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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Independence Day

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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

Education Now

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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

Patriotic Jingoism

This time on Feb 14, Valentine’s day, there was a different tune being played. No mushy music, no poetic verses for the lovers, no romantic serenades. All this change came not because of some right wing extremists who wanted to protect our culture (though yes it did happen because of some other extremists). This year in India the emotions for the day had a patriotic fervour. Read more

Touching lives

Had an amazing day yesterday. Yes, it was Sunday, but that was not the only reason. After spending a near perfect day, I got busy getting things organised for the week ahead. When I went down to the market, I had the most happy encounter with an unexpected family. I met the parents of one of my earliest students. I had worked part time at a play school for a couple of months. My students were toddlers, ages ranging from 2 to 3 years. It was the most amazing 6 months of my life. I learnt more than I taught, was happiest during those 3 hours. That little girl was all grown up now and had started formal school from this academic year. How time flies Read more

GIRLS, DREAMS AND REALITY

The title may seem pretentious and even condescending maybe. But this is the first title that came to my mind when I sat down to write. During a recent workshop for girls from the lower income strata, I had the most invigorating and illuminating interaction.  These girls had the clarity of thought that would put any of us to shame. Their dreams, their aspirations, their ambitions were as steeped in reality as they were. Listening to them share their ideas, I was left wondering why we ignore them so much? Do these young shoulders really need to carry the weight of the society, its ill-conceived norms, biased traditions, and subjugating values? Read more

Time to Think

I have been feeling very disturbed the last couple of days and I really don’t know why. I tried thinking about it but every time I would zero in into a cause, it didn’t make me feel any better. So I tried to go through as many reasons as possible to figure out the reason for my unrest. Then it slowly dawned on me. It was not a single reason or reasons. It was the generally apathy and stupidity which I had to endure daily when reading the sensational headlines. Read more

Boys Don’t Cry … Really??

The other day while watching TV, I saw the ending of an ad where the once-upon-a-time big-screen diva Madhuri Dixit was saying something about boys don’t make others cry. As I had not seen the complete ad, this little teaser intrigued me and I wanted to see the whole of it. I sat in front of the idiot box, like an idiot, waiting for the ad to reappear.  It was sometime before I was able to break free from its hypnotic grasp and think. Heck! I could search for it online! God, never felt so dumb! But I guess I have many who understand the power TV has on many of the powerless zombies like us. Anyways, back to the issue at hand. So I searched online and found the ad I was looking for. It was a beautiful concept created  into a thought provoking ad by Vinil Mathews.