Khyanikaa is all about moments, like snippets from a dream. It is set in coastal Orissa.
The characters: Two men, a poet and an idler, in quest of the ever illusive idea. While fate acts judge and jury over their claims. Glimpses of a skeptical society. Newspaper stories come alive and question the reader, quite literally. Boats become alternate realities and the postman a dream navigator.
The setting: There are several scenes framed through a doorway or broken window … maybe to question ownership and reality itself. A man whiles his time away reading newspapers, immune to the rants of his irate wife. A poet consoles himself with alcohol and imminent international fame. A world leader addresses an impoverished and under-developed world, hints of comments on the divide between the have and have-nots. A mad man goes about his routine of dragging a teacher on a wheelchair, asking…
‘A Time Elsewhere’ from Penguin Books | Originally written in Odia as ‘Desa Kala Patra’ from Friends Publishers
Author Jagannath Prasad Das | Saraswati Samman, 2006 | Translated into English by Jatindra Kumar Nayak
A Time Elsewhere makes up a fantastic read on the state of affairs of a region which has mostly stayed dormant in fields where the neighbours and others have excelled to various peaks at different generations. It gives a typical window to a narrative spanning 50 years beginning from 1859. This span of history is important in many ways for Odisha, as we know today, where it gives an interesting view to its past and the formation of a society, language and identity stepping out from the shadows of neighbouring regions.
I have never technically struggled…(for the essentials). But such are the times that every little unconventional work that one does these days, tendency gathers to seek out gratification from people around us. And in fact, there will be people to establish that false sense of achievement by lauding the effort traditionally using the words – “at least you have been able to do this…” Thus every time I started to look at some of my accomplishments – be it materialistic or artistic – I could not help but wonder and compare with all those men and women who would have struggled harder, toiled more throughout the day and night and even during the sleep in between, who would have tirelessly pursued their goals and ambitions, and would have fought a far greater battle with destiny to turn the tide in their favor – to be where they are, just to have at the end in equivalent measures what I have. I couldn’t then help but ask myself – am I still worth the privileges I enjoyed or received.
‘Daisies’ is a 1966 film by Věra Chytilová and is highly regarded as one of the distinguished films of the 1960’s Czech new wave era. As the name suggests, it would easily come across as a non-serious and a non-intense film. But just like some of the facts about the film that are very interesting and surprising, the film, similarly had layers of political and ideological statements ready to be peeled off its surface.
Have had the good fortune to make it to the evening’s first screening at Film Society of Bhubaneswar “The Pearl Button” – a magnificent, enlightening and moving film by the veteran director Patricio Guzmán. It is so difficult to define this Chilean film as a plain documentary for it educated, mesmerized, astonished and at the same time put me into a standstill with the cinematic brilliance this film offered.
Is there a page you would like to skip? – No. Well, there will be many books where the same holds true. But this is no ordinary book. It is not a fantastic work of fiction either. The book is naked, raw and has some startling revelations on India, its democracy, bureaucracy, corporate business and their marriage to corruption since Independence. The fact that the author has put up a brave fight in the face of defamation cases (after the publication of this book) bears testimony to the struggle and the tedious documentation that would have gone into his years of investigative journalism.
Tope – The Bait,Buddhadeb Dasgupta‘s latest film is reasonably fast paced and is theatrical in terms of the characters sketched, unlike his past films. But without doubt everything about Tope is a masterpiece. Of course, the pacing of a film has nothing to do with the artistic charisma it can display. A master filmmaker just makes it right with his vision and cinematic excellence. And we must all thank the gutsy Pawan Kanodiafor producing such a brilliant film in today’s times.
Tope holds on to the psyche right from its first frame – An old gramophone within a frame of faith welcoming the vast expanses of human mind – just makes you sit and wonder as the film that unfolds. Just as the English name of the film – The Bait, suggests the film explores the human nature of being always in the search of a decoy – a hope – in order to fulfill many inherent desires. The dialogues in the film are both humane and thought provoking at the same time. And the characterizations in the film are top notch.