Thursday, April 23, 2015

" Court " the film.

The Multi language  film "Court "  was released last week .My parents wished to watch it. We had read reviews by Shanta Gokhale & others. .All had immense praise for the movie.So ,we decided to watch it as soon as it was possible. We finally got to watch it yesterday.Well ,the movie is worth a watch not just once but many times over.

It tells the story of Narayan Kamble a folk poet who pens poems & sings them on stage .A BMC ( Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai ) cleaner of gutters, Pawar  is found dead. Kamble is accused of causing the death by aiding &  abetting Pawar's suicide. Kamble had performed in the slums where Pawar resided .It is alleged that Kamble's songs & performance  instigated Pawar's death.

Narayan Kamble is arrested. His lawyer,Mr Vora is a Gujarati .At one stage, he says that he is unable to understand the public prosecutor speaking in Marathi.The judge says that he will translate it for him. The bail application keeps getting postponed & postponed for some reason or the other. Just goes to show that delays are the only reality of our judicial system.The police officer makes excuses for the absence of the witness. The judge reprimands him & yet ,the feeling it evokes is of indifference & apathy. Nobody seems to be bothered about the death of the sweeper. The State is more inclined to make a scapegoat of the poet more than anything else.  After all ,such small & irrelevant things keep happening in Indian metros.

The  dead man's wife tells the court that he used to drink & then enter the gutters for obvious reasons. No gloves, masks and or gum boots were ever provided. Her evidence makes the audience cringe. And if this is the indifference, shown by one of the richest Municipal Corporations in Asia  , it is better to leave things unsaid about other municipal bodies .

Narayan Kamble ,the poet is made to look like a terrorist by the police & the State .This evokes humour. There are no bombs, no guns & yet his singing of songs exhorting people to revolt is enough to arrest him on charges of Sedition under the Indian Penal Code .Sedition is waging war against the Government by law established.

Pawar's wife says that if she keeps attending the hearing at court,she will lose whatever savings she has .Mr Vora offers to help financially.She declines & tells him to find  employment for her. This makes one ponder about the quiet dignity & self respect of the woman in times of grief .Such scenes make the movie very poignant .Kamble gets bail & how .And yet, the case has not ended Kamble has  constantly been under the State lens for his alleged activities of giving speeches, singing songs, publishing etal .His lawyer pays the bail amount. Kamble protests & the lawyer tells him," Please do not worry.This case is going to go on long & you can pay me later ." All the parties know that no case ever ends in our judicial system,especially irrelevant ones like arrest &  charging  artists of instigating people against Governments.Yet ,the law enforcers will strictly pursue such cases while the criminals,black marketeers, rapists,murders go about freely creating horror & havoc. Maybe, the police believe that the terror unleashed by such elements is enough to maintain peace.And they can do the real task of protecting the State,  from elements like Kamble !

Kamble is booked again .Will his lawyer bail him out this time ? And what about his health ? Kamble is a senior citizen & ailing in health. Will the judge grant  relief in time & on what grounds ?

All the actors have acted superbly.The court scenes are subdued & real . and yet the irony of the judicial system  hits home very hard. It leaves one questioning our judicial system ,our metros,the sweepers who keep our surroundings clean & just about everything else that is going wrong. It makes us aware of the pitfalls & the irony of  it all.

This film  won  the Luigi De Laurentils ( Lion of the Future Award ) for Tamhane,the director at its premiere at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in September, 2014 .This movie was awarded  the best feature film award at the 62nd  National Film Awards.It has won 18 other awards at various international film festivals .

In the film, there were subtitles in English throughout the film. Moreover,the Gujarati lawyer speaks in Hindi,English & Gujarati. So,non Marathi audiences can understand the film with ease.

I felt ,that I was back again in the courtroom which I had left years back for a desk job. The Industrial  & Labour court where I started learning the nuances of law was just the same as the courtroom in the film.It was yesterday once more !

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cover Reveal : Love Again by Shrruti Patole Clarence & Sumeetha Manikandan

Cover Reveal

Love Again 
Shrruti Patole Clarence & Sumeetha Manikandan
A Double Header Novel


Love, Again is a double header novel published by Half Baked Beans andFablery with two novellas - A Tulip in the Desert by Shrruti Patole Clarence and These Lines of Mehendi by Sumeetha Manikandan.


A historian in making, Charmaine has settled down in Amsterdam after her father migrated from India when she was very young. Life was picturesque until the final year of Graduation when she elected to specialize in Egyptology. Thereafter from the time she read the book about Cleopatra, revelation after revelation turns her world into a tornado!

Raj, another aspiring Historian, walks into her college and her life like a whirlwind. A simpleton from Delhi, Raj too finds mysteries unfolding before him from the time he enters the college library right through to their educational tour to Egypt.A series of events throws them together at every step of their college life despite Charmaine wanting to maintain a distance from ‘this’ natural charmer.

A twist of fate puts Raj and Charmaine in the most unthinkable situation that finally links back to their ‘revelations’. Raj must face a choice again…A choice of history over his love… or does he have the mettle to change history and create his own?


Beautiful and efficient Lalitha loved to deck up brides for their wedding, though her own marriage was in shambles. When her estranged husband suddenly commits suicide she realizes that things wouldn’t be the same again…

Shrikanth thought that he was a confirmed bachelor but when his mother refused to get herself treated for cancer unless he got married, he had to get a bride in a hurry.She needed a husband in name, to save her career while he needed to marry to please his mother. Will they find love second time around? Will they lower their shields and succumb to a mutual passion?

The Authors

Shrruti Patole Clarence

Shrruti has been a voracious reader since early years and took to composing poems when she was very young. She has worked as an Aviation Manager for over ten years with various airlines, she has been on a sabbatical for her two son's aged six and one year respectively. She enjoys this welcome break from career, to be able to pursue her passion, writing!
She has to her credit six short stories featuring in different Anthologies; a Hindi poem featuring in Tumbhi’s contest Ehsaas judged by the famous screenwriter Javed Siddiqui.Shrruti is a warm and friendly person who loves music and watching sports when she is not writing.

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Sumeetha Manikandan

Sumeetha Manikandan is a freelance writer and an author who loves to write and base her plots on the tambrahm community of Mylapore, Chennai. She is the author of ‘The Perfect Groom’ that has been a best selling ebook on the top 50 charts of Amazon India ever since its publication in 2013. 

An avid reader, she loves to read across different genres – romance, historical fiction, non- fiction, mystery, fantasy etc. A history buff to the core, she is currently translating Ponniyin Selvan – the evergreen tamil classic epic history by Kalki Krishnamurthy into English.

Married to film maker K.S. Manikandan, Sumeetha lives in Chennai, along with her six year old daughter.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review : Crossed & Knotted.

"Crossed & Knotted " is a novel penned by 14 authors.This itself is quite interesting as  a thread of a story is woven by so many writers ! The novel consists of 14 chapters .Each chapter is by a different author. Each chapter is a story, which is complete in itself and yet ,a part of the novel.The fourteen stories add up to make the complete novel ! The publisher is Readomania

The first story is about Sudip & how he falls for Megha .They marry & then begin the revealations.It unfolds like a marriage going wrong .Do they divorce or separate ? What about the child ? What is the fault of the child ? Who is at fault ?

The second story is about James or is it Joseph Varughese? How are they connected ? Is it about re birth or someone is playing tricks ?

The third story is about Siya & her family.Her son never seems to sit still.He is restless. Is there a reason for that ? Or is it just a hyperactive kid ?

In the fourth story ,there is a thread connecting Joseph Varughese.It  begins to get scary. Do such things happen ? Its like being on the edge.The next story scared me even more.It has some eerie effect to it.

And so on....the 14 stories weave a magic .It never feels that each chapter is penned by a different author.The themes are so varying & yet fit into each other like a jigsaw puzzle.There is murder,rebirth,terrorism,love affairs, super naturalism ,etal !

There will be sequels to this novel as some stories  seem to end though the readers would want them to continue further.

Crossed &Knotted
India's First Composite Novel

The Blurb

Crossed & Knotted is India’s first Composite Novel, a book written by fourteen authors in close collaboration with each other. The chapters, each a story in itself, are knotted with one another through characters, events, settings and emotions. The result is a read that criss-crosses through a multitude of emotions bringing out deep rooted human desires. They narrate tales of love and betrayal, suspense and mystery, courage and dilemma, along with hope and resilience. Read it for a taste so tantalizing, that your mind will surely be craving for more!

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Sutapa Basu is an Honours scholar from Santiniketan and holds a Masters degree in English Literature. Her professional career has seen her as a teacher, editor, and publisher. She has worked with renowned international publishing houses like Oxford University Press and Encyclopaedia Britannica. In the last five years of her professional career, she has launched 111 educational titles, 33 CDs and digital products, a language lab and a website. She has also developed and edited over 450 books over the last thirteen years.


India has traditionally been the land of storytellers and a lot of us have an inherent skill of creating good plots, stories and narrations. With a little encouragement and support, many more authors can be widely read. This is the essence of Readomania-an initiative that nurtures emerging stars of the literary world.

Readomania is an online content discovery platform that brings to life a whole new literary world, with stories, authors, books and a lot more. We also have a publishing house that takes the best of Readomania from the online format to print editions and launches debut authors. Our focus is to bring to the market, new authors and novel concepts, a composite novel being one of them. Our previous book, Chronicles of Urban Nomads, a collection of short stories, was also an experimental publication. 

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Readomania is the talent hunt in fiction that goes a step beyond, nurtures talent and showcases it to the world, in the process, creating a powerhouse of content.

Our website also has a lot in store for the reader. Since the content is edited and curated, by a strong team of editors, readers get quality reads on a platter. The variety on Readomania is impressively vast; we have romance, emotions, thrills, travel, humour and drama. 

Accessing Readomania makes for a perfect break of fifteen minutes from your daily grind. The website was launched in January, 2014 and is already very popular with about 3500 registered users, of which 300 members are active contributors and authors. The site also boasts of 800 online publications and more than three lakh page views till date.

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