Follow by Email

Mission Mangal : When Women Went To Mars

Sriharikota, Science, And Life Lessons

Sriharikota was a chapter in my school Hindi textbook. It was one of those chapters which if I remember, I was least interested to read. I knew I could pass my exams without having interest in that chapter. And so did my teacher maybe, cause in that format no one tried to make it interesting for students like me either.

Years after when this Andhra Pradesh based space station launched India/World's first Mars craft successfully into the Mars orbit, I felt proud for one moment and then got back to my life as usual. You see I was never into physics, Astrophysics or science as much.

My interest in science grew recently, not as a professional but while carrying a lot of household activities. Different strokes for different folks.

Why Science Needs To Meet Art: Mission Mangal The Film

And Then some filmmakers decided to make a film called- Mission Mangal.

I was still not as excited and parked it aside. I felt it would be just another Bollywood's way of encashing on greater human beings and their achievement, which would end in song-dance and hero-worship routine. [Man, I was more excited to watch Kalank before it released].



Yesterday, I watched this film and would love to share my views for those who want to know and open for exchanging ideas and thoughts. 



While the film may have its own flaws like stereotyping few characters, unnecessary Jhadu song or whatsoever. I would like to accredit them as metaphors and stop at that.

We all knew that MOM/ Mangalyan was a pathbreaking success and at the end of the film, all will be well. What I, and possibly you too were interested to know - was the journey. How they did it? I went with half-filled, half-open mind and came back thirsty for more.

The journey was not devoid of speed breaker but then we know that speed breakers or bumpers are there for a reason. In this film, they came as beautiful metaphors cause hardcore inner workings of a space station may act as roadblocks for many probable audiences who also want some entertainment in the movie. [Case in point could be my maid who for no reason abandoned her 12th class exam/qualification. I realized my push and offer to help may not push her as much Super 30 could. So when I asked her to watch the film to decide, her first question was- Do they have songs, humor and other entertainment factors or no? otherwise, she would not be interested in watching it even if it is sponsored. you got it?]. So for much larger masses, I am willing to sacrifice my 10-20 minutes of vagaries inside a meaningful cinema, like I let go of the noisy family that sat behind us, continuously disturbing with loud noises, chit-chats, wailings, and jumping children [wait for my cinema etiquette blog; a long time in the making]

Mission Mangal: Cinematic Science and Art
What is intriguing and re-establishing is the power of cinema as a medium. How a well-made movie can influence the mind. I am not getting into story-telling or the science as I am not the subject matter expert or educationally qualified. I feel what formal education could not teach me, life started igniting the learning curve. Furthermore, how a well-made commercial film could still enforce learning to those who are open to it, any time, any age.

After the splendid Super 30 [A film that I loved most in recent times and felt that it echoed my sentiments too], Mission Mangal is a good watch. If 10 kids get inspired after watching this film, we may get more Mangalyans. A better way to use taxpayer's money than Bofors, ZZZ securities, Honda City for MLAs. I wished if someone made such films when I was still selecting my career. Better late than never. 

If the film could influence someone like me who is about to hit her 40s, I wonder how well is it going to impact the young minds? I really felt intrigued and now quite keen to read more about The Mars Craft, the scientist, and Sriharikota. Even though it is not a necessity for me to pass any school exam or prove my worth to anyone. It is my selfish hunger for knowledge. Learning has no age. 

Good job, makers. I did feel the thrust watching the PSLV gearing for launch. After Super 30, another film that I want everyone to see. Cause you can make money by making films like Grand Masti but making films to ignite hearts and celebrate achievements is a brave/noteworthy attempt. And I feel, it literally paid off well.



The Performances

The biggest hero of this film was definitely the ISRO and the then PM Mr. ManMohan Singh Who Announced this Mission. I am a little disappointed to not find any mention of him in the film. However, it had Modiji further breaking down the cost for cine-goers.  Shri ManMohanSinghJi,  ISRO - Indian Space Research Organisation and all those who worked on this mission, salute to you!

Cinematically speaking- I applaud all - starting from the writers, directors including Mr. Jagan Shakti who apparently discussed this idea with leading hero Akshay Kumar, to the actor himself, Stupendous Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha [finally a meaningful role for her], a pleasure to watch Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari and all other actors including the ever superlative Dalip Tahil who in spite of his cinematically grey shade was impressive.

But two not so well-known actors that enjoyed most watching were Nithya Menon and Kannada actor Dattatreya. Speaking of which, my most memorable scene from the film was when he risks his life to help a woman, teach a lesson to an estranged husband [no plotting or OTT scheming like Hindi films. Just a chota sa jhatka jor se]

Another favorite scene when Prof Rakesh helps Nithya Menon's character to come out of her dilemma and provides her a lifetime opportunity to not just become a mom but a Mars Mom. I heard some of the critics found it offensive. On the contrary, I found it glorious and progressive. Asks the women who face workforce bias due to marriage and pregnancy and in spite of capabilities are side-lined. This dialogue gave me hope for some change. Kudos!

Akshay Kumar looked refreshingly fresh and with lesser stunts. [Hope that he cuts them a little more next time but then he was instrumental to bring this film and let's applaud that]

So overall, Mission Mangal is well-made, an important yet entertaining lesson in the form of cinema that we should all watch. And watch more than just once. 

PS: I spent more INR per KM in Ahmedabad to watch this film. Hope Uber pricing team too watch this film and do not kill us too much with surge pricing 


So when watching a film is not only about the cost of tickets but the cost of travel [exceeds for 

ppl with [limited mobility like me], cost in-cinema food/beverage [high priced low-quality snacks]

why are we complaining about one additional song in the film?




Drought And Deluge: Conflict and the Solution



Drought And Deluge


Contrasting
images…. The bizarre fact is that both images are not only from the same state of
Maharashtra but also are contemporary. One side Mumbai is facing deluge and
on the other side, there is a drought-like condition in Marathwada region wherein
people don't even have sufficient water for daily needs. Ask anyone and they
will promptly reply that the solution is rainwater harvesting. However, there
lies the issue a) Who is responsible for creating infrastructure for rainwater
harvesting? and b) What is the most effective solution? Let's deal with each
question:

Who is responsible for creating infrastructure
for rainwater harvesting?

In
typical bureaucratic style of functioning, Government departments issue directives
that all new housing societies will be required to develop rainwater
harvesting facility. The government here is merely shifting the responsibility on to
the citizens. While in reality, considering the situation, it is the government
which should undertake large scale water harvesting measures.

This
automatically takes us to the next question that is “What is the most effective solution?”

In
my humble view, such directives to housing societies are grossly ineffective
and merely hogwash considering that millions of gallons of rainwater are getting
wasted and pushed out to sea. How much water can a few of the housing societies
save? A droplet in the ocean. Some readers will parrot the famous saying "boond
boond se banta sagar". However, given the condition, substantially larger
and impactful steps need to be taken. We need to ensure that a limited amount of
fresh water is pushed out to the sea be it rainwater or river water.

Hence
am suggesting two of the many possible large scale solutions which government should
swiftly undertake:

1. Connect Mumbai's stormwater drains with
large storage facility

Mumbai's
most unique infrastructure amongst Indian cities is its widespread out storm
water drain network. They are meant to pump rainwater out to the sea. Propose
that the stormwater drain be connected to a pipeline and the rainwater (post-initial
few showers of rain) is pumped to a new large lake outside the city. A basic treatment the facility shall be created at the proposed lake and thereafter the water be
pumped across to drier parts i.e. Marathwada where water can be taken to the
existing dams or new lake can be created to store the water.

While
many will find this quite elaborate but it certainly pales in front of the water
scarcity and projects like Kaleshwaram (wherein we are pumping river water).

2. Collecting River Water (Ultra Long Term
Solution) but we need to start now – Point in the case in Kalpasar Project



‘Kalpasar’
means a lake that fulfills all the wishes. The word originating from Hindu
mythological ‘Kalpa Vriksha’– wishing tree.
This project will resolve four vital problems of the State
of Gujarat which are water, electrical power, road-rail transport and
development of ports.


Kalpasar
project aims at the creation of a freshwater coastal reservoir in
the Gulf of Khambhat by the construction of a dam connecting the east
and west bank of the Gulf. In the reservoir, the runoff
from Sabarmati, Mahi, Dhadar, and Narmada will be
stored, together with the waters from the Saurashtra rivers discharging
into the Gulf of Khambhat. The stored waters are to be used for
irrigation, domestic and industrial water requirements in the Saurashtra
region. Kalpasar is considered the evident solution for solving on the short as
well as on the long term the threatening drinking and irrigation water problems
in Saurashtra.

A 10
lane road link will also be set up over the dam, greatly reducing the distance
between Saurashtra and South Gujarat.

Once the Gulf is closed, water levels within the reservoir can
be controlled while the tidal fluctuation outside the reservoir
continues and, hence, can be harnessed for the generation of tidal energy.
In addition to fresh water storage and tidal
power generation, Kalpasar also aims at land reclamation, transportation
improvements and fisheries development.
The
cost of the project is estimated at ₹90,000 crore (as of 2017).

Project history:
Gulf
of Khambhat was identified as a promising site for tidal power generation by
UNDP Expert, Mr. Eric Wilson in the year 1975. Successive governments were then
presented in details the possibility of a project, aptly named Kalpasar Project
by its visionary Dr. Anil Kane, who conceptualized it in the 80s as a feasible
project. In 1988-89 a reconnaissance report was prepared for the dam across the
Gulf of Khambhat. The report concluded that assuming sound foundation
conditions, the closure of the Gulf was technically feasible. Studies are still
going on and the length of the proposed dam is reduced and the tidal power
component is dropped.

In
2004, Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, had inaugurated work
on Kalpasar Dam project. 

Sadly
no progress has been made and the project languishes.
After 21
pre-feasibility reports, 10 on-going studies and 19 more in the pipeline, Gujarat’s
Kalpasar project yet to see the light of day. Sadly State Government has made the budget allocation of only Rs 130 Cr in the recent budget of FY20 towards the
Project.
It is clear that successive Governments have
shown apathy towards the project considering the longer time frame and large
capital outlays. Only wish that considering BJP government both at Center &
State and a Gujarat CM, this project were given due importance. There are
very few projects, which can meet the water requirement of the entire state.

Some will question the selection of the
proposal/project that has been shared here. I can only state these are only
two of the many large scale projects that can be undertaken to save water –
every drop of water.

In the end, I will reiterate that we now need
to undertake large scale, long term projects before it is too late. Just imagine,
if Kalpasar project were complete by now and one of the generally arid states
was water sufficient. Just imagine!!

 Numerounity
_________

PS: This is an original article, any copy or plagiarism is seriously condemned. Please take author's permission for any kind of reproduction or so. 

__________

 Facebook | Instagram | Twitter YouTube | Snapchat [ektakhetan]

How I "Mind The Malhotras" ?

Mind The Malhotras on Amazon Prime


Happiness reached a mile when I saw a brand new show on Amazon Prime. I was so Gung ho about to see Mini Mathur back on screen and that too on a comic caper. When they entailed it is the show about a couple talking about their marital life on a shrink's chair, I was on the moon.

After all, after Made in heaven and Four More Shots, what less would you expect from India's favorite online streaming media. I wrapped all my plans and decided to watch the show right there, right then.

Halfway through the first episode, I felt the need to stop then and wait for my spouse to come home and watch together. I was getting greedy with so well weaved premises, the bubbling Mini Mathur and "just the perfect" Cyrus Sahukar. The cherry on the pie was the presence of my other onscreen persona- Sushmita Mukherji [The memorable Kitty].

I was quite elated about the show and as decided wrapped it all in almost 2 sittings. Finally a good watch for a not so TV person like me who may watch random content on YouTube or loop watch Big Bang theory first season repeatedly but still wouldn't download Game of Thrones. Cause I like smaller yet not so ambitious projects that come with more meat than the foofaraw. You know what I mean? It is alright.

So, how was my overall viewing experience of this brand new caper in town-  Mind The Malhotras?

I am sure while reading the above lines, you all must have felt a show up of the word "but". I was so excited to watch the show and all...BUT!

The dreaded "but". Well, the news is that there is no BUT in this review of mine. I liked the show, the premises, the lead actors and all. 

I found the show quite relatable, relevant and endearing. The house was beautiful, the characters were well-dressed and perfectly air-brushed, giving quite a few styling goals [not as much as MIH or 4MS though] 

No, no. MTM [Mind The Malhotras] had its own share of some chaos. A lot came through a Preity Zintaesque kinda Shefali Malhotra, who I felt started as the star of the show but soon took a second preference over the "bearing selling", bearing husband-father played by Cyrus Sahukar. Cyrus as the simple, unassuming, henpecked husband was quite a delight to watch.

So, what is special about this series? Indeed, the premises adapted [not build] on modern-day parenting, the invisible competition to be better than your own friends, the chemistry between mature couples and all that jazz makes MTM quite a refreshing watch.

A Comic Caper on Parenting 2.0

I loved the first episode so much that I began to doubt if this could be an original story. It appeared too good to be an original story. [well can't blame them, the kind of inspirations our high headed Bollywood draws, makes you as suspicious].

A hit on Google key and I learned that the series is an adaptation of a very popular Israeli show- La Famiglia, which I Have not seen but made a note to watch soon. 

I may or may not watch the original series but I indeed liked watching MTM. And if there would be a second season, I may tune it too on the day one. 

The overall ensemble including Jason De Souza [the adorable Yohan], Nikki Sharma and Anandita Pagnis who played Dia and Jia, and the psychiatrist Gulfam Rastogi played by Denzel Smith [with a great baritone and onscreen presence] were good and likable. 

Scenes to watch out For-

Watch out for the episode where Rish talks about his dreams of Capsicum or Rish and Shef playing good cop vs bad cop. 

Another scene when the couple discusses pink or baby pink with the doctor.

Even the scene when the family shoots for Tamma Tamma "Ahha" is quite hilarious and familiar. 


Numerounity Verdict

Mind the Malhotra on Amazon Prime is a refreshing, fun watch. It has its own share of clumsiness and bad execution in spite of a reference or the lead actors "trying too hard" to up the ante or production stereotyping. However, I still liked watching this one. Off course it is not as good the series I mentioned above, it still makes for a good watch.

Binge watching? Maybe yes. Or If I can suggest, watch it in 3 sittings.  

Numerounity Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

The Tashkent Files Is A Must Watch Film on Shashtriji

Not Just A Movie but An Important Lesson in History for all

People talk passionately about Shahstriji's mysterious death, but no one cares to raise the issue. No one even cared to bring India's 2nd PM Lal Bahadur Shastriji's life and glory to the big screen ever, leave alone his mysterious death.

Kyunki yeh desh Gandhi ka hai, Nehru ka hai but the question arises- Shashtri ka kyu nahi? We accredit 2nd October for Mahatma Gandhi but not Lal Bahadur Shastri?

And for this reason, I admired Vivek Agnihotri, the director of this bold yet very balanced film- The Tashkent File.


The Tashkent File

TTF is a film raising a very important question- not just about the real contribution of India's 2nd PM who was a catalyst in India winning the war against Pakistan, the perpetrator of White Revolution, Green Revolution in India. The film demands a probe that never got fulfilled.


And you may wonder how come? Independent India's popular PM who had victory against Pakistan on his cap, goes for a peace treaty to a foreign country and comes home dead?

A PM dies, and nothing happens in the world. The country which boasts of democracy and independence, does nothing about it?


5 Reasons Why You would Love This Film?

I liked this film. It is indeed a one-time watch. I have compiled all my reasons to watch this film in one video. You can watch this video below or on my YouTube Channel.


The Metaphors That You Cannot Ignore


Like I mentioned in my Video, that there are few metaphors in the movie that you have observed or noted. Some of them were quite strong that I couldn't avoid noticing. They may be planned or no. I thought I must share with you!


1) The Aided History now on Wheelchair: Pallavi Joshi who played the historian and biographer of the best-selling book on the late PM is shown aided to a wheel-chair. Her book is as rigid or limited as her own perceptions. She fails to acknowledge or record any fact other than what she coined in her book.

2) The Failed Committees- When the Committees are formed, what are they formed for? How do you select committee members? How you play the agenda meritoriously? Or you have your own agenda? Off course. The director minced no words in acknowledging it. Watch for the ending/conclusive speech by Mithun C in the film. 

3) The historian smoking beedi- I did not understand why Pallavi Joshi was shown smoking and that too smoking a beedi. Well, this is the question that filmmakers can answer. What I felt that Beedi is a sign of extreme addiction wherein a beedi contains more amount of nicotine than cigarettes yet are cheaper. So does it signified the sorry state of historians or their urge to infuse something stronger as this into their senses to live with the history they are asked to? think!



4) The lost voice of truth seeker Editor Bakshi. The film suggests how the renowned editor had to flee to save his life when he thought he found the truth. His feeble voice was suggestive of the downtrodding. Werre those planned metaphors or just bouts of some over-fertile thinking.

5) The scoop writer turns objective. Shweta Basu played a low moral journalist who ruined her stance for fake news but when she comes face to face with a naked truth, she could not stay away hogging the publicity it got her but she actually goes finding more about it.



6) The Responsible Media: The jarring media that still sells trash in name of reporting and story of truth in the name of truth. Unfortunately, there are plenty of them and how their voices are governed by their motives.


The film was a mix of art and history. Off course it had its share of unwanted creativity, but they were brief in nature. Ignore unnecessary if you can and, focus on larger pictures. What I liked most about this film is it cleverly touches all subjects/topics from secularism to pseudo-secularism to racism to powerlessness.

In one scene, the retired judge candidly admits how the loss of position often results in loss of identity. Cleverley signaling how our motives and meanness are often a result of the deep seeded insecurities. Insecurities that leads to terrorism, unfair means, injustice and everything else.

You must watch this film. Go with an open heart and keep the trashy verdicts aside. Think if only India had not accepted trashy verdicts, would Shastriji's death still remain an unresolved mystery? 

Badla is Trying Too Much!

Critics Review and Badla

When I first saw the trailer, I felt it's going to be a good suspense thriller.

After reading and watching the critics review, I could not wait to watch this film. After all, I love a good suspense thriller.

Alas, Badla is an old coke in a new bottle. I would not say wine for the obvious reason.  



After sharing a stupendous lawyer-client relation in the movie- Pink. It was quite given that this time they might be teaming up together but against each other. I mean how would you justify a title called "Badla" when the trailer suggests that a lawyer with 100% win record is defending a woman accused of killing her lover.

The film starts on a good note. With Amitabh Bachchan trying to assure his client to entrust him with minutest details. You can sense a lot of sharp, across the table, constructive interrogation. And you like the lawyer's straight-jacketed approach. You like the "on your face" confrontation which leads you directly to the film without playing unnecessary to the gallery.

If only, it could sustain that momentum. 

Taapsee Pannu AKA Naina Sethi is unconvincingly a successful businesswoman who is cheating on her husband with a photographer. She looks pretty but seems to be trying too hard as everyone else excluding Amrita Singh. Amrita Singh is a natural charmer and her role of Rani is super expressive and emotive even in the scenes when she doesn't even speak a word. 

Sujoy Ghosh tried to create tension and grip. Alas, it didn't last as much as it did in Kahaani. Kahaani was a tight script. Kahaani 2 was insipid. This movie is another dud. It is like you pay a premium amount to watch Sujoy Ghosh's next film after Kahaani, and you get Kahaani 2. 

All the amazing background score, cinematography and all makes no sense if the storyline is weak. 

I really want to ask director Sujoy Ghosh if he had not heard of CDRs [a permanent in crime Patrol every night] that he had to stretch the story this far from the prosthesis to the synthetic session. And that too when you have the entire inspiration or the original open in front of you to refer. 

The movie is totally based on the Spanish Movie- An invisible Guest [You can find it on Netflix] I am yet to see this film but am pretty sure it would be a better film. 


Do not get fooled by the exotic Glasgow cinematography and the very Hollywood like feel. The trailer looks great but the movie is equally disappointing. 

You may better watch Ting Tey strips to entertain. This one is pseudo suspense. Someone like me after 2 scenes understood the story. There was no suspense. Except for some strong performances by Amitabh Bachchand and Amrita Singh, the film has very less to offer.

My Social Media Channels