Film Review | Maska : Sweet and Nostalgic

Poster of Maska

I have a thing for movies with happy endings. That is precisely the reason why, growing up, I have always loved Bollywood films. Because I knew, no matter what happens during the film, at the end the good will prevail over evil, sanity will win over insanity, peace will triumph over disharmony, and everything will be all right.

While I have developed a taste for various other genres, styles, and treatments in films, the ones with happy endings still hold a special place in my heart. 

That pretty much answers why I loved Maska, despite the film not-so-encouraging reviews. Broadly speaking, I loved the film for its simplicity and innocence.   


The film, Maska, which is a Netflix original, opens with Diana, played convincingly by cheerful and bubbly Manisha Koirala, who runs an Irani Café named Café Rustom, wants her son, Rumi, played by Prit Kamani, to take over the family business after completing his college. However, Rumi has other career plans and is not interested to take over the responsibly of the café and suggests selling the café instead. The mother, of course, isn’t convinced and that is the conflict on which the film rests on. 

Book Review: Controversially Yours by Shoaib Akhtar

Cover: Controversially Yours | Picture credit: Amazon

The book, Controversially Yours, an autobiography of one of Pakistan’s legendary fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, co-written by Anshu Dogra, released in 2011 which instantly created a stir in the media because its controversial contents, is a fascinating read. 

And if you have been a fan of the Rawalpindi Express ever since he started playing international cricket, this book will intrigue you even more.

I remember picking up this book one evening from a bookstore in Bangalore, in 2014, when I visited the garden city for work. I was due to travel to Kolkata in the next couple of days. I had booked a train ticket, which meant I had to be on the road for twenty-eight hours at least. So, like I always do, I decided to carry a book along with me. If not anything else, it could at least help kill the boredom of travelling alone in a train.

Film Review | Dwitiyo Purush by Srijit Mukherji

Dwitiyo Purush poster | P.C. SVF
Mounting a film like Dwitiyo Purush, a sequel of one of the most successful movies in the previous decade, Baishe Srabon, released in 2011, is never easy. While one must remain true to the cinematic universe of the previous film and ensure you are careful with all minute details regarding timelines and character sketches, it also comes with enormous burden of audience expectation. Comparisons are bound to happen and as a writer you must keep that in mind. 

By now, we, the movie going audience in Bengal, can safely say that Srijit Mukherji looks at home when he's making thrillers. I personally believe he understands the genre better than most of writers/directors we currently have in India today.

However, at the very outset, I must let the cat out of the bag: Dwitiyo Purush is by no means a perfect piece of art. Though there was no dearth of eventful moments in the film, given the number of murders that happen during its run time, I got a feeling the plot was dragging itself towards the all-important climax, and until that time, the characters simply existed and went on with their lives. The last thirty minutes is when the film comes alive. And, it feels almost deliberate from the part of the director to keep it that way before the big reveal happens in the climax.

Book Review | Democracy's XI: The Great Indian Cricket Story by Rajdeep Sardesai

Front Cover : Democracy's XI
Genre: Biography 
Hardcover: 371 pages
Language: English 

I was one of the people who was present at the Calcutta Club on November 2017 for the Kolkata-launch of the Democracy’s XI, The Great Indian Cricketing History, written by Rajdeep Sardesai. Besides the author, who is also a renowned journalist based out of Delhi, the other two people present at the event were former India captain, Sourav Ganguly and the famous cricket historian, Boria Majumder, who was also the moderator for the evening. It was a memorable 2-hour in which a lot of cricket stories related to various players including Sourav and his teammates were shared.

One of the things you can look to do at a book launch event is to get your personal copy signed by the author. I, being no exception, got my copy signed by Rajdeep Sardesai at the end of the event. However, I didn’t read the book straightaway. It was there, lying around on the shelf for some time before I could get to it finally after a few months.

The book, as the cover pretty much gives away what it is all about, is a collection of short biographies about eleven Indian cricketers who, according to the writer, made a mark during their tenure as a player and changed the course of cricketing history in India.

Short Story Review | The Red Thread by Debeshi Gooptu

Short Story Review | The Red Thread by Debeshi Gooptu
Cover | Short Story | The Red Thread by Debeshi Gooptu
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Title: The Red Thread
Type: Short Story 
Genre: Romance
Format: Kindle 

I came across this book, The Red Thread, on Twitter when the author shared it on her timeline. I am fond of the writer a lot and having read her previous work, The Gurgaon Diaries, few months back, I didn’t waste much time before going ahead and buying the Kindle version that is available on Amazon.   

This is a typical short story about a poor boy named, Adnan, falling in love with a wealthy girl next-door named Rai. The romance was just beginning to blossom when the one of them dies. And the story ends there. Often in stories like these we know there can be two possible endings: either a happy ending or a sad one. This story trends down the second path in a rather matter-of-fact manner.

For a short story, characters are often set in a predefined milieu and they exist there (well, mostly!) for the entire length of the story. There is not much scope for the characters to flourish or change their behavior patterns. Moreover, they have must hit the ground running right from the start to keep the readers engaged.

The Red Thread manages to create the milieu. It manages to grab your attention. However, it gets over before the emotional bond develops with the characters.

I found climax of the story a little rushed. Maybe, I was looking for the romance to blossom and take a certain shape before the catastrophe could hit them? 

I would not like to give away anything further and urge you to buy the book online.