Sunday, 27 May 2018


What a mesmerising performance by the Bhatt girl! Carrying such a serious film on her slender shoulders is no mean task. 

She first showed promise in ‘Highway’. Her performance flowered in ‘Badrinath ki Dulhaniya’ and then reiterated her reputation in ‘Udta Punjab’.

But in ‘Raazi’ she has excelled all her previous performances and left the competition far behind. 

While most of her contemporaries continue to be glamorous side-kicks to the Heroes, here is an actress who pushes the envelope with most of her performances.

She has captured the nuances of a real spy who faces many moral challenges while she goes about performing her selected duty towards her country.

Till now, we have come to accept the role of a spy as defined by a glamorous James Bond, outside the Indian shores to the Salman Khans and Hrithik Roshans of our very own Bollywood. It is nothing but a celebration of the Alpha Male replete with the style and swagger.

But here is Alia playing a spy who is delicate, appears so waif, so vulnerable but when faced with life threatening challenges, she takes lives of those who might expose her deceit.

Well played, Alia!!

Rajit Kapoor and her real mother, Soni Razdan, play the roles of her parents with passion. Soni Razdan makes you feel, ‘Why doesn’t she act in more films?’. She is so spontaneous!

Vicky Kaushal, who plays her husband, Iqbal Syed, manages to hold his own in front of the brilliance of Alia. Watch his breakdown scene when he comes to know of her subterfuge and the following scene with his father.

Shishir Sharma plays her father-in-law, Brigadier Parvez Syed, with the required grace and excels in the emotional scenes.

Arif Zakaria! He plays the role of the suspicious Abdul, the house help, with conviction. He is seen on the big screen after a long time.

And what can one say about Jaideep Ahlawat! This role, for him, is a role of the lifetime. He is sure to get more such mentor roles, in the days to come, he is so convincing as Sehmat’s trainer and mentor.

Why doesn’t Meghna Gulzar make more movies? She has handled this movie with such conviction! 

But when you do movies like ‘Talvar’ and ‘Raazi’ , the amount of research required for such movies based on true stories, is bound to be time consuming. Her best movie till date, certainly.

However, there were certain anomalies in a truly well made movie. 

How could she set up the entire wiring for the morse code apparatus in the open terrace without anyone watching? 

How did she get a separate washroom for herself where she installs everything for sending messages?

However, that’s not to take away from a well made, well researched movie.

Yatindra Tawde 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018



Three helicopters were put into service. It was quite a unique task for the pilots as well as the support staff. Taking off from the city’s airport, the three reached the highway in time to airlift the gang of six.

These were special type of helicopters with a larger catchment area. After all the task was so, where everything depended upon the area available for the airlift, such was the package being lifted.

And even after deployment of such large helicopters, the area in each was just enough for two. Hence the three copters.

Reaching the copters to the site was the easiest task. The real fun started once the copters had reached.

How do the support staff persuade the package to climb into the copters? That was the million dollar question!

But in the country in which the drama took place, time is of essence. So the support staff took the easiest and fastest route and just shot the package! Oh, don’t worry.

It was a shot of tranquillisers and soon the 6 buffaloes (the package) were snoring away. After that it was quite easy to persuade the buffaloes to climb into the helicopters and reach heights where no buffaloes had gone before.

And that’s how buffaloes are kept clear from the autobahn in Germany. No if’s…no but’s…though it was a quite unbelievable for me, when I read it in the morning newspaper, that some adventurous buffaloes managed to give the creeps to some speed demons on the German Autobahn.

Nearer home, animals of all shapes and sizes manage to walk on the highways as if roaming in the garden.

In fact I have seen some buffaloes sitting prettily in the middle of a busy road, in a city I happened to visit.

When I asked the experienced taxi driver, “How do they manage to sit calmly in meditation on the busy road?”

He just smirked and answered, “The air displaced by the passing cars don’t allow the city mosquitoes to get a toehold on the buffaloes and thus they are protected from deadly diseases like malaria…buffalo malaria”

That logic convinced me about the common sense and wisdom of Indian buffaloes and I promptly went off to sleep in the taxi.

Yatindra Tawde

Saturday, 5 May 2018

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? Or a name board?

To be precise, what’s in a name of a wine shop?

The authorities in one Indian state have suddenly woken up to an 69 year old law, which states that no one can advertise…or rather, openly advertise any liquor brand.

Yes, it’s the same law due to which many marquee names advertise so many different brand names of tonic water on TV, which are suspiciously advertised as capable of giving you good times.

So all the legal wine shops which sell wines and liquors legally and openly…since that is allowed; cannot have billboards advertising any of the brands which they sell.

I can see the future…I go in search of the manna which gives me a good time on weekends.

I reach the usual corner of a building by walking on the path well trodden, expecting to see the brightly coloured billboard which makes up the shop facia…but hey! Where has it gone?

I blink my eyes once…then twice. With a lump in my throat, and a quiver in my voice, I ask a neighbouring shop owner, “Where?”

With a compassionate look and a reassuring tone, he answers, “Don’t worry. It’s still there. You only have to look minutely”

That reassurance is music for my ears. With a spring in my step I bound towards my target.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

The brightly coloured billboard has been replaced by a drab little board, which just announces name of the wine shop, the license number and the time of working.

Half expecting them to ask for a prescription, I hesitantly place my demand. And lo and behold!

My demand is met instantly by the shop assistant, who disappears and appears within moments, with my manna in hand, though a tad somberly.

Three cheers to small mercies! I return to my house with my manna in hand, thankful that some things will remain the same, albeit with less glamour.

Yatindra Tawde

Mumbai - 2025

Mumbai - 2025 I am wandering through the lanes of my place of birth, Dadar, getting nostalgic about the days gone by. Hindu colony and my ...