The Common Man Speaks

19Feb/170

The Ghazi Attack Review

Story: The Ghazi Attack is based on the underwater warfare between India and Pakistan in 1971 in which PNS Ghazi, Pakistan’s submarine, was destroyed. The Indian Navy gets a whiff about Pakistan trying to secretly attack their submarine S-21 through theirs called PNS Ghazi. Pakistan’s aim is to get a clear route to supply weapons to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in order to continue attacking its rebels.

Indian Navy decides to take preventive measures before it’s too late. A secret operation is planned which is headed by Captain Ranvijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon). He is a hot tempered middle-aged man infamous for disobeying orders. His immediate senior, Lieutenant Arjun Verma (Rana Daggubati) and Executive officer Devraj (Atul Kulkarni) have their task cut out because of Singh’s presence. But a challenge much bigger lies ahead of them.

(For the real story of The Ghazi Attack, click HERE).

Review: While India claims that its naval force demolished Pakistan’s submarine, the neighboring country has always maintained that it became a victim of the detonation of its own mines.

The clear picture regarding the same is not known as the operation was classified. So, if you are okay watching a film with fictionalized events around a historical event, chances are you will enjoy The Ghazi Attack. It’s a gripping thriller with a sensible dose of patriotism.

The Ghazi AttackPlus points:

The biggest plus point for The Ghazi Attack is its gripping narrative that doesn’t go off track even a bit. You are glued to the screen throughout with interest-worthy events making sure you don’t realize when the 125 minutes pass by. The idea of not having a single song should also be appreciated.

The key areas when the attacks take place between both submarines are handled with precision. These moments provide some thrilling and nail-biting experience, especially the climax.

The complete working of the submarine with all the little details provide a learning experience (mind you, not preachy). Before this film, the inside of the submarine was well portrayed by Shyam Benegal in Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005). Not with such detail though as that wasn’t the need.

Despite the film being based on the India-Pakistan war, it doesn’t resort to jingoism, which is a relief considering the times we are living currently.

The dialogues are appealing yet steer clear from being melodramatic of filmi.

Kay Kay Menon once again reminds you why he is one of the finest actors born in India. He provides a skilled act where he emotes through expressions. Rana Daggubati nicely underplays himself. Atul Kulkarni, another terrific artist, comes up with a mature act.

The rest of the supporting cast is perfect. The late Om Puri makes his presence felt in a cameo.

Minuses:

The technical details and jargons appear like bouncers for the layman sometimes. Too much of instructions also appear repetitive.

Taapsee Pannu has emerged as a talented artist in recent times. But over here, she disappoints. She has the same expression during the entire screen time.

Rahul Singh, an underrated talent, does what was required. But his character suffers from being a clichéd one-dimensional Pakistani officer.

Overall:

The Ghazi Attack is a gripping patriotic thriller. The film has received poor opening collections at the box office. It deserves to earn much more and for that it badly requires word-of-mouth.

Rating: 3.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Sankalp Reddy

Producers: Anvesh Reddy, Venkatramana Reddy, Prasad V Potluri, N M Pasha, Jagan Mohan Vancha and Karan Johar

Writers: Sankalp Reddy, Gangaraju Gunnam, Niranjan Reddy and Azad Alam

Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubati, Atul Kulkarni, Rahul Singh, Taapsee Pannu

Genre: Thriller

Runtime: 125 minutes

8Feb/170

Kala Ghoda Festival 2017 Photos

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is back in Mumbai, like it is in the first week of every November since a decade. And like every year, this time too the Kala Ghoda lane is packed with a number of work of arts surrounded by a large contingent of art enthusiasts of Mumbai.

This year, there is a big difference which one can easily spot. And a good one at that. A large statue of a black horse (Kalal Ghoda) is adding to the beauty. Maybe because of this, it seems horse is the theme this year. One can find different works of arts modeled on quite a few horse structures inside the Kala Ghoda lane.

Here are some more pictures from this year's (2017) Kala Ghoda Arts Festival:

 

Street loaded with art pieces lit up during a winter evening.

Kala Ghoda

The new statue of Kala Ghoda (black horse) at the start of the street.

 

A horse statue made out of plastic bottles. 'Best from waste' has been a favourite theme at this festival ever since its inception.

Amazing 3D painting. First time I ever saw one.

 

Another part of the same 3D painting. One can see the picture of the great freedom fighter and social reformer, Lokmanya Tilak. Byculla Zoo also features at the top.

A huge kite made out of waste materials.

A unique statue of a horse made out of green leaves. Needless to say, it gives the message of going nature-friendly.

A statue where you can write any damn message. You will find all kinds of bizarre messages too if you look closely.

A slide where even grown-ups can try their hand, rather legs. After all, dil toh bachcha hai ji.

The country is going through a phase when the importance of Indian army and defence is at an all time high. So, it isn't surprising to see an army tank at the end of the festival lane.

26Jan/170

Kaabil Movie Review

Director Sanjay Gupta’s Kaabil is a perfect example of how promos can be misleading. The film’s main trailer and the song promos weren’t enticing to say the least. But the Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam starrer turns out to be a pleasant surprise. The film is an emotional and intelligent revenge drama.

Storyline (without spoilers): Rohan Bhatnagar (Hrithik Roshan) is a blind dubbing artist staying alone in Mumbai. He meets the visually challenged Supriya Sharma (Yami Gautam) through a matchmaker common friend and fall in love. They get married and are happy in their little world. But fate has something else in store for them.

Amit (Rohit Roy), a roadside ruffian, stays in Rohan’s colony. He, along his friend Wasim, brutally rape Supriya. Rohan is devastated but fate isn’t done on him yet. Yet another tragedy falls on him. Now, he must fight not only against Amit but also his equally evil MLA brother, Shelar (Ronit Roy). And that too all alone despite being blind.

Kaabil posterPlus points:

-- When you know that a film is a revenge drama, there is a danger of the audience having to impatiently wait for the tragedy so that the film can take off from there. Sometimes, the entire first half is spent in this. Thankfully, this is so well taken care of by the writing. The road to the tragedy is smooth and interesting. Love blossoming between two blind people also appears real.

-- This is the biggest plus point. The whole idea of a blind person taking revenge from a corrupt politician and other baddies not only sounds impossible but also laughable. However, the writer and director prove us wrong. The protagonist’s manner of taking revenge is intelligent and sensible. The incidents where he outsmarts the bad guys are applaud-worthy since you automatically start rooting for him. Pulling this aspect off is in itself a big achievement.

-- Kaabil is also high on performances. Hrithik Roshan gives a dedicated and skillful act. The biggest challenge for him was to make the audience believe that he is blind, which he does convincingly. His rendition of those subtle, heroic dialogues help his cause further. On few occasions though he smiles unnecessarily which brings back memories of his character, Rohit from Koi Mil Gaya (2003).

After Vicky Donor (2012), Yami Gautam finally has a quality movie. She too lives up to the demand of playing a blind character convincingly. Rohit Roy forces you to hate him, which means he has done well. Ronit Roy has a more restrained character and he displays his talent successfully.

Narendra Jha, who also stars in Raees, is impressive as the cop, Chaubey. This might be his most noticeable role so far. Girish Kulkarni’s negative shades are a treat to watch once again. But after Ugly (2014) and Dangal (2016) and this film, he should make sure he doesn’t get stereotyped. As Hrithik’s best friend, Suresh Menon is alright.

Negative points:

-- When you have a blind person taking revenge, you have no choice but to take cinematic liberties. But on few occasions, there are certain flaws that you can’t ignore. Especially during the tragedy and the climax. Thankfully, the smart narrative and presentation doesn’t let you think much about them.

-- The music isn’t that impressive either. ‘Sara Zamana’ is an enjoyable foot-tapping number but Urvashi Rautela’s dance steps are horrendous. Plus, the song doesn’t fit the film.

Overall: Kaabil is an enjoyable revenge saga that is also high on emotions. The film has a steep task at the box-office as it is released with Raees. It does have hope of doing well till Sunday if it receives positive word-of-mouth. This film deserves to do well.

Rating: 3.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Sanjay Gupta

Producer: Rakesh Roshan for Filmkraft Productions

Writer: Sanjay Masoom and Vijay Kumar Mishra

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Yami Gautam, Ronit Roy, Rohit Roy, Narendra Jha

Music: Rajesh Roshan

Genre: Revenge drama

Runtime: 138 minutes

Kaabil Hindi poster

25Jan/170

How Dangal showed that patriotism can be felt, not preached

Nitesh Tiwari’s Aamir Khan-starrer, Dangal has shattered box-office records by becoming the biggest Bollywood blockbuster ever. The film has earned over Rs 370 crore so far. Collections in this range speak about a film’s wide acceptance. More so because the earnings have been constant. Its peak business wasn’t limited to the first few days or first week.

But the film, based on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, has also achieved something else subtly.

In today’s times, patriotism and nationalism are transformed to hyper-patriotism and ultra-nationalism. It is a ploy used by self-proclaimed patriots who are always ready to attack anyone not agreeing with their pro-government views in the name of Desh Bhakti.

Dangal stillThis is also seen the most if you disagree with their views of opposing everything that is Pakistani. Be it actors, cricketers, artists and who not. These are the same people who completely turn a blind eye to the non-stop trade between India and Pakistan, even after the Uri attacks. Some of them might even be staying in houses made from cement that comes from across the border. However, this is a different story.

Coming back to the main topic, in the midst of such hyper-national atmosphere, Dangal has shown the actual meaning of patriotism, which should be felt and not preached. This is in the climax when the National Anthem is played. It was an excellent technique to make Phogat realize that Geeta has won the Gold medal.

Tiwari got the audience rooting for Geeta Phogat in her quest to win Gold for India in such a way that most of us were forced to stand during the National Anthem. Some of us who have been opposing the playing of our anthem before films also stood up. Why? Because we badly wanted her and India to win the Gold and make Mahavir’s dream come true. So, the climax brought a sense of pride towards our nation.

But all this was achieved without a single dialogue highlighting the importance of patriotism. Without any sloganeering. In fact, there were no instructions on the screen either asking people to stand. Hence, it’s proven that patriotism is a feeling, not a slogan.

In all this, Aamir has also truly destroyed the morale of hate mongers, who were spreading messages to boycott Dangal. But he did that without saying a word against them and by just making his work do the talking.

They urged everyone to boycott his films. People made it the biggest hit ever.

They labeled him ‘anti-national.’ His film showed the true meaning of nationalism.

Hope for peace lives on...

- By Keyur Seta

9Jan/170

Ti Sadhya Kay Karte (Marathi Movie) Review

Story: Ti Sadhya Kay Karte starts off in the 1990s in Mumbai. Anurag aka Anya (Hruditya Rajwade), during his school days, falls in love with Tanvi (Nirmohi Agnihotri) at first sight. They grow up together as best friends.

When they (Abhinay Berde and Aarya Ambekar) reach college, Anya is certain that he still loves Tanvi but is not complete sure. Years later when Anya turns middle-aged (as Ankush Chaudhari), he attends their college reunion and wonders where Tanvi (Tejashri Pradhan) is.

Review: A large portion of the first half of Ti Sadhya Kay Karte makes you feel as if this is yet another Marathi film focusing on childhood romance. There have been many falling in such genre in last 5-6 years with Shala (2012) and Fandry (2014) being the most notable ones.

But you soon realize that is not the case (even if it was you wouldn’t mind because of the treatment). This breezy romantic film is, in fact, the most mature and realistic take on childhood romance and the idea of moving on you will see in a long time.

Ti Sadhya Kay KartePlus points:

- Ti Sadhya Kay Karte is blessed with a terrific screenplay. Manaswini L R has used a fine mixture of fast pace and flashback. She is clear as to how much to reveal and when. To narrate a story in three time zones is not easy at all.

- She is also responsible for some creatively funny dialogues and scores high even during the emotional ones in the end. In fact, dialogues have a lion’s share in the overall result. The Orange flavor Glucon D idea deserves special mention.

- Rajwade is known for handling love stories intelligently. He handles this difficult subject with ease.

- It is mandatory for the music to be of high quality in such love stories. The songs over here fit the situation and are melodious too.

- The casting and the performances sum up a high quality product. Ankush Chaudhari gets different dimensions of his character right. He lives up to the task completely. Tejashri Pradhan doesn’t have that much screen time but she is highly impactful through a thoroughly skillful performance.

Debutant Abhinay Berde (son of Laxmikant Berde) shows confident acting skills. Singer Aarya Ambekar makes her acting debut. After this delithful performance, she is sure to get more acting offers. Hruditya Rajwade and Nirmohi Agnihotri too are obedient and lovable.

Negative points:

- There is one flaw about the separation of the lead characters and few others in the course of the narration.

- The runtime could have been little bit on the lower side with this storyline.

Overall: Ti Sadhya Kay Karte is a feel-good and moving romantic tale. The film is sure to start the New Year for Marathi cinema on a positive note at the box-office.

Rating: 3.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Satish Rajwade

Producers: Zee Studios and Pallavi Rajwade

Writers: Manaswini L R and Satish Rajwade

Cast: Ankush Chaudhari, Tejashri Pradhan, Abhinay Berde, Aarya Ambekar, Hruditya Rajwade and Nirmohi Agnihotri

Music: Nilesh Mohrir, Avinash-Vishwjeet and Mandar Aapte

Genre: Romance

Runtime: 127 minutes

6Jan/171

Om Puri: I like working with someone better than me (old interview)

Today, Om Puri reminded us the law of nature. The great artist passed away at his residence in Mumbai following a massive cardiac arrest. He was one artist for whom the word ‘irreplaceable’ can be used. Below is an old interview of his that I took for the annual 2014 issue of Trade Guide magazine. It is been posted with due permission of the publication.

A name like Om Puri doesn’t need any formal introduction. By going strong in the field of acting for 40 years, he is easily one of the finest acting talents the country has seen. For the special annual issue of Trade Guide, the veteran artist gets candid exclusively with Keyur Seta over his career and the recently concluded year.

You have done art-house cinema as well as hardcore commercial cinema. Which of the two genres makes you more proud?
To be honest, I am proud of both types of cinemas. Art-house cinema gave me recognition, credibility and honor as a good actor. Because of these films, I was able to travel all over the world by participating in film festivals. It also gave me two National Awards and other awards. But unfortunately, art cinema didn’t have much money. So, commercial cinema provided me with livelihood. I am having a decent living because of commercial cinema. Hence, I am grateful to both types of cinemas. But without art films, commercial cinema wouldn’t have recognized me at all. I didn’t have the type of personality commercial cinema needs. They would have considered me as one of the junior artists.

How would you describe your more than three decade long journey in Hindi cinema?
I am quite happy with my career to be honest. I have not only made a mark in art-house cinema but have also been a part of commercial cinema. Plus, I am also a known name in the west. So surely I am quite happy. But unfortunately, our cinema doesn’t have much material for elderly actors unlike the west. They have a lot of subjects where elderly actors are the main leads.

You started off by getting a job at a theatre group when you were very young. At that time, did you ever imagine that one day you will be counted as one of the finest actors?
No, I never thought that. I just kept working hard with sincerity and honestly and didn’t think about anything. I was focused.

Om Puri

Picture: Networthier.com

Naseer sahab (Naseeruddin Shah) has been your companion all through your acting journey.
He has a huge contribution in making me a better actor, knowingly or unknowingly. He was the one who inspired me enroll at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. As I had no money to study at FTII, he told me, beg, borrow or steal but come here. He said there is no future in Delhi. So I will always be grateful to him. We have been friends since almost 44 years now.

How was the year 2014 for Hindi cinema according to you?
To be honest, I don’t think the year was too exciting. I also feel that we have too many urban films made these days whereas a large chunk of our population stays in villages. Films about village and its issues are very rarely made. In fact, they are not made anymore.

A lot of unconventional films are tried in mainstream Hindi cinema nowadays.
Yes, there are filmmakers who are making good meaningful cinema. I am not denying that. There are a number of such filmmakers like Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap who make films with good content.

What are your expectations from our films in 2015?
Firstly, I don’t agree that films are just meant purely for entertainment. It is such a powerful medium that it can participate in educating the society. It has the ability to inspire people and create values. Today a lot of youngsters are into drugs and all such notorious activities. So cinema can play a role in it. I am not saying there shouldn’t be entertainment. But entertainment should have some weight. JAANE BHI DO YAARO was entertaining but it also carried a message. So along with entertaining films, there should be some serious films, which aren’t biased and prejudiced. One such film was OH MY GOD.

These days, 100 crore club is becoming smaller as 200 or 300 crore is considered the ultimate achievement.
There is no end to it. It is purely commerce and business. It is sad that cinema is only being treated as business. I can understand that there is a big investment. Of course, whoever spends money on a film should get the returns. But a person recovering 10, 20 or 50 times the money spent is a bit ridiculous. Why don’t you make more films? For example, instead of raising the price of one toy, why can’t I make 15-20 toys and keep making money?

But this was started in 50s itself. Initially, artists from various fields of theatre migrated to cinema. Once cinema established itself as a fruitful business, it attracted businessmen, who had no creative affiliation or background. They were purely businessmen, who started dictating terms for making films successful. Otherwise, that era was known for producing meaningful films by people like Bimal Roy, Gurudutt, V Shantaram, etc.

Do you think the current audience is more willing to watch off beat films as compared to 10 or 20 years ago?
There is nothing like that. It is just that off beat cinema should not be boring; it should be interesting. You can either write an essay or a short story. People aren’t interested in essays unless you are a literary person. But people like reading stories because it interests them. Very few people read editorials in newspapers; they like reading headlines and news. So you should not treat cinema as an editorial. ARDHA SATYA and AAKROSH didn’t have songs but they were successful films. The same was the case with films like KANOON and ITTEFAQ. When I was a student, I saw OONCHE LOG and I liked it although it didn’t have songs.

Any actor you haven’t work with yet but are eager to work?
I am ready to work with anyone. I would like to work with someone who is better than me because that will enable me to give my best.

24Dec/160

Dangal Dialogues

Dangal's dialogues play a large role in making the Nitesh Tiwari written and directed film so impactful. Of course, one can’t deny the enormous contribution of the screenplay, direction and performances, especially Aamir Khan. But the smart and witty dialogues surely lift the film further.

Here are 10 best dialogues (lyrics) from Dangal:

- Tu ek saal seene pe patthar rakh de. Agar kamyab na hua, toh main poori jindagi seene pe patthar rakh doonga.

(Translation: You bear it for a year. If I don’t succeed, I will bear for the rest of my life.)

- Pahalwan ke khoon mein kushti hove hain.

(Translation: Wrestling is inside the blood of a wrestler.)

Dangal poster- Medal jeete toh koi na poochhe hain. Magar haare toh sab gaali deve hain.

(Translation: People won’t be bothered if you win a medal. But they will surely criticize you if you lose.)

- Mhari chhoriyan chhoron se kum hain ke?

(Translation: Are my daughters less then sons?)

- Gold toh gold hota hain. Chhora laave ya chhori.

(Translation: A gold medal is a gold medal, irrespective of whether it is won by a boy or a girl.)

- Jyada dil chhota na kar. Tu national level ke pahalwan se hara hai.

(Translation: Don’t worry. You have lost to a national level champion.)

- Geeta ko kyun chhore dekhne aavenge? Woh khud chhore dekhne javegi.

(Translation: Why will boys come to see Geeta for marriage? She will go to see them.)

- Thara bapu thare baare mein soche toh hai.

(Translation: At least your father is thinking about you.)

- Agar silver jeeti, toh aaj nahin toh kal log tanne bhool jaavenge. Gold jeeti toh misaal banjavegi. Aur misaale dee jaati hai beta, bhooli nahin jaati.

(Translation: If you win a silver, people will eventually forget you. If you win a gold, you will become an example. And examples are set, not forgotten.)

- Thari ladaai har us insaan se hain jo maane hain ki chhoriyon ka kaam sirf chokha dhaani karna hain.

(Translation: Your match is against all those who feel girls are only meant to do household chores.)

24Dec/160

Dangal Review: A true Gold Medalist

Sports films have become an overdose in mainstream Hindi cinema. But Nitesh Tiwari’s Dangal won’t let you think about this statistic for two reasons. It is not just the best sports underdog film but also one of the best films to have come out from our part of the world.

Dangal is a real life account of India’s wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat’s efforts to make his daughters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat champions in the sport. As a young man, Mahavir (Aamir Khan) couldn’t fulfill his dream of winning Gold Medal for India due to his family condition. So, he goes on a mission to make sure his upcoming son will bring India glory.

However, he is blessed (or in this case, cursed) with not one but four daughters. This shatters him as he believes only a son can win Gold in wrestling. But one day he realizes that two of his daughters, Geeta and Babita (Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar who grow up as Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra) also have wrestling in their blood. Mahavir’s hopes re-emerge.

Although Dangal is a biopic, the makers honestly confess at the start that a lot of aspects have been fictionalized, including some characters. This might disappoint some but it won’t matter to you once the film begins. Dangal is an ideal example of an intelligent screenplay, mature dialogues and masterful presentation. The combination produces one memorable sequence after another. And like every intelligent film, at a lot of places it says a lot without saying much. Also, in a lot of places, serious situations are presented humorously.

Dangal posterThe film does have few logical errors here and there but the huge number of positive points makes sure you don’t get affected. Even Tiwari has done well in covering them up intelligently. But there comes one moment at the end which is too fictionalized. However, the incredible effect it produces in the end transforms it into a masterstroke.

In fact, in my opinion, it is the one of the most overwhelming climaxes. A lot of people, if not all, who are against the playing of National Anthems during movies would happily rise up when it is played in this film.

It is difficult to jot down the best moments, apart from the climax. The one that stands out is when Mahavir explains to Geeta that her fight is not against the opponent but with all those who believe girls should only be restricted to household chores. The entire gist of the film explained so simply.

The film’s technical department matches up to the content and even enhances it. Cinematographer Sethu Sriram has a long body of work including Tere Naam (2003), Wanted (2009) and OMG – Oh My God (2012). But with his fine work here, he has arrived.

The background score is minimal which is a smart move. There are no loud sounds during wrestling scenes to make them forcefully appealing, which a lot of films are guilty of. In fact, there is no background score on most occasions and rightfully so.

Pritam’s music and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics add plenty of effect. The songs take the story forward and are not treated merely as songs.

Lastly, the film reaches this level because of Aamir Khan. He once again proves he is one of the few greatest artists from India. And with this performance, he shows he is the powerhouse of dedication. But it is not merely an Aamir Khan film. Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra make enormous use of the opportunity and manage to match-up to Aamir, which is no small achievement.

Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar, who play their younger versions, stay etched in your memory their limited screen time. Sakshi Tanwar should do more films. She provides a fine act as Mahavir’s wife. Girish Kulkarni is a phenomenal performer and he shows it with his act as the coach. Aparshakti Khurrana, as Geeta and Babita’s cousin, isn’t bad. At times, he is overused to provide humour.

Overall: Dangal is one of the finest films you will see and one of the very few ones with a lot of repeat value.

Box-office prediction: The film has gained a tremendous opening on the first day earning Rs 29-30 crore (as per BoxOfficeIndia.com). With the incredible word-of-mouth, it is sure to rise higher and has a fair chance of being the highest earner of 2016 defeating Sultan. If not that, it is sure to reach the Rs 300 crore mark.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Nitesh Tiwari

Producers: UTV Motion Pictures and Aamir Khan Productions

Writers: Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Meharotra

Cast: Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Sakshi Tanwar, Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar

Music: Pritam

Genre: Biopic/Drama

Runtime: 161 minutes

Dangal Geeta Phogat

22Dec/160

6 reasons why Demonetization is indefensible

As soon as Demonetization was enforced on November 8, the first question that struck people was whether this move will help curb the menace of Black Money and corruption, as promised by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. As I mentioned in my last post (HERE) on the issue, people like me, who have absolutely no knowledge in Economics or Finance, cannot answer this question.

However, you don’t need to be an expert in any subject to understand the extreme suffering experienced by a large number of people in the country. More than a month ago, the question was whether demonetization will succeed. Now, experts are trying to understand the extent at which demonetization will affect the country. In other words, it is a blunder.

Here are 6 reasons why defending demonetisation is like defending the indefensible:-

GPS joke: To support government’s move of introducing Rs 2000 note, news channels like Zee News and Aaj Tak ran programs explaining that the currency contains a chip that can be detected through satellite with the use of GPS technology. However, the news (?) not only turned out to be false but also a joke (watch VIDEO below). You can easily hoard black money in the Rs 2000 currency as well. If banning high value currency like Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can lessen the menace of black money, what exactly is the logic behind introducing Rs 2000 notes?

Instant backfiring: The above point was proven right even before 15 days of the decision. A number of members from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been caught with bundles of the new Rs 2000 notes. At the same time, banks are getting limited amounts of the new currency. So, how did your party men laid hands on the new notes in such large numbers? If this is not a scam, what is? (read news HERE and HERE)

Picture: Livelaw.in

Punishing innocents: Instead of affecting black money hoarders, the move has made life hell for people from small towns, villages and those involved in small business that run entirely on cash. Wage workers have been temporarily out of job (read news HERE). You don’t need to be an expert to know that a large section of our population has no bank accounts and there are many villages either without any banks or having banks are faraway places (read news HERE). How can you expect them to leave their daily work and stand in queues for hours?

And sorry, the logic of going cashless doesn’t apply to poor people who live from hand to mouth. Even city dwellers like me have just installed PayTM and that too out of force. Plus even in 2016, there are villages with no access to electricity. So, how on earth do you expect them to buy smart phones and install PayTM? Don’t tell me you had no idea about this despite being the PM of a country.

Justifying death? This is the biggest reason why demonetization has failed. In fact, even if it would have yielded fruitful results (which appears like a dream), it would have still been a failure if more than 50 countrymen (might be more unofficially) got killed in it. Of course, Bhakts have been making inhuman arguments that a large number of people die every day. But these people died after standing in long queues for hours. They were standing in queues only and only because of the decision. They weren’t standing there out of their will or just for fun. There are incidents where people died after not receiving medical attention as the patients’ families didn’t have new currency. How will you justify these deaths even if demonetization turns successful?

Mocking the helpless: Like I said in my previous post on the issue, what has annoyed me the most about this whole episode is the mocking and casual attitude of the PM despite these many deaths. Last month in Japan, he mocked those who are facing problems due to demonetization (see video below). He repeated it later by stating that even beggars have started using PayTM. Seriously? The only justification for this can be that it was his lookalike who spoke these things.

Political parties can party: This is the second biggest fiasco after deaths. Political parties are the ones with most number of black money, which is spent the most during elections. Nobody knows who pays for those 24/7 in-your-face-and-TV advertisement played during elections. Now, these parties have been given further relief to not disclose their funding in old currency. A notification (out of the many) says that they are exempted from scrutiny (read the news HERE). So, if the biggest source of black money isn’t going to face any problem, what exactly is the point of the whole exercise of demonetization?

By: Keyur Seta

17Dec/160

Dalhousie pictures: The place with picturesque hills heals you

I live in a part of Mumbai (Dadar) which is nothing but concrete jungle. Hence, the mere sight of a mountain or any sort of nature makes me happy. So much so, that even a visit to the nearby hill station, Lonavala gets me excited. Therefore, one can only imagine my feeling when I landed in the picturesque Himalayan region of Dalhousie.

‘Delightful’ is the word. Well, you can add ‘healer’ too. The place delights and heals you, both at the same time. Delights with its amazing view of mountains and valleys. This coupled with the weather heals you externally and internally; the latter is more important for people from urban areas caught in a fast city life.

Have a look at the pictures:

Dalhousie city.

People running the Dalhousie Public School have installed plants on both sides of the roads and that too with such beautiful, colourful stands. The bigger achievement is that there are no miscreants to damage it. This is one thing that comes to the mind of someone from Mumbai, where even a dust bin isn't safe!

Dainkund is a place with beautiful mountains, situation around 13 kilometers from Dalhousie. It has an army cantonment and a Kali Mata Temple, for which one requires to climb 1 kilometers up on a hill.

Dainkund.

This steep road leads to Punchpula waterfall, which is close to Dalhousie. The route up the hill is dangerous. Precautionary measures are advised. After climbing up, I felt as if I achieved something. However, the real challenge was going down these huge steps. By the way, the waterfall was just a little stream.

At Khajjiar.

Khajjiar.

Khajjiar is around an hour's drive away from Dalhousie. The place is known as Mini Switzerland. Going by the scenic beauty of it, the title looks justified. However, a couple of friends who visited the place few months ago witnessed much more greenery than what it was when we visited.

Khajjiar.

Caught this sight while we were on our way from Amritsar to Dalhousie.

At place on our way from Dalhousie to Macleodganj.

Our vehicle stopped to fill petrol at this place just outside Dalhousie while we were on our way to Macleodganj. The sight instantly brought to my mind the first verse from 'Yun Hi Chala Chal' song from Swades - Dekhun jidhar bhi in rahon mein, Rang pighalte hai nigahon mein, Thandi hawa hai thandi chhaavn hai, Door woh jaane kiska gaon hai...

By: Keyur Seta