Satyamev Jayate ! Really ?

I am posting this blog on the occasion of the Children’s Day. The children who are innocent, clean-heart, trusting and like raw-clay which can be given any shape through correct / incorrect treatment. The fortunate children who get proper care, nurture and guidance; develop into the desirable citizens of a nation and ideal members of a society. And those unfortunate ones who do not, either end up as the perennial sufferers or the law-breakers distrusting and hating the society and its laws.

Our national symbol contains the slogan ‘Satyamev Jayate’ engraved below the Ashok Chakra. This phrase – ‘Satyamev Jayate’ has been taken from a Shloka (Sanskrit couplet) of the Mundak Upanishad whose complete version is – ‘Satyamev Jayate Nanrutam’ and the break-up of this composite phase is – Satyam+Ev+Jayate+Na+Anrutam, namely, let truth always win and not untruth. Well, I disagree only to one piece of this phrase which is Ev or always. Truth wins but not always. The bitter and extremely painful reality of the things prevailing (at least in India as I do not know about the world outside India) is that truth wins on a minority of the total occasions and loses out to untruth on a majority of them.downloadI am citing another phrase from the sacred book from our ancient times – Chauranaam Anrutam Balam, namely, the strength of the thieves is untruth. Very correct. And that’s why thieves are ruling the roost in India riding on the strength of their untruth. They lie freely and go scot-free for each and every wrongdoing of theirs. The various fights are not won by truth and justice but they are won by whosoever is mightier at the decisive moment. Truth wins sometimes when the odds are in its favour but on most of the occasions, it is bound to lose because the odds remain in favour of untruth. Justice is costly in India. Very costly indeed ! And hence the resourceful only can purchase it, not the underdog. It is not given, it is sold. Yes, it is sold !The children whom this day of 14th November is dedicated to (being the birthday of the first Indian premier, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru who loved children very much and was fondly called ‘Chacha Nehru’ by them) learn whatever is taught to them. I also learned in my studenthood whatever was taught to me by the books, the teachers, the elders etc. I learned to stand by and fight for truth and justice. However right from the very early years of myself, I started realizing that those who used to teach (and preach) to be on the side of truth and justice themselves used to do the contrary. Incidents happened when despite being truthful, I was termed as liar. Still I kept my faith in the power of truth and firmly believed that sooner or later, justice only prevails.

Years passed. I grew from a young kid to a somewhat elder one, then to an adolescent, then to a youth, then to a mature person. The child in me kept on getting hit by the dark and stark truths and realities of life. Trusting and then getting betrayed by all and sundry became a habit for me. Since the innocent child in me survived for decades (it is still alive), I kept on suffering and suffering like anything. This chain continues till date.

Due to these consecutive negative experiences, I lost only my belief in the power of truth, justice and moral values but not my sensitivity. I am empathetic and sensitive to others and especially to the children. Time and again, I feel that there must be millions of children like me in the country who might have learned to believe in truth, justice and moral values. What would have happened to their tender hearts upon facing the painful realities prevailing in the world and surrounding them ? How painfully each and every negative experience might have created a throbbing wound in the tender heart of such an innocent one !

My painfully negative experiences of life have strengthened my motto – ‘Never break a heart’. I never break anybody’s heart especially when it is of a child. Breaking a child’s trust is perhaps the biggest sin to me. I appeal to all the elders to at least stay away from telling lies to their children and breaking their trust in them. If you can’t fulfill a promise being made to a child, better not make that promise itself. Tell the child that it’s not possible. The day a child finds a promise turning out to be a false one, he / she loses trust in the words of the elders. If you want your child to be truthful and honest, first you be truthful and honest towards him / her. Satyamev Jayate is the biggest untruth of today’s India but let the truth coming out of your mouth for your child win ultimately.

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Child’s sentiments

Today is Baal Divas or the Children’s Day, the birthday of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru who loved children very much. A lot is written every year on this day and otherwise too regarding the issues of child-labour, child-abuse and children’s problems which are never resolved despite celebration of this day year-by-year. However today, I am saying something else based upon my own experiences as a child.A child has sentiments or feelings the same way as an adult has. However the problem of a child is that very less people understand them or even sincerely try to understand them. And when he / she is hurt, the greater pain than that of due to that hurting is that his / her pain is not understood by them whom he / she considers as his / her own.

A child’s heart is much more delicate and sensitive than that of an adult and childhood is the stage when the personality of an individual takes shape. The child is just like the loose clay which is shaped by his life-experiences and his fostering. Once shaped properly, it is bound to be more or less the same throughout the life. If the shape is defective, the child becomes a life-time sufferer. It’s a fact which is to be understood by the people surrounding him.

A child is always trusting. He / she believes whatever is said to him / her or promised to him / her. And perhaps because of this fact only, a child is the most betrayed one too in most of the cases. Lies are told to the children because they believe them, promises are made to them never to be fulfilled because the objective of the concerned adult (s) is solved at that time because of those promises. What happens when either the promise is not fulfilled or the child comes to know that a lie had been spoken to him / her ? His / her heart breaks without a sound. He / she starts learning and understanding that the adults are liars. A child perceives the world through his / her experiences only which accumulate within him / her and form the final constellation of personality-traits in him / her. Let this painful experience happen three or four times and the opportunity to develop a good citizen or a good human-being is lost. But how many adults care for it ?I had a miserable childhood and due to the surrounding adults, I could never grow-up properly as a so-called mature adult which is called in Indian lingo – Duniyadaar (a person having practical knowledge of this world). I know how much it hurts when false promises are made or lies are spoken or delicate feelings are struck at; and how a pain is exaggerated by the useless talks and comments of the people who speak in a way as to add insult to injury or make the child feel time and again that he / she is a kid only who can be cajoled by smart-talk without doing anything concrete for him / her.

Within my heart, I am still a child and that’s why I relate more to the children than to the adults. Being father of two children, I try my level best never to make false promises to them and take care of their feelings. There are several occasions when a child is hurt. At that time he / she needs the genuine support of his / her family members which cannot be given by unnecessary talks, comments or sermons. Not everybody knows how to apply ointment to an inner wound and help healing it. Let’s learn it. Let’s not allow the small hurt to develop into a canker which can never be healed and may spoil the whole life of the erstwhile kid.

My life-principle is – ‘Never break a heart, especially when it is of a child’.

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The murderous Diwali night

Diwali is the biggest festival of the Hindu community worldwide. Lord Ram is supposed to have arrived at his kingdom – Ayodhya back after an exile of 14 years in forests on this day and hence this festival, the Festival of Lamps, is celebrated. Devi Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth is worshipped in the households as well as the business establishments, earthen lamps are lit, crackers are fired and sweets are consumed. The shine of this grand festival is mainly at night when the lighted up houses, streets, roads and gardens blow away the darkness prevailing in the cities and the villages alike. Hence the Diwali night is expected to be a symbol of joy, hope and optimism. However what to say when a murder takes place during this night and going one step further in this negative direction, how will you react when that murder takes place at your own residence without your knowledge ? You are out of your home in this auspicious night searching for a particular person and when you are back, you find yourself as stunned like anything to see that very person as murdered in the drawing-room of your flat.925664939-435994-1Well, that’s the plot of this highly interesting and intriguing Hindi novel of Surendra Mohan Pathak. It’s the 97th venture of his journalist hero, Sunil Kumar Chakravarty. Diwali Ki Raat (the Diwali night) starts with Sunil’s finding a wounded girl in a nearby street when the festival is in its full bloom at this night. He takes her to his flat, administers first-aid to her and asks her to take rest in the bedroom while he is out of his flat. The reason for his going out is to search Ramesh Khurana who is the brat of a famous scientist, Jagdev Khurana and it is known that Jagdev Khurana has invented a very important formula related to petrol which may bring enormous fame and money to him. However Ramesh, unlike his father, is good for nothing and he has borrowed money from several people in the city (the fictitious city of Rajnagar which Surendra Mohan Pathak has created for the novels of this series). Hence, just like Sunil, several people (who have lent money to him) are after him (to realize their debts). Sunil happens to meet his fellow-professionals (journalists) viz. Roopa Gupta, Darshan Bajaaj, Niranjan Bhagat etc. while looking for Ramesh. He had kept one key of the main door of his flat under the doormat outside it for the purpose of his junior, Arjun who wanted to arrange a gambling-sitting there during this night (Gambling, though illegal in India, is considered as auspicious by many people in the Diwali night).

The story takes off when Sunil returns to his flat to take care of the wounded girl whom he had left there. To his utter shock, he finds Ramesh Khurana there as murdered in the drawing-room itself whereas the wounded girl is now missing from the flat. Now starts the investigation of our hero. He happens to obtain the services of a jolly taxi-driver to go at different places. The taxi-driver possesses a Shaayarana nature and keeps on uttering SHERs (Urdu couplets). He gladly calls himself as Dev Anand (because he is a fan of the stylish Indian cine-hero, Dev Anand). While Sunil’s investigation of the murder as well as the search of the wounded girl who has gone missing, goes on; two more murders take place. One is of Sunil’s fellow-professional, Niranjan Bhagat and the other one is of Ramesh Khurana’s scientist father, Jagdev Khurana. The most intriguing thing regarding Jagdev Khurana’s murder is that the murderer had thrown acid into the eyes of his dead body after killing him. The activities of a rich girl, Natasha who wants to be friendly with Sunil and has given him a wristwatch in gift (kept in his flat when he was out) are also suspicious in this regard. Ditto for a seemingly meek boyfriend of hers. Besides, a hardcore terrorist, Manjeet Raina is also in the picture of this very very intricate case and a stranger having the personality akin to that of a skeleton (referred to as Kankaal) is supposed to have witnessed something significant in this regard. Finally, Sunil is able to unearth the complete mystery and catch the culprit of these three murders.925664939sDiwali Ki Raat is a novel of Sunil series in which his jolly friend, Ramakant Malhotra is absent. Normally, it’s Ramakant who provides humour in the novels of this series. However in this novel, despite his absence, there is no dearth of humour for the readers. This time, the humour has been generated mainly by the Shaayarana taxi-driver, Dev Anand. The teasings between Sunil and his rival lady journalist, Roopa Gupta are also quite comic and add to the humour quotient of the novel. Sunil’s perennial love-hate buddy, police inspector Prabhu Dayaal is also there to leave his impact. And a cat is also a significant character of this story from the beginning sequence to the very end.

The mystery is enmeshed like a spider’s web but the seasoned author has explained everything quite logically in the end. No unanswered questions or untied loose ends have been left and the reader gets complete satisfaction after reading the last word of the novel. Written in an impressive language, the novel is studded with interesting incidents. The mystery is spellbinding and I will salute the reader who is able to leave this novel in-between. Once you are in, you are bound to complete it in one sitting only, holding your breath and guessing about the probable murderer. The author has left clues at many places but it’s extremely difficult for the reader to identify the murderer.Surendra Mohan Pathak has deep knowledge of poetry and Shaayari which he has used quite skilfully in many of his novels. Diwali Ki Raat is one such novel only in which Shaayari has been used to create humour for the reader. This Shaayari alongwith the comic teasings of Sunil and Roopa maintains the balance in the narrative and keeps the reader as completely engrossed. Reading this novel is akin to watching a highly entertaining movie in which every element is in the optimum proportion. Despite the fact that this novel was first published in 1989, the story does not appear to be stale from any angle. It is as entertaining today as it was three decades back.

I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to the Hindi readers who enjoy murder mysteries.

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A gust of fresh air

The name of Geetashree Chatterjee is not new for the readers of the virtual world – poems, stories, blogs, articles, reviews, opinion and what not ! This multi-talented person has tried her hand on different genres of literature in all the three languages she is well-versed with – Bangla, Hindi and English. She enjoys expressing may it be in Bangla, Hindi or English and may it be in any genre she opts to try her hand at her creative moment. downloadThough Geetashree has been a contributor to written work also in the past, her first full-fledged creation as a hard copy book has arrived for the admirers of her pen as well as quality English works in the form of ‘A Basketful of Lies‘. It is a collection of her short stories published independently in the past, now available at one place in this shape.A

A Basketful of Lies contain total fifteen stories of which the last two stories (Virgin White & The Interlude) are relatively long and can be termed as long-short stories. The authoress has never asserted from her side to have tried her hand on the sketch genre of literature. All the same, many stories are actually sketches – sketches of characters, sketches of life-situations.

The stories are interesting, of course; however entertaining the reader does not seem to be the objective behind their creation. They must have emerged spontaneously from the depth of the authoress’ heart in their respective moments of creation. The authoress’ own life-experiences and real observations of people and events appear to have reflected in the stories through their fictional characters.

Many stories are open-ended and the reader is left to guess certain things according to his / her own mindset and thought-train. This is quite alright as giving food-for-thought to the readers is not only the author’s prerogative but sometimes it adds spice to the work also. All the same, in my opinion, if a story is too open-ended to tie its loose ends, it may prove to be a food-for-headache for a normal reader.

I was touched by small stories like The Paint Brush, The Old Book Shop, Dark is the Devil and The Linguist. How the so-called modernization has been crushing the noble values, virtues, innocence and tenderness of life can be vividly seen and felt in these stories. Most of the stories are able to strike a chord in the heart of any sensitive reader.

The authoress is quite proficient in English and it’s a pleasure for any purist to read her English works. This story collection is no exception. Not only the paper, printing, binding and cover are of superior quality with perfect proof-reading (not a single error of spelling or grammar can be spotted in the book) but the English used by the authoress is of high aesthetic value. And that’s a great plus point of this book.

For those who are tired of reading Chetan Bhagat brand mediocre stuff written in mediocre English, A Basketful of Lies is like a gust of fresh air. While acknowledging and appreciating the quality of the book wholeheartedly, I feel that one thing is deeply missing in it – Hope ! After reading it till its last word, I was wondering – ‘Is there no hope anywhere for the aggrieved, for the victimized, for the innocent, for the virtuous and for those having a heart of gold ?’

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We know what you did that winter Ekta Kapoor !

Kucch To Hai (2003) was released on 24th January, 2003 and I watched it with my family (wife and little daughter) in the Aakash Cinema of Kota on 26th January, 2003, that is, on  the Republic Day of India. The promos of this movie were declaring – ‘This winter a chill will run down your spine’ and it appeared from them that it was a suspense movie (and not purely a horror movie which I don’t like at all). Hence I decided to watch it. The movie did not live up to my expectations but I did not find it quite bad either. Overall, it proved a nice timepass for me. 383-kucch-to-hai-2003Agatha Christie’s classic work – ‘And Then There Were None’ provided the idea of a story containing multiple murders at some secluded place, totally cut off from the rest of the world and in which the murderer is likely to be hidden in the group of victims itself. Several novels and movies (in various languages) have come up during the past three quarters of a century by seeking inspiration from this immortal novel of the mystery queen which was first published in 1939. Kucch To Hai is one of them. kucch-to-hai-2003However the inspiration from And Then There Were None is for the post-interval session of the movie. The pre-interval session is based on a Hollywood movie – I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). Thus Kucch To Hai is a cocktail of I Know What You Did Last Summer and And Then There Were None. Well, it’s not a very delicious and intoxicating cocktail but does not give bad taste either. The consumer (that is, the spectator) only wishes it were better.I Know What You Did Last Summer+Kucch To HaiKuchh To Hai (something is there for sure) starts in Shimla with the college life of the principal characters of the story who consist of Karan (Tusshar), Taanya (Esha Deol), Taashu (Natassha), Yash (Yash Tonk) and many of their other friends. There is a professor in the college who appears to be somewhat psychic and therefore, scary to the students. This strange professor is – Professor Bakshi (Rishi Kapoor). The college life is studded with the pranks, teases and romances of the young male-female students. One day a college-mate of these youngsters is found hanged from the roof and everybody thinks that he has committed suicide due to the pressure of studies and exams. But the reality is something else.

There is a love triangle here involving three principal characters of the movie – Karan, Taanya and Taashu whose name is actually Nataasha but she is fondly called Taashu. Karan and Taanya are in love but Taashu also loves Karan. Taashu is an orphan who has been fostered by Karan’s father (Jeetendra) only. Yash (who appears to be a flirt) tries to impress Taashu from his side but fails. Now comes the principal twist in the tale.

Professor Bakshi snatches Taanya’s answer-book during an examination and now she is under threat to lose one year of education. Karan alongwith Yash and others sneaks into Professor Bakshi’s house at night in order to change Taanya’s answer-book. To their horror, they find a dead body in the house which is supposed to be that of Professor Bakshi’s wife. While running away from there, they happen to accidentally kill Professor Bakshi. Under the mental stress of whatever has happened, Taanya leaves the college and the city and very shortly, the group of friends gets dispersed with different ones going in different directions.kucch-to-hai-925040306-435994-1Three years later, two of this group – Khush (Akshay Chitre) and Dolly (Kusumit Sana) decide to get married to each other and the ceremony is kept at Shimla only in a hotel. Quite naturally, the complete group of friends re-assemble for the occasion. Meantime, Karan has got engaged to Taashu and their marriage is also to take place shortly. On the railway station, a member of this group – Pat (Vrajesh Hirjee) feels that he has seen Professor Bakshi there. Firstly, the other friends don’t trust him but when chilling incidents start taking place with many members, Pat gets killed when trying to flee away from that place, Yash endures a lethal attack on him and the newly wedded couple of Dolly and Khush gets murdered, they have to trust that Professor Bakshi is not dead and he is there to seek revenge from them all. Whether this is truth, half-truth or completely an illusion becomes clear in the climax.2003kucchtohaiAs said earlier, the movie is not that bad but the strict producer Ekta Kapoor did not allow it to become a quality movie in the true sense of it. Ekta Kapoor is said to furnish basic story ideas to the script-writers of her movies and TV serials and it might have been her idea to blend I Know What You Did Last Summer with And Then There Were None but perhaps she could not allow a free hand to the writers and the directors. Director Anurag Basu (renamed as Anurag Bose) who later directed movies like Murder (2004) and Gangster (2006), was kicked out when the making of this movie was midway and the remaining part was directed by Anil Vishwakarma Kumar. Perhaps due to the presentation of the visions of two different directors, this movie does not contain a definite mood throughout its duration and shifts from a rom-com to a love-triangle to a horror movie to a murder mystery. This has not gone in its favour.

Since the chill-factor was advertised too much at the time of the release of the movie and it was a highlight of its promos, several spine-chilling scenes have been kept in the movie but some of them appear to be forced into the narrative just to scare the audience. Since we watched this movie in theatre, we also felt the chill when sitting in the hall. However that chill may not be felt by those who watch the movie on the small screen in their homes.pctv-1000055330-hsmThe first half of the movie is damn interesting and other than the main twist in the story (which has been lifted from I Know What You Did Last Summer), the frolic, pranks, teases and romance of the college-mates amuse the audience very much. This part has a youth appeal and must have been liked by the college-goers (though the movie was a flop). Mainly it’s the second half which is a letdown. It’s not a cakewalk to follow the path of the great authoress Agatha Christie. Ekta Kapoor could not understand that a suspense thriller could not be a hit just by hiding the identity of the killer behind a mask. A suspense thriller should contain a well-knitted script with all the events and characters logically interwoven in that.

Music by Anu Malik is good. Tere Ishq Ki Deewaangi Sar Pe Chadh Ke Bole (sung by KK and Sunidhi Chauhan) was a chartbuster at the time of the release of this movie. Kya Pyar Karoge Mujhse (sung by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik) is a slow but heart-soothing emotional song. Other songs are according to the mood of the movie as present in the relevant sequences.

Cinematography and art direction are good. The snowy locations are just eye-candy. I have been to Shimla many times but yet to find this much snow there. It is found at Rohtang or Marhi but not in Shimla proper. Also a hotel at such a deserted location which is virtually cut off from the world during snowfall may be found in Shimla by Ekta Kapoor only, not by us.

Performances are average. If I have to choose the best performer, it’s Yash Tonk. Other than  Ekta’s younger brother Tusshar, her father Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Esha Deol and Johnny Lever, the cast consists of the actors working in various TV serials made by Ekta Kapoor. The second lead of the movie has been given the filmy name of Natassha but her real name is Anita Hassnandaani. This is the last movie of Jeetendra. Sadly most of the performers could not deliver their best. That’s the weakness of the direction.

Well, we know what you did that winter (January 2003) Ekta Kapoor. You spoiled a brilliant story idea through your undue interference in the creative department of the movie. Still I recommend this movie as a decent one time watch to both the mystery fans and the audience liking college life romance and frolic.

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Tum Haar Ke Dil Apna …

This world is for the winners and definitely not for the losers. Who wants to remain a loser ? None. However certain issues related to a human-being’s heart are such that one has to lose first in order to emerge as a winner ultimately.

Shah Rukh Khan asserted in his famous movie – Baazigar (1993) – “Kabhi-Kabhi jeetne Ke Liye Haarna Bhi Padta Hai. Aur Haar Kar Jeetne Waale Ko Baazigar Kehte Hain” (sometimes one has to lose first to win later and the one who wins after losing is called a Baazigar). Said right, I believe.

When you love somebody, you cannot win his / her heart by putting him / her down or showing off yourself or trying your hand on one-upmanship. Humility is the thumb-rule to win a heart and continue to keep it under your possession after winning it initially. By trying to put your beloved down in an argument or some issue, you may feel that you have won but in fact this is the start of the process of losing his / her heart.

Since I had got someone’s love in my life, I noted this point. She always felt pleasure in losing an argument or a debate or a game to me. She always wanted me to win. Anywhere ! Everywhere ! I still remember her assertion – “Hum Aapko Sar Utha Kar Jeete Huye Dekhna Chaahte Hain” (I want to see you living with your head high). The outcome was simple. She won my heart. Forever !

I remember watching Karan Johar’s film Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai (1998) in which Kajol is able to get Shah Rukh in the movie only when she has learnt to lose in the game of Basketball. Though I do not advocate losing in this way, yet winning the heart is definitely a bigger bet and then losing in a trivial thing is not a deal of loss.

In fact, I am telling all these things from the point of view of females. In the practical world, a person (male or female but mostly a male in the Indian context) has to bow down at several places for practical reasons, may be for his own sake or sometimes for the sake of the joys and happiness of his family members. Then should he be forced to bow down at home too or by his beloved / sweetheart too ? A person who loses at his home, can hardly expect to win outside. Yet several females do not understand it.I remember an unforgettable song from the movie Prem Geet (1981)Hothon Se Chhoo Lo Tum, Mera Geet Amar Kar Do which has been penned by Indeevar and sung and composed by Jagjit Singh. It is a very touching song. I am quoting a stanza of this song to explain what I want to express through this post :

Jag Se Chheena Mujh Se Mujhe Jo Bhi Laga Pyara

Sab Jeeta Kiye Mujh Se, Main Har Dum Hi Haara

Tum Haar Ke Dil Apna, Meri Jeet Amar Kar Do

(The world has snatched everything from me which was dear to me, I always lost whereas all others have won over me, you make my win immortal by losing your heart to me).

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Tragedy King’s last movie – a murder mystery

Acting legend, Dilip Kumar has been bestowed upon with the title of Tragedy King in Bollywood (though he had done hilarious comedy too in certain films). However never had I seen him in a murder mystery and that too with himself doing the investigation of the murder, prior to Qila (1998) which is the last released movie of his acting career. Quite interestingly, Dilip Kumar is not only the investigator but also the murdered one as well, doing double role in this movie. In this way, the characters played by Dilip Kumar in his last movie, are quite different from the ones he played throughout his career.Front-10-1024x1004Qila was released in April 1998. After appearing in my viva of the Indian Civil Services Exam at the UPSC in the morning hours, I went to watch the matinee show of Qila at Plaza theatre in Connaught Place, New Delhi with my wife and my dear friend Aqueel Ahmed on 29th April, 1998. Since the movie was a murder mystery, myself, like always, started guessing about the murderer and discussing with my wife and friend in the interval. However my guesses did not come true. Somebody else came out as the murderer in the climax and not the one whom I was suspecting to be.Qila (1998)Qila (fort or fortress) starts with a murder committed by Gulshan Grover. However an innocent man is arrested for it and put under trial in the court. The judge, Amar Nath Singh (Dilip Kumar) feels that the convict is innocent but there is nobody to support him. Being a man of justice, he decides to investigate the case himself and find out the truth. However, his task increases when his own twin brother, Jagannath Singh (Dilip Kumar ‘s second role) is found murdered in his fort (Qila). Jagannath Singh was a corrupt landlord with very low morals and mean mentality because of which Amar Nath Singh had distanced from him. However, he feels that finding out the murderer of his brother is his duty. So he starts digging his past which is full of skeletons. Coming to know of the injustice and wrongdoings of his brother with many people (especially women), judge Amar Nath Singh, alongwith his murder investigation exercise, takes corrective steps on behalf of his deceased brother to do justice to the victims. However all of them are in his list of murder suspects. The real murderer comes before him in the ending scene only.1017902.CINE.posQila contains a very good murder plot full of potential. However director Umesh Mehra faltered in developing it into an outstanding murder mystery which he could have done just by exercising some creativity and careful handling of the script. Perhaps he got too overwhelmed with Dilip Kumar’s personality and overlooked certain leads which, if developed properly, could have made this mystery more engrossing and satisfying in the end with revelation of a different character as the murderer.tcO85n4BswI81pLpTMoo3j9LPam-476x666All the same, Qila is a good watch since the suspense is well-maintained. The background of the murder and the hidden facts are revealed to the audience on layer-by-layer basis. Dilip Kumar’s briskness and energy at the age of 75-76 years surprises the viewers. His dance in the song – Kurte Ki Baiyaan Ko Oopar Chadhaai Ke looks amazing at this age. He is all-pervasive in the movie and gets the maximum possible footage in the twin roles – one being a positive one and the other being a negative one. His towering performance has been ably supported by Mukul Dev who plays the unrecognized son of Jagannath Singh (why the director has named himself too as Amar is not understandable to me as two main characters of the movie having the same name, creates confusion only). The movie contains characters like Rekha, Malay Chakraborty, Mamta Kulkarni, Smita Jaykar, Satish Kaushik etc. However these are all dwarfed before the tall persona of Dilip Kumar. Other than Mukul Dev, if somebody makes her presence felt in the movie, it is Rajeshwari Sachdev who plays the daughter of judge Amar Nath Singh. Baddies are routine.imagesThe music given by Anand Raaj Anand is quite good. Two songs – Wah Bhai Wah and Kurte Ki Baiyaan Ko Oopar Chadhai Ke had become quite popular at the time of its release. One more song – Laai Hai Mehndi Waali Raat Apne Ghar Khushiyaan is also a pleasant marriage song.downloadTechnical and production value aspects of the movie are more or less ok. The scenes between the brother Mukul Dev and the sister Rajeshwari Sachdev are quite impressive. The director has rendered a logical end to the story after the mystery is resolved.

Qila is a good murder mystery which could have been a much better one. However it is an interesting watch. All the mystery fans as well as the fans of Dilip Kumar can be expected to like it.

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