'Chutney': Tisca Arora kills it in her new short story

The enormously talented actress Tisca Arora has turned producer with a short story that left me panting for more. The economy of expression compounded by an austerity of emotional leverage gives to “Chutney”, the short story with a long content-drive, a kind of reined-in heft that feature films should emulate. You don’t need two hours to establish characters or build a momentum in the plot. Just a look, a gesture or a swipe would suffice provided the emotions underlining the narrative are worked out in detail in the script. In brief, the blueprint is cut before the camera gets into action. Almost all of the very disturbing plot of “Chutney” unfolds through a conversation between a housewife from Ghaziabad (Tisca in a very convincing frumpy makeup) and a woman who is a threat to her marriage (played with saucy relish – in more ways than one – by Rasika). Tisca plays the wife with compelling but casual candour. She looks different, yes. But that’s just a part, a very small part of what she does with her part. She gives to the wife a kind of ‘don’t-mess-with-my-marriage’ finality and ‘I-won’t-let-you-cheat’ closure that I found disarming and disturbing. If Tisca’s wifely concerns were not so tragic, they’d actually be fodder for a black comedy. Adultery and unfaithful husbands run through the plot scampering across the hazily hectic horizon of the plot redolent with threats of toxification and death. There are two domestic servants in the plot, one is killed after he discovers his wife cheating on him, the other one spits into the glasses of cold beverage before serving them to his employee and her guest.Maybe we should just go for self-help. “Chutney” is a small slight and fragile on the top but very assured sturdy and self-composed underneath. It is held together by the smaller performers who flit in and out with an energetic anxiety helping the director to create a sense of imminent doom. But it’s Tisca Arora’s central performance that really holds the plot at the hinges and prevents it from coming undone in spite its over-ambitious overtures that threaten to over-run the adulterous drama. After watching “Chutney”, we are unlikely to dip into a bowl of ‘dhaniya’ chutney without feeling our stomach churn, or be tempted to cheat on our spouses without wondering what sort of nemesis awaits at the end of sexual revelry. This is a a short film that serves up quite a dish for Tisca Arora to nibble on. She chews up the scenes, and kills it, in unexpected ways.

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Satish Kumar- the man who drove 13,800 km on motorbike with his prosthetic legs

BY GORKY BAKSHI

It’s all about dreams and a passion to pursue it. For a traveller, measuring the whole world could be the biggest dream, but, for Satish Kumar it was perhaps the only dream. He is a dreamer and a traveller, who as fate would have it-  lost both his legs in an accident. But, he hasn’t stopped chasing his dreams of biking.

Satish Kumar (35) lost both of his legs in a tragic train accident, still intended to travel across country on his bike. Today he is an inspiration for many and has set records for the coming generation. He goes everywhere on his Enfield bullet, driving on his own.

Accident and inspiration

In 2005, he lost both his legs in a fatal train accident. While trying to get down from a moving train, his legs got caught in the gap between train and platform. He was dragged down under the wheels of running train, and his life changed forever.

For the next one year he was in a deep depression, he gave up his dream of biking and travelling at all. He was shattered and was bid ridden, for a long time.

One day, the news a teenager committing suicide over an insignificant issue left a deep impact on his mind. The news shook his mind and he felt that he was also following the same path, he felt that it was nothing less than suicide. That moment he decided not to waste time and his life anymore.

Also Read: Losing legs did not stop Satish Kumar riding 13,800 KM on bike!

Starting a new life

He searched for many ideas and equipments that can help him; finally he came to a decision of getting prosthetic legs. He wanted to pursue his dreams once again; he wanted to ride the bike.

After getting a prosthetic leg, he began with learning scooty and gradually went on the ride a motorcycle. After practicing over three months and gained enough confidence he decided to go on a road trip. In a first week of September he started his journey from Odisha and till date he is measuring Indian roads.

So far, he has covered almost 13,800 kilometres. He has reached West Bengal from Odisha on his own bike with artificial legs. Satish says: “My aim is to create history by making my name enter in the Guinness and Limca books of world records. Ability and disability are just human perceptions. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Recognition

He has not just inspired many emputees to live life on their own terms, but also many artists to work on his life. A prominent film production company recently approached him and decided to make a movie on his life and journey till date. A three minute documentary on his life has made way to the World Nomads Travel Film competition.

Satish is planning to measure the entire country through his bike and he feels a lot of fire inside himself. He says: “I want to climb Mount Everest, and I know I can. I have to prove myself just to inspire the coming generations.”

Performing is like skydiving, but the rush lasts longer: Farhan Akhtar

Mumbai, Nov 5 (IANS) For Bollywood’s multifaceted celebrity Farhan Akhtar, performing a gig in front of a live audience gives an adrenaline rush comparable to that one gets from skydiving. In GQ’s November 2016 issue, Farhan spoke about his live music performances, in an interview to Uday Benegal, the frontman of Indian rock band Indus Creed “Performing is just such a release,” Farhan said. “(It’s) Like skydiving, but the rush lasts longer. You’ll put in those hours in the studio, making sure you get a good song. If that connects with people, that’s the prize. Because then, when you go up there and everyone sings along with you – man, what a feeling that is,” added the actor, who was seen in a skydiving sequence in Hindi film “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”. An actor, writer, filmmaker and singer, Farhan is awaiting the release of the sequel of the 2008 hit film “Rock On!!” And in the eight years between the movies, it’s interesting how he has established his footing as a singer with his own band. He has also been touring widely. Talking about what ignited the desire to get on stage while maintaining a busy career in the film industry, he pointed out how the seeds had been sown in 1988 when Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Youssou N’D’ur, L Subramaniam and a 24-year-old Tracy Chapman performed in Delhi at Amnesty International’s ‘Human Rights Now!’ tour. He was 14 back then. It was seven years later that Farhan got his first guitar and he became “obsessed” with it. “I made it my mission to be able to play all the chords from (Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ from start to finish. I got a book from (Mumbai music store) Bhargava’s Musik which showed you how to play chords,” he said. GQ’s November 2016 issue will be out on stands on Monday.

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STOP THE HONKING RAVI KALRA


The first thing they did was to remove the ‘Horn Please’ signs, a common sight on the rear of most commercial vehicles in India. Those sign boards which they could not remove, they simply used black paint to cover up. “We must have removed or painted over around 10,000 signs,” recalls Kalra. Owners and drivers were not happy to see the activists defacing their vehicles. “I was beaten up several times along with my volunteers.

Some people even lodged complaints against us with the police,” he says. However, the initiative did not have as powerful an impact as he had hoped. Determined not to rest until he made a difference, Kalra decided to coin a few anti-honking slogans that were both educational and powerful.

He also declared January 1 as No-Honking Day and distributed thousands of bumper stickers with the message ‘Do Not Honk!’. Another sticker carried a slogan in Hindi: ‘Kutta bhi bina wajah nahin bhonkta’ (Even a dog does not bark without reason). “It did shame a few into reducing the use of the horn,” he describes. This time he was lucky.

RAVI KALRA Bio-

The campaign caught the attention of national media and the civic authorities such as the New Delhi Municipal Council and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which decided to back his cause. They put up ‘No Honking’ boards in several parts of the city. “I was really happy the civic authorities had taken note of the initiative, and their move was definitely a good one,” Kalra says.

Background

Belonging to a middle-class family, Kalra was born and brought up in Delhi.His father was an inspector with Delhi Police, so discipline and the importance of adhering to the law were lessons he was taught early in life. After graduating from Delhi University, Kalra, a 4th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, founded the Indian Amateur Taekwondo Federation and offered training programmes to others which included among others, Delhi Police personnel, embassy officials and staff of several corporate institutions and schools in the city.

He also set up a business as a career consultant to those interested in taking up jobs overseas. Although he was doing well in his career, he was passionate about doing something in the realm of social service. “I tried to set up an NGO several times, but was unsuccessful because of the differences that used to crop up among the board members,” he says.

Other Efforts

Ravi Kalra established Earth Saviours Foundation with aim to make some difference in society, a small group of dedicated social workers and volunteers, which included young boys and girls.

They offered him their help and started supporting his projects. He is giving free shelter, basic education and food to beggars, mentally challenged and senior citizens. He has established a camp where poorest people of our society are getting necessary and basic help. Today, more than 20 such elderly are getting free shelter and three time meals who were becoming a somewhat difficult for their own families to support. Ravi Kalra and his team has been giving all their savings to this service since 2010.

RAVI KALRA Address-

“A spirit of caring and sharing is very important and needs to be encouraged for the betterment of our own lives and saving our lovely planet,” Kalra suggests. Anyone interested in helping can contact Ravi Kalra, 34 Green Avenue, Near ‘D’ Block Church, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi – 110 070, India. Mobile: +91-9818171695

BACK TO ‘ENCOUNTERS’? QUESTIONS OVER MP SIMI DEATHS


Police Officers at site where Simi Men were-killed
Obviously, as many of such ‘encounters’ in the past, none of the police personnel got injured in the so-called encounter.
There were also contradictory statements from the Bhopal IG Yogesh Chaudhary and the state’s Anti-Terrorist Special Force Chief Sanjeev Shami. While Chaudhary said the SIMI activists were killed in retaliatory firing, Shami told TV channels that they were unarmed.
Even as doubts linger on the entire incident, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan lauded the policemen involved in the ‘encounter’ for their “quick action” but the victims’ lawyer and several human rights organisations have demanded an independent investigation into this incident.
The escape and the ‘encounter’ is likely to reverberate for several months to come and may have a fallout on the Assembly elections due in 2017. ‘Encounter’ deaths were common at one time, particularly in Punjab, but the country has moved on from those days. The SIMI ‘encounter’ is a throwback to the old days and if proved to be one of those notorious ‘fake encounters’ then it is a dangerous step back. A country is meant to uphold the rule of law and the constitution, not go down to the same level of activity as insurgents or terrorists. However it is too soon to pass judgement on the SIMI ‘encounter’.