Pune International Film Festival- PIFF. Review: ‘The Empty Nest’.

Rapid urbanization in China has compelled young adults to live a lonely and solitary life. In Chinese “kongchao qingnian,” literally, “young emptynester” or empty nest youth is a harsh reality of China’s urban life.

Though the Chinese movie ‘The Empty Nest’ directed by Wei Zang is about an old woman who is an empty nester. It is a melancholic story based on the novel ‘THE EMPTY NEST’ by Xue Yiwei. The movie ends with hope and realization by the central character Zhao Yemie that life is about moving on and not about pondering over the sad moments.

Zhao Yemie is played by Zhu Xijuan, a superstar of 1960s in China

Image: Tom J. Cull (Twitter account)

Directed by

Zhang Wei


Zhu Xijuan

Zhang You

Zhou lives a lonely life in the city and is disillusioned with life. It’s tough for her to cope with her solitary life in old age. She suffers from urinary countenance and has a strained relationship with her son who keeps calling her. He tries to convince her to move in with him or move to a nursing home. Strained, dejected and lonely she feels hopeless. Zhou hardly steps out of her home and seems to be pushing her neighbours away and rarely trusts anyone.

But her life changes for good and Lei Xiaoding played by Zhang You who sells healthcare products enters her life to rekindle hope and optimism. Initially she distrusts him as well.

Though his caring and warm nature fills her life with joy. He gives her company and together they create some happy moments.

Lei is ambitious and wants to amass a huge fortune as quickly as possible. He cons Zhou who feels cheated and dejected.

The last 15 minutes of the movie are critical where the crux of the movie lies. Zho makes a choice to move on and realizes that she shouldn’t have pushed everyone away from her life.

While she was young her husband had betrayed her and she distanced herself from her son as well.

Actors are brilliant and seem to be living up to their character. Zhu Xijuan and Zang You are convincing. The scene where the old lady Zhao Yemie ties Lei Xiaoding to the chair and demands him to speak the truth is heart wrenching. Lei’s outburst and his pain v/s Zhao’s pain are juxtaposed.

Wei Zang’s direction doesn’t unnecessarily romanticize any scene. He has stuck to realistically picturizing the practicalities of living a lonely life.

Music composer Minami Nozaki’s music playing in the background in the last few moments of the movie express Zang’s emotional outpour.

The movie is simple yet profound, reflecting upon the effects of urbanization and loneliness it can drive people into. The race of achieving success, amassing wealth and the desire to make it big can drive youngsters to resort to dubious means ofcourse out of sheer desperation. It also reflects on the solitary life of empty nesters.

Reflections as a viewer and not a reviewer:

Moving on and enjoying the present moment is the crux of life. We might feel disillusioned about life, but it is just not the end. These moments of despair will end and happiness will revisit your life. But if you shut your heart to happiness you will sulk. So, move on.

© Copyright 2021 Rashmi Malapur All rights reserved

Pune International Film Festival- Review: ‘In the dusk.’

Image: Luxbox website http://www.luxboxfilms.com/

Directed by

Sharunas Bartas   

Written by:

Sharunas Bartas   

Ausra Giedraityte 


Arvydas Dapsys as Jurgis Pliauga

Marius Povilas Elijas Martynenko as Unte

Alina Zaliukaite-Ramanauskiene as Elena Pliaugiene


It’s a lie that we crave for peace and contentment. Inherently we are happy with chaos, the struggle and revolution that brings a new order. We see conflict changing the present scenario and we like being in a dilemma. Do we strive for peace? If yes, then despite the painful experience of two world wars, why do we still witness attacks/ violence? Truth is just like the war; harsh and tough to accept.

Director Sharunas Bartas in the last 15 minutes of his movie ‘In the dusk’ numbs you; it captures the trauma and turmoil; pain people went through during and after the World War II. It is a movie about deceit and distrust.

The movie is set in 1948 in the Lithuanian countryside, where a detachment of Partisans is staying in a forest to resist the Soviet troops.

Unte (Marius Povilas Elijas Martynenko) is a witness to the harsh realities of the post war period while he becomes a member of the Partisan movement that resists the Soviets. He is innocent and views his father Pliauga (Arvydas Dapsys), political ideologies, and killings with raw, innocent eyes, which cannot be rejected as immature. Instead, he asks vital and critical questions. But doesn’t get to know the complete truth though he stays, probing more and ultimately drowns in silence, which is haunting.

The scenes have been crafted with restrained conversations though enough to reveal the realities of life in the post war period- blatant and harsh.

The slow pace of the movie doesn’t bother the audience much as the actors grip your attention with stark, raw expressions and direction, which is par excellence.

Image: Luxbox website http://www.luxboxfilms.com/

Pliauga is probed by his 19-year-old adopted son Unte about his life. Pliauga asks his son to be independent in his thoughts and use his own mind, not to be influenced by anyone or any ideology. Unte’s father reveals his past and Unte has nothing to say but being empathetic towards him.

Pliauga played by Arvydas Dapsys commands the screen with his tough, shrewd nature with a strong sense of self-belief. Scenes depicting the troubled relationship with his wife (Alina Zaliukaite-Ramanauskiene) are somber yet chilling. There is no denying that her limited presence on screen doesn’t stop her from creating a lasting impact on the audience’s mind.

The movie builds the background for the action at the end of the movie i.e., in the last half an hour. When the Soviets arrive asking for money from the already impoverished people living in the forest where the movie is set.

Unte has his questions and asks them to people with whom he manages to hit a conversation. He asks about where the money that the Soviets take from us is utilized? He gets a reply they are taking the money from those who have it and give it to the have nots. Bang comes the next question, “Do you believe them?” The reply is simple, “You have to believe someone.” Unte then asks if they believe in God to which the answer is, “They don’t believe in God.”

This conversation captures vital beliefs of Marxism in few words. Such significant dialogues and conversations make the movie realistic, and it refrains from romanticising war.

Soviets devastate lives of these few Lithuanians living in the farmland set in the forest. The scenes of Soviets killing anyone who oppose or question them are brutal. Infact the Soviets are troubled by their sense of insecurity, distrust, deceit and compels us to ask if the desperation was all worth it?

When Pliauga is probed at the end he stays undeterred and unapologetic. His expressions and reaction to the torture, shake you. The violence at the end numbs the audience. As the movie advances the audience has no clue that the melancholic mood throughout the movie will lead to a brutal end.  

The silence (the subtle tension) throughout the movie ends with a haunting scream. The scenes set in the harsh forest, depiction of the lifestyle, the use of light by cinematographer Eitvydas Doskus costumes designed by Nina Moravcova are brilliant.

The music (composed by Gabriele Dikciute and Jakub Rataj) is melancholic matching with the somber, cold mood of the movie. There is no unnecessary romanticising of the war making the characters heroic.

Truth has a shrill voice. In this movie it comes forth in the form of restrained words and lingering silence.


How beautifully we lie and mask ourselves. Humans love the feeling of triumph and victory. We are constantly in search of this feeling. So, we first start inflicting pain on ourselves and others, pose challenges in our lives and society that lead to wars. War benefits no one yet we are at war with ourselves and others. Countries are at war as human beings we are at war with ourselves. There is always a dilemma and anti-thesis in our lives no matter how much we would love to mask it.

© Copyright 2021 Rashmi Malapur All rights reserved

How to brief your client about content?

Often when content gets rejected by clients its quite frustrating for the content writer and the client too. Inspite of writing content that is unique and interesting, clients reject the content that you write. After putting in a lot of efforts you fail to decipher where you fell short?

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this aspect of content writing

1) Share your writing samples:

When clients approach you, they might not know anything about your writing style. Though you haven’t written something specific with regards to their market/industry/ they would still wish to hire you. It’s best to share your samples with the client- ofcourse, clients generally do ask for your writing samples. But, knowing the fact that you are an experienced writer they might not ask. But, you should insist and ask them to read your content since that gives an idea about your writing style.

Share varied types of content with them that reflects about your ability to write in different styles, innovate, research, the tone, choice of words, flow of content, etc.

Its necessary for you to explain the client that you will charge for the sample

2) Ask them to share content that they loved:

So, the next obvious progression will be asking your clients to share content they have truly loved and aspire their content to be the same. This gives you an idea of what they expect? Often its tough for clients to describe the content they expect you to write. Unearthing the client expectations is necessary and there in lies the skill of a content write

3) Time involved in the activity:

Clarify it with your client that they will have to invest some time in finalizing topics, discussing what the broad topics the content will cover and reading the content to give a constructive feedback. Many a times the content has to be improved thus, feedback is important.

Before you write content, discuss with the clients about what points they need to cover in the article/blog/website content/whitepaper/case study.

Contact person can be the business owner, brand manager, marketing head/manager or from the marketing or digital marketing team. Since they all are aware of the brand image, target customers and the purpose of the activity their insight can help you write impressive content.

These are valuable inputs that only your client can provide.

Your clients need to understand the value they can add to the content. So, convince them to invest their time too. If they think that just sharing the topics is the end of the activity, content won’t turn out as expected. They need to dedicate some time too

4) Initial discussions:

Whenever you begin discussions ask the client what do they expect from that particular activity. For example, I write blogs so, I ask clients what results or returns they expect from blogging.

Is it to spread brand visibility? Or they expect sales from blogging? Do they wish to educate customers or just establish their online presence? When you know the objective of the particular activity, it is easier to mold your content accordingly.

5) Subject/ profession specific knowledge:

Many a times some products or services need to be written in a particular manner. For example, if you are writing content for a lawyer or a Chartered Accountant though it isn’t technical content it needs some amount of knowledge about the profession or the subject.

Ask your client if they expect you to write in a specific manner.

6) Technical content:

Mostly IT companies expect their content to be technical and they wish you to use technical words. But, its not always necessary to use technical words to explain the concept of the product. It can be explained in a customer-friendly or user-friendly manner. Ofcourse, that is if the client agrees to this view.

But, its imperative to tell the clients that you don’t write technical content (if you don’t have any experience of writing technical content.

If you wish to try your hand at technical writing ask them to share a topic with some basic guidelines and you can write a sample for them.

7) List of topics:

Get a fair understanding about the topics that the client wishes to cover. You can share your suggestions as well. It always helps to understand what kind of topics the client is expecting you to write. You can gauge how much time you would be investing in research.

8) Vital aspects of content:

Understand if the client expects technical or non-technical language.

Topics or points that the content will touch.

Would the content be written in UK or U.S. English?

Understand the audiences- the age group, attitude, country, profession, etc.

Number of articles/blogs per month.

Dates of submitting and publishing the blog.

9) Won’t immediately fetch business:

Undoubtedly content is the king, but without SEO even great content cannot reach the right audience.

Brief your client that blogs, articles, white papers, case studies, and website content doesn’t fetch immediate business. It needs time till you get leads. So, ask them to be patient. It’s a slow and persistent effort in brand building. Investing in content gives returns in the long run

10) You cannot push the client too hard:

If clients aren’t convinced that blogs and articles are beneficial in increasing brand visibility or can fetch leads in the long run, you cannot push your client too hard.

Sooner or later, they will come around.

11) Share your experience:

Always request your client to share their feedback about your content – how your content benefitted their business? Share this feedback with other clients especially before you start a new assignment

12) Avoid connecting clients on chatting applications:

Always document your communication with the client on official emails and avoid chatting applications. An official communication must be done over emails. All the feedback, expectations have to be shared via email.

Rashmi Malapur is a business blogger, content strategist & poetess with over 12 years of experience. She also loves to pen book, film, and theatre reviews & interview individuals.

Her book ‘Positive Sutra: Life says, ‘Never give up’ is a combination of poems and prose that reflect her experience of combating mental health issues.

Why hunting for a good content writer is a big challenge?

Is it extremely tough for you to source a writer who lives up to your expectations or a content writer has penned your website content but its not upto the mark- you simply find it shabby, pointless, and you don’t resonate with it? Uff, what a task it is to find a content writer who could write exactly the way you expect or write content that is in sync with the brand.

There are various reasons why you can get disappointed with the quality of content churned out by a content writer. Here, I’m not considering plagiarised content picked up from various sources. Plagiarised content is certainly not healthy for any brand and is not what a content writer is expected to deliver.

Why hunting for a good content writer is a big challenge?

Have you set your expectations clearly?

No, most often we fail to share with the content writer about what we expect the content to look like? Do you have any sample write up or website content that you’ve simply loved? If you’ve just begun thinking about creating content for your company then its time you surf the internet as to what content is being shared by others. Read extensively and know more about content- read articles, blogs, website content, white papers, case studies, advertisements, social media, etc.

The more time you spend reading, the more you start understanding what content you simply love.

Once you’ve understood what you need, jot down your thoughts about your preferences and share it with your content writer.

That is not my job:

I hear many clients saying, “I don’t have time to read or research because it isn’t my job.” Well, if you don’t have time to build a connect with your clients and build an audience then building a business would be tough. Please don’t hire a content writer if you don’t have time to set your expectation. Since it’s a futile effort to hire a content writer and expect him/her to know what is on your mind.

Content is your voice that reaches the audiences and connects them with you, especially in today’s business world where digital presence is an inseparable part of business.

I’m disappointed with writers:

Let us understand one basic rule-

Writing is subjective and its all about perspectives. You have created a company/ a brand and you and only you will know how you wish the audiences to perceive the brand. The writer has no clue about the brand. Based on your briefing the writer will deliver /write. The writer will pen down your thoughts so its best to share everything that you wish to say to your audiences.

The writer doesn’t have a magic wand to read your mind. So, don’t expect him or her to write what you expect without sharing your thoughts.

What happens when you don’t brief your writer?

The writer will pen down thoughts according to his/ her perception and research. Obviously, the writer will read a lot and understand what is important based on the research. But, the writer’s perception about what is vital isn’t the same as yours. This is the biggest pitfall when you begin choosing writers.

Ask for a sample article:

The writer is experienced so why do I need to ask for a sample? No, that is another blunder that everyone is bound to commit. No matter how experienced the writer, brief him/her about what you expect and ask to write around 300 words based on the briefing. This brings clarity about the writer’s ability to grasp ideas and put them into words that resonate with your branding strategy and image.

I have been a writer / blogger for 12 years now and I understand these challenges. If you wish to know more about writing do keep reading my blogposts.

Rashmi Malapur Jaswal is a business blogger, content strategist & poetess with over 12 years of experience. She also loves to pen book, film, and theatre reviews & interview individuals.

Her book ‘Positive Sutra: Life says, ‘Never give up’ is a collection of poems and prose that reflect her experience of combating mental health issues.

A tribute to Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj by SPIC MACAY – Live NOW

Hello readers,

SPIC MACAY pays tribute to Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj.

Live now.. tune in NOW


Kabir Nair: An unstoppable child with Autism

Kabir Harish Nair is a 14 year old boy with diagnosis of moderate autism.

But nothing has been able to stop him from pursuing his hobbies and interests. He was part of city level under 14 cricket team as a leg spinner bowler all rounder.

But ofcourse corona has brought stand still to outdoor games.

He is studying in class 9 with Maths being his special favorite subject.

At heart he wants to remain a child and loves to spend time dancing, making videos and spending time with his dogs and even the stray dogs. He wants to be a national level cricketer and his idol is Mr Cool M.S.Dhoni. Meeting him is his life time dream.

Corona time and lockdown couldn’t hold on to his burst of energy and creativity. He has started writing stories as latest past time.

Kabir’s YouTube Channel:


The Big Match – A Story written by Kabir Harish Nair

The Big Match- A story by Kabir Harish Nair

A sunny day, a green pitch, a fresh ground, a tough opponent and the atmosphere of a final. What else can you ask for in a cricket match! It was the final of the inter-house cricket tournament. The Yellow House had reached in the final, thrashing the Blue House in the semi-final by their batting skills, tough bowling and excellent fielding. The Green House did the same against the Red House. The fierce rivalry between the two houses was known in the school.

Shockingly the Yellow House had not won a single match in the last twenty years against the Green House.  This was the best day to defeat the Green House, as it was the birthday of the team captain, Karthik and it was his last day in the school. He was the best cricketer in the school. He was a bowling-all rounder. His spinning skills baffled the batsmen and his unorthodox but amazing batting skills scared the bowlers. However, his biggest strength was his fielding. His direct hits and his fast movements left the opposition awe-struck. Unfortunately most of the time, his teammates failed to his expectations against the Green House. So, it was the best opportunity for the Yellow House to defeat the Green House.

The best cricketer after Karthik was Kaushik, who was the captain of the Green House. He was a batting-all rounder. His part-time bowling was better than some of the main bowlers in the house and his classic batting style rarely gave a chance to the bowlers to dismiss him. He was known as the ‘Direct Hit-Man’ in the school, as he had the most number of direct hits in the school. Hence, the fierce rivalry….

The pitch was green, meaning that batting first would have helped the house to set a good target. However, batting second would not have been ideal as the ball would come at uneven speed and uneven bounce. The toss happened and the Yellow House lost the toss and they bowled first. The openers from their side were Kumar and Nishant. The first bowler was Ajay, the fast bowler who knew how to swing the ball in different ways. They scored fourteen runs in the first over against him by hitting a maximum and a pair of boundaries. The second over was bowled by Sachin who was an expert of the Leg-Cutter. However, he failed to do any good to the team as well. In the first four overs, Nishant and Kumar had scored fifty runs.

Karthik noticed that most of the runs had come from the fastest balls of the match till then. He gave the ball to Prashant, who was a part-time left arm spinner. He told Prashant not to bowl at a high speed and to spin the ball as much as possible. Kumar was on strike. The first three balls were dot balls which did spin away from Kumar. Karthik had also told him to see when Kumar was going to step out. Kumar was frustrated and both Prashant and Karthik saw it. Karthik gave him the indication to bowl straight. Kumar stepped out, he missed the ball completely and the ball hit the stumps. The first wicket was down. The over was a maiden over.

Next came Aryan, who was an expert playing the balls going away from him. With Prashant Arif, who was a medium-fast bowler bowled the next three overs, giving just ten runs. It was the third ball of the ninth over when Aryan was on the strike. Prashant tried to give the flight to the ball, but the ball slipped from his hands and the ball came to Aryan as a full-toss. Aryan hit the ball flat but hard towards the long-on fielder, where Ajay was there. He jumped high in the air and caught the ball from one hand. The crowd went wild and Aryan was sent walking back to the pavilion. Next came the wicketkeeper-batsman Rakesh. After the ninth over, Karthik came to bowl the tenth over. Karthik had bowled four dot balls to Nishant, out of which all of the balls were leg spin. He knew Nishant’s mindset. He bowled a Googly to him. The ball struck his pad in front of the stumps. He got out due to L.B.W.

Next came the captain of the Green house, Kaushik. The Team,s score at ten overs was sixty-six for the loss of three wickets. When they thought that everything was going according to the plan, Kaushik changed the game by scoring thirty-nine runs with Rakesh from the next four overs. Even though Karthik gave jsut eight runs of the two overs he bowled, Prashant and Ajay gave thirteen and eighteen runs respectively of each over. Karthik had understood that his regular plan will not work. He had to do something different, so he brought Arif. The thing about Arif which made him different from others was that he bowled straight, but always on the off-side. Rakesh had the strike, Karthik told Arif to bowl a straight and fast ball on the leg-stump. Arif bowled a straight yorker on the leg-stump. Rakesh was startled, he edged the ball slightly and the ball hit the stumps. Only four runs went from the over.

In the next three overs, three wickets fell but twenty-four runs still came, out of which twenty runs were scored by Kaushik. Karthik decided to bowl the over, as he knew that Kaushik had to be stopped. He tried to remember that what ball he had bowled the least in his career. And then, he remembered. He bowled the top-spinner to him. The ball spinned just a bit and with the extra bounce, the ball hit the top of the off-stump. Yes, Kaushik was bowled. He took the next two wickets in his next two balls, getting a hat-trick.

The Green House had scored one hundred and twenty nine runs of eighteen overs and three balls. The target was not big, the team was performing good but the pitch was the challenge. The openers from the Yellow House were Aarav and Samar, who were the experts of playing swinging balls. Sahil was the best bowler of the Green House and he was bowling the first over. The first over was an average over for both the teams. However, the next over was expensive for the opposition as they gave away ten runs.

Kaushik realised that the pitch was dry and it will not do any good to fast bowlers. He brought Ankush and told him to bowl. He was an off-spinner and he knew a lot of variations of off-spin. On the first ball, Samar did become the victim of Ankush’s Doosra. He stepped out to play the Straight Drive, but he edged the ball and Nishant, who was at the slip position caught the ball. He bowled a normal ball to Rahul, who had come in the place of Samar. He got a single of the ball. Karthik wondered that why Ankush bowled an ordinary ball to Rahul. On the next ball Aarav also got dismissed. Then came Arnav, to bat.

Karthik understood the reason after seeing Arnav. He understood that Ankush was planning to dismiss Arnav and Rahul as then except Karthik only the batsmen would have been left who bat with their left hand. On the last ball of the over, Rahul got bowled. Karthik decided to bat early as he knew that an off-spinner will have more difficulty bowling to a right-hand batsman. He told Arnav not to get dismissed and to play grounded strokes. The next three overs were good for Karthik and the team, as they scored twenty runs from the respective overs. Seeing Ankush failing to both of the batsmen, Kaushik understood the strategy of Karthik. Then he brought Naman to bowl his spell. Naman was the left arm spinner who knew both how to spin the ball and how to bowl fast skidding balls.

On the first ball of the over, Naman bowled a spinning ball to Arnav. He got beaten from the spin of the ball. The over was a maiden over. He came to bowl the next over and only three runs came of the over. Only nine runs came from the next four overs. The Yellow House had scored only fifty runs of twelve overs. Out of the remaining eight overs, they had to score eighty runs and the required run rate from seven runs per over had come to ten runs per over. Karthik told Arnav to give him as much strike as possible. But Kaushik was prepared for that and he brought Sahil to bowl. He bowled a fast Yorker at the off-stump to Arnav. Whack! Arnav got bowled and the crowd went silent.

Next came Arif whose performance was not much impressive against fast bowlers. Karthik told him to take a single and give him the strike, and so he did. In the remaining four balls, Karthik smashed eighteen runs, twelve of which came from fours and the remaining runs came from a maximum. In the next over, Karthik scored twelve runs of the five balls he played in the next over and he completed his half-century of forty-four balls. Due to his steady knock, only forty-nine runs were required of the remaining six overs.

Kaushik wondered that what he should do. He remembered that Karthik did not have the strike. He told Ankush to bowl in such a manner that Karthik does not get the strike. Arif tried his best to take a single, but he failed to do so. It was a maiden over. Now Karthik had the strike and Kaushik sent Naman to bowl, telling him to bowl the balls skidding towards him. But Karthik knew what was coming towards him. He smashed twenty six runs from the over, hitting five boundaries and one maximum. The crowd was booing the Green House and Kaushik was feeling angry. But suddenly he saw that Arif was on strike again. He came to bowl his last over, planning to get as many wickets as possible of the over. He bowled a slow and straight ball to Arif. Arif stepped out, the ball went past him and it struck the stumps. Arif was out. Including Arif, Kaushik dismissed four batsmen without giving even a single run. Now, the fans of Kaushik were booing Karthik, whereas the fans of Karthik were silent in shock. Two overs went and only three runs came from the overs, neither of which were scored by Karthik.

In the last over the Yellow House required twenty runs with two wickets left and Karthik did not have the strike. He told Ajay to hit the ball towards the long-on fielder high in the air. Even though Ajay would have been out, Karthik would have got the strike. Ajay did so and he was caught. The Yellow House fans started leaving the stadium as they thought that Yellow House will lose the match. But the fans who left the match would have surely regretted their decision.

Twenty runs were required from five balls and now, Karthik had the strike. He hit the ball for a maximum and the second for a double. Kaushik told Sahil to bowl a bouncer. Sahil understood what to do. He bowled a bouncer, which hit Karthik’s helmet. Karthik was feeling dizzy. The next ball was a dot ball as Karthik was not able to hit the ball, due to his dizziness. He asked the umpire to stop the play for two minutes. The umpire allowed. He saw his fans and thought about the feelings of the fans. He asked himself, “Can I end my last school game like this?” Suddenly a wave of energy ran inside him and he was back on the crease, more determined.

Sahil bowled a bouncer to him again, but this time Karthik was ready. He moved away from the ball and he smashed the ball in the stands towards the third man. Six runs were required of the last ball. The fans were praying for their respective sides to win, the field was set and then the umpire gave the indication to Sahil to bowl the ball. Sahil took his run-up and he bowled the ball. The ball was on the good length, but Karthik stepped and hit the ball high in the air, down the ground. The fans got on their feet and both the teams watched the ball. The ball started descending and it landed in the stands.

The fans went wild, the players of the Yellow House ran down the field and the players of the Green House were in shock as Karthik had won his team the match. It was the first victory of the Yellow House in the last twenty years against the Green House. The teammates took Karthik atop their shoulders and marched the ground. The fans were shouting “Hip-Hip Hooray! Hip-Hip Hooray!”. The gold trophy was there and Karthik was going to get the trophy. Tears of pride were streaming down the cheeks of the teammates and the crowd was on its feet. And the moment did come. Karthik took the trophy in his hands and the crowd once again shouted “Hip-Hip Hooray!”. Karthik signed off with a historic win and till date he is remembered. What a player….

-Kabir Harish Nair

The copyright of this story is held by Kabir Harish Nair

© Copyright 2020 Kabir Harish Nair All rights reserved

Gulzar sahaab’s writings are timeless

Why are Gulzarsahab’s writings timeless?

gulzar sahaab 1

Click: Courtesy: http://dohaz.com/songs/Agar-Aisa-Bhi-Ho-Sakta-Artist-Gulzar-Lyrics

It’s Gulzarsahab’s birthday today and I thought about translating one of his poems written for the movie he directed; ‘Ijaazat’.

The gist:

My things lying in your home can be returned to me but, how are you going to bury/ forget and throw away the innumerable memories that we have woven together. They are eternal and you cannot detach yourself from them. Im eternally attached to you and if at all I try to separate myself from you, I will take my last breath.

मेरा कुछ सामान, तुम्हारे पास पड़ा है

सावन के कुछ भीगे-भीगे दिन रखे हैं

और मेरे एक ख़त में लिपटी रात पड़ी है

वो रात बुझा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो

You have returned some of my belongings today,

But, there are some more things that are lying with you,

Some days drenched in raindrops,

And a night that we spent together is wrapped in my letters

Make me forget that fiery night, return me these things that I still so fondly embrace.

पतझड़ है कुछ, है ना?

पतझड़ में कुछ पत्तों के गिरने की आहट

कानों में एक बार पहन के लौटाई थी

पतझड़ की वोह शाख अभी तक काँप रही है

वो शाख गिरा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो

Do you still remember the autumn days?

The sound of the autumn leaves that drifted away from the tree and fell off,

That branch since autumn is trembling in the fierce winds,

Wither off that branch for me,

Return me these things that I still so fondly embrace.

एक अकेली छतरी में जब आधे-आधे भीग रहे थे

आधे सूखे, आधे गीले, सूखा तो मैं ले आई थी

गीला मन शायद बिस्तर के पास पड़ा हो

वो भिजवा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो

Once while we were sharing the same umbrella,

We both got drenched in the rains,

A bit wet, a bit dry, I brought along with me all the things that dried off,

But, my heart that soaked in your love, is still with you,

Send it to me and also, return me these things that I still so fondly embrace.

एक सौ सोलह चाँद की रातें, एक तुम्हारे काँधे का तिल

गीली मेहँदी की खुशबू, झूठ-मूठ के शिकवे कुछ

झूठ-मूठ के वादे भी सब याद करा दूं

सब भिजवा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो

Those 116 nights that we spent together,

The mole on your shoulders,

The fragrance of the wet heena on my hands,

Those fun filled tantrums,

Can you remember those false promises you made?

Send back all these memories,

Return me these things that I still so fondly embrace.

एक इजाज़त दे दो बस, जब इनको दफ़नाऊगी

मैं भी वहीँ सो जाऊंगी,

मैं भी वहीँ सो जाऊंगी

I have only one wish that you can grant,

When I bury these memories, let me take my last breath.

gulzar sahaab

Click: Courtesy: http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/while-reading-tagore-we-tend-to-forget-that-he-wasnt-born-with-a-beard-gulzar/

I feel Gulzarsahaab is the ‘King of romance’; intense, subtle, intuitive and full of romance. I faintly remember the first time I got introduced to his writings. I was still in school, probably in the 8th grade when I watched his movie ‘Ijaazat’ on Doordarshan (the only channel that existed in those days as compared to the crowd of channels telecasting sub-standard serials with no content value).

While I watched the movie, I got engrossed in the storyline and the characters. I found the movie a cut above the rest. Some other movies that I loved were ‘Pestonjee’, ‘Masoom’, ‘Andhi’ and ‘Sparsh’.

These are unforgettable movies. Coming back to ‘Ijaazat’, I loved the movie for its intensity, cutting all the pompousness of Bollywood. Extremely sensitive, well directed and written. I got curious about the director and started delving more into Gulzarsahaab’s writings. Those days Google hadn’t come into existence. I relied mostly on Radio (no FM, just Vividhbharti).

I gradually got to know more about him and his work; the more I heard songs penned by him, I got attracted to his poetry. He made an album with late Jagjit Singh, which was called ‘Marasim’ and I practically heard it everyday.

With the desire to read more of his poems I bought his books, ‘Raat Pashmine Ki’ and ‘Triveni’. In the book ‘Raat Pashmine Ki’ Gulzarsahaab has written and dedicated a poem to Naseeruddin Shah. An apt description of Naseer and his acting skills.

At times, it is difficult to find the hidden meaning behind the poems because, at face value the reader will never feel the intensity.

One of my all-time favourite songs written by Gulzarsahaab is ‘Mera Kuch Samaan’ from ‘Ijaazat’. This song has a deeper meaning where the protagonist writes a letter to her lover, who is now married to someone else. The couple decides to return all her belongings which make her presence felt in the house. Her memories linger in their mind and it disturbs the wife.

Here is what she has to say to her lover:

She wishes to say that my things lying in your home can be returned to me but, how are you going to forget and throw away the innumerable memories that we have woven together. They are eternal and you cannot detach yourself from them. Im eternally attached to you and if at all I try to separate myself from you, I will take my last breath.

From the words ‘autumn leaves’ I also remembered this song sung by Nat King Cole, which also speaks about separation.


The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Songwriters: Unknown

Autumn Leaves lyrics © The Royalty Network Inc.

From Wikipeida:

“Autumn Leaves” is a popular song and many singers have sung it. But, originally it was a French song called, “Les Feuilled mortes” which means “The Dead Leaves” whose lyrics were written by poet Jacques Prévert and composed by Hungarian – French composer Joseph Kosma


Sharon Wangui’s poem is wonderful.

They pity her. They think she’s weak. With her gentle voice and her red lips. But she’s not one to be pitied, but one to be feared. She sits there,all alone . Thinking of everyone’s feelings , But not how she’s feeling. She wonders if the moon comes up At night so the stars don’t […]


Great Quote by Benjamin Franklin

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How Yoga helped me?

Amidst the daily struggle with restlessness, anxiety, and mood swings, I was finding my answers to the root cause of these emotions. That is when I started practicing yoga under the guidance of Mamta mam at Spoorti Yoga.

Slowly a journey within began.

mamta rao in her studio

My Yoga Guru: Founder of Spoorti Yoga – Mamta Rao mam.

You can connect with Mamta Rao at mamtarao68@gmail.com

I found that I had deep-rooted fears that caused barriers to my daily life and spiritual growth.
Yoga kept me rooted to reality and made me more patient. The constant blaming on situations was replaced with gratitude towards my blessings. Slowly I’m learning to become calmer within.

I feel energetic to do so many things that I initially used to give up on. I’m trying new things and taking up new assignments as a writer even during lockdown times. Also, since I have hypothyroid, Yoga has helped me to keep my weight constant and acidity is no more a challenge.

Mamta mam’s positivity is infectious and her innovativeness keeps you hooked on to the sessions. I love the online classes that she is conducting as we can’t move out of the house due to the lockdown.

My journey within continues as I progress towards developing a balanced mind and connecting with myself.

Thank-you Mamta mam for being such a great source of inspiration to us.

spoorti yoga