Review of movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

Producers: Dharma Productions, Zee Studios

Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi

Written by: Nikhil Mehrotra, Sharan Sharma

The only good thing I see coming out of the present COVID – 19 scenario is that we all have to wear our masks and that includes Gunjan Saxena. It will protect her from answering embarrassing questions about the movie. It’s supposed to be a biopic of a strong willed, independent woman who broke through the glass ceiling again and again to prove to the world that women are equally capable. But what finally turned out for all to see was a total disaster. Instead of inspiring the girls, it created doubts about the regressive mindsets in the Armed Forces. If there was a bigger distortion to how the Armed Forces were depicted in the movies, then this one takes the first place. 

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My Reading Resolution for 2021

The year had started and I wanted to do something other than talking about sanitisers and masks or find that elusive work-life balance which has become a victim of the work-from-home. I wanted to get back to doing things that I had enjoyed in another life (or so it seems). As I was just reading through some of my favourite blogs, I came across some interesting reading lists; lists that had an amazing line-up. Just looking at those lists got me thinking – why don’t I make a list of my own? I mean what more can a bibliophile ask for, a complete set of selected books to read. Bliss!!

I had set targets on Goodreads for the number of books I wanted to read each year; and the last two years have seen not-worth-mentioning performances. I can blame it on many reasons starting with the home and kids and husband to the (mis)alignment of the stars! But the real reason I guess was, I was not too captivated or attracted to the books I was reading. I was just reading because I had to read. Like I was breathing to exist, not live. It did not incite interest or excitement, nor did it appeal to my sensibilities. So, this idea of making a reading list seemed quite interesting. Instead of focusing on the numbers, I get to focus on the kind of books I wanted to read. And that really got me kicked. It appeared ambitious at the time, and truly enviable too. I read through his list once again to see if I could find something interesting and I did. 

The Baby Steps

Now I was excited and wanting to start off. But every project needs a little groundwork, so I did mine. I revisited my personal favourites, from both fiction and non-fiction. I went through my collection of books. Some I hadn’t read in a while, some were testament of my having leafed through them more than once, some brought back memories of those days, in some I discovered some lost treasures like a dried up rose gifted by one of my students and a hastily made bookmark by my then 4-year old! No wonder they say books are a (wo)man’s best friend. I prepared a rough list of books I felt like reading, an arbitrary mix of old favourites, a few new genres or writers, a few new books by known authors. I mean it‘s a little bit of this and little bit of that, but it gradually metamorphosised into something overwhelming. I have my doubts if I will be able to do justice to them all but will never know until I start off. So here I go, hoping that the first resolution of the year meets with some amount of success.

My Plan Forward

What I think is going to work for me is a random selection. I plan to read at least one fiction and one non-fiction every month. Add to it one book by an Indian author (I’m quite partial to them especially Devdutt Pattanaik and Anand Neelkanthan). Don’t want to pack too much in or it would get too much to handle. Three to four books a month should be an achievable target for now (I confess I’m a slow reader, ruminating each word and sentence and situation and relishing it!). If the pace picks up and I’m able to fit in more, then it would be great. But what’s important right now is to start off. Revisiting the classics would be another great way of getting there. Some of my personal favourites are the Count of Monte Cristo, The Tale of Two Cities, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice (of course!), To Kill A Mocking Bird, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I’ve started the year with a memoir – A Promised Land by Barack Obama. It appears interesting and quite relevant keeping in mind the times. Last year I tried reading a few books from the South East Asian writers and I found them refreshing. Their perspectives and thought processes were quite different from the ones I’ve read. I guess it’s because most of the authors are either American or European. Anyways that’s another category I’m hoping to explore. So yes, I’ve a plan and I hope to stick to it.

Here’s wishing me good luck and happy reading! Join me and lets to do together.

Independence Day


As 15 Aug approaches, the patriotic fever starts spreading among the enthusiastic populations of India, irrespective of their understanding of that feeling. Each year we gather to celebrate our independence from the last of our oppressors – the Britishers. But is it truly that, that we are celebrating today? The Britishers left us and we rose like the phoenix to reclaim our position in the world. We have conquered and captured every possible sphere and made our mark – be it academics or corporates or health, yoga or even social work. But we need to stop and ask ourselves what are we celebrating independence from now? Read more

Book Review: Suheldev – The King Who Saved India

The storyteller was at it again. If someone has been able to spin magic into our stories from long ago, then it’s Amish always. Suheldev – The King Who Saved India is the latest from his repertoire and set in the time much closer to our times. It’s the story of a brave warrior prince who comes into his own under compelling circumstances. From the brattish younger prince, he transforms into a leader who inspires people and unites them with their common love for the country of their birth, India. Read more

Education Now

What the purpose of education? Is it being able to reproduce loads of unrelated or irrelevant data without a pause? Or is cramming information about every subject being offered without truly understanding its significance or relevance? Or is trying to make sense of the mechanisations of our world, our existence or even ourselves? Education for each of us means something different and that’s a given. But doesn’t its meaning need a change like everything else in these changing times? When our whole concept of living in a free society has been shaken to its very core, doesn’t education also need to change to adapt to the changes in the society? Read more

Train Journeys

The excitement was not about the school year coming to an end but the anticipation of the summer vacations looming ahead. Summer vacations meant endless hours of playing in the garden, eating freshly plucked mangoes, swimming, reading endlessly, and most importantly going on the train trips. Yes, the train rides were the highlight of the summer vacations.

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Travelling, Rambling, Reminiscing.

The sky was a pale pink with smudges of soft red and orange. A few traces of gold and blue highlighted the coming of another morning as the sun readied itself to make its grand entry. The breeze was soft and pleasing, almost like a gentle caress. Suddenly a tiny bright red head peeked from behind the wooly tuft of cloud. The colour of the cloud transformed from a weak, greyish white to something bright and incandescent, glowing from within as if going pink in its vain attempts to hold on to a secret, but of course with the grace of an ethereal beauty. This whole spectacle was reflected in the still waters of the creek. And it looked unbelievably surreal when a lone fisherman’s boat crossed the flaming red river of rays reflected in the waters. The sun continued to climb higher into the sky, searing the clouds with its blazing oranges and yellows. All this before I could even take the next sip from my cup of tea. How can so much happen in so little a time?

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day
Credit: Established ’04 

The definition of Mother has undergone a change now. No more the all sacrificing, virtuosic figure glorified by the Bollywood mothers like Nirupama Roy. The new age mother is all that and more. She has come to realise that she too is an individual and one of the primary roles that she’s essaying is that of a mother.

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Book Review – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

It’s after a long time I’ve read a book which covered what’s close to my heart – a love for books. It’s the kind of book which needs to be savoured, for some of the sentences were so easily relatable by the bibliophiles. And this is the first book which I’ve read after I had watched the movie. I generally don’t like to watch movies, and especially not those which are based on books as I feel they don’t do justice to the story or the characters. I just happened to stumble upon this movie, watched it, loved the story and then immediately ordered myself a copy of this amazing book. And believe me, the book is anytime better than the movie.

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