To do things differently requires guts. There’s the risk of becoming an outcast, among friends, family, neighbors, strangers. But the greatest enrichments are open only to those who muster the courage to do things differently. Those, despite risk of failure and ostracism, who willingly tread the road less traveled open themselves up also to the possibility of unprecedented rewards. In Dangal, Aamir Khan portrays such a risk taker.
Sports biopics, of late, have stuck a chord in Bollywood, with the singular successes of gifted athletes who overcome tremendous obstacles – both systemic and infrastructural – to achieve international fame and success, in a country indifferent to its sporting heroes (barring cricket). After athletics and boxing, wresting’s emergence into limelight is natural. The choice of theme as such is not extraordinary. Aamir Khan’s ability to package it as a blockbuster without severely limiting the story’s honesty is. Director Nitesh Tiwari achieves that by taking some of the edge off, through humor, catchy music, high emotional content, never losing sight however of its actual intent – to narrate the tale of a father’s sincerity and passion to pursue a dream, and his daughter’s toil in response, and their eventual success to unprecedented rewards, which shine through in the nearly three hours of storytelling. This, despite some preachy moments and one enforced nationalistic gesture thrown in.
Subduing his star appeal, Khan turns in a performance apt to play the aged protagonist. His co-actors deliver in cohesion to ultimately create an inspiring cinematic experience. It should please those who want a bit more out of big budget Bollywood fare, but has enough spice in the pot for the masala crowd as well. It certainly is a happy mix for the producers, if initial box office response is any indicator.
Barkha Dutt and Nidhi Razdan are the worst journalists in India. I find their specious arguments devious, an insult to journalism. Their biases make it too obvious that they are stooges for the Congress party. But thanks to the internet, their deceits are there for the world to see, and for people to judge independently. In fact, I googled to check the validity of my observations, and find myself in the company of many. One particular site – Mediacrooks , has done a commendable job. In fact, both Dutt and Razdan rank consistently in their list of worst journalists. Also, simply google “mediacrooks” and watch some of the video snippets on YouTube. You will see my point.
It is extremely important for people to be aware of who the media houses are working for. Certainly not for you and me. They don’t speak the whole truth, & most certainly do not care about the well being of India or its people. They are in the business of manufacturing dissent(to borrow the opposite connotation of Mr. Chomsky’s book), paid for by Congress power brokers, and the self-serving interests of their channel.
But, to end on a humorous note, here’s an American take on paid media in India –
“I am That”, as its apt subtitle says, is a collection of talks with the great Indian mystic, and has gems of wisdom strewn across almost all its chapters. Here’s one I discovered in Chapter 5, on a renewed journey along it’s profound pages, that expounds the value of avoiding contradictions in thought and action –
“…life and light must not quarrel; behavior must not betray belief. Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; you must not go back, undo, uproot, abandon the conquered ground. Tenacity of purpose and honesty in pursuit will bring you to your goal.”
True life wisdom, really. And not as easy to follow at all times.
Bengal, despite its current state of dilapidation, has produced some towering saints in its rich history. Ramprasad Sen can surely be counted among them. A great eighteenth century mystic and Kali devotee, he was also a gifted poet and singer. His songs are popular to this day. Paramahansa Yogananda was a great admirer of Sri Ramprasad, his song Will that day O’ come to me Ma an English rendition of a Ramprasad song.
Sometime back, I came across this gem (from the Bengali film “Sadhak Ramprasad”) by contemporary thumri maestro Ramkumar Chatterjee, and was compelled to its translation. Audio track is available here (for native Bengali speakers and people who know the language), and here is my attempt to convey it’s essence in English: