Category Archives: Guest Blogs

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania – Deep-ends review

It’s been long! Welcome back ‘Deep-ends’. Your movie reviews were missed!
~ Kamal

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Humpty Sharma
Despite being a Punjabi, a film with a name like “Humpty” in it, is not very encouraging! But sources I respect had given it the thumbs up, so a bunch of us huddled up with popcorn in a half empty theatre on Monday night. It started with the familiar audio of Kuch Kuch hota hai which was immediately encouraging, as a typical Dharma (Karan Johar) production conjures up images of guaranteed ingredients including, a full-scale Punjabi shaadi, splatter of gay humor, some NRIs, good music with the inevitable Rahat Fateh Ali Khan vocals and a sizable piece of family drama!

Trust me, this film does not disappoint in any of those aspects. In fact, there are some refreshing deviations from the norm, like the NRI is actually a very likable guy and does not speak broken Hindi with a twang! Even the “location” is refreshing…for a change, the entire movie is shot in India! 😉 There is a conscious ode to DDLJ which Karan Johar openly admits is the most iconic movie of the 90’s. Honestly, after Student of the year, Siddharath Malhotra is really my favorite actor from the new crop but Varun Dhawan is likable in this role of a clichéd, naughty but kind hearted boy, who meets and falls in love with the bratty girl from Ambala.

Alia is adorable and a very natural actress. She does well as the beer guzzling Kavya, who just wants an atrociously expensive “designer” lengha from Dehli for her wedding and goes drinking with 3 boys that she has just met, and spends a night in their apartment…not advisable especially in Dehli, where the most horrendous stories are coming out of! But of course, in the land of Bollywood, reality must take a break! Manish Malhotra, comes in full play with his collection of bridal lenghas from which to choose from. Before I make a trip to India, can someone please give me the address of the place in Dehli where you can get MM knock-offs for a third of the price?! All-in-all, a very enjoyable movie! Everything that we have come to love about Karan Johar, packaged into the 2 ½ hour escape from reality! I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Madras Cafe review

Deep-ends is here again! Here’s a review of Madras Cafe
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Madras Cafe is an intense, thought-provoking, docu-drama high-lighting events preceding the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi 22 years ago. This is an important and informative film that educated me about the long and bitter guerilla war in Sri Lanka and India’s involvement in it. This is one of those film’s that you leave and rush home to look up everything you can on about that period in history on the internet.
It makes you think about what a threat India is to the west as an emerging superpower in the global market and why they are so threatened that they would even support terrorists in order to get a stronghold on India’s borders, be it in Sri Lanka or Pakistan.
The question also arises, that in the end, who gained from Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination? Certainly not the Tamil guerilla leaders who orchestrated the assassination because their leader is now dead and his army disbanded, not the western forces because they still haven’t managed to secure a foothold on this volatile island and so it was most likely, shockingly, the BJP party that was in power in Dehli at the time because they were threatened by the possibility that Rajiv Gandhi would win the next election! The Indian government was aware of the plot to kill the ex-prime minister but did little to nothing to stop it.
My friends and I were bawling our eyes out watching these real-life events re-enacted on the screen. My heart goes out to Sonia Gandhi, it will be a heart-wrenching film for her to watch. In conclusion,this is a serious film that must be seen because it makes all the other crap we watch seem so frivalous. Enjoy! I give it 5 stars!

Birdie

Here’s a lovely short story by ‘Jas’ (pen name) and a first guest blog on the Korner. Do read through and pass on your comments! Talent needs to be shared.
Thank you so much.
Kamal
xx

 

Bird

Birdie

A little boy found a bird lying on the snow during playtime at school “don’t be scared birdie. I’m gonna keep you warm”

He tenderly picked it up with both hands, cradling it in his striped green mittens, and carried it back to class. He kept it covered until he showed it to his teacher.

“What have you got there, Matt?” “A little birdie that got cold” he opened his palms to let her see. “The little birdie isn’t cold” she dropped her eyes, softening her gaze.

“But feel him Miss!” He brought his hands closer to her “he’s freezing! His mama did forget to put his mittens and scarf on this morning. My mama rememberered and that’s why I’m all warm”

“Matt, this little bird is dead. That’s why he’s cold” She knelt down so that she was at his eye level “when something is dead it goes cold”

Matt looked at his hands and a tear rolled down each of his cheeks. He took a deep breath and looked back at his teacher “can we bury him, Miss? In the real, when somebody dies they bury him… Birdie is dead so we must bury him”

She smiled at just how grown up a four year old really is “of course we can. Let’s get everyone together and go bury Birdie by the swings. Would you like to be the one to say a prayer for Birdie?”

“Yes please!” Matt looked please with being given the responsibility. “I like him by the swings. That way I can go see him every day during playtime”

All the children collected around the swings and watched Miss dig a little hole all the way through, into the soil, and then gently lower Birdie into it.

“Why can’t we bury him in the snow, Miss?” one of the children interrupted.

She stopped for a moment, to answer “because when the snow melts in spring, what will happen to Birdie? If we bury him in the soil, he will be safe when the snow melts”. She covered up Birdie’s grave “Matt, will you pray for Birdie?”Matt straightened up in preparation for his speech, and all the children and Miss bowed their heads “Dear Lord, I met Birdie today, but I think he was dead when he saw me. I hope Birdie can hear me because I am praying for him. Lord, we have buried Birdie next to the swings so that he is with us during playtime. Amen”

“Amen” the children chorused. “Thank you, Matt! That was lovely”

“Brrrrrrrrr!” “What happened, Mummy?” “My hands are freezing, Mattie. That’s all”

Matt burst into tears and collapsed on the floor at the sound of his mother’s words. She ran towards him, lifting him to her bosom while wiping away his tears, before asking “what’s the matter, sweetie? Mummy’s here”.

“Mu-mu-mu-muh-muhmmy’s ha-ands are are are dead” he managed between sobs and hiccups. “Oh honey! They’re not dead. They’re just cold”

Matt managed to hold back his tears and fill his lungs with fresh oxygen. “But… but Miss said that if something is cold it is dead” his eyes questioning.

She had to hold back a giggle while she kissed his hair “Mummy’s hands aren’t dead, Mattie. We’ll warm them up by the fire and they’ll be good as new”.

Matt smiled and hugged his mother as she carried him into the living room. He fell asleep snuggled up in her lap.

“Excuse me, Miss!” “Oh hello, Matt! How are you this morning?” “I’m okay! But Miss… we shouldn’t have buried Birdie yesterday” “Why is that?” “Because… because if we kept him by the fire he would warm up and be good as new!”

 

A look through the Mirror.

A guest blog by ‘Devil’s Advocate’
Do read and add your comments!
Thanks
~ Kamal

 

She walks in through the office door, her designer high-heeled shoes clanking minutes before she walks through it. Tall and lithe this modern woman, you can see well-toned legs, a clear evidence of the consciousness of how she looks. A short tight skirt with a slit on the side and a designer shirt to go with it. Deep colored lipstick and matching earrings, and a slight touch of blush on her cheeks. I completely forgot to mention the rose tattoo on her ankle, quiet visible. A modern woman powerful, elegant, yet hints her femininity and a touch of daring and naughtiness.

Dressed to kill? I think not. Fashion and all its ambiguities are like Valentines Day but all year round. Sucks you right in when you see someone dressed like that. And yes fashion is very very gender biased. Have you ever seen sexy lingerie for men? If a man came in shorts, a shirt and a tie, with a visible tattooÖ.forget sexy, he is definitely out of a job. I always considered my self a smart man, not really a dress up person, and I do believe looks don’t make up a person, brains do.

I can sum a man’s wardrobe in one line, shoes, trousers, shirt, t-shirts, shorts, sandals, slippers and underwear, different variations but basically the same. Women on the other hand, fashion really never stops. Tell a man to get ready, and you’re done in 5 minutes, tell a woman to get ready, start getting impatient. We have come a long way, from human kind actually being nudists, and then learning the concept of modesty and now reverting to semi nude. Yes we pay for the clothes we wear. Not that I’m saying we should all be freak shows, the pleasantness of eye candy in the form of fashion is always welcome.

But yes clothes are clothes no matter what you wear; it shouldn’t change the basic root that is you. I’ve actually come across people who dress to kill, are mentally incapable, but hey looks do get you into places. As for us lesser people, we get termed ugly or shrews or scarecrows because we simply don’t care what fashion is. Don’t tell my wife about this, otherwise I don’t get that Rolex I have being eyeing for a long time. See even I am sucked into it.

So people, that is my take on it all, and yeah you will see me dressed up, but not what is fashionable or what the fad it, but simple elegant clothes. I suggest you take a stock too, if you open your dressers and drawers and just count the amount of money you wasted on things you don’t really wear, you would probably shoot yourself.

Got to go enough about my ramblings of a modern fashion. Nudity is a preference and not a requirement, and there is nothing shameful about not being fashionable. The most interesting people are the ones that look different from the normal, that is me and some other scarecrows.

My Mum, My Teacher.

Here’s a guest blog by my brother Naftali. I will allow him to introduce himself in his own words. His write up has been inspired by the current teachers’ strike in Kenya and he wanted to share this on Kamal’s Korner.
Enjoy!
~Kamal
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A Fiercely loyal, half introvert half extrovert Virgo who is your typical DIY man, rally enthusiast, fan of lame jokes & most probably wont die a natural death…  Born in 85 to a factory manager dad & teacher mum, was at one point the sharpest in his class but ADHD got the best of him making him skive school on his first day in nursery school. A herds boy at some point with a passion for radio, hates anything serious, doesn’t own a suit, treats his car as his woman, jealously protects his own & will be the last man standing on your side… maybe.
~Naftali Thaithi
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Well, my mum’s a teacher…. and she’s on strike. hate me or love me, I support her…not only cuz she’s my mum, but because she was my teacher and I owe her for who I am today.
Yes she birthed me but she didn’t hold back the hand of discipline as/when I strayed… which was very often. When she was the teacher on duty, she would wake me up in the morning, milk the cow, prepare breakfast for the family, serve my dad breakfast, take a shower & prepare for work where she would report at 6.30 am. If I got to school later than her, she’d punish me with the other students.
I wasn’t favored of the other kids just because she was my mum and as/when I would get into fights, be caught mimicking teachers or having skived from school, I was severely punished.
My mum was my home science teacher and she wanted to see me apply what I learned at home. I started doing my laundry when I was in class 4, cooking for the family when I was in class 6. That said, I have 4 sisters & a house help but I still had to do house chores.
As soon as school was over, she would get done with her social responsibilities, come home and I’d accompany her to the forest to fetch firewood, come home and fend feed for the cow, milk & she’d start preparing dinner for the family. As the food cooks, she’d have some time with dad, as she kept an eye at me as I did my homework, serve dinner & as soon as my sisters & I did the dishes, she’ll nap on the couch for an hour or so, clean the house& get into the covers past midnight…
From April 1994, when my dad lost his job & turned to farming, I have seen her sacrifice her joy, spending on fashionable clothes and trips… to keep us in school. My sisters & I have never been chased for school fees; she’s had loans upon loans just to be able to afford a good education… All my sisters went to boarding school from class 3 and her sacrifices have paid off as my elder sister has her masters, the second born has her degree, the other one is in her 3rd year & the last one will soon be starting her 2nd year soon.
I doubt my mum has gone to the bank to pick any cash as soon as her paycheck comes in… she has had to do with loans, bank overdrafts, Sacco’s & selling milk& farm produce to the locals to supplement her 30,000 Kshs salary… yet she wakes up everyday, treks 2kms to work and teaches the next doctor, lawyer, musician, entrepreneur, lawmaker from the bottom of her heart…. Why shouldn’t she ask her employer for a better pay? I am sorry your child is at home instead of being in school but my mum deserves better than what she’s asking for.