Not a review of ‘Manto’: The movie. It’s all about Saadat Hasan Manto

manto 3


Six months back I heard that Nandita Das was doing a movie on the writer Saadat Hasan Manto. I waited for so long for the movie ‘Manto’ to release. A writer who has always fascinated me with his bold and brash language, choice of subjects, characters, expression and his rebellion. Manto is not easy to read, nor is the movie to watch. The writer pierces and pricks like a pointed needle to our conscience, questioning us about the hypocrisy in society we live in.

The façade of the so called progressive writing, romanticism is ripped apart with his thoughts that heckle and anger him. The hope that is presented by the romantics, which doesn’t exist didn’t fancy Manto. He was interested in presenting the world and its truth just as it exists without adoring ‘hope’. So, why is writing the truth so depressing?

“Neem ke patte kadve hi sahi, khoon toh saaf karte hain” (dialogue in the movie).

manto 2


A writer cannot sell his soul to write hope that he doesn’t see, that doesn’t exist and cannot write words to please people. A writer is no trader in words, he is the one who has to unmask the truth, shed light on it and make the readers aware of it.

Manto was so baffled with reality that it oozes in his words flowing out of a conscience that remained true till the very end. He didn’t intentionally baffle his audience / readers, he wrote what he absorbed, what he saw, what shook him and his conscience. When a writer pens his thoughts, he has to be honest and truthful.

Manto ( in the movie) looked happy in Mumbai, enjoying the company of great writers and actors. He seemed to be impulsive and strong headed. Ismat Chugtai, the feminist writer held a special place in his life. Mumbai meant the world to him. But, during the partition, the situation worsened for Muslims and for Hindus equally. Shook by the partition and plagued with insecurity, he migrated to Pakistan. It looked like Manto could never come to terms with his separation from Mumbai. He was a bird whose wings where cut once he crossed the borders. Partition a purely political move shook him completely. Not able to endure the pain of separation, he sulked and drowned himself in liquor and smoke.

He buried under the depressing state of affairs post partition but, his words never failed to cut through the reader’s conscience. Manto was drawn to court on the charges of ‘obscenity’ and couldn’t cope with the limited literary knowledge of the people who accused him.

While absorbing popular writings with no intellect or literary value, the society isn’t troubled so, why do we question when truth is presented in its naked form and why is it labelled as obscene? Perhaps that is why our so called ‘sophisticated society’ finds nudity vulgar.

Manto spends considerable time and money fighting his battle in court, putting across his point. He rightly said- no form of literary work can be judged based on few words or sentences. Every writing has a context and literary work of a writer should be considered and read in its totality. He was fined heavily by the court and this shocked him. Surviving on monetary help from relatives and well wishers the fine amount was impossible to pay. This drew him to the extreme addiction and he died at the age of 42 years.

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The best part of the movie is how the director and writer Nandita Das has embedded Manto’s stories in the movie. It justifies the writer’s stand that he wrote what he saw and experienced. The movie captures Manto’s life in the most befitting manner. Nandita Das, Nawazuddin and the entire cast and crew of the movie has been successful in deciphering and expressing the intensity of Manto, who spilled his pain through words.



No one other than Nawazuddin can be ‘Manto’ on screen. Nawazuddin is oblivious of the camera, he is so immersed in Manto that he is never distracted- with extreme focus on his character he has lived Manto.

A special mention of the costume designer- Sheetal Sharma who has represented the era through the costumes with minute details, so have the art directors Rajesh Choudhary and Prashant Parab.

I saw the movie at Carnival Cinemas- Sangam, Andheri -East and as we entered there was not a single poster of the movie -‘Manto’, nor was it displayed anywhere. It certainly needs visibility – but great movies more often don’t get that visibility and audience is often fed with mentally under-nourished movies.

Insight: May it be Bertrand Russell giving an honest opinion about prostitution and marriage or Friedrich Nietzsche on religion, honesty has never been digested in its true spirit by the so called guardians of the society.

But, by making a movie like Manto the team has once again questioned the validity of moral values that we blindly practise and uphold.

The movie is an honest attempt true to the spirit of the writer.

© Copyright 2018 Rashmi S. Malapur All rights reserved


III Smoking Barrels: Anil Akki



It’s not very often that you come across camera work that captures the essence of emotions, background and location in the basic, raw manner- just as they are. Most of the cinematography is focused at creating an exhilarating feeling that leaves the audience with awe. And I equated great cinematography talent with this quality of giving the feeling of exhilaration to the audience. Till one day I came across the movie “III Smoking Barrels”.

The camera work was distinct and had its own way of communicating reality in the raw form- just the way things are and ought to be shown to the audience. To be honest this is what drew me to the movie. The trailer, is a collage of different shots intertwined in an intensely socio-political background. I got curious about the cinematographer- Anil Akki.


Northeast is beautiful but, to subtly capture it’s heavenly beauty without distracting the audience from the story/ characters is a real challenge and Anil successfully overcame this challenge.

The movie “III Smoking Barrels” has been selected at various film festivals: Durban International Festival 2017, South Africa, International Film festival of Mannheim Heidelberg 2017, Germany and International film festival of Kerala 2017, finally it’s scheduled to be released commercially on 21 Sept 2018 .

In all the films where Anil Akki worked on various mainstream Bollywood projects like – Toss, Lakeer, Plan, Awaarapan, Shaadi No. 1, Raja Natwarlal, Roar- The Tigers of Sundarbans, the closeup scenes have complimented the expressions of the actors in the most befitting manner. The art of a cinematographer is in capturing emotions expressed by the actor in a close shot without making the actor intimidated. Establishing this level of comfort for the actor is the responsibility of the cinematographer and Anil Akki certainly excels in it.

The movie ‘III Smoking Barrels” is definitely worth a watch.

© Copyright 2018 Rashmi Malapur All rights reserved

Is Wellness a very burning topic today?

2014-07-01 13.10.02

Click: Pune University, Pune, India

When we consider  that there are 40.9 million patients of Type 2 Diabetes and 100 million patients of hypertension in India alone, we can well imagine the state of health of a significant portion of the population.


So why have we got into this kind of situation? There is a huge role in this of knowledge as well as priorities


As far as knowledge is concerned, awareness about wellness is not imparted in a serious and significant manner. People are simply not aware of the consequences of eating the kind of food that they actually eat. Sugary tea, white bread, deep fried snacks, a lot of very unhealthy fast foods as well. And this is the fare available at an overwhelming majority of food outlets, particularly at stalls that serve street food


These diseases are silent killers. They creep up silently and then cause blindness, amputation and death. What needs to be further understood is that it is more than just their physical bodies getting damaged, the psyche is also deeply affected. The patient is deeply affected by mood swings, and they are also vulnerable to going into deep depression. This can affect their relationships as also their employment


Why is wellness not a priority? It is a matter of conditioning. People are so tied up in their jobs and in their social networking that they hardly keep any “me” time aside for themselves. They pay scant attention to what is happening to themselves and their bodies. People are also unable to decipher the signals that their bodies send to them, simply because they are just not aware. There is a crying need for people to acquire this kind of an education.


What are the consequences of the current situation?

As a consequence of all this, medical expanses are mounting, hospitalization is steeply increasing, and productivity is sharply declining. Failing health renders people simply unable to avail of the quality of life that they actually.


What is the way out?

The most critical task is to spread awareness. People need to be made aware about what wellness is, why it is important to pay attention and also how to attain this wellness. Also, the consequences of not adhering to healthy habits It is necessary for communication to actively go out, digitally to ensure a wider reach, as well as face to face for a greater degree of persuasion and influence. Given the sensitivity and importance it has to be driven by people who have knowledge as well as passion. That is because this is an exacting task that demands a high degree of resilience. There are mental blocks to be overcome, there is a lot of information dissemination to be done as well as a lot of persuasion needed

Although difficult, it can be done. The important thing is for the mission to be taken up sincerely by every stakeholder and seen through to the end in every forum where this task is taken up.

© Copyright 2018 Milind Kher All rights reserved

What is life?

20161211_074134Click: Nariman Point in the morning. …Mumbai, India

This isn’t a sermon on life. Its just an attempt to speak up…..

Some believe life is beautiful, while some say life is a struggle. I ve heard people saying life sucks. For some others it rocks.

So what is life? It is not for us to decipher what life it. We have to simply live it.

No life has been devoid of struggles. And no life has been full of only pleasures.

If you feel something is missing in your life, then you should try to fill in that missing gap in your life.

And is what we all keep doing. Filling the missing spots in our life all the time.

Life is uncertain but, it gives us signals all the time. But, we are so busy with our own routine, that we get so preoccupied and ignore these signals.

Never take life for granted. It will treat you just the way you treat it. And let us accept we cannot be positive all the time. We are bound to break down at some time.

So live those times through, these tough times will pass by.

Never let go people who love you because, they make your life beautiful.

So, what is life? It is being thankful to the universe …..



Passion for Support, Volunteering at Support Forum and things that I learned by doing.

Vishal's Blog

Milestone.png Reached one thousand replies at Forum as a Volunteer.

I have been Volunteering on Forums since last one year, I am very glad that I have reached the milestone of one thousand replies. It’s really nice to give back to the community, you can check my profile here:

Know Why you’re doing what you are doing?

I had learned how to make customers happy by making those replies, that taught me how to be a good support Volunteer. I had worked in support for two years in a nationwide company in India which provides Mobile recharges and Mobile payments, as a “Customer Care” executive I use to receive Inbound calls (voice), Live Chat & Email support that time I use to reply the retailers who are using that Mobile Recharge software through Andriod App and Website so that’s how I got the passion.

If you know a…

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Happy birthday Sandesh

Happy Birthday dearest Sandesh Gawai!!!
These are your poems that you emailed me and I have not been able to publish them. Sorry for that.
So, I thought of surprising you on your birthday!!!
sandesh snap for poem broken pirate
Blue Lies.
Born in a dysfunctional family, he had faced a lot of emotional calamities at the hands of his elders ,forces of dark suffered him a lot ,
But he never cried , never did he stop, but he lied that he was alright ..
Slower in class , slower on the fields
Slower in speech , slower in anything he did ..
Beaten in class , home and ground , And love never to be found
From a young age , he was depressed and sad , but he never cried .
Truthful to his elders , he shared his discomforts.
Bitten by their negative reactions , he started to live a life of lies.
In a shell of lies , he lied to fit the tribe , to fit the gangs , to be a part of their plans.
A cold-hearted soul with a fake smile  , he would swing between fear and love , like a wild-raven and kind-dove.
On his 28th rotation round the sun ,  his heart cracked and burned , his life trembled , cried a river for a week, shaking all his hidden darkness and dirt, he was overwhelmed with pain of a new birth . Found a fountain of love tainted with hurt.
Months later , As fate may have planned , he met an angel with shining eyes of truth , armed with love and kindness.
With those old robes of lies , he introduced himself to the Angel,
The Angel accepted him as he is , little knowing most of his truths were lies face in .
The Boy started changing his old habits , breaking the darkness and lies at a pace never experienced before for he had found an Angel at his fate’s door.
Boy had grown-up days and years in moments he spent with her.
Angel was unaware that the coat of truth had strand of ” old habits of lies and hurt “.
The boy has a tough choice to continue growing under her shade or expose himself to her shining truthful blade .
 As a child of fear , he chose to hide until the matters last , little did he know truth runs fast .
As it may happen , he was caught at last. Angel was hurt and felt cheated to have wasted time on a fool and a liar .
The boy is now confused, how should he explain her that he was a dark cloud and wasn’t really able to let light of the truth to pass through, him even if he wished or allowed .
The Angel , in her right sense of justice , like a mighty Sky blowed him away , never to touch him with the same light again .
The dark cloud accepting his nature wanted to rain all his darkness upon the Earth , for he didn’t know it was not the season to pour out yet . He doesn’t expect a second chance of having a friendly glance from the Angel’s Gate . .
Only asks if the Sky would allow one last chance to tear him apart and expose all the hurt and pain he had been hiding since the time of life .
 He doesn’t expect the Sky to shine as brightly as before  but asks just few moments to let him rain truthfully for if he goes down the grave someday , he’d be happy to know , the Sky allowed him to rain all the pain even when the hopes from him were dead and faint .
For eons the smiledigger searched for a smile in a mine of dreams,
kept searching for a smile which could turn a desert into a rainforest… Which could help him outshine every shade of realm of hate..which would feel like the first rains…
At the crossroads of the fate, he found her smile …her smile expressing chaos in order , crying in laughter, the fire and water ….
A smile like a blue dream of sky frozen in time..just fine ..
A smile which could crack a trembling heart at unexpected places..
A smile which offers comfort pillows to the wartorn heroes…
A smile which represents every color of the sunset…
a smile which feels like… it just rained just rained …
Freaking loving change …
Freaking loving change …
Freaking feels so light
“Change” used to my weakness
Now it’s my might
Sometimes I forget life has a habit of playing games,
Making us dance to the changing waves , of time and thoughts .. of gains and loss.
Was trying to prove others , now i am doing it for myself
I used to anticipate, calculate what would be my next move
Now I dont , I just go and let loose,
freaking change
Wrapping me around its light and
Making my dark soul shine
“Fate” used to terrify me
Now i use it to clarify the
Heart intentions drawing from
waters of intellectual connections.
I am on the loose , I love , I share but i really dont care .
really Freaking loving change …

Reading between the lines

Click: Gateway of India, Mumbai, India

Reading between the lines,
Was never easy for me.
So the day you left, you baffled me,
You said, “I thought you saw it coming.”
Well, I said, “I just didn’t see through you.”
Smilingly you confessed, “Nothing worth is left between us nor nothing worth will be left behind.”
Is it always so easy to end?
Then why is death so difficult?
Why can we not come to terms when people die?
Its so easy to mourn but, so difficult to love.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

The Art of Blogging

Do you want to be a successful blogger? Do ideas for posts randomly pop into your head whenever, wherever? Do you think about ways to improve your blog?

How to write more? Better? Faster?

Do you study what the most successful bloggers have done to get to where they are right now?

You are not alone. I do this too. It’s one of my passions. To see what makes the difference. What works, what doesn’t, and to understand the why. Because of this, I can write cute posts like this one.

Here are the seven best habits to have as a blogger.

View original post 795 more words

In the middle of the night

pvr andheri dialogue 1.jpg

CLICK: PVR, Andheri, Mumbai, India

In the middle of the night,

I dive deeper into my ocean,

Driven by the lure of peace,

I am overtaken by restlessness,

I want to free myself from these shackles of restrain and refrain,

To scream atop and breathe out all the disgust and disdain.

Not an iota, not a minute of peace,

Breathing, suffocating, breathing, suffocating,

With a pause, with a slight strength of belief,

Gradually, I limp to few moments of peace,

I rest for a while at your feet,

I breathe free….

In the middle of the night.

© Copyright 2018 Rashmi S. Malapur All rights reserved

Happiness Unlimited – A New Community For Happy Minds


This post is written by Sai Kaustav Dasgupta. Thank-you Sai for giving me an opportunity for sharing your story on my blog. Gratitude!!

There are lot of people cribbing about petty issues and Sai wants to tell them that no problem is unconquerable. So the next time you lack the motivation to fight your problems and feel like giving up, remember that Sai Kaustuv conquered it all with a single finger and so can you! Life is full of perceived suffering, and a humans fail to grasp how the grass isn’t really as green as it lets on. It took deep insight, immense maturity and introspection for him to come at the conclusion and take action.

He refused to see his disability as a limitation and chose to treat this as a life’s surprise, something to be adapted to. Sai has accepted his unique condition and decided to be a beacon of hope for the differently abled community.

With a comforting and a reassuring tone, he shared with the world how he conquered all odds to win the battle of perception and founded “Happiness Unlimited”.

Disability is not an inability is once again proved by Sai Kaustuv, a wheelchair warrior of India.

pic with corporate

He is suffering from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease) and had already gone through more than 50 fractures. He is having hearing impairment too. He does designs with just one finger of his left hand but thousands of hands are being benefited from his inspiring designs today. He might be in an Electric wheelchair but he turned his disability into a greatest gift.  He was three months old when he incurred first fracture.

He went into depression for 6 long years and today, he is finally out of it and having a multi-faceted career. He had this desire to never let his 90% disability hinder his growth. As Sai took the challenges, he is now a singer, a graphic designer, an author and a motivational speaker on a mission to spread smiles.

His work took him places and the tales of his fortitude have traveled the world. He has inspired millions of people globally and trying to bring positive awareness to transform India to a wheelchair friendly country. Today, he is a Happiness Coach for thousands of people. The reason he chose this unique option as the art of life is because Happiness itself is an identity, which describes the real essence of human life.

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People often ask him, how is it possible to be happy after going through so many sufferings and hurdles. They feel that disabled people are not here to celebrate their life. They have no right to think big and dream of touching the sky. That’s why, Sai thought about creating a Brand called ‘HAPPINESS UNLIMITED’ for whole community to change their outlook.

 It was for all abled people too as if they start seeing what great things differently abled people can do, they will get a surprise! While giving motivational speeches, Sai met a lot of people from different communities. He felt sorry for the people who complain. He feel bad for those who do not feel satisfied with what they have. They feel caged and start blaming society, neighbours, relatives for their problems. If they are caged, then what about various people who are differently abled? Sai can undoubtedly tell people that he is caged or confined because he can’t move himself an inch on his own. If he starts complaining about all these things, who will come forward to solve them?

So through this brand and mission he is trying to convey that, there are thousands of things to complain about but there are millions of things to be grateful for. To teach this lesson of gratitude, Sai started #HappinessUnlimited, through which, he would like to bring back the purity of heart and genuine happiness in society. Millions of people from disabled communities supported him in this mission, which strives to make this planet a better place to lead a healthy life with happiness and harmony.

getting honoured inspiring people.JPG

Also Sai Kaustuv is going to surroundings areas to motivate people mentally and technically to build a healthy community. Whatever technological knowledge he possess, he would like to distribute it to people who are yearning to learn new things and it will gradually upgrade lives in rural societies. He would like to build a happiness community to show the world that if you have the will, you have ways. Through the power of positivity everybody can be happy. If being a 90% differently abled guy, Sai can be a Happiness Coach, then what is stopping you all to express real happiness? Its free of cost. Through this global community, everybody will learn from each other. His journey will show all that pain is inevitable but, suffering is optional. Miracles are not something that happen once in a while. Miracles happen in the lives of people who choose to create that miracle. Sai chose to create it, that is why he became the first disable Happiness Coach and an entrepreneur to initiate a living brand, which is creating unlimited positive possibilities.

Sai Kaustuv’s message for being happy in life is very simple. Always be grateful for what you have. There are thousands of things to complain about but there are millions of things to be grateful for. Happiness lies in acceptance. Happiness lies in your effort to make others smile. Keep aside your stress and open the door of success. You will be happy forever! If you cry, if you complain, if you criticize about small things in your life, you will not have enough. So always be grateful for what you have. Think out of the box and do something extraordinary! How To Be Happy Forever? A Message From 90% Disabled Happiness Coach of India
Watch in YouTube:

© Copyright 2018 Sai Kaustav Dasgupta All rights reserved