Udta Punjab

Udta Punjab

The central theme of the movie is: fight. Fight against oneself to be freed from the clutches of drugs. All the pivotal roles face this in different proportions all through the movie. Udta Punjab became a highly expected movie post its controversy with the CBFC and one can say that it has lived up to the expectations.

The movie follows the life of 4 characters: A Pop singer, a wannabe hockey player, a doctor who wishes to abolish drugs from Punjab and a policeman whose brother is a victim of the drugs. The director carefully treads along the lives of all these people and their nexus with drugs – some intentionally and some not. He brilliantly captures the way they fall for the drugs; how they fight to come out of it and whether or not they are successful. Also, of interest is the way how he makes the paths of these characters meet!

In between he throws on your face the facts about the drug menace in Punjab and the underlying threat is painstakingly horrible – the plight of the victim’s families, the ease of access, the indifference of the people who should curb it etc. He’s clear about what he wants to say and the way he says is blatant. Like when he addresses a typical characteristic of every Indian parent with this dialog “Sadde munde theek, horan de kharab” (our kids are fine, it’s the others who have turned wayward)

Dialogues in this movie are a character on their own. When Kareena Kapoor says, “There are two types of wars going on in Punjab. One that we fight against the system. The one that people like Balli fight with themselves. If they win, we will win.” the director drives home the actual problem in Punjab. And when the (mentally) rehabilitated Tommy says, “I knew only one thing: Drugs. I wrote about drugs and you thought it is philosophy! You are the biggest losers than I am!” he makes clear that every individual is to be blamed for the current predicament of Punjab as much as other societal influences (or the lack of it).

The director also captures vividly the mental inability and the inner battle of the victims to quit drugs in two scenes – one where Tommy (Shahid) tries hard and fails; other where Mary Jane (Alia Bhatt) succeeds.

Also, Chaubey has been very conscious not to get carried away. Throw in drugs, explicit language, addiction and violence – ta da – you have the magic ingredients to glamorize/commercialize the whole movie. But he had used them all in the right doses. Neither does he create a hero out of the characters. And that’s another plus to the movie.

The acting department is galore with Shahid Kapoor, who had given yet another near-to-Haider performance (Yes I know! I’m letting Haider be the benchmark), Alia Bhatt deserves a pat in the back for the raw, uncanny portrayal of the girl-with-the-dreams character, Kareena with her calm composure amidst all this turmoil adds a serene feel to the movie. Diljit Dosanjh, Balli, and other supporting characters have sailed through with ease as well.

Chaubey with his latest flick has exposed the eerie side of Punjab that many might not be aware of and the best part is he’s done a good job of it. A must watch for any casual moviegoer as much as it’s for movie buffs! Overall, Udta Punjab does fly high!



The driver had the car ready near the entrance. He was waiting for his employer. As he got a glimpse of his employer coming out of the lift, his mobile rang. Even as he was contemplating for a minute whether or not to take the call, the burly man, with a stern looking faced came out of the office building. And he left the call unattended and jumped out to attend his employer.

The car had started. He could hear his employer loosening up the tie and relaxing himself. As the cool air from the BMW’s AC rushed past their hairs gently, he said to the driver, ” To my Mother’s place”. And the driver’s phone rang again. As the popular item number’s beat filled the silent car, he attended the call. After listening for less than a minute, his reply was a hushed yell. He cut the call.

” Who was that?” asked the employer in a tone that was bordering authority and care.

” My Mother, Sir” came the reply.

“Why do you have to shout at her always? She’s your mother after all!”

The driver’s face had become almost red. Whether it was out of shame or anger was inscrutable. He replied, “Sir! She had been asking me to take her to the temple for the last one month. But I didn’t……”

“If you need money, why don’t you ask me? I’d have…”

“Sir, it is not about money. She’s an asthma patient and I can’t take her there given the weather conditions in that place”

“Then take her to to a good doctor!”

“It was the doctor who advised not to…..” started the driver.. But the employer was in no mood to listen.

“See. This is the time she needs more attention. You have to take good care of her. You can’t be so negligible and harsh to her. At least talk to her nicely. Keep her happy and content! What more, after all, could be more important than her happiness?”


” You should…” A corporate’ised ringtone interrupted the gyan of the employer and he slid it open to answer the call.

“Yes I’ve started. Yeah. Ten minutes. I’ll reach. Is everything ready? OK fine. I will be there anytime now”

As he cut the call, the phone rang again. In a more serious tone, he spoke into his phone, “Yes Sister. You are right. The ‘Annadhan’ should be in my mother’s name. Yes. Yes. Definitely.”

“Anything special today, Sir?” asked the driver.

“Ah yeah” he answered with a deep sigh “It is my mother’s birthday today. So I have arranged for an ‘Annadhan’ and a small party. I want her to be happy and smiling.”

The driver could almost feel his employer’s chest puffing out of pride. And then the car stopped as silently as it was running. The employer stepped out and started walking towards the entrance. He stopped midway and turned towards the driver, “Driver, bring the gift from the car”. Turning towards the entrance he thought to himself, ” I should have asked that secretary girl what gift she brought for mom!”

As the driver took the gift lying in the rear seat, enclosed in a glittery paper, and closed the door, he saw the reflection of the board hanging on the building wall in the mirror. He had been there too many times to read it even upside down: Karma Old Age Home

Perhaps it was out of anger… Not shame… Perhaps…



அவசர அவசரமாய் அமைச்சர் வரார்ன்னு
அறை நாளில் ஆரமிச்சு
அறை குறையாய் குழி தோண்டி
நாள் பத்தில் பாதி வளர்ந்து
நாங்க பாதை யெல்லாம் சிரிச்சு நின்னோம்
தைப் பொங்கல் தோரணம் போல்
கலர் கலராய் பூத்து நின்னோம்
வந்த அமைச்சர் ‘விருட்’ன்னு போயிட்டாரு
(வெத) வெதச்சவன் வீட்டடுக்கு போயிட்டான்

வழி நெடுக, வானம் பாத்து,
வாய் பொளந்து, வாடிப் போய் நிக்குறோம்
சின்ன தொரு சந்தோஷத்துக்காக
சிந்திக்காம விதைச்சிட்ட… இப்ப
சீரழிய விட்டுட்ட!

மரத்த வெச்சவன் தண்ணி ஊத்தலியே!

Art & Poetry

Where and how do you think poem or any form art are born?

Tangled with these thoughts, I happened to stumble upon a piece of art about art and poetry by Natsume Soseki, a writer from Japan. He goes on to dissect the birth of Art and Poetry. (In his novel Kusamakura). And further goes on to describe the poet as well. Here you go:


If you grow by reason, you grow rough-edged; if you choose to dip your oar into sentiment’s stream, it will sweep you away. Demanding your own way only serves to constrain you. However you look at it, the human world is not an easy place to live.

And when its difficulties intensify, you find yourself longing to leave that world and dwell in some easier one–and then, when you understand at last that difficulties will dog you wherever you may live, this is when poetry and art are born.


And about a poet/artist he says:


…I suppose you could say that an artist is a person who lives in the triangle which remains after the angle which we may call common sense has been removed from this four-cornered world.


What do you think? Has it been under different circumstances for you?

Battle of the Bigwigs! Or is it?

The battle lines have been drawn. If the recent state elections results are to be considered as a litmus test for the assembly elections, the message conveyed by the voters is loud, clear and simple: WE NEED A CHANGE. And that good governance will be awarded and welcomed (MP & Chhattisgarh). And that bad governance will be shunned and shown the way out (Rajasthan & New Delhi).

Of all the state elections, i.e. Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, for the uninitiated, the ruling party at the Center had had no luck in any of the states. If they couldn’t oust the existing party in MP & Chhattisgarh, it was a losing battle that they waged in Rajasthan & New Delhi! But of all the four states, it was Delhi that drew attention from many sections of the society. It made clear there is still room for different change or a new alternative other than the mainstream politicos if it is presented to the voters in an acceptable manner! Proof: AAP’s landslide victory. Delhi had a government that was looking for a straight 4th term in the throne and a hawk eyed opposition that was hoping to make the most of the incumbent’s incompetency.

To everyone’s surprise AAP came close to the top with 28 seats: Close enough to topple the existing government and close enough to pose a threat to the ex-opposition. Perhaps it was the freshness that filled the air. Or perhaps it was the way the AAP projected itself: A knight in shining armour waging a formidable crusade against corruption, a visible force of youth to be recognized with, hard to be ignored as ‘another Political Party’. Or perhaps its choice of candidates. Or perhaps it was their style of campaigning. Well. Whatever it was AAP made the arrogant Congress Party (whose candidate Sheila Dixit had asked the day before election if AAP was even a political outfit worth contesting elections!!! Well Dixit ji, you have your answer now) and the otherwise ignorant BJP to shed their complacency and take a re-look at the David who’s ready with his Sling.

Actually, the game begins just now for the AAP. It is far from over. Will it be another single-state-phenomenon or will it be able to spread its air of freshness to a wider political canvas? And more of all, trying to be in power and being in power are two different things. Indian Politics had had a fair share of loud mouths and dogs that have only barked! Would AAP be any different? Or would it get washed away in the mainstream politics? On a personal note, I would want the answer to be a BIG NO! For the first time, the voters are looking up to a third party other than the mainstream bigwigs and it is only apt if the fresh force doesn’t fail them.

This could or could not be treated as an indicator of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Because the situation down south is not always directly proportional to the scene at North. BJP, would, however want to credit their flabbergasting victory to their Star Prime Ministerial Candidate NaMo but the share of the local leaders couldn’t be side-lined. As in the case of Madhya Pradesh, where the clout and goodwill of the current Chief Minister clubbed with his good governance was a major factor in the victory. And with regards to Congress: Wake up. Your RaGa is getting nowhere with his emotional and sentiment recipe and has a herculean task up his sleeve! It is a demeaning defeat and it’s highly time that Congress has a re-look at its war strategies and war generals!

Any thoughts? The comments box is all yours!