How to overcome disturbances while reading?

Disturbances are part of life. Whether it is a phone ring, a door bell or mummy yelling for breakfast, disturbances ruin the joy of reading. Especially if you are a hardcore bookworm, you are sure to lose your patience. When it comes to reading, it is difficult to retain the interest level and link you lost in your last reading session. Our office work, project deadlines, banking work, grocery shopping and household tasks keep us away from our reading activities. Enjoying a leisure reading time is almost impossible in hectic weeks. Even weekends are packed for miscellaneous activities. Let’s discuss some solutions to overcome the disturbances and enjoy a stress-free reading session.

1] Read while traveling – Whether you are heading for office or a long distance holiday trip via railways or airplane, carry a book with you. Reading not just kills time; it makes your time count by focusing your mind towards knowledgeable stuff – fiction or non-fiction. I have read several best-sellers while traveling to office and coming back home. I had finished Louisa May Alcott’s novel – Little Women in just 2 hours while commuting to office. Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Lorna Doone are some of the books I read while traveling in bus. It is difficult to read if you are traveling by local trains. Compared to trains, local A.C buses are comfortable place to read while traveling. Majority of airway passengers prefer reading in airport while waiting for their flights. Traveling is a best way to enjoy reading your favorite book.

2] Disconnect from mobile devices/social networks – It is hard to suppress the temptation of sharing our eventful updates on FB and Instagram. If you are a devoted reader, you should switch off your internet connection for a while. While reading a book, make sure that you don’t have any device near you. 99% of the people’s hands automatically go towards their mobile. A book is a gateway to fantasy, imagination and memorable characters. Disconnect yourself from all the online activities to immerse in a joyful reading experience which will unleash the reader in you.

3] Ignore friends – Friends are number one distractors in our life. They are not only money borrowers, but also ruin the reading pace by inviting us on a Saturday night party or a movie. It is best to keep the mobile on a flight mode so that you don’t have to pick up any unnecessary calls while reading. Some friends are so shameless that they don’t return book even after reading.

4) Avoid the temptation of new book releases – Hard core bookworms have the addiction to check out new books on Amazon, Goodreads, Flipkart and Crossword book stores. They are so tempted by the new releases that they leave their current book midway to buy the new book. End result!! They are unable to finish either the old or the new book.

5) Small reading sessions – If you are unable to find time for reading, take a time out to read during afternoon sessions. Afternoon hours are peaceful moments to enjoy reading. The small reading sessions during afternoons will maintain the consistency of your reading pace.

6) Rent a hotel room – Renting a lodge is a convenient way to read books without any interruptions. Carry your loads of books and read it on to the content of your heart. During my holidays, I have read lots of books and watched several movies in my hotel room. Hotel rooms have that silent space which you won’t find in your home.

Sometimes too many priorities, stress can hamper your reading activity. It may happen that you won’t feel like reading. In that case, take a break from reading activity for a while. Once you return back from your break, you will find a renewed interest towards your reading activity.

Disturbances are part and parcel of life. One cannot escape it. But you can find small moments within your hectic schedule to enjoy reading. Hope these discussed suggestions may help you find the leisure time to read your bestseller minus the interruptions.

Happy Reading!!!

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Manto – A biopic on world’s most unsung writer

Author Manto belongs to the league of genius writers like Vladmir Nabokov, Gustave Flaubert and D.H.Lawrence. Manto is hailed as the most acclaimed writer in Urdu language. I became familiar with author Manto after seeing the short film – ‘In Defence of Freedom’ based on his ideals and thoughts. In the short film he justifies his stand on freedom of expression in world of writing. The role of Manto was portrayed by actor Nawazzudin Siddiqui.

After watching the short film on Manto, I was curious to know about his works and his contribution in literature. His works were realistic reflection of society which highlighted the atrocities happening around. The short film as well as the biopic is been directed by Nandita Das who has extensively researched on Manto by reading his works and personally meeting the writer’s family. Along with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, actress Rasika Duggal will be seen playing the role of Manto’s wife. Manto’s wife was a pillar of strength who stood by him in his best and worst times.

Poster of Manto’s biopic movie

Though I have yet to read about his works to know about his personality and his thoughts, I am already captivated by the genius behind the writer. The upcoming biopic – Manto based on last four years in life of the celebrated writer Saadat Hassan Manto gives a glimpse at his rebellious nature and how it affected his life both personally and professionally. The plight of writers was miserable compared to today’s marketing trends. Nowadays young writers have social networks, blogs to promote their writing works. In pre-independence days, writers had only imagination and a typewriter. Saadat Hassan Manto made his work recognized in the struggling industry of publication. Getting royalties from publishers was herculean task in pre-independence time. The lack of monetary prosperity and constant accusations of obscene writings took a toll on Manto’s career. Though he succumbed to alcohol, financial insecurities, he emerged as a celebrated author of his own generation. The biopic – Manto is all about what the legend Saadat Hassan Manto as a person was. Manto is an ambitious movie for Nandita Das in terms of direction and storytelling.

A rare photo of Saadat Hassan Manto

Mainstream cinema directors make movies on gangsters, match-fixing cricketers, Bollywood sirens but there are hardly any biopics on writers. With Manto making its presence felt in Cannes Film Festival, I have a faint hope that there will be biopics on Premchand, Sarat Chandra, Tagore and Amrita Pritam in coming times. I hope that movie Manto will connect the audience to the meaningful cinema which is rare nowadays.

The biopic – Manto is currently screened at Cannes Film Festival and is scheduled to release in October 2018.

Bioscopewala – A new adaptation of Tagore’s classic

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s short stories are always a subject of movie adaptations. Whether it is Chokher Bali or Kabuliwala, the stories of Tagore are inspiration for aspiring filmmakers. The upcoming 2018 Bollywood motion picture – Bioscopewala is a new adaptation of Tagore’s short story – Kabuliwala. The story is set in present times and here the Afghani’s profession is shown as a Bioscopewala.

The Pashtun Bioscopewala strikes a bond with kids by showing captivating visuals from his projector. Among the several kids, Mini is one child who reminds the Bioscopewala of his own daughter far away in his hometown. The lonesome girl and Bioscopewala share a bond of compassion. The Bioscopewala inspires her to see stories through the medium of bioscope. Unfortunately this bond of compassion is short-lived. A set of unfortunate events in city separate the Bioscopewala from his little friend Mini. Several years later, Mini sets in search of her guardian friend Bioscopewala who is now absconding from the public eye. Will Mini succeed in finding her guardian friend Bioscopewala? Rest of the movie is all about Mini’s quest to find the reasons behind the mysterious disappearance of the kind-hearted Bioscopewala who is now a convict. The story of Bioscopewala continues where the story of Kabuliwala ended. In the original story, the Kabuliwala returns home after releasing from jail. The climax is sad because Mini is unable to recognize her Kabuliwala. The new movie adaptation will see Mini’s attempt to bond back with her estranged guardian friend Rahmat Khan who she fondly called ‘Bioscopewala’. The role of Kabuliwala was portrayed by legendary actor Balraj Sahni in the 1960 movie based on Tagore’s classic. After 58 years, Tagore’s story of Kabuliwala is set in present times and will feature actor Danny Dengzopa as the Bioscopewala.

Bioscopewala is based on Tagore’s classic short story kabuliwala

What separates Kabuliwala story from other novels is its simplicity that makes it a favorite read among the readers. Tagore’s stories still weave a magic and inspire a new generation of readers every time. The trailer of Bioscopewala was so connecting in terms of nostalgia that I couldn’t resist penning my thoughts on Tagore’s upcoming movie adaptation.

Bioscopes are treasured souvenirs of childhood. They were picture palaces for kids. I cherish memories of buying small bioscope and seeing pictures by placing the reels in the device. I wouldn’t be a writer if I hadn’t enjoyed motion pictures on bioscope. If you love Tagore’s stories then you shouldn’t miss Bioscopewala.

Bioscopewala is scheduled to release this summer on 25th May 2018.

Tagore’s Kabuliwala

‘Kabuliwala, O Kabuliwala’ calls the little girl Mini to a Pashtun Merchant named Rehmat who sells dry fruits in Calcutta (Now Kolkata). They strike a bond, a bond untouched by expectations. Rabindranath Tagore’s timeless story – Kabuliwala is a testament of kindness, compassion and unspoken affection. Adapted for motion pictures several times, Kabuliwala’s story is relevant even in current times.

Recently a new Bollywood motion picture – Bioscopewala teaser was released on Youtube. It is based on Tagore’s Kabuliwala and will see the Afghani resident in a new profession as Bioscopewala. As 2018 marks the 137th birth anniversary of Tagore, penning my thoughts on Kabuliwala will be a compliment to legacy of Tagore’s writings. Bengali literature has its own sweetness. Soaked in nostalgia, the short stories give a glimpse of Bengali culture, customs and traditions. Whether it is Saratchandra’s Parineeta or Bankim Chandra’s Anand Math, the literature of old times were a medium of social awakening. Kabuliwala’s story too belongs to that age where society was changing after independence.

Kabuliwala is regarded as a milestone in career of Rabindranath Tagore

Rahmat Khan, an Afghani resident makes his living in Calcutta, selling dry fruits. While roaming the streets of Calcutta, he passes by house of little Mini. By a strange curiosity, little Mini calls the Kabuliwala and hides away in her room. Initially Mini is scared of Rahmat Khan but in the second meeting she breaks the ice and starts chattering with the Kabuliwala Rahmat Khan. Mini’s father is the narrator of the story and it is he who allows the bond to grow stronger. An innocent bond forms between little Mini and Kabuliwala. Since Rahmat Khan is far away from his little daughter, he pampers Mini like his own child by offering her dry fruits. Unlike Mini’s father, her mother disapproves of Kabuliwala’s presence in Mini’s life. She is scared that the Afghani may kidnap her daughter and sell her off. Fate takes a cruel twist and Rahmat Khan is arrested for killing a man in a heated rage. Several years’ later Rahmat Khan is released after completing his jail sentence. Before returning to his home, Rahmat Khan longs to meet his little Mini. To his surprise, Mini now a grown up young woman doesn’t recognizes her guardian friend ‘Kabuliwala’. Mini’s father offers Rahmat Khan some money so that he can return back to his motherland. He longs to return back to see his daughter who must have grown up.

Tagore’s Kabuliwala captures the emotions of the immigrants who go far away to other cities to earn money for their families. Despite being homesick, they try to find happiness in small moments around them. What connects readers to Kabuliwala is the innocent bonding of little Mini and her guardian friend Kabuliwala. She finds a confidante companion in Rahmat Khan in whom she can share her childish emotions. Even Rahmat Khan finds a company in Mini who reminds him of his own daughter. Nowadays readers don’t get to read such stories rich with such emotional content as Kabuliwala. Things have changed a lot in recent times. To earn money and name in an alien city, an immigrant needs identification proof, income details, residential proof to prove his existence. Tagore wrote the character of Kabuliwala based on a real Afghani living in Calcutta. Even today Kabuliwalas reside in Kolkata earning a living for their family.

A scene from Stories by Tagore on epic channel which showed Kabuliwala on small screen

The role of Kabuliwala was immortalized by legendary actor Balraj Sahni in 1960 movie adaptation of Tagore’s classic story. Recently Epic Channel telecasted ‘Stories by Tagore’ which featured the story of Kabuliwala. The television show was directed by Anurag Basu. The upcoming movie – Bioscopewala will feature senior actor Danny Dengzopa as Afghani Bioscopewala based on the character created by Tagore.

The 2018 movie Bioscopewala is based on Tagore’s classic

This article was a small effort on my side to celebrate 125 years of Kabuliwala’s story penned by Tagore.