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Showing posts from October, 2008

‘Fashion’: Amour with glamour

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-by Swetha Amit

http://content.msn.co.in/msncontribute/story.aspx?PageID=5f1d25c2-22c4-419b-aea6-2a9dee9ecd69

When one thinks of glamour and glitz, words like superficiality, fame and wealth instantly come to their minds. Envious of their status, the fashion fraternity are often dismissed as frivolous beings whose lives seem to be easy and plush on the surface. Little does one realize that a mere walk on the ramp leads to different and unique walks of life? It delves deep into the human psyche of these beauties emphasizing the saying that “There’s more than what meets the eye”. Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion showcases the other side of this glittering world where dismissal feelings are replaced with stunning reactions leaving a lingering impact on the viewers.

The film cruises through the eyes of its protagonist whose narration embarks her journey as an aspirant model from a small town into the big bad world. Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) breaks all the conventional barriers and arrives …

Distorted perceptions

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=b8956114-761f-4cc1-904a-2167430f42cc She came out of the library with books stacked in her arms and glasses firmly perched on her dainty nose. A roar of laughter from a noisy group drew closer as she self consciously walked down the passage. Straightening her Kurtha, she strolled past the popular crowd whom she knew would pass a scornful look at this ‘oversized’ bop. A silence followed as they seem to stare at her and even heard a faint whisper about a ‘bookworm’ and a drab. Scuttling away, she buried herself into a pile of fiction gaining solace in the interesting characters of the literary world. As she glanced at herself in the mirror nearby, a plump girl with not a bad looking expressive face looked back at her inquisitively. Was being on the heavy side a crime? Everywhere she went, it was all she heard. The constant jibes at her physical appearance, the drone of ‘how not to binge’, etc etc.

She was hardly spoke…

Bearing the sole brunt

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=b2a32d9b-b302-4718-9ea5-a0228f1dcdaa He rushed through his project work that day. It was an evening he had been waiting for ages quite eagerly. The invitation had reached his parents a couple of weeks ago stating his cousin’s wedding on his paternal side. How long ago it seemed. He recollected those memorable days of playing in the huge garden indulging in notorious pranks that were inimitable of kids. A decade almost had gone by and things somewhere down the line didn’t depict cordiality. Certain issues which had cropped up had led his family to the brink of estrangement from the rest. Too young to understand the intensity of such problems, he had hoped things would die down as each went their own way. Never did he see his cousins, uncles, aunts or grandparents since that tension filled afternoon. For some vague reason, his parents seemed to avoid this ‘tender’ topic whenever he tried to broach it with a firm stre…

Ahead of times

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=5ed0ded7-b76f-4aa5-8387-d8156569203e “It’s been six years”, she said to herself. It seemed just like yesterday when they were engulfed in merriment and mindless leg pulling. A bunch of youngsters were on the brink of adulthood and were yet to face the harsh real world. Everything was so oblivious back then apart from their notorious group. She could still recollect the last day of College where solemn vows were made never to lose track/touch with one another. A few tears were even shed. Each traced a different path for herself and the journey of life resumed from a bed of roses to encountering a few thorns.

So much had happened in those six years that followed as she almost felt her teen self being a stranger to her. Little did she realize that a move to a different city would actually bring out a facet of her persona which ceased to have existed without her knowledge? Was it suppressed all these years due to being …

Night without dark spells

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=290dc3fd-511e-4ff7-9378-a8d171a4962d It was the sight of the swirling Ghagras and electrifying lights as we entered the stadium at 8:00 pm. The drum beats geared to lead us into a foot tapping fiesta. It almost seemed like the celebration of the onset of spring with the lively singing of Falguni Pathak on stage and the merriment of brilliant smiles worn on the faces.

Standing amidst the sea of jubilance, we keenly observed the unmistakable enthusiasm portrayed by all. Feeling rather lost initially, we were trying to find our feet literally amongst the graceful dancers, foot tapping to the tunes of Garba/Dandiya. As we finally got into the groove of an eclectic group, our spirits soared high as we swayed along. The two hours of elation seemed to remove the toxics of evil elements residing in our souls as our soles were in rapid action. Every inch of stress and anxiety dissolved like sugar into a hot cup of tea.

As the…

‘Ramchand Pakistani’: Borders on sensitivity

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-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=c517cd50-9090-4f32-8080-aa977e76beb7
Sometimes an innocent stray can cause one to pay a heavy price leaving them stranded on crossroads between life and death. Often we are told about not crossing our limits in several instances. Yet many do either deliberately or unknowingly not realizing at what cost the consequences come hurling at us like furious paced winds of a sandstorm.

Little did the lad realize that his sulky stance of strolling far from home would result him and his father being imprisoned for six years. Were they used as mere pawns for the occurrence of terror at the warring borders? Or was it the case of their ‘untouchable’ selves that led to their shabby treatment?

Ramchand Pakistani is a film that narrates a story of one such Dalit family and the subtle appalling conditions that they are faced with.

Amidst the terrains on the border in Pakistan resides the 7 year old Ramchand (Syed Fazal Hussain) with …

Atrocities at the Zoo

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-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=c9a9149a-8d0b-4175-8c32-87f978f11356

It was the image of a petrified leopard on the front page of the Mumbai mirror edition that jolted me out of my sleepy Saturday morning mode. As I frantically tossed over the page to read the story behind it, my feelings were that of disgust, horror and outrage. It almost seemed like a storm brewing out of a teacup literally as my cup of tea almost got knocked over in distress.

The lack of ‘civic’ sense exhibited by the so called ‘civilians’ at the Byculla Zoo seemed to spell atrocity all over. It was shocking to read their appalling treatment towards animals which were chain bound. Adults were found screaming into the lion’s cage to harass the big cats. And another man was caught pounding on the glass of the snake’s abode. Pelting stones and flashing beams with torches: they portrayed nothing but a shame to the civilization altogether

Apparently the zoo authorities reported this…

The other side of the coin

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-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=6ab0313b-ea1e-4d7a-a67e-f13eb6188f4e
The newly wed couple stood on stage lost in their own world of bliss with occasional greetings to the flurry of visitors. She was clad in a beautiful light pink sari which spelt ethnicity all over with its fine mirror and chamki works. The groom stood next to her with his suave gentlemanly attire of a dark suit that complemented the bride’s soft get up. Admiring their ‘happy to be with one another’ stance I stood in the rather long queue eager to offer my heartfelt wishes to the lovely couple.

Standing in line with my husband, we were reminiscing about the similar ‘wedding daze’ we were in, a couple of years ago. Amidst our conversation were the occasional smiles that flew across the room at familiar faces. All the while we couldn’t help but overhear a rather booming voice that was right behind us. The tone spelt ‘critics’ all over as the lady went on chattering away. Little did …

‘Love in the Time of Cholera’: Surreal

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=d5c9b517-d415-403f-a282-7b8a26f7bca8 Some diseases are a temporary block to ones course of life which act as heavy flakes of snow amidst the mountain passes disrupting an enthusiastic traveler. There are others which shatter ones life killing each living moment reducing them to nothing but ashes and dust eventually. While there are some which propel one to live with it till the end with a veil of remaining unaffected. Yet their ‘soul’ stirring moment occurs only when their purpose is fulfilled ultimately irrespective of the minutes/years that tick away.

Love in the time of cholera which is based on the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a love triangular story intertwined between three interesting characters. What may seem like just another romance drama depicts several connotations and meanings in depth conveyed in a poignant manner.

The film begins with the accidental death of the aged Doctor Juvenal Urbino (Benjam…