Badhaai Ho(2018)

Badhaai Ho – Congratulations!

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The title of the movie is supposed to bring a very pleasant feeling but that’s not what goes on in the movie. Nakul(Ayushmann Khurrana) our lead lives in a joint family with his parents, younger brother and his loud mouth grandmother. It’s still a very happy family although he is very embarrassed to introduce his upscale girlfriend Renee(Sanya Malhotra) to them.
The movie is picturised in a middle class family living on row houses, every time we watch such movies it’s reminiscent of the fact the we are loosing this culturally knit locality to fast growing metros.
So Nakul is enjoying his life, hanging out with his new found love everyday, his brother going to school who gets a pocket money from his brother; it’s a greatest feeling. Grandma is happy controlling the family where both son and bhau(Neena Gupta) are obedient all the time. It’s a very happy family.
Then the pain starts, mother kinda falls sick. See this is a story based of a middle class family, there has to be some pain. So the whole family is attending to her now. Anyways before I go into describing her sickness, I really want to quote this classic dialogue which summarizes the whole movie. Nakul and his brother are sulking on the terrace with their mother’s “illness“, he goes,
You really had to cry and beg to have your own room, hah!“, smacks on his back of the head. Corollary to that line  ‘Can’t you just continue sleeping with parents!‘. Yes, his brother is in high school and children do sleep with their parents as long as they want,

a. for the lack of space

b. unlike American culture it is not looked down upon for children to hang out with parents. Instead it builds a lasting bond of caring, this story is testimony for that

c. the most important reason is that in India it acts a parent birth control.
Alright to the climax of their mother’s illness, she was feeling giddy and throwing up, the common problem at this age – gastric trouble. With the expert doctors visit, the unthinkable gets confirmed, she is pregnant!

The family falls apart, Nakul storms out the door saying, “What were you thinking“, younger brother never looks into his parents eyes. Grandma scolds them saying, “It is time to see your son get married and have children, and here you are having your own time“. These grandma’s have a heart of gold mine, but spits fire from their mouth. Well the only person who said Congratulations was the doctor.
Then the smirky congratulations keep coming from neighbors and distant relatives.
Nakul who was already feeling low with his status as stacked up against his aristocratic girlfriend, this makes him go even lower. In the heated argument, breakup happens. He is ashamed to meet his friends, skips going to cousins wedding. His brother comes home with a bruised face; he had gotten into a fight with his classmate who had teased their mother. Then it takes a turn, first Nakul goes to school with his brother and fixes that classmate, comes back home and comforts his mother that he would be there for the smooth delivery supporting the family.
Well it’s a two hour movie going melodramatic and addressing the family values in the society. Finally on the delivery day his girlfriend comes to join his hand in celebrating a beautiful new angel baby girl to life.
In this day and age where socially appropriated heterosexual sex has become a novelty, while the millennials are busy using all kinds of social media, texting and sexting, somebody has to keep the age old tradition alive.

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Selfie by Shweta Bachchan

 

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Russian daredevil Kirill Oreshkin taking a selfie atop a hi rise building

I have conveniently dropped the Nanda at the end to make it more appealing. Yes it is Sr Bachchan’s daughter writing about Selfie. Not surprisingly very eloquent article; she hails from writers family, her father and grand father. Found it very interesting to note that she is totally against the selfies while she is surrounded by huge personalities.

Selfie was immortalized by Ellen DeGeneres of course promoting the phone she held at Oscars. The picture itself was beautiful with all the Hollywood stars posing  triumphantly for the shot, then it went viral on Twitter.

I am not so much against the selfies, but I tend to agree with Shweta on the self indulgence of we humans. Although selfie can be used as medium to capture everybody in the group, but like she says, why do it, if there several other tourists around you who would be glad to help you out. Builds human interaction and social acquaintance.

She also vents about the children taking selfies with duck face. Sure she being a mother herself would be annoyed by that, but it is still cute as long they are limited to children. Unfortunately lots of adults have never grown out of their childhood and progress into belfies.

Selfies has taken a sinister turn, which she is not addressing, the deaths related to Selfies is overwhelming. The picture posted above is that of a Russian daredevil Kirill Oreshkin has earned a name as Russian Spiderman for his selfies atop a hi-rise buildings. Call it daredevil or dumb move, one mis-step could cause his death. Other daredevils have not been so lucky who have succumbed to death, pricenomics lists such deaths in this article.

Mumbai police has posted a sign for Selfie daredevils,

Don’t make ‘taking a selfie‘ mean ‘taking your own life‘.

scores of people are dead taking a selfie near Marine Drive or Bandra seaface. Statistics have shown that India had almost 60 percent of deaths of all selfies.

Finally Shweta ends her blog with a satirical note, where she contacted her doctor for sunburns over the phone, to which her doctor responded, “Send a Selfie”, you can read her entire article here.

 

Anthony Bourdain: Pain Unknown

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All his life he showed us the finest dining places across the world and some remotest of places and proved that it is not necessary to be wealthy to enjoy life and have fun. He did visit the Malaysian remote island (could be wrong), for the second time; this time being more popular TV host and explaining them that he had then loved their culture, where people cooked and drank all night till they dropped dead; metaphorically, a simple living and sharing the food amongst the entire village. More so than food, he showed the beauty of connecting with people across the world at a personal level.

With his exhaustive traveling and carefree living, he once said “With so many tattoos, one more I can take”, he took every challenge that was thrown at him, though scared at times, he was real on camera as he was in his real life.

He made his life an envy of all, dining in the most exotic places, maneuvering yachts, blending with various culture around the world and families alike or was it an illusion, we will never know.

Tony’s death came days after another celebrity ended her life tragically; Kate Spade, what drove these greats to this extreme, world would never know. Every budding chef, journalists many other common person in different professions idealized his life, wanted to be Tony, except himself.

Lastly I would leave with a thought that his high point in life (sorry for speaking on his behalf) would be, he introducing the President Barack Obama a good cheap eat in Hanoi, Vietnam over a bottle of beer!, but Barack being another great he has tweeted his best moment with Tony already.

I would like to quote Neil Degrasse Tyson, “Life is precious, here were are investing in search for life on Mars, wherever we find it, we need to cherish and nurture it”.

The man who lived so much, the idea of he not being there anymore is surreal.

Ode! Anthony Bourdain!

Where is Bar Mitzvah

I know the title is not very inviting for the readers, but soon you will see the irony.

This is back in the days I had landed fresh off the boat from India to Manhattan, the rush to be cool and blend with local culture was a pressure. One Monday morning my colleague next to me ushered, “I have brought a cake, it’s on the coffee table, help yourself”. Being a typical Indian I did not rush immediately wanted to seem that I am not greedy of cakes, but could see my other colleagues returning back with a slice of cake, enjoying and thanking my Jewish neighbor. Yes he was Jewish man and was trying to understand his religion from past few months.

After some time I got up to check for the cake, sure enough it was a huge tray of cake, though only one eighth of the pie was left, next to it my neighbor had posted a note Bar Mitzvah. Took a tiny piece of cake and headed to my desk. While I munched on it, it sure was delicious, out of regular, needless to say an expensive cake. Now to exchange some pleasantries, I told him it was delicious and fine cake. He beamed. I should have left it there, my american accent kicked in and asked him, “Hey, where is this Bar Mitzvah, is it in Manhattan?”
He was like, “What do you mean”, a frown broke on his temple.
“I mean, I like this cake, might buy some and take it to my friends”.
My point was there are Liquor bars, there are coffee bars, so there cake bars.
He burst into laughter, needless to say others joined the commotion. Then he explained to me Bar Mitzvah is not a place but a ceremony they had performed on their boy previous day. I sheepishly concluded later that we did something similar in our culture called Upanayana.