the ideology of terror. They feel that they can make their voice heard in that way.

I hear people saying that every terrorist is a Muslim. But they forget that every oppressed around the world is also a Muslim. Be it in Kashmir - India, Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, Muslims of Chechanya in Russia, Muslims in China where they are prosecuted for following their religion, Iraq and Afghanistan where cities destroyed in search of weapons of mass destruction which were never there, similarly there are many places in the world where Muslims get second class treatment from the majority or the ruling class. I am not saying that you get a license to kill if you are a victim but world needs to look with sympathy and humanity to the issues faced by these people around the world and try to find out the solution for the same. I am ending this post with the prayers of peace for the people of Aleppo and rest of Syria. #PrayForAleppo. God Bless The World