The Dear Departed - 2012

It is 31 December and time to look back at the year gone by. Just as Wordsworth wrote in his Ode to 'Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood': "Another race hath been, and other palms are won", we can say that 'another year has been'. But what next? As I flip the pages of my 2012 Diary, I almost relive all the experiences - some sweet, some sour, a few bitter and some beyond being just sweet. So it had all the shades of grey. After all, life is never black or white!
Mixed Emotions
The bitterness was not all personal but social too as one person is not a detached being, he is a social being and hence, cannot live in water-tight compartments. And it's not either about the gender too! Whenever a rape or molestation case is reported I am affected as a human being first and then as a woman. But my talking of 'human being' and 'humanity' might seem out of place as 'being human' is just fashionable but it's not a practical reality. We 'humans' have a very short term memory. We see, hear, discuss and just as easily forget all things. Candle-light vigils are alright, but have we started to change our mentality or have we tried to change the sick mentality of others. Until and unless we 'the common man' changes no change will be absolute. Being totally dependent on the government to do something will be nothing short of a tragedy. Oh! but why have we deviated into discussing things seriously? We should be preparing for our new year bash! After all, life goes on, isn't it? How does it matter if a person died of inhuman brutality? How can we imagine the plight of the 23-year old's dear ones left behind tormented and shattered? Right?

Everything is a combination of both good and bad, same is true for a year. And for 2012 as well...but at the same what remains with us for a comparatively longer time is how the things end. If something ends on a good note, it leaves an after-taste of gaiety. But this time 2012 does nothing of that sort. The after-taste this time is a very bitter one. It is not just about one case, the point is the crime continues unabated. The ones who should be taking some concrete steps are busy in suggesting a ban on skirts or opposing the death penalty to be included in the Rape law or pressurizing parents for a hushed up cremation in the wee hours. Where will it take things? Nothing much to expect I suppose...

I apologize for having written on this because may be readers would expect something literary on a literary blog. But if a writer is not sensitive, who will be? Kindly ponder over this... "Don't mourn my death, preserve my thinking and carry forward my fight" - that will be the real tribute to the departed soul and the dear departed 2012 too!

Delhi International Film Festival 2012

Sharmila Tagore at the Opening Ceremony of Delhi International Film Festival 2012

Delhi International Film Festival(DIFF) - 2012 is being held at the NDMC Convention Centre from 21 - 27 December, 2012. DIFF 2012 is a grand showcase of world cinema in Delhi. I am proud to be a witness to some of the very good films. A few will find mention in the columns of this blog in the coming days. Let's talk about 'Ziyarat' first of all. 

'Ziyarat' (the pilgrimage) is inspired by the internal displacement and mass migration of a complete community of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) from their mother land Kashmir, also known as the Paradise on Earth. These innocent people have been struggling for survival for the last 20 years in refugee camps in many locations across India. 'Ziyarat' is one such story of a young Muslim and his wife taking the responsibility of locating his lost friend his wife, who had fled Kashmir to save their lives after the terrorists killed his parents, and adopting their son left behind during the attack in confusion. While the wife, Mariyam assumes the responsibility of raising the young child Posh, the husband Abdul Kadir decides to cancel his trip to the Hajj and prefers to devote all his time in search of his friend Pandit Dina Nath and his wife Girija. His search is endless and he leaves no place in the valley where he doesn't look for his friend. He consistently searches for them for two long years. Pandit Dina Nath as the mouthpiece narrates the history of seven exodus that have taken place in the past 700 years. 

Suresh K. Goswami
The film is a nice amalgam of a nice story line and documentization of reality. It contains the views of real refugees from various camps. The winding up of the story leaves a nice after-taste of message of love for humanity, of being human, and also draws out the real essence of indulging in Hajj. The film also echoes the opinion that all religions teach peace. Overall, a worth-watching film definitely! The director Suresh K. Goswami, leading CEO/Managing Director of many hard core engineering multi-nationals across the globe during his career, quit his job in 2009 and took to creative writing as his only vocation. He is the screenplay and dialogue writer, producer, director, cinematographer and also the financier of the film.

‘Revenge of the Naked Princess’ by Oswald Pereira

Leadstart Publishing and Crossword hosted ‘Revenge of the Naked Princess’ by Oswald Pereira. India’s first novel that focuses on forced conversions from the 16th century tells chronicles of how nebulous the lines between religion and carnage can be. It was a joyous evening in the presence of Renowned Actors like Smita Jaykar and Anshuman Jha, Spiritual Guru, Dr Rajshri and Celebrity Author Ashwin Sanghi who attended the book launch. 

 Oswald Pereira read excerpts from the book while onlookers around sat quietly listening to every word with rapt attention. Everyone applauded after every passage was read out as the writing style of the book as well as the content was fresh, creating a story etched in the minds of all those present. The novel talks about how joint conversion brigade of the Portuguese King and the Pope set out to spread Christ’s message of love and compassion, but they leave behind a deathly trail of murder and mayhem Mr. Oswald Periera said, "Revenge of the Naked Princess shows how brutal force conversions blur that live between religion and carnage that is must read. Set in 16th century the protagonist tribal princess Dharsana resists forced religious conversions by a powerful Portuguese conversion brigade with her ace poison arrows.’’ Swarup Nanda, CEO, Leadstart Publishing said “It is great to be associated with such inspiring authors like Oswald Pereira whose writing has been a revelation for years. The launch Revenge of the Naked Princess has proven success and we hope to work with him on more occasions as well.” 

About Leadstart Publishing: Leadstart Publishing is a leading publishing house from India. It is both creative and progressive in its vision and publishing focii. The Leadstart Lists feature distinguished authors and writing from across the globe. Today, Leadstart Publishing has 10 brands and publishes over 200 titles a year, with imprints and products in all major book categories. Leadstart is also India’s largest book distribution network, with a retail distribution spread of over 100 cities, almost four times the size of its closest competitor. Leadstart Publishing has been termed ‘the fastest-growing book publishing company in India today,’ by The Week magazine. 

Synopsis of the Revenge of the Naked Princess: On a hot, humid morning in May 1545, a joint conversion brigade of the Portuguese King and the Pope set out to spread Christ’s message of love and compassion, but they leave behind a deathly trail of murder and mayhem. Armed with a monstrous cannon and scores of firearms, the brigade raids Princess Darshana Kamya Kathodi’s palace in Tana, carrying for her and her people the King’s inviolable conversion order… sealed by the Pope’s promise of a new heaven. The beautiful, 18-year-old tribal princess fights back with her ace archers’ poison arrows. Revenge of the Naked Princess shows how brutal, forced conversions can blur the line between religion and carnage.This historical page-turner by veteran journalist-turned-novelist Oswald Pareira comes after the success of his widely-acclaimed, best-selling thriller The Newsroom Mafia. 

About the Oswald Pereira: A veteran journalist, Oswald Pereira has worked for leading newspapers and magazines in Mumbai, New Delhi and Muscat. Oswald, who has taught journalism at The Times School of Journalism, is an editor and an English language trainer. Oswald is the author of the widely-acclaimed, best-selling crime thriller, The Newsroom Mafia, published by Grey Oak Westland in December 2011. He was born in Thane, Maharashtra, and studied at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. He now lives with his wife and son in Noida 

About Crossword Bookstore: The name embodies the vision of Crossword as a place and space for people who seek information, knowledge or just the pleasure of reading. Crossword stocks the widest range of Books – Movies- Music- Toys- Stationery- Magazines and CD ROM’s.With its large children’s section and its focus on making the store a friendly, safe, fun-filled place, Crossword attracts many families who normally don’t think of visiting bookstores. Facilities like the Crossword Gift Vouchers, the friendly ‘Return, Exchange & Refunds’ policy, the Cafes within the stores and the unique store experience make it easy and enjoyable for customers to shop at Crossword. Over 3 lacs loyal customers are rewarded through the Crossword Book Rewards Program with points, discounts, exclusive discounts & offers and more. Since its inception in 15th October 1992, Crossword has received wide recognition for its achievements; articles on retailing in India invariably feature Crossword. It has been featured in Advertising Age International, USA, as one of the Marketing Superstars for 1994. The Bookseller, UK, has also described it as ‘being on the cutting edge of retailing’ in India.

Book Review: Barnabas

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