Friday, July 26, 2013

Pujo Diary






With the most awaited and auspicious festival being few months away from now, we the stubborn  Bengalis start planning holidays in advance. I recently joined an organization, precisely in the 2nd week of July, and have been trying to adjust in the new environment. However, not even once did I think before telling my reporting manager about my holiday plan for Pujo. I am sure she understood my sentiments, considering the majority of Bongs we have in office. No rebels with us please since we are a major workforce here, including our MD and faanctional category heads. Hah! Target achieved without blinking an eyelid. I feel proud of my achievement.

Irrespective the fact that I do not show my Bong traits at work, the real bong within me jumps out without fail for Pujo; an occasion that graces us once every year for four days.

Nothing can stop us from dreaming about the new clothes and delicacies we would indulge in during Durga Pujo, no matter the month we are sitting on. It’s July and most of us have started reserving train/flight seats from now, to make sure we don't miss the grand festival, which is the only opportunity to reunite with family and friends without restrictions or hard feelings; especially those who are away from their families, long for the grandeur to return quickly and spread joy around.

Pujo is the time when we forget the entire world and are focused on the grand celebration. Ladies flaunt their new crisp Taant silk sharee and the Dadas put their best foot forward in Dhuti Kurta, as wearing new clothes is a tradition during Pujo. As a child I found this to be the most exciting part of the four day occasion. I longed for, and still crave for mishti. Blame it on my sweet tooth. All right, that's a sweet jaw, as stated by my near & dear ones; nobody can beat me in sweetaholism. Like a hungry beast, I am imagining naadu after Bijoya.



The celebration begins right through the first day of Mahalaya, when Devi Durga arrives riding her
loyal baagh. The magnificence of Durga overshadows Trinity, as all eyes adore the deity in her red sharee and ten arms laden with weapons. The three rounds of morning Onjoli are offered to the symbol of shakti with due respect and love. The worshipers recite the montro after purohit moshaai and offer bel paata and flowers to the beautiful protima.

We literally stop cooking at home for four days and break our fast after Onjoli to gorge on fruits and proshaad. We eat khichuri bhog, laabda and payesh in noon at pujo baari. We"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die" is the motto of every Bengali and hence the foodie within us never dies. We eat everything, even liquid. Must have heard us saying jol khaabo (I will eat water). Enough to confuse you? But that's our mother tongue! So what if Bengali language is gender neutral, yet our hearts have rooms larger than Ambani mansion. Visit us during Pujo and witness a vibrant world full of life, love and enthusiasm. 

Not that Poschim Bongo is the only place for Pujo, yet it is the best place to be in during Pujo. Being a probashi Baangali, I too can vouch for the fact you see. The enormity of the festival engulfs all sorrow, worries and anxiety during the four days of the evergreen Durga Pujo.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Raanjhna- Movie review

Direction- Anand .L. Rai           -- Story- Himanshu Sharma  ----    Music- A.R.Rahman  -----   
Distribution- Eros International


 More than half of 2013 passed by without many films making huge collection at box office, forget about being memorable. Some lacked scripts, some goofed up with actors, however, this one created history. Raanjhanaa becomes a milestone in Bollywood with strokes of versatility and freshness for the audience after its release on 21st June,2013.

Set in the backdrop of Banaras, Kundan (Dhanush) a poor Tamil Brahmin loves a Muslim girl Zoya (Sonam) since childhood. As a young teen, Zoya reciprocates positively to Kundan. Outraged with the inter-caste and immature love fling, Zoya's parents send her away to a different city for higher studies. A grown up Zoya returns as a beautiful and well educated lady, while a not-very-learned Kundan still loves her hopelessly, least realizing that distance and time have separated them. Kundan is completely shattered & heartbroken to be rejected by her dream girl since she loves somebody from her college. For the sake of their friendship, he agrees to help Zoya get married to her love interest (Abhay Deol). Shocking revelations and sudden twists in the entire plot thereafter gives you goose bumps. Racism, dirty politics, love, faith, all toss together in the emotional and action packed love story named Raanjhanaa.

While the first half focusses on the upbringing of Kundan from a low income family in the beautiful but politically active Banaras and his love for Zoya, the second half reveals many other hues of the film which is fast paced and intriguing. Find yourself witnessing a maze of political attacks and love struck victims.
The movie rests on two major pillars, namely Dhanush and the incredible dialogues. Witty, humorous and catchy, the dialogues sweep you off your feet. Feel awestruck with flawless performance by Dhanush who makes a debut entry in Bollywood after creating ripples in Tollywood. Abhay performs well in his small but effective role. Sonam manages to act somehow throughout the movie though she needs to learn more. Cameo by Delhi based Asmita theatre group adds flavours to the story.

Rahman's music is soothing and just in the right place. Lyrics, especially "Tum tak" and "Raanjhanaa hua mai tera" penned by Irshaad Kamil are commendable.

You are bound to watch it till the end. The only drawbacks may be Sonam's not-so-impactful dialogue delivery and a lot of bloodshed in the second half. My rating -4 on 5! Go fall in love with a larger than life movie..too good to be true? watch it for yourself!

Monsoon Palace, Udaipur