Gems of the African Jungle!

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The zooming of the eagle eye and the bird trailing away to the mountainous thick of the African jungle, I felt as if I was watching the wild135263_bd National Geographic channel when the camera changes track to a village somewhere in West Bengal, India, a humble abode of a young bengali boy’s family.

The boy named Shankar, the protagonist, was passionate about geography and history of the African jungles since childhood. He wished a life of adventure. The scene starts with a family friend bringing good news for Sankar, a job in the Uganda Jungles.

Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay the famous bengali novelist, whose Chander Pahar ( Mountain of the Moon) was an instant adventure hit for readers, way back in the year 1937. Interestingly, the writer never visited Africa when he wrote the story. A prolific writer who conceptualized so well, with his imagination. Kamaleshwar Mukherjee, the director, turned this book into an engrossing movie, with an overwhelming viewers’ response. Though, I haven’t read the book, but I feel the movie is an honest try and if you ask me to rate, it is a good movie,where bengali adventure film is concerned.Screenshot-04

Sankar’s dream job as a station master starts in the rugged uninhabited jungles of Africa, with his first ever encounter with a ferocious man-eater lion followed by a deadly black mamba. The Man versus Animal scene-sequences were edge of the seat experience. Dev(actor from Bengal), who plays Sankar made a brave effort with his skills.IMG_2598

During one of his wild expeditions, he encounters a bruised and wounded Diego Alvarez, a middle-aged Portuguese gold/diamond explorer. He rescues and nurses him back to Life. Alvarez shares some of his chilling escapades in his search for the precious gems, when he loses his friend to mythical monster the Bunyip. The adventure instinct made Sankar decide to leave his job and join Alvarez and this is where starts their united gamble to explore the wild, to the diamond caves of Richtersveld area of Africa.

The daredevil cliff climbing,camping,wild encounters,volcano explosion and their endless hike gives viewers a feeling of suspense. This is where the actual thrill starts.I’m not going to share any further as the movie is presently on the box office hit list and is running full-house. Watch “CHANDER PAHAR” to believe!

N.B. : My personal observation :

  • I thought, Alvarez’s wounded look was an excellent work by the makeup artist. His recuperating fades of his injuries were worth to be noticed.
  • Shankar could’ve been painted to a rough/rugged look, with faded injury marks, less smiles and more expressive eyes.

Images : Google

The Guns could not silence her

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Malala-YousafzaiThe twinkle in her eyes made me sit back to watch her talk. It was about two years back, to be precise; an interview with Malala Yousufai was on air on BBC. She was just a budding little girl, may be, of 13 years. I sat through till the end, little realizing, that, this very girl would be the target by the Talibans. The zeal and perseverance showed on her face as she was answering all the questions. What amazed me is her simplicity and determination. She is not just intelligent but beautiful. Her eyes are so expressive. She is exceptional! I instantly took a keen interest to know her more.

A Pakistani school girl from the Swat Province, Malala started off early at the age of 11 for women’s right to education.

As the camera rolled to their humble house, I saw a glimpse of the man who backed this sweet girl. A sturdy young gentleman with ever smiling face, any child would be proud to have him as his \her father. An educationist, poet and an activist for girls’ right to education, Ziauddin Yousafzai was little known to the world. He was introduced as Malala’s father in the interview, a rare breed among the staunch fundamentalist ruled parts of Pakistan where the talibans strongly oppose women education. I salute this man who gave voice to Malala.

The Talibans- the fundamentalists from Pashtun are condemned internationally for their brutal treatment on women. Some fringes of Pakistan still live in terror where  a section of the people support the Talibans. It came as a bolt from the blue when news of Taliban’s attack on Malala scrolled on television as the breaking news! It was in October 2012 .News spread like wild-fire. The bullet that hit her brain was successfully removed by Pakistani Doctors. She remained unconscious for few days after which she had to be shifted to England for further rehabilitation.As surgeons said she was just millimetres from death,as the bullet grazed her brain. She was already a star in her own right. The Taliban changed her destiny further by their cruel bullets and made her a leading light for the oppressed young women of her country as well as the world.

With pouring support from around the globe, she found place to speak her mind at the UN. She made one of the most powerful speeches and saw her parents sitting among the audience, with her mother’s teary eyes and a smiling proud father and her very innocent brother too. “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices,” Was her opening speech.

Check out the video clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRh_30C8l6Y

She spends most of her time reading books and in a period of a year or so, we saw a major transformation in her, a very matured person. Her father is always beside her in all invitations. The latest was her visit with the Duke of Edinburgh. She couldn’t contain her giggles when the Duke made a joke on how the children are forced to school in Britain.

It is a great achievement for a girl of 16 to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize . We see in her a teenage campaigner walking in the way for a great reformer.

photo : google

Slice of most Indian women!

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Curling up shivering, Aparna pulled out a blanket and wrapped herself. Strange dreams startled her awake! Her heart beat seems to  pound through her mouth. It was peak summer and the whirling fan and air conditioner was pretty annoying. The other day, she went to visit her friend, unknowingly that she was down with viral. Initial symptoms are body ache and shivering. Since the day her friend was down, little did she realize, the viral was on the prowl. Without thought, she popped paracetamol in intervals, the only remedy for the 3 long days of rise and fall in body temperature. In more than a decade of marriage, never did she fall sick. She felt terrible.

Nobody came to see her except her hubby when he is around from work. She really did not want anyone to visit her least the virus spreads. When the temperature drops, she is just normal but weak. “Bowma! Kabar jaiga lagao”,(set the dinner table!) calls her father-in-law. How does it matter even if you are sick? Daughter-in-law’s work cannot be compromised.

Unluckily the fever extended to the fifth day, very unusual. Not a happy thing for a daughter-in-law of course. Newspapers lay strewn on the sofa, dust settled on the furniture, shoes lay un arranged, potted flowers drying up!

She wipes her exhausted sweaty face with the corner of her sari and arranges the table for dinner. Before the table is fully arranged everyone has settled. Sometimes, she is pained and wondered why they can’t wait, till all the food is warm and served on the table. Only when they are half way through, does she join them.”See Aparna, you shouldn’t be sick for so long”, tells her father-in-law. She gave a shocking glance at him without saying a word. Food was a thorn at that very moment. She hurriedly finishes the cleaning and everything and rushes to her bedroom, sits down on her bed and wipes her tears. She hates her husband more now.

Truly miraculous!

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Muffled voices, echo from somewhere far and a feeling of being lifted, Rahul saw sparkling white glow descending and illuminating everything around. What could that be, he wondered. He was all in white and was being transported to someplace else. It was a celestial feeling!

Sunday morning was full of activity as usual. Rahul made the rounds to the kitchen & flower garden; repaired the Iron Gate that needed a fix, brought the car out from the garage and gave it a wash. After a sumptuous breakfast he decided to take Tuli & Ron, his two children for the weekend shopping. Weather was cool.

Rahul was posted as an officer in Public works Department in the North East of India. One needs a lot of nerve to drive through hilly terrain. It was a 20 minutes drive to another hill, towards the cemetery. The daily market was way down, around 200 stone steps downhill. You feel an eerie as you descend down the rugged steps -a rather creepy with mossy old buildings on both sides. Once you reach the market place you will find an open space where you get to see temporary sheds. Pork, mutton, beef and even deer meat etc. are hung in the shops. The locals’ main food is meat. Rarely will you get green vegetables.  Being a Bengali, Rahul was always on the lookout for fishes. He was not always lucky. So the alternative was eggs & chicken other than vegetables.

Once his shopping was done, he drove to a book stall where he mostly frequent while coming back from his work place. That day was also not different. An avid reader, he dropped by and brought newspapers and some magazines. He had a huge collection of novels which he thought useless at one point of time and there were no takers unfortunately. So he gave them for free to shops that sell grocery. They found them useful to make paper bags. His collection is a continuous one till to this day.

Car-accidentBefore he finally decided to drive back home he stopped by to buy some candies for his kids. Several thoughts were coming to his mind as he was moving home ward and within a split second he didn’t know where he was. Everything had gone black. His car suddenly jerked violently, losing control and came spinning more than 100 feet down and got entangled to a tree midway! All the residents nearby rushed to the spot and soon after, the police arrived and pulled Rahul and the kids and hurried them to the nearby hospital. He was unconscious and bleeding profusely from his forehead. His terrified kids were lucky with just few scratches here and there. News already spread to all his friends and colleagues.

The telephone screamed and a police was at the other end. Rahul’s wife received it and without giving a thought to change, rushed to the hospital. The very word “accident” sounds fatal, especially when any car mishap occurs in hilly regions.

The wrenching pain all over his body woke him from the reverie! He was blood soaked. He looked around to find himself in a room with a doctor and two nurses! His tearful wife beside him looked panicky. She hugged him and said everything will be alright.“Where are the kids –our son & daughter?,” exclaimed Rahul. “Do not panic Mr. Bose, they are doing absolutely fine”, said one of the attending nurse. With a pat on his wife’s hand he smiled, trying to recollect what went wrong.

Everything seemed to have changed. Rahul looked thinner and dull once he was done with the attending doctor. The car stuck up on a tree saved his life said many of his friends. It was indeed a challenging job to bring out all of them from a hanging dismantled car. The rescue operation took more than one hour. The steering wheel broke and a part of it struck Rahul’s forehead. He bled profusely and that might have made him look weak. Rahul, his wife and the two kids huddled at each other before one of his friends drove them to their home. Praise the Lord!

n.b.:  incident took place in the year 1980

image : google

Splash!

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Kite

Kite

Walking to office with my hubby one day, we saw a Kite flying past unusually low. What a big bird I exclaimed! Our heads automatically tilted upward. We noticed a prey in its claws but couldn’t identify and a moment later I saw a trail of the bird’s poop, little realizing it would splash straight on my hubby’s arm. Oh! That was a huge splatter! It was definitely not expected early on an office day. Hubby laughed it off saying, what a day to start with! Fortunately we saw an old man nearby his house and asked if he can help. He was kind enough to lead us to a water tap at his backyard. As my hubby was washing off, another old fellow saw us and smiled at us, saying, “You see, the birds are well-read in geography and geometry these days!” 😛 🙂

Image : Google

Himalayan Tandav !

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The video clippings of the Himalayan fury showed how brutal nature can be. This reminds me of the famous movie – “if tomorrow never comes” where, how NY City was consumed into debris  in a matter of seconds.

The grief, anger and discontentment screamed the television, newspapers and social media. As cameras zoomed on the many stranded among the rubbles showed distress and anguish. No roads or bridges to take them home. The Army rescue choppers, relentlessly worked day and night to help them to safer places. Nature’s wildest fury struck mountainous Uttarakhand, the northern region of India. Boulders as big as cars came rolling down with mud of rain through human habitations destroying everything on its way. The wrath of flooding water shows how nature exacts revenge. Some scrambled to safer places as the raging floodwaters swept through.

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 The violent Himalayan cloudburst on the 16th June is history’s first of its kind. Why this fury(Tandav) without warning? Various media pointed out on how human greed led to such catastrophe. Ecologists & Environmentalists directs on mindless construction, deforestation, encroachments and the expansion of the hydel power plants at various locations, the main cause of this tragedy.

Fury!

Fury!

Everything around left encased in mud by the floods after the rage slowed down. In some villages, not even a single house stood. The abode of Gods has become a ghost town with receding waters leaving behind muddy bodies in thousands, unrecognizable. So many pilgrims never made it to their homes, only to miss out on a decent cremation.

Reunited !

Reunited !

Clutching photographs in hands, faces creased with anxiety, relatives kept their hopes alive even after a week of the flood. As all the rescued people touched base at Derhadun, relatives desperately wait for some miracle. Some reunited, some hoped and for some it was a futile wait.

Images : Google

Fly Free!

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caged birdOne fine evening, the screaming of birds made me unusually curious, unlike our area full of trees with frequent visit of winged beauties. It’s our neighbor, who bought a prized possession – Caged Parrots for their 5 year old little son. Excitement filled my heart with the new inhabitants to our area. I asked the son whether they speak. Prompt came the reply,” No”. The son shouted back, saying he is going to teach them to speak. Well my thrill was more on the bird that can speak. It’s a pain to see them caged but I thought, in due course of time the birds will roam free in their house.

 One Sunday afternoon, after lunch I was just doing rounds to my flower garden, I noticed a parrot perched on a coconut tree beside our house. My heart swelled with joy. I ran upstairs to have a closer view. It was tweedling something with the caged ones. The scene was so heart rending when I saw the caged birds’ restless responses. The next moment, the bird flew near the cage. For sometime I thought they were sisters or brothers or cousins, whatever may be the case, but they know each other. The sight was remarkably so touching, I captured them in my camera. Unfortunately, I lost the pictures when my computer crashed. Their wheedle was so charming that I thought it will last forever or at least the bird can fly back everyday to be in their company, or may be the messenger of all the news of their loved ones.tree-silhouette-with-bird-flying-vector-1090974

 With the Indian legal system for no poaching or keeping birds as pets, I guess it is just a farce. Many markets on some particular day are flooded with exotic birds.

 Our neighbor’s son is too mischievous. Every evening after school its terror time for the poor creatures. He would play the role of a teacher with a stick in his hand and with every hit on the cage, the poor birds used to scream & flutter frenziedly.  His parents saw that their son is more destructive, decided to set them free. Fly free!

Images : Google