Category: Articles

Describing the Four Newspaper Kiosks that I Patronize

Newspaper Kiosk

There are four different kiosks located in different parts of the township that I live in that I frequent to buy newspapers. Because I found out that the agency that used to deliver to my home was ripping me off, I began buying it myself and, that too, without paying extra for “delivery”. Now it has become part of my routine. So much that I cannot resist talking about it here.

Here are short descriptions of the four newspaper kiosks that I have been frequenting at least since late 2017.

Kiosk #1 – Run by a 40-Something Couple

My favourite place to buy newspapers from, this kiosk is run by a wife and a husband who look like they are in their late 40s. Situated in a corner of the busiest intersection in the town – encroaching a footpath – adjacent to maybe the second busiest bus stand, it only consists of a table the size of two umbrellas if they were forcibly shaped into a square, a huge umbrella twice the size of the ones I just talked about and which is the standard size for all such kiosks, be it the one that sells Jio SIM cards or SBI credit cards that you don’t want, and one or two plastic chairs. Sometimes they tend the shop together, often talking between themselves and laughing, attending all their customers with a wide smile. Buying my favourite newspaper from them is usually how I start my weekday and exchanging a smile with them sometimes makes my day better. Although, the decrepit waste bins right in front of the kiosk turns me off.

Kiosk #2 – The Old Man & the Newspapers

This is the most recent find of mine and also a lifesaver because it is the only newspaper kiosk that stays open till one in the afternoon. Set up on a few boxes as tall as a five-foot person’s knees with a single plastic, support-less chair, it is run by an old man who is at least 60. His wisdom that the shop is located in the township’s busiest market which I think works better for him than for the couple above, even if both act as enroachments. I like to believe his sales are better because copies of The Times of India (TOI) often gets sold out here, which forces me to buy Hindustan Times. (Does that say something about these newspapers?) Located just beside an auto-rickshaw stand, when the old man is not selling newspapers, he has people to give him company (at least when they are not on the roads). And let’s not forget about the umbrella; only here it is adjusted to a lower height that makes me bend and swerve to pick up my copy.

Kiosk #3 – A Balanced Life

This is run by multiple people and I don’t know if they are all related by blood. I know for sure that the guy who tends the shop these days is an employee because he’s least bothered, always stuck to his mobile phone playing what looks like PUBG. It is the kiosk with the biggest display (enroaching about 80% of the walkway) and at a height similar to that of the old man, which works against them because they have the same umbrella. During monsoon and because they keep TOI on the corner, I often have to do with a damp copy (despite pulling the one in the middle of the stack). They are situated next to probably the third busiest bus stop and in front of a popular cake shop whose quality of cakes has gone down as fast and terribly as the level of arrogance has gone up in the owners of this kiosk. They often refuse to sell me a paper if they have already bundled the copies together and are about to leave. They say they stay open till noon but I have never seen them go beyond 11.30 and that is what makes it the most less-frequented kiosks of all for me. The paper is right there and which can be even removed without unbundling the bundle and yet I have gone back home empty-handed, haven’t I?

Kiosk #4 – Passive Income

This kiosk, located at the entrance of the town’s not-so-busy railway station, looks like it is not the primary business of its owners. The one 20-something chap who tends the store did not even know the cost of TOI the first time I bought it from him. It may be true that he was new then but I still see him check the rate before giving me the balance to the 10-rupee coin that I hand him. Located in the walking area of the station as an enroachment, it has a medium-sized display (like half of that of kiosk #3), a small plastic chair, and a separate section where the guy keeps a huge water bottle. I don’t usually see many people buying from him because everyone is trying to catch their train that’s already on the platform. But the guy is not much bothered either because he is probably in a game of PUBG locking horns with the under-performing employee of kiosk #3.


These are where I spend two minutes of my life every day not just buying newspapers but assessing and judging people who sell them to me without ever knowing that I have written short descriptions about them and criticized them for enroaching public space on a medium that is trying to kill their business. TN.

Featured image courtesy: Unsplash

The State of Legal Consultation in Navi Mumbai

property lawyer in navi mumbai

People who know me closely know that we have been trying to buy a house. We struck a resale deal sometime in the middle of 2018 and have ever since been meaning to move to this new apartment. Unfortunately, there has been little progress since we registered the sale a few weeks after the vocal agreement. While I know that it typically takes a good three months for a property sale to go through fully – considering the roles played and snail-paced actions by organizations like CIDCO and NMMC as well as the primary housing society’s co-operative – there is one new entrant that I would like to nominate in this list of ‘delayers’: legal consultation.

Property lawyers who run consultancies in almost all nodes in Navi Mumbai have become one of the biggest role-players of property deals. They know the ABCs of these property laws and usually have contacts with officials of the aforementioned organizations, which acts in their favor. There is hardly any property deal that goes through without the involvement of an advocate who charge anywhere from INR 15,000 to INR 50,000 per deal.

Their indispensability is what made us go to a top lawyer in one of the nodes closer to my new property. The fact that this guy’s name came up as the best recommendation from an immediate relative and since he didn’t know anyone else (the seller or his agents) associated with the deal made us hire him for a not-so-modest one-time fee.

In addition to this guy who I’ll call Mr. Sweet Talk, we also consulted two other top lawyers (second and third opinion) in the same node in the course of our struggle. Which, I believe, makes this a statistically sound rant. I hope you won’t disregard this citing utter generalization, especially if you live in Navi Mumbai and have plans to buy a house.

I know there are nice lawyers out there who work very hard to get their clients get what they want. So, if you are a lawyer and have a practice in Navi Mumbai, do not see this as a negative review. Instead, see for ways to improve your services so that another article in this same vein doesn’t pop up.

Here goes…

The Poor State of Law Consultation

I am not going to focus on my deal anymore, but rather talk about how legal consultation happens here in the city of Navi Mumbai, in general, and what you can expect if you find yourself in an advocate’s office tomorrow.

A Lawyer is Like a Doctor

Even though you hire a lawyer for their service, they treat you like a helpless patient. It is you who has to continuously check with them for updates and not the other way round. 

When in their office, you have to wait for some time to see them. If it’s a “top lawyer”, expect to wait at least 30 minutes. And there’s no concept of appointments either because they never respond to your calls. And their assistants are as useful as white crayon. In that regard, I have known nurses who have helped me get rid of common cold or a septic wound.

I never thought I’d have more issues consulting a lawyer for a small property deal than a doctor for a viral flu. But with a doctor you can still (sometimes) expect progress everytime you meet them. With lawyers, especially if it’s a property deal, expect a smile and “Come tomorrow, please!” And some are not even polite.

Blame Game is Usually Strong

If , for some reason, the deal surpasses the three-month period, these lawyers will have all sorts of reasons to give. In my case alone I have heard at least five different reasons for the delay (which, I should note, were told to me only when I reached out to Mr. Sweet Talk) and also different variations of that. Every time I visit his office, I get a new reason, so much to the point that these days I think of a possible reason myself and tell that to him upfront so that he doesn’t have to think up a new one. He often smiles sweetly.

Our deal is currently stuck because CIDCO decided to suddenly digitize their records. Since our apartment is in an old society, CIDCO does not have all the details (past and new owners’ names, unit area, etc.) in its database. So, when a dumb buyer like me registered the apartment, the society’s file was opened, which triggered CIDCO. They put the responsibility on us and since then I have not been singing praises of the organization, the society, the seller, and mostly, of the legal hire whom we already paid in full.

So, when the society’s NOC is ready, the CIDCO finds an issue with it. Then the NMMC – which was then busy with the Swacch Bharat Mission – gets involved because CIDCO wants to dot all the i’s and cross all the q’s. Then the NMMC takes its own sweet time and then Mr. Sweet Talk goes on a week-long holiday because it’s Diwali and his assistants have no clue what to do. Then our plans to move in in 2018 goes out the window and here I am writing this article.

Competition Howls

If, in a situation like this, you decide to take a second opinion, there will be a dozen lawyers who will promise you the moon. They will all talk like they own CIDCO – without even studying the matter – and before you know it, they will divert the conversation to money. That’s your cue to get out of their office and walk out of the reception where hordes of helpless patents are waiting to get the delaying treatment or ripped off.

When it comes to actual legal work, a very few of them stand out. And Mr. Sweet Talk was supposed to be one of those few. Yet, when it came to a one-in-thousand case – like ours – even he, for a small amount of time, took out the white flag. The main reason is that he had already quoted his price and taken it and now the work was looking like it demanded more of his time and resources. I have heard him utter something about the money at least two times since we hired him and I’m sure he will speak about it again.

But the good thing is that he has not shown any interest for more money because once we asked him. I even had a tiff with him for having delayed our deal for close to five months and that is when things got murkier. Another reason why I’m writing this today.

Final Thoughts

The state of legal consultation is skewed, to say the least. You have these top players like Mr. Sweet Talk who know the real estate industry inside out and yet fail to wrap their services around it in a good package. Because client satisfaction is least of their needs or worries. They know that one unhappy client is not a problem against five satisfied clients. And the flow of new clients is not an issue either because everyone is a real estate agent today.

If you are in Navi Mumbai and decide to buy a house as a common man, you can expect issues from your new society, the CIDCO office, and the NMMC office. Some will be warranted, some will be not. And then there is this new menace of self-obsessed property lawyers who will do everything in their will and whim to make it a bad experience for you. Goodness help us ordinary property buyers.

I once sent a one-liner message to Mr. Sweet Talk that would hurt him for generations to come and his reactions when I met him later that day were priceless. I am not someone who believes in the phrase “tit for tat” but I think I laughed a little that day when we walked out of his office as he promised us again that he would complete the job he was hired to do. TN.

Featured image courtesy: Unsplash

Endorsing Redditgifts

Last day I came across Redditgifts, the annual gifts exchange program by ‘the front page of the internet’. And after signing up for its Secret Santa program, today I thought I will endorse it on my website. Because not many people know about it.

I dig the idea of gifting random people. Buying a gift and making a thoughtful effort for a person you don’t know sitting miles away, probably in a different country, living their own life sounds fascinating to me. And if you think about it for a minute it might feel fascinating to you too.

I think everyone should participate in it or anything similar; if not for the art of giving, just for the feels. I also recently called out people who do not participate in their workplace’s Secret Santa program. And my case for it has to do with our increasingly isolated lives.

Some days when I’m feeling low, if there’s one thing that keeps me in high spirits, it is waiting for something that I am expecting. It could be a book or some food I ordered or even a day when I’m meeting my friends. The act of waiting for something – something pleasant – is what I would like to endorse here. And Redditgifts feels like a driver of that act of waiting.

The minimum amount you have to spend is $20 – which is not much even if you are naturally forced to convert it to Indian rupees – and if you are lucky, you could get matched to international participants as well. Surely, it does not mean you will have to ship a gift back to another international participant. Redditgifts’s algorithm tries hard to match you to participants of your country.

Such gifts exchange programs can act as a driver of a sense of community in us. Publicizing your generous charity work may help you save on taxes and get likes on social media, but they won’t make you feel good. On the other hand, Redditgifts will. Here are some photos from past exchanges.

While Secret Santa is the only exchange currently available, there are a lot of other exchanges that happen throughout the year. For instance, for Indians and the Indian diaspora around the world, there was this Diwali 2018 exchange that happened in October. You can check out more of them at this link (if you do decide to sign up, use this link so that I get an extra credit) – http://www.redditgifts.com/?inv=E9qC. TN.

Signups for the Secret Santa program ends November 26. So, hurry!

Why I Pursued Master of Arts After Bachelor of Engineering

Because I had always wanted to do something in the humanities.

The long answer is a combination of several interests I racked up over the years since I first signed up for Engineering. I don’t blame the education system, but it was personally a tough call for me to choose what I had wanted to do with my life career-wise at the age of 15. I was living in a bubble to take a wise decision that would capitalize on my inherent talents and interests. So, I did what the rest of the world did. Chose a path that was common and signed up for a four-year diploma course in Industrial Electronics.

This is a short summary listing the different reasons why I chose to pursue MA after doing my Bachelor’s in Engineering (BE).

I Have a Penchant for Writing

The initial years of my diploma were when I first started writing. Thanks to the internet, I was free to write and publish anything without anyone telling me not to. One thing led to another and by the end of the course, I was a seasoned writer. I wrote beautiful trash but at least I was good at publishing it.

It was a few years later that I realized that I had a thing for writing. It came naturally to me once I began blogging. The problem was that I was not reading anything, which made my writing read like a content mill product. No one reads (and still doesn’t) in my family and it would be a cliche if I said I magically caught up with reading since childhood like they show in the movies.

My writing – although looked good to me – was ridiculous from a universal readership’s point of view. I realized this when I got rejected by a couple online magazines where I had pitched for freelance writing gigs. One of the editors was too vocal about the reason why and so I knew.

After the diploma came BE and before the second year was over, I knew I wanted to explore something else. Something other than Engineering.

I Read

My aspiration to be a good writer led to me chasing books. While men (boys?) my age chase something else, which I did give a few tries and enjoyed, I focused on reading. I started reading newspapers, books, magazines – whatever I could get my hands on. I even remember the time I told a job interviewer how I tended to read everything – even the text on sleeves of shampoo containers while taking a bath. He took it seriously and asked me to read his face.

MA after Engineering

I chose literature books over engineering books. / © Nicole Honeywill

I first started reading when one of my maternal uncles handed me a semi-fictional thriller book, Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal. I so fondly remember its plot details, and above that, the joy of reading. But, more than the joy, what I took home that day when I completed reading that book was general information. The book gave me a little more idea about espionage, the CIA, how foreign government intelligence works, and who Charles de Gaulle was.

This little conveyance of specific information about specific things in the world from yellowed sheets of paper into my mind made me fall in love with reading. And today, I spend a good time reading every day. Which has directly impacted what I write and the way I do it.

I Want to Know the History of the World

I think it is Marco Polo’s travelogue, an online course titled “The Importance of India”, and my English professors who should collectively be blamed for my healthy interest for the general history of the world. Both reading and writing about random stuff also contributed to it, but I think that course – which I did not complete – was the main reason I began reading more about the history of humanity’s existence and associated activities.

One time I even asked a lady – a friend’s sister – out for coffee so that we could discuss the meaning of life. Maybe it was the way I framed the request but I don’t think I have had a longer conversation with her since then. Maybe you should not use WhatsApp to ask people out.

I want to know more about the origins of religion, money, and many other things. What is the meaning of life, how should I react to a particular incident in life, how do I deal with people I don’t agree with, how to ask women out, why and how is Trump president – everything that makes the world as it is right now. And I believe the only way to do it is to study literature.

Yuval Noah Harari’s account of the history of humankind, Sapiens, is an excellent prologue to the complicated answers to these questions, but I am more interested in the materials that he used to write that account. I would only get closer to them if I did something like this.

I Want to Be Better at My Job

People who know me know that I want to be a copywriter. And my current job also entails some kind of writing. There are several ways to be good at it, and last I checked I am doing all of them simultaneously. Signing up for an MA course was definitely on the list, and about two years ago, I told my mom.

 

And those are some of the biggest reasons why I pursued – or rather, pursuing (I’m in my second year right now) – Master of Arts in English Literature two years after I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. I used those two years to think through the pros and cons of making the career switch and I am glad I made that decision.

(I took the liberty to leave out another big reason – I failed to land an Engineering job that would pay my bills – from this list because let’s try to look at the positive things, shall we?)

People are often stumped when I tell them about this switch, but I think I will send them this article from now onwards. I hope they won’t mind me using WhatsApp. TN.

Last Day at MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2018

The final day of the 20th MAMI festival was the best of the week-long pilgrimage for me. I managed to watch three films – taking the total counter to 13 (a personal record) – one of which was the much-anticipated closing film by Steve McQueen. I was camped up at Regal Cinema, Colaba all day where I found a friend in fellow cinephile Mahesh Bariya and ended the fest with a lavish dinner at the historic Leopold Cafe.

Here’s a rundown of the three films and some experiences of day 7 of the 2018 edition.


Day 7 at MAMI 2018

I was supposed to catch Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post at Regal in the morning but thanks to my sleep cycle, I missed it. So, I planned my train travel for the 2 PM show of Gaspar Noe’s Climax.

I had originally planned all my show at PVR Kurla because I had wanted to catch Ivan Ayr’s Soni – people were raving about it – but because they added a special screening of Climax and because I wanted to try my luck for the closing film, I headed to Colaba instead.

Not many people know this but if you don’t get to booking for a show online, you can still book it from the MAMI ticket counter. A screening at Regal can be booked from the counter of PVR at Juhu – and this is what I am going to do in 2019. As it is, you cannot totally depend on BookMyShow, and I don’t think I can ever forgive it for making me miss Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s Shoplifters. 🙁

Three Back to Back Films at Regal

The first film on day 7 was Gaspar Noe’s upbeat and full-of-energy French dance thriller, Climax, in which dancers come together to rehearse at an old building only to find that their drinks have been spiked with LSD. It’s an overwhelming experience that might make you try the drug. But, don’t do it.

Tejas Nair at MAMI

That’s me right after the closing film. At Regal Cinema, Colaba.

Next up was Debra Grenik’s English-language drama Leave No Trace, which was too dull and uneventful for me. Mine seems to be the unpopular opinion, so I think I will just mention that I had some good food from a nearby restaurant before the screening. Which, in turn, made me a bit sleepy during the show. No complaints, though, because next up was the closing film.

It was sort of a mixed feeling to watch Steve McQueen’s Widows because it was the final show of the 2018 edition of MAMI. Although I watch at least one film per day outside of MAMI, it still gave me the feels. Widows is a great thriller and a cool watch if you like heist dramas. My review here.

I even managed to snap a photo in front of the MAMI standee so that I can show it to my grandchildren if that’s possible or if they are ever born.

No National Anthem at Regal

The best thing about watching a film in MAMI at Regal was that they don’t play the national anthem before the screening. You just sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie without any government-infused interruptions, and that makes me happier. I am going to be watching more films at Regal now at every edition of MAMI.

The same thing is followed by Bandra’s Le Reve where I caught The Gentle Indifference of the World on day 6. Without the national anthem. It just feels so good that you don’t have to put up with patriotism when you just want to enjoy cinema in its purest form. I salute MAMI and its partners for that.


MAMI 2018 Personal Statistics

Here are some numbers that describe my overall experience at MAMI this year, starting from day o:

  • 7 – days experienced
  • 13 – total films watched
  • 13 – film reviews written on IMDb
  • 11 – films watched with pre-booked seats
  • 1400 – approximate minutes of total cinema viewing time
  • 6 – venues visited
  • 90 – approximate minutes spent standing in queues
  • 3 – Q&A sessions attended
  • 4 – times depended on McDonald’s for food
  • 2 – films watched sitting on the first row from the screen
  • 2 – workdays missed

It was a hell of an experience this year. I got to catch both the opening and closing films, which in itself makes the 2018 edition the most successful for me. I had a great time and I hope to have a better one next year.

The dates for the 2019 edition are out: 17 to 24 October! And I am already applying for leaves at work. TN.

Days 4, 5, and 6 at MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2018

After having enjoyed three films on day 3, I came back to my normal on days 4 and 5. Because I was working, I could only catch one movie per day. This time one at PVR Kurla and the other at PVR Mulund. I can say I really missed the hustle bustle of PVR ICON and PVR ECX.

Day 4 was strictly for Leena Yadav’s Rajma Chawal while day 5 had me sitting to watch a weird and one of the most disappointing films for me at MAMI this year, Ali Abbasi’s Border. Day 6 was slightly better with Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s The Gentle Indifference of the World and Shinichiro Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead. A friend described the former as a cherry on the cake this year. It is a brilliant LOL film and is bound to make your jaw pain from all the laughing.

MAMI 2018 screening

The screen just before a movie starts at MAMI 2018.

I also observed a few more things these past three days. Here they are in more detail.

Day 4 at MAMI 2018

It was not surprising to see that the queues outside auditorium 8 at PVR Kurla was the opposite of what I saw in the Andheri theaters. Hardly a few dozens had turned up initially, and so, everyone in the standby line could get in.

As usual, I skipped the PVR cafeteria and grabbed some snacks from the Phoenix Market City food court before the show. Rajma Chawal was screened at 8.15 and so began my first true Bollywood experience at the fest this year.

To be honest, it is not as good as Parched (2016), Yadav’s debut feature produced by Ajay Devgn. This Hindi-language drama here has its moments with Rishi Kapoor and Amyra Dastur being the only saving grace, but overall it’s still a cliched story about the father-son relationship. My short review here. If you still want to catch it, it will be out on Netflix sometime in November.

An Issue with the National Anthem, You Say?

Going back home on day 3 was when I read the news about director Vishal Bhardwaj criticizing the Films Division of India (FDI) for producing an erroneous version of the Indian national anthem. He tweeted that the song goes off-tune sometime in the middle, which apparently hurts the ear (I get it) and the soul (I don’t). I stopped following that news thereafter so I don’t know if the ministry rectified it.

I don’t really pay much attention to the song in the first place, but I did so on day 5…

Day 5 at MAMI 2018

I think I was the only one paying extra close attention to the national anthem that day at PVR Mulund. Honestly, I couldn’t pick up the error. But those who have replied to Bhardwaj’s tweet seem to be able to. Maybe they rectified it.

But what is more disappointing is that I had to sustain Ali Abbasi’s Swedish drama Border that day for close to 100 minutes. Perhaps the only film I rated 3 stars out of 10 (spoilers!) this year, it almost put me to sleep. Although I get the theme and what director Abbasi wanted to convey, Border did not give me a pleasant experience. Which again is not a wrong thing because not all films can give you pleasure. Look what The Gentle Indifference of the World did to me…

Day 6 at MAMI 2018

I was at Le Reve, Bandra on day 6 of the fest. A plush theater with some great paintings on the walls. I think Yerzhanov’s Kazakhstani dull drama was equally beautiful but not my type. To describe it in one word: ridiculous. It felt like the makers did not know what to do with the narrative, so they hired a 4-year old to complete it. Maybe that’s what happened. My review on IMDb here.

The second film of day 6 was at PVR Mulund and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Director Ueda’s Japanese horror-comedy One Cut of the Dead is a brilliant zombie experience that only gets better as you move ahead in the narration. I was blown away.

A Lot of People Talking

At the last screening, for the first time, I asked someone to keep quiet. They were sitting right in front of me and discussing the film while it was being projected. I mean, what kind of a monster does one have to be to discuss a film while it’s playing? It was a group of three college students, I believe, who were just randomly commentating the film. As if they wanted to break down the film’s logic.

I truly believe that there should be a no-talking policy at MAMI. Anyone who is caught talking should be thrown out of the hall after one warning. Let them talk all they want outside the hall.

 

The total film counter is at ten right now. I hope to catch at least 3 more films on day 7, the final day, but I’m not sure about the closing film. If I can somehow manage to get a seat, I can confidently say that MAMI 2018 has been the best for me in all these years. TN.

Day 3 of MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2018

Day 3 was the best day I had so far at the MAMI fest 2018. After having caught only one film and two films on day 1 and day 2 respectively, I finally managed to watch three titles. Thank goodness it was a Sunday.

I watched Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Devashish Makhija’s Bhonsle, and Unnikrishnan Aavala’s Udalaazham on day 3 and you already know which one is my favorite.


Day 3 at MAMI 2018

I had to rush to the screening of Roma at PVR ICON in Andheri thanks to the mega block in central line of Mumbai local. The Metro was a helping hand, but I believe the fastest I have run to catch a film all year was for Cuaron’s masterpiece set in monochrome.

But all that running didn’t help much because all the good seats were already taken. I walked down to the second row from the screen – worst so far – and looked forward to spraining my neck later that night. It did sprain a little.

Walking Out from Roma to Udalaazham

Romaone of the best I watched at MAMI this year – ended at 3 o’clock and I rushed to another auditorium in the same theater. Udalaazham had already started at 2.30, so I missed the opening. But by the end, I managed to understand what director Aavala wanted to convey. Not a fan, but here’s the review.

While the Spanish-language period drama ran houseful, I saw a few people walk out of the Malayalam-language drama. Both talked about human nature and tendencies, but I think maybe a film on homosexuality doesn’t interest many. The hall was more than half empty.

Note – The menace of talkative people and smartphone addicts was in full strength for all the three films, which upset me very much. Where do these people come from? And why do they claim to be film fanatics?

Watching Bhonsle with Manoj Bajpayee

The third film for the day was the Hindi-language crime drama, Bhonsle. It started off very well, but I sensed that director Makhija resorted to his Ajji (2017) elements to move the narrative further while pulling some inventive stuff like a climax shot on an iPhone. The Q&A after the screening was more interesting than the film. My review here.

Bhonsle screening at MAMI

Manoj Bajpayee and Devashish Makhija at the screening of Bhonsle on day 3 of MAMI 2018. / © Urban Asian

Manoj Bajpayee and the director were hosted by Vasan Bala. It was a pleasure to see the thespian actor talk from a one-meter distance because I was sitting on the first row – life-time as well as MAMI record. The discussion was insightful, mostly because Bajpayee revealed more than he should have (I think), often making his answers anecdotal. It was not surprising to hear that it took more than 4 years to produce Bhonsle as the production got delayed due to a cash crunch.

For people who don’t know, this film is a follow-up to the 2016 short story called “Tandav” which involves the same director and actor.

It was disheartening when he later spoke about the struggle that he foresees in distributing the film theatrically in India. I remember how badly Ajji had done at the box office earlier this year, and I have the same fear for Bhonsle. Maybe we have to find a way to save these story-driven films. Maybe Netflix is the answer. I don’t know.

Kudos to the BookMyShow Ground Team

Since day 1 I have been seeing a lot of people slate and attack the on-ground staff of BookMyShow for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common are listed below.

  • Guarding the reserved seats inside the auditorium and not letting the “elitists who always sit on the top row” get their seat where they are often found doing something else
  • Not letting pre-booked ticket-holders go in after the buffer period (15 minutes prior to the show’s start).

The only thing I have to tell them is this: guys, they are just doing their job. And it has been always like this. All you can do is to line up on time (as soon as possible; I know you are racing against time) and take what comes to you. There is no point in barking at the on-ground staff. Moreover, MAMI is never going to disown BookMyShow. So, our best bet is to ignore the shortcomings and enjoy the fest.

Instead of looking at these minor issues, we must come together and congratulate them for their hard work. These people – probably hired from event management organizations – toil round the clock so that we can watch movies day in and day out. And this year, the screenings have been very punctual, you cannot deny that. And I appreciate it.

 

With that appreciation, I would like to close this summary of day 3. The next two days won’t be hectic for me because I plan to catch one film per day. Here’s to a better rest of the festival. TN.