NRIs and India diaspora – the key challenges abroad!
NRIs and India diaspora – the key challenges abroad!
NRIs and India diaspora – the key challenges abroad!
Diwali – the festival of lights, the king of the all the Indian festivals. There is nothing more festive and more celebrated than Diwali in India.
You have to be in India to understand and experience this festival. A few candles and some firework – that’s nowhere c;lose to the actual Diwali. But, we are not in India; we have our own style of celebrating Diwali abroad.
All around the globe, Indians celebrate Diwali festival, but in our own way! The families and friends get together to drink and dine, to party and dance. Seems familiar? Well, that is how we celebrate almost everything abroad – by drinking, dining and dancing! Be it a wedding, a birthday party, even the Holi festival.. or anything in-between …. we never pass on an excuse to drink, dine and dance!!
‘Festival of Lights’ is an understatement to describe this celebration in India. But, then again, we are not in India. The euphoria of Diwali, the traditions of the day, the competing fireworks late into the nights are hard to describe, even if you try. The feeling and enigma of Diwali is beyond what words can narrate. The thundering sound of the fireworks and the glow of night-lights gets lost somewhere in the translations, the translations from Indian culture to the life abroad! Continue reading
The cat and the cage: Her grandma had a cat; a cat she found wandering around in her farm when she was a littl… bit.ly/181Nyoa
Her grandma had a cat; a cat she found wandering around in her farm when she was a little girl. That was a long time ago, even long before India’s partition in 1947. The life on the farm was simple back then.
The little cat loved to run through the farm and all over the house, always on the run. Grandma named her Tufaan, which meant storm.
The day her grandma got married, they caged the cat under a big wooden box. Perhaps, they did not want Tufaan to run through all the sweets and the decorations. The grandma remembered it vividly – the cat scratching the box, begging to be freed. They had to put extra weight on the perforated box to keep her from escaping.
The wedding went smoothly, grandma lived a long and happy life.
“Let me tell you Aman,” Grandma would love to talk about her cat, ” Tufaan was my good luck. Our family’s prosperity is tied to that cat! She was my best fried!!”
Twenty years later, when Aman’s mother got married, grandma told the servants to arrange for a cage. For two days, during the ceremonies, grandma made sure that the cat stayed in the cage.
She repeated the same ritual when he other daughters got married!
“I am not very superstitious, only when it is logical,” Grandma would say if anybody would ask about her cat being restrained in the cage during the ceremonies.
And then, many years later, Aman came to Canada for studies. After her graduation, she found a job in Toronto and stayed.
For last two years, she was in her first serious relation. But she decided to back out; things were not working out.
Last month she went ahead and bought a large animal cage from the local pet store.
Now, all she needs is a man, and a cat.
Did I tell you – she is not very superstitious, only when it is logical!
Other Short Stories Continue reading
Best Bollywood movies of 1960s decade: This a summary of the best Bollywood movies, the Hindi cinema from the … bit.ly/1efxrYQ
The top Bollywood films of the 1960 decade
The decade of 1960s was unique for Bollywood in many ways. The legends like Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Rajender kumar, Sunil Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra were the leading heroes. The beauty and acting of Saira banu, Sadhna, Vyajanti Mala, Mala Sinha, Sharmila Tagore, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz was at its prime, adoring the big screens. The color movies had started to replace black-and-white cinematography. Mohammad Rafi,Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Manna Dey were at the peak of their vocal magic….
The decade of 1960s delivered some of the ever-green Hindi films, supported by soulful music and memorable acting. Here are some of the top Bollywood movies from 1960s.
Mughal-e-Azam (1960): This is one of the all time greats and one of the most expensive Hindi movies ever made. The star cast is great: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Durga Khote. The acting is very ‘real’. The dance sets are unparalleled for its time. Some of the famous dance sequences of Madhubala are filmed in the Shish Mahal -The Palace of Mirrors- in Lahore Shahi Qila.
Barsaat Ki Raat (1960): This is beautifully told love-story; another classic B/W of the 60s. The film starring Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Shyama, Mumtaz Begum and K.N. Singh in the lead roles. With lyrics from Sahir, the film is also popular for its qawwali songs, the likes of ‘Yeh ishaq ishaq’.
Chaudvin ka Chand(1960): Another great movie with equally great music. The film centers on a love triangle between Guru Dutt, Rehman and Waheeda Rehman. The ever-green songs are composed by Ravi and the lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. Rafi delivered a very versatile vocal performance for the title song ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho’ and other songs like ‘Mili Khak Main Mohabbat’.
Junglee (1961): The film stars Shammi Kapoor, Lalita Pawar, Shashikala, Asit Sen in the lead roles, along with Saira Banu in her debut role. The movie is lighthearted musical; it established Shammi Kapoor’s as the youth icon of the times. The song ‘Yahoo’, sung by Rafi, became a symbol of Shammi’s wild (Junglee) and lover-boy image.
Dharmputra (1961): Directed by Yash Chopra, the film features Shashi Kapoor and Mala Sinha as the lead cast. The movie is based on the the partition of India and the Hindu fundamentalism at the time. The film deals with the issues of religious bigotry and fanaticism during the dark days of 1947. This was Shashi Kapoor’s first film as an adult actor. Film’s music is by N. Dutta with lyrics by the famous poet of the era – Sahir Ludhianvi.
Bees Saal Baad (1962): This is a brilliant suspense thriller; the spirit of a dead girl, who committed suicide after being raped, seems to avenge her rapist. The film stars Biswajeet, Waheeda Rehman and Madan Puri among the main actors. With lyrics from Shakeel Badayuni, and vocals from Lata and Hemant kumar’s, the movie has some of the most memorable hits songs, like ‘Bekarar Karke Hume…’.
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962): Emotionally charged, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam is a romantic and nostalgic tale of a bygone era. The story is a reference to the plot exploring a platonic friendship between a beautiful but a lonely wife (Bibi) of an aristocrat (Sahib) and a career-driven low-income part-time servant (Ghulam). The music is by Hemant Kumar and lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. The film stars Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari, Rehman, Waheeda Rehman and Nasir Hussain. Meena Kumari’s performance as Chhoti Bahu is regarded as one of the best performances of Hindi theater.
Bandini (1963): This is a touching and a poignant drama directed by Bimal Roy. The movie stars Nutan, Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra as the leads characters. A story of a woman prisoner serving life imprisonment for a murder, the film explores the human conflicts of love and hate. It has a tragic but brave depiction of the sufferings and sacrifices of a strong Indian woman.
Mere Mehboob (1963): This is an interesting plot. The leading character suddenly finds himself in love after bumping into a woman who is clad in the traditional burkha. The problem – he has only seen her hands! Thus starts the plot to find the mystery of his love! The film stars Rajendra Kumar, Sadhana, Ashok Kumar, Nimmi, Pran and Johnny Walker in the main roles.
Dosti(1964): Dosti is a brilliantly told sad tale of human behavior in the face of adversity. This was Sanjay Khan’s debut film, with Sudhir Kumar and Sushil Kumar in lead roles. The film centers around the friendship between two boys – one blind and the other a cripple. The movie is also famous for its ever-green sound-track, including the songs ‘Jaanewalo Zar Mur Ke Dekho Idhar’ and ”Mera To Jo Bhi Kadam Hai’. The lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri and music by Laxmikant Pyarelal, Mohammad Rafi is the main vocalist for the songs. R. D. Burman played the harmonica throughout the film for the character of Ramu. After delivering the awe inspiring acting, the two lead actors were never seen in any Hindi movies after this one, raising all kinds of rumors and speculations about their fate.
Sangam (1964): This 238 minutes long film is produced and directed by Raj Kapoor. The movie stars Vajyantimala, Rajindar Kumar and Raj Kapoor himself as the main cast. This is a story of romantic love triangle and the resulting problems. The movie has beautiful cinematography and the melodious soundtrack; it has some of the best songs of the 60s decade, including ‘Dost Dost Na Raha’ and ‘Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega’.
Guide (1965): This is a masterpiece of the Indian cinema; the movie is known for beautiful cinematography, lovely music and spell-bounding storyline . The film’s cast includes Dev Anand as Guide and Wahida Rahman as the leading lady. The movie is based on the critically acclaimed novel, The Guide, by R. K. Narayan. The music is composed by S. D. Burman; the songs written by Shailendra. Some of the memorable songs from the movie are ‘Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai’, ‘Gaata Rahe Mera Dil’, ‘Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya’ and ‘Tere Mere Sapne’. Continue reading
The whispers and the shouts: “You have to go! I am done with you! This marriage is over!!”
She said nothing.
“You have to go! I am done with you! This marriage is over!!”
She said nothing.
“Wait till I show these pictures to your family!”
“Please listen…” she stopped mid sentence, not sure what to say next, or how to explain it.
“Sleeping with a married man! Shame on you!!…” Panting and puffing in anger, he paused to catch up his breath…., “You are disgraced all over Surrey! I will make sure!!”
Tears dribbled down her big brown eyes, scrolling down to the flustered cheeks, and to the sides of her big red lips. Her dark brown hair all ruffled up, she periodically wiped her forehead with the back of the right hand. With each and every nervous motion, in the nightlights of the front hallway, her tall and slender frame looked very fragile
It was late night, long after dinner time, long after the bed-time. He had already opened the door, asking her many times to ‘get the hell out of my house’. She resisted, she pleaded. Her futile efforts were useless. He grabbed her by the shoulder, almost pinching her with a firm grip. Turning her around, he pushed her out of the door.
She cried, this time much louder, but the door was already shut and locked behind her.
Standing at the front porch, she looked around. The upscale neighborhood was deserted. Other than a couple strolling down the side-street towards the pond on the far end, there was no one around. She was relieved that nobody saw her being thrown out of her own house.
The relief lasted only a few moments, only a few seconds. She looked around again; she looked down. She was bare feet. Scantily dressed in her summer Indian clothes, she was already starting to feel the chill of September night. The British Columbia weather and a full night ahead – she was scared. Very scared.
She turned around and knocked on the door, gently at first. No response. Then she banged on it, much harder. She could hear his footsteps on the other side of the door, getting closer and closer. She waited.
“Go away! Go call your boyfriend!” Her husband shouted from inside the house.
“Please open the door, Raj!” Her voice trembling, barely audible.
No response. She started to panic. They have had fights before; they have had long arguments that lasted beyond midnights. Being thrown out of the house, this was the first time.
A car drove by. She turned around, facing towards the door; pretending, as if unlocking the door. The front porch was dimly lit. The solar lights alongside the hydrangea bushes lit up the well-manicured front yard. The half moon was up in the middle of the sky; the stars were already out. For any other day, this would have been a perfect night to be outdoor, to admire the nature. Not tonight. Beyond the lights, moon and stars, she was more focused on the dark – a long night ahead.
Another car drove by, slowing down as passing by, perhaps to look at the house with woman standing at the door.
“Open the door!” She banged the door again. Continue reading