The Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

Another year gone by, another milestone. Bollywood was full of color and variety in 2017, releasing some memorable movies in a variety of genre.
Here is the list of top Bollywood movies of 2017:

Tiger Zinda Hai: The film is a sequel to the 2012 Hindi film Ek Tha Tiger and the second installment of the Tiger film series. The movie is based on the 2014 abduction of Indian nurses by ISIL. The film stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Sajjad Delfrooz in leading roles, with Angad Bedi, Kumud Mishra, Nawab Shah, Girish Karnad and Paresh Rawal in supporting roles. This mega action thriller is co-written and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar.

Raees is an Indian film falling somewhere in between the crime and action genres. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles. Raees was said to be based on criminal Abdul Latif’s life, though not officially. It is directed by Rahul Dholakia and produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar under their banners Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment. The film was released on 25 January 2017 to coincide with Republic Day weekend.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania This is another artistic romantic comedy from Bollywood. A small town couple falls in love despite the fact that they disagree on everything and have opposite opinion on everything in life. Directed by Shashank Khaitan, and produced by Karan Johar, the movie stars Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt in the lead. This is the follow-up of the Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. At the 63rd Filmfare Awards, the film received eight nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress

Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana: This is romantic drama film directed by Ratnaa Sinha. The film stars Rajkumar Rao, and Kriti Kharbanda in the lead roles. The pair meet for a proposed arranged marriage and fall in love in the process. However, on the night of their marriage, an unexpected turn of events leads to new twists and new realities of Indian society. The movie is produced by Vinod Bachchan.

Lipstick Under My Burkha: Alankrita Shrivastava’s beautiful drama explores the sexual awakenings and personal struggles of four small-town Indian women, their problems, dreams and fantasies are very relatable for a common Indian – home or abroad. The film has the right blend of humor and empathy. Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur back this solid movie with equally sound performances of their own.

Hindi Medium: This is a comedy-drama film, written by Zeenat Lakhani and directed by Saket Chaudhary. The film features Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in the lead roles. Irrfan Khan gives another memorable performance, not that we expect anything less from this brilliant actor. The film exposes the duplicity of India’s educational system and the class divide created by English language. The movie is entertaining and has a smooth flow from beginning to end, like a true art film.

Secret Superstar: This is a beautifully done musical drama film, written and directed by Advait Chandan, and produced by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao. Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Raj Arjun, and Aamir Khan are the lead actors. This is a coming-of-age story of a teenage girl who aspires to be a singer. The movie deals with the issues of feminism and domestic violence. The film has received critical acclaim, and earned Zaira Wasim the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement.
Continue reading “The Best Bollywood Movies of 2017”

Why not ‘Made in India’?

Can India replace China as world’s manufacturing hub?made-in-india
The question is often asked, but seldom answered. The reason: there is no good answer; no one knows if this is possible in the near future. There is a wishful thinking and a hope, but no clear proof so far.

China has established itself as a dominant force in the manufacturing arena. Chinese have experience, which is hard to replace or reproduce. They have infrastructure specifically designed for outsourced manufacturing and they have no shortage of labor. As a result, ‘Made in China’ is a world force to reckon with.
However, China may be reaching its capacity in manufacturing labor. The wages are going up, the labor market is becoming more demanding. There are only so many workers you can hire at the rock bottom wages.

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. The western companies need to find an alternate to China; they need a back-up plan at the very least. That’s why more and more companies are looking towards Indonesia, Vietnam, and oh yes…India.

India is world’s second most populated country; no shortage of worker here. hence the question: Can India replace China as a manufacturing hub for the western companies? If you ask anyone including the Indian Government, the answer is Yes, with an ‘*’. Anything is possible, as they say and India has the size to stand against China. So what is the problem? Why India has not made much progress in this area?

Well, there are many ‘problems’, not just one. Continue reading “Why not ‘Made in India’?”

Happy Spring!

Time – infinite moments put together. Time – so unpredictable. No one knows what tomorrow brings,  if tomorrow comes.

Yet, time – always predictable if you step back and look at the bigger picture. The beauty of time – the spring always follows winter.

Another dawn, another beautiful day. The mild temperature of a sunny afternoon;  a welcome change.

The wintery chill is finally fading; the days growing longer, the nights shrinking. The morning frost is short lived. The winter attire and warm clothes are a thing of the yesterday. Strolling down the street in a spring jackets – it feels much lighter, much nicer…you can finally breathe the freshness of new air. Yes, a welcome change.

Another day, another season; it is finally starting to feel like spring again!

The small green buds are starting to peep from the naked tree branches. The green hue is returning to the brown dead grass. The ponds are no longer frozen; a pair of white swimming swans declare that the spring is finally here – the proof if you still need one. The outdoors are inviting again, with open arms. Continue reading “Happy Spring!”

Protect the kids, protect the future, not the guns!

Strict Gun Laws – we owe this to our children

The guns kill, there is no doubt about it. The guns are made to kill – animals, people, anything you aim at. The guns are the means to kill and assault. Yet, it is a sad fact that guns are so easily available, so accessible to everyone and anyone with little effort.

Guns are an integral part of American life, and American culture. There is a history of gun ownership in USA; it is a part of growing up – a hobby, a habit.

But, how good is a past tradition if it is ruining the future? Be it an old habit or an age-old tradition, some bad habits need to go, so do the flawed traditions. It is about time, about time to change the gun ownership tradition in America. In fact, it is already too late, too late for many affected families.

In the recent years, we have witnessed more and mover mass killings, more and more gun violence on a large scale. Shooting little kids in the schools, killing innocent students in the university campuses, gunning down peaceful worshipers for no reason…..too many killings on daily basis, too much gun violence.

It is a shame that powerful NRA, the National Rifle Association, is single handedly controlling the gun laws in this country. Disguising itself as the defender of Second Amendment rights, NRA is spending lots of money advertising the pro-gun agenda and lobbying the congress to support pro-gun stance. What the NRA does is simply disgusting and down right dirty.

NRA is very vocal against any gun controls including the right to own semi-automatic weapons, the guns that can spit out 100s bullets per minute. Why anyone need these assault weapons is beyond any common logic, beyond any rationale. Continue reading “Protect the kids, protect the future, not the guns!”

Summer of 2012

Time – infinite moments put together, one after another.
Moments adding up to the continuous flow of life.
The tree of life growing moment by moment, day-by day, season-by-season.
The moments – sweet and sour – some memorable, most of them forgettable.
Summer. The summer of 2012; another season.
Another phase, another period punctuated by the scattered memories.
Summer of 2012, summed up in one word – heat.
Relentless heat; unforgettable!!

Heat, the dry heat.
The endless summer heat-wave.
Long days of summer and the long periods of droughts.
No rains for weeks, a rare tease of light sprinkles in between.
Dry ground. Dry ponds.
Dead grass, thirsty gardens.
Thirsty gardens, cornless cobs, shriveling fruits, withering leaves….
The sun bombarding the earth every moment of day, day after day
The never ending summer of 2012… Continue reading “Summer of 2012”

A glimmer of hope – Indian sports in international arena

Future of India in the global sports competitions

Indian is a country with population of 1.2 billion people and growing, second largest in the world. Home or abroad, the Indians are known for their hard work and perseverance. And yet, when it come to the sports, India does not have much to show in the international arena. India has never been a top contender in the global sports competitions.

Yes, cricket is big; the country is crazy about the game. There are about ten competitive cricket playing nations in the world, and India is often often among the top ten! 🙂 Beyond cricket, India does not really have much world presence in the sports and athletic competitions.

In the Olympics games, for example, India has miserably failed to deliver any world class performance. At one time, India used to rein supreme in the field hockey, but not anymore. The most medal that India has ever won in the Olympics are 3, in 2008 Olympics in Beijing. That is quite a dismal performance for a country of the size of India! Continue reading “A glimmer of hope – Indian sports in international arena”

Trash and litter in India? Who cares!

Trash and Litter in India – A socially accepted behavior threatens the environment and surroundings

All around the globe, the world is taking a note of India’s economic growth. The country has made tremendous progress over the last 10-15 years. As an Indian, it is something to be proud of, to be very proud.

However, we must acknowledge, if there is any aspect in which India or Indians have not moved forward – or moved very sluggishly, – is in the field of environmental cleanliness and taking care of the surroundings.

By ‘surroundings cleanliness’, I mean caring about our neighborhood hygiene and upkeep beyond the doorsteps of our own homes.

If you look around, trash and litter is everywhere. Nobody seems to care about the waste, and how we discard it. If anything, we add to the garbage that is already abundant in the open and is everywhere. Littering a plastic cup on the road-side, after we done using it, is the norm. No one realize anything wrong with it. Throwing our waste on the street, and right outside our own house is a part of the daily routines. That’s how we are, that’s what we think is normal. Having waste and garbage scattered around everywhere does not bother us. We are content within ourselves as long as our house is polished clean up to the front doorstep. When it comes to surroundings, that’s where our responsibilities seem to end. That’s where we tend to stop – our doorsteps. Continue reading “Trash and litter in India? Who cares!”

The Bloom Box –An energy magic box or just a hype?

Every now and then, there comes something that makes you turn you head, that demands your attention regardless if you are ready or not.

Is the world ready for green energy to take over the day-to-day life?

The chatter is getting louder, about the possible next BIG thing. California Silicone Valley is buzzing with the new venture. Backed by the same powerful venture capitalist who once supported the start-ups like Netscape, Amazon and Google, the discussions about alternate power source are everywhere.

If successful, the new energy source can replace the big power plants and eventually the transmission line grid, over time. Moreover, it is ‘green energy’, completely environment friendly, as there is no burning or combustion.

K.R. Sridhar, the CEO of Bloom Box, is the man behind the concept. The ambitious undertaking is already being trialed by EBay headquarters and many other corporations, as an alternate to the conventional energy.

Basically, in simplistic terms, the Bloom box invention is a fuel cell, a very skinny battery that always runs; that is always on. The slim wafer takes oxygen from one side, and fuel on the other. The two combine within the cell to create a chemical reaction to produces electricity. These tiny wafers or skinny slates are stacked up to compound the energy production. Continue reading “The Bloom Box –An energy magic box or just a hype?”

The new cool!

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today. ~Henry Wadsworth

The time is like a slow magic – right in front of your eyes, changing everything, blink by blink. The fashions, the trends, the hairstyle, the dress-code..…- everything change with time.

And, it is not just our dress code, it is not just how we present ourselves, the change is a part of every aspect of our lives. How we address each-other, how we greet someone, how we write, how we talk, how we think…..everything is changing with time; everything is so different compared to when we were little kids.

When we were kids, smoking in public was a common scene; throwing trash on the roadside – or in the middle of the street – was not rare; kicking an empty can or a bottle down the street was normal. It was somewhat cool, it was expected.

But that is not the case anymore. The time has changed, so have the social norms, so has the new ‘cool’.

Now-a-days, people dress less formal; the greetings are more casual. It is no longer a fashion to smoke in a public place. You don’t wear a tie to the office. You will get many dirty looks if you decide to toss your empty soda-can in the middle of the street.

So what is fashion now-a-days? What is the new ‘cool’?

Cleaning behind your own mess is considered ‘cool’ now-a-days.If you refrain from smoking, your colleagues appreciate that – as non-smoking is the new trend. If you recycle your waste, you will earn some extra points from your neighbors and friends. Picking up someone else’s trash and throwing in the nearby recycle or garbage bin is all cool now.

So next time, when you see an empty can lying in the middle of the street, when you see a newspaper trashed along the side-walk, it is okay to pick it up and throw it in the recycle bin. It is okay to remind a smoker in a public park that smoking is not allowed there; a mother with a small kid will appreciate your gesture.

Now-a-days, here in North America and many other places, more and more households are switching to fuel efficient cars and trucks. People like to brag about how they are using environment friendly ideas – the solar lights, the energy efficient appliances, planting more trees in the neighborhood…… ‘Going green’ is the new cool.

It is the new trend; it is the new fashion that is catching up everywhere. Be a part of it, if not already! It’s cool! Continue reading “The new cool!”

The Future of Global Climate Policy

This is a guest post from Britney Wilkins; she writes at Online College.

As the United States and other developed nations continue to pressure developing nations to conform to their global-emissions protocol, it has in turn become a global debate that serves to affect the economies of these nations. With the United Nations climate conference looming closer in the calendar, countries such as India are getting ready to unleash their negotiation tactics in an effort to protect their nation’s own interests. There is a major difference between developed and developing nations which proves to be a debilitating constraint when attempting to allow them to grow at a rate Western nations grew at the same point in their evolution.
Countries such as India and China have opposed Western requests to decrease various carbon dioxide emissions and maintain that the West never had caps on similar emissions during the Industrial Revolution. Regardless of the time period, such emissions had the same debilitating results but also allowed many nations to reach the status point they are at today. Therefore, India maintains that it needs to release these types of emissions in order to become a fully developed nation. The recent bill passed in the United States by the House of Representatives has served to ruffle some feathers as the bill states that the U.S. will impose sanctions on countries that did not accept the binding emissions cuts. “Sanctioning” is a term that developing nations fear, as it has only served to further hamper the capacity of developing nations to grow and instead nearly sets them backward on the road to development. Continue reading “The Future of Global Climate Policy”