Monday, June 23, 2014

#JodeyDilonKO An Indo Pak Dosti Initiative by Zindagi Channel

14th August1947- A part of Hindustan called Pakistan is seperated from it, riots continue over one of the most massive migration of humans to ever happen.

In 1948- Father of the nation "India" Mahatma Gandhi to embark on his dream mission- India and Pakistan Peace Process but is sadly assassinated.

On11th February 1999- Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji initiates Indo-Pak Peace with starting a maiden bus services and travels himself with celebrities like Dev Anandji to Pakistan.

23rd June 2014- ZeeTv creates a history in  bridging the wounded gaps between two nations. Launches a new channel Zindagi that will showcase stories of life across the border.

Pre launch of the Zindagi Channel, ZEE was instrumental in partnering with Indiblogger thereby letting the nation know through India's best bloggers what Zindagi will be all about. To spread a word about their initiative, mission, intention and the road ahead. It was a meet unlike any other where two cities in India the capital Delhi and the financial Capital will be interacting live with the makers of the shows on this channel in Pakistan . It was an attempt to tie the strings of the hearts of the common people by sharing stories of people across the border, for they are also common as we are, have the same problems as we do and the cultures are mostly similar.

    The Offical Mascot IndiBlogger Zindagi #JodeyDilonKo IndoPak Initiative

For all of us who ever had a foreign student in our universities know this fact that Pakistan and India are not very different. Our food, cultures, inhibitions, people, thinking and behaviours are more similar than those with people of  any other nation. However, people like our parents or those not studying in an international environ may not have the same feelings. With this problem in mind Zee thought of an idea, an idea which would become an entire initiative to patch up the wounds that have existed for more than six decades now. For Atal Bihari Vajpayee once said "there can be only one way for peace between two nations, the one laced with art".

This meet began with a debate over the video conference, "What is better? Mumbai Vs Delhi". The Mumbai bloggers stood for theirs and we stood for ours. We fought for Delhi food, the hottest Delhi mean, the extreme Delhi weather and the best of all Delhi Bloggers. Apart from the fun, what was more effective were a few voices that said that "Bloggers of India are the best". It truly reflected oneness. At the end of it all, Anup rightly pointed out that the purpose of this debate was to show us that even cities within the same nation debate, for people love their cities. There are differences amongst people of different states, yet we exist as a nation. There are certainly differences between us and Pakistan but it is a country born out of ours and to this day there exists a lot of similarities between the two. Our cultures, food, emotions and traditions match and therefore our stories.  The precise initiative by Zee here being bridging the gaps between the two nations by these stories. Isn't that unique and touching?

Next we heard from people from Zee who are behind the ideation and creation of this entire channel from concept to making it happen! Their eagerness and enthusiasm better explained in pictures:

  And guess who did we have with us...the very charming Pakistani actor Imran Abbas and Mr. Akash Chawla,  Marketting Head-ZEEL.



This was followed by a Q&A with Imran Abbas and of course I wanted to know
"How in his opinion could art bridge the gap between the two nations?"



Yes that is me asking the question (I couldn't resist telling him how handsome he was, and he returned the compliment, well that truly made my day :P).

Imran Abbas responding to audience's questions.

His response was Amazing. He said "You have loved Ghulam Ali saab and encouraged a lot of Pakistani singers recently. So have we had Naseeruddin Shah, Nandita Das, etc. Indian actors in each of our best films. We have grown up watching the same shows as you. Our cultures are similar I believe as even in modern day Pakistan "the saas-bahu chemistry" is what we see on Indian TV, so are our galess (well I honestly loved the galee analogy).  He did have a great public presence. He further added that he was a fan of Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mageshkar." 

The amazing thing was people do love Pakistani stories, there was a blogger who had watched many Pakistani series and knew the people who made it. She said she had to hide the fact that she watched these for the fear of being ridiculed. Well, Zindagi channel is certainly going to end this issues once and for all. Also, as another female blogger pointed out it will be a great medium to get updates on Pakistani fashion, which in India is certainly gaining popularity. Seems like there are many reasons to watch these shows. 

Oh! he does sing well too, he sang "hum tere bin kahi reh nahi sakte" before we would let him go.

Post his session we had an online interaction with the head of ZeeTv in Pakistan lovingly known as "Sultana Aapa" which was the USP of this meet, truly connecting the nations. She spoke about how she selects stories, actors etc. and work on them before the final shoot, which was intriguing. I am sure she will have many scripts from India as well post this meet.

What I missed from the meet was meeting all these people face to face and interacting with them. As Indi's email said we could interact with script writers which actually drove me there didnt happen. And I miss Swati, she has clicked the best pictures so far at the meet. I wish Zindagi all the success as it airs today and pray from the bottom of my heart that it achieves its nobel cause of uniting our hearts (#JodeyDilonKo) forever. 

So friends stop watching the repetitive "saas-bahu drama" you have been watching for more than a decade now and turn to stories that connect you across the borders of your nation, tune into a channel that has taken the first bold step, its time to get a life and switch to Zindagi.  You can get all the updates of their shows at ZindagiTv.in.


 The Tradition: IndiBlogger Delhi Group photo after every meet. Spot me in the pink top :). 

Life is too short to have grudges, hatred and animosity, extend a hand of friendship, there will be another to grab it. 


I would like to leave you all with this thought aptly written by Javed Akhtar Sahab :
"Panchi Nadiyan Aur Pawan Ke Jhonke,
Koi Sarhad na Inhe Roke,
Sarhadein Insaano Ke Liye Hai,
Socho Tumne Aur Maine Kya Paya Insaan Hoke"















Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Dream Destination- Time Travel to Ancient Egypt #Mummified

What if you could time travel and connect with people of the past, the very heroes that inspire you? What if you could talk to the dead and connect with their hearts, thoughts and actions. Though time travel is yet to made possible, the ancients left us one way to connect to their hearts! Dilon Ko Jodne ka ek madhyam "The relics of the past". Dont you agree?

A destination that I have dreamt of travelling to since class 6 when I learnt about a culture where people believed that there is life after death and in preparation of the same mastered the art of preserving the dead bodies which is yet to be perfected by the modern race. That wasn't all, for the kings and queens a grand structure was built, which is impossible to imagine without great machinery as we have now. Yes! The land of the Pharoah's it is  "Egypt". Lets see now our history textbooks come to life...




I would love to take all my friends with a crazy curious nerve like mine. The first destination would be the migthy river Nile, the very source that attracted the first humans to settle there and direct the winds of time to carve some of the mightiest relics of human civilization.

Nile is located in modern day city of Alexandria built by Alexander the Great.



As you step into Egypts capital Cairo you feel  you are time travelling as migthy palaces welcome you to the heart of the Arab World.
Sultan Hassan's Mosque at Cairo

And then the place where the dead lay, so do their remains of their Grandiose. The greatest men, the magnificent kings, lie hear as if telling us the history themselves: The Museum of Antiques, Cairo.

Let the Pharoahs welcome you:
The city of the dead re-established.


The newly renpvated Amarna room at the egyptian museum in Cairo. Photo by Mohamed Megahed

Finally we would be face to face with The Tutankhamuns mask and admire his glory as it watches us. 


I may seriously faint here. Friends hold me.
 The golden throne of The Golden Pharoah - Tutankhamun
A glimpse of the ancient Egypt Museum.

And finally we head to The Destination: Pyramids of Giza , where the 4500 year old, precisely built pyramids pointing to the heaveans transport us to the world before us.

The shpinx standing before them guarding the history...their legacy
Yes! we shall hangot here till the night and marvel them. I can feel the effect so profound, renders me speechless.

Just like zindagitv.in #JodeyDilonKo, a trip to the Pyramids would connect us to the people who live through what they built, to what we are in awe of, to those structures that makes the time travel prossible.



Monday, June 16, 2014

Obsession: Stories Of Eternal Life And Death

Title: Obsession- Eternal stories of Life and Death
Authors: Gurpartap Khairah, Bishwa Sigdel, Stormy Hazarika and Suraj Sinha.

Category: Short Stories
Publisher: Tara Press
Date: 2014
Price: Rs. 299
Pages: 259




ABOUT THE BOOK :

Each one of us, in one way or another, is obsessed- whether by the intricacies of life or the finality of death. We are plagued by our thirst for control, driven by our hunger for love and addicted to the demons that ultimately consume us. A sensitive portrayal of one’s deepestemotions, this collection of stories explores the psyche of an individual...their most vivid desires, most profound fears and the ultimate revelation of their darkest secrets.

OBSESSION brings together love and lust, betrayal and hurt, grief, life and longing. They are stories that strip the human spirit of all pretence, exposing shame and sorrow, desire and desperation. Woven around characters that could well be you and I, these are modern day chronicles of everyday heroes, fallen or exalted. Stories that thrust us towards introspection and self-realisation, these are narratives that force us to explore the hidden us, and the truths that we often refuse to see.

OBSESSION is one man’s quest to create the perfect wife, a widow’s desperate attempts to remove the shackles of greed or anther's man’s perspective of love. OBSESSION runs the gamut of human experience and endeavour and expression, creating a tempestuous display of heat and ice and launching the reader into a familiar yet sombre world.

About The Author's:Gurpartap Khairah believes a writer should be politically incorrect and while writing, makes every e ort to say the worst in the best possible manner. Gurpartap teaches English literature in Hindu college, Amritsar. He loves his job because it keeps him in constant touch with the youth and the current ‘modern’ lingo.

Bishwa Sigdel grew up in the dusty lanes of Banepa, in Nepal. An early passion for the Classics finally led him to writing. An ardent fan of Marquez and Neruda, Bishwa likes nothing better than hunting for books in dusty libraries or old city bookstalls.

Stormy Hazarika grew up in the lush tea estates of Assam. An aspiring poet, Hazarika’s passions are writing, reading and more reading! She feels her head is constantly buzzing with plots, characters and loose ends and MS Word is the only release for this pressure.

Suraj Sinha is an aeronautical engineer turned banker. Born in Bihar, he grew up listening to folk stories. An avid reader of Magic Realism, fantasy, history and satire, he spends quality time reading the likes of Marquez, Rushdie, Faulkner, Tolkien and Joseph Heller. Inspired by everyday life and his little son, he loves the process of writing more than anything else.


Grab A Copy Here!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Obsession. Eternal stories of Life and Death

Title: Obsession- Eternal stories of Life and Death
Authors: Gurpartap Khairah, Bishwa Sigdel, Stormy Hazarika and Suraj Sinha.
Category: Short Stories
Publisher: Tara Press
Date: 2014
Price: Rs. 299
Pages: 259

Snapshot: Each one of us, in one way or another, is obsessed whether by the intricacies of life or the finality of death. We are plagued by our thirst for control, driven by our hunger for love and addicted to the demons that ultimately consume us. A sensitive portrayal of one’s deepest emotions, this collection of stories explores the psyche of an individual their most vivid desires, most profound fears and the ultimate revelation of their darkest secrets.
Obsession brings together love and lust, betrayal and hurt, grief, life and longing. They are stories that strip the human spirit of all pretense, exposing shame and sorrow, desire and desperation. Woven around characters that could well be you and I, these are modern day chronicles of everyday heroes, fallen or exalted. Stories that thrust us towards introspection and self-realization, these are narratives that force us to explore the hidden us and the truths that we often refuse to see.
Obsession is one man’s quest to create the perfect wife, a widow’s desperate attempts to remove the shackles of greed or anther's mans perspective of love. Obsession runs the gamut of human experience and endeavor and expression, creating a tempestuous display of heat and ice and launching the reader into a familiar yet somber world.
Review: Obsession is a collection of subtle, sensitive and highly profound short stories contemplating about the niceties of imperceptible gamut of emotions of those ordinary folks you may or may not come across in your life. The characters in the stories are presented in all their heartbreaking vulnerability and complexity. By that I mean that the authors had blatantly pushed the buttons to create a palpable sense of crisp and contemporary baked protagonists. The writing style is extremely smooth, flowing and powerful. The common notion of these stories centers on obsession and the authors have successfully portrayed the depth of each emotion driving in the minds of their protagonist. It rises to the epitome and then pricks with the self realization towards the end. Some stories are twisty, crispy yet sincere with an open ending and I appreciate it as a reader. Few stories to specifically mention are Ripe Mangoes, The Making of a Married Woman, Inglorious Love, My Husband’s Best Friend and The Last Card that took my heart away with its sober soulfulness and precision. However, stories like Voices in the Dark, The Home breaker, A knife’s Fate and Yellow Tears are quite deep and thought provoking. They plunge into the weaknesses of mainstay personalities and hold with them till the very end. 
Overall, the stories are heartfelt, solemn and sturdy enough to etch on reader’s mind.

Positives: Thumbs up for the writing style as it was lucid and poignant. The stories are an assortment of an insightful disclosure of guilt, desire, desperation, lust and self fruition.

Negatives: I didn't find the stories in the second half very appealing and interesting at the same time. They finely projected the purpose and desire but somehow were extra abstract, sordid and strange in its own.

Verdict:  The book had strong characters in well written stories that will take you to a familiar yet dismal world as the book claims on its blurb. You can pick this book if you want to invest your heart and mind into experiencing the myriad shades of human nature and bundle of emotions. I would go with 3 stars.

About the Authors:

Gurpartap Khairah believes a writer should be politically incorrect and while writing, makes every effort to say the worst in the best possible manner. Gurpartap teaches English literature in Hindu college, Amritsar. He loves his job because it keeps him in constant touch with the youth and the current ‘modern’ lingo.

Bishwa Sigdel grew up in the dusty lanes of Banepa, in Nepal. An early passion for the Classics finally led him to writing. An ardent fan of Marquez and Neruda, Bishwa likes nothing better than hunting for books in dusty libraries or old city bookstalls.
Stormy Hazarika grew up in the lush tea estates of Assam. An aspiring poet, Hazarika’s passions are writing, reading and more reading! She feels her head is constantly buzzing with plots, characters and loose ends and MS Word is the only release for this pressure.
Suraj Sinha is an aeronautical engineer turned banker. Born in Bihar, he grew up listening to folk stories. An avid reader of Magic Realism, fantasy, history and satire, he spends quality time reading the likes of Marquez, Rushdie, Faulkner, Tolkien and Joseph Heller. Inspired by everyday life and his little son, he loves the process of writing more than anything else. "

Grab a Copy Here: http://www.flipkart.com/obsession-eternal-stories-life-death-love/p/itmdvgnevtvwy25x?pid=9788183861243&otracker=from-search&srno=t_1&query=Obsession-+Eternal+stories+of+Life+and+Death&ref=49b16922-0387-46c4-9a4b-1a4252df9cf7

This book has been reviewed by Shaily Bhargava who is an avid reader, freelance writer, amateur photographer and a trait curious soul addicted to tea and coffee. Some of her short stories are published in online literary magazines of repute.