The sword of Tanaji Malusare

‘Every man dies, but not everyone really lives’ – lines from movie ‘Braveheart’

Our today’s generation mind is fascinated with fictional characters from Game of thrones and Bahubali. Kids know about Spartan King Leonidas but have hardly heard about the unsung Maratha warriors like Tanaji Malusare whose ballads are still sung in India. Should we blame the history textbooks or the growing influence of Western culture on our kids? A lot is written, sung on the great warrior Tanaji Malusare but his courageous feat is slowly fading from the minds of younger generations. It is high time that we continue to pass on the stories of our Indian history to our coming generation and this article on Tanaji is a small effort to remember his courageous feats.

The statue of the great maratha warrior – Tanaji

The ‘Povadas’ (Marathi ballads) sung by the folk singers inspired the young men of Maratha Empire to fight for Swarajya and resist the barbaric Mughal empire. Among the trusted comrades, Tanaji Malusare was the most trusted military leader who taken oath along with Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj to fight for Swarajya in Raireshwar temple (Raireshwar is Lord Shiva’s name). Shivaji and Tanaji were close friends during their childhood times and often they planned strategies to capture the forts. With coming times, Shivaji collected a band of brave Mawlas and declared a war on the Mughal Empire. With the help of Tanaji, Baji Prabhu and countless Maratha warriors, Shivaji won many battles. Though Tanaji had fought many battles for Swarajya, it was the battle for Sinhagad that was going to make him immortal in pages of history.

For Tanaji, his call of duty mattered more than his personal things. Such was his devotion to his nation that he left his son’s wedding preparations in middle to march for the battle of Sinhagad. He cared for Swarajya more than his son’s wedding.

By tying the rope on his pet lizard Yashwanti, Tanaji and his troops scaled the fort in the dark of night. The Sinhagad fort was under the control of corrupt Mughal officials Jai Singh and Udaybhan. Tanaji and his handful of men gave a tough fight to the mighty and large numbered enemy soldiers. Tanaji’s sword struck like a thunder bolt, claiming the lives of several enemy soldiers. The battle was bloodied, fierce and fatiguing for Tanaji and his band of brave soldiers. Though Tanaji gave a tough fight to Udaybhan, he was fatally wounded by the sword attacks. The fierce battle marked the end of Tanaji. In the sword fights, the cruel Udaybhan was also killed by Tanaji. Tanaji breathed his last, mortally wounded. He died, but kept his promise of recapturing the Sinhagad fort from the enemies.

Shivaji Maharaj was deeply saddened hearing about the death of his friend Tanaji. He had not only lost a great soldier, but also a close friend.

‘Gad ala pan sinh gela’ were the words uttered by Shivaji Maharaj in remembrance of his brave martyr friend Tanaji. The fort was captured but the lion was dead.

Tanaji’s ballads are still sung today by folk singers in his honor, remembering his courageous deeds and his ultimate sacrifice for Swarajya.

The sad irony about school history textbooks is that it doesn’t describe about the courageous heroes like Tanaji in detail. Kids do study history but only to score marks in exams. I had read about Tanaji Malusare in detail in Amar Chitra Katha books. It had a given a detailed history on Tanaji through illustrations.

Biopic on Tanaji – Viacom 18 is making a biopic on Tanaji Malusare which will have actor Ajay Devgan playing the title role of the great Maratha warrior. The movie is scheduled to release in 2019. I am very sad to see that it took so long time to make a biopic on this brave Maratha warrior. Thankfully, the young masses will be able to see Tanaji on the silver screen soon.

Ajay Devgan as Tanaji in 2019’s forthcoming biopic on the maratha warrior

When you can visit Sinhagad, you can see a bust of the great Maratha Warrior at the fort. Tanaji’s valor won’t be forgotten in the pages of history as long as we continue to carry forward his legacy of courage and patriotism.

Advertisements

A town called Dehra – Memories of Ruskin Bond’s Hometown

‘The past is always with us, for it feeds the present’ – Quote from the memoir

‘A town called Dehra’ is reminiscence of a sleepy town called Dehradun where author Ruskin Bond spent his boyhood as well as adolescent days. The characters in this memoir are Ruskin Bond’s relatives, his friends, love interest and the common masses residing in Dehra. From penning the memories of his father & granny to describing the scenic beauty of Dehra, Ruskin Bond has breathed life in the sleepy town called Dehra. What is so special about this book? The pages of this memoir are filled with the rare yester year photos of Ruskin Bond’s family (granny, siblings, friends and his mother). Sadly, there is no photograph of Ruskin Bond’s father in this memoir. In every book of Ruskin, his father has been mentioned in one or other short story. Even in this book, Ruskin reminiscences his long lost father in the first chapter.

As you gaze at these photos, you will feel a personal connect to them. The pre-independent Dehra was different from the present times. Filled with flower gardens, litchi trees, ponds, valleys, Dehra was a town of the ordinary people. Very few books mention about the struggles of common people and Ruskin Bond’s books highlights the pathos of these ordinary masses. His popular short story ‘Garlands on his brow’ depicts the pain of a forgotten wrestler called Hassan. A popular wrestler Hassan succumbs to the charm of a flirtatious Maharani and what follows later is his fading charisma as a wrestler in the arena. Hassan is forgotten, ignored by his admirers and this ignorance claims the life of this unsung wrestler of Dehra. Ruskin Bond has even penned his fondness for cinema halls of Dehra in this memoir. He recounts his best days of watching movies in Odeon theatre at Dehra. Through this memoir, Ruskin Bond takes you on a trip to Dehra where you will see Dilaram Bazaar, the famous market place where Rusty and his friends relished on road side snacks. If you have read ‘The room on the roof’ and ‘Rusty Runs away’, you will be familiar with Somi and Daljit. In this memoir, Ruskin Bond has personally shared the actual photos of his friends. What captivated me to read this book was the short story ‘The last Tonga ride’ which recounts Ruskin’s fondness for Tonga rides and his friendly bonding with the Tonga driver Bansi lal.

A single reading session is not enough to savor on the nostalgic treat offered by Ruskin Bond in this memoir. This memoir is especially been written for those people who have fondness for past. If you are away from your hometown, you are sure to break in tears of joy and sadness when you read the chapters. When I was reading the chapters in this memoir, it reminded me of own hometown, my uncle’s little room, cousin brothers who pampered me with their unconditional affection. Sadly the hometown is more of a ghost town as all my relatives have departed. What remained in my mind are the sweet memories that keep playing like a re-run of a TV serial.

No matter how far and high a bird may fly, it has to return to its nest. Same is about us. We can never forget our roots, upbringing, heritage and our home. ‘A town called Dehra’ is a classic memoir that one will keep relishing with years to come.

Visiting cinema halls – The best days of my life

‘The past is always with us, for it feeds the present’ – Ruskin Bond

For me, exiting from the cinema hall is the most emotional moment of my life. As the end credits roll, movie audiences are back to their life’s troubles. In his memoir ‘A town called Dehra’ Ruskin Bond had expressed his love for cinemas in his hometown Dehra. His visits to the yester year cinema hall – Odeon in Dehra were the best times of his youthful days. By coincidence, there was also a talkies called Odeon in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. My childhood was blessed with watching some memorable movies in movie theatres. Mard, Mr.India, Dance Dance, Andha Kanoon were some of the blockbusters I enjoyed with my family. School boys used to bunk their classes to watch the 90’s blockbusters like Baazigar, Darr, Raju Ban Gaya gentleman etc. Since I had a video player, I relished on movies from the comforts of my home. Like my classmates, I couldn’t never muster up the courage to bunk the classes and watch movies. In later years, I did catch up on some blockbusters at Malhar Cinema in Thane. I recollect watching Salman’s movie – Biwi No 1 at Malhar by purchasing tickets in black for 100 bucks. Such was my madness for movies. Though I stopped visiting Malhar cinema, I did enjoy some of the best and worst movies. Anand Cinema in Thane East is one destination which has a nostalgic feel to it. The Kopri area in Thane East is a sleepy town which is blessed with only one single screen theatre – Anand cinema. I enjoyed a forgettable romantic flick – Sirf Tum and Salman’s comedy movie – God Tussi great ho at Anand. Cinema halls have that ambience to make you fall in love with movies. Satellite channels and Movie apps can never give you the enjoyment that you relish in movie theatres.

Due to arrival of Multiplexes, several single cinema halls faced loss in their businesses and got closed down. I watched only one movie – The legend of Bhagat Singh in Aradhna cinema hall, Thane. Sadly, the cinema hall had to shut down in 2002. Among all the multiplexes, PVR cinemas are my favorite destination to catch up on movies. I remember watching ‘Jaane tu ya Jaane na’ for the first time at PVR cinemas, Mulund. I had specially taken a leave from office to watch this youthful flick. The big, wide screen, recliner seats, exclusive trailers make PVR cinemas a desirable destination. I lost the count of movies I enjoyed at PVR. Big Cinemas is one more favorite theatre which I occasionally visit. Bachna Ae Haseeno was one movie I immensely enjoyed at Big Cinemas. It had the typical Yashraj stuff – Foreign locations, romantic tracks, foot tapping music and beautiful chicks. I fell head over heels in love with Minissha lamba, one of the lead actresses in the movie. She played a typical Punbabi girl next door whom Ranbir Kapoor woos and dumps her. I still regret missing Rab Ne Bana di Jodi at cinema halls. I fell in love with Anushka Sharma in Rab Ne Bana di Jodi. Wish I could become like Raj and woo her. The movies are larger than life as their characters.

Off lately, I watched Anushka Sharma’s movie – Phillauri at PVR cinemas. Every movie brings lots of memories with it. Whether it is watching Dostana at Malhar cinemas or Quantum of Solace at PVR, each movie is stuffed with timeless entertainment. If you watch a good movie, watch it only at a cinema hall. Nothing beats the excitement of a silver screen better than a movie theatre. I consider that days of watching movies at cinema halls as the best days of my life.

Let me know about your favorite cinema hall and the movies you enjoyed in a single screen or multiplex theatre.

Guns and heroes – My list of best Hollywood action movies

There is an old saying that action speaks louder than words. A clenched fist with a punch is enough to bring a ruffian to his senses. Action has created a new genre in movies and its own group of audience who whistle when the hero knocks down a bunch of goons in one blow. Though Hollywood action movies are larger than life, they definitely have inspired lots of young masses to imitate their onscreen idols. This article is a compilation of the best action movies I thoroughly enjoyed.

1) Rambo – Rambo: First Blood gave birth to a new action icon – John Rambo, a Vietnam soldier wronged by his own people. Sylvester Stallone became a rage, an icon after the success of Rambo 1, 2 and 3. The action sequences in Rambo 2 were aesthetically choreographed, giving a rawness and realism to violence. I am a die-hard fan of Rambo Series and the way he welded his bow to shoot fire arrows on his enemies sends goosebumps to every action lover. After several years, Rambo is still a cult movie in action genre

2) Commando – The posters of Commando movie were a rage in 80’s and late 90’s. Arnold became a cult hero with movies like Commando, Terminator: Judgement day, Total Recall and Red Sonja. Commando is my favorite pick in this action list for the amazing action sequences choreographed in the movie. How Arnold goes to the end of the world to rescue his daughter from the terrorists and single handedly brings down the whole army of baddies is best to seen on the silver screen. I clapped and whistled at the action scenes, bringing out the best of Arnold’s moments on screen.
Seeing is believing. Rent a DVD to enjoy this cult action movie that will bring out the Commando in you.

3) Die hard – NYPD Cop John Mc Clane (Bruce Willis) is the wrong man at the wrong time in Die Hard movie. This flick brought out the action hero in Bruce Willis. John Mc Clane unknowingly bumps into Nakatomi plaza on a Christmas night. By coincidence the plaza is taken on hostage by a terrorist group. How John Mc Clane saves the day is best to be seen on silver screen. I loved the fourth part of Die-hard which had Bruce Willis fighting with Internet terrorists. This is one of my favorite action movies in this list.

4) Matrix – Matrix changed the definition of action genre. A Sci-fi movie loaded with never seen before slow motion action sequences. Directed by Wachowski brothers, Matrix set new trends in storytelling, action choreography and visual effects. The slow motion bullets, martial art fights, high octane chases made Matrix a memorable action flick. What stayed in my memory was the role of Agent Smith played by Hugo Weaving and the underrated actor Keanu Reeves in his memorable role of Neo.

5) Face/Off – I was completely blown away with the action sequences in John Woo’s flick – Face/off starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. I regard this action flick as one of my favorites because it had everything you desired in action movie.
A cop undergoes facial surgery and adopts the identity of a menacing terrorist. With the face of the terrorist, he undergoes undercover to uncover a deadly terror plot. What he doesn’t realize that the criminal has undergone facial surgery and taken his identity. John Travolta and Nicholas Cage are pitted against each other in this high octane action thriller. Filled with high octane chases and swift action sequences, Face/off is worth the ticket.

6) 300 – This is Sparta!!! Immortalized in Hollywood as one of the epic lines, 300 is legend of the fallen Spartan heroes and their King Leonidas. What separates this epic action movie from other action flicks is its sleek action choreography. Slow motion sword fights, clanking of shields, chopping of heads and blood splatter bring more realism to the action scenes. Gerard Butler shot to fame in Hollywood with the dream role of King Leonidas. With 300, director Zack Snyder created a new milestone in movie making and action genre.

7) Enter the dragon – Bruce Lee made his debut in Hollywood with Enter the Dragon that made him a legend overnight. His martial arts stunts, swiftness, adroitness fetched lots of audiences not only in foreign nations, but also in India. Bruce Lee became a cult star and his legacy was carry forwarded by Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chow-Un-Fat and Tony Jaa. The most memorable scene in Enter the dragon is the climax where he single handedly knocks down several martial art henchmen.

8) Robocop – Robocop gave birth to a new breed of hero – Half human, half Robot. The 1987 sci-fi action flick became a sensation in action genre. A cop returns from dead after he is killed to death by a street gang. The mortally dead cop is resurrected as a Robot cop to take down the crime in Detroit city. How Robocop wipes the crime and settles his personal score with his enemies is best to be seen. The role of Robocop/Cop Alex Murphy is played by actor Peter Weller.

Action is worth a thousand words. Movies of action genre are very vast in Hollywood. This is my first compilation of my favorite action movies. I will definitely be coming up with a new post on my next list action movies in coming times. Hope you will definitely like this action packed article.

Ben-Hur – A classic novel by Lew Wallace

Long before Amarendra Bahubali and Bhallaldeva fought for kingdom of Mahishmati in Bahubali movie, there were two friends in Rome – Judah Ben-Hur and Messala who clashed due to the difference in ideals. One favored Rome while other was proud to be a Jew. For Messala, Romans were powerful and Jews inferior. Apart from these two protagonists, there is a third protagonist – Jesus of Nazareth in this classic novel. Set during the times of Jesus Christ, this story begins with meeting of Messala and Judah. During the friendly meeting, Judah discovers that Messala has become egoistic and considers Jews a weak race. Both the friends part away. A tragic fate lands Judah Ben Hur in imprisonment, accused of killing a Roman official. Messala not only imprisons Judah, but also seizes his property, home and belongings. Judah’s mother and sister are sent behind bars on order of Messala.

Poster of the 2016 movie – Ben-Hur

Judah Ben Hur is subjected to inhuman torture in galleys, rowing a gigantic slave ship. But good fortunes are on side of Judah. A pirate attack on the Roman ship gives an opportunity for Judah to escape from the Roman ship and seek refuge. With the help of his new allies – Simonides, Balthasar and Sheikh Ilderim, Judah competes against Messala in a chariot race. He not only defeats Messala but also leaves him penniless. After seeking his vengeance, Judah goes in search of his mother and sister. Here he meets the son of God – Jesus Christ and begins on a new mission to spread the greatness of son of God. Jesus heals the leprosy of Judah’s mother and sister and finally Judah finally reunites with his long lost family.

Here the story doesn’t end. Jesus is crucified and Ben-Hur is helpless to save his son of God from getting crucified. Ben Hur offers water to the bleeding Jesus and here he remembers it was the same saintly figure who had offered water to Judah when he was being taken to galleys. Judah Ben-Hur realizes that forgiveness is the biggest redemption of all as his lord didn’t even protest against the sufferings inflicted on him. Judah Ben Hur becomes the biggest messenger of Christ and lives his later life in helping the needy.

Lew Wallace’s novel ‘Ben Hur’ is set during biblical era and it is an enlightening experience reading about Jesus in this fictional epic book. Ben-Hur was adapted into motion pictures and TV movies countless times. It is the 1959 adaptation that swept the Oscar. Ben-Hur has everything that you desire in an epic movie – Betrayal, Redemption, love, roman battles and breathtaking chariot races. Once you have completed reading Ben-Hur, you will definitely curious to read Bible stories and the legend of Jesus Christ. I had read Ben-Hur in 2013 and found it an interesting epic. In the second time, I understood the spiritual philosophy and found the reading very enlightening. Along with Ben-Hur, I too realized that forgiveness is biggest redemption. Once you have completed reading Ben-Hur, you will also enjoy reading King Arthur and knights of round table, Ivanhoe, Three Musketeers and Man in the iron mask.

Looking for the rainbow: My years with Daddy – A nostalgic memoir by Ruskin Bond

Novel Title – Looking for the rainbow: My years with Daddy
Author – Ruskin Bond
Year of Publication – May 2017
Genre – Fiction
Publishers – Penguin

A perfect book to read on father’s day eve, Looking for the rainbow is an emotional memoir penned by Ruskin Bond in memory of his late father –Aubrey Bond. Often we take our parents for granted, especially our father. We always see the stern and strict side of our father but never care to see the tender emotions hidden behind a stern heart. Filled with nostalgic episodes, this memoir recounts the lovable moments Ruskin Bond spent with his father in Delhi and the later year he spent in Shimla boarding school. Little Ruskin was always deprived of affection since his childhood especially when his parents split up due to differences in their nature. Since his mother got married to a new person, Ruskin’s upbringing was the responsibility of his dad Aubrey Alexander who served in RAF (Royal Air Force).

The story is set during world war and the novel begins with little Ruskin arriving to Delhi after spending a troublesome year in a hostel. Here Ruskin not only bonds with his father closely, but also learns to live life independently. The years in Delhi spent with his father are beautifully described by Ruskin Bond in this memoir. They bond over stamp collection, movies, books, travelling and food. Unfortunately the joyful days are short lived and Ruskin’s father gets sick due to Malaria. Since the world war is in full swing, Aubrey Bond decides to send Ruskin to a good boarding school in Shimla. Ruskin spends a good year in this boarding and blends well with the ambience of the school. Aubrey visits Shimla to spend a day with little Ruskin and they both plan to shift England once the war is over.

Sadly one day, Ruskin receives shattering news that his father has expired. The news is too painful to bear for this little child who is left no one to care about him. This part in the novel is very heart breaking for both the writer as well as reader. When you read that last emotional chapter you will feel how Ruskin Bond had gone through that phase when he lost his father. Ruskin had no one in this world except his father. The most tragic part in this book is the chapter where all his father’s belongings – stamps, letters are misplaced by boarding’s principal and Ruskin is left with only one letter of his dear father. The book ends with Ruskin moving back to stay back with his mother and stepdad.

The beautiful illustrations compliment the nostalgia

I would like to especially accolade illustrator Mihir Joglekar to bring out the memories alive by creating eye catching black and white illustrations which compliments the nostalgic mood. The nostalgic episodes in this book will remind you of Rusty series. The stories written on Rusty are the reflections of Ruskin Bond’s childhood moments. What a great father Aubrey Bond was!!

After reading this memoir, your eyes are sure to soak in tears for the great sacrifices that your parents made to bring you up. This memoir by Ruskin Bond is really a priceless gem that you will treasure forever.

Yeh Dil Maange More – The victory signal of Captain Vikram Batra

‘Every army begins with one man’ – lines from movie ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’

A glimpse at the courageous feats of Captain Vikram Batra

In late 80’s and 90’s, G.I.J.O.E action figures were craze in the toy stores. Based on the cartoon TV show on Doordarshan, it captured the imagination of little kids like me. I used to play with the action figures and create my own war stories which were quite closer to war movies like ‘Saving Private Ryan’. From that moment I always aspired to become a soldier someday. Somewhere in Palampur, a kid had already decided to dedicate his life to armed forces. This kid was the great Kargil braveheart Captain Vikram Batra who took a bullet on his heart while defending Kargil from invaders.

‘Hamare desh mein army man ko Superman kehte hain’

The TV serial – Paramvir Chakra on Doordarshan was an inspiration for the little Vikram. Instead of opting for merchant Navy, he decided to join armed forces. Despite suffering from high fever, Captain Vikram Batra scaled high peaks even in disastrous weather conditions, motivating his soldiers at every instance.
The intrusion of Pakistani army in Kargil sector was an alarming moment for Indian army. All the official leaves of army officers were cancelled. The year 1999 was a difficult time for every mother who had her son posted on Kargil. Kargil war was the first national event that got media coverage and was reported on news channels by several reporters including Barkha Dutt. Brave officers like Vijayant Thapar and Padmapani Acharya were killed in the horrific war. Reporter Barkha Dutt had personally interviewed Captain Vikram Batra and his patriotism had already won the hearts of several Indians. After capturing Point 5140, Vikram Batra became an inspiring icon for youngsters. His victory cry ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ became a rage among masses. Vikram had plans to marry his fiancée Dimple once the war was over. Unfortunately the point 4875 claimed the life of Captain Vikram Batra before he could fulfill his dreams. While capturing this point, Vikram was shot down by an enemy’s sniper. Though Vikram died defending Kargil, he saved the life of one of his fellow soldier – Captain Naveen Nagappa. In an interview retired captain Naveen Nagappa recounted the war events and how bravely Vikram rescued his life by dragging Naveen out of the bunker. Ironically Captain Vikram Batra collapsed to the enemy’s bullet within an hour after saving Naveen.
Fondly called as ‘Shershah’ Vikram’s bravery had sent shivers of fears among the enemies.

Amar Chitra Katha published Param Vir Chakra comics based on Indian soldiers

‘Either I will come after hoisting the tricolor flag in Kargil or return wrapped in tricolor flag but I will return for sure – words spoken by Captain Vikram Batra

It will be 18 years this 2017 when the brave boys went to war in Kargil in 1999. Some returned alive while some returned wrapped in tricolor. They did return for sure, giving a befitting reply to the enemies and winning the Kargil war.

It is such a sad irony that biopics have been made on Sachin Tendulkar, M.S.Dhoni but no one has cared to make a biopic in memory of Captain Batra. J.P. Dutta’s 2003 war movie – LOC: Kargil is the only movie that immortalized the courageous story of Vikram Batra. The role of Captain Vikram Batra was brilliantly portrayed by actor Abhishek Bachchan.

Now Palampur is not just the hometown of Vikram Batra, it has become a historical destination where brave heroes like Major Somnath Sharma and Captain Vikram Batra were born.

Today the mountains at Kargil still echo with the victory cry of Captain Vikram Batra – ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’.

Rusty Runs Away – A nostalgic novella by Ruskin Bond

Nestled in the vicinity of Dehra’s snow mountains is the residence of Rusty, a melancholic dreamer who aspires to live life on his own terms. Through Rusty, Author Ruskin Bond has recounted his own boyhood days in Dehra, Shimla and Mussoorie. ‘Rusty Runs away’ is story of every kid who is deprived of parental love and craves for a heartfelt tenderness. The incidents happening in the memoir – Rusty Runs Away will tug your heart and compel to go back to your boyhood days. Have you every bunked school to visit the cities, relish on street side food and watch cinema? This is one childhood fantasy every kid has craved to and fulfilled by playing rookie. I have done it countless times and got a good thrashing from my parents.

There is a ‘Rusty’ hidden in every person who wants to break free from his daily chores and hectic responsibilities. Today we are so entrapped in web of fake desires, expectations that we have stopped living the real life we aspired for. We are no less than a money earning robot. The nostalgic episodes in this book will encourage you to pursue your dreams even in the toughest times. The most interesting episode in the novel is the escape of Rusty and his friend Daljit from their boarding school – Arundel. This escape adventure takes them on interesting locations till they finally reach the sea port only to face delay. Read this to personally experience the journey that is a roller coaster ride of happiness, joy, exploration and imagination.

The other story in this memoir is the friendship between Rusty and Omar which blossoms in Shimla. Set during the backdrop of pre-independence Rusty and Omar strike a bond and enjoy the best moments of friendship – playing hockey, discovering tunnels and sharing their emotions. Like Rusty, even Omar is an orphan. The heart breaking partition tears apart their partnership and Omar has to leave India. After 18 years, Rusty receives the news that Omar has died in air crash during the Indo-Pak War of 1972. This is one of my favorite chapters in this novel. If you have disconnected from your long lost colleague then you will definitely relate to this story of Rusty and Omar.

The most nostalgic episode in this novel is the friendship of Rusty with Somi, Ranbir and Suri who help him to break free from the cage of melancholia and enjoy the life to the fullest. Rusty not only enjoys food on road side stalls, but also discovers the color of happiness by celebrating Holi with his friends. This friendship gives Rusty the courage to rebel against his tyrant guardian. Rusty not only rebels, but also thrashes his guardian black and blue, putting an end to the strict tyranny imposed on him.

‘Rusty Runs Away’ is celebration of friendship, togetherness, love, freedom and nostalgia. This memoir is one of the best works of Ruskin Bond which will touch your heart’s string. The scenic descriptions, travelogues will inspire you to take a trip to your favorite destination. As a social human being, we are so concerned about people that we suppress the ‘real person’ in us. We care about other’s opinions but never heed to the inner voice of our conscious. I hope that after reading this book – Rusty Runs Away, you will definitely look out for your inner self.

Bonding with Ruskin

Today when I gaze at the blue sky, I notice emptiness in it. There are no longer any kites soaring high to touch the clouds. Even the pond is deprived of paper boats that once floated in the monsoon water. Sky scrapers, competitive jobs, high speed cars, industrial complexes and electronic accessories have taken a toll on life. In the midst of these uncertainties, author Ruskin Bond’s books still give a hope that life hasn’t lost its charm. The dark clouds of sorrow can never overshadow a hopeful sun in the sky. I withdrew myself from the 9 to 7 job that offered nothing but resentment, disappointment and disheartening events. I had totally lost my hope in this heartless city until a book came as a blessing in my life. It was an anthology of nostalgic stories and travelogues, giving me a glimpse of mountain life.

‘Night train at deoli and other stories’ by Ruskin Bond opened the window of happiness in my life which was locked due to my pessimistic attitude. I have realized that I always suppressed my inner self (my conscience) and gave more importance to friends, colleagues and mean people. The childhood innocence within me was lost somewhere and I was left alone in the crowd. Ruskin Bond’s books helped me to reconnect with my inner self. Life has never been the same after soaking in nostalgia offered by this short collection of Ruskin Bond.

‘Room on the roof’ was the first published book by Ruskin Bond

‘When the war is over, a butterfly will still be beautiful’ – excerpt from Ruskin Bond memoir ‘Rusty Runs away’

Through his novellas, short story collections, travelogues, Ruskin Bond gives you a glimpse of his memoirs in Landour, Shimla, Dehra, Mussoorie and Shamli. Be it a spooky anthology, love stories or nostalgic episodes, Ruskin Bond brings you closer to Mother Nature. Happiness is not drinking a creamy coffee in Café Coffee day, but relishing on a small tea stall in a hill station. The social networks have disconnected us from our real friends who helped us in thick and thin times.

Through his memoirs – Rusty series (Rusty is alter ego of Ruskin Bond), Bond takes readers a trip down the memory lane where he recounts the days he spent with his friends, grandparents, uncle and his late father. Though the stories may sound simple, but there is a strong philosophy hidden in every story. Wish I had a time machine so that I could bring back the moments which are now preserved in form of memories. I want to start life on a new note where I can live the life to the fullest, enjoying a million years in a 24 hours day.

When you read Ruskin Bond Books, you get a feel that time has slowed down and you have lived 25 hours in a day, relishing every moment of the story that is connected to you. Such is the power of Ruskin Bond’s writings.

After Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, Ruskin Bond is one such author whose writings has a strong sense of nostalgia. It’s time for me to catch a train to mountains and connect with serenity. If you value your happy old times, do read books by Ruskin Bond. They are really worth your time.

Back to Titanic

‘You have gift Jack. You see people’ – Rose
‘I see you’ – Jack

A forbidden romance blossoms on an ill-fated ship R.M.S Titanic and the iceberg collision leaves scars of pain, separation and tears in the minds of survivors including Rose. James Cameron’s ambitious dream – Titanic swept the Oscars, making it a nostalgic experience for the movie viewers worldwide. Conceptualizing Titanic’s collision as a backdrop, James Cameron drafted a story of ill-fated lovers – Rose and Jack who cross the path on board R.M.S Titanic. Some reviewers criticized that the romance overshadowed the disaster which claimed the lives of several passengers onboard. For me, the love story onboard Titanic connected with the movie lovers. If it didn’t had romance, Titanic would be no less than a boring documentary.

Even after 19 years of its release, Titanic holds a special place in my heart. What attracted me towards the movie was the lead character – Rose Dewitt Bukater. The older part of Rose was played by Gloria Stuart while the young part was portrayed by Kate Winslet. The 100 year old Rose recounts her memories of the Titanic disaster and the movie rewinds to 1912 when Titanic was ready to make her first maiden journey, unfortunately the last. By a stroke of luck, a poor painter Jack Dawson wins the ticket to board Titanic and the lives of Rose and Jack are destined to meet together.

Though I missed seeing Titanic on big screen, I saw it on Star Movies Channel on 31st Dec 1999. Somewhere I have a nostalgic feeling that I may have boarded the ship ‘Titanic’ in my previous lifetime. Did Rose ever board the ill-fated ship? Was Jack a fictional character in movie? Or was he a real passenger? I had recorded all these thoughts in my 2007 diary. The article on Titanic was my first blog post which I had written before starting my wordpress blog.

People remember the movie for the sensual painting scene. For me, it was more nostalgic because it is the same painted picture of the young Rose which surfaces lots of hidden stories submerged in the ocean of memories. Did Jack survive? It is through memories of Rose that we see Jack the penniless painter who teaches Rose to break free from her chains of aristocracy. In return, Rose unleashes her emotions by posing as a model for Jack’s painting.

The collision spells a doom for these star crossed lovers. What left me in tears was the scene when Jack encourages Rose to start a new life even when he is freezing to death. I hardly see such passion in today’s lovers. Had Jack survived, the story would have been different. There is an old saying that love lives forever in memories and Jack lives forever in memories of Rose.

What live you in memories are the scenes when the violin players keep on playing the instruments even in hour of death. There is another scene of old couple holding each other emotionally on bed in hours of separation.

In the climax, Rose drops the heart shaped diamond locket in the sea and returns back to rest in her bed. The scene then moves in dream where Rose again sees Jack waiting for her on Titanic. They melt in each other’s arms with a kiss. Whether Rose dies or memorizes her feelings is left to the imagination of the viewer.

Sometimes we don’t just watch the movie, we live it. My ears always crave to catch the flute’s sound played in the background. I have revived the memories of Titanic through my words. Someday I hope that in my next lifetime I will definitely meet Rose on a ship. Even if the ship sinks, I won’t let my Rose die.