Hyderabad Bengali Film Fest –  Two movie Reviews

This post comes quite a bit late. Every year, Hyderabad witnesses Bengali Film Fest thanks to the very active Bengalis in Hyderabad community. They curate a good number of award winning and popular movies that satiate our eyes that do not have the pleasure of  watching Bengali films gbat often in this city. This year, my wife and I viewed Tope and Bibaho Diaries as part of this film festival. Here are my reviews of those movies.


There are many baits. Many trappings. Aren’t our desires a kind of trap? Are not they the idiomatic “carrot at the end of the stick”? There is this woman who dreams to meet her dream man, who could be a demigod rising from the depth of the village pond.  She desires to be that careless lass who once swam the pond with unbridled vivacity. Then, there are these trapiz artist family which survives on their daughters skills and hopes they will find someone to fill her shoes when she is married; afterall, they need financial security when old. Their daughter dreams of a better future where she would have a husband and kids,  and where she will not have to risk her life and tolerate obscene gestures to perform on a rope. The documemtary film maker wants to shoot the adventurous narrative of a tiger hunt. And finally, the king wants to grab on to the bait of older era by hunting the tiger. And beyond all these, there is Goja, who shuns all trappings and mocks every so called necessities and mingles easily with nature. Like all Buddhadeb Dasgupta movie, this one too has oodles of imageries created through images and sounds. Though the movie does not catch a chord all the time with me, and though I have ended the movie a few secs earlier than where it originally ends, I liked the interwoven human lives as they run after their own baits. I liked the perspective how one person’s desires work against him or her when someone else baits him/ her using those. Paoli was excellent in her acting so was the actor in the role of the king.

Bibaho Diaries 

Marital strifes, love, usual saas-bahu saga,  and friendship interwoven with sharp,  witty, and well punned dialogues – that’s what Bibaho Diaries showcases.

Many moments are cliched. But look around, aren’t we living in a society of cliches? What makes Mainak’s Bibaho Diaries so entertaining and exhilarating is his ability to find comic elements in all those mundane moments – be it a mom-in-law’s complain about her daughter-in-law’s inability to cook well or a father-in-law’s irritation about his son-in-laws inability to land a job. The clash between materialistic high salaried class and the idealistic, creative, and politically inclined group theatre members, in fact our protagonist is a member of the latter group.

The movie also shows how GenY handles marriage, family, and other complications. What happens to friendship and other relationships post marriage? The movie focuses on all that,  subtly. 

Ritwick as the male lead is awesome. He gets the chunk of the script and molds it with his own creative brilliance and presents to us a smart,  creative,  emotional, and charming character. Sohini is good overall and exceptional in the court argument scene (watch it). The not-so-surprising package is Vishwanath, who has long since proven his comic acting prowess. They are well supported by Dulal Lahiri, Mithu Chkraborty, Alakananda Roy,  and Vishwajit Chakraborty. 


The exciting world of animation!

Animation has always been a part of my childhood. I cannot recall when was the first time I started to watch series made in this medium, but it was love at first sight. The imageries, the drawings, the fascinating characters, and the amazing variety of plots have made animation my dearest. Be it He-man or Howl, Totoro or Kiki, each and every character has come with their own traits, their own flaws. I have always found this media a place where imagination can run really wild. “Paprika” is the greatest example of this. If one has to watch one animation movie in their lifetime, then this is the one!


Forgiveness is a myth. 

It is a lie that we tell ourselves to hide the fact that most of us do not have any choice except forgiving our bullies, letting go of criminals and forgetting their heinous actions, and thinking of other ‘better’ things because we either do not have enough wherewithal to fight a legal battle, which gets prolonged most of the times, or enough muscle to seek other course of action.

I have often heard good-natured institutionally educated people say that they should not get involved in a fight with thugs as it is not befitting to the reputation of the former! The truth is, many of the genteel are afraid of fights and are not accustomed to such physical aggression, especially with those who earn their bread and butter by physical violence. So, it is not moralitythat stops them but sheer lack of physical capabilities.

This inefficiency to settle scores most of the times forces us to get philosophical about the whole matter. Now imagine, you have ample money and muscle, will you still forgive your enemy? Will you still depend on law alone to get justice or your pound of flesh that you deem to be your right? Most powerful people worldwide either build their own personal security force or hire one.

In the Asaram Bapu case, many witnesses who braved all odds and came forward got slaughtered. Some of them were dependent on  government for their security. None of them could afford a private bodyguard. This is the reality. Their families will mourn their losses but will not be able to do much about it as they do not have the power. They are dependent on police and government. And the system too does not care for them.

Once my uncle told me that non-violence is not lack of violence but the decision to not use violence by a person who is skilled to use it. Most of us are not that person. We are too scared. We are too worried about the pain and retributions such an action will bring to our comfortable lives. Will big MNCs hire such a rebellious and ‘violent’ person? Will you choose to resign from your managerial post and seek justice?

And then there are those who are just too tired to fight or take on the powerful. They have lost all hope in the system and just want to lick their wounds and move on.

Change is life

Change is an important part of life. Or, it could be said that change is life. The whole universe is changing every moment. To human eye, due to galactic distance, a star remains alive even after years of its demise. Similarly, the cycle of transformation, change, and mobility is happening always around us. We are simply unaware of those changes.

But in human life, it is sometimes difficult to accept change with ease. We often face a tussel among the need of change, the desire of change, and the challenge of accepting the change as it pushes us out of our comfort zones. After establishing our 21st century urban civilization, we are not ready to let go of all its comforts. That is why no matter how much we shout for saving the environment, we are quite reluctant to consider the ecology or stop our urban developments to accommodate ecological balance. On another note, change of designation or change in reporting manager also create an unease or wariness in some professionals. They remain unsure about the outcome of the change.

This brings us to our next problem-expectation. We humans expect things to yield certain results. It is this expectation that often makes us disappointed when things turn out different or opposite to the expected outcome. You expect a fast-moving queue, but it moves glacier slow;  you expect a duty-bound public servant but face with a corrupt one. Expectation and reality often are different. So, for such a species accepting change if it does not match the expected betterment, the promised land, becomes very difficult, if not impossible. 

And yet, change happens. Change is nature. Change is universal. No matter how uneasy we feel about it, we have to accept it and adapt to it at the end of the day.

Time and healing

I am not a believer in time-is-a-healer concept. I believe, with every passing time you realise that certain things have chnaged; you realise of the minuscule control you have over the chnaged circumstances as you can’t revert things to their earlier state; you learn slowly to accept this; this acceptance makes the pain and suffering bearable, a bit less excruciating and mind numbing. But it remains. It remains like an old wound that does not bleed any more but leaves a scar. An when you are alone, bare, and in the dark – the scar is visible. It does not pain anymore. But it is there, now a part of your body. Even the trauma of the hurt has also lost its sting, but instead it has become a part of your memory. Nevertheless, it remains. They remain. Now, they are a part of your story.

The Pit

It’s tiresome when you have to pretend that everything is fine when nothing is. Is just living under the same roof enough to call it the  losest one? I don’t think so. Is it the same destination two people are heading at this moment? I am drained,and I have nowhere to turn to for a bit of comfort. Many experts may say that a person’s source of comfort lies within. But, what if that source has dried up? What is the answer? I don’t know. If someone feels a relationship as a burden, a cause of mental pressure, and a hindrance to happiness then why should they live it? No one is forcing them to do anything that they don’t want to do.



Living Together- My Entry for the GetPublished contest

What does live in mean in today’s India? Is it just opportunism? Is it just all about sex sans responsibilities of marriage? Tamal and Jhiri, the protagonists of this story, thought otherwise. They were two couples in a live-in relationship. In the city of Hyderabad and away from their state and family these two Bongs from Kolkata have found support and companionship in each other. They have completed their nine months of live-in. Just when life was looking like a smooth sailing love story, a storm enters in their lives as Jhiri finds out that she is pregnant, despite taking all necessary precautions. The story is about their choices and their fight against all odds and all sharp turns of events in the only hope that they will continue to live their lives together.

What makes this story “Real”:

 In India live-in is now a common scenario. Many young people have chosen this to know each other better and to get a feel of marital responsibilities. It often happens that despite all precautions and plannings, unforeseen events test the resolve of these couples. Some dares to face them head on and together prove their faith in the relationship and some take the easy way out. Tamal and Jhiri took the first option to show how important they are for each other. Their journey also strengthen the bond that is love. The basis of the story, the pain and the emotions depicted here are real. Such things have happened and are happening to people around us. These journeys are never simple or easy, inhibitions and fear of the unforeseen haunts the lovers, and yet they move on, because moving ahead is life and moving ahead together is love.


The neatly typed block letters on the report were unmistakable. You can notice them at once – POSITIVE. The eight-letter word is like a declaration. It is unquestionable and matter of fact. It is a confirmation of Jhiri’s worst fear.


The expression came out of her mouth quite spontaneously, without thinking. In fact she can’t think. Just then she felt a much known touch on her shoulder. A very dear and very comforting touch. She looked at Tamal’s eyes, as his hands embraced her more tightly.

“It’s okay.” He was calm and yet firm. “But we’re not married, Tamal.” Jhiri could only mumble those words under her breath. No, she was not crying. She was strong enough to manage herself like she did in this foreign city till she met Tamal, her love, her life, and her biggest support. But this is different.

‘How could this have happened?’ Her mind was running fast and was trying to scan each and every past event to fathom what fateful night or day or moment sowed the seed of this so called “positive” news. What an irony, she thought, failing to see any positivity in this situation.

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

Note: I have followed the new rules and Yashodhara Lal’s suggestions while writing and editing the post.

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