Saturday, 18 November 2017

"Tumhari Sulu" - is about Vidya Balan's compelling energy

It's been quite a while, that I wrote a movie review. But "Tumhari Sulu" compelled me to mold the multitude of my emanated emotions, in the form of this blog. To begin with, I must confess, that this movie is my type. I belong to that kind of audience, who will indulge into real emotions exuding from real characters, rather than going on an cryptic, yet visually treating voyage.

"Tumhari Sulu"  is all about Vidya Balan and her stellar calibre to woo the audience by her lucidity, corporeal energy and immense power of portraying reality on screen, to an extent that the screen and actuality become largely inseparable. 

Sulochana Dubey, affectionately referred to as "Sulu" is a housewife, based out of a typical suburban Mumbai household. She is buzzing with positive energy and undertaking the big and small challenges of life, saying "Main kar sakti hai". She is a person, who will make you forget the worries that bug, and compel you to see the brighter side. Deriving happiness in her imperfectly beautiful surroundings,  she pats her back for being able to keep the lemon from falling, in a lemon and spoon race or for winning a pressure cooker in a radio contest. 

Sulu's husband "Ashok", played by theater personality Manav Kaul, is a well sketched character and unreservedly compliments that of Sulu's. Manav Kaul, is a pro with his craft, and unabashedly makes his presence felt, without trying too hard. Ashok is a soft-spoken, caring husband, with the subtle presence of vulnerabilities and insecurities. The scenes between Sulu and Ashok, are enjoyable and relatable.

Sulu keeps herself entertained, listening to the radio or talking to the pigeon, she is radiating gaiety in every frame. A sea change in her life comes as she gets the job of a RJ, in a late night show, wherein deprived and devastated manhood, seeks solace in her explicitly sexy voice. Director Suresh Triveni makes sure, that the suggestive endeavors do not appear below the belt. 

RJ Malishka, is seen in a cameo, without substantial screen presence, Vijay Maurya as the poetic rebel and the producer of the late night show brings comic relief but insignificantly and Neha Dhupia as Maria looks stunning in her chic attires and subtle make up, but does not contribute much to the story.

"Tumhari Sulu" is somewhat predictable in the second half, but that does not take away the charm. Wherein, Sulu goes through a plethora of challenges, ranging from her underestimating and dominating sisters forcing her to leave the job, to her son Pranav leaving the house on getting suspended from school. 

The movie is etched with many messages, and it is on the audience to perceive or not. The finale of the movie, depicts Sulu victorious, and her infectious energy rekindling as Ashok comes back "to her side". "Tumhari Sulu" teaches the strength of a good relationship, it tells us the power of hand holding.

I congratulate everyone associated with the movie and thank them, for coming out with a tale, which is not "different" but difficult in its simplicity, and showcases some of the important aspects of the Indian society, without making the try look too obvious.

And at the end, Vidya Balan once again proves her flare as one of the best the country has seen.

"Tumhari Sulu" is a must watch!!!!

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Monday, 6 November 2017

Awakening of the divine

"Jago tumi jago jago durga 
Jago dasha'praharana'dharini
Abhaya shakti bala'pradayini tumi jago"

Durga Puja is that time of the year when festivities flow in the form of blood through the veins of every Bengali. We are more than ecstatic to welcome the Goddess, as she comes all the way from her heavenly abode, to pay her annual visit to the earth with her children. It's that time of the year, when no work stress, personal distress or physical languid can keep us from overflowing with tangible gaiety and explosive enthusiasm. Keeping all ifs and buts aside we plunge into delectable celebration of precious life. 

Durga Puja mesmerizes me for reasons more than one, for its just not rites and rituals. It is above the smell of incense sticks, the charm of the ringing bells and the rhythm of 'Dhak'. It is that festival where the presence of the divine is celebrated like a carnival. People completely indulge into pleasing their whims and pampering their needs. They do what they desire, decked up in their ethnic bests they drown into absolute happiness, raw and real. 

For the last few years Durga Puja for me and my hubby has been synonymous to Spandan. And for people who doesn't know, Spandan is a sociocultural organisation based in Powai, Mumbai. Though a major percentage of its members are Bengalis, yet it will be unfair to call it a Bengali Association, for it embraces with love, people with different beliefs, castes and creeds. The organisation is associated with many social and cultural activities and celebrating Durga Puja is one of the major ones. 

But the festivities at Spandan, besides being a compendium of colourful sarees, ethnic sagas and beguiling jewellery, it is a festival with a purpose. A purpose that outshines the glitz and glam quotient and the nutation of god fearing heads in front of the enormity of the goddess. Every year there is a different cause, this year we tried to hand hold children, orphaned, by adversities of life.  Very thoughtfully the cause was named as "Amritasya Putra". A great cause indeed, when you strive hard to fetch smile, on innocent faces! What can be a better way to pay homage to the mother of creations? The idol, which was crafted by celebrated 'Murtikar' Dipankar Pal of Kumortuli, Kolkata and the unsung tenor of the pandal resonated the theme.

And then there is togetherness, kinship, friendship and more. Every morning the enormity of rituals, is followed by 'bhog' distribution, wherein everyone who comes to visit, is offered delicious lunch. Behind the enlightenment of the lightened 'diyas', the triumph of the conch shells and the insistent 'ulu dhwani', there is immense hard work, and the never dying spirit of Spandanites.

Every evening, there are cultural programs either in-house or by artists from outside the association. Spandan believes in upholding the colourful culture of our country and immense power of our literature, and also inculcating the same in the new gen kids. 

As I wrap up my narrative on Durga Puja 2017, I thank the Spandan family for giving us a home away from home. Because festivities end very fast, but what remains is the enlightened core, where the colour of never ending celebrations continue to thrive.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

On my path of 'Introspection'

Cover design : Mainak Chatterjee

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

With a heart full of dreams and aspirations, I had started my book three years back. It wasn’t a conscious decision, and I had no clue, if I would ever finish the book, with all characters and their stories converging together. But strangely the name had struck immediately, I knew it would be ‘Introspection’.

One evening, I was low, had a small disagreement with my husband and was sitting procrastinating any possible household chores. The idea had struck from absolute nowhere and I started my journey of soul seeking. The idea of capturing the melancholy of a young girl, hurt and defeated by a monster crafted by the bourgeois society had originated from my sad heart that evening. But gradually the purpose metamorphosed to a bigger one, and my journey of portraying social prejudices, conjectures and beliefs through fiction, kick started vigorously. And it took me one and a half years to complete my book. But the journey wasn’t a cake walk. And it cannot be, if you have a fully engaged job, and some household responsibilities too, to cope up with. But the tough roller-coaster ride of chasing my passion and deadlines together, was made easy by my ‘never giving up’ spirited hubby Avishek.  

While he is definitely not a pro in helping me with managing the house, he did at times crossed the limits of his will to lend a helping hand. Then when I was burning the mid night oil, that occasional cups of tea and coffee, or that loving shoulder message gave me liberation to think big.

But the real struggle was yet to begin and that happened when I completed the book. Before this we had no idea of how it works. So it started from scratch. Thankfully this journey was ours, not mine alone, and hence the rough path smoothened considerably.

For a debutante author, getting a publisher is like breaking a concrete wall. Probably most of the renowned firms, do not even go through your application. Some are humble enough to revert and many don’t even care. The process was continuing for long and I was continuously wearing a mask of happiness and encountering the daily chores, with my heart tearing apart. But my husband never gave up hope, his conviction and belief, made be stand strong. The coaxing by my mother and her extreme belief and pride in her daughter, was another fuel to keep me going.

Me and Avishek, would spend hours, locating all publishers big and small and then sending them documents as per their norms. But nothing was coming up. Many suggested me to go for self-publishing, but I still had hope.

Things changed when Leadstart publishing house, told me about this new venture of Become Shakespeare, called Wordit Art fund, where they were doing conventional publishing for new authors.
Since then it was a wonderful journey, from editing to designing covers and eventually getting the book published. It is truly a surreal feeling to hold ‘INTROSPECTION’ in my hands, palpable, a realisation of dreams. It would be unfair, if I don’t mention my friends, Mainak Chatterjee who designed the cover of the book, Snehajit Roy who clicked the author’s picture and Sambit Roy who made the trailer for publicity.

The journey that I and Avishek went through would be memorable forever, while I may write many more books, this one would hold a special place in my heart.

My book is available on Amazon and Snapdeal; links as below:
Amazon link:

Snapdeal  link: 
Buy Introspection on snapdeal

Infibeam link:

Soon it will be available on Kindle . 

The back blurb of Introspection is as follows:

“After a blissful courtship period, Aniket and Arushi finally tied the knot and shifted from Kolkata to Mumbai. Life was beautiful. It was a fairy tale romance.  But how long?
Little did they know, what lay ahead in their journey!  Things changed and personalities altered, as hard reality hit their abode of dreams. When the extremely careerist Aniket, faced an unprecedented downfall in his career graph, his persona went through a radical change. Addiction and depression changed him into a draconian. Or was it unveiling of his true face?
Arushi watched him in dismay and exhausted herself, to regain the bliss of their companionship. However, her efforts proved futile.
But there is more to this story. When eminent psychiatrist Dr. Priyadarshini Ray, took up his case, revelations from his past shocked Arushi. What made Aniket the egoist insecure monster? Will the two, be able to regain the lost beauty of their relationship? Will introspection, change the course of their tale?”

Trailer of Introspection

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta