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Lopamudra Ghatak
Monday , January 07, 2013

Girl, don't be a woman soon

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Her hair bounced in the air as she took two sprightly steps at a time, climbing down the stairs of a dilapidated, dank building. Confidence tried to make a conversation from each and every pore within. The task of having a family to fend for felt anything but a chore. Instead, there was joy. There was glee. And there was satisfaction to see familiar faces light up as she handed over the tributes to the family, every month, unfailingly. Now the world was at her feet. Literally. Ok, it was at her door. The car outside was her ticket to a better life. A higher life - a life that soared higher than her ghetto-ised existence, gave her moments to cherish, to be her own self and surge ahead. A life that almost fulfilled her own dreams, her parents' unfulfilled and unspoken ones and gave....

Friday , July 13, 2012

Why Christian Basti is not Guwahati's shame alone

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At 17, life is about chocolates, crushes and (sometimes) career choices. Not in that order, though! It is about getting ready to break out of the gawky teenager mould and getting ready to kiss adulthood. It is about killing time - a year to be precise - before being able to exercise franchise and choosing legislators and law-makers. It is also waiting it out before being able to join the exalted Adult-only club and doing things that come only with the statutory '18 years of age' tag. For this Guwahati girl SEVENTEEN will be her personal annus horibilis. It will be her year of darkness when her faith in the system was shattered. It will be a very, very bad dream for her, and she will be left slaying her demons for a long time to come. But the 9th July's horrific incident at Christian....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why no one but Bachchan could have done 'Paa'

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The child is father of the Man. After watching two-and-half-hours of the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Paa', William Wordsworth's lines from 'The Rainbow' never felt more true. Or correct. Or contextual. Or more Bachchan. (Not necessarily in that order though!) Cause these, after all, were simple lines that had inspired many literary, cinematic and musical offerings over the years. And in one moment, the lines symbolised the perfect takeaway from director R Balakrishnan's 'Paa', a tale that dealt with premature ageing disorder, progeria. And a story that only Bachchan could have done and, beautifully did, justice to. 'Paa', in many ways, is an ode to modern India and the relationships that it nurtures. It deals with new-age love. It reiterates that parental love is probably the most unconditional, non-transactional relationship available in today's complex emotional marketplace. It shows that love often is sacrificed at....

Tuesday , June 29, 2010

Season of kiss and make up: Ambanis to Jaswant

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Forgiveness is in the air. Or so it seems. First it was the multi-millionaire Ambani brothers who kind of declared an end to their cold war without doing the kissing act. Literally, thankfully! The warring brothers, estranged for eight years after their father's death, have had a bitter public partnership, marked by animosities and legal disputes. Even as the country's apex court ruled that the public-private partnership between the brothers was not greater than the country's good (as the brothers-in-arms fought over the distribution of gas in the KG basin), family watchers and Dalal St watchers alike, were looking with renewed hope toward an amicable rapprochement. So, while the Vimal Family bonded in the wilderness of the Kruger National Park in South Africa, stakeholders finally heaved a sigh of relief. And thanked the matriarch for her role as the peacekeeper. Last week, the peacemaking, rather forget all-animosity-and-let's-be-friends....

Monday , June 07, 2010

Bhopal, 1984: Agony and my grand-aunt

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December 1984 was supposed to be happy family time. A wedding in the family meant relatives from all over would be congregating in Calcutta. Joy, mirth and unlimited fun - life couldn't have been better. School became a distant memory as winter vacations were advanced for me! With just a week to go for the December 9 wedding, the household was in a state of organised chaos as is wont to be in most Indian weddings with everybody running around the house to set the motion. I still recall my grandmother being a bundle of nerves - excitement, tension, joy, sadness, angst - predictable emotions when the youngest daughter in the family is tying the knot. And remember these were times when the now omni-present mobile phone hadn't yet appeared - Sam Pitroda was yet to convince Rajiv Gandhi to unleash the telecom idea - most event coordination....

Friday , May 28, 2010

Why Mamata Banerjee should stay put in Calcutta

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As a child growing up in the Calcutta of 90's, I so so (as they say it in 2010!) liked Mamata Banerjee. And I had my reasons. My child-like, pre-liberalised faculties followed simple reasoning before arriving at the conclusion: She was, after all, a source of unlimited joy for kids like me as her hectic political work would ensure that we would be blessed with at least 2, if not more, unaccounted holidays in the school monthly almanac. Many intimidating physics/chemistry class tests would get caught in a time warp, thanks to her sudden mood swings which included calling at-the-drop-of-a-hat bandhs, disrupting road and rail traffic, making sure her cronies tried to bring life to a standstill. Unfinished homework would get a breather of a day (at least!) before they saw completion. Beat that! In pre-Internet days, a Friday bandh call was all that was required to make....

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

RIP Nirupama: Love is a lonely song

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Twenty-two is no age to die. Not when you are young, vivacious and ready to take on the world as you follow your dreams, which before you can even blink, go on to assume monstrous hues. And twenty-two is certainly no age to die when you are in love. When you see the world through rose-tinted glasses and know you can change it. When you are content holding hands and staring endlessly into each other's eyes, thinking that the power of your (combined) love can put God's best-laid plans to rest. When having the object of your affection by your side is strength enough to take on all adversities in your stride. For Nirupama Pathak that was not to be. Love turned fatal for this young journalist, found hanging in her Koderma home on April 29. Her family alleged that she'd committed suicide, their....

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hyderabadi biryani for Shoaib Malik

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Ok. Takeaway for the week going by: All's well that ends well. In love. In impending marriages. In televised romance-turned-betrayal-dramas which transcend borders. And otherwise. If you happen to have been watching the idiot-box during the past week, you will know what I am referring to. For the uninitiated, it's of course the Shoaib-Sania-Ayesha saga - more like the pati, patni and woe - that had captured popular imagination. One man's ecstasy is often another man's agony. In this case, both men are the same - Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. The former Pakistani skipper vascillated from outright denial to prove-me-I'm-lying to finally admitting that yes he'd married Ayesha Siddiqui, confined to popular imagination only through photographs, in 2005. While millions of heart-broken men wondered what the Indian version of Anna Kournikova saw in Malik, whose credentials came under question after the match-fixing scandal broke....

Friday , March 12, 2010

IPL3: All song and no dance

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They all came - most of them from across the seas. They saw - while we tried to see why we had to see them. Alas, none of them conquered. The opening report of the opening ceremony of IPL 3 was supposed to be a blockbuster opening. It was supposed to enhance your TGIF moment! Unfortunately, it did anything but that. The inauguration lacked style and glitz. Big is not always beautiful. And a sprawling D Y Patil Stadium in suburban Navi Mumbai was not to be blamed. The crowds were there. Loyalists, turned out in fan colours. Blobs of KKR's purple and the Deccan's blues dotted the landscape. Missing in action was the thrill, excitement and verve that has come to be associated with the instant form of the gentleman's game. If first impressions are to be taken seriously, this....

Tuesday , March 09, 2010

Women's Bill: Equally Unequal

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Yesterday was International Women's Day. A day when almost all communication across print, visual and social media screamed that Woman Power needed to be feted. That the female ego needed to be massaged. And that the second sex needed to feel good about themselves - at least this is what most retail brands also felt. Hence they all rushed in to offer huge discounts, happy buys and other feel-good thing-a-me. Yesterday was also supposed to be a historic Monday in the making with the Women's Reservation Bill being passed in Parliament. But what ensued was high drama, histrionics and (display of) horrible behaviour in the misnomer of House of Elders. Action in the Rajya Sabha was anything but what is deemed fit of elderly citizens. And in this case, elderly nominated citizens. But it's yesterday no more. The day after, retail brands have gone....


More about Lopamudra Ghatak

Politically incorrect. Among other things, News Editor, CNN-IBN. Politics, films, entertainment, trivia keep me going. Also books, food, & vino :)


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