“Change nei hai madam, toffee le lo,” (We don’t have change madam, take some candies) is often the well-versed suggestion shop attendants give when you are unable to pay them the exact amount. Now to make the most of your money you are forced to buy a couple of useless toffees which get dumped and forgotten inside your bag until that rare day when you decide to de-clutter it!
Is the availability of change so rare that they always keep a jar or two handy to stuff some colourful wrappers into your hands with a smile? At times there may be crisis of the jingles but there are also situations when some vendors willingly or lazily hand over little somethings to round off the bill. Where do all the coins go? Have they stopped making coins in the mints or are there some voracious coin collectors who desperately grab them all and never let them go? Who are the members of this chillar party?
While a child, I remember to be extremely happy when a shopkeeper used to be generous enough to give me candies rather than unnecessary coins which always used to slip off between the fingers and made me hover around over and after the rolling metals. Similarly now when children are sent to shops to collect some items they come back with some more, happily.
Suddenly the other day I discovered that there is somewhere a child within me that craves for these candies! As the man behind the counter gave me some unknown candy I demanded to know whether he had the ones I liked. He stared at me for a while as if to confirm that it was me who enquired, the same way some websites need you to type irrelevant codes to clarify you are not a machine! Then he went around looking for the one I had asked for and finally came up with a shameful smile declaring that he does not have it. Exactly at that time from the corner of my eye I saw it deep inside a jar full of miscellaneous candies and I pointed it out with great enthusiasm. To this, he looked both defeated and relieved, and struggled to get it out from the jar for me. It somehow felt special, as if choosing the forced gift was a right to be enjoyed by one and all. If they are making you buy one, you better get the best of the lot, uncompromisingly. Yet again, it is not worth it, since you have to remember to have them or they would just rot somewhere in a corner.
There are also some firm customers who stick to what they need and come up with a no-nonsense face declaring that they won’t accept unimportant titbits like candies and shampoo sachets. That is when the hidden treasure comes jingling its way out. Another and very frequently practiced custom is to remember or note down the amount to be received by either parties, and eventually rounding it off on the next purchase. But this practice is only viable when you have developed a cordial relation with the shop attendant.
This menace of ‘demanding change’ is not new and is not restricted to shopkeepers alone. In cities like Kolkata where travelling short distances is easy via autos the auto drivers create a pandemonium in case you are unable to pay him the exact amount. Similar cases happen in Delhi with customers and regular office goers when the vendors and rickshaw pullers complain of not having enough change. Either you keep losing Rs 5 everyday or you argue and find a way out (which usually nobody does, due to lack of time).
With this menace dancing around the country, it is time to get a ‘change’ and control the change crisis before it gets too late and we are left to suffer the ill balanced eco(nomic)-system with the extinction of coins.
Movie- Captain America: Civil War
Director- Joe Russo and Anthony Russo
Cast- Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlet Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Chandwick Boseman, Daniel Bruhl, Don Cheadle and Tom Holland
Run Time- 2hr 27 mins
It is a real treat for comic lovers, when some of the most sought after Marvel comic characters come together in one movie. ‘Captain America: Civil War’ starts off when a collateral damage is caused during a mission in Nigeria, by the Avengers team which puts them in trouble. Talks of clipping their powers arise as the Secretary of State approaches the team to convince them to sign a document, named after the destroyed city from ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’, according to which the Avengers will be controlled and directed by the United Nations. They will be able to act only when the UN deems it fit for the team’s involvement. This generates a debate among the superheroes whether or not to give in. While Captain America(Chris Evans) believes that they must have freedom to defend humanity without the government’s involvement, Iron Man(Robert Downey Jr) thinks otherwise. This creates a tussle and divides the Avengers in two groups as they have to finally come to a decision even if they have to go against each other.
This mega battle of superheroes is a power packed action sci-fi which will be enjoyed by all action and fantasy lovers. The hero vs hero concept in the movie generates civil war, a fight within the Avengers which lead to the disclosure of some long, pondered upon and lamented secrets. ‘Revenge is never the answer to stop violence’, is what the story talks of. Another very important message one shall carry home from the movie, is the message from Margaret Peggy to Kate that one must never give in to peer pressure when they know that they are right, even if everyone calls them wrong. Captain America chooses to stick to his beliefs and fight off his friends unwillingly. Going against one’s enemy is rather an easy job than fighting a war over disagreement with a friend.
In between this debate, Captain America’s friend-turned-psychologically-controlled soldier Bucky plays an important role, because of whom the war gets more intense. Daniel Bruhl’s character, although not a superhero, is extremely crucial in the search for lost facts which eventually cause an intense war.
‘Civil War’ not only deals with the internal conflict between Captain America and Iron Man but also involves Black Widow, Hawkeye, Wanda, Sam, a young and chatty Spiderman, Ant-Man, Falcon, Vision and Black Panther.
Even though Black Panther’s character (played by Chandwik Boseman) did not have enough screen space in comparison to some of the other super heroes, one will not be able to walk out of the theatre without appreciating his bold intelligence and dedication. Tom Holland’s presence as Spiderman is another excitement as the young spidey successfully portrays every detail of the beloved character in his little screen time. Paul Rudd’s comeback as Ant-Man is one more admirable performance.
Chris Evans’ powerful presence and his awesome physique accompanied with an overwhelming performance may not allow you to blink, so is the case with Robert Downey Jr. even though Iron Man’s more serious and responsible nature has been portrayed here unlike the witty and carefree individual from the ‘Iron Man’ franchise. Scarlet Johansson’s action sequences as Black widow, are awesome as usual, and will keep you asking for more. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay has justified the characters with ample space to perform and display their characteristics.
He snatched away the only treasure she had- Happiness
Robbed and destroyed she stood hoping,
Stood there like the tallest tree against the toughest hurricane
Scorned, ridiculed and scared, she waited with hope for change
Impatient, incompetent, unworthy,rude they called her…
She stood tall absorbing the words, still trying
And when she spoke, they marked her ineligible
Destroyed, she curled into a ball with the hardest shell, unbreakable
Then happened the miracle one day! She stopped.
She stopped hoping, complaining, believing and attending.
They had finally succeeded, they thought
But little did they realize that, she had killed everyone of them
Each of them had been burned and chopped and fed to the Devil
Pushed off the limits, she was reborn to murder
Murder everyone who contributed to her death
“You took away the only thing I wanted,” she said,
“I’ve taken away your capability of wanting,” she smiled with her violently sparkling eyes.
Robbed and destroyed she walk away… for miles and miles away form her own kind
To somewhere she can set up a new world…
Hope had yet again crept into her
But she had killed everyone, and every emotion and every light
She had woven a thick blanket of nothingness around her
And she cursed with her fiery eyes and spat with her sharp tongue at every potential threat
There are various food items that attract children, yet there are numerous weird items, which we adults can never think of as edible, that find a royal suit in a toddler’s palate! And this does not happen only during the phase of developing tiny teeth, but keep on gaining momentum and magnitude with a few years of experience in life, i.e. entering toddler-hood!
To explain the matter and to explore its seriousness I hereby state a few of my own favourite dishes in the first 5 years of life. Yes, my memory is quite strong… I can still see things happening in front of me like a movie.
God’s finest of creations (humans, in case you are thinking dogs, cats, trees, or others) have a soft corner for sweetness, they prefer sweet over the other tastes, unlike me. I as a little girl (when I had just mastered walking), I would climb up the dining table and attack the table salt container! It was reported to me that I would often finish off the salt container, which had about 250g salt, at a go. Even though I do not have a very clear memory of eating salt, I do remember climbing up the table and sitting with my legs spread out on top when no one was around. There had been a speculation that I probably lacked Iodine for which my body dragged me towards a proper source of iodine.
I had a fetish for candles, both white and coloured ones. And by fetish I mean I loved to eat them. People use candles while praying or during power cuts, but I collected them to feed on the wax! There used to be a glass cupboard in our drawing room which had a few candles prepared on candle-stands and a box full of small candles as a precautionary measure, as back then Kolkata was greeted with dark evenings every day. I was about 3-4 years old, and one regular evening during a usual power cut I ran down to that cupboard and took out a medium sized candle, and ran back into a secluded room and gorged into my recently conquered treasure. All in the dark, when nobody could see me do the deed, since I was quite conscious that the society would not accept my love for candles! But sadly my running about did make some noise and mother found me with a mouthful as she entered the room with a large lit candle. I felt incomplete for not finishing the tasty waxy dish, even though I had eaten away 3/4 of the original piece and made it unfit for use with lots of tiny tooth marks. I should have been allowed to finish it… I can still see the whole incident happening, but cannot recall the taste… Mother told me that once I was so fast in grabbing and eating a small candle, that when they discovered me, they found no morsel of wax left. There was only a wick lying there alone, robbed off from its flesh! After some such incidents, my family decided to stop using candles for pujas and started using diyas. The ones kept in the cupboard were stacked up in the highest shelf where I could not reach… Sadly my appetite for candles was murdered…
I still remember having drinking-water competitions with my friends. We would finish off a large jar of water at once, as my grandfather used to serve us obediently. As soon as a glass finished he had to fill it up, and we would count the number of glasses we have had. Now, after so many years I find it rather funny when I related our incident with those they show in movies and TV series when drinking competitions happen in bars and the bartender obediently keeps filling the empty glasses!
If only I could travel back in time to watch me grow…
Rewind your life a decade or two back and think of what interesting intakes you had and share your experience and memory here.
People just keep falling. From the sky, from the bed, from the sofa, down the stairs, from ‘positions’ and off the chairs! The best and the most common falling, happens on the go! As one of my friends slid off on wet green grass one fine morning back in 2010; his fault? He was trying to impress a girl with his running skills, which not only embedded his falling in our minds forever but hilariously failed his idea of wooing a girl! I could not help but laugh like the ‘Mad Hatter’. Even to this date, I can recall the incident, like recalling your favourite scenes from a movie and laugh ridiculously.
People also fall from the sky when unexpected matters are meted out to them, they just look so pale and disbelieving as if someone had actually threatened to push them off a cliff! That look on the face is boisterously funny .
And then, they ‘Fall in love’, the expression itself indicates the decline… Personally I fell one should ‘Rise in Love’, gain wisdom and composure, or at least Be in love.
I am not a believer of LOL- Laugh Out Loud, I find it rather silly to suggest people to laugh out loud. It is your decision to laugh loudly or softly or at all laugh in the first place! When I laugh it sounds somewhat “Hahahahaha”, both in person and in messages.
Moving back to falling, I saw a video yesterday for probably the zillionth time, where a man ‘is falling’, he does not succeed falling but is in the motion of falling for 9 seconds! And some brainy had captioned it perfectly, “When the Devil wants to you to fall but the Lord got you”. The poor man struggles with a spade on snow and finally resists falling and throws off the spade and walks away with wobbly legs. This just shows how ‘fallable’ people are, they just keep falling. Sad…yet funny. 😉 😀
I may sound inhuman to make fun of a sad situation (sad for the person falling), but trust me sometimes it feels amazing to just stop thinking and acting on reflex. It is natural to laugh, it is like a natural instinct when we rush for water if we burn a finger. Similarly, we are biologically programmed to laugh when someone falls all of a sudden, no matter how unethical it might seem to our teachers and elders.
The most sarcastic and enjoyable fall is ‘from a position of authority’, and how eagerly I am waiting for some unworthy and fake authorities to drop down the line of hierarchy. Sometimes leaving things to time is the best, that way anything might surprise or amuse you. Just waiting and watching thins happen in slooooowww moooootiooooonnnnn
So let us hope that some such unwanted Jack and Jill go tumbling down the hill!
Director: Raja Krishna Menon
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Prab Kohli, Inaamulhaq
Run time: 125 minutes
‘Airlift’ is the tale of the largest civil operation in the history of the world, where almost two lakh Indians were evacuated from Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war.
The film unfolds with Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based Indian businessman, who has almost forgotten his motherland, living a merry life in Kuwait, realizing his duty as a human being and an Indian, and eventually carrying out a huge civil operation of evacuation of 1,70,000 Indians based in Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war in 1990.
Akshay’s star power definitely elevates the film. Ranjit Katyal is made authentic as Akshay does not display faux heroism for an unshowy heroism, and there is no one else who could have done the job better. His role seems to be inspired slightly by Liam Neeson in ‘Schindler’s List’. One may also find similarities between ‘Airlift’ and Ben Affleck starrer Hollywood evacuation tale, ‘Argo’. ‘Airlift’ takes us through a journey of the awakened sense of responsibility which Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) terms as a ‘manufacturing defect in some humans’ with thrilling empathy. A very crucial character in the movie is Sanjeev Kohli (Kumud Mishra) the government official who makes the evacuation of the Indians successful by convincing the ministers in India. Acting throughout the film is natural and also entertaining at times when the Iraqi general (Inaamulhaq) speaks in Hindi with an Arabic accent!
Bollywood has not been very famous for films based on real-life events because it mostly does not successfully connect the line between fact and fiction, which is extremely important for this genre. What often happens is an overdone representation with enormous drama and exaggeration of facts! But Raja Krishna Menon’s ‘Airlift’ plays it right, with the proportionate amount of drama, thrill, patriotism, fact and history.
For an overall evaluation, Menon has directed his actors perfectly to represent the Indian sentiment through their performance. Amaal Malllik and Ankit Tiwari’s music direction has served the film well, with less number of songs and relevant background score, which shall evoke a feeling of patriotism and give goose-bumps to many Indians.
Cinematographer Priya Seth had captured strong and predominantly masculine images flawlessly showing the fearful and tragic situations in the war zone. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing is impeccably executed throughout as well.
The concept of an individual escalating to tackle an enormous crisis is placed at a key position in the plot. The scriptwriters Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah, Rahul Nangia and director Menon, have researched Saddam’s invasion suitably yet they did not allow the narrative to be boring or too preachy by the politics of history. ‘Airlift’ without any second thought is a worthy watch as it is informative, real-like and non-exaggerated.
Hell broke out at Mayurakshi’s place when Rajat broke the news of his brother’s situation. “This is not the time to support your brother and his boy. We have a life as well, I had plans of holidaying at the beach and now you say this”, said Mayurakshi with disgust.
“Well, we can take him along”
“You know that’s a bad idea, tagging along another man and a month old baby in a luxury trip! Furthermore, why can’t he just stay there and adjust?”
“You know how my sister-in-law is. They wanted a girl child, but they held my brother responsible for the boy. Don’t you think they should be just happy with a baby in the family?” argued Rajat.
“I’m not interested in your brother’s family drama. It is just so unfair. I’m so done with you. If you don’t want to come along, don’t. My friends and I will go out on the luxury trip on the scheduled date” said Mayurakshi as she turned away from Rajat in their bed.
After Priyasha had taken her husband and son back to their home which was about three months later, one fine day Rajat sees a bunch of papers lying on his desk. Divorce papers form Mayurakshi!
He could not trust his eyes. They had been married for only eleven months, and this is how intolerant she has become of him! He manned up the courage to ask her about it and banged opened the door to their bedroom. Mauyrakshi gave a cold look and asked him to sign it up and get out of her life as soon as possible. He felt lost without her and tried to reason with her but she would not listen, rather she pushed him aside to walk out of the room…
Rajat wakes up with a jolt and realizes that he’s sweating profusely. Looking around the room he finds out that he is at his home. Mayurakshi enters with a cup of tea and the morning newspaper. She keeps them by the side of the bed and attempts to leave when he suddenly catches her hand and looks at her lovingly. “Good morning”, he says. She seems a bit perplexed with this loving wish, which she had not received from him in the late few weeks of marriage.
“Are you alright? Or do you need something?” asked Mayurakshi with a judgmental look. He apologized to Mayurakshi for his recent negligence towards her. She wasn’t contented with that one statement, she looked on expecting an elaborate explanation.
“You know that I love you, it’s just that I get weird sometimes and take you for granted. I forget about your priorities and restrict you from doing things you like, because I felt superior to you… But it won’t happen anymore. I promise”, explained Rajat. Mayurakshi smiled and kissed him.
“You can go to your friend’s wedding for the weekend. I won’t mind. I love you… You know what?” paused Rajat.
“What is it? Did you dream something bad?” asked his wife.
“Well… It was kinda spooky and dangerous… ”and Rajat narrated the whole dream to his wife who went rolling on the bed laughing!
They argued quite often as Rajat started to question Mayurakshi about her life and her not spending enough time with him. She said he was becoming nagging and complaining like the typical house-husbands! Things went raw one day, they had a fight and eventually she slapped him! Instantly she regretted doing so and apologized to him over and over again, but the mark remained for a couple of days. The next day he went to work wearing a pair of dark sunglasses in a public bus, as he refused to take a leave or travel by her car. On the way he met his troubled friend and colleague Tejesh. The two shared their sad stories and went off to work. On the way back home they booked a cab, and Tejesh told him about their boss and a notorious woman, Ambika who stalked him. “Why don’t you lodge a police complaint against her?” asked Rajat.
“She’s a dangerous woman, and acquires a higher rank in the office. Nobody’s going to believe me, I may even loose the job if I complain against her”, said Tejesh.
“But you need to do something, she is simply exploiting you. Does Sonal know about her?” asked Rajat.
“No, I’m scared. I don’t know what to do, what if she gets it wrong?” said a thoughtful Tejesh.
“I bet she’ll understand you. I think you should talk to her about this matter and get things clear. She’s quite understanding, she’ll be able to help you somehow…”, suggested Rajat.
“But why did she hit you Rajat? I’m so shocked with this behavior of hers… you guys were made for each other…” enquired Tejesh
“Marriage changes everything, I wish I could be happy. She has become so unpredictable and short tempered these days. I think she’s having a tough time at work… she said she was sorry, it will pass… ”
A couple of days later, when Rajat had stopped giving conjunctivitis as an excuse for the dark shades, and had abandoned them, something big happened at the workplace. He heard a loud commotion at the office, something broke or maybe somebody fell! Their boss and the notorious woman, Ambika who made unprecedented sexual advances to Tejesh and had stalked him was being beaten up by Sonal, Tejesh’s Fiancée. Everyone at the office seemed surprised at Sonal’s action. Some even wished that their wives and girlfriends had done the same to this annoying old tormentor.
No one at the office tried to save Ambika ma’am or help her by calling the security. Everyone simply enjoyed the show. Sonal being young and strong was definitely winning it, as she sat on Ambika’s back and pulled her hair with one hand and punched her face with the other!
“If you ever, ever take a step towards Tejesh, or any man I bet you, you’ll be dead meat”, Threatened Sonal banging Ambika’s head on the table and kicking her butt!
This outbreak and the obvious threat to never stalk her boyfriend worked well. Ambika was nowhere to be seen in the office for a few days now and everyone worked at peace. All the men felt slightly jealous of Tejesh for being so lucky to have such a beautiful, courageous and supportive girlfriend. “She’s a complete woman!” exclaimed Karan, a new employee. “Hey! Back off junior. I AM her fiancé”, said Tejesh proudly.
…To be continued 😉 …
“Why do I always get the burnt toast for breakfast?” asked Rahul
“Because you’re a man, and it is your job to give the best to your family by taking away the garbage with you. You are meant to look after your family and serve me well. Only then can you go to heaven after death. And since I am carrying your child it is your duty to feed me the best of food”, Snapped back Priyasha, his goddess like wife.
She is a woman of importance, not only at work but also at home. Even her mother takes her advice on monetary and corporate matters. She is traditional and during marriage had mentioned it clearly to Rahul and his family about her importance in life. She wanted a virgin husband, and was ready to allow him to work even after marriage, but only if he worked from home. She is the WOMAN of the house.
Rahul is a mere house-husband and owns a little online business of supplying content to various websites. He had acquired a First –class masters degree in English from a reputed university, he even had a chance of going abroad for PhD. But his family wanted him to get married before he flew away. Unfortunately marriage clipped his wings and he was tied to his wife’s house for his entire life. He did not have much liberty to choose his wife, so he gave in to his parent’s choice. Priyasha was beautiful, intelligent, well settled and had a strong understanding of culture, plus her family also did not ask for dowry. Everything seemed fine, so they got married. Since the beginning Rahul had to compromise with everything in the news household. He had to get up early in the morning before the other family members, Priyasha, his parents-in-law, and a college going brother-in-law. His duty was to dust the house even though there was a servant appointed for the job, clean the cars, iron his wife’s clothes and help her get ready for work, and prepare new dishes every day for the family. At night his job was entirely to meet out his wife’s desires. He also had to please his in-laws with good manners and silent approvals of every situation. Displaying his opinion on matters of importance was not considered well in the family, rather in the entire cultured society!
“Okay I get it. But just sometimes I think it is unfair” replied a teary eyed Rahul. To this his mother in law explained, “Don’t you get it Rahul, you wife’s going to gift you with a daughter. And for that you have to compromise for a few more days with her little tantrums. She’s just going through her mood swings, you know how much she loves you”.
Hearing this, Priyasha took over, “Leave him alone Maa, he’s such a drama king! It’s only a couple of days that I have burnt the bread by mistake and here he is crying about it. Okay I’ll get you a new pair of aviators. And we’ll order pizza tonight” shouted Priyasha. “If that consoles you… Silly man” she murmured and smiled at Rahul who seemed to feel better hearing the announcement.
Priyasha is expecting her first child and hopes it is a girl like her entire family. But Rahul prefers to have a baby boy who would look just like him. All this time during her pregnancy Priyasha has been dreaming how pretty her daughter would be and how well mannered she would be raised by her docile father. She dreamt of her daughter flying abroad for higher education and then succeeding her in the family business.
All her dreams were shattered after the strenuous nine months! Priyasha gave birth to a boy. And that changed everything in the happy family.
“It is all your fault”, she screamed at Rahul. He did not know how it was his fault. “But the baby is God’s gift to us, how are either of us responsible for his gender?” asked a perplexed Rahul cradling the baby. “There is science you idiot! Child birth is not a mere gift from god. Men have a huge role to play in it. It is you bloody sperms that detect a child’s sex. Men are the carrier of the X and the Y chromosomes. It is that stupid semi sized Y chromosome that causes a boy to happen! Women only have X chromosomes, they are never responsible for a child’s sex”, yelled Priyasha.
“Don’t yell, he’ll wake up”, He pleaded.
“Just shut up, you good for nothing stupid bull” came the inevitable reply.
“But how can we help? Men cannot choose the gender either. It just happens…” Priyasha had stormed out of the room before he could finish. He heard her saying, “You are lucky to be alive, in other families they would beat their husband black and blue for a male child. The first child in the family should always be a girl.”
In the recent few weeks his parents-in-law have reduced talking to him, and had motioned him to leave the house with the child and stay with his parents. His brother in law seemed more helpful and said it out aloud, “I think you should just spend a few months at your parents’ place till things cool down here. When Didi feels better and develops a longing for you guys she’ll go and get you back.” Rahul had no option but to leave Priyasha’s place for a while, but the problem was that his parents were out of town for a couple of weeks holidaying at the Himalayas. Till then he either had to stay back here and go crazy with the silent treatment or live with his younger brother Rajat.
…To be continued 😉