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March 22, 2013

Attacks of 26/11 - Movie Review

Attacks of 26/11

Cast & Crew
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Producer: Ram Gopal Varma , Parag Sanghavi
Music Director: Rooshin Dalal , Amar Mohile , Vishal R Khosla , Sushil R Khosla
Lyricst: Irshad Kamil , Jaspreet Jasz , Liaqat Jafri
Cast : Nana Patekar, Sanjeev Jaiswal, Ashish Bhatt, Atul Kulkarni

The film has the plot based on the attacks in Mumbai from 26th November 2008 to 29th November 2008 that terrorize our country India killing 164 people and wounding nearly 300. We all know the facts and the figures of those incidents from newspapers and media.

The film shows the narration of the incidents that took place on that night by the Joint Commissioner of Police before an investigating Committee. Then it shows a series of flashbacks that picturizes the events which started from the shooting in Leopold Café of that night.

The ten young men from Karachi, Pakistan travelled by sea, hijacked the Indian fishing trawler  'Kuber', killed the crew of four, then forced the captain to sail to Mumbai. After murdering the captain, the attackers entered Mumbai through Colaba by inflatable speedboat. The murder of the captain is shown in a gory way that remains with us for some more minutes. The local fishermen’s suspicious looks are also recorded.

The film then moves with the two gun men to the Leopold Café, where the first shoot out took place that killed 10 people. 

Then they visualized the Taj Hotel attack where 32 people got killed by another two gun men. A left out child in the shootout in the Taj Lobby makes a shrill cry and the killing of the child which is not shown visually, but by cutting the child’s cry passes chillness through our bones.

Next one at Chatrapati Shivaji terminal is picturized. The shooting spree of the two terrorists shown for a long time in the film. The gunmen’s  rapid and vengeful act of shooting gives a nauseating sense within us.   

In the next shoot out in Cama Hospital took the lives of four police officers where one officer alive informed about the whereabouts of the gunmen. At the end of the chase kasab got held. The movie travels thru the investigation and ends with kasab’s hanging.

Credit goes to the Director Ram Gopal Varma who lined these events in a watchable way. We leave with a heavy heart after watching the movie and the grave punishment given to the lone survivor among the gunmen is justifiable.              

When a real time story is filmed, it’s in the Director’s touch that makes us watch without exhaustion. Ram Gopal Verma succeeded in that sense. Although the film didn’t cover up the whole three days siege, but woven in a way that we cant see the missing period. It mainly follows Kasab’s trail that he being the lone survivor of the shootout.

Narrated and acted by Nana Patekar as the Joint Commissioner Of Police, who was incharge of the investigation. When his voice narrates the incident we are impressed by the sensitiveness and it captivates. 

It’s a welcoming treat, when he breaks his silent investigation with kasab and unleash the reality of the verses he once dictated and bruised him over the bodies of his fellow countrymen. Classic and not over-acted. He performed on his best and shows his anger in a voluble way that we also went through his way of investigation.   

And the man who played the terrorist Ajmal Kasab is Sanjeev Jaiswal and this is his debut. He brought down the shades of terrorism well in his face and he played the fiddle good that we pitied him when he sobs over his fellowmen's corpses.     

This film shows the vulnerability our country faces in terms of security. But it also gives the glimpse of bravery by the not-so-trained policemen when they faced the terrorism in face. It points out that equipping and training of the security forces is the need of the hour.  

This movie re-remembers the attacks and the people who lost their lives, the injured and the people who fought brave to death. It simply narrates and kindles our patriotism a little, but paints a shocking picture of the terrorism.

Worth seeing...

March 4, 2013

A Visit to Vivekananda House, Chennai

150th Birth Year Celebration 

The great Hindu Monk Swamy Vivekananda who introduces our Hindu ideologies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. His speech at Parliament of World's Religions at the Art Institute of Chicago on 11th September 1893. On that stage he introduced our nation India and its great heritage to the world with his inspirational speech. 

This year they celebrate his 150th Birthyear celebration as a year long process. In Chennai Vivekanandar Illam started the celebrations from 27th of February. The house is situated on the Beach Road (now Kamarajar Salai) in Ice House. 

Vivekanandar Illam (Tamilவிவேகானந்தர் இல்லம்) (or Vivekananda House, also called Ice House (Tamilஐஸ் ஹவுஸ்), Castle Kernan, etc.) is a structure at Chennai,India, used by the British to store ice brought from Great Lakes in North America for about 30 years.Ice King Frederic Tudor built an ice house at Madras facing the Bay of Bengal in 1842 as part of his ice business. Around 1880, the business collapsed and the building was sold to Biligiri Iyengar of Madras. Biligiri Iyengar was a famous advocate in the Madras High Court and was fairly well-to-do in those times. He remodelled the house, renamed it Castle Kernan after his friend, Justice Kernan in the Madras High Court and used it as a residence.When Swami Vivekananda visited Madras in 1897 after his return from the West, Iyengar, being a disciple of Swami Vivekananda, made him stay at the Ice House. Vivekananda stayed at the Ice House between 6 February 1897 to 14 February 1897. During his nine day stay, he shook India’s national consciousness through his fiery lectures at Chennai. When Vivekananda was about to depart, he agreed to his disciples' request to set up a permanent centre at the Ice House.Later, Ramakrishna Math (Monastery) Chennai was founded by Swami Ramakrishnananda, a brother disciple of Swami Vivekananda. The mission activities continued till 1906. The Math functioned from here during its first 10 years (1897–1906) until it got moved to the current location at Mylapore, Chennai and the property came up for mortgage and was purchased by a zamindar.In 1914, Ice House was acquired by the Government of Madras as part of their social welfare scheme to function as the hostel and training school for the child widow's home run by Sister R. S. Subbalakshmi, a social reformer and educationist.In 1963, during the Birth Centenary of Swami Vivekananda, the Government of Tamil Nadu renamed the Castle Kernan as Vivekanandar Illam (Illam means house in Tamil) or 'Vivekananda House'. In 1997, on the eve of the Centenary of Swamiji’s return to India (and his stay at House), the Government of Tamil Nadu at the request of the Ramakrishna Math, leased out the Vivekananda House and it’s valid up to 2020........  (Courtesy: Wikipedia)


Its circular structure with three-storeys exemplify the cultural heritage of the contemporary time and the time it was built. It has circular core, semicircular corridors, hemispherical dome and the square plan. 

In this house Swamy Vivekananda stayed for a brief period of nine days in 1897. While climbing the stairs to his room where he stayed, we feel a sense of proud that we are also climbing the same stairs as he climbed long ago. 

A placard shows that Swamiji while descending through these stairs took the decision of assigning Swamy Ramakrishnandha as the one to take charge of spreading Hindu philosophies such as Vedanta and Yoga in the then Madras. After that Ramakrishna came down from Calcutta and started the Ramakrishna Math here and its continuing its services to the society.   

Meditation Room
His room in upstairs is now a meditation room. We have to leave our footwear outside the room. There is one small pedestal that houses his statue and decorated with rose and red Hibiscus flowers. Really we get a feeling of mediating without shutting down our eyes and mind. Close both we sense our inner strength. 
This house exhibits Swamy Vivekananda's photographs and paintings of his childhood days in Bengal, his association with his guru Ramakrishna which turns him to lead his life as a monk and his Parivrajaka life - means spiritual wanderer.

The next corridor houses the photographs of the Chicago conference that he participated and his European tours. Some photos are autographed by him. These photographs have an overwhelming impression of him in our minds that how his voyage set our country and the Hinduism in happy sails at that time.  

There is a 3D Holographic lecture and a 3D movie which screens his Chicago speech in 3D animation. There is also one sales counter of his books, photos and posters...    

Photographing is prohibited 

Entrance Timings :
Morning 10 am to 12.15 pm
Evening 3 pm to 7.15 pm 

Ticket Rate :
Adult Rs 10 
Children Rs 5 

There is a Guest Book also. Always cultivate a habit of writing some feedback expressing your feelings that will further used for promotion of good things among our youngsters.   

Ramakrishna Math 
Ph :  044 24621110

 Main Building

 Parivrajaka Posture 
of Vivekananda...

Book Stall

Marina Beach from Illam...