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Cinema’s Fading Charm



Cinema's Fading Charm

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Cinema's Fading CharmOr why I fell out of love with movies

By Khalid Mohamed
There’s something majorly amiss. That tribal rite of going to the movies just isn’t the same anymore. Never mind, the fancy price of tickets or the 200 bucks for pops of corn.
It’s just that the romance of submitting myself to the wonderful people and their conflicts on the screen just doesn’t make me laugh… or cry… with the same purity of feelings today.
BBC reviewer Alistair Cooke, once upon a time the most influential voice on cinema, had said, “A film critic should be someone who can’t stay away from films or a man who never goes at all. I leave you to guess as to which class I belong.”
Today, I find myself as someone who’s in between, a cinemaholic who hits the bar only on a Friday. Not so long ago, it used to be 7 x 7 a week.
Now I brooded over that (a bit) and arrived at a few prime reasons for losing my ‘religion’, or for diminishing my devotion:

Where are the technocrats? Even a rankly lousy film would have some redeeming feature. Ravikant Nagaich’s Farz, Suraksha and oodles of espionage thrillers would be as believable as a Rs 25 note. Yet Nagaich’s technical inventiveness was mind-blasting. Mukul S Anand would hack out predictable Bachchan extravaganzas but again, stylewise he was the asli bhai of all the directors in the showtown of the 1970s. His screenplays were messy but his direction, wah-wah. Today where are the comparable technocrats? Sanjay F Gupta? Don’t make me laugh.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Just not interested: An upcoming turnip can be smelt from weeks ahead. There was no earthly reason—except in the strict line of reviewing duty—to sample Mohenjo Daro once its promos promised the misshapen things to come. And though, I’m a major fan of B-graders—which often have more heart than the biggies—I can no longer drag myself to the Sunny Leone twists-and-grinders.

Time time ki baat hai: The movies may have become briefer and the number of songs has reduced drastically supplanted as they are in the background score. A film’s finale of fisticuffs, shoot-outs and miscellaneous showdowns doesn’t stretch on for a millennium.  But for the super big-budget movies, others wrap up in two hours-flat. So why do I still keep looking at my wrist watch, eyeing the exit door? To think Love in Simla boasted of 11 songs, and it’s a pleasure even on DVD. Today, it could be Love in Honolulu with just one song and three remixes, but I’d bin it after half a viewing.

Crores roar? It’s all about loving your Rs 100 crores. But huh, whenever, Whenever I’ve tracked a mega-blockbuster in its second-week runs, the audience has been as scant as a receding hairline. Doesn’t feel quite right about watching a humongous hit with just a couple of necking couples in the last row. Feels lonely.

Multiplexes, a mixed blessing: So the clarity of the projection and sound are infinitely superior to the surviving single screen movie halls. But at the plexes, the images can be dingy and the full-on sound can drive you to an ENT specialist. Ouchhh. Believe it or yelp, mice leap through the aisles even in the swishiest of the plexes.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Gourmet dinners, no thank you: At the prohibitively-costly, souped-up multiplexes. Take Delhi’s Director’s Cut auditorium, butlers will fetch you sushi and desi trays. Now how about those viewers who just want to watch the movie, without burping and clattering about with forks and knives? I must have annoyed countless multi-waiters, on pleading, “I can’t see the screen. You’re not invisible.” Post-demonetisation, the dinners are paid for by credit and debit cards, an intricate chore subtracting that simple old pleasure of just watching a movie without making it a dining-out experience. Cell phone conversations, SMS’es and WhatsApping on blindingly bright cell screens, aah no point protesting any more, is there?

3-D, no thanks: All my friends who are assorted nuts about the movies, agree. Watching a movie with heavy glasses isn’t our idea of fun. Even on becoming Zen about the glasses, the picture quality is hazy and lacks lustre. There was no choice but to go through the drill for Avatar, Tintin, Spiderman and practically every cartoon flick from the Hollywood eye-zapping clinic.

Result: there’s something majorly amiss about going to the movies. Am I alone in thinking this way? Hope not.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Yashraj Mukhate collaborates with Amit Trivedi for Mann Dhaaga song

In a post circulating on Instagram Yashraj Mukhate talks about his experience of listening to Amit Trivedi’s music and recalls how he had always dreamt of collaborating with Amit Trivedi. He said his dream came true 2 years later in 2024 where he collaborated with Trivedi on the song Mann Dhaaga.



Amit Trivedi is known for his soulful compositions which weave profound lyrics, captivating music lovers. His songs spark a deep desire in aspiring artists to collaborate with him. Music producer and You Tuber Yashraj Mukhate had immense admiration for Trivedi’s artistry. In a post circulating on Instagram Yashraj Mukhate talks about his experience of listening to Amit Trivedi’s music and recalls how he had always dreamt of collaborating with Amit Trivedi.

He said his dream came true 2 years later in 2024 where he collaborated with Trivedi on the song Mann Dhaaga. He wrote that he had been listening to the entire Dev D Album carefully in 2012. And he kept listening to it on loop for 3 weeks. He continued to listen to Amit Trivedi compositions in Aisha, Kai Po Che, Udaan, Lootera, Queen, Fitoor continuously. He said he could not stop himself and became a big fan of the music director. He said he started dreaming of meeting his idol one day and collaborating with him.

He recalled that he had to download songs from songs.pk and listen to them. He said the songs kept running inside his mind all through the day. He added that he even remembered Amit Trivedi’s ad jingles word for Fanta, Frooti, Dish TV and all of them.

Mukhate said he always dreamed of meeting Amit Trivedi and wanted to thank him for giving this experience. The post has gone viral on social media with 96,445 likes till now. Large number of social media user commented on the social media post where one user Parth said the Yashraj Mukhate was truly an inspiration. One user said his dedication had brought him to level. One user said a man should make all his dreams come true by going through one hustle at a time.

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Book reviews

The Sattvik Kitchen review: Relook at ancient food practices in modern times

If you are the one looking to embrace healthy food habits without compromising on modern delicacies, then this book is a must read!



The cacophony of bizarre food combinations across the streets of India has almost taken over the concept of healthy food practices. Amid this, yoga guru Dr Hansaji Yogendra’s The Sattvik Kitchen, published by Rupa, is a forthright work that takes you back to ancient food practices and Ayurveda.

As the subtitle reads, The Art and Science of Healthy Living, the book endows a holistic approach to ayurvedic diet along with modern evidence based nutrition. From Basil-Broccoli Soup to Sprouted Green Gram Salad and Strawberry Oats Smoothie to Mixed Dal Parathas, the book not only provides you with the recipes but also stresses on healthy cooking tips together with nutritional benefits. 

Besides, Dr Hansaji Yogendra’s book emphasizes on the traditional methods of food preparation and the advantages of using traditional cookwares like iron and copper vessels. The narrative portrays a balanced approach, knitting traditional wisdom with contemporary scientific understanding.

The author, through her book, sheds light on the principles of Ayurveda and highlights the metamorphic potential of adopting ancient food practices. She explains how our body reacts to food in terms of timing, quantity, manner of consumption and seasonal considerations. The book adeptly reintroduces ancient home remedies tailored to address various contemporary health issues. 

Dr Yogendra, in her book, decodes the importance of nutritional knowledge to optimize both immediate and long-term health outcomes. It provides deep insights to understanding the intricate relationship between food choices and overall well-being, weaving Ayurveda with practical perception. 

The book not only celebrates food philosophy but also offers a practical view into weight loss, well-being, and the profound impact of dietary choices on both physical and emotional aspects of our lives.

If you are the one looking to embrace healthy food habits without compromising on modern delicacies, then this book is a must read! The book is a roadmap to navigate the challenges of the modern day kitchens. 

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Book reviews

The Deccan Powerplay review: Bashing Chandrababu Naidu and his legacy

Amar Devulapalli’s book The Deccan Powerplay cornersthe TDP strongman with every petty incident exaggerated a la Baahubali 



Mike Marqusee’s War Minus The Shooting is a seminal book on cricket and its influence on culture and politics in the Indian sub-continent during the 1996 Cricket World Cup. Amar Devulapalli’s book The Deccan Powerplay, published by Rupa, sounds like a similar exercise with its clear subtitle, “Reddy, Naidu and the Realpolitik of Andhra Pradesh“. The ambitious sounding subtitle crumbles under the weight of belied expectations of a scholarly treatise on the political interplay between the Reddys, the Kammas and the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh. One can blame it on one’s own hopes and excuse the author of the lapse since the book has just three people to discuss: YS Rajsekhara Reddy, N. Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The chief protagonists here are YSR and his son, the incumbent Chief Minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh, Jagan Mohan Reddy. The lone villain, and one crafty as a fox if ever there was one, is Chandrababu Naidu. The book devotes a chapter to the corruption cases against Naidu, for which he was arrested in September 2023.

In crafting the narrative, the other heavyweights of Telugu country are discussed in passing, as peripheral players. N.T. Rama Rao does get the starring role, as befits the Telugu star of yesteryear and the founder of the Telugu Desam Party. But even this is fleeting. The Congress, which ruled the state till bifurcation, is portrayed as a faction-infested animal — so what if YSR stayed in the party both as loyal soldier as well as a seasoned yet dynamic general?

The book sets out to demolish the halo surrounding Naidu as the man who brought Information Technology majors to Hyderabad, nay Cyberabad, by beating Bengaluru. His breaking with NTR is depicted as a shrewd, calculated gambit to displace the TDP founder, who was also his father-in-law. 

The book is replete with this and more Naidu nitpicking. Naidu took no bullshit from politicians or journalists. He gave it back to the scribes when needed, apart from his favourite media groups, one of the reasons they were not very happy kowtowing to him, 

as the book suggests. Instead they would make ostentatious bows to any political alternative merely for being less brusque than the now-out-on-bail former CM. 

The book picks apart every claim Naidu ever made and portrays him as an opportunist. The problem with this is possibly because Naidu preceded Jagan Mohan as the rump AP’s last CM and had presumably used every trick in his arsenal to discredit the younger contender.

With Assembly elections due this year, this book reads like a party pamphlet and comes across as a political weapon among the undiscerning. An Instagram handle could have been more useful to this end. But for such a grandly-titled book: the anticlimax is swift and painful.

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