Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lekure Udand Jhaali

Lekure Udand Jhaali is another Vasant Kanetkar play which has been revived. The original play completed over 1000 shows & the lead roles were played by Shrikant Moghe & Daya Dongre. It is a three part play with Sumit Raghavan & his wife Chinmayee Sumit as leads.
Spoilers ahead!
The story revolves around a rich, childless couple, Raja & Rani Tambe. The couples greedy relatives presume that as the Tambes do not have any children, their kids will inherit all their property. Slowly & steadily the relatives create situations to suit their purposes & manipulates Rani’s intense desire to have kids so that she ends up agreeing to adopt one of her sisters many kids. On the other hand Raja’s brother is playing a similar trick on him. This leads to a fight between the couple on whose kid should they adopt? His brothers or her sisters? However when Raja loses his wealth in some bad investments the sweet relatives are quick to show their true colors. With poverty the Tambes are rid of their false relations. However even in these adverse times the servant in their house refuses to leave them for he considers himself a part of the family. The play ends on a happy note when Rani discovers that she is pregnant. They are poor & lonely now; but this one joy infuses hope & enthusiasm in their lives. Raja resolves to start his life afresh so that he can give his baby the best things money can buy.
  • Sumit Raghavan is a great actor & singer. 
  • The supporting characters are well selected & each person does his role well. I liked the servant most!
  • Two serious issues, being childless & greedy, selfish relations, are presented in a lighter vein. Though comedy is used it does not look insensitive. Pain as well as ridiculous emotions are well presented & portrayed.
  • A balanced play. The focus is not on any one aspect. Rather everything, comedy, emotions, music, romance are well balanced
  • Personally I like poetry to be flowing, complete with rhyming words & all. The songs used use words like prose. My Mom told me this was a new experiment when this play was first introduced nearly 30 years back. In those times ‘Sangeet Natak’ (entire plays based on raagas & in poetry form) were popular. So this was an attempt to put music to prose. You can call it a Marathi Musical! I would have preferred plain dialogues!
  • The sound quality wasnt very good. At some points I had to strain my ears to hear what was being said. Sumit is excellent with his singing. However Chinmayees voice was pre – recorded & sometimes the recording was really bad!
I will give it an 8 / 10. A nice play!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Balika Vadhu: I realize my mistake!

'I realize my mistake'. This is what an old lady, nearing her 80s I guess said in a Hindi soap & I went all Shocked. Balika Vadhu is the story of Anandi who was married off in her childhood to Jagdish Singh, another child just like her. As their life progressed, Jagdish left his village, wife & family to go live & Mumbai & to study medicine. During the course of his studies he fell in love with another girl, Gauri. Today, Anandi - Jagdish are on the verge of getting a divorce. And the above lines are said by Anandi's grandmother - in - law, the strict matriarch of the family. She says this as a confession to her son, when they sit discussing as to why has Jagdish - Anandi's marriage fail. The old wise woman says, we wrongly thought that deep bonds can be forged in childhood. We made two people to stay together by our force & not by their choice. The girl grew up to love the boy but the boy did not reciprocate her love. We never thought this is how it would end. Hence we should take it as a lesson that child marriage can bring horrible pain to the couple involved.

Kudos the makers of this serial. This is the first time that an elderly person has been shown to be wrong. Till date I have seen all old people being portrayed as demi - Gods who can do no wrong. This stifling deification of normal people has been broken for the first time on TV. ClapClapClap Also, though she is just a character I must definitely appreciate dadisa for having the guts to admit that she was wrong back then! At her age & position it wouldn't have been easy for her!

Monday, June 4, 2012

OS - Makanmalik Ji

This is based on the serial Hitler Didi which airs on ZEE TV at 8PM on weekdays. This is for all those people who desperately want SF to be taught a lesson they will never forget. The main idea of this was once told by Bella27H...i have just developed it furtherEmbarrassed

This is a future track related to the current Kukreja thing. Sumer & InShi are trying to get back SN. In the end they succeed in getting back SN...but things so happen that SN lands up in the hands of Diwans...i.e. in the hands of Ricky Diwan. So now Ricky is the new MakanmaalikLOL Ricky convinces indu that now is the time to teach her fly a lesson they wud never forget. indu agrees to play along! InShi enter SN...

Munna: lo ma...aa gayi apne yaar ke saath...apne hi pariwar ko barbaad kar! cancel kar aayi na deal tu indira!Angry

Kutumb: Haaye...kaisi aulaad hai meriCryAngry

Ricky comes forward with a wicked smile...

Ricky: par deal cancel kaha huyi hai munna bhaisaab

Munna (wid a greedy xpression): matlab? kya bol raha hai? aap toh bol rahe the deal cancel ho gayi

Inder: Angry kukreja wali deal cancel ho gayi...teri iss behen ne diwans ke saath deal kar liAngry ab ye Ricky Diwan iss ghar ka naya malik haiAngryAngryAngry

Munna...ekdum change in behaviourLOL

Munna: arey main kya sun raha hunEmbarrassedEmbarrassed
Ricky: Chote?? Saab bol...saab...Evil Smile


Sunaina: Haaawww...Rishi kaisi baat kar rahe ho aap??EmbarrassedEmbarrassed apne bhaisaab se aise baat karoge ab??EmbarrassedEmbarrassed

Ricky: Rishi? Kaun Rishi? Suna nahi aapne...aapke papaji ne kya kaha? Ricky Diwan naam hai mera! Ab sab log kaan kholke sun lo...main iss ghar ka naya maalik hoon...aur ab hitler raaj khatam hoke...hitler ke pati ka raaj shuru hone wala haiEvil Smile

Indira & Sumer hide a grinLOL

Ricky: ab suno sab! Aaj se iss ghar pe muft ki rotiya todna band! ab iss ghar mein kuch naye kanoon banaye jayenge! Munna bhaisaab...jab tak aap koi dhang ki job nahi dhund lete tab tak roj aap iss ghar ki saaf safai karenge! Auntyji aap...pooja paath ke baad aur sone se pehle...aap ghar ke saare bartan aur kapde dhoyengi!

Kutumb: Haaye!!!Angry Kanji aakhwale ab tu muzse...kutumb sharma se kaam karwayega!Angry

Ricky: Ha...aur sirf aapse hi nahi...aapke pati se bhi. Uncleji...iss ghar mein agar rehna hai...waise deal cancel ho jaane ke baad apko wo bangalan toh ghar mein rakhegi nahi! agar iss ghar mein rehna ghar ke saare chote mote kaam...sabzi lana, bills bharna, ishaan ko school chodna, etc aapko roj karne honge. Sunaina bhabhi ...aap khana banayengi...khud kam khayengi aur dusro ke liye jyada banayengi...samzi??!!

Munna ko gussa ata hai ke koi uski Mrs. se aise baat kar raha haiLOL

Munna: Hum mein to saare kaam baat liye...apni biwi ka kya? wo kya bas aram karegi?

Ricky: nahi! wo apne pati ki...yaani meri ...seva karegi (winks at induWinkLOL) aur nayi job dhundegi

Ye sab dekhke, Mandira aati hai...n as is her habit tries to flirt with RishiD'oh

Batting her eyelashes with her nail file in her hand she comes up to Rishi

Mandira: Aap muze to bhul hi gaye Rishi Blushing

Ricky: umm...ha...main washrooms ki saaf safai bhi bhul gaya tha. aajse tum wo karogi...w/o fail

Sumer & Indira in the background ROFL

Ricky: Evil Smile

Monday, May 21, 2012

Satyameva Jayate (Episode 3)

Episode 3 (The Big Fat Indian Wedding)
The episode started off with the young people from the audience sharing their marriage dreams. While some wanted to marry YashRaj style, someone else wanted to marry the royal way! Aaamir rightly said as once Shobha De had, that marriage is India's passion!

Komal (Delhi)

  • Till the invitations were sent out no demands were made. However once the society knew that Komal's marriage would be taking place, the demands started
  • On the day of marriage, while the bride waited for her groom, the groom demanded he wont come till his father gets a gold chain...which he got!
  • Soon Komal's husband was to leave for the US. He took money from her parents for buying tickets to the US. Later Komal came to know that the company had already paid for the tickets
  • Her husband asked her to ask her father to sign over their Delhi home to him. This was the first time Komal refused
  • Her husband abandoned her in the US. He left her with no money, no food, no water. She was left to die alone in the US.
  • Her husband earned $65,000 annually!
  • Till date this man has cost Komal 40 lakh in cash & 60 lakh in gold
  • Finally her parents have realized 'Daamad ko paalna nahi chahiye!'
Nishana (Madurai)
  • A lecturer in Madurai who was pursuing her PhD studies
  • 70 tola gold & 1 lakh cash were given during marriage to the groom
  • After marriage the greed did not cease. He used to verbally abuse her,calling her ugly, fat, etc
  • Nishana was asked to do a plastic surgery
  • When she could no longer take these abuses, she committed suicide
Paramjeet Kaur Moom (Karimpur, Punjab)
  • The groom took a total of 15 lakhs from the bride under the pretext of wanting to go to Australia for further studies
  • When he left for Australia, he had promised Paramjeet, that he would call her there after 15 days...but unfortunately the call never came
  • Paramjeet was beaten up on a daily basis & treated more like a maid than a daughter - in - law
  • 3 years later they threw her out & his uncle has asked the Panchayat to grant his nephew a divorce that to via the internet as his nephew wishes to marry a foreigner!
Ruby Devi & Santosh Kumar (Bihar):
  • A very unique marriage/ love storyLOL
  • Santosh was kidnapped by the girl's side so that they did not have to pay any dowryLOL
  • But today, he loves his wife & is happy with herEmbarrassed
  • All is well that ends well thenWink
  • This type of a marriage is called 'pakadwa byaah'
Rani Tripathi (Mumbai):
  • This girl was daring enough to perform a sting operation on people who were demanding dowry from her 
  • She married on the same day on which her marriage was fixed but with a different groom...a groom who wasnt interested in dowry
  • Tanzeem Khuddam E Millat movement started by Mausim Ummedi
  • No band, no baaja, no baarat, no dahejClap
  • Parneet Singh's attempts to get justice for women who are left behind in India when their husband's flee from the country
  • In the north east there is no dowry. In Assam & Sikkim, all things that the bride wears is given by the grooms family
  • Honestly did not like the 'netaji' bhashan which aamir gave at the end
  • The reference to Maulana Azad too was so not neededSleepy
Food for thought:
  • From where do the girls parents get the money needed to pay as dowry? 15 lakhs, 40 lakhsShocked & they werent the ones who had taken out loansShocked
  • If they spend so much money for one daughter, what about the other kids? How do they live by spending so much money? And then, how much is their actual incomeShocked

Do you feel marriages in our country have turned into a trade? Y/ N
sms your replies to 5782711.The money collected will be given to 'Unique Home for Girls'

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Satyameva Jayate (Episode 2)

Episode II (Sexual Abuse in Children)

The episode began with some gruesome statistics. 53% i.e. 1 in every 2 kids in India have suffered from sexual abuse. 21% of these were classified as ‘serious’ cases (which include rape, touching private parts, etc) & 32% were classified as ‘less serious’ (which include kissing, making vulgar remarks, etc). Also, 53% children who suffered from child abuse were males. When the audience was asked, ‘Where is the child most safe?’, all of them answered, ‘at home’. However the case studies that were discussed revealed a very different truth.
Case Studies:

Anamika Sharma was abused for 7 years by her own teacher. The teacher used to come to her home, close the door & abuse her. He had won the trust of her family members & was friendly with them. There were 22 people living in the house, but unfortunately none observant enough to know the trauma their child was going through.

Cinderella Prakash, a Mumbai based girl was abused by her parents friend when she was 11. The abuser was 55. A take home message from her for all those who have suffered this trauma: It should haunt him, not me! This correct identification of who was the victim is worth an applause!

Harish Iyer, from Mumbai was raped when he was 6.5 years old. This continued for the next 11 years. Later on the man used to bring his friends along with him to rape Harish. He silently went through this trauma. When he complained to his mother about this, she did not believe him. When he turned 18, for the first time he stood up for himself & said a firm NO & only then did this end.

Nazneen Tonse from Bengaluru turned to alcohol & drugs for comfort. She is living off anti – depressants. A classic example of the after – effects of child abuse

Ganesh Nallari, another victim has not been able to get into any relationship because of the constant fear of more 

Expert Opinions:

Anuja Gupta, runs an institution in Delhi which helps deal people with sexual abuse. She said the most important thing which held back children from confiding in their parents is the fear that they won’t be believed. Children use silence as a method of self – preservation. She had a case where a 2 year old girl was abused by her dadaji (paternal grandpa). She had advised the mother to call a family conference to expose the old man & let him know that this had to stop! She explained that most people thought more of society than of their child & hence kept quiet

Dr. Rajat Mitra, a Clinical Psychologist has been working with the Delhi Police to help them understand the mentality of an abuser. When asked what did his studies reveal about the psychology of an abuser he replied,
An abuser feels no guilt. He feels the child is enjoying it as much as he himself. Most such people were often individuals who were social & could charm people very easily. The people around them often believed them to be very good & decent individuals. He said a few indicators that a person may have such abusive tendencies are:
·       Loves children a little too much
·       Spends too much of time with kids
The best line Dr. Mitra said, which I personally loved was, ‘Respect behavior of a person & not his age!’

1098 is the number of a helpline which deals with various issues of children. It operates in over 200 cities in India & would soon be covering 630 Zillas. It is the largest such institute in the world & attends nearly 25 lac calls / year.

 Nishit Kumar who runs 1098 discussed that there was no law against child sexual abuse. A bil is pending in the parliament awaiting approval.
Towards the end of the show a workshop was conducted which was organized by Dr. Bhushan Shukla from Pune. In the workshop a group of kids, with the youngest being 5.5 yrs old & the oldest being 10, were explained the need to ‘scream’ if they felt something wrong was going on with them. Also with the help of charts they were told that certain areas of their body (the chest, between the legs & the backside) were private parts. Nobody should be allowed to touch them there.

1.     Another strong topic which needs to be seriously addressed in India
2.     For the first time the need to educate children against such things was shown on Indian TV
3.     A mixed balance of case studies, with some who went on to become strong individuals while others who were crippled for life by their past abuse & lived life popping pills
4.     The workshop was very good. It highlighted & ways to explain such sensitive issues to kids
5.     Informative as always

1.     I truly did not feel there was any need to get Sridevi over there. Can we have one program which doesn’t bring some or the other movie or TV star?
2.     I found Aamir’s reaction a little OTT today. The ‘oohh’, ‘aahhh’ & ‘sssss’ were a little too much than absolutely needed.

My opinions:

The saddest part for me in today’s episode was not the experiences shared by the victims but the lack of trust their parents had in them. It must be really traumatic to be abused in ones own house by someone who is considered a family friend. Imagine the sheer suffocation of not being able to vent out! Education is power. Hence I am of the opinion that every parent should sit down with his child & explain this issue to the kid in a manner in which he or she can understand. It is the duty of a parent to create confidence within their kids for themselves. As someone has wisely said, raising a child is much more difficult than giving birth. Very true indeed!
I will give this episode a 10/10 for the content & the workshop at the end.

I have been thinking about this topic the whole day today. And one puzzling thing to which i kept coming back was why did parents not believe their kids when they told their parents about such a thing? here are some points i could think of. they arent justifications just trying to understand the parent whose child was abused

  • The first reason why kids could be ignored could be because all children have a tendency to exaggerate. Maybe these parents feel their children are just over - exaggerating or are doing all this in order to get their attention. but then dont they notice the changed behavior of their child? i m sure after going through such a trauma the child is not going to be normal
  • Fear of society. maybe the parents feel that if the society comes to know that their child was raped or abused, the society will treat them (their child) differently. Alternately maybe the parents fear getting labelled as negligent
  • Disbelief that a child can be raped. Lack of knowledge could be the main problem here. this could be especially true if the victim is a male
  • In most of the cases discussed today, all abusers were people whom the parents knew. How does a daughter-in-law accuse (rightly!) her father-in-law of abusing her child. Will her husband support her? If he doesnt believe her, and things progress to a divorce & she isnt awarded the child's custody, what will be her baby's future in the house of such a grandpa without her mother.
What i have concluded is that whats most difficult is taking the first step, both for the child as well as its parent or 'bodyguard'. once they overcome the initial shame/ fear only then can the process of healing start. there is no justice for an abused. there is only healing & moving on!
Do you want a strong law against child sexual abuse? Sms Y/N (5782711)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Satyameva Jayate! Episode 1

Satyameva Jayate is an Indian television show hosted by Aamir Khan whose first episode was broadcasted on 6th May 2012. The show will be aired on Star Network & Doordarshan & is directed by Satyajit Bhatkal.

Episode I (Female infanticide, feticide)

The first episode starts off with a monologue of Aamir. 

Sirf hungama khada karna mera maqsad nahi
Meri koshish hai ki ye soorat badalni chahiye
Mere seene mein nahi toh tere seene mein sahi
Ho kahi bhi aag, lekin aag jalni chahiye!

The episode started off with personal interviews with 2 women who had had their babies aborted. Amisha Yagnik fell pregnant 6 times in 8 years & had her babies aborted! Parveen Khan suffered worst. She was bitten in the face by her husband after medical tests confirmed that she was carrying a baby girl for the second time. She was a mother of one girl already. When the makers of the show interviewed the general public 100% were of the opinion that such things were more common in smaller towns or villages. However the statistics revealed something else. Female foeticide is more common in metropolitan cities like Delhi & Mumbai as also Chandigarh. While it started off in areas of Rajasthan & UP it spread gradually to western & central India & later in southwest India. Andhra Pradesh & Kerala in the south seemed like the only 2 states in the south that were less affected. Guess there is a huge difference between being literate & being educated. The best example of this would be the following two instances:
·       A female doctor was interviewed who too had lost a baby due to this issue. Her husband was an orthopedic surgeon who had supported his mother when she asked her DIL to abort the child.
·       A gynecologist who works in the interiors of Rajasthan amongst the adivasis said that the adivasis have never asked them, the doctors, to determine the sex of the unborn child. The birth of a girl makes them as happy as the birth of a boy!

Food for thought:
1.     During the show it was revealed that the Government of India had once allowed female foeticide. This was when the population of India was increasing by leaps & bounds. This fact shocked the hell out of me. What sort of people have we elected who sanction murder?
2.     When Amisha Yagnik’s case for the custody of her baby was going on in the court, the judge had the gall to ask what is wrong if her in – laws want her to produce a ‘ghar ka chirag’. This was said in open court & no action was taken against the judge. Also, the judge had fired the PSI for having arrested Amisha’s in – laws! Some judge I must say!
3.     Female foeticide in the future can lead to an imbalance in the male : female sex ratio. If this ratio is disturbed then there could come a time when men do not find any girls to marry them. This could encourage flesh trade! The girls which would be bought in this would never have the status of a wife but would be merely children producing machines! What would be their future? What would have of their children? Will they be separated from their mother right at birth? This horrid thing isn’t something which will happen in the future. It is something which has already started. Many girls are being bought from Bihar & Belgaum for this very purpose today!
4.     A sting operation was carried out by 2 reporters from Sahara News Network in which they have revealed a number of doctors in Rajasthan who are involved in the whole sex determination – abortion racket. This news had created quite a furor when it was brought out in the open initially. However, as is common with most crimes in our country, no action has been taken against these doctors till date. Some have even got promotions! Doctors, who are supposed to be saviors were shown smiling shamelessly & uttering cringe worthy things like, ‘you cannot just throw the aborted child anywhere. Bury it in a graveyard or drown it in the Yamuna!’ And the best or the worst part was all these doctors were females!

At the end of the show a public appeal was made asking everyone if they supported setting up fast – track courts in Rajasthan so that the above mentioned doctors could be prosecuted at the earliest. We have to sms Y to 5782711 if we support this cause. The sms will cost Re. 1. Mukesh Ambani will be contributing the exact equal of the amount collected via these smses and the total amount collected after tax deduction would go to ‘Snehalaya’ an institution which works on the issue of female foeticide. Inspite of being a miser I smsed them right away. Anything for a just cause!


  • ·       The show was very informative. The team has put in a lot of effort in gathering information, sorting it out & presenting it in a clear yet interesting fashion. Nowhere did I see any attempt to sensationalize the issue as we see news channels do (‘do not forget, you heard this here first! Eeks! Such claims make me cringe in horror!)
  • ·       Everything was done in a very dignified manner. I have never liked to see people cry on TV. Donno, just do not like it. Find such emotions very OTT. Yesterday, all the 3 women who were interviewed said their story with their heads held high. Nobody cried buckets! Kudos to them. For me they are true icons of feminism who fight daily for what is right! And I feel I liked them more for their dignity than their courage!
  • ·       Aamir Khan (blush blush). Can’t help it. I am his huge fan. Loved how he wasn’t decked up in some flashy sherwani or kurta. A simple t – shirt with blue jeans & a wow watch! His aim was to divert attention from himself to the more important issue he was discussing. Also, the producers of the show had asked for a prime time slot. It was Aamir who said that he wanted each & every member of the family to watch SMJ. And 11 AM was the correct time for family shows. He cited examples of Mahabharata & Ramayan which were hugely popular in their days & were aired at 11 AM. This man is indeed a one – man army. Love his thorough research in all the things he does!

  • ·       To be honest NONE!

I would have liked the show makers to have included one more angle to this story. I would have liked if they had interviewed those people who were in favor of female foeticide (with their faces blanked off naturally!). I would have liked to know what psychology, what beliefs forced normal people to turn murderers? And not just any murderers but inhumane murderers who don’t think twice before killing a yet unborn child!
But then as a friend said to me, why allow these people to voice their opinions when they have never allowed anybody else to speak in their times? Guess she too is correct! Confused!

My take: A must watch program. 10/ 10 from my side. Me already eager for next Sunday! 

The link to the first episode:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Foreign Object

On a recent Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Goa a passenger found a dead cockroach in his meal. The airlines has termed it as 'foreign object'!