29 November 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Another Time Another Place by Chandni Sengupta (Book Review: 3*/5) !!!

1985th BLOG POST

38th Book of 2021


So, I’m enjoying my reading weekends these days as every Saturday I pick up a book and very successfully, I complete it by Sunday evening. The distractions seem to have completely disappeared from my weekends. It’s great as now I am reading last few books of this year and after that, it’s going to be a fresh cycle again consisting of new target and new set of books. This weekend, I wanted to read something short and light hence I picked up Chandni Sengupta’s “Another Time Another Place”. The book is published by Rupa Publications in around 194 pages. It’s a pure love story talking about two characters – Samaira and Mayank. It was very interesting to read about them in the blurb of the book as well as in the initial chapters when their characters are introduced.


It's very serene the way book takes us specifically to one character at a time and tells us the story from their perspective. I got a feel that I am regularly seeing two people in their respective bedrooms reacting to the same situation and responding differently. Also, the way authoress has kept their personalities pole apart yet the way they come close to each other so naturally makes it all sound quite believable. I liked how author has worked on the characterizations as you are able to visualize both in front of you. Even the other characters are used in their limited roles quite well. I liked how they didn’t take much space into the main story. Chandni remains focused towards the characters and their growing relationship between them throughout the story.


Sengupta doesn’t shy away from speaking about the contemporary world and its way of looking at the other gender. Similarly, how sex is no more a taboo is discussed openly which tells how guys end up sleeping with 25 odd girls just for the sake of one-night stands and doesn’t even feel ashamed of discussing it with the new partner they are trying to get indulged with. It makes you little awkward while reading but then, you know, you can’t deny what’s happening around you. I liked how author has carved the character of Samaira, a 32-year-old girl, who has never been in any physical relationship until then. It is very difficult to write about such character in today’s time, but author makes it all sound relatable and realistic.


Author also describes how people are married in wrong relationships and the prominence of divorce taking place around us. It tells us how parental pressure ends up ruining the life of youngsters just for the enthusiasm of getting their children marriage by a certain age limit. There’s a twist in the pre-climax that halts the relationship of Mayank and Samaira which comes as a shock even to us – as readers. The climax is about to give us some news but the way it ends makes you believe that there’s more to this story and this can’t be the end of it. You know somewhere Chandni has already planned a sequel to this story as something remains missing when you end the book and keep it on your heart and think about what should and shouldn’t have happened.


Talking about the drawbacks – As author simultaneously talks about both the characters from their point of view in 3rd voice, sometimes, she just jumbles up between both and the chapters with the characters’ name doesn’t solve any purpose occasionally. Most of the book is about their chatting and conversation on phone which makes it boring after a point of time as you want to read more about how they interact with each other when they are together in person. The climax could have been little more powerful which I believe ends very abruptly. It seems many scenes are written in a hope that this might get adapted into some digital format as it sounds less like a novel and more like a scene of a romantic movie. There are some typos and spelling mistakes. I am clueless how this gets missed these days when there is so much proofing at the publisher’s end. May-be WFH has made some people casual. Haha!


Overall, this is a good book for people below 24 years of age who might feel it as a fantasy world. This is also a fine book for beginners to start their journey of reading with. I give this book an average 3 stars out of 5. I am looking forward to reading more stuffs from Chandni Sengupta.





25 November 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Movie Review: Sanak: Watch it for Vidyut & Action scenes! **½

 1984th BLOG POST

Every time I find trailer of a new movie starring Vidyut Jammwal, my first reaction is to not watch it because I know, it is going to be the same stuff that he does in every movie – fight for the actress of the movie against multiple goons using his martial arts and action skills. But the moment arrives when I take the final call of streaming his movie when I am in the mind zone of watching something very rocking and sporty. The only name that comes to my mind is Vidyut. He has his own niche in terms of selecting movies and the audience who watches his every movie. Unfortunately, I am not among one of them, but I do enjoy the way he carries himself on the screen.


Last weekend, I watched Sanak on Disnep+ Hotstar which ended up being on “Most watched movie” list for around 3 weeks since its release on the OTT platform. This surprised me as his last venture on the same OTT platform named “Khuda Hafiz” didn’t get the same kind of word-of-mouth. Sanak’s storyline is almost like Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi movie where here, his wife has been held as hostage alongside many other patients in a hospital where she had almost recovered from her heart condition. Vidyut, playing her husband, comes to the hospital to take her home when he realizes something is wrong. He understands the situation within some time and here begins the movie, Sanak, where his only motive is to ensure that his wife comes out safe. He ends up beating and bulleting the terrorists one-by-one – sometimes with the gun whereas sometimes through his hands whereas sometimes using his crazy martial arts’ skills.


It is all fun to watch with the background music which completely justifies the action scenes and uplifts the whole momentum of the movie with each scene. The complete credit for this must go to Saurabh Bhalerao – the man I got to know only after trying to understand whose work was it. The dialogues are fine, and you’ll just love hearing the conversation between the protagonist and the leader of the terrorists named Saju, played by Chandan Roy Sanyal. Talking about the action scenes, as I said, they are just mind-blowing. Typically, the one in the physiotherapy room where the props are used so wittingly in synchronization that you just don’t want that scene to end. Similarly, another scene where Vidyut hides in a section where the medicines are placed, the way he fights with the rest of the terrorists is another beautifully choreographed scene.


Talking about the performances, as always, in such action movies, the main protagonist always steals the show and when it’s an actor like Vidyut Jammwal who takes his action scenes seriously, you just can’t stop loving his efforts and appreciating his conduct on the screen. Rukmini Maitra had a good chance to showcase her talent in the movie as Vidyut’s wife, but she has lost the golden opportunity with her silly acting and expressions. Neha Dhupia is completely wasted. The surprise package of the movie is Chandan Roy Sanyal who plays the negative character perfectly named Saju. You just love watching him challenge the system with his amazing body language and accent. Chandan Roy, as a funny element in the movie, who claims to know about the complete map of the hospital makes you laugh with his innocent and comic act. I just loved the way those segments are used as fillers at the right time.


Now talking about the drawbacks, the cheesy conversation between the husband-wife couple is difficult to bear. You just can’t stop from fast-forwarding those scenes and move to the next one. Secondly, as it always happens in the Bollywood movies, when the director wants, the target is achieved right with the first bullet itself even if the subject is not in the sight but when it’s necessary or when its about actor of the movie, even the ten bullets don’t hit the target even from the distance of 5 metres. This really irritates when it happens in such a hardcore action-driven movie.  Then there are many stupid subplots in the movie where a kid is shown knowing how to diffuse a suicide bomb whereas the police squad is unable to perform their primary task. It becomes intolerable to consume such scenes.


Overall, this Kanishk Varma directed movie is just an average stuff in terms of script and sub-plots but Vidyut carries the movie on his shoulders alone. Whatever ratings I am giving is for him and the action direction performed in the movie. It is 2.5 stars out of 5. You can skip it if you want.





24 November 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

The Three Khans: And the Emergence of New India by Kaveree Bamzai (Book Review: 3.25*/5) !!!

1983rd BLOG POST

37th Book of 2021


Well, just 2 days back, I completed my target of 36 books set for the year 2021. I thought that I won’t be able to move beyond the target due to the psychological slowdown that happens once we achieve a set target. Hence, I picked up a book named “The Three Khans and the emergence of new India” written by Kaveree Bamzai. It’s based upon our favorite three superstars who have ruled Bollywood for almost around 2.5 decades – Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan. For someone like me who is 1989-born, my whole childhood has been about being fan of either one of these three actors as we keep on changing our interests in our growing year. Haha! But particularly, I was a big fan of Salman Khan hence every time I get a chance to read about him or the other two Khans, I just pounce upon it. Hence, I chose this book to go beyond my target.


Before this book, I have read almost a similar book written by Sanjukta Nandy named “KHANTASTIC: The untold story of Bollywood’s trio” which speaks about the lives and careers of the trio Khans. Another book which is completely based on Salman Khan named “Being Salman” written by Jasim Khan is something for which I travelled 4 hours up and down just to get it on time from the hands of the author directly. Hence, while reading this one, I had expectations of reaching the hidden layer of the personalities which has not been discussed yet in magazines, articles, books and other contents accessed by me. This 230-pages book is surely interesting as it keeps your curiosity alive throughout and you wish to know what happens next in the careers of the three Khans.


Author manages to talk about all three of them giving them the same space in the book though there’s little less about Aamir as he’s mostly a private person hence one doesn’t know much about him. Kaveree covers about how they initiated their careers in different ways without knowing each other and gradually, their path intersects and brings all of them on the same track to be competing for all their lives post that. We get to know the kind of struggle they have to go through in terms of their ambitions, roles, personal issues etc. yet their spirit to keep the spark alive within them of performing incessantly. You get to know how deep they used to think even at the start of their career as in one of the instances in the book, both Aamir and Shahrukh accepts that they got successful initially not because they were great actors but just because they were new faces.


Author then gets into the space which made the three personalities vulnerable and disheartened due to events that impacted their career or personal lives such as – the kind of investments SRK made for Ra.One as he had huge hope from the movie and what its debacle did to him in terms of confidence and motivation – Similarly, for Aamir Khan, how his divorce affected him and made him take support of alcohol to keep himself sane – for Salman Khan, as all of us know, his broken relationship with Aishwarya and several other events of his life kept knocking him down which made him take unwanted actions which damaged his reputation like anything. Author also talks about the disagreement and a bit of anger both Salman and Aamir had towards their father for bringing in other ladies in their life apart from their mother. I didn’t know about this part at all.


Along with talking about the Three Khans and their whole filmography until the recent lockdown era, author talks about various other issues that Bollywood has been dealing with – such as the debate on nepotism, Insider vs Outsider, comparison of actors with yesteryears’ legends, Me Too movement, die-hard competition etc. Bamzai keeps on letting us know about what happened with India parallelly in terms of politics and other issues. She also acknowledges few incidents when each of the Three Khans spoke about something that led them towards controversy. But she has also missed many important events such as SRK’s Wankhede ban, Salman’s involvement with Modi etc. Reading about references of Arjun Rampal’s NCB enquiry and Aamir-Kiran’s beautiful relationship in the book, I was just thinking if author could have waited for little longer, she could have covered Aryan Khan’s case as well as Aamir-Kiran divorce too. The book ends with talking about the new era of Bollywood where multiple actors are becoming popular with the different kind of work/art that is getting created and delivered to us. I just loved reading this whole section as it is so contemporary that I could relate with it.


Now talking about the drawbacks about the book- I must say that yes, the book is surely interesting for people who love the three Khans because it just makes you happy to keep reading and knowing about them continuously for hours. But the issue is the kind of hatred that authoress has regularly shown towards Hinduism as religion, Hindus as people and BJP as presently elected government favouring Hindus. She also goes beyond this and tells how people support Hrithik, Akshay, Ajay, Ranbir, Ranveer just because they are Hindus. As far as I know, meeting and discussing about movies and actors with so many people, I have never heard anyone preferring or hating the three Khans for their religion. This is just the garbage filled in the minds of people who think like this – unfortunately, the author here too seems to be from the same section of society.


Even on the last page, there’s a reference of criticism towards the current government. Author has regularly emphasised on this point that since the new government has come into the picture, the dynamics have changed for the Muslims and how it has become difficult for the Three Khans to survive. I don’t know in which parallel universe is this happening. Also, I feel that very important part from the three actors’ life has been excluded conveniently which doesn’t give the right picture on their career statistics as well as personal lives. There are many typos in the book – majorly in the 2nd half of the book – it seems that Kaveree tried to complete it on a deadline which couldn’t allow herself, editors and publisher do a final proofing.


Overall, I believe along with talking about Khans, this book is also trying to brainwash us towards thinking about Bollywood and cinemas from a religious and political perspective which I believe is truly unwanted. If that part could have been excluded, this book could have served better information on the actors and Bollywood but currently, it’s more about propaganda and agenda against the current Government particularly. I give this book 3.25 stars out of 5.