Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sunburn Festival@Goa>Dec 30' 2010 (Editorial Coverage)

The Ultimate Lifestyle Experience with Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010

This year, it’s going to be a Carnival!
Get ready for the ultimate lifestyle festival experience as Asia’s Premiere Dance Music Festival and world’s number 9 (, ‘Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010’ is back this 27th, 28thand 29th December at Candolim Beach, Goa. In its 4th year, Percept Limited takes the Sunburn Experience to the next level with a three day extravaganza that promises to be bigger, better and packed with a line-up of over 60 acts! Festival goers are not only going to witness the most sensational electronic dance music on the planet but also live through the experience of a lifetime!

Percept Limited is proud to announce that Tuborg is the presenting sponsor for Sunburn Goa 2010. Associate sponsor is SJ XXX Energy Drink and Co-Sponsored by Vh1, MTV, Bailey, Saint Juice, Eristoff and Bingo.

This year, Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010 brings the best DJs from the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene. To start with, Ferry Corsten consistently ranked in the TOP 10 DJs of the world, Axwell, who's fame as a solo artist and a member of the Swedish House Mafia has exploded globally... and Brian Transeau a.k.a BT - an absolute legend and considered by many to be the Godfather of Global Electronica. Richard Durand, who this year has taken over the reign of the epic "In Search Of Sunrise" compilations from Tiesto, Pete Gooding- one of the top British DJs and Producers, Sultan / Ned Shepard, John 00 Fleming, Aly & Fila, Funkagenda, Pearl, Jalebee Cartel, Ma Faiza, Protoculture (live), Xerox & Illumination (live) and B.R.E.E.D. to name a few. With 300 Early Bird Tickets selling out in 22 minutes and 500 Pre-Booking Sale Tickets sold out in 12 hours already, the buzz around Sunburn is on fire! For all those who haven’t booked their tickets, the right time is NOW on

Said Mr. Shailendra Singh, Joint Managing Director, Percept Limited, ”Sunburn brings together some of the best DJs across the globe at the world’s most popular tourist destination Goa, with the dual objective of consolidating and showcasing some of the most amazing global talent and fostering a spirit of community and harmony through the universal medium of music. This festival has been in line with some of the largest international music festivals and has also been ranked by CNN as one of the ‘Top 10 Festivals in the World’. The response we have received from the Indian audiences over the past 3 years has been amazing which just goes to prove that this genre of electronic music has been catching on at a rapid pace across India. Sunburn 2010 will feature some of the best global talent and promises to be an unforgettable electrifying experience!”
Says Nikhil Chinapa, Festival Director, Sunburn and Music maverick, "Sunburn has a life unto itself that extends far beyond the music that's played there, or the three days of the festival in Goa. For some of us, getting Sunburnt' is slowly evolving from merely being in Goa... to a philosophy and a way of life. I for one can't imagine December without it.”

Says Devapriya Khanna, Director Marketing, Carlsberg India, "We are proud to associate with the Sunburn festival that represents fun and music. The essence of Tuborg - The Fun Starter is centered around Fun, using music as a platform, which has greatly increased its popularity among the youth world over including India. The brand is associated with some of the biggest international music events and is synonymous with Green Fest in Europe, Roskilde Festival in Denmark and the Download Festival in Great Britain. As the worldwide slogan "The Fun Starts Here!" suggests, the brand is aimed at consumers who are youthful, "with it", social and who want to live life to the fullest. Sunburn Festival provides us with the perfect platform to reiterate our core messaging amongst our target audience."

Says Mr Sachiin Joshi, Vice Chariman, JMJ Group “I am once again happy to be associating with Sunburn, a festival charged with extreme excitement and an experience of a lifetime. And this is what my brand, XXX Energy drink, reflects also. Our positioning “Xperience Xtreme Xcitement” is a perfect brand fit with Sunburn and is the right platform to reach the high energy youth of India. XXX is honored to play its part as an Associate Sponsor at this amazing 3 day event! We hope our association with the Sunburn goes from strength to strength in the years to come because at the end of the day, Sunburn stands to deliver unbridled excitement and unforgettable experiences and that is precisely what we as Associate Sponsors stand for”

Sunburn also continues in its mission to nurture emerging talent in India - this year focusing on music producers. These are the people who make the music, which DJs play. Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010 has created a brand new Sunburn Anthem & Video Contest. The contestants will be given original parts of the track of a renowned International Artist, which they will need to remix into an original super-fresh composition. All entries will go through a rigorous short-listing process via an established jury of the DJ world, comprising of Sultan, B.R.E.E.D., Nikhil Chinapa, BLOT, Kurnal Rawat & Elsie Nanji. The winner will be awarded the opportunity to savor their moment of glory on the Sunburn Main Stage. Not just that, the winning track will also be featured on the Sunburn Anthem compilation along with acclaimed international & domestic artists. The winner shall also enjoy VIP treatment in Goa by winning an all-expense paid trip to Goa. The runners- up will also have their mix featured on the Sunburn Anthem compilation, and will also win free passes to the festival and loads of Sunburn goodies

In its effort to bring forth all the elements of the EDM scene, Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010 is giving a chance to all visual jockeys (VJs) to showcase their talent. All contenders will be given a 60 second B.R.E.E.D. track to create a visual extravaganza on. The winning entry will get the opportunity to be part of Sunburn’s New Experimental Stage, get their hands on loads of goodies and get free entry to Sunburn Goa 2010
For the first time, Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010 presents the People’s Choice Award. This year, the Sunburn community can be part of the contest even without contesting as they can vote for their favorite audio producers.

For 3 years, Sunburn has been continuing to pull crowds for the music, beaches and experience. With all this and so much more coming your way, Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010, is something that you just cannot afford to miss!

Tuborg presents Sunburn Goa 2010 is proud to be partnered with Submerge, 360 CMS (creative & web), (official ticketing), Indivibe (clubbing and community), MyFavDJ (promotional), (Middle East), Party Hard Drivers (social responsibility).----

Mr. Shailendra Singh JT MD of Percept Ltd quotes: "Sunburn since its inception has been close to all our hearts and I am sure it’s been the same for all Sunburn fans who travel to Goa every year for the festival. This year at Sunburn, we are tapping into a higher plane, bringing you 3 of the top 10 DJs of the world to the festival. Ranked as the #9 festival in the world, we want to deliver the most spectacular combination of talent, ambience and overall experience – creating a vibe like no other festival in Asia. So with that in mind, I am, on behalf of team Sunburn announcing our third headline act this year – the world's No. 6 DJ - Paul Van Dyk!"

He adds, "Paul Van Dyk and BT co-wrote a track which most fans recognise as the world's first Global Trance Anthem. It was a track called “Flaming June”. This track is held in high regard and even now, is considered as “ground zero” for the entire trance genre. Having Paul Van Dyk play alongside Ferry Corsten and Axwell, completes a truly global triumvirate of headliners at Sunburn Goa 2010!!"

Paul Van Dyk, has had sold out tours that cross each continent, some of the gigs reaching a total crowd of 1 million people. Just like his music, his laurels don’t have any boundary. Winning Best Global DJ, Best NuNRG/Euro Track, Best Producer and Best Mix Compilation for The Politics of Dancing 2. In addition, PvD was voted "America’s Favorite DJ" for 2004 and 2005 by BPM Magazine and was the big winner at the 2004 Dancestar Awards, taking home 3 awards: Best International DJ, Best Event and Best Music in a Commercial (Motorola) he has done it all! This year Paul Van Dyk has promised to bring something special for all the fans at Sunburn! Its going to be an absolute carnival !! Watch out for more on Paul Van Dyk!
Grammy nominated artist, globally acclaimed DJ and audio architect Paul van Dyk continues to dominate the electronic music charts and appears at the pinnacle of every Top DJ list around the globe.

PvD, as his fans have nicknamed him, has been ranked the World’s No. 1 DJ by DJ Magazine’s "Top 100 DJs poll" two times something less than a handful of DJs have ever achieved. PvD is credited as one of the hardest working artists in electronic music, with sold-out tours that cross each continent, headline spots at every major festival, and a hugely successful recording career. With over 3 million albums sold worldwide, van Dyk travels around the world over 16 times each year to sold out performances internationally.

Paul van Dyk listened to the radio where he discovered his passion for music that extended beyond Techno music – he wanted to create a different, more unique sound. In the early 1990’s Paul van Dyk was spinning regularly at various clubs in Berlin before releasing his first album 45 RPM in 1994. But it wasn’t until the release of his second album Seven Ways which catapulted him into the Top 100, followed by the release of his hit single "For An Angel," which began to earn him praise across the globe. Paul Van Dyk is the goliath of the EDM community and his sets cannot be missed out on!!
Flying straight in from Sweden, Albin Myers landed in Chennai to jump start the Sunburn pre-release tour. The party was slated to be at the Park Hotel, in a massive ballroom (everyone had to be there!) Albin sparked off the madness by dropping a massive tune from Anjuna Deep. The night just kept getting better, as he shifted from one track to another playing remixes of Axwell and David Guetta the crowd was swept away by his track selection and flow.

The tour then shifted gears and took off to Delhi. F-Bar was the perfect setting for an artist of Albin’s caliber. He started with a complete ripper of a tune, ‘Tear the Club Up’ . Sunburn revelers were mesmerized as he skillfully controlled the vibe in the club, building the energy through his set. He ended to thunderous applause, with a mix of the Swedish House Mafia - One, that really did seem to rip the roof off the club.

Albin Myers' music (and mohawk!) Were just a sneak-peek and a teaser to what you can expect at Sunburn Goa 2010. It's going to be an Epic festival this year!!
In a career now covers a little over 12 months Albin is considered as one of the Swedish Giant label Joia Records leading production and remixing talents. Albin's next 12 months looks to eclipse the heady days of the first - remixing artists such as David Guetta & Kelly Rowland Erick Morillo Tom Novy EDX Don & Greg CerroneDBN Tommy Trash for MOS Australia and supply original productions for Serial Peck Doll and the UK's own Defected.

Albin’s venture into playing at Sunburn Goa2010 is a complete deal-maker, as he showcases his unlimited talent and love for dance music.
--Ferry CorstenThink Ferry Corsten and think on the lines of numero uno. For the Dutch musician, playing across the globe to thousands of culturally diverse fans, comes naturally. Having acquired a universal appeal he has managed to do the ultimate- unite different people through his music and belt out best-selling albums, and nearly a dozen gold singles, all simultaneously.

He is known for his dance classics under his aliases System F, Gouryella,Veracocha, Pulp Victim, Albion, etc.. and his current dance hits and remixes under his real name Ferry Corsten such as Rock Your Body Rock, Fire, Punk, Made of Love, Beautiful, and many more. He has remixed tracks from all genres of music from U2, Faithless, The Killers, Moby, Nelly Furtado, to Public Enemy and has collaborated with various dance and pop artists such as Duran Duran, William Orbit, Howard Jones, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Novastar and many more.

Over the years, he has released artists albums under the names System F and Ferry Corsten. His last artist album is entitled “Twice In A Blue Moon”, containing the hit single “Made of Love”. He also has a myriad of successful compilations such as Trance Nation, Passport, and his latest release Once Upon A Night (OUAN).

Ferry is best enjoyed with a lot of enthusiasm, applause and excitement, and that is exactly how we are receiving him this year at Sunburn Goa 2010, with bated breath.
1.Can you tell us what you personally think about EDM culture in India - what is your perception of the country?

My perception of the EDM culture in your country is hard to say for me. I think in some markets it’s still growing but in other cities it’s become more popular (Bangalore/ Goa). Indians definitely have a feel for the music though. I saw that the last time I was there.

2.Are there things you are looking to experience in India outside of clubworld?

I don’t know my travel schedule as we speak but if I have time I’ll surely check out a bit of Goa.

3.On it's fourth year running, what have you heard about the Sunburn and what are you most looking forward to at the festival and Goa?

I am really looking forward to perform there. I know Armin, Above & Beyond, Carl Cox have played in the past years.

4.What was it about dance music that made you want to be a part of it?

The melody. It still is my thing. It’s all about the melody for me.

5.Who and what are your inspirations inside and outside of music?

Could be anything, things I see or things I hear. On my last artist album I made a track for my newborn daughter Gabriella Skye for example.

6.In a nutshell describe your sound as a DJ and producer. What can India expect?

My sound can best be described as an energetic fusion between house and trance. I’ll be playing some of the Corsten’s Classics too, like System F – Out Of The Blue, Beautiful, Made Of Love.

7.What kind of music do you like to listen to other than EDM, music in your IPOD or the stuff playing in your car...?

I usually listen to Indie bands or female vocalists, or some instrumental stuff to relax. Or I listen to a track I made to see if it’s still what I thought it was when I made it in the studio.

8.What are some of the tunes in your collection consistently never fail on the dancefloor?

Yeah there are a lot . Out Of The Blue, Punk, Made Of Love and my remix of Barber’s Adagio For Strings always do the trick on the dance floor. Still proud that I made them back in the days.

9.Are there any DJs, labels, producers you believe are truly timeless?

It’s hard to be timeless as label, producer or DJ. The sound is changing constantly so you need to keep up as label, producer or DJ.

10.Can you tell us what your tech-rider consists of when you're performing as a DJ, as well as when you're doing a live act?

Are there any pieces of equipment both in a club environment and the studio that you can't do without? 3x CDJ 2000’s and a DJM800 mixer. I don’t do a live-act so this is all I need. In my studio I work with Cubase and a lot of pluggins.

11.What do you prefer, DJing or producing music? The joy of playing to people or the satisfaction of creating a dancefloor stomper?

I prefer to produce a track and then play it for a crowd. I could never chose really. I think I’ll be a DJ for as long as I like it and will be a full time producer when I retire as a DJ.

12.What have been your favourite collaborations over the years? Who are the artists you've really gelled well with?

I have worked with Tiesto on the Gouryella project and I worked with Armin a while ago to produce a track for his new artist album, for my previous artist albums I worked with Simon LeBon from Duran Duran, Marc Almond of Soft Cell to name a few. Right now I am preparing my artist album a I am looking into some collabs to. We’ll see what ends up on the new album.

13.Are there any upcoming/latest projects we should be keeping an eye out for?

Like mentioned above, I am in the studio now preparing my new artist album. So that’s pretty exciting!

14.India's EDM scene is blossoming at a rapid pace, what advice would you give to upcoming DJs and producers in the country?

Try to be original and try to find your own unique sound and melodies. Nowadays I get some many demo’s that all have the same presets. So be original and keep on trying!

15. What does the future hold for electronic music?

I hope we get to see new talents flourish because of the technology. You don’t need a whole studio to produce a track, just a laptop and producing software is enough. This could mean we get a lot of new talents or a lot of really bad music. We’ll see!

16.Crazy groupie stories... Tell us one!

Someone stole my headphones while my tour manager was holding them. They grabbed them and they were gone.

17.A message to your fans in India and the Sunburn festival goers.

Hope to see you all there. I am really looking forward to visiting and performing in Goa. In the meantime follow me on or

Nadia Ali

Nadia Ali, an absolute vocal prodigy has her roots in Libya, but has grown up on the global music scene after her first single Rapture stormed the U.K Singles Chart by gaining the most coveted # 2 position. In 2006, her single “Is it Love” boomeranged her to the #1 position on the US Billboard Dance Chart.

Nadia’s instant success and passion for her profession remain unparalleled which fueled her to excel ever more. Her collaborations with Armin Van Buuren, Rosko, Roger Sanchez and Deep only accentuate her prominence amongst the world’s best DJs. In 2009, her single “Love Story” once again topped the Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play Chart, rendering her as truly unstoppable. She achieved the ultimate by providing vocals for the track “Feels So Good” by the God himself- Armin Van Buuren, which was released on his latest album Mirage. Her track “Love Story" was also recently nominated for the Best Progressive/Tech House track at the Winter Music Conference, 2010 and International Dance Music Awards, 2010. It is also Sunburn’s festival anthem for 2010!

1) Tell us about your journey so far?

I started singing as purely a hobby when i was a young girl and dreamed of one day recording music for a living. I have been fortunate enough to say that 2011 will mark a decade of my career in electronic dance music.

2) How would you define your style?

I am a singer/songwriter in the dance genre.

3) Your musical influences?

My influences include lots of eastern music due to my ethnic background. My other big influences come from classic rock music. Of course i should mention artists like madonna and michael jackson whom have given me a great appreciation for pop and dance music.

4) Besides music, what is it you are most passionate about?

I'm very passionate about my family and personal life. I think those relationships help you stay grounded amidst the musical roller coaster ride

5) Your forte?

Honestly, there are very few things in the world that make me feel more alive than music.

6) What’s next on your mind?

I am starting to gather ideas for my 2nd solo artist album that i’d like to release in 2011. i also have a number of collaborationscoming in 2011 that i am really excited about.

7) How much do you listen to your own music?

Every now and then i do like to listen to my own music, both to enjoy and to listen from a critical perspective to find ways that i can improve as an artist.

8) Your favourite indian and international artists?

I am a huge fan of a.r. rahman as well as amr diab. another amazing foreign artist is alejandro sanz. The world has so much great music to offer it’s truly amazing.

9) Is there any cultural influence on your work, or rather multicultural if i may say?

It’s definitely multicultural. besides the fact that i grewup in a eastern household, living in queens, nyc since i was 5 years old played a huge role in the diverse music i was exposed to like latin, caribbean, asian, urban, rock just to name a few.

10) Love story became a big hit and is also the festival anthem for sunburn, what do you think works best for you?

I truly feel honored that it was chosen as the sunburn anthem! it’s so amazing that it was embraced for such an important event.

11) How did you happen to associate with sunburn?

aAe you looking forward to it? sultan & ned shepard who are dear friends of mind couldn’t stop raving about the festival and i knew that if they spoke so highly of something, it could only mean that i should take a part. I can’t tell you how excited i am to be invited to india for the first time and most importantly to be part of one of the coolest festivals in the world.

12) How aware are you of indian music? what do you think of the indian music scene?

I have always been a huge fan of indian music since i was little girl. My parents would play indian movies all the time and for the first several years of my life, it was all of the music i was exposed to. my whole family still watches bollywood films all the time so every so often i will watch a movie.

13) Would you consider getting into bollywood? and have you been approached for any such project?

I would be open to having my music featured in a bollywood film again. It was hosted in 1 or 2 movies in the past which was nice.


Friday, December 17, 2010

"Kandhar" the MOVIE (Ganesh Venkatraman, Mohan Lal & Amitabh Bachhan)

Upcoming Film "KANDAHAR" starring Ganesh Venkatraman, Amitabh Bachhan and Mohanlal. A trilingual - Tamil / Malayalam/ Hindi releasing in December-January (Ganesh Venkatraman's Bollywood debut) directed by Major Ravi.

Kandahar is one of the most awaited films from the Mollywood industry this year not only because it deals with a hard hitting storyline of the true incident of the hijack of the Indian Airlines flight 814, but also because it brings together two powerhouse actors from Indian cinema Mohanlal and Amitabh Bachchan.

: Major Ravi  Cast: Mohanlal, Amitabh Bachchan, Ganesh Venkatraman, Sumalatha, Kaveri Jha, Ananya, Lal, Anoop Chandran, Major Ravi, Jaffer Idukki, Major Kishore, Kannan Pattambi  Genre: Thriller

While Mohanlal played as Major Mahadevan, a character from Keerthi Chakra and Kurukshetra, Ganesh Venkataraman plays Captain Suryanath Sharma, an NSG Commando. Big B and Mohanlal given incredible performances . Their combination scenes are the highlight of the movie. Malayalam Kandahar movie, a very well narrated story with good patriotic and emotional scenes. About the movie, First half is slow than 2nd half. Amithabh Bachan with Ganesh (as Big B’s son) appeared in good emotional scenes and Mohanlal and Big B given heart touching. Overall Kandahar is a very big film with excellent patriotic scenes and a very good movie to watch.

Story Line
:"Kandhar" is a fictionalized portrayal of the hijacking of IC-814 incident. It is supposed to be a high voltage action-drama.

Although the hijacking incident took place when the Indian Airlines Airbus A300 was flying from Kathmandu to the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, the Major Ravi project has been primarily shot in the cities of Ooty and New Delhi in India. However all aerial shots showing the aeroplane midair have been taken in Russia. While the performances are wonderful, it is the locations which have taken our breath away.

Every actor, especially Mohanlal, Amitabh Bachchan and Ganesh Venkatraman do justice to their roles and the fact that Big B did not accept a single rupee for the project in spite of being offered a huge amount just goes to show how much these actors are dedicated towards films that bear a social message. Mohanlal doubles up as producer of ‘Kandahar’ and going by the critics’ reviews, he will surely recover his money very quickly.

The surprise element in ‘Kandahar’ is the music of the Malayalam movie. Shamir Tandon’s compositions will touch your heart. Every song is aptly placed in the film. Though the narrative style may seem to drag in certain portions of the film, it is good news for the Kollywood and Bollywood that ‘Kandahar’ will soon be dubbed in Hindi and Tamil.

After his acting debut -- Radhamohan's Abhiyum Naanum, Ganesh got to share screen space with super stars Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal in Unnaipol Oruvan. 

Ganesh plays a dashing commando and Amitabh Bachhan’s son in the film is absolutely thrilled with the outcome of the film. Sources say that recently when Amitabh Bachhan saw the rushes of the film he was very happy with the result and had some very good things to say about the young actor. He blogged on his popular website about how happy he was with the result.

Ganesh plays an ‘Angry young man’ like Mr Bachhan played in his younger days. His life changes when he meets Major Mahadevan played by Mohanlal, who convinces him to join the army and gives him a purpose in life. The elaborate military training sequences of Ganesh were shot in Indian Military Academy(IMA) in Dehradoon. Ganesh is all praise for his director Major Ravi who gave him valuable inputs to train for the commando role and has spared no end in shooting the film in all realistic locations. The film also marks the entry of kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi who plays Ganesh’s heroine in the film.

When asked, Ganesh said “My 3 favorite actors are Amitabh Bachhan, Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal. And i am really lucky to have worked with all of them in a short span of time in my career. It has indeed been a huge learning curve for me just observing these great actors and sharing screen space with them”. This is my Malayalam debut and I don't think I could have asked for a better debut than this. I am extremely thrilled.

The actor is thrilled that his Bollywood debut is with Mr Amitabh Bachhan, he says "The father-son relationship is central to the plot of the film. Its indeed a dream come true !!!" he signs off.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Pinocchio” The long-nosed Puppet

"Once upon a time, there was ... 'A king!' my little readers will say right away. No, children, you are wrong. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood…." thus begins “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, the long-nosed puppet who is one of the world's most immediately recognizable characters since his creation more than a century ago by the Tuscan writer, Carlo Lorenzini, better known as Carlo Collodi.

My earliest association with Pinocchio goes back to 1962 or ’63. Pinocchio (the Disney version) was the first film I recall seeing in a theater. I was only five or six. It was a film that my father took me and my younger brother to see in when we lived Connecticut. The film was followed by a trip to the Children’s Museum in West Hartford, where we were introduced to our first dinosaur. What remains of memory is subject to the spurious random moments of life. I recall eating non-pareils out of a box. I remember how the movie theater was dark and cold, cavernous and cathedral-like and eerily reminiscent of the scene where Gapped is swallowed by the whale like Jonah. I too, was half certain that I could hear an echo. I remember the blue fairy who was both intoxicatingly beautiful and sobering indifferent. While I lacked the articulation to say so, I grabbed onto the films potent subtextual messages, how a father’s love can be transformative, and that emancipation and autonomy comes at great cost. I also understood the cautionary tale that lying was a grave sin, self-evident and would reveal itself in the most unbecoming manner. I related to the underlining fear that Pinocchio reacts to, which is the fear of being laughed at, to be exposed, the inability to conform. I was a Pinocchio. Perhaps every man is a Pinocchio.

“When poverty shows itself, even mischievous boys understand what it means.” Carlo Collodi

The story of Pinocchio appears threaded throughout my life. When I was summarily transferred from parochial school, Our Lady of Sorrows, a name which should reveal all, to public school, Clinton Elementary, (named for Dewitt) in 1966, as a typical third grader my desire was only to fit in and conform, as task not easy accomplished. I was as conspicuous as Pinocchio was trying to fit into his Italian schoolroom, (although a wisecrack never left my lips). Our classroom teacher, Mrs. Nichols who I just adored, wore a mini with a wide black patent belt and ribbed top, was like my blue fairy. So when It was announced that the class would be presenting “Pinocchio” as our theatrical event for the year, naturally I wanted to campaign for the role of Pinocchio. Alas, nominations were made by the class, written on the chalkboard post haste, and I was nominated to play the part of the elderly Geppetto. (In my blog “Grey Matters” you will learn that has a child I had grey hair, which was a constant source for alienation and isolation as a child, it was both remarkable and disturbing.) So it was no surprise that I was put up for the role against several other boys. The memory is partially repressed, and I only recall that it was announced in class that since I already had grey hair, naturally I should play the aged Geopetto. Unfortunately, there was no rock large enough in the playground to hide under. When I returned to school from lunch (this was the old days when children went home for lunch, as our mothers seldom worked outside the home) I was cornered by the girls in the vestibule, they were third grade power brokers, Nancy Simpson, Amy Blumenthal and Andrea Klein, and summarily told that they would vote for me if I voted for Andrea Klein to be the Blue Fairy (there are few good girl roles in Pinocchio). “The dye” as thy say, “was cast” and in powder blue. During the next week or so, Mrs. Nichols read from the Collodi text, which was infinitely fascinating to me. It was not at all like the sanitized Disney movie, which I had now seen on TV. Pinocchio was macabre, violent and wonderfully wicked. And now so many years later I vaguely remember that performance. I do recall that I was not a good Geppetto. I recall that I had only a few lame lines. The play was forgettable, thank God. I then went to work safely burying Pinocchio in my memory.

In the winter of 1976, I was a freshman at Edinboro State College in Pennsylvania. I was majoring in duel programs, Fine Arts and Early Childhood. At the time, there were few men involved in teaching pre-schoolers. It was like finding a man in Home Economics, it seldom occurred, but Early Childhood interested me, and being the only male in the department worked to my favor…very. I was offered the opportunity to work with the famed Child Psychologist (and holocaust survivor) Bruno Bettelheim who was just finishing his seminal text, “The Uses Of Enchantment” which remains one of the most fascinating texts, and analytical interpretation on the subject of fairy tales and their use. I was selected to spend several weeks at the University of Chicago to study under his tutelage. One text that repeated came up in discussion (although not as much in the book) was Pinocchio. Pinocchio was already a story I favored, knew well, and had some deeper understanding about. It would be a fair assessment to say that I was very young, inexperienced and Mr. Bettelheim was not enamored with my ad-hoc interpretations. Indeed, he was 100% correct in his assessment. We periodically engaged in heated debates, which I gather he enjoyed, and nearly came to blows in class over the merits (of lack of) of the works of Richard Scarry, who I adored, and Bettelheim reviled. Bettelheim was a formidable figure, brilliant, dark and demanding. We did not see eye to eye. Regardless, I did pick up an extraordinary amount of insight and information from my brief encounters with him. Giving credit where credit is due, as I proceed later with my analysis of Pinocchio, please note that much of it is forged directly from Mr. Bettelheim’s superior intellect.

"How do you know I am lying?" "Lies, my boy, are known in a moment. There are two kinds of lies, lies with short legs, and lies with long noses. Yours, just now, happen to have long noses."
Pinocchio, not knowing where to hide his shame, tried to escape from the room, but his nose had become so long that he could not get it out of the door, from “Adventures of Pinocchio”.

Like Pinocchio, Sometimes we forget whom we were/are. In the late 1980’s when my grandparents had both passed away, we were going through things tucked away in closets and came across a Florsheim shoe box filled with schoolwork and photographs that my grandmother had kept. There in the bottom of the box was the handmade invitation to Pinocchio that I colored for my Grandmother. It is on careful cut manila paper, and done in a soft buff brown and pale yellow Cray Pas. My printing inside is methodical, neat, and carefully composed, albeit in pencil. It shows a child that labored over illustrating Pinocchio in profile, and his nose is so long that it runs off the front of the card and cleverly onto the back of the card with a happy green leaf poking off the tip, with the sentiment “please come” in tiny–tiny little script below. The font is so sad and small, almost leaving you with the sense that it is okay if you cannot come, I understand. But my Grandmother did come, she did say I was very good, the best in the play, and asked how I remembered all my lines. She saved the invitation, and to me its one of the most precious and unexpected gifts I have ever received. It reminds me that throughout our lives we are so loved, that our actions have consequences, and that we have impact on each other’s lives. This is of course parallels some of the conclusions that Pinocchio makes.

As we decipher the complexities of what make a man, the story of Pinocchio is pertinent. In many respects, every man is a Pinocchio. We all want our freedom, but are less likely to accept its consequences. We all want to experience fraternal bonding that is rich and transformative. In so many ways, every man is a Pinocchio.

Pinocchio first appeared in print in 1883. Pinocchio was carved from a piece of pine by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a rustic Italian village. The name Pinocchio is a Tuscanword meaning "pine nut". Lorenzini became fascinated by the idea of using the amiable, rascally character of Pinocchio as a means of expressing his own convictions about life through allegory. In 1880, he began writing “Storia di un Burattino”, "The Story Of A Marionette", also called “Le Aventure di Pinocchio”, which was published weekly in “Il Giornale dei Bambini”, the first Italian newspaper for children.

Few intimate details are known about the life Collodi. We know he was a lifelong bachelor (with no progeny. Born Carlo Lorenzini, on Florence, on November 24, 1826, he chose to take the pseudonym of Collodi, the name of his mother's native town near Pescia in Tuscany. Collodi came of age as a writer during the "Decennio di Preparazione," the decade from 1850 to 1860, when Italy was moving toward unification. We do know that Collodi, like many of his generation, was a participant in the 1848-49 battles for Italian national independence, and unity and that throughout the 1850's he was very active as a journalist, writing under a variety of names and on many topics, including politics and music. It could be safely assumed that Colodi, who witnessed the horrors of war including soldiers who became amputee’s, provided some of the metaphorical elements of Pinocchio what with his wooden limbs.

If you are only familiar with the Disney film of 1940, you would be surprised to read the original text, which is Grimmian graphic, frightening, centers on physical abuse, poverty, hunger and a brutal society, ultimately leading up to Pinocchio being hung to death. That being said, the text is tempered with moments of lightheartedness, amusement, humor and grandly sarcastic.

Diametrically opposite from the original text, the Disney film is given the Hollywood sanitization, but is visually stunning with a great score including the standards, “
Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee”, “I've Got No Strings”, “Give a Little Whistle” and the still iconic, “When You Wish Upon a Star”, which help to temper some of the gross characterizations of the character, “Stromboli” who may play with a broad Italian accent, but is clearly illustrated a propagandized Nazi Jew, with hook nose and Semitic complexion. As America was entering the war, it’s odd to see such an offensive characterization coming out of the Disney Studios.

Pinocchio includes a complex web of moral questions. Critics have noted its antiauthoritarian/parental tone, the contrast between wealth and poverty, and distaste for the hypocrisy of the judicial system. When a moralizing cricket gets in Pinocchio’s face, it is squashed. This did not occur to Jiminy Cricket in the Disney version. Eventually Pinocchio grows from an egoistic child, guided by the pleasure principle, into an adult who understands the feelings of other people.

Without giving too much away, the original Collodi text opens up on a distraught Gepetto, weeping inconsolably over his wife’s grave; she has died in childbirth along with her infant son, thus assuring the end of Geppetto’s lineage. Gepetto, who is poverty stricken cannot afford flowers to decorate the grave, so he plants some pine seeds, hoping a pine tree will grow to shelter his wife and child’s grave in the heat of summer, and provide warmth in the winter months. Gepetto dutifully visits the grave for years and years, watering the seedling with his tears, until the tree grows to maturity. Then one day Gepetto believes, he hears his son’s voice falling him from the grave, but Gepetto is mistaken, his son is calling him from the tree. Gepetto realizes that the power of his love is transformative and helped to create a faux child. As if the tree’s roots have penetrated the pine coffin and released his dead child’s soul. The child instructs him to cut off a knotted limb that looks eerily like a face with nose and carve himself a wooden child. Gepetto in an act of desperation goes about creating a young boy, a wooden puppet approximate how old his son would have been.

From a distance, we are introduced to the Blue Fairy who has had a hand in creating this magic. The Blue Fairy is like a surrogate mother, dressed in blue like the Virgin Mother, and like the Virgin Mother somehow capable of creating life. The puppet's birth is accomplished without any maternal involvement, but his rebirth, and eventual elevation to full human status takes place under the sign of the mother, as if Collodi realized that a motherless creation is inevitably monstrous (à la Frankenstein) and doomed to exclusion from humanity.

Pinocchio perfectly symbolizes the dual nature of man; there’s our physical self, and our spiritual self. Pinocchio doesn’t actually transform into a real boy until he has gone through many trials and tribulations, what are rights of passage, and eventually learns to control himself, and express his more virtuous traits. Similar to the way Massai warriors are sent out to prove their manhood. In the majority of the story, Pinocchio is naive, lazy, dishonest and indifferent to the needs of others. Yes, he promises to change when he is shown the error of his ways, but invariably he makes the same mistakes.

Collodi would have been a devout Catholic, and taught that it is the soul or spirit was created in God’s image. We are designed to realize that this is our true identity. In fact, we need to know that we are not solely physical beings who have a soul, but rather we are souls who have a physical being through which we act in this world.“

“A thousand woodpeckers flew in through the window and settled themselves on Pinocchio's nose.” Carlo Collodi

One of the most potent images presented in Pinocchio is that his nose grows whenever he tells a lie. A device that nearly every parent has adopted at some point to discourage their children from lying. It’s an ingenious metaphor to demonstrate that there is something in us that wants to get caught. Many men will cop to acknowledging that they are not the most versatile liars.

Like many men who feel that their life is a façade, a pretence, Pinocchio is wooden, stiff and not fully actualized. He is psychologically frozen. Pinocchio is afraid of being laughed at. When Pinocchio is transformed into a real boy, it occurs through throw the power of love and redemption. It’s transactional. But there is not a happy ending, reality is fraught is substantive problems.

“How ridiculous I was as a Marionette! And how happy I am, now that I have become a real boy!” Carlo Collodi

Friday, October 15, 2010

ART>Bliss by Siddharth Choudhary

Paintings & Digital works Exhibition  By  Siddharth Choudhary
22nd Novemver - 22nd November, 2010 / Preview:  1st November @ The Stainless Gallery, C-0, Ground floor, Mira Corporate Suites,  1&2, Old Ishwar Nagar, Next to Tata Indicom Building, Okhla Crossing, Mathura Road, New Delhi -110065


Bliss is a series of paintings and digital works, which offers an alternate perspective on our pursuit of endless needs, wants, desires and dreams. The exhibition is an attempt to explain how we go to great lengths and extent, to seek a blissful life. This more often than not manifests itself in our dependence on external, material factors. The images in this exhibition are a starting point. They  pose the question - Is it possible that we do not need to look any further than within ourselves in this pursuit? That Bliss, itself is contained within us?  That the day, when everything looked right, was because we felt right, within?

Invite you to engage in this dialogue and to look at “Bliss” by drawing from your own personal experience.

About Siddharth Choudhary:

Siddharth Choudhary is a self taught artist. He lives and works in Paris. He started painting in 2005 after a trip to Paris which played a pivotal role in his artistic development. He started his career as an actor and his earlier paintings have borrowed from that experience. (eg. “I wish..”  2008, solo exhibition with Ashish Balram Nagpal Galleries , Mumbai). As an actor, he appeared in several TV Commercialsand tv shows. His last acting assignment was the film “Don” released in 2006.  He has also worked briefly with NDTV as a camera person.

As an artist he has greatly benefited from his diverse work experience. With his upcoming solo exhibition “Bliss” at The Stainless Gallery , New Delhi , he sets to explore  digital and video art alongside paintings.

Siddharth Choudhary has held the following Exhibitions before:

2009 Indian Contemporary Art Show: a group show at Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, Hong Kong
2009It’s a beautiful life: a group show with Nitanjali Art Gallery, New Delhi
2008I wish …: a solo exhibition with Ashish Balram Nagpal Galleries for Contemporary Art, Mumbai
2005Her moods & moments: a solo exhibition with Ronak Art Gallery, Mumbai


2005 – 2008: Ashish Balram Nagpal Galleries for Contemporary Art, Mumbai

Collectors include JW Marriott, Bollywood personalities (Pooja Bhatt, Vivek Oberoi
  Konkana Sen, Isha Koppikar etc.), Media Houses (Times of India network, Excel Entertainment, etc.)

About The Stainless:

The Stainless, spread over 5500 Sq ft, technologically endowed, state of the art gallery is a force to reckon with in the contemporary space of art. It is the brainchild of Mrs. Deepikaa Jindal, Managing Director JSL Lifestyle Ltd. and Founding Director of the Stainless Gallery, for whom stainless steel is nothing short of an engaging and rewarding passion. The Gallery invites artists from diverse spheres of art to render their artistic imaginations and visions for creating sculptures and works of art using this medium. The Stainless is one of its kind gallery that provides not just an exhibition venue but also infrastructural support to create these artworks.

The Stainless Gallery began its journey with an enigmatic exhibition held in 2007, titled ‘The Lazy Forest’ by eminent designer Alex Davis. The Gallery continued its journey with ‘Saptarishis’ showcasing works of seven sculptors of the country, followed by ‘Ashtanayika’, an all-women show exhibiting artworks of eight female artists. ‘God & I’ by Vibhor Sogani, an innovative, young product designer & ‘Ekant’ by architect, Vishal K Dhar, were landmark shows for The Stainless. This state-of-the-art gallery not only has its own unique collection of eclectic art but also offers its space as an exhibition venue to other artists and galleries to showcase their works.

Going beyond Steel Art, It endeavors to host cutting edge and creatively charged exhibitions marked by concepts & creativity by contemporary painters, photographers, sculptors and artists from various walks & fields of art.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Films from Bengal > Nov 2010 by (IAAC)

A Conversation with Srijit Mukherji and Nandana Sen,Rituparno Ghosh and Deepti Naval & Aparna Sen and Rahul Bose on there films @'BEAUTIFUL EVOCATIVE FILMS FROM BENGAL: Japanese Wife, Memories in March, Autograph (with English Subtitles) by The Indo-American Arts Council

AUTOGRAPH> A struggling young director & his Matinee Idol

Directed by SRIJIT /INDIA, 2010, 128 min. US Premiere. Bengali (with English subtitles)
@Thursday, November 11 @ 6.00 PM @ SVA Silas Theatre


Autograph is the story of a struggling young director who musters up the courage to approach the reigning matinee idol of Tollywood with an idea for a film. This matinee idol is an arrogant man at the peak of his career. To prove a point to his detractors that he is perpetually one-up on destiny, when the daily horoscope predicts a particular day is inauspicious for business ventures, he blindly accepts any proposal submitted on that day. As luck would have it, the middle-of-the-road script is offered by the director on this very day. And much to the dismay of his cronies and secretary, the matinee idol accepts it. Here onwards, the film gets split into two parallel stories. One is of the story of the film within the film and the unconventional relationship brewing between the star and the leading actress. The other is an even more unconventional triangle between the director, the actress and the matinee idol. The two narratives are entwined as reel and real life converge and diverge through situations. The climax is where they converge. How this climax changes three lives forever forms the finale to this reel meets real story.

Director Srijit Mukherji:

An economist, statistician, actor, writer, and director, Srijit Mukherji has become a master of many trades. His foray into filmmaking started when he assisted Anjan Dutt on Madly Bangalee, apart from writing songs and acting in the movie as well. His next assignment was even more prestigious– assistant director, lyricist, and actor in Aparna Sen’s Iti Mrinalini. Autograph is his debut feature film as a director, where he has also written the story, screenplay and dialogues.

CAST: Prosenjit, Nandana Sen, Indranil Sengupta.

This Directorial debut ‘Autograph’ was a surprise addition to the line up at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival October 14. The highly anticipated Bengali film will be screened in the Showcase section, the festival’s selection of outstanding feature films from around the world. Offering the local audience an accomplished work by a talented first-time director, whose choice of cast and material is remarkable. 

Prosenjit, the numero uno of Bengali cinema for more than a quarter century, is steadily and surely extending the parameters of the famous and colourful and kitsch Poshenjit image to explore alternate avenues in screen performance. He has proved that he is one of the most versatile actors in the industry with a range that has acquired maturity and mellowness over the years. For the first time in his long career Prosenjit is playing himself on screen – not as Prosenjit but as a superstar who can twist the Bengali film industry around the little finger of his left hand. The name of the film is Autograph produced by Shri Venkatesh Films in association with Cinergy Pictures and directed by ace theatre person and Ph.D. dropout Srijit Mukherjee. Prosenjit plays Arun Chatterjee, a superstar. We nailed him down for a first-person interview about his views on this strikingly unusual role in a career spanning nearly three decades.

MEMORIES IN MARCH> Tries to dissect issuess of acceptance

Directed by SANJOY NAG, INDIA, 2010, 104 min. US Premiere. English, Hindi, Bengali (with English subtitles)
Friday, November 12 @ 6:30 PM @ SVA Silas Theatre


Arati Mishra, a middle-aged art curator based in Delhi, has her world crashing down on her when her beloved son, Siddhartha, a successful copywriter in his twenties living in Kolkata, is killed in a fatal car accident. As Arati comes to terms with the loss of her child, she is strong and conducts herself with dignity and poise. When she arrives in Kolkata to collect Siddhartha's things from his flat and office, she is brought deeper into his world when she meets his colleagues and is surrounded by his belongings. As the memories of her dearly departed son flood Arati's thoughts, she discovers a surprising part of Siddhartha's life that she refuses to accept. Arati must reevaluate the close relationship they used to have and rediscover a part of her son she never knew or thought could be.

Director Sanjoy Nag:

Sanjoy Nag, born and raised in Kolkata, started out with documentaries before branching out to television films and shows. Not much of a conformist, he learns faster when he goes against the rules. When he is not shooting he loves traveling or checking out food joints. He is also an obsessive daydreamer. Memories in March is his debut feature.

: Rituparno Ghosh, Raima Sen, Deepti Naval, Pradeep Rai

Deepti Naval: The unexplored talent of veteran actress Deepti Naval who did a brilliant role in Firaaq & many more movies to her credit played the lead role in Sanjay Nag’s under-production Hindi film Memories in March. The film in Hindi has now been given the new title of. “Written by Rituparno". She is Arati Mishra, an art curator who lives in Delhi. Through his friends and colleagues, she discovers that they knew him in ways different from the way she knew him as his mother.” She also finished directing her first film, Do Paise Ki Dhoop Char Aane Ki Baarish which she wrote herself. It is about a prostitute with a disabled child and a struggling songwriter who is gay. Memories in March is being produced by Shree Venkatesh Films. Debajyoti Mishra and it is cinematographed by Soumik Haldar.

"Memories In March", has made it to the Pusan IFF 2010. The film had its New York premiere at the MIAAC film Festival, 2010/
World Premiere at 15th PUSAN International Film Festival 2010 (Memories In March has been selected in the New Currents section at PIFF 2010 - the only international competition section featuring the first or the second feature films by the future leading directors of Asian cinema. This year’s New Currents Award given to two best feature films selected from works of new Asian directors in New Currents - a competitive section of PIFF. The jury consistes of world-famous film experts will choose winners with the hope to encourage continuous endeavor of discovering hidden jewels of Asian cinema, and US$ 30,000 will be awarded to each film.) Another jewel in the crown has come in the form of "MIM" being selected for the 12th MAMI International Film Festival held in Mumbai. 

Great time ahead for Bengali cinema!
- Ghosh

Though Kolkata-born director Sanjoy Nag's name is on the print as first-time director, Memories of March bears many of the imprints of Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh (Choker Bali, Raincoat), who both wrote and executive produced the movie, takes a co-lead role, and is also a prominent gay rights activist. Several of Ghosh's own movies could almost have worked as plays, and Memories, with its two-character conversations in rooms and cars, is no exception, though the film never feels cramped thanks to Nag's smooth, good-looking direction.

The script's "twist", which finally comes around the halfway point, is hardly a surprise, and it's only then, as Arati's conservative mother and Ghosh's clearly gay ad agency executive are thrown together to work out their shared grief, that the film finally gets down to business. Using occasional soundtrack songs to expand on the underlying tone of sadness, the movie is at its best when the three lead characters share memories of the young man they all loved in various ways: his bright, optimistic voice is heard on the soundtrack in letters that strikingly contrast with the melancholy of the present.

Where the script falls down is when it tries to dissect issues of gay "acceptance": the dialogue here seems arch and old-fashioned, and hardly natural in such intimate conversations. Arati, however, is generally very good, and develops a chemistry with Ghosh (who began his career in the ad business) that even makes his overplayed role as the son's older, mincing lover seem valid in some scenes. As the young female colleague who confesses she once had a crush on the son, Raima Sen is notable, moving easily between caring and media-type no-nonsense.

THE JAPANESE WIFE >The Japanese Wife is about a long-distance marriage between two introverts

Directed by APARNA SEN / India, 2009, 105 min, NY Premiere. English, Bengali, and Japanese (with English subtitles) @Saturday, November 13 @ 6:00 PM @ SVA Beatrice Theatre


A delicate – and improbable love story about three gentle and shy souls. Snehamoy, a school teacher in the beautiful Sunderbans, writes letters to Miyage, a sweet shy Japanese girl in Yokohama. Over these letters, they fall in love and get married despite having never met. Sandhya, a widow, takes refuge in Snehamoy’s home and is soon always by his side, bringing a piquant twist to this home in the Sunderbans, and the love between Snehamoy and Miyage. Will Sandhya find her solace with Snehamoy? Or will life finally unite Snehamoy and Miyage?

Director Aparna Sen:

Aparna Sen is a critically acclaimed Indian filmmaker, writer, and actress. She has won three National Film Awards and eight international Festival Awards. Sen made her debut as a film director with 36 Chowringhee Lane – a film about an aged Anglo-Indian teacher living in Calcutta. She has made films such as Paroma (1981), Sati (1989)mYugant (1995) which examined the feminine condition in modern-day India. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002) was a love story set against the harsh backdrop of Hindu-Muslim communal violence in India, and won National Awards for Both Sen and her daughter KonkonaSen Sharma. AparnaSen is a resident of Kolkata, India.

Cast : Rahul Bose, Raima Sen, Chigasu Takaku, Mousumi Chatterjee, Rudranil Ghosh

>Aparna Sen’s Japanese Wife, based on the novel of the same name by Kunal Basu, is the most offbeat love triangle one can hope to come across.

The film is being shot in English though there will also be a smattering of Bangla and Japanese because of the international canvas of the film. Rahul however, does not agree with the love theory. "Where do you find love in Snehamoy’s life, tell me? You need a woman to fall in love with. Snehamoy has her mashi hovering around him. He has his pen friend Miyagi, a girl he has never met, in far away Japan. He has this continuous correspondence with Miyagi. And there is this marriage conducted only via letters. Where is the love you are looking for in all this? I love to work under the directorial baton of Aparna. I get totally involved in whatever I am doing at any given moment, be it rugby or my welfare work with the poor children of Andamans. Snehamoy, on the other hand, is an escapist. He is not even prepared to fight life’s battles. He is aware of the rat race across the river on the other side. He feels safer on this side, the Sundarbans." He concedes that Snehamoy is the most complex character he has played in his career. "My choice of Rahul for three of my films in a row is because I can deconstruct him completely and mould him differently in any which way I can. Few actors have this kind of malleability. According to me, this is purely a love story from beginning to end because there is no ideological agenda or political baggage I am carrying, like there was in Parama, Sati and Mr & Mrs Iyer. The character Raima is portraying, that of a young village widow, is the quiet type, silent and sad most of the time. Raima has done an excellent job," says Aparna.

With MR. AND MRS. IYER, when Aparna Sen made it, she unraveled a pair of sensitive actors in the form of Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma and with THE JAPANESE WIFE she has once again confirmed that Rahul Bose is indeed one of the fine actors whose talent needs to be exploited in a much better manner.

In the melee of commercial films that are being released THE JAPANESE WIFE comes as a breathe of fresh air, as it harks back to the old world romance and commitments of the lifetime, based on trigger of an emotion that evolved on account of the series of letters that were exchanged between an Indian male and a Japanese lady.

THE JAPANESE WIFE is a film that would appeal to the international audience as well, as it has got a deluxe feeling to it. It is worth pointing out on this occasion that letter writing as a genre has been one of the favorite subjects of the Hindi film industry, and scores of films and songs have been composed eulogizing the virtues of the written word.

Now that THE JAPANESE WIFE has rekindled the romance and passion associated with the written word on a piece of paper, it is only hoped that more such freshness to approach would be adopted by the Indian film makers to weave a miasma of charm around the written word. After all, an SMS stored in a handset is not able to evoke any nostalgia that a forgotten letter in the book, found again does.

Sen crafts her tale well. The lush visuals and overpowering landscape become characters in their own right. Then there are some standout whimsical moments. Some underlined with a genteel humour, like Miyage sending a Polaroid camera to Snehamoy with the rider that she couldn’t find a Bengali manual for it in Japan. Or the rousing sequence when Japanese kites are flown high in the Bengal skies by Snehamoy, as if to show how far his love can fly. However, these quixotic touches are not knit together well; the narrative lacks fluidity and moves in fits and spurts. The stilted dialogues and rehearsed accents are a let-down.

Some of the characters on the side are more real and interesting, be it the caustic aunt (Moushumi’s flashy reappearance) or the quaint ayurvedic medicine man. Things do suddenly light up when Sandhya (the Bengali girl Snehamoy refused to marry) comes back as a widow to stay in his house. It’s their relationship, fuelled initially on some stolen glances, that feels far more beguiling than the cross-country marriage. You can see how it’s growing to take a meaning and significance of its own. Especially endearing is the scene where Sandhya shifts some of the dishes from her lunch plate to that of Snehamoy’s. She does it with an easy sense of ownership and possessiveness of a woman in love. It’s this real relationship, constantly kept in denial, that has far more possibilities than the mundane and dull one unfolding through the letters. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get the cinematic exploration it deserves. Nor does Raima, who is simple, self-assured but luminous as Sandhya.

A premise like this doesn't quite promise much entertainment in the offing. However, for a regular moviegoer, the least which is expected is a dramatic enhancement to the narrative to keep his attention on screen for those 2 hours. However, the film doesn't keep the same momentum from start to finish and also turns overtly depressing towards the latter part that keeps you longing for that sunshine. Nothing wrong with the subject or the treatment here; after all this is how Aparna Sen wanted to bring fore the tale of her protagonists.

Thankfully, if one leaves the entertainment quotient of the film aside, what one carries home is Rahul Bose. He is excellent as a character which doesn't have any qualms admitting his struggle with the English language. Chigusa is decent though she doesn't get much scope to perform since the film is primarily told from Rahul's point of view. Raima is okay as a silent suffering widow whose heart pines for Rahul. Comparitively Moushmi Chatterjee, as Bose's aunt, brings light on screen every time she appears. As a forward thinking woman who encourages child education, widow remarriage and long distance marital relationship, she makes one wonder why is she is not seen on the big screen more often.

Regarding those who wish to watch a film from the artistic standpoint, then well, the sad truth is that number of such people is abysmally low. So another question is - 'Why to make a film which has extremely limited audience? Is it only to satisfy the artistic urge in you as a film maker? In that case, why not have a direct to DVD release because theatrically (especially with the kind of marketing effort that has gone into the film) THE JAPANESE WIFE doesn't come with any scope whatsoever.

Aparna Sen’s adaptation of the Kunal Basu story is engaging and emotive only in parts and not profound enough to linger on in your mind.