Bho Bho – Right Ingredients of a Good Thriller

It seemed more easy for me to boast to my friends about my school-friend, Javed, being in the production team of this upcoming new Marathi movie. The movie cast had Prashant Damle and many other renowned actors which made me feel really proud of my friend’s achievement. But actually going for a watch when the movie hit the theater was the difficult part. It was not before second week that saw me viewing the movie in Thane. But here I was now, finally at the big screen, and I was immensely delighted on two notes – one, I was keeping my word to watch it and secondly, it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie.

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I had suspected it to be fun right from when my friend shared the first trailer of Bho-Bho on our whatsapp school group. The story line seemed very novel where a pet dog is accused of murdering its owner, a lady, and a detective is hired by the insurance company to investigate the crime so as to settle the insurance claim of Rs. 1 crore. The detective was being played by Prashant Damle, my favourite actor, and in his first detective role, the actor seemed to be having fun playing the character of Vyankatesh Bhonde. There was this background music played while introducing him as Vyankatesh Bhonde that really tickled me (not to mention the character’s fanciful name). Was the actual movie going to maintain the allure after raising the curiosity, I wondered!

I can now say that if crime investigation stories excite you, you will like this movie. And if you are a canine lover you will most certainly love it. Bho-bho, is a clever and successful amalgamation of both a dog awareness cause + mystery element and balances both very well. The whodunnit story line is gripping and is like one of those amusement park ride where your only job is to sit back and enjoy the twirls.

Can a pet-dog kill its owner? Can it be ungrateful and behave unreasonably like humans? Ask this to the animal lover community and they will rebuff vehemently. They will add that even when they don’t speak our language, there is a reason to their behavior unlike self-absorbed earth species called humans. Looks like we are hell-bent on proving animal lovers right.The movie reminded me of the novel, ‘The curious incident of a dog in the night-time’. No resemblance to the movie, accept, the curiosity factor is used very well in both to make us take a slightly deeper look at our denial of acknowledging the coexisting animal world and our arrogant belief that we are the only priority of this planet.

And though there is this noble cause, the investigation process doesn’t disappoint you at all! There is this detective with non-striking appearance, although with a very eccentric investigation style. But wait, there is method to his madness. The detective, I’m not exaggerating, I saw Vyankatesh Bhonde as a perfect desi version of famous Hercules Poirot from books of Agatha Christie. One might argue on the soundness of evidences he collects in the court of law, but that is exactly what the detective classics never concentrated on. They just kept their focus on satiating the doubts of readers, and Bho bho does this job well. I missed that the character wasn’t given an authoritarian tone while dealing with baddies that would cheer the audience a bit more. But his low profile adds to the humor element of the character. I wish more series of Vyankatesh Bhonde where he is now a more famed personality and solves such unique cases with cause. Seriously, the idea sounds promising!

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This is a star-studded movie and there are other established actors like Sharad Ponkshe, Subodh Bhave, Ashwini Ekbote, Sanjay Mone, Rajan Bhise, Saurabh Gokhale and many others playing the baddies as well as mundane characters that actually make these roles memorable. Their effortless performances and getting into the skin of regular people is really commendable. It is what is expected from seasoned actors but sometimes the strategy can fail. Everyone here though fits in the tale of a dog-tail very aptly.

It was only second week after the movie released but I had to travel from Virar to Thane as the movie had disappeared from multiplexes in the western suburbs. Ironically, the Sunday show of Thane  was packed. This is really a fun movie not to be missed and I hope it flashes back on  screens of multiplexes of western suburbs of Mumbai as well. You got to see this movie!

 

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Elco Pani-Puri

I have decided to check out all eatery places I have been planning to visit. Over the years, they have accumulated making for a really long wish list. Somewhere, I think, I too hardly believed that I will be actually visiting these food places. Like a parent who pacifies their child about buying the toy on next visit to the shop, I consoled my heart with a false promise to go there one day when I came across a tempting food post. It is not easy making plans like that. So when I started for Bandra from Virar just to savour the famous Elco pani-puri, I felt a little ridiculous.

Was it worth? Yes. First, Because I got a breakthrough from to typecast and beat myself up yet again for not working on my plan and second, the Pani-Puri was really nice. It was different because the sourness and sweetness both are on extreme level than any other Pani-Puri I had before. But it was strange that after travelling so far for just Pani-Puri, I wasn’t tempted for another round. I later realised, not that I missed, but the syrup was not hot-n-spicy. The Sev-Puri though could have been missed given it’s sloping on sweeter side and the cost that is Rs. 80 per plate, Yes, the Pani-Puri is Rs. 60!

The Pani-Puri stall is located in radius of one Kilo-meter from Bandra station, the western side of the suburb. Elco market is a street market for clothes and accessories and the Pani-Puri centre is named after this market. I took a meter rikshaw (charged according to the meter fare) from the near the railway station for which you have to stand in the queue. The are-you-serious look I got from rik driver for hiring him for short distance PLUS the traffic-jam (I experienced at afternoon hour), makes me suggest you better walk. I will do same the next time. 😛

The Missing Rains

These were the days when I’m shivering because  the floor is so cold cold cold and walls are damp damp damp
There is running nose that competes with outside rain
And I feel no longer excited
Or care for the dark cloud as the contrast background to the flying super white cranes
Isn’t it every-year ordeal when you first fall for its charm,
the various shades of green and wide landscapes looking like a bountiful farm?
then you complain about road potholes filled with water
that too mixed with the sewage, and you barely balance your walks and vehicles
missing the murky, murkier, and murkiest gutter
there is respite only because the season ends
to begin the ditto saga next year with no new writer’s amend
It was all so predictable and I knew not worse than this
and that trumping by thunderous rains on humans can be actually a bliss
there was going to be this day when the precious of gold will be liquid water
but wasn’t that to happen generations after my death when the planet turns hotter?

The Unknown Killers of Dr.Narendra Dabholkar…

Two years have passed and the state police has no clue on who assassinated Dr. Narendra Dabholkar. One perspective of mine is that we should be okay with it. At least, these no name guys or this no organisation who could not take credit of the shameful killing, now, they won’t have their name attached to this honorable man in the history. Many killers from history got famous and unworthy attention only because they could end a life that selflessly worked for the betterment of society.
As to who dunnit, we all know the culprit. It’s the dangerous intolerance for logic and open-mindedness, a shadow lurking and growing as global phenomenon, desperately wanting unjust society, unquestioning faiths and timid personalities so that few can decide rights and wrong for others.
The rightful punishment to the killers is first this, that they never get even that undue credit of being attached to the magnanimous personality in the book of history. And second, we remember in our daily lives to culture the reasoning part of our brain. May Dr. Narendra Dabholkar live in us.

Horcrux

I have been an ardent fan of Harry Potter book series, but realizing lately that I cannot read them again. The fantasy is undoubtedly wonderful. I can go back to Tom Sawyer unlike Harry Potter. This makes me think that when books are written with self experiences, the unmentioned overlooked human feelings are penned without caring if they will be honored or identified justly by the readers, and they in fact turn out to be everyone’s unsaid agony, they beat the best of fantasy. A book has to be one’s horcrux; a part of your soul should reside there. Then the writer becomes immortal.

DDLJ: The diplomacy that doesn’t work for many Rajs and Simrans of India

Television shows are celebrating the 1000th week of the movie, ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’. The movie holds a record for running till date in a movie theatre of Mumbai, Maratha Mandir. This was a movie when released 19 years back, was loved by different genre for different reasons. Many teenagers, now grown-ups, have fond memories of their life moments attached to this movie. They mostly loved the budding romance part that they could relate to in the movie. The older generation loved that the movie upholds Indian cultural values and sets an example that love need not bypass it and undermine its importance. Now that the movie has earned some historic value I thought I need to analyse its relevance to real life and see what exactly are we celebrating. Is it a case story, a reel life though, in which love triumphs? or in which love triumphs but not before ensuring everyone is happy, especially the elders of the family?  

Imagine a Khap Panchayat in place of Amrish Puri, the antagonist of the movie, and think if it is possible to win its heart to let a certain Raj and Simran marry. How can one apply the tactics used in the movie to convince their parents or this Khap Panchayat if Raj and Simran belong to different castes/ different religions/ different mother tongues/ same gotra or, or, or they want a terrible, terrible thing like to just live in together? I.e., without getting murdered promptly after expressing their intentions. I want to add LGBT community to the above list of objectionable matrimonial alliances, but their right to love doesn’t exist according to the last year Supreme Court ruling!!!

If Raj and Simran are not honourably murdered then they get to live a life full of soured relations with their prior-to-marriage dear ones. Soured relations is a minor mental harassment compared to a total boycott by the community cast upon the couple’s families. Then the Newton’s third law of rippling takes place and the parents pass this torture to the couple by cutting-off ties or disowning them to prevent inheriting properties, or even family titles. Few fortunate couples can be forgiven for their sin with time, yes, but a sin it was, better get that. Such a marriage not working is an assertion to ‘we-told-you-so’ and a lesson for others in the clan. 

‘DDLJ’ was the first movie that highlighted a certain feature of the life of NRI. It brought to notice that not all NRI comfortably adjust with life at foreign shores. However, this inability to cope with different environment has been wrongly named as patriotism. Some of the people who leave for abroad take with them their version of India, a highly regressive one, then preserve it from getting affected by the geography there, and live in a place which is beyond recognisable as India for Indians too.  We here in the mean time have done away with many of  rituals to suit to the new times. It was new for me that a Simran there with a British citizenship was so helpless since she was nurtured to the adulthood with the everyday dose of ‘Indian culture’ and subjected to emotional blackmailing by the parents. There, in the heart of a first world country, she needs approval of  her father for every other small decisions. This is because the world around her, full of western culture, is evil! We really need to challenge this superiority complex harboured in the name of patriotism that we have a copyright  to  emotions, motherhood, justice and so on. On the contrary,  our emotions dry up very fast and we don’t understand a mother’s love a bit if the child is born out-of-wedlock or while getting rid of female foetuses, and our sense of justice doesn’t  stand up against either nepotism or  prejudices for other castes and religion. 

What things can justify murdering your children? I have tried to think on it whenever I read a new honour-murder story in the newspaper. Is it like a right to pull out  a thriving plant you planted because later you decided it grew and spread in wrong direction against your expectation? Could it be as easy as that?

Why an individual’s right to choose life partner granted by our Indian constitution is not respected enough? Why the ‘Bhartiya Sanskriti’ thinks an 18-year-old is mature enough to vote in an election but not enough to have a say in his/her marriage? Just why the elders can’t keep away from matrimonial business of their children unless asked to help? Why a youth’s important decision making opportunity stolen from him? Aren’t we continuously manufacturing a society full of people who never learned to trust their judgement and take responsibilities because they believed their parents know the best?

The message of the movie, or a belief  passed down to us in the name of culture, is that it is wrong to question older generation or traditions or  at least not vigorously shake them. This has been one of a deceptive but successful ploy that has made us a numb society today. If old methods of living weren’t rethought, reshuffled and rearranged, we could not be holding on to today’s technology that we term progress. Sadly, the need to recheck social beliefs, unlike technology, is always discouraged with terminology like disrespect to elders and dishonouring of older values.

We need that our culture also inhabits the idea to respect  newer generations of the society. That, their ways and thinking are not devils plan to rule the world. They are experimenting with world and they have as much right as the older genration.  And sometimes this needn’t be told with a sugar-coating, especially dealing with rules that deny someone a right to live, and a dignified one at that!

The movie pampered people who fear losing family values but don’t flinch much on loss of human values. It is a politically correct movie. But our political correctness in not correct enough.

Alice and Me in Wonderland

Only I know how I finished reading Alice in wonderland when I was young. I had to read it then because everybody read it. From the start of it, I did not find a talking rabbit or a grinning cat amusing, rather they were unpleasant. I even did not like the ‘tail’ designed poem then. Everything was someone’s lot of fantasy there and I felt punished for it. What if I write such weird imagination? Who will want to read it?

Even so, I loved the half namesake of it, Runaway Alice. There was a story here, a genuine story of an orphan girl. The acceptance struggle (actually the effortless bonding) on both sides, the girl and the foster family touched a chord in me or I thought that was something a child can relate to. Runaway Alice has till date remained with me.

Then on Facebook, my friend Priyanka sometimes posted some lines from Alice in wonderland that were quite tickling. How come I don’t remember them reading, I wondered. After few such posts, Alice in Wonderland was on my wish list.

At one’s minor age, the wit behind the wordplays in the book is hard to grasp, especially, if English is not the first or enough prominent a language. Also, wise words like ‘if you don’t care where you want to go then it doesn’t matter which road you take’ can intrigue you only when your wisdom tooth grows its root at the backend and spreads to the enlightenment corner of the brain.

So if you can relate to my experience of Alice in wonderland pick up the book and start again. Thank you Priyanka, for this happiness, I owe you!

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“And how many hours a day did you do lessons?’ said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.
Ten hours the first day,’ said the Mock Turtle: ‘nine the next, and so on.’
What a curious plan!’ exclaimed Alice.
That’s the reason they’re called lessons,’ the Gryphon remarked: ‘because they lessen from day to day.”