Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Zindgi Aisi Na ho Dobara

What a queer coincidence! The hot shots, the tycoons celebrated at the badshah’s palace, Mannat the success of the recently released flick ‘Zindgi Na Milegi Dobara’ at the time when the victims of the bomb blasts were suffering these words literally. The Maximum City was burning under three serial bomb blasts in which about 20 people died and many more were injured. Strangely, in such times celebrities like Shahrukh Khan and actress Katrina Kaif found a reason to celebrate. The party was hosted by Mr Khan at his residence and amongst those who arrived happily to wine and dine were Hritik Roshan, Adi Godrej, Kartina Kaif, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal and a few others. Don’t they owe any concern to the city and the audience that made them what they are so high headed about- superstars. Mr Khan has expressed sadness via Twitter. Fakeness of emotions can be easily seen through: the lament about bomb blasts and a totally converse behavior at the same time do not go in sync. Ms Kaif must be ashamed of herself to celebrate her birthday in such tragic times.

Another epitome of shamelessness was Minister Subodh Kant Sahay who was enjoying the fashion show of his daughter, pleading later that he didn’t know of the blasts till then: even when the entire country knew it!

True, in a country of more than a billon people, everyone can’t share everyone else’s miseries. But the people turned into celebrities by the masses owe in return some concern towards them, at least in such grave times. If they fail to do so and behave like a common man, well then it’s time we turn them back into one. After all masses make one a celebrity and this is nowhere more true than in the entertainment industry. We should stop eulogizing these ‘sell-ebrities’ any more.

As a quote by Napoleon Bonaparte goes “what hurts you in the end is not the words of your enemy but the silence of your friends”. It is not the unscrupulous motives of terrorist organizations that actually exist only for terror activities; it is the insolent attitude of our own ministers, government and the people who represent our society and in case of India, film celebrities included.

For the blast victims too, it is Zindgi Na Milegi Dobara for they will never get a lease of life again. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Book Review - Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Today I finished reading one of the classics, ‘Les Miserables’, written by the great dramatist and writer, Victor Hugo. This book has been a wonderful read. Even though it is some 600 pages long, it is very much able to keep a reader hooked.

The novel is set in France at the time around the French Revolution. The protagonist, Jean Valjean, a poor farm labourer, steals a loaf of bread to feed his hungry family but  instead gets caught and is sent to jail. He undergoes a lot of trauma, social boycott and misery in life and becomes more of an emotionless robot. After he gets out 19 years later (his sentence is increased after three failed escape attempts), he is transformed into a kind man by a noble bishop who gives his brazen soul a new lease of life. Valjean sets out to make something of himself and eventually becomes the mayor of a city. At a point of time, he faces a moral dilemma- whether to save a convict who is mistaken for Jean Valjean by disclosing his reality or to continue with his respectable and good life. Finally he takes the best decision. A parallel track also runs, that of an orphan lady called Fantine and her illegitimate child Cossette who grows up to be an integral part of the story. The plot is very well woven and is not that simple. How the lives of Valjean, Fantine and Cossette cross and what happens afterwards when Cossette falls in love with a handsome lawyer, Marius in the backdrop of the famous French Revolution form the climax of the novel. It has become one of my most favorite books from now.

Another prominent thing that you will notice is the beauty of the language and the descriptions of untold emotions. The ending made me cry and I actually felt a tiny jolt somewhere deep inside.

Les Misreables is a book worth reading!