Friday, May 31, 2013


Another artiste left for the heavenly world. Another gifted man finally rested in peace with Mother Nature. Rituparno Ghosh was a contemporary, and a filmmaker who started possibly around the same time whenI started my professional life.

And as I write this, he is no more while I continue to figure out a way to conclude.

If you ask me the best four or five films of Rituparno, I would rather go back to the first eight or ten films of his. The way he started was fabulous, the way he interpreted each of his stories was a treat to watch. His style of making a cinematic statement reminded us of the Bengal trinity – (Satyajit) Ray, (Ritwik) Ghatak and (Mrinal) Sen.

When you see a film, you are usually reminded to view the story the way it is told. There is the formation of the visual, the innovations from actors and the composition that gives the basic statement. Rituparno delved with brilliance in each of these – from Unishe April (19 April) to Shubho Mahurat (a version of the Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side).

His study of the form was prolific, so was his treatment of the story. He was a director who had this habit of being very close to the female characters of his film. They were superbly handled, and each had the opportunity to provide the best characterization of his screenplay.

I can understand that his female actors were definitely at ease with him during the making of a film. The way they interpreted the narrative, there was a subtle hint that each of them came very close to being the character they played on screen. Rituparno’s sheer handling of the feminine psyche gave these films a sheer sense of extraordinary piece of art. His area of expertise was to find the dilemma in the story with the female – and they were never confined to women of a specific age. The stories of the teenager in Titli to that of the grandmother in Dahan are in no way insignificant to each other. That gives the feeling that Rituparno was able to interpret the psychological nuances of women of all ages.

With time, I was hoping to see more such brilliant works of his. However, much to my surprise, he stayed close to the subject of a female mind too often. His stories never made grand varieties, and mostly were close to the study of a woman character – being exploited by the society around. This seemed a bit of monotony, as many filmmakers had already found a lot of comfort dealing with many such examples already.

Rituparno could not spread a variety of subjects for his films. And that is a reason why I do not want to touch on his later films.

His brush with effeminacy, supporting the cause of the differently-gendered persona and continuous exposure of thoughts and action to support their cause was a sort of a setback. Agreed that we need to support these marginal sections of our society, but then Rituparno could have been larger than this life.

These thoughts took him to a path where he could think only along these imaginations, and there was definitely a sense of variety lacking from his works.

A filmmaker who was so versatile when he started, possibly a very learned individual who read and re-read the works put in screen, Rituparno could have been much more than what he ended up with. In the last few years, we see repetitions – something he must have tried hard to defeat as an artist.

His encouragement to young filmmakers, his inspiration to the literary world notwithstanding, Rituparno slowly tended to fade away from the minds of the super-thrilled film watchers and movie buffs. The National awards probably came with almost whatever he made, but the variety was definitely missing.

I wish him a long life after death … something that his followers and admirers must have always wished. His works need to be archived and re-visited with dignity and respect. As a student of cinema, I will always cherish the superb titles, close-ups and casting that he helped his films with.

Artists like Rituparno tend to live long in the hearts and minds of the social mass. The soul of any art-loving person will always tend to view one of those early works of his, which refreshes the mind … that creates a hangover of the glorious world of cinema of the 50s and 60s.

Goodbye Rituparno, may we meet again!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some new ideas

There are a few ideas that are crowding my idle brain. A crowd is definitely chaotic, and more often not controlled.

My idle ideas have been known to many, but the attempt to blog them for my friends was one such idea that became a big success once upon a time. Not sure why, this idea of communication was perhaps the best during those days. So were the ideas to blog, and one among many that came and went.

Mostly, there have been such instances when the crowded brain has successfully manouvered itself to creating something meaningful. This blog was one such instance, when the urge to write something was doing the rounds.

What happens when ideas come? when does an idea get reflected in action? I do not remember all that came to me as ideas, but the idea to blabber something remained one of the most successful ideas that I have nurtured.

Men dream science, arts or some technology. I dream exchanges, communication and ideas. That's roughly the difference I have with many fellow men. Whatever that is, the difference has been very typical, and difficult.

So, some more ideas have come. And I can bet that there won't be many to see those. Only a handful of those ideas get to see the life the way I lead.

I may also need to reach out. To all those who came, waited for my writing and then left disappointed. My apologies, the writing on the blog was getting a bit difficult for me to practice.

This much for now ... the ideas will stay for some time. I may use one of those ideas in these blog pages, or may be I will not. Also, I will need you to be part of the idle ideas that remain my forte.

Still, the dilemma remains ... and as one would have it, the very basic confrontation that I always have to make an idea a reality.

Hang on there, idle! let the readers talk.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If Cricket was Life

This last week was a fantasy re-lived.

I was in the final years of my school when the Cup last came to India. The Devils of Kapil were on a rampage ... mowing down opposition with absolute finesse. The same has happened again. This time Dhoni and his brigade made that happen ... and we are all ecstatic again. The Cup is ours!!

Almost three decades of an endless wait suddenly got over. Sitting at my colleague's house in front of the gigantic screen (yeah, we played the matches from Quarter finals in a giant screen), history seemed to haunt me. Last time, my dad and me were glued to the radio commentary as India made history. Television was definitely in, but not so popular. Not anymore, now radio is history and Cricket Live is the most happening thing.

Next best to being inside the park!

Don't know the technology that will be prevalent when India wins again. May be the hi-definition, tablet ... iMotion ... I keep thinking of so many possibilities. Let us see it on 3D the next time we play the finals ... it will be another milestone in technology. Celebrations are natural when such a momentous occasion arrives in the history of a sport.

I am not an avid fan of cricket anymore, just happen to enjoy these moments. There was a time when I breathed cricket ... it is now a wonderful memory. The sport has definitely improved, but with the emergence of a strong Team India, I have almost reclined to some complacency.

Loved those times when India struggled to make it big. There was nothing, no academy, no sponsors ... nothing. Yet we came from behind to lift the Cup. I still cherish those moments of cricket history. Most of it was unexpected, and we were definitely not even underdogs.

In this land for 121 crores (latest from the Census), such an event will last in the memories of those who strive for the battle of the bat and the ball. The state heads give a reception, the board presents a bounty and the city mayors hand over replicas are so grand in their recognition of the honour our team brings to the nation.

Now cricket is an euphoria, and the lives of so many hapless Indians energized by this game. Standing in front of the giant screen, I kept thinking of the strides that we made in technology and sports that makes us feel proud. We have moved on ... and with dignity.

Cricket is now diplomacy, cricket innovates technology ... cricket is life. We have started to announce cricket as the next best thing that can happen in life. The entire nation stands still to watch a match which changes history. Cricket brings them the cup of joy!

How I wish if Cricket can share. With cricket being so popular, it can help us in encouraging philanthropy, in development of infrastructure and in the realms of education where we still struggle to unite. Cricketing bodies can organize money-spinning events that can garner enough revenues to help the residents of chawls and slums live with some dignity ... and not just survive.

Schools and colleges of the nation can entertain much more so that entire population grows to be educated. Cricket can share some to encourage the growth of academics, it can also help us develop the system that is so decadent all around.

If there was an Indian Premier League which did not fill the pockets of the few, I would have been very happy. If such an international tournament can be used to earn money for bridges, highways and good living conditions for millions, that would be super. I wish cricket grows big, much bigger than the needs of this nation which wants to develop. The cricket loving population can encourage the administrators to use the riches and the popularity to help India grow bigger and better. With every passing World Cup, I wish to see India grow.

The lovely population that watches cricket with utmost admiration must use this sport to fulfill the aspirations of the countless Indians who still survive amidst abject poverty. As the car company keeps showing in their ads, we must open up cricket to 'new thinking and new possibilities'.