C for City of Gods

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‘City of God’ (Cedade de Deus) is a Brazilian movie that brought instant fame to the newcomer Fernando Meirelles. It’s a fast paced and gritty story about slum gangs that is set in the favelas of Rio. God’s own city that should be city of peace and prosperity ironically is rife with violence, gang wars and brutality. Therefore one of the characters right say, “Why return to the city of God, where God forgets about you?

It is based on the novel by Paulo Lins who escaped the slums to write the book, which is loosely based on the life or Wilson Rodrigues, a Brazilian photographer. The movie portrays the struggle of young adults in their teens, one to remain in the slums and yield his power as a gangster and the other to escape the harsh realities of his neighborhood to carve to out a new prospect for himself. It’s a story of kids who know no better than what they see like gun slinging hoodlums hailing from their own families, mindless blood shed and trying to keep afloat amidst gang antagonism and police brutality and treachery.

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One of them called Rocket gets a camera, albeit stolen, in his hands and he becomes a chronicler of the gang and its members, which becomes a life-changing course for him. The story is narrated from Rocket’s perspective of a precinct where poverty has undermined any human way of life, where all social structures and norms have crumbles, where the gangs rule and the death rate is so high that the leaders are much younger than we can imagine. Ironically Rocket’s position as a street kid helps him to take photographs that the local newspaper laps up. He thinks “This is my death sentence” but funnily enough the leader of the gang is pleased by this publicity and thinks that he can use Rocket’s gift to propel the gang into name and fame.

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In one such gang related wars he is able to capture policemen killing a gangster to pass off as gang related violence. This immediately hits the audience as not a mere story but a pulsating reality in the poverty stricken favelas. Though Buscape or Rocket, is in a dilemma as to whether he should expose the policemen or just publish the bullet ridden body of his friend and gang leader. From childhood, Rocket’s survival instincts are strong and he chooses to take the path that would not put him any immediate danger.

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‘City of God’ catches the eyes not just because of its story but also because how well shot the movie is. The camera moves and brings out the different grimy shades of the characters living in these slums where lawlessness thrives. It brings out the helplessness of people who want to move away from blood and life of crime yet is inexorably pushed into it because they have only know this life and are good at it.

The movie in no way exaggerates or underplays the situations nor does it have any great romantic side stories to appeal to the senses. It is just an honest depiction of a place and people from the perspective of a knowing eye who under all odds made a life away from gang wars, yet used gang wars as his tool.

A-Z

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B for Breaking the Waves

breaking the wavesbreaking the waves2Breaking-The-Waves3

‘Breaking the Waves’ is my all time favorite movie, and this Lars Von Trier masterpiece catapulted him onto the world stage as a writer-director to be reckoned with. Powerhouse performances by the actors Emily Watson as Bess and Stellan Skarsgard as Jan exquisitely highlight the dilemma of good and the bad.

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No other movie questions as poignantly and pointedly both the expansiveness and the limitations of religion – the inherent truth behind the seemingly virtuous and brow rising sinful code of conduct and the thin line between the profane and the pure. It at once jolts the audience physically, emotionally and spiritually, to question our age-old beliefs of morality and immorality. Nevertheless the brilliance of the film lies not in forming new belief systems but in questioning the ones that have been instilled in us by our religious institutions and their followers, in this case the Church and its puritanical and rigid priests.

The story unfolds in a remote village in Scotland where the dull and austere climate is reflected in the stony presence of the characters. Bess is a sweet young girl who hails from a rigid family whose only social engagement, as like all the other inhabitants of the village, is the gathering at the church. Their closed knit community is not too happy to learn about Bess’s choice of husband, Jan. Jan works in the oil rig and his jovial and fun loving nature is completely opposite to that of the villagers’ stone cold attitude towards most things in life. Its left unsaid as to why Jan is attracted to Bess, an unpolished village girl who is ‘not quite right in the head’. Perhaps it is just that attribute that brings him close to her. On the other hand Bess who has been raised under strict puritanical codes is all too keen to explore the mysteries of marriage and sex.

After a few days of blissful married life, Jan returned to the Rig. Bess went back to what she knew best – praying diligently in the church. She prays to God to bring back Jan as soon as possible and that he never leaves her side again. As is often said, be careful of what you wish for, her wishes were turned into a cruel travesty of fate when Jan returns after a near fatal accident that renders him paralyzed from head to toe. The tension goes up a few notches when Jan urges his newly wedded wife to have sex with another man and narrate it back to him. What motivates him to place such a deplorable request to the already traumatized wife is left to the audience’s imagination but the devoted wife never asks him why and he never bothers to explain.

jan hospital jan sick

Bess’s love comes under microscope when such a demand is made. Driven by love and only his best interest in her heart, she does exactly what is told of her. Soon we see her as an apathetic hooker, a far cry from her earlier self. Yet she does not leave her pious ways. Her two-way conversations with God almighty are heart wrenching, where he tells her to do what is the best for her. Her church banishes her, the little kids throw stones at but she is unconquerable in her faith. She tells Dodo, her sister in law, “God gives everyone something to be good at. I’ve always been stupid, but I’m good at this.”

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The underlying truth was that Bess, fierce in her faith, believes wholeheartedly that her sacrifices will redeem Jan from all his pains and he will get better. As his condition deteriorates, she becomes even more desperate; she goes to the big ship, where even the prostitutes don’t dare to tread. The remnants of her being is torn and devoured in such a manner that she never comes back alive.

The ending is cosmic, where Jan gets cured, as Bess is lowered into her grave and condemned to hell as she had sinned. No bells toll for sinners (but then there are no bells in this Church). Jan steals Bess’s coffin since he knows that Bess’s entire existence was for his survival alone, and he would not have her final resting place next to condemned souls. Far away from land and in the mid sea he submerges her coffin into the waters so that she might finally get some peace. It’s the miraculous tolling of church bells at this instance that makes the audience numb. There are no questions left in the mind that even in her perceived sin she attained sainthood.

The film has many surprising revelations and a kind or raw power and an unshielded regard for the forces of good and evil. Its always easy for rational minds to wrap themselves around religious beliefs and look down upon another who strays forgetting that we are human because we have weaknesses and we are human because God made us bloodied from head to toe. Bess stands out because she cannot rationalize the way we do. She chooses to embrace her God, uncomplainingly and fearlessly, in the way she perceived him and as she unflailingly thanked him for “the greates gift, the gift of love”

I leave you all with the trailer of ‘Breaking the Waves’ 

A for Anand

 

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To kick-start the challenge I have chosen an Indian Blockbuster called Anand. It was released in 1971 and is still considered one of the landmark movies of Bollywood. The film starred the yester year superstar the Late Rajesh Khanna and the man who played the second fiddle to him became one of the biggest names in the movie industry not just at home but also in the land of movie paradise – Hollywood. He is none other than Amitabh Bachchan. Gulzar another stalwart of the movie industry wrote the dialogues for the movie.

The greatness of the movie lies in the fact that it cuts across time and generations and also the numerous languages and philosophy that exists in a huge country like India and yet retains its freshness in story and message.

The viewers  feel drawn to it is because it successfully brings forth the indomitable human spirit. That spirit that is impregnable, impassable, invincible and unbeatable in the face of death and destruction. The message that though death is inevitable and the final truth for all of us who roam the earth, it is the fear of death that kills us in our every waking hour.

Dr. Bhaskar, the oncologist, is often surprised by Anand’s carefree attitude even though he knows he has not too many days to live. He cannot fathom Anand’s indefatigable spirit towards life and its many adventures. The truth that the talkative and spirited youth Anand gets to know his learned doctor friend was yet to find out that “Zindagi badi honi chahiye lambi nahi” (Life should be big and not just long) Anand time and again underscores the pointlessness of living a long life if we cant enjoy each and every moment and experience the fullness  and richness of it.

But he too has his moments of blues when he reminisces his love who he left behind and that is portrayed through the  melodious song “Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaye”.

There are innumerable instances that tug at the heart strings and one such moment was when Anand and Dr. Bhaskar record their voices. It remains to this day one of the most memorable dialogues in Hindi Film Industry.

“Babumoshai, zindagi aur maut uparwale ke hath hai jahapana, jise na aap badalsakte hai na mein. hum sab to rangmanch ki katputlia hai, jiski door uparwale ke haath bandhi hai kab kaun kaise uthega ye koi nahi janta”

(Life and death is the hands of the supreme power and we are mere puppets in his hands playing our parts the way he wants us to. How and when we are called will forever by a mystery to us.)

Hence be happy and spread happiness and celebrate this indomitable and unconquerable human spirit.

I leave you all with some of the dialogues from the movie that brings forth the futility of being overcome by the fear of when the final curtain is drawn on us

A-Z

A-Z Challenge – Films: The power of storytelling

titanicStory telling has an immense power to change us from within and without. This is true especially when you see it unfolding before your eyes, either it breaks your beliefs or it strengths them. There have been movies across the globe that have rattled us, blew us away, made us sit up, cry, laugh, scared us and also made us take notice of the seemingly obvious that we have been blind to.cinema paradiso

ingrid BergmanI have since my childhood had been enamoured by movie, magic and as we Indians say ‘masti’. What better way to reach out to the millions than telling a story through films. The pain of the unrequited love, the trauma of the second world war, the bigotry of religion, the heart rendering emotions of relationships, the bitter sweet truths of life, all brought out on the silver screen within two to three hours and each having the potential to bring about a change in the viewer and the society at large.

The willing suspension of disbelief that makes us live in a different world full of romance,intrigue, suspense, mystery, adventure is not just  a  powerful tool to change us but also a powerful tool to help us forget our worries and escape into the land of dreams. In the A-Z challenge I hope to portray the influence films have had in our lives and the influence they will continue to have. How they make and break stereotypes and how they knock out on the one hand and reinstate our opinions and impressions of the ways of this world, on the other.

GoodWillHunting

scent of a woman

I wish to make the readers discover a whole new paradise from my eyes and my point of view and I hope it is an incredible journey of discovery and rediscovery for all of you out there.

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Yes I am one of the late entrants as I was in two minds about the time I could dedicate. But what the heck I now know its always good to give it your best shot and never say never again.

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Picture Prompt 3 – The Waiting Room

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Sunil’s old, mangled hand cradled the phone back as he bid his son goodbye over the phone. He sighed at the slight twitch of his hand, wondering about all the things going wrong with him like an overused machine that has never been oiled and serviced before. Our body is a machine and no matter how well it is serviced it falls apart slowly but surely. He wondered how much more would the machine have to malfunction for him to finally fall apart. He wished he could go like Mr. Vardhan, who passed away in his sleep. It did shock the inmates of the Old Home as Mr. Vardhan played cards with them the previous night and cracked all juvenile dirty jokes that made them laugh their guts out. Yet, Sunil wondered, why they were shocked at all, were they not waiting for this ultimate day. The Old Home was more like a waiting room of a doctor’s clinic where patients wait for their names to be called.

Lost in his thoughts he looked out of the window into graveled path that led to the main gate. A car was waiting and a few people were getting off, the head nurse and the Doctor were also there greeting a young man and a lady who seemed old but not that old either. Sunil felt a strange smell of familiarity in the air. He wrinkled his nose and sniffed in the air almost like an animal. Yes, there was something in the air, that he couldn’t fathom, which felt familiar, known, almost like from another lifetime. Sunil went out into the lobby to peek in and find out if there was a new tenant.

As Dr. Tiwari led the reluctant and fretting  aging lady through the door, Sunil’s heart skipped a beat. Could it really be? After so many years, she looked the same, albeit much older but it was her alright. Those deep-set eyes, that little nose, those pink lips, they were unmistakable. Her face, her laughter, her hair, her complexion, the way she looked at him, were forever imprinted in his brain. Even from a distance, even after an eternity, he, Sunil, could recognize her. He stood mesmerized, paralyzed to the spot. What game was fate playing with them? In all these years was this the only time and place to meet again. But the bigger question was, ‘would she even remember him?’.

As they crossed him, he softly whispered her name, “Ira”!

She turned around and stared at him with expressionless eyes. Suddenly those eyes gleamed and she smiled. “Do you know him ma?” asked the young man,who was walking by her side. Ira just stared into Sunil’s eyes with a strange tenderness.

“I am sorry uncle, my mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s, she has probably mistaken you for someone else,” the young man offered an explanation embarrassed at his mother’s sudden sociability with a strange man.

Alzheimer’s! Sunil’s heart froze. Ira, dear little, lovely Ira, his Ira had forgotten everything. But wait, she did recognise him, despite his appearance going through a sea change. Or was it just someone else in her mind. Or did her heart finally find a way out.

He remembered the first time they had met. They were kids; he had kissed her to stop her from crying when she lost her shoe. Much later, before he went abroad for his higher studies, they had kissed like never before, like never parting souls. He promised her that he would return and she promised him that she would wait. The memory of their togetherness that evening was etched in him for life. Her breath, her heaving bosom, her scent, her trembling lips, her softness, he carried with him ever since.

“Mr. Dey would you please take Mrs. Irawati Bose inside. She seems comfortable with you and maybe you can show her around and make her feel at home. She was in a state of shock at an unfamiliar surrounding but she seems to be fine after seeing you,” Dr. Timari almost winked at him.

“Sure doc, will be happy to show her around.”

Ira looked at Sunil and stretched out her hand as if signaling him to hold it. Sunil looked at her son, who was surprised by his mother’s bold behavior. Sunil smiled and took her hand and as they moved away slowly from the startled party, and he whispered, “Ira, our wait is finally over.” Overwhelmed with joy and a powerful emotion of seeing his first love, he bent over and kissed her.

“Sunil,” Ira muttered her eyes beaming and a brilliant smile on her face.

The light finally dawned on him. This waiting room of an Old Home was not just a queue to travel to their final abode but also to a place, where a lifetime of desire and turmoil was permanently resolved.

Saved in Sri Lanka By Devika Fernando – Book Blitz

 
Book Blitz 
Saved In Sri Lanka 
by 
Devika Fernando

Blurb 

Some people are destined to meet.

It sure feels that way when Sri Lankan tour guide Sepalika meets Daniel. The mysterious tourist from Ireland steals his way into her heart and makes her question everything her life is built upon. Instant attraction turns to love – but does he feel the same? And what about the secret she’s hiding from him?

Follow the two on their quest for a happy ending amid the beauty and wonders of the tropical island paradise of Sri Lanka.

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About Devika Fernando

 
 Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

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Lemon Girl By Jyoti Arora – Spotlight

 
Lemon Girl 
by 
Jyoti Arora
 The Blurb
‘It’s all your fault.’

Mere words these are.

“But words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity.”

In a society that finds it easier to mark sins of a victim than the culprit, Nirvi is a young girl punishing herself for the faults she did not do and avenging her hurts by defeating her own truth.

She is scared of her future, and ashamed of her past. She is failing herself, and knows it. She has had a long line of boyfriends, and hated them all. She detests the guy she is living with, runs away from the one she loves , and seduces the one who can never love her.

When Arsh first sees Nirvi, she’s a free and frank girl in whose eyes sparkle the lemony zest of life. The next time he sees her, she is a voiceless doll draped in clothes that cover her body less and shroud her soul more. And Arsh can’t rest till he finds out what made Nirvi give up her own real self.

Nirvi knows she is dragging herself on a path from which there can be no recovery. Can her spirit survive the treacherous downfall? Or is the pull of fear and push of desperation just too strong to withstand for a girl who believes she has “nowhere else to go” but down.

“When it’s time for you to fall in love, even a lemon can become the cause of it,” says Arsh.

But can love survive, when even the self love dies?

Can love survive when respect is no more?

Does true love have the power to revive a dying soul?

Find out in the pages of this brilliantly woven, intense, heart-warming and thought-provoking saga of RISING IN LOVE

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Meet the Author

Jyoti Arora lives in Ghaziabad, India. Jyoti Arora is a Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology. Her writing achievements include two novels, three blogs, several wins in national level blog competitions, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc.

Jyoti’s first novel, Dream’s Sake, was published in 2011 by V&S Publishers. It received great reviews and much appreciation from readers.

Books have always been Jyoti’s best friends. In fact, books so fascinated her from early childhood that she learnt reading, by herself, even before she started going to school. And she considers herself most fortunate that she is able to pursue her dream of being a novelist and work at what she loves best.

However, if books are Jyoti’s first love, and she’s still very devoted to them, the thrilling and steadily advancing world of technology also fascinates her. As a result, one of Jyoti’s blogs is a technological blog called Techn0Treats. In 2011, a post in this blog won her the title of Samsung Mobiler when Samsung made her a part of the team of twenty bloggers chosen from all over India through a blogging competition. In this team of twenty bloggers, she was the only woman and perhaps the only one who had studied literature instead of science. As a Samsung Mobiler,Jyoti is a patient of Thalassemia Major which forced her to stop going to school after class seventh. After that, she continued her studies on her own through correspondence courses. Her zest to overcome her medical problems and zeal to achieve success keeps her striving on with her endeavors to make her dreams come true.

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A Spotlight on Matches Made in Heaven By Sundari Venkatraman

 
Matches Made In Heaven 
by 
Sundari Venkatraman
Sneak Peek
A collection of 13 romantic short stories based in India; a culture rich country steeped in tradition. Inspiration struck me from newspaper articles, TV shows and hearing people talk. The short stories are based on that fact that arranged marriages thrive right alongside love matches in India.
1. Groomnapped is Ameya-Surekha’s story as a light romantic take on the serious issue of groom kidnappings. 

2. Dark skin on a woman puts off men in general or so says the society. Beauty Is But Skin Deep is Nitin-Simran’s story that proves it wrong!

3. Ritu is twenty-five and wants to wait for her Prince Charming but her parents are desperate to arrange her wedding. Does she find her prince in An Arranged Match?

4. Dating Agencies are doing their best to get young people together to tie the knot. My friend Diti runs an informal one; inspiring the Red Rose Dating Agency. 

5. A guy’s complaint about his fiancée of a few years dumping him after becoming successful in her film career felt like a rant to me. Chahti Hoon Tumhe is an ode to the successful actress. 

6. Soumya actually lives life like Soul Mates but how many have the guts to? This, incidentally, is the first short story that I ever wrote.

7. Does Madeinheaven.com help bring Menka & Jeetu together with technology driven Matchmaking website? 

8. I originally wrote Rahat Mili for an anthology; Rahat means ‘relief’ and is a name too. Read the story with the word in mind and it will fall in place.  

9.  Reema’s Matchmakers brings Arjun and Prisha together at a get-together through a matchmaking network. But will they get married?

10. Nikita wants Krish for a friend and not her husband. As The Reluctant Bride she manages to have her cake and eat it too.

11. Shweta Ka Swayamvar is inspired by the practice of Swayamwar in ancient India of choosing a husband, from among a list of suitors, by a girl of marriageable age. 

12. Pappa’s Girl is about daughters of Industrialists taking over fathers’ businesses.  

13.  Mythology romances intrigue me; Love Match For Velan is my take on Lord Murugan falling in love with his consort Valli. 

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Meet the Author
Sundari Venkatraman has authored four novels and a short story anthology till now, Matches Made In Heaven (anthology) being the latest. The Malhotra Bride; Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven have all been self-published on Amazon under the banner of Flaming Sun. The three novels are regularly seen on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ Contemporary Romances list. The Box Set and Anthology are bound to catch up soon. A great fan of Mills & Boon romances over the past four decades, Sundari has always believed in ‘Happily Ever Afters’ and all her books promise happy endings. Matches Made In Heaven is a compilation of thirteen short stories – all romantic – based on many situations anyone can come upon in their day-to-day lives. The stories revolve around the different ways a couple can get to meet and tie the knot in a culture rich country like India. Those reading the stories will definitely be able to connect realising that one of the situations has definitely been a part of their lives.
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Breach: A Cyber Thriller By Amrita Chowdhury

Breach is a nail-biting thriller by Amrita Chowdhury. After a long time I found a thriller by an Indian author that read almost like a Michael Crichton book. The story travels across the U.S. India and China and this is precisely why the web of deception becomes more real and identifiable in today’s age and time when everything is just but a click away.

Breach has many characters and goes back forth from India to America. In the beginning it felt extraneous to have so many characters but the author has tied up the characters seamlessly at the end. She is a master story teller who has done all the research required to make an exhilarating crime thriller with hackers and research scientists all tied up together to weave the up the intriguing tapestry.

The wonder cancer drug Colare is up for approval and with a few weeks to go a data mismatch is apprehended that sends the Colare team both in the US and India in a hot trail to catch the perpetrator of the breach. Unfortunately the major portion of the blame lies with the India team as all the data is stored at the India outfit much against the chagrin of the American counterparts. Dr. Uday Vir Dhingra manages to convince the American boss Adam that India would be a good alternative for off shore data storage and research. Therefore all hell breaks lose when the breach is detected at the India end.

Amidst corporate espionage and data corruption on the net, Vir gets embroiled in a personal turmoil too. Between figuring out how to solve the problem before he loses his job and making time for his American fiancé Tracey, he also finds himself inexorably falling for his earlier girl friend Ditti. Like this was not enough he also finds himself right in the middle of I teenagers and apparently ignorant slum dwellers involved in hacking.

All the characters involved are very well etched out and each have an important part to play in the bigger scheme of affairs. The narrative is so vivid that one can almost see the story unfold before you. What gets in the way is too much technicality and jargon. That the author has researched well is evident but she could have been more judicious about detailing every bit into the narrative. It would have made story more tight and crisp. The other gripe I have is how Tracey is almost booted out of Vir’s life. At the end of the day, she did take the trouble to travel all the way to India and also check out places where she could possibly fit in and work whereas Ditti actually walked out of his life early on and drifted back in for no apparent rhyme or reason. This bit seemed very contrived.

On the whole a well written thriller and I would recommend it to book lovers to give this book a try and I promise it will not disappoint you.

 

 

 

Breach by Amrita Chowdhury

 The Blurb

How secure are your secrets in the virtual world?  Weeks before pharma-giant Acel is ready to file a global patent application for cancer wonder-drug Colare, its offshore data centre in Mumbai is hacked. The charismatic, young leader of its Indian business, Dr Udai Vir Dhingra, finds himself being blamed for negligence and breach of security. Battling market pressures, media scrutiny, livid American bosses and crumbling relationships, Vir must find the perpetrators, or see his career – and his life – spiral downwards. But the deeper he gets dragged into the shadowy world of masked online identities and muddied digital footprints, the more Vir discovers that nothing is easy or obvious, and everything has a price. Set across Mumbai, Washington and Guangzhou, Breach is a compelling and edgy cyber thriller that explores the dark and dangerous underbelly of our increasingly virtual existence

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 Meet the Author

 Amrita Verma Chowdhury is the author of Faking It, an art crime thriller about fake modern and contemporary Indian art. She holds engineering degrees from IIT Kanpur and UC Berkeley, where she was a Jane Lewis Fellow, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon (Tepper Business School). Her work as an engineer in Silicon Valley led to seven US patents for semi-conductor fabrication – something to show for those bad-haired days. She has done Strategy Consulting and Board Effectiveness work in the US and Australia and has spent long nights fitting five-syllable words inside two-by-two squares. She has worked in the rarefied bastions of Ivy League education bringing together ideas and people. She currently works in publishing.

She lives in Mumbai with her husband Sumit, their two children Shoumik and Aishani, and an assortment of pets including a cocker spaniel, a guinea pig and two turtles. She loves travelling, baking cupcakes with her daughter and hearing from her readers.

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Bollywood Musical Saga by Kaushik Maitra

Nutan&Dev Anand       Nargis rajkapoor

“Songs” have been always a very important part of Indian films; especially the Hindi films. This was something unique, as it was not at all used in the films of any other countries.

madhumati        madhubala

In the decades of the 50-s to 70-s, even the popularity of a film was measured with the popularity of its songs. Many times, it affected the film’s business also. Famous producer, director and actor, Raj Kapoor, used to release the songs first (in form of gramophone discs) and later prepare the for the film. He even used to make changes in the film- story, according to the lyrics of the songs. Same thing was done by many more directors/ producers.

The popularity of Hindi film songs began in the era of late forties. The pioneers of this phase were stalwart singers like- K.L. Saigal, Ashok Kumar, Noor Jehan, Suraiya and Pankaj Mallick; composers like- Khemchand Prakash, Ghulam Haider, Naushad, Anil Biswas, Pankaj Mallick and S.D. Burman; lyricists like- D.N. Madhok.

However, the songs of this era, are still blamed to be “very monotonous”, with very less variation of orchestration and experiments.

This picture changed from 1949 onwards; when the legendary composers (the first trend setters of Hindi film music) Shankar Jaikishan entered the field. In the meantime, Bollywood had been bestowed with tremendous versatile singers like- Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Mohd. Rafi, Manna Dey, Geeta Dutt and Talat Mahmood; lyricists like- Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, Rajinder Krishan, Shakeel Badayuni and Majrooh Sultanpuri.

The combination of Raj Kapoor- Shankar Jaikishan- Shailendra/ Hasrat Jaipuri created a history, with their first big success of “Barsaat” in 1949. The music of this film changed everything- the orchestration, the melody and also the trend of music. “Barsaat” created a history in Indian film music. This was also the film, from which the names of the playback singers started to get displayed on the titles; previously their names were not displayed.

Within another few years, Bollywood got enriched with more singers like- Hemant Kumar and Kishore Kumar; composers like Roshan, Madan Mohan, O.P. Nayyar, Ravi, Salil Chowdhury and Hemant Kumar. This was the time, when “songs” became the most important part of a Hindi film. This continued for another 30 years. It even reached the peak, when more talented and versatile composers (like Kalyanji Anandji, Usha Khanna, R.D. Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal) entered and started to rule the music world of Bollywood.

A few evergreen songs from this era

Madan Mohan 

O.P. Nayyar 

Salil Chowdhury