‘FAN’ review: For all the SRK FAN(atics)

Drama Thriller

Director: Maneesh Sharma

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Sayani Gupta.

 

The limits of love and obsession, not defined yet defied at times edging the threshold, turning itself into insanity. Such is the case. SRK has previously played the character of an obsessive psychotic before, remember Darr. But unlike Darr, in Fan, he is the assailant and the victim as well.

Gaurav Chandna lives in Inder Vihar, Delhi and is an extremely obsessed fan of Aryan Khanna, a big Hindi film superstar. He bears a resemblance to his idol Aryan and he can also do a pitch-perfect imitation of the superstar. He wins a trophy of ‘best actor’ in a local ‘Super Sitara’ competition by imitating Aryan and then gifting the trophy to his idol, Aryan Khanna becomes the sole purpose of his life. He embarks on a pilgrimage to Mumbai (without ticket). He traces Aryan’s journey back to his struggling days and like a true fan, he stays in the same hotel room where Aryan stayed. When he reaches the star’s house, he finds himself lost in other hundreds of fans like him. After being turned away from his home he goes below the belt and does something wicked to please him but unlike his expectation, Aryan wasn’t happy with whatever he did and as a result, he was sent to jail. This experience leaves him dejected and disappointed, and all his hero-love turns into hatred. He comes back to Delhi and burns away all Aryan Khanna posters and now all he wants is to make Aryan Khanna regret. The movie becomes dark and although Gaurav is the negative character in the movie but it also sheds some light on how narcissistic some stars are that even saying a simple sorry defies their ego.

The first half ends and so does the logic and the movie becomes implausible but I’m preety sure it will not bother true SRK fans. Despite all the security, Gaurav manages to pull off some egregious acts in the name of the superstar, which makes the movie absurd and when Gaurav succeeds in deceiving Aryan’s home-guard and his wife as well, the movie becomes silly to some extent. The character of Gaurav was well crafted but playing it must be a challenging job and after Happy New Year and Dilwale, I wasn’t expecting much from SRK but to my surprise, he nailed it. Aryan’s character was similar to his own self and he played both the roles fantastically. Editing is good and they’ve done a good job by not keeping any song in the movie. Dialogues are good and Sharat Kataria, the dialogue writer has maintained the Delhi-ness of Gaurav. Makeup team surely has worked hard in making Shah Rukh appear a goblin looking FANatic Gaurav. Shah Rukh Khan keeps you hooked. A Fan like Gaurav Chandna is certainly a nightmare also for many real superstars.

FAN may not be a great movie but it delivers what it promised in the trailer and manages to keep the viewers on the edge.

Rating (3/5)

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“The Jungle Book” a total biased review

Action/Adventure Drama Animation

Director: Jon Favreau

Actors: Neel Sethi

Voices: Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Lupita  Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson

Based on ‘The Jungle Book’ by Ruyard Kipling

Language: English

A visit into the life of the inhabitants of the jungle, most of all Mowgli a ‘human cub’ left orphaned in the jungle, found by a generous Black Panther Bagheera(Ben Kingsley) and given into the protection of a wolf pack. Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is raised as a member of the wolf family along with the other wolf kids. The mother wolf Raksha (Lupita  Nyong’o) accepts him as his own child and Mowgli shares an endearing bond with all the wolves of the family. Born and brought up in jungle Mowgli has embraced the life of jungle and has come to live by the codes and etiquette of the jungle and has no interest in leaving his pack, let alone leaving the jungle and going back to where he belongs, but one member of the jungle doesn’t want him in the jungle. Shere Khan (Idris Alba), a ferocious scarred tiger will do anything to hunt Mowgli down. Mowgli has to sacrifice his family in order to save himself and the wolf pack from the wrath of the atrocious tiger Shere Khan. The hustle begins and so begins Mowgli’s journey of self discovery. He meets Baloo, a jovial layabout bear (Bill Murray) without whom the story is incomplete. He is a standout in the film, he encourages Mowgli to stay in the jungle and also makes the viewers giggle. He also meets Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and King Loui (Christopher Walken) along the way.

The epic story of The Jungle Book written by Ruyard Kipling in 1890 is well-known and has many adaptations. This time the magic of The Jungle Book is recreated by Jon Favreau under the banner of Disney and this movie is not just a ‘bare necessity’, the reinvention is so electrifying and spellbinding that every frame of the movie is worth watching. Viewers have reasons in abundance to love this movie. The only living cast of the movie Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is amazing in every scene and doesn’t disappoint the audience. Iron Man fame Favreau has utilized animation to its best and the jungle came alive. The visual effects and animation team has worked very hard and the result is magnificent, it transports you to the jungle, when Mowgli is chased by Shere Khan you feel your own heartbeat increasing, when rains, shiver runs through your spine and when encounters Shere Khan, a part of you feels terrified. ‘Bare Necessities’ is enchanting and you will find yourself crooning this song while coming out of the theater, you can’t help it.

Rating (4.5/5)

BIHAR BOOZE BAN: A conspiracy against common Bihari

2 minute silence for those who thought that liquor ban in Bihar is an April fool prank done by Bihar govt. Being a thirsty Bihari who spends his evenings at ‘Chandan ka Dhaba’ where you can get alcohol as cheap as Aamras, I am deeply hurt. We have the richest cultural heritage of taking money as well as Murga and Daaru (shagun ke taur pe) for our precious vote. I was wondering why Bihar government is trying to change Bihar into Gujarat; there is not a single shit common between both the states. They have tigers; we have bhains, they have Amitabh Bachchan as their brand ambassador; we don’t even have a brand ambassador, they are cheap; we are poor and cheap.

Are we heading towards a state of chaos and anarchy? Imagine a bunch of people fighting for one sip of Old Monk, that’s just ridiculous.

Alcohol ban can have devastating consequences. A shaadi without daaru and orchestra (with noisy and raunchy Bhojpuri songs) is as offensive as inter-cast marriage in rural Bihar. You dare do it and the baraati will break every chair and table at the ceremony. It will also grievously affect our local politician’s career, now who will promise us muft ki daaru with butter chicken?

All you need to know about the total prohibition of alcohol in Bihar:

  1. You cannot drink liquor even at home (Come on! Go ahead! But make sure the windows are closed)
  2. Keeping liquor at home is also an offence (No worries, CBI will not raid your house, just bury it in the flower pot)
  3. If travelling to Bihar, you can’t bring liquor (Drink it before you enter Bihar)
  4. Exemption only to defence canteens. Liquor to be supplied to army personnel in bottles with broken seal (It’s time to call your chachi ke bhai ke wife ke cousin ke brother-in-law ka beta, who is in army)
  5. Liquor ban to cover foreigners as well (Lo BC tumko bhi nahi milega)
  6. For four- or five-star hotels, the ban means a revenue loss of up to Rs 2.5 crore each annually (Wait! Are there any five star hotels in Bihar?)

 

But since I’m in Delhi…I’m obligated not to give a shit. Beside, I’ve done my bit by giving free beer for the first 100 visitors.

“Rocky Handsome”…neither rocking nor handsome

Action Thriller

Director: Nishikant Kamat

Cast: John Abraham, Shruti Haasan, Diya Chalwad, Nathalia Kaur, Nishikant Kamat, Teddy Maurya

 

One man against all the drug mafias, organ traders and local gangsters of Goa. Kabir Ahlawat (John Abraham) is a highly trained merciless badass assassin who runs a pawn shop; Nayomi (Diya Chalwad) is an adorable kid with whom Kabir shares a special bond and her mother Anna (Nathalia Kaur) who is a drug addict club dancer and the two sinister brothers Kevin (Nishikant Kamat) and Luke Ferreira (Teddy Maurya) and Goa is the new Mexico, when Nayomi gets abducted on account of her mother’s mess up with the drug mafias, hell breaks loose and suddenly our hero turns into a killing machine and for the rest of the movie he is slicing and stabbing and making holes in the villains. Produced by and starring John Abraham, this movie has no climax, no script or even a story line, but surely it has some brilliantly choreographed and finely executed action sequences, but when compared to the Korean movie ‘The Man from Nowhere’, on which it is based, it falls flat on its face.

John has previously played similar role of silent vengeful hero in Force and Madras Cafe and performance-wise, this time as well he is honest with the character of Kabir Ahlawat and is amazing in the action scenes. Shruti Haasan has a guest appearance as Kabir’s wife Rukshida. Nishikant Kamat is superb as a villain and Diya Chalwad is flamboyant and impresses the audience. The supporting roles play their respective parts well. The music was also not bad.

This movie is a delight for action lovers but a trauma if you’re watching it for a sensible story and if you don’t like senseless violence.

 

Rating                 (2.5/5)

“Like a Love Song” by Nikita Singh

After her breakup with Kishan, Maahi comes back home. She is deeply hurt and starts blaming herself for whatever happened. She thinks that she wasn’t good enough for Kishan that’s why he left her. It takes three years to recover, to heal and to rebuild her life again. When everything is back to normal, love again knocks the door of her new life and most of all she finds her true calling- baking. But things turn upside-down again when her past comes back and messes up with her present.

Like a Love Song gives us the eyes of a girl next door, to see her journey of four years of fighting and emerging as victor during the peaks and valleys of her life, beautifully authored by one of the most beautiful Indian author Nikita Singh. Without any cliff-hanger or climax, it narrates a simple story in simple writing throughout the gradually unfolding drama written basically for the teenage-twenties readers. It also takes readers to another world inside a bakery full of cupcakes and cookies with a medley of flavours, frostings, fillings and toppings and lots of chocolate chips, butter-cream and an endless possibility of making something new out of it, but overall it is a vanilla. It’s simple and delicious.

(Spoiler Alert) You might be wondering why the author titled it “Like a Love Song’. Let me quote two phrases from the book to answer this question, ‘It’s the way you say my name…’’I never needed any term of endearment from you. Just my name from your lips sounds like a love song.’.

“The Alchemist” By Paulo Coelho

First published more than 27 years ago, “The Alchemist” is an inspirational fable by a Brazilian author Paulo Coelho about self-discovery and following your dreams. It is an allegorical novel which excites, inspires and encourages you to follow your dreams by a story of a young shepherd who has a dream and the courage to follow it.

The novel tells the tale of a young Spanish Shepherd boy named Santiago who has recurring dream about a treasure lying underneath the Egyptian Pyramids. His parents want him to be a priest but instead he takes a journey searching for the buried treasure. Believing that finding the treasure is his ‘destiny’ he leaves the comfort of home and travels into the African desert towards the Egyptian pyramids to find it. When he tells his father about his decision, his father tells him “Travel the world until you see that our castle is the greatest and our women the most beautiful”, but in his journey he sees the greatness of the world, meets many exciting people like kings and alchemists. However, by the end of the novel he realizes that the real treasure was the journey itself and the wisdom and experience he acquired during the journey.

His journey starts with his decision to travel to a nearby village to meet a fortune-teller who could interpret the meaning of his recurring dream. She tells him to go to the pyramids of Egypt to find the treasure of his dream, it is destined for him. He doesn’t believe her and thought that her words are utter nonsense and returns back to the village where he meets an old king, Melchizedek, who tells him to sell his sheep to travel to Egypt and also tells him that “when you really want something to happen, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”, which is the core theme of the novel. He also introduces the idea of a Personal Legend. A personal legend is something you have always wanted to accomplish. Santiago always wanted to travel, whether as a tourist or as a shepherd. He embraces Shepherding in order to travel, to achieve part of his personal legend.

Santiago embarks on a journey to cross the Sahara desert and crosses the Strait of Gibraltar and reaches Tangier, where he is robbed of all his money he earned by selling away his flock of sheep. He works hard again and earns back enough money to join a caravan across the desert. Along the way, he meets an Englishman who has come in search of An Alchemist. They travel together through the Sahara desert and meanwhile his journey; he learns more about himself and the world and overcomes incredible challenges. During his journey, he falls in love with Fatima, a beautiful Arabian woman he meets at a desert well. He asks Fatima to marry him but her reply leaves him dumbfounded. She says she will only marry him after he finds his treasure. He is baffled by her answer but later he realizes that true love will not stop one’s personal legend and if it does, it is not true love.

Santiago then finally meets the alchemist who helps him recognize the signs, the ‘omens’ around him, and teaches about Personal Legends. He says that people want to find only treasure of their personal legend but no one wants to find the personal legend itself. The alchemist also states “Those who understand that their personal legends will fail to comprehend its teachings”.

Ultimately Santiago reaches the Pyramids and starts digging at the spot where the treasure was supposed to be according to his dream. Eventually it was revealed that the treasure is not there underneath the Pyramids but it is buried there from where he started his journey. At the end of the story he realizes that the real treasure was the journey itself and the wisdom and experience he acquired during the journey.

“The Alchemist” is a very exceptional philosophical fable that reflects our own lives. We have similar dreams like the protagonist of the story, Santiago. If you have read this book, then you will know just how insightful and inspirational the story of a simple shepherd boy who decides to follow his dream can be. If you have not, I recommend it to you.

There are many lessons we learn from The Alchemist but basically the story is all about the experience of attaining the wisdom of life through a sort of personal journey, discovering-yourself and paying attention to signs and omens along the way and it gives a very inspirational message that always keep following your dreams no matter what price you have to pay in return.

Arnab Goswami Newshour Debate with Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi

Hello and welcome to Newshour, the show where I grill renowned politicians to obtain the answers that the nation wants to know.

Arnab: (Fixes his tie and looks straight into the camera):  I am Arnab Goswami and today we shall ask ONE QUESTION which has been bothering the entire nation for the last few months. ‘Freedom of Speech’, what is ‘freedom of speech’? So far, accusing, contradicting and blaming others are what we consider as our freedom of speech. If this is it then shouldn’t we start calling it ‘Freedom of Cursing’? Are we heading towards a nation of chaos and anarchy? Is our country falling apart because the political parties cannot stand together? What has happened to our voice as a nation?

(Assistant whispers): “Psst sir! That’s five questions.”

We have with us our part time Prime Minister and full time Tourist Mr. Narendra Modi, and a politician who is so honest that even before he was born, he took referendum from all the other competing sperms before selection, so so sooo honest that he sent his 4GB memory card to jail because it got corrupt, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal and also Mr. Rahul Gandhi, who happen to be the Vice-President of the Congress Party.

Arnab: Let me begin with you Mr. Modi. As a nation, everyone is complaining about the misuse of ‘freedom of speech’. Tell us Mr. Modi, is your government failing to stop it? Why government has failed to rein the widespread brewing communal hatred? What happened to your promises? Where are our ache din? Tell us!! The nation demands an answer.

Modi: Mere Mitron, we have the rich cultural heritage of expression. We are not here for any positions but for a responsibility. A son of a poor man is standing in front of you today. This is the strength of democracy. Mere Mitron once we decide… (Arnab interrupts)

Arnab: One sec Mr. Modi, are you trying to distract the argument? You charged the innocent students of JNU who were just expressing their anti-Indian sentiments with sedition. Are you trying to restrain free speech?

Modi: Arnab, I may not agree with what you say, but you can say it anyway.

Arnab: See? This is exactly what I meant! You are trying to skip the question.

Modi: When did you say that?

Arnab: Mr. Modi, are you telling me that you are an escapist?

Modi: No.

Arnab: (smirks) that’s why I didn’t say it (smirks again) (Journalism student in faraway Orrisa has an orgasm)

I’m sorry to say Mr. Modi that you are skirting the issue here. Moving on to our next panellist, Mr. Rahul Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi, what are your views on the gradual demise of the ‘freedom of speech’?

Rahul: Arnab you need to ask a very fundamental question here. Who brought freedom of speech to India?? My mother and my grandmother, even our party symbol is a hand, a hand to hold a mic for free speech. Their symbol is a lotus, a flower… irrelevant to free speech.

Arnab: Mr. Rahul, don’t be immature on my show. You have to give… (Rahul interrupts)

Rahul: But Arnab Congress party supports freedom of speech. I promise to give the people of this country one free sim card for free speech, two to women because women needs to be empowered.

Arnab: Are you trying to push your agenda here?! This is my show, here only I promote myself, and you dare not interrupt when I speak, you Jitterbug. Mr. Kejriwal, what do you have to say about this fiasco?

Kejriwal: (coughs) First of all Arnab, thank you for inviting me on this debate. I would like to thank the whole…

Arnab: Don’t try to patronize me Mr. Kejriwal. I’m not Delhi ki Janta.

Kejriwal: Arnab, this is all administrative failure. When I speak in public, my mic stops working, when I try to tweet, my i phone’s… oops… I mean my phone’s network fails, Even when I sleep, my wife kicks me out of bed for snoring. An aam aadmi doesn’t have freedom of expression even while sleeping. This is a conspiracy against aam aadmi; BJP is trying to suppress the voice of aam aadmi.

Arnab: How is Modi responsible for that?

Kejriwal: (coughing and wiping his nose with his muffler) see Arnab; they have not delivered on any of their promises. Where is Kala Dhan? Where is Swachh Bharat? Where are toilets? Where are ache din?

Modi: Mere Mitron ye dekhiye pot calling the kettle black. Where is Delhi Janlokpal Bill? Where is free water? Where is free electricity? WHERE IS WIFI?

(Rahul jumps in) Rahul: Arnab you forget to mention one very important point. Free speech is all about speaking your mind freely, openly. So basically, it is a state of mind. My mom used to say “what’s in a name?”

Arnab (getting angry): There you go Rahul. Again bullshit, this has nothing to do with the debate. BTW it was said by William Shakespeare. I’ve had enough…

Rahul: But Arnab, let me complete. What’s in a name? It’s all in the surname. So as a young leader of this country with the surname Gandhi, I support women empowerment. So ya, ‘freedom of speech’ Is a state of mind, because we have…

Arnab: I’m sorry Rahul but you’re making no sense. Much like your life, your speech and your entire political career is pointless. I’ll have to cut you off. Go watch Chhota Bheem…or Shin Chan! Tumse Na Ho Payega!

*

COMMERCIAL AD:  A well-dressed man holding a toilet cleaner accompanied by a mob breaks in someone’s house cleans their toilet and says “Harpic…Smart Choice.”

 

Sonakshi Sinha comes out of a movie screen to ask a viewer “Kya apke toothpaste me namak hai?” suggest him Colgate Active Salt and goes back into the screen to complete the scene.

*

Arnab: Welcome back to newshour, we were discussing the much talked about topic, ‘freedom of speech’, and our politicians have set a great example of free speech by doing what they love the most to do- accusing each other. So Mr. Kejriwal, what have you done for ‘freedom of speech’ in Delhi?

Kejriwal: (coughing) Well, in addition to the 15 lakh CCTV cameras that we were about to install, we will also install 15 lakh mics and speakers so that the aam aadmi will be able to speak out whenever, wherever, whatever they want. See, we are reaching out to the aam aadmi.

Modi: Mitron they are wolves in sheep clothing with bad clothing sense, AAP is a party of bumbling brainless mules. We will launch a cough syrup to stop the spreading KejriVirus. When I was a CM, I developed Guj…

Arnab: One sec… Stop …let me speak…this is my show

Kejriwal: Modi jee tell them about your bachelor party with Obama jee at white house. I am an aam aadmi, a poor, backward, unprivileged, sad, oppressed, malnourished common man, but the peopl…

Modi: There you go Kejru, again the victim card. If you’re so poor then sell your two duplex flats and innova cars, on which I remember you didn’t pay taxes.

Kejriwal: Modi jee enough, we will go on ‘cough unto death’ protest against your corrupt government. You are corru…

Arnab: (shouting) SHUT UP! SHUT THE F*** UP YOU BUMBLING IDIOTS. I’VE RUN OUT OF DECENCY. THIS IS MY SHOW, MY SHOW. (Gestures the production team to mute them)

(Adjusts his hair, settles back in his seat, and looks at the camera) Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to conclude the debate as I always do. There is something common between Salman Khan’s virginity, Rahul Gandhi’s intelligence and Kejriwal’s honesty, and Mr. Modi, he has already left to visit some unvisited country, and the free speech, free speech means the right to shout fire in a crowded theatre or to shout theatre in a crowded fire, the right to send as much candy crush requests as you want, we do it all very dexterously and artistically. I believe in freedom of speech, and I think that people should speak what they want but I don’t care to hear it. That was all for today. Thank you for watching.

The Idea of India and the herd of Jackasses

 

It’s high time for politics. From chanting cliché slogans to hoisting our national flag, everything is politicized, whereas the real aam aadmi is totally confused. Leftist, Rightist, Communist, Pacifist, Liberal, Marxist…I am pissed!!!

You love your country, you are a patriot, you are a nationalist or just a normal person who wants to make a change…but then, what kind of person are you? Are you leftist, are you rightist, are you dentist?

Fasten your seat belts brethren, we’ve got some new divide. We have both the wings, left and right and almost a center yet India is having such a hard time moving forward. In India we have a lot of people, a lot of people have a lot of ideologies, a lot of ideologists have a lot of agendas and a lot of agendas leaves us mindfucked, because not even one of these ideologists have any constructive approach towards rebuilding the nation. I use the term rebuilding because we have still not come out of that Pre-Independence Hangover, somewhere inside all of us the slave of centuries still resides. We as a country refuse to think as one identity, we have people fighting to shatter this identity. Up until now the the demonic face of communism has been hidden. With the JNU stir and what happened in Jadhavpur University it is gradually revealing itself. Long forgotten the real principles of Communism and Marxism to fight against Capitalism, it now has completely dedicated itself in the attempt to humiliate India and Indians. The predominant ideology is ‘the idea of India, there should be no pride in it and should not succeed’. And there is a HUGE herd of jackasses comprised of some Journos, Writers, Politicians and even some useless artists struggling their ass off in order to shame the country at as large platform as possible. None of them ever forgets to use their platform and convince us, to make us and outsiders believe that India is a very communal violent uncultured country, we are useless, barbaric people with a barbaric past and an uncivilized culture.

The very revolutionary task of swearing to break India to pieces and then playing the victim card of innocent students is done, now it needs to be covered up in the name of communism or leftism.
Normal citizens are fed up of these terms, Okay I got it; we need these terms in politics, but let’s play it simple, all it does is to fuel the election extravaganza.

Being an aam aadmi, a real one without a muffler or chronic cough problem, I don’t actually care any ideology whatsoever because everybody has their own versions of the so-called ideology they follow, communism is no more about fighting capitalism, leftism now is just appeasement.
Freedom of Speech, I love it,
But using it to justify the unjust is unjustifiable, the Lal Salaam of Kanhaiya and Umar is the same salute that has been killing police officers and CRPF jawans for decades now, yet we talk about political correctness. Right to expression if good, exploiting it is not. Take that Lal Salam and shove it up your arse!
In a country where the respected politicians cross every possible limit of dignity (Quoting Digvijay Singh ‘Tanch Maal Hai’), shower chairs on other politicians in the Parliament, yet keep the gut of preaching the countrymen to be politically correct.
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Do you know why our neighbor China has outdone us in every field with the same ideology that we use to abuse our own country? Because they are first of all Chinese then anything else, we’re everything but Indian. We are so busy fighting religion-religion, caste-caste, and now ideology-ideology, that we have long stopped thinking as an Indian. The day we stop thinking ourselves as a representative of our ideology and acknowledge ourselves as Indians, will be the day
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I’m just kidding, this is never going to happen.

 

A Sappy Blog

 

“The tall building that you see at the end of the street, I’ve built it” he said to the nurse taking pride in his work.

It really surprised me that he was smiling even after getting his left arm badly injured.

Birju was a daily wage laborer. He met with an accident while trying to lift a pile of bricks which was heavier than he could bear. His old muscles have long lost the strength and ability. His health no more allowed him to work and he has turned into a bag of bones. While carrying the bricks he slipped along with the pile of bricks which directly fell on his left hand, breaking his arm in three places.

Birju was still not sad. To my surprise, he was happy. He was smiling, not the way people often do to hide their pain but wholeheartedly. After the nurse was done dressing his wound and left, I went to him and sat on a chair next to his bed. He was sleeping with his left hand bandaged and right hand placed on his forehead perhaps to cover his eyes from the light. Birju was a short dark skinned man in his 50s or 60s. He was almost bald due to aging. He only had a patch of short white hair at the back of his head and white and grey hairs on his hand pressed between his hand and his forehead. Even in the dim tube light I could see his yellow and decaying front teeth due to tobacco chewing. He was wearing a Khaki half shirt and a blue lungi. He coughed and opened his eyes and his eyes fell on me and he tried to get up.

“Relax! Relax Birju bhaiyya, you need rest.” I said and asked him how he is feeling now.

“Better sahib. I think I am on the mend. I still have pain but I feel like I am a lot better.” He said with a hoarse voice. In a couple of minutes we started talking as if we have known each other for so long. I must say Birju was a very humble man.

I could no more resist the curiosity to know the reason how could he be so happy even after all these fractures and injuries and eventually asked him “Birju bhaiyya, I know how much it hurt, still how could you laugh as if nothing has happened. Are you hiding something? Tell me Birju bhaiyya!”

Birju again smiled and said “No sahib, nothing. I’m not sad at all, in fact I’m happy. My son is doing CA. Today was the last day to submit his fees and I didn’t disappoint him.” He sounded a little wobbly “My maalik(whom he was working for when he had accident) is a good man. He only cut half my wage, the remaining half I added to my savings and sent to my son. I may have lost my arm but my new shoulders have grown stronger now. My son will come and take me with him.” And tears rolled down his cheeks. I bet the tears were of happiness.

I want to write something about parent’s love to add meaning to this little anecdote but I don’t find myself capable to describe it in words. Neither by me in this blog nor by any other great author or in any story or book, can one describe the unconditional love of parents. Parent’s love for their children is whole no matter how many times divided.

That night I went to my father’s room. He was sleeping. I slid right beside him in his bed and put my arm around him. I know it sounds sappy and stupid.

DOWNFALL

It is funny how we’re all misguided. We have been told to love and be proud of something that doesn’t even exist. India…it is just a name given to piece of land stretching from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir (probably) to Tamil Nadu occupied by 1.31 billion of culturally dissimilar and antithetical individuals.
Who misguided us?
What is the root of this misconception?
Last night I dived into the ocean of memories of my childhood to sort this out for myself. I saw a child with long hair and chubby cheeks. He smiled to me flashing his small white teeth and a gap due to a missing tooth. It was me. I was very happy. My father used to work in Jamshedpur and he usually visited us every six months.
Since it was my 7th birthday, nobody asked me to do homework or to clean up my room, nothing. My father had brought a VCD of ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh’ and after dinner he played the movie. I was sitting on his lap, my fingers wrapped around this thumb. In your father’s lap you feel most safe and cherished. I kept asking him all sort of questions…why Bhagat Singh didn’t kill the white guys?? He should have killed them all, shouldn’t he? Or why he wore a turban?
Ever since I was a kid, I had a burning aspiration to join Indian Army because for me the best life under the sun is fighting for your nation, getting victory or die trying. The patriotic stories of our glorious past added more flames to the fire within me. I don’t know if you guys have noticed or not but on certain days like the Independence or the Republic Day, the aura of our surrounding changes, air filled with patriotism carries Vande Matram from all the four directions to your ears, enters your body and drenches your soul with love; pure, selfless love for your motherland.
In the very year on our Independence Day, I was given 20 Rs to buy myself a flag since it is almost a custom in India to fly Tiranga on vehicles and houses every Independence Day. You can frequently spot a car with a Tricolour Flag usually made up of plastic attached to its bonnet or a bike with flag attached to its handle. So I went to a street hawker to buy myself a similar plastic-made national flag but my eyes fell on another flag, It was made up of Khadi, was quite bigger and brighter than the plastic ones and I suddenly felt a very strong desire to get the flag, hold it in my hand. So I brought it but I’d to spend all the 20 bucks in order to buy it. So then I’d no money, I couldn’t buy jalebis or hop on merry go rounds. I could’ve got the plastic ones for 5 bucks. I took the flag and installed it in an abandoned flower pot on our rooftop. I saluted the flag with all the zeal I had, trying to imitate the annual Republic Day parade soldiers, marched, folded hands and bowed down to it, saluted again and sang Vande Matram. Thereafter it started drizzling which compelled me to take the flag down and go home. I don’t know why it rains on almost every Independence Day.
I know it all sounds silly now but then I was a 7 year old kid.
I came up with two answers. Either the India which I have known doesn’t exist or the elements that made India a glorious place are gone. To your surprise both the answers are true. A country is its people. A piece of land is turned into a country by the people who dwell in it and a country is turned into a Nation by the feeling of patriotism and collective belonging. India without the people is nothing but land and water on planet earth. Gone are the days when people can risk their life for the protection of their nation. Sadly, we the people of this country are nothing more than scavengers feeding on a country that was nourished by the blood of legends who sacrificed their life for a better future of this country. And we, we are a disgrace. We shout slogans against it. We have declared a war against the soil that we’re made up of. We vow to destroy the very country that has been bearing us for millions of years, feeding us, protecting us, sheltering us, and nourishing us. It fills my heart with pain and agony inexplicable when I see people refusing to hoist their national flag calling it a forced nationalism and justifying this immorality by saying that this will harm their autonomy. One thing they are forgetting that they may take themselves out of India but they can’t take India out of them. It is our identity. If we do not eliminate the abhorrence from our hearts towards our own country, our own people, then I assure you brethren India will soon face another catastrophe of war, a storm of anarchy will tear India to shreds and then there will be nothing left to complain about. We are already surrounded by vultures watching over our nation. A civil-war is on our doorsteps. We must unite and fight against this widespread separatism before our country succumbs to it. I request you brethren to join hands with fellow Indians regardless of their religion, caste, creed, color and stand for each other, fight for the cause of the poor and unprivileged, speak up against injustice and have some gratitude towards our country which has sheltered and still fostering billions of lives.