Bahubali – a world class piece- made in India 

Very rarely I get compelled to write about any movies. But after watching Bahubali I am mesmerized and thrilled to see how indian (actually South Indian) cinema has come off age. Bahubali is far superior than Troy, 300, crouching tiger hidden dragon or even Mughal e Azam for that matter.

Every piece used in the movie was authentic and looked far convincing. The expression of the artists- even the general public was just right. The cinamatography of every scene was done meticulously. It is a perfect larger than life saga produced by completely indian minds and portraying the indian value system. A perfect example of how women were treated with dignity and a complete rights given to her to find her soul-mate.

I am sure Rajamauli has studied the ancient indian war techniques and also must have studied the book called The art of war. I could find many such scenes which were adapted from these books which I had studied while writing about them for my website.

Many important subjects of agriculture, water harvesting, archeology, Niti shastra, astronomy, war tactics, value based education, indian food science etc. are depicted in the movie just appropriately. Most importantly the the orders to attack were given in Sanskrit which is so true as many armies of various riyasat used to use sanskrit language for daily use. Before British era, it was common to use but after British employed the Indians in British army English got introduced to the army. I remember Gandhi ji had criticised the same openly.

It is time Bollywood takes some lessons from south studios and directors and start making movies with more Indianness. Rather copying it from the west in theme, stories, music, values, lifestyle and even the locations.

The movie has correctly portrayed the pre eslamic era when India was truly prosperous and rich in knowledge and arabs used to come to india only to trade but not to capture the land and loot.

When I used to watch dubbed South Indian movies, I always thought them to be quite emotional, dramatic, just too focused on indian values and better than any regular Hindi movies. This movie has conquered that thought again in my mind.

After movie got over, I was frantically looking for names of any big international studios involved in any part of the production. But I could find only one column with international names. Which makes this movie a perfect example of make in India .

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The Seed Festival- Beejotsav

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We have just celebrated the earth day with much fanfare in all parts of the world. In most places, the idea of conserving nature and protecting Mother Earth is celebrated once in a year and people disperse after taking pledges and making vows. Many forget about them even before they reach their homes and until the next year, nothing ever happens. If you are the type following the news in the papers and media, you will agree with what I am saying. Of course, there are many people who really get inspired and try and do something in this direction. Even a small step counts.

But deep within the country, there are so many indigenous people like the Adivasis of Khondh in Odisha or the women of the Khasi tribe in Meghalaya who are silently renewing their relationship with mother earth not because it is earth day or something but because it is their way of life, something women from these communities have been doing for thousands of years. The Khondh community celebrates the seed festival or Bijun Parab just before the arrival of the first rains. The women collect different varieties of seeds throughout the year and store them safely from insects, beasts or any such intrusion by mixing neem paste or using natural fertilizers like lining the basket with cow dung. During the annual seed festival, they bring out the varieties of seeds they have saved into the open outside their homes and place them in the village square. The entire community participates in rejoicing during the festival with men beating the drums, women singing songs and children dancing and playing. Those who were unfortunate and have lost their seeds need not worry; the seeds will be shared by all the women. What a wonderful spirit of community sharing and caring.

And they wait, till the signs of rain. Then off they go to scatter the seeds in the patch of lands and soon the land gives them a rich reward and thus the cycle continues.

The Khasi tribe which is matrilinear also does something like this. Women preserve seeds of all varieties for they need wholesome meals which should include cereals, vegetables, fruits even medicinal plants. The knowledge that these women possess is amazing. They pass it on to generations along with the deep reverence for the mountains, rivers and forests. They are untouched by the guile of the outsiders and have made their lives simple and closer to the elements.

That is true earth day. Every day is a celebration. How I wish we can learn from our cultures and respect the earth and her resources with gratitude. The Beejotsav teaches us just this.

Cross the negativity

I remember having read an old Native American tale where a grandpa explained to his little grandson about the two great beings within each one of us. One is the angel and the other is the beast constantly waging a war between themselves. The little boy curious wanted to know which one usually wins. The wise old man replied whichever we choose to feed!

Nowadays the internet is teeming with so much negativity that I feel suddenly people simply wake up online and start pouring out abuse which becomes so toxic over time. These are usually quiet people who will hesitate to harm even a fly but why do they become so daring and vicious online, I am not able to figure out.

It is not wrong to voice an opinion. Healthy discussion and debate are necessary for every democracy. But let us be polite even when disagreeing, that way the real issue will not get lost and we can see various opinions emerge.

Photo 05-01-2017, 5 48 45 PM

The Holy Cow

The poor humble cow seems to be in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. The cow is worshipped by millions of devout Hindus in India. The very sight of a cow first thing in the morning is supposed to confer good fortune.

The mere thought of slaughtering cows or feeding on it is repugnant and alien to Indian culture. But we have to look at the issue calmly from all angles. At a time when planet earth is fighting the grave danger of global warming, consuming meat is not just a religious taboo but also a monumental environmental hazard as innumerable studies have shown. So it is better to pause and think from an environmental angle rather than just focus on religious taboos.

As land is being taken away for cultivating fodder for cattle which will be sold as meat, there are problems that are cropping up in many ways for the rest of the world. There is a huge land crunch and small farms are disappearing in many parts of the world. Fresh water supplies which are already dwindling are going dry as both man and beast compete for the limited supply. In Africa, the cost of maize which is used as livestock feed keeps increasing and it is also the staple diet of many Africans.

Animal carcasses and remains are further polluting the environment and causing environmental degradation. Many diseases are jumping from animals to humans in the modern world, Bird flu, Mad cow disease being a few. Another problem is that these cattle are fed with large doses of antibiotics to keep them disease free and all these end up in the consumer’s stomach. In the US alone 55% of antibiotics manufactured by pharmaceuticals are fed to animals. Just imagine the harm it can do to the health of those who consume the meat produced from these treated animals.

So in the interest of our health, it is best to focus on the practical implications rather than getting carried away by xenophobic hysteria.

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