Saturday, 28 December 2013

Eudcated we stand,Qualified we fall

We live in a world,where there are multiple courses and people get multiple degrees,but the real question remains : Are they really educated? OR have they been qualified to enter a new course and be a part of the rat race that makes them feel more dissatisfied and help them understand that they haven't been educated enough in any educational institute-school, college and others.

In a society where people get qualified every year to go into the next class,isn't it necessary that we educate them instead of qualifying them,so that they become responsible individuals than becoming just another bookworm who wants to get good marks so that they can just be a part of the rat race,instead of being a master of their life through being educated.

Even our schools & colleges have a report card that either says that your kid passed to the next class or qualified to the next class, but never says educated. What an Irony?

In a country, where youth till 23 years of age knows so much about fashion,style & be a dude to have a girlfriend, if asked about who was Marx or Lenin they feel being bowled on a bouncer. Most Indians have an idol like Bhagat Singh Ji,but when you ask them about him as well, people have least knowledge, & there he was who knew about Marx,Lenin & many other things before his hanging day of 23rd March,1931 at the age of 23.

I think it is high time that schools start understanding the responsibility that they have & prepare students to become mature educated adults instead of mere people who want to learn,earn & be among the people that understand no responsibility that they have as an individual or a citizen.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Are we Talking?

Remember the days when you used to walk to your friend to share what you had in mind and see face to face what he feels about your story but that is now as ancient a tradition as you are yourself.

In the age of technology,where you have mediums to talk virtually,who wants to look alien? When you have mediums like Facebook,Twitter,WhatsApp,WeChat and the endless list,there are no reasons for us to visit and meet people when we can be virtual and still be close, but a question still makes me feel anxious to get some answers on the way while we are becoming more social virtually then personally.

IS this really making us feel so social?

1) Online Accessibility :
We are accessible more on social mediums than being on a personal basis. We feel that by being accessible online,we have a social status and if we ain't then it hurts our social esteem. Now,isn't this the new jealousy factor that has got into us and we don't want to feel awkward about being unavailable.

2) Addiction :
Addiction of Social media is what most of Social Media users suffer from. No Social media user wants to miss out on any latest happening with any member they know of. Now,we are so used to reading about what is cooking in the other person's life, that we just get hooked to our smartphone/Lap or Desktop.

We as a community have stopped talking to people around us,coz for us the world exist where Social Media is. Is this a healthy sign?

3) FOMO :
Most Social media users suffer from this syndrome. They have this,"Fear of missing out" that let's them be stuck to their own system almost 24*7. The utmost fear that people have is about missing out on the other person's life activities more than their own. This ensures they are hooked to their system looking for places,people,events or any activities that their friends might post on the social networks.

Users anxiously wait for likes,comments on their pictures/posts right the moment they put it live. Incase, the same doesn't happen, they become frightened as that is against their set expectations.

Let's find a resolution & keep enjoying social effectively before it's too late.

I would like to end with this caution (in Hindi)

"अपना नंबर कभी खुद मिला के देखा है,

एंगेज ही मिलेगा,नियमों का लेखा है,

दूसरो से मिलने में हर कोई मस्त है,

खुद से मिलने की सारी लाइने व्यस्त है"

Friday, 30 August 2013

Satyagraha Movie Review

Satyagraha- as the name suggests is all about talking, working & fighting for truth and in one word I can say that Prakash Jha Sir did an absolute justice to the movie with his amazing direction & great performances by the Legend Shri Amitabh Bachchan Ji along with Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Arjun Rampal & ofcourse Amrita Rao.

Everyday there are cases of corruption/scam being brought to light & Prakash Jha does the absolute unthinkable by bringing all such social issues to screen in one go. Although the movie doesn't frame or surround/name any politician or series of events, but it does hit your mind hard with Anna Hazare movement, the murder of the whistleblower who exposed the road mafia and the telecom scam & the candle march style among many other cases that were brought to light.

It is a fight between people of different beliefs,Dwarka Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) is a firm believer of Gandhi Ji's Ahimsa,whereas on the contrary Manav (Ajay Devgn) believes in making money, no matter which way. After Amitabh looses his son Akhilesh in a tragic incident & the way his family goes through a circle of problems, he tries to take it on the system using the power of Satyagraha. The performance of Manoj Bajpai & his witty dialogues were awesome.

The screenplay,songs & dialogues were awesome except that I couldn't understand the need of the "Ras ke bhare tore nain" song out of no where & of no use at all. Amrita Rao leaves her impact although she had the least of a character in the movie.

Amitabh Bachchan leaves a huge impact every time he comes on screen. His husky voice adds value to dialogues & scenes. His moving body during the Satyagraha scene makes a huge difference & impacts all viewers. Amitabh Bachchan's seriousness.

The movie also tells how social media like Facebook & Twitter can cause a revolution, if used effectively.

A great message by Prakash Jha Ji to the people, specially the youth of India who spend most of their time on social media by uploading pictures,videos & tweeting. If they connect well,they can cause a revolution.

Lastly for you, Prakash Jha Ji in a special performance.

Disclaimer : Politicians don't try to take credit of this movie or say it is made on us and our andolan.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

RIP Ginny

I feel so sad & disturbed as I start writing this blog. I never expected that I would write this blog till my last breath,but here I am writing it & sharing my thoughts about my dear friend Ginny.

Ginny Singh, a close friend to us & our Asmita Theatre group left on his heavenly journey on the 8th of July,2013. He was only 28 years old with a whole life in front of him,which was cut short by a fatal accident on Friday 5th July,2013 at Defence Colony Flyover.

He was a person with a positive bent of mind, always energetic, enthusiastic, ready to help. May his soul rest in peace & May we meet soon Ginny, right where you are, discussing about our days & about our lives.

Feeling short of words to write about Ginny, so leaving you all with some pictures of him.

With the Camera on "Raanjhanaa" sets

With Guitar

Hosting a show

Lets do Bhangra!

What a pose

On Stage of,"Court Martial"

During "Nukkad Natak"

Calling Song at India Gate

Class Room production of Nukkad Natak

At India Gate during Corruption

In fun mood

On "Raanjhanaa" sets

Classroom Production

Friday, 21 June 2013

Raanjhanaa : Review

Raanjhanaa, as the name suggests is all about love & the movie is an absolute synonym to it. The plot of the movie is based around Banaras (Varanasi). A common hindu boy, Kundan starts liking a muslim girl, Zoya. In an attempt to impress her & get her love, he goes through a lot of problems, like being slapped in public 15 times to walking on a railway platform with  his bicycle. He gets hit by a lot of problems and eventually has to see her love move to Aligarh as the latter's family came to know about their love. He still keeps thinking about her & eventually after 8 years gets to know that her love is returning back.

The performances by Dhanush as Kundan, Sonam Kapoor as Zoya were awesome. Swara Bhaskar as Bindiya performed amazingly, as did Shilpi Marwaha as Rashmi.

Kundan has performed amazingly in the movie and there are times when you feel so closely connected to Kundan as if he is a person next door. His simplicity,his innocence, his smile, his natural acting will make you feel as if, it is you on the screen. He performs some of the most soul touching performances in the movie that will keep your mouth wide open.

Zoya plays the role very beautifully as she tries to find love between two people. A lady that has been betrayed by Akram, a man she fell for, and Kundan who fell for her ever since he was a kid. She tries to get out of the trauma & really can't make a choice of which way to go,plus, the rising status of Kundan in AICP(Jasjit's party) also makes her feel inferior. She can't buy the fact that a new guy & a murderer of Jasjit (as she believes) reach to such heights. So she plans something. What? Well,you need to watch the movie for that.

Rashmi plays Jasjit's brother. A powerful role that will leave you thinking about the powerful acting of Shilpi Marwaha. I am sure you know her, "The Lady in Black Kurta". She is another pillar in the movie just as Kundan,Zoya & Jasjit. She has a great message & stands for what is right during the movie. She supports Kundan n matter what others say, although she lost her brother. She puts her point firmly & has done a powerful performance.

Swara Bhaskar has performed beautifully as Bindiya & leaves a mark,thanks to her powerful performance. Some witty, some incredible dialogues.

Arvind Gaur Sir as is impressive in his role as Gupta Ji.

and last but certainly not the least,Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub impresses all with his comic timing & witty one liners.

The movie is filled with love, emotion, excitement,phenomenal dialogues & a lot of other accolades. I can bet that you would not like to miss this amazing movie. The movie will give you moments of joy, tears, happiness & a great heart touching message on love.

The movie has got great direction by Aanand L Rai. Great cinematography by Vishal Sinha. Music is very soothing to the ears, and why not, It is by the legend A.R. Rehman. The movie leaves a very powerful mark on your mind.

****1/2 is my rating to t his great movie.

So what are you waiting for,put on your movie glasses. Plan out this weekend with friends & family members & go on a love drive with the movie Raanjhanaa.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Rape of Human or Society?

Rape,a word no mother wants for their girls,no girl wants for self,no family wants it to happen to them & society of course doesn't want,but,we do have people in the same society that want this to happen,try to make the society go in shock,and such a crime be heard loud & clear every day in any news paepr/channel & the victim goes in a depression state,his family traumatized & society astonished.

What is rape? I don't think I need to tell that,as every man/woman understands that & what it means,it's effects/side effects,but why do rapes happen? I think we can talk about that.

In our society we have been blessed to have women & men,but at the same time we have men,that think by molesting,degrading women,they show their मर्दानगी,but in reality they show their twisted & deformed mindset.

Is this something that is inculcated in them by birth,or does it come due to society or some other means? Let's talk about it :

1) By Birth : Does a kid learn from birth to rape girls? Of course not, it is the society that makes such a mindset. It is the society that gives such a shelter to the kids with such weird mindset so is the society to be blamed.

2) Society & its backwardness : In society,when a kid sees that when a guy is eve teasing a girl,and the person is not getting an objection,he follows the same way. In our society,a girl's rejection is termed as insult & in an attempt to show his stupid mentality is the best,he can go to the level of raping a girl. Society has not laid down ears to this issue at all,thinking that how the heck does it matter if girls get abused/hurt. They are meant to be abused & that is what they have to do. They are supposed to be with their husbands & work per his wish,if he abuses/hits them then they have to accept it. It's their duty. 

But, the most important & biggest one is :

3) Mindset : Mindset is the biggest factor & if this factor could be altered, life's of girls & women in the society could change. It is the mindset that leads to the maximum amount of rapes in the society. People with a stagnated mindset think that they have the utmost liberty to molest girls,do stupid stuffs & still not being said anything. They might need to understand beyond the most tainted line for slogans,"Meri Maa,Meri Bahen ke saath koi karega,toh main dekhunga". 

What if such a cruelty is done to some other girl around You,would You not try to save her,instead feel happy if the other girl gets molested,as she is not blood related? Think again,next time it could be Your own ones,& the other person also decides to do what You did to others,then?????

Appended below is the screenshot from National Crime against Women which has the most updated records against women.

Now,I think it is important for us, to understand that all such cases happen only due to stagnated mindset.

Let us change the MINDSET as a change in it will ensure a better future for girls,for us & for society. IF the same is not worked upon soon,the results could be terrifying. We might be left in a world,where girls feel sad leaving house cause of all such issues.

Let's pledge to try & make a difference & react when we see any such crime/incident/attempt happening around us.

Till we meet again,let's not just keep thinking,instead lets take action,and Yes,LETS CHANGE THE MINDSET

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Religion: Reality or Hypocrisy

Religion..... an 8 letter word that forms our life/soul from birth until death. No matter what Your name is, Your caste or Your sex You always have to abide to the norms of Your religion to call yourself religious & live in "society".

Is religion really existent? Do we really have a religion? I guess not,because we have the boundaries that confine us,but religion was supposed to join and not divide us. We have religious beliefs,most of them to serve the god we have never seen,most of them to take his name although he/she is nowhere to be found. Most of us start living our lives in these boundaries,while some move out of these boundaries & take humanity as their religion.

We all have heard the famous quote,"Hindu,Muslim,Sikh,Isayi,aapas mein sab bhai bhai" (Hindu Muslim Sikh Christian brothers all together). We do have Navaratra's celebrations for Maa Durga,but why can't we have Navaratra's for Mother Mary when we all are brothers. Why do we need to have specific looks,specific beliefs when we all are same? We do believe in the karmic law,but we still have utmost stupid beliefs because of the stringent boundaries of our religion that has been fed into our minds since we were a kid. If I oppose the ridiculous beliefs & ask a sardar to take off his Kada and put on a muslim cap,or shave his beard off as that is wierd,or a muslim to put on chaap tilak, hold sfutick mala and speak raam naam,I might be opposed with a fatwa or even brutally murdered by some people that think they are the owners of the society.

People are of the belief that if they don't follow the norms of the religion they are in,then that is wrong but the reality is :

हम राम को मानते हैं, राम की नहीं मानते
रामायण को मानते है, रामायण की नहीं मानते
अल्लाह को मानते है, अल्लाह की नहीं मानते
कुरान को मानते है,कुरान की नहीं मानते
नानक साहिब जी को मानते है,नानक साहिब जी की नहीं मानते
ग्रन्थ साहिब को मानते है,ग्रन्थ साहिब की नहीं मानते
जीसस को मानते है, जीसस की नहीं मानते
बाइबिल को मानते है,बाइबिल की नहीं मानते

Why do we feed the attributes which are irrelevant to raise people to higher self? Why do we want people to respect/worship because of fear? Why not make them a better human than a fearful religious human?

 Isn't it funny that we take oaths during marriages in the name of Fire,God and then days later we are beating the hell out of that lady by making her life miserable? We are celebrating Navratri,and raping up a 5 year old at the same time,and then say we are really religious & human. I think we need to re-think about our religious beliefs.

Instead of feeding kids/people with religious beliefs lets feed them with beliefs to be a better human being.

It's the same reason,why Aiku Lal - Akbar had to go through a turmoil of events to ensure that relationship & bonding is sustained. It is why the good human Aiku was ridiculed by lawyers at court,his religious differences with Akbar were questioned & his life was made miserable.

Seen in the pic is Aiku (right) who helped Akbar (left) get life in Baradari,Lucknow but without changing his name,religion. He gave him life & his kindness was questioned by people with limited mindset & thinking,who can't think beyond the ongoing religious intolerance in the country. When in our country we can have an intercaste or different religion marriage,then why not an inter religion parentship/mothership?

Why do we have these beliefs which form a base to our survival that have no formal/relevant existence. We do have a belief to bow our heads in front of stone for no reason. It is just that we have been told to do so since birth,so we keep on doing that,without understanding the point. We waste so much of resources just to make the stones happy,that have no existence,that haven't spoken to us ever. The most funniest of all is that the stone that You worship on,has gone through so much beating by another human to get to this shape and then one stupid man,said some words, and per him it became alive..... oh come on...... is that really possible..... freak????? How can we be so dumb?

Only muslims can go for a haj,for every great Sikh Gurudwara we have to add Sahib to it,or for a leader to religion we blow white smoke out of a chimney,what a load of garbage are such things/rituals that we blindly follow without understanding the reality.

Why do we not create a society where such religious beliefs could be put to rest,and equality of all religions be maintained. Where we can celebrate Navratri for Mother Mary,ram Navmi for Jesus & dissolve all such stupid,baseless rituals & reforms that have no work,and are just a burden for us.

I know a lot of You will raise eyebrows,as You read the blog,thinking why asking for Navratra in the name of Mother Mary,but these religious boundaries have stopped us from becoming a much better version of ours,i.e., a much better human being. We should & must try to change the current reforms/beliefs in religion than be accustomed to the filthy beliefs of ours. We have done that in the past,we took off Sati Pratha,No Widow Marriage,Child Marriage to name a few.

Let this be the time we rise above our religious,hereditary,regional patterns to change our religious beliefs & if that can't be done,lets for once in for all dissolve all of them & just one religion for entire universe,HUMANITY

Lets make it Happen

Friday, 5 April 2013

Plays for You

Do You like Theatre? Are You an admirer of thought provoking and hard hitting plays,then keep yourself available on 20th & 21st April to watch Asmita Theatre's plays,"Moteram Ka Satyagrah" and "Ramkali" respectively.

Moteram ka Satyagrah :

Munshi Premchand Ji's story "Moteram ka Satyagrah" is the story of a Pandit Ji who tries to stop,"Hartal" by the common people during the visit of Viceroy Sahab,and goes through a lot of moments that will tickle your funny bone to the core. The play is a comic-satire. On the whole, the play appears to be a simple story about a Brahmin from Banaras. Pandit Moteram Shashtri, as he is known,decides to go on a hunger strike to stop the Hartal. What he goes through is something that will make You fall off Your seats. The play also deals with the larger issue of the relationship between Religion and Politics. The songs during the play help You understand the connect between the scenes. The issues raised are as relevant and contemporary now, as they were under the colomset's rule.

Read Media Reviews about Moteram ka Satyagrah (The Hindu)

Ramkali :

Ramkali is based on Bertolt Brecht's play,"The Good Woman of Szechwan" and has been performed a lot of times by Asmita Theatre group. The play revolves around the title lady,"Ramkali" who is a kind hearted lady but also called prostitute and does anything in her power to help others in the first half of the play,then, a small modification and the play goes through a change which keeps people in awe about the character of Ramkali. The play really has a lot of good moments to tickle Your funny bone, and keep You thinking about what is happening next.

Be at SRC,Mandi House on 20th and 21st April to see the plays.

Follow Asmita Theatre on Facebook & Twitter : FB  & Twitter
Follow Arvind Gaur on Facebook & Twitter : FB   & Twitter
Follow Shilpi Marwaha on Facebook & Twitter at : FB & Twitter

Friday, 29 March 2013

Where is Swadesh Deepak?

Swadesh Deepak,a famous playwright who always attacked the feudal tendencies of the society through his writings has been missing over the last 7 years,but,no one has the time to actually find out where this phenomenal playwright is.

Deepak's work has appeared in all major literary periodicals of India, and he has more than 15 published titles to his credit. Several of his works have been staged and made into television programmes.

His play,"Court Martial" hits hard on the feudal tendencies and mindset of casteism evident in society and in the Indian Army. The play has been performed numerous times across India,by eminent theatre personalities like Arvind Gaur. His other plays include : 

  • Jalta Hua Rath 
  • Sabse Udaas Kavita
  • Kaal Kothari
  • Natak Bal Bhagwan
His novels are : 
  • Number 57 Squadron
  • Mayapot

His Collection of short stories are : 

  • Ashwarohi
  • Maatam
  • Tamaasha
  • Pratinidhi Kahaniyan
  • Bal Bhagwaan
  • Kisi Apriya Ghatna Ka Samachar Nahin
  • Maskhare Kabhi Nahin Rote
  • Nirvachit Kahaniyan

He has been awarded,"Sangeet Natak Akademi",the biggest award to be ever given to a performing artist in India,but his absence has been unnoticed. 

In a country,where Media and entertainment channels think that they are the fourth pillar and run the mindest of people, this playwright has been hitting hard on the same,but his absence has not been even registered. A country where if a star sneezes,dresses or does anything becomes a national news,Swadesh Deepak Ji's absence,not getting noticed is something which raises questions on effectiveness of the mediums.

Dear Media/Entertainment,Would request You to Kindly take note of this request and help us find him.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Women Status in Society

Well, I start my blog journey with this sensitive topic of status of women in society.

Going back to Vedas time, we had the system where women were bounded by social norms and not allowed to go out in society and do any work.

Time changed,we come to this new era of modern society where women are working equally like men,but,are they still respected the way they should be? Well,Your guess is as good as mine.

Even though we say that gals are safe,working and contribute a lot to the society,but are they really given the respect they deserve. Every day we have a rape/molestation/abuse/eve teasing case reported,and we still feel that gals are respected in society.

Every day,we the men of the society try to molest women in one way or the other and then say that society ain't going wrong. After the Delhi Gangrape incident, the entire country went into a fury and people came on the streets to ask for justice and equality,but have the rapes and molestation cases stopped after such a horrific incident. No,not even a bit has the society changed since.the incident.

It is not the law,but the change in mindset that can bring the freshness in society and change the way we look at girls around us.

Is there a problem in the education system or in the ground roots of upbringing? I guess both have a role to play,as schools are only focused on marks not on training of how to respect women. Isn't teaching sex education in school a need of the hour? I personally think that if sex education is taught in schools,the rate of such cases shall go down in time.

Family as a whole has a major role to play as everything routes through family. The family should be open to talk to their kids about this topic of sex education. The dialogue process should not end between kids and parents as that blocks all possible outcomes.

Most of us remember the time, when an advertisement about awareness on sex education used to come parents used to switch channels,ask kids to do some work and so we pass on the same to our kids. Time has changed and the dialogue process needs to change as well.

Lets hope that going forward we have a dialogue process happening within family and awareness is passed on so that the respect for women increases.

Watch Asmita Theatre's play Dastak, and maybe,it might help You understand what to do when You see some eve teasing happening around You : (Part 1) (Part 2)

DO share Your views on my blog.

Till we meet again,This is Amit Shukla signing off