Category Archives: Opinion

A Look Inside Myanmar’s First Real Year Of Democracy – 3

Jack continues his photo exploration of Myanmar’s first real year of democracy. Presenting the third part of the 4-part series.

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Sunset from Ubein Bridge. Locals and tourists flock to the bridge to witness the spectacular sunsets.

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A young girl plays with her skipping rope outside the tourist jetty in Mandalay. Tourism in Myanmar has boomed over the past year, topping over one million foreign visitors for the first time. However infrastructure still remains underdeveloped.

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A passenger smokes a cheroot out of the train window.

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A trishaw driver, fishing in a flooded field hopes to catch something, while a cow wanders past.

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A young boy drags a bag of recyclable rubbish, which will be sold for small change. Often people of all ages work to support themselves and their families.

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A toddler sits by himself on the banks of the Irrawaddy river.

A Look Inside Myanmar’s First Real Year Of Democracy – 3

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आज़ादी मुबारक हो….

independence day

By Joybrato Dutta

पसंद न था

खेतों में टमाटर प्याज़ उगाना

हैसियत में  नहीं

आज बाज़ार से उन्हें ख़रीदना

कभी सोचते थे

दुनिया को इशारों पर नचाओगे

आज सोचते हो

बिना प्याज़ टमाटर के घर में क्या बनाओगे

तुम्हे आज़ादी मुबारक हो

तुम किश्तों में कटते हो

कभी हिस्सों में जुड़ते हो

चाल है तुम्हारी नवाबों वाली

जाल में फंसे हो EMI वाली

तुम्हें भी आज़ादी मुबारक हो

गाँव के साथ तेवर भी छोड़ दिए

कड़ी धुप में अटल रहने वाला सर

आज AC कमरे में झुका दिए

भूख मिटाने के सपने देखने  वाले

आज दो वक़्त के आगे तुमने घुटने टेक दिए

तुम्हे भी आज़ादी मुबारक हो

कहीं कांग्रेस ने फैलाया जाल

तो कहीं माओवादियों ने किया बूरा हाल

प्रेमिका के साथ long drive का सोंचा

तो traffic jam और खड्डों ने टोका

अकेली बेटी को बहार भेजने से डरते हो

जवान बेटे को गाड़ी देने से डरते हो

कभी सिनेमा घर के बढ़ते rates

तो कभी auto-rickshaw के बढ़ते fares

बच्चों की फीस हो

या दिवाली में सिलवानी नयी कमीज़ हो

पेट्रोल के बढ़ते दाम

घर का बढ़ता किराया

सब ने मिलकर तुम्हे बंधी बनाया

ख़्वाबो के महल में आज़ाद रहने वाल़े

आज तुम्हे आज़ादी मुबारक हो

Zanjeer Review: Not Cult But Not Bad Either

zanjeer

By Ankush Kumar

Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Ram Charan & Prakash Raj.

Introduction: The original Zanjeer was not a cult classic yet was a good movie. Its remake is no different.

Premise: An angry cop and his angst against the system. A revenge saga that is brutal yet very fresh and convincing.

Plot: Same as the Bachchan original.

Acting: Ram Charan makes an impressive debut, he was never going to be compared with the legend, but still if comparisons are drawn he has performed no less. Priyanka is in to do very little. Mahie Gill & Prakash Raj have done a splendid job. Watch the two when they spoof Bindu & Ajit from the original. It is hilarious.

Tech Spec: The script is very well crafted, retaining the essence of the original and meshing it with modern day drama can get very confusing, but the writers have got this one spot on. The action of the movie is very well choreographed. Apoorva Lakhia holds the film together very nicely. He has smartly created an intelligent masala potboiler.

Kela Moments: None to be honest.

Citizen Kane moment: The scene of Mahie Gill & Prakash Raj spoofing Ajit & Bindu, the opening scene where Ram Charan bashes up a goon on the streets with Chiranjeevi’s poster in the background. The one-liners which are used judiciously and generate laughter.

Brownie Points: 3.5/5.

Ram Charan stands out as the men amongst the boys!!!!

Raja Bhoj And The Crow: The Story Of The First Whistleblower

raja bhoj

By DP Sakunia

Once Raja Bhoj was encircled by his nobles who were chanting eulogy as they always did. Suddenly a crow came from nowhere & scratched at a noble cum poet. Raja Bhoj became furious & directed to execute the crow. The crow prayed for a last hearing & took Raja Bhoj & his noblemen to a cave full of diamonds.

The crow told the entire kings caravan that the wealth dates back to Lord Ram’s time. She narrated the story that was as follows. A rich person of Oudh invited Sri Ram once for lunch at his place. After lunch the rich person presented Sri Ram with these precious stones. Lord Ram, the gracious self that he were, left the same at the verandah of his palace for someone in need. Time passed fast but no one came forward to take it and in course of time the wealth got hidden in the cave.

After narrating the story, the crow came to his point & prayed Raja Bhoj to search his so called noblemen who had already unscrupulously pocketed some of the valuables. These were the same folks who harped eulogy at Raja Bhoj and kept harassing and looting the subjects. The crow scratched at such a nobleman-cum-sycophant who was actually coaxing Raja Bhoj with self-ill motive.

Raja Bhoj immediately sent the noblemen to prison and asked him to be given the harshest punishment. He also called for a detailed investigation and personally went about asking his subjects who are the culprits and made sure all was happy once again.

Moral of the story: Alas there is no place for such whistle blower in todays time because Raja Bhoj and the noblemen have become equally corrupt towards the subject.

Goli – The Bitter Candy

candy

By Yogesh Om Potaliya

Someone somewhere at some point has been given this ‘Goli’ the Candy. A boss must have given you, your teacher when you were a kid; anyone trying to sell something to you, our government does that during pre-elections time; why even think so far as it could be a friend trying to convince you go shopping with them.

If still it isn’t clear to you what I am talking about then Giving ‘Goli’ is a slang phrase that has its origin in India referred to a situation when a person convinces someone to do something they didn’t want to do yet they do it for the false promise or hope “Given” to them which is referred as Giving ‘Goli’.

Why the word ‘Goli’? In India, ‘Goli’ is the local Hindi word for candy and just like you give a candy to a kid who isn’t rational enough and gets convinced on being offered a candy or agrees to do what you want in exchange of a candy, similarly you could give this candy of false words to any Tom, Dick, and Harry to get through him for your own benefits.

Just when Jim thought of quitting his miserable demanding job after not getting the much awaited appraisals, his boss gave him a ‘Goli’, that he is going to talk to HR head for getting Jim the prestigious employee of the month award; to which Jim agreed only to realise after a month that he wasn’t the chosen one at the end of that month. Upon enquiring into the matter with his boss, he gets another ‘Goli’, that this month’s employee of the month was already decided and that he would propose his name next month for sure. Annoying for Jim this still did not happen the next month as Jim fell marginally short of his targets due to extended week he took off for taking care of his mom who was due for a doctor visit for a long time.

Jim isn’t one guy who is getting tricked however we all have been Jim at some point. Today, everyone is Jim in a way and is trying to make a Jim out of the next person by giving the easy way out ‘Goli’.

Picture an advertising agency where there are senior client managers, creative team, production team, strategic team and a client. Agency people often go to meet client for pitching in a boasting unique out-of-the-box idea and sounds convincing that it’s going to do wonders for the client however largely that’s not how the marketers on the client side see the picture and hence a ‘Goli’comes in the chain of communications that happens from there on. Client initiates this Goli’ chain by giving those usual marketing agenda excuses to the client management team that the idea is great however with budget constraints and different campaign targets we would think about doing this mega campaign next year and that the agency needs to come up with a different and more subtle practical idea.

Now that big fat juicy ‘Goli’ which was given to the client management team from the client is then divided in to several small ‘Golis’(plural)  and are then distributed among the teams. First ‘Goli’ is given to the client management junior who is asked to come up with a different creative brief and is said that this particular client is highly exceptional and particular in his requirements. The next in line to receive ‘Goli’ are strategists who are now asked to work on different sets of campaign goals considering the competition which is doing something usual; next comes creative team who are given the ‘Goli’ of how important the timeline is for client and how he can’t afford to spend so much and do something unique. The sweetest portion of the ‘Goli’ then is given to production team who is asked to give the end result in over a Saturday night to save client some precious time and go live as soon as possible as client is already late with the campaign because of the agency.

‘Goli’ is awesome as it gets you going and keeps your work from getting stuck. Give your wife a ‘Goli’of a holiday in Shimla and she would stop bothering you from constantly GPSing you from time to time in your busy schedule throughout the day.

‘Goli’ can get you through but it won’t save you from a rubbish output if you use it often. Transparency might take time and is a lengthy process however in your career and personal life refrain from using ‘Goli’ in just about every situation you get stuck in.

In fact, not just to others but sometime we are giving ‘Goli’ to ourselves by not facing the reality of the moment and have a face-off with the truth.

If you have been doing it so far then may be about time you face the jingles. A ‘Goli’ is good only for tiny quick fixes but not for building strong bridges or a strong foundation.

#Morning Walks And Some Benefits

morning walk

By Malathy Madathilezham

There is something about getting up early morning. Its like once you get up, there is no stopping you but more often than not you end up hitting the snooze button on the alarm and sleeping on till its time to get ready for office or school or whatever else.

It is definitely more tempting to cuddle back with you soft pillows into the blanket and sleep for another hour but its also wonderful to get up, put on your walking shoes and just get out for walk in the park…

Morning walks are a great way to get in touch with you and de-stress apart from the fact that they energize and rejuvenate the soul. It helps in increasing your metabolism and blood circulation.

In Hindu philosophy, early morning or dawn is considered to be the ‘brahmamuhurat’ or the most auspicious time of the day. One of the reasons may be that early morning our mind is free from stress and tension. The world is silent and serene, before the hustle bustle of the routine daily life begins.

The cool early morning breeze soothes the nerves and helps in flushing out toxins. Thus it is also the best time to bond with nature and may be even kindle the poet in you! For the religious among you, a walk to the temple, church or mosque right in the morning would be a greater motivation. A morning walk is also a great way to reduce your weight. In addition, morning walks help in inducing good sleep.

The health benefits that a quick stroll through a park gives you are another reason to adopt this into your daily routine.

So wake up!

Walk!! 🙂

Yes We Know Its Time For #Sachin, Yet We Want Some More

Sachin Tendulkar

By Ankush Kumar

A spider and its climb tirelessly inspired a king to fight again. Victory was still not guaranteed but the fear of failure did not act as a deterrent to the man’s attempts. Great warriors have died in the lamest fashion, but none are remembered for their end, history still talks about their life and their efforts to conquer the world.

Tomorrow modern age heroes will adorn pages in different textbooks, they will inspire generations, but for many they will just remain a reference point. Nothing more and nothing less.

Yet for some bizarre reason we still want to cling on to a few of them forever. Why are we not ready to come to terms with the fact that ‘All good things come to an end”. Is it our insecurities or is it the fear that we do not have too many people who will inspire us again?

I guess its a bit of both worlds. The few good men, who have entertained us, given us a ray of hope, have made us believe in ourselves, in the process have learnt nothing but that. Shahrukh Khan has said it umpteen numbers of times that his biggest fear is that ‘one day he will get up and the arc lights wont be around’. He still is in a profession where his fans can get entertained at 70. But what about heroes who play on the field? How can they entertain us till death separates the genius and its soul?

The bitter reality is that they cant. Beyond a point defying age is stupid. Yet the fans that want to see Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar bat again outnumbers the critics who don’t. So what does he do now?

Imagine how tough it must be for the man itself to think of hanging the boots if its so tough for the fans. There is a entire generation for whom cricket has started and ends with Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Few good men like him can adorn roles of mentors or coaches or teachers, but the reality is great sport stars make very average coaches. So how will the man entertain us? The answer is he wont. Once he walks back to that dressing room one final time, an era will be over.
Maybe the time has come, yes the BCCI has possibly squeezed in one tour before the SA series, maybe money was their priority, but then for once fans like me are not complaining. Maybe it will be his last test, maybe in bradmanesque fashion he will end his career, but that one chant ‘Sachiiiiin Sachiiiiin’ will reverberate through the roof of Wankhede this November.

Bruce triumphed, his failures are stories of folklore, warriors won, their battles are part of history, sport stars have fallen, lost, yet the only stories that are remembered is the number of hearts they have won.

His recent failures, have given a chance to his cynics to prove that he is Human not God, his fans knew that long back, its just that GODS were made by action and deeds and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar falls in the same category. One part in me and possibly many others will go numb when he will be gone. But till then let’s savor each run the legend scores as possibly even we know that the time is up.