When The Sun Turns Cold

Indian Bloggers

It’s time to go back home
It’s time for the sun to lay cold
It’s time sleep takes over all strife
It’s time love settles
In hearts of the wandering souls
Let me borrow a pinch of the peach and red
Let me slather a dash of hue that’s gold
Before the sun goes down and turns cold.


Monsoon, Sahyadris And Treks

I could see them changing shades. At 37,000 feet, sitting by the window and flying through them as the airplane sashayed above the Sahyadris. My lips curved into a broad smile. The clouds had started loitering all over Sahyadris, ready to defeat the gory summer heat. Its time. Time to go trekking and soak in the resplendence of the Sahyadris.

So what’s so special about those short weekend treks during monsoon?

The best part is, you don’t need to sulk and worry about unavailability of leaves. You could just hop around during weekends. Plus, there are couple of more reasons. 

Firstly, if you are a pluviophile, you won’t need to hunt for reasons to get drenched. Secondly, treks are one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy (both mentally and physically). That takes care of your obsession of shedding those extra pounds gained while you gorged on all sinful stuff throughout the week. And lastly, you get to explore the unexplored; you come to know about places that might have been a trivia for you until today and places you thought never even existed.

View From Andharban Trails
If you thought trekking was for some aliens and people from different planet altogether, give your thoughts a strong shudder. Look around when you go for those romantic long drives during monsoon, crossing the valleys, glaring at the waterfalls and wishing, if only you could touch the water or bathe under one.

Why only wish? Why not live those wishes?

There is much more to Sahyadris than usual visits to those dams and waterfalls (from distant) on weekends when people from every nook and corner of the city are hopping towards the quotidian. Instead, do things that you might not have dreamt of doing and feel the rush of adventure in your blood.

The Horse-Shoe Waterfall
Get mesmerized by view of Duke’s Nose, The Horse Shoe Waterfall, The breadth of Lonavla from Rajmachi. Submerge yourself under the waterfall by Kondane Caves. Revere the beauty of dark while traversing through the dense Andharban forestExperience the quiver of elevations while climbing the 800steep rock cut stairs of Harihar fort.

The Thrilling Harihar Fort
Stand atop Korigad fort and have a look at the green lawn spread across Pune. Hop on to the peak of Kalawantin Fort and take a look around, spot Irshalgad, Shrimallang, Matheran, Vikatgad and Mahuli among various other forts.

Kalawantin Fort- View from Prabalgad
The trail to Naneghat would never fail to enchant you with it’s most distinguished charm. Consider yourself lucky when you get to see “The Indravajra” from atop Konkankada (a rare phenomenon called Brocken Spectre) when you trek to Harishchandragad

Trail to Naneghat
Trek to Bhimashankar and you earmark your endurance levels. Meditate under the waterfall of Gupt Bhimashankar. Summit Mount Kalsubai and you can brag about conquering the highest peak of Maharashtra. 

Meditate under Gupt Bhimashankar Waterfall
Save yourselves from getting blown away by the fierce wind while traversing through the ridges of Ghanchakkar and BhairavgadWake up early, sit by the caves of Ratangad and if you are an ardent artist, you get to view the most beautiful portray of Bandardhara presented by nature herself.

View from Ratangad Caves- Just before Sunrise
Drink from the water cisterns, bathe in the fresh water streams, swing along the giant creepers and walk through the clouds. Rappel down the gushing waterfalls of Vihi and Bhivpuri.

Waterfall Rappeling- Vihi Waterfall

Go south and trek along the railway tracks of Goa to behold the might of Dudhsagar waterfall. Traverse through the jungle and take a dip in the Tambdi Surla Waterfall near Kulem, Goa. Beware of the leeches, they can get inside your shoes anytime. However, that’s the last thing you should worry about.

The mighty Doodhsagar Falls- Goa
Pondering upon the thought on how to go ahead for these short and worry-less weekend trips? Well, all you need to do is, visit the websites below and you won’t need to ask for more. The trek groups mentioned below would help you out. You may select a group based on the convenience of your location.

Monsoon is at its peak and before it bids adieu, gear up, pack your bags with monsoon essentials, grab good trekking shoes and voila, you are all set.

Happy Monsoon. Aloha.

The pictures are sourced from Arun Kumar Dash, Sandesh Chalke and Google.

Share your thoughts with me at dipanwiita@gmail.com

"India’s Finest Films" starting on 16th July, every Saturday at 10 PM

Three hours of entertainment. Some songs, dance, action and comedy. Sounds familiar?
Bollywood movies have always been the most popular mode of entertainment in India. We are all familiar with the on-screen running around the trees, high-octane action sequences, twins separated at birth reuniting decades later with a sprinkle of romance and lots of mirch masala. We leave the theatres after watching these movies wanting our lives to be a perfect film story with a happy ending.
But sometimes, we want to experience something historical, contemporary, something more deep rooted and intense. This is when we wish to watch movies which leave a greater impact on the society as they entertain leaving an impactful message that concerns all of us living together in a society.  Some of these movies actually change our mindsets while some fill us up with emotional turmoil and some others, give our life a new direction. Indian Cinema, over the years, has beautifully transformed and re-invented itself. From socially relevant topics of child marriage, dowry, female feticide, re-marriage to a simple love story, film-makers have done it all.

With its proposition of ‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’,Zee Classic is India’s only Hindi movie channel that endeavors to recreate the magic of iconic classic and new age cinema by showcasing not just the films that shaped Indian cinema, but also acquaint viewers with the creative talent who were a part of that timeless era. 

Zee Classic boasts of an outstanding library of Indian cinematic classics and it has recently associated with National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC). Starting 16thJuly, every Saturday at 10 PM, Zee Classic will premiere ‘India’s Finest Films’, a distinguished property showcasing masterpieces like ‘Mirch Masala’, ‘Ek Doctor kiMaut’, ’27 Down’  and ‘Salaam Bombay’ amongst many other such gems from the NFDC library. These movies mark the debut of icons like Irrfan Khan, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah and many more. This festival kickstarts with ‘Salaam Bombay!’ directed by Mira Nair on Saturday, 16th July at 10 PM.

Here is a list of 14 movies you cannot afford to miss:

1.  Salaam Bombay!

In 1988, Mira Nair made her directorial film debut with Salaam Bombay! which chronicled the lives of a group of street children in Mumbai. Inspired by the actual street children of Mumbai who starred in the movie, the film won awards across the globe for its authenticity and unwavering portrayal of the life of Mumbai’s abandoned and homeless youth.
The list of achievements is a long one for this movie. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, the National Board of Review Award for Top Foreign Film, the Golden Camera and Audience Awards at the Cannes Film Festival, and three awards at the Montréal World Film Festival. ‘Salaam Bombay!’ was India’s second film submission to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was among the list of “The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made” by the New York Times.

2.  Mirch Masala 

For some Ketan Mehta will always remain the man who made Mirch Masala. An attention grabbing film, it rotates around the gender divide in the society. It is the story of Sonabai (SmitaPatil)and her struggle to protect her sanctity from the evil Subedar (Naseeruddin Shah) and a village full of sexist men. The dusty and dried surroundings of Kutch shown in the movie probably are an illustration for the values of a male and class-dominated Indian culture.
Amongst other things Mirch Masala has gone down in history as one of SmitaPatil’s finest performances with Forbes including her performance in the film on its list, ‘25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema’.

3.  Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro 

Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro is a rare film and an attempt to showcase the dilemmas faced by urban Muslims thoughtfully but boldly. In addition to the portrayal of Bombay’s mohallalife, it also shows the joys of friendship and camaraderie and pleasure of loafing around. Salim Langda (Pawan Malhotra) is a confident petty thief. Salim earns his livelihood by doing odd jobs for the big bosses of Bombay’s underworld. His final ambition is to ape these underworld kings whose status he envies.
Saeed Mirza, the director, has a long history of making films which have ridiculed stereotypes to which minorities are subject to in popular Hindi films and this movie is one of his finest creations. The film won the 37th National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and the National Film Award for Best Cinematography in 1989.

4.  Ek Doctor Ki Maut

Ek Doctor Ki Maut is an award winning film by the noted Bengali director Tapan Sinha, which depicts the ostracism, bureaucratic negligence and insult of a doctor and his research, instead of recognition and credit. This movie is loosely based on the life of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, an Indian physician who pioneered the IVF treatment just around the same time when another leading scientist, Dr. Robert Edwards was conducting separate experiments in England.
The film won the 38thNational Film Award for Second Best Feature Film, National Film Award for Best Direction and National Film Award – Special Jury Award awarded to the male lead, Pankaj Kapoor.

5.  Gandhi

The name says it all!
Gandhi (1982) was produced and directed by Richard Attenborough and written by John Briley. Starring Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, John Mills, Roshan Seth and Martin Sheen, it is one of the most iconic films of all times.
Gandhi is the highest Oscar winning film of all time – claiming eight awards from 11 nominations, including Best Film – although it almost never got made! The late director Richard Attenborough revealed in of his interviews “It took me 20 years to get the money to get that movie made. I remember my pitch to 20th Century Fox. The guy said: ‘Dickie, it’s sweet of you to come here. You’re obviously obsessed. But who will be interested in a little brown man wrapped in a sheet carrying a beanpole?’ I would have loved to have met that guy after the Oscars!”
Attenborough knew that he would be telling one of the 20th-century’s most remarkable stories, that of the Indian lawyer who returned from racially segregated South Africa to drive the British out of his home country through successive acts of non-violent protest.

6.  ArdhSatya

ArdhSatya is directed by the very talented Govind Nihalani. The film is based on a short story by D.A. Panvalkar and the script is written by Vijay Tendulkar. It has Om Puri, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Sadashiv Amarpurkar in lead roles. It is the story of Anant Welankar, son of a retired constable in Maharashtra Police, who is forced to let go of his dream of pursuing an MBA and join the Police force.
After Aakrosh, ArdhSatya is the second film made by Govind Nihalani. It is brutally honest in the depiction of the trials, tribulations, character and conflicts of its protagonist. In times when everything and everyone has a price, it is a hard hitting journey of an honest man… a part of which remains back to haunt you long after the credits have rolled.

7.  Pestonjee

Pestonjee is a film directed by Vijaya Mehta, starring AnupamKher, Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi in lead roles. The film is an intimate look into the life and mannerisms of the Parsi community especially those living in the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1950s and 60s.
‘Life is for living, not for complaining.’ says the cover to ‘Pestonjee’. Phirohshah aka Phiroj (Naseeruddin Shah) and Pestonjee aka Pesi (Anupam Kher) are the best of friends. They are almost like twins. There is no life without one another and they also hope to get married at the same time. But destiny has something else stored for them.

8.  Qissa

All of us have grown up with different kinds of stories that were narrated to us. Some of them will be overlooked while some will be lost with the passage of time. But, the story of Qissais timeless. Irrfan Khan as Umber Singh, Tisca Chopra as Mehar, Tilotama Shome as Kanwar Singh, Rasika Dugal as Neeli are the main protagonists of the movie.
Anup Singh’s Qissa is a powerful, haunting, superbly crafted film about the complexities of character and sexuality. Does personality stem from a society or nation you were conceived in, your sex, sexuality or just the environment you were brought up in and situations that formed you? The film packs these profound inquiries into a simple story.

9.  27 Down

27 Down is a film directed by Awtar Krishna Kaul, featuring Raakhee and M.K. Raina in lead parts. The film is description on 27 Down, the Bombay-Varanasi Express. Sanjay (M K Raina), the son of a railroad employee, gives up on his dreams of becoming an artist when his father demands he come back to the family occupation. He gauges life in train sounds and journeys. The requests of congruity influence his connection with a young lady Shalini (Rakhee).
27 Down is one of those rare gems of the Indian silver screen that merited more credit than what it really recieved. Despite it being made 40 years ago, it manages to remarkably portray the relationship between two young adults as they get together and try to discover themselves in each other through their conversations, meaningful connections and silent solitude!

10.  Gangoobai

“Apne pasand ki cheez milna badi baat hai. Agar sab kuch mil gaya, lekin apnepasand ki cheez hi na mili toh matlab kya hai jeekay!”
(“It is a big thing, to get what one desires. If you have everything, but cannot get that one thing you desire, then what is the point of living!”)
Directed by Priya Krishnaswamy, Sarita Joshi is the main protagonist in Gangoobai. The story revolves around an elderly maid who strives to accomplish her dream of buying a costly Gara sari and changes the lives of individuals she comes in contact with while in Mumbai to purchase the sari.

11.   Mammo

Mammo (1994), a film by ShyamBenegal, is the first film in the series of Muslim trilogy including Sardari Begum (1996) and Zubeidaa (2001).
The film portrays the flinching truths frequently confronted by the powerless, post-partition. It reminds of the emotional torture of being torn far from one’s roots over and over; in spite of one turning a blind eye or making a noise for change in the circumstances which they have no control over. It makes one appreciate something which is frequently is taken for granted until it is lost or gone for good. The character of Mammo (Farida Jalal), abandons her family and home behind for love and moves to Pakistan. They live in peaceful co-existence until her husband leaves Mammo defenseless and desolate.
Even though the motion picture is named after Mammo, the film tells two stories, one of Mammo, obviously, and other of youthful Riyaaz…His life and companions, his trysts with cigarettes, adult films, his shame that he is not as affluent as his companions, him trying to find himself, his bothering on seeing a stranger trying to be a part of his family and his ambition of turning into an author in the future.
This movie is also the recipient of National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance by Farida Jalal and National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress by Surekha Sikri.

12. Massey Sahib

Massey Sahib is a 1985 film directed by Pradip Krishen,featuring Raghuvir Yadav in the main role. It was Pradip Krishen’s first film, and was based on a novel Mister Johnson written by Joyce Cary in 1939. The film also has stars like Arundhati Roy, who was yet to pen down her first novel and win the Man Booker Prize, alongside Barry John and Veerendra Saxena.
This story revolves around a man who is stuck in the crossfire where British Frontier principles smothered Indian freedom and colonializes it. This is a story told from an Indian perspective. Francis Massey (Raghuvir Yadav) works as a secretary for a British government officer in central India. Francis tries to out-do his employer in an attempt to be more British than him. He dresses British and even has a church wedding. He is not the most productive or gifted specialist, and his supervisor, the Commissioner Charles Adam (Barry John), regularly mediates on his benefit. But, Massey’s unexpected fate is entirely past the Commissioner’s mediation.
Even though Raghuvir Yadav has never won a National Award, he did win two International Awards for the Best Actor for Massey Sahib, FIPRESCI Critic’s Award, Venice Film Festival, 1986 and the Best Actor Silver Peacock, IIFI, 1987.

13.   Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastan

Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastan (ADKAD), a film dear to Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s heart, was a masterpiece of the parallel silver screen development that was a tribute to Indian producers. The motion picture revolves around the internal clashes of a person born and brought in a city, who battles to comprehend the significance of his life and those encompassing him, including family and companions. It stars Shreeram Lagoo, Rohini Hattangadi, Satish Shah, Suresh Oberoi (in a cameo), Om Puri and Dilip Dhawan.
Arvind Desai (Dilip Dhawan) is a single child of a rich specialist (ShriramLagoo) who deals in extravagant luxury handcrafted products. His has conflicting emotions for his dad. While he detests his commanding nature, he respects his aura, power and sharp mind. He has long examinations on workmanship and governmental issues with a Marxist companion (Om Puri). Much against his desires, his marriage is orchestrated to a young lady from a high-class family who has quite recently returned from Paris.
It’s a film about the trans-generational exchange of qualities and the repercussions of the prevalent legacy influencing the value system in the future.

14.   The Good Road

The Good Road is a 2013 Indian drama film written and directed by Gyan Correa. The film won the trophy for Best Gujarati film at the 60th National Film Awards. Also, it was the first Gujarati film ever chosen to represent India at the Oscars. The motion picture is described in a hyperlink arrangement, where a few stories are interwoven, with the focal point of the story being an expressway in the country terrains of Gujarat close to a town in Kutch.
A family on a holiday lose their child… A truck driver’s last ride… A young lady in search of hope… This is an adventurous journey, across a national highway, and into the heart of a concealed India, where demonstrations of extraordinary sympathy are shown to outsiders.

To acquaint the youth of India with parallel cinema and enhance their movie-viewing experience, Zee Classic has also curated an hour long special feature called ‘India’s Finest Films – A Parallel Journey’. It includes views of stalwarts of Indian cinema like Shyam Benegal, Mahesh Bhatt, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, Rohini Hattangadi amongst others. It is available on the Zee Classic YouTube channel. Audiences can also catch it on television as a prelude to ‘India’s Finest Films’. Excerpts of this feature along with additional exclusive interviews will be showcased during the telecast of movies on Zee Classic.

~Watch ‘India’s Finest Films’ every Saturday at 10 PM only on Zee Classic~ 

Life, Emotions, Whims, Desires, Musings And…Everything That Matters