And he made it happen!

‘What is it about cinema that makes you Indians go mad?’ my British friend once asked me. ‘What makes it such a religion?’

I honestly didn’t have an answer, but I felt it too. I still feel it when I buy tickets to an SRK movie or when I watch Dev D, but I can’t explain it. Maybe the answer lies in the way this industry originated, probably the madness, the passion was well sowed into it back in the days where it began.

Where did it all begin? Everybody knows Dadasaheb Phalke was the pioneer of Indian cinema. But you have to watch this story- the story of how the idea of making a moving picture (which we merrily have abbreviated to movie) completely possessed him, the story of how his vision helped establish what we today know as the largest film industry in the world. This story will make you understand and appreciate the madness of being ‘filmy’.

Harishchandrachi Factory, is a simple Marathi film that tells you the story of how Indian cinema was born. It begins in Girgaum, Mumbai on the 14th April 1911 when Dadasaheb Phalke chances upon a moving picture exhibit while running away from a keen investor. He gets so excited by the concept that he decides to go against all odds, sell his furniture, belongings etc. to explore and study this new form of art. He travels to London, acquires the equipment, learns the horrors of casting, discovers ‘method acting’, gets his wife to take on the role of developing the film, manages to release the film and when the theater is empty, the man discovers film promotions and marketing gimmicks to get the box office ringing. It’s such a thrill to see these things that we crack our heads over today, being effortlessly thought out by this one man, just out of passion and a vision.

Paresh Mokashi tells us this story in the Phalke format- simple scenes, linear narrative, jarring harmonium in the background, focusing completely on the story.This style of filmmaking could also be credited to his theater background, but that’s digressing.  It isn’t a path breaking film in terms of how it’s made. One could almost call it a docu-drama, but at the end of the film, when Phalke rejects an offer to move to London to stay back and establish filmmaking as an industry in India, you realize that the fact that you sit in this multiplex, watching this film distributed over a satellite network (a technology pioneered by Sanjay Gaekwad, an Indian) because of that one decision. I think this feeling is the reason why this film is made, and that is exactly why you must watch it.

Watch this film, for cinema, for the love of cinema and to just feel glad that it all happened. Perosnally, I can’t imagine my life without Indian films and I feel grateful to the fact that a potential investor chased Dadasaheb on 14th April 1911 and to escape this investor Dadasaheb chanced upon the tent screening moving pictures and out of curiosity, he spent 2 annas on a ticket… 2 annas well invested…


Thank You For… the voices in my head

They tell me stories, they amuse me, they annoy me, they inspire me, they berate me, they encourage me, they criticise me. Thank you for making then so vivid.
Give me the strength to distinguish between the voices from the heart and the voices from the mind. Give me the courage to listen to each one of them before I plunge into a decision…


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Thank You For… Completed sentences

Sometimes, it takes more than words to say what you feel and sometimes, it takes a lot less than words for a friend to understand what you’re feeling.
I am grateful to you everytime you complete my sentences, when you understand exactly what I’m saying before I’ve said it.
Give me the strength to always nourish this bond we share… Give me the courage to do what it takes to never let these relationships down…

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Thank You For… the hand that holds me

Everyone has a day where they feel like nothing's working out and nothing will work out. It's these days that are the true test of the magnitude of our desire to achieve what we set out to for. Most of the time, we let this negativity into our minds and give up on what was once, the most important thing to us. But if we have a hand that holds us and tells us to hang in there and fight the negativity, we can. It can take all of our energy to keep this negativity out, but it takes this hand, to teach us how to channel that negativity and convert it into positive energy to propel ourselves further towards our goal. Thank you for letting me feel the grip of that hand on my arm ever so often.  Give me the strength to be there for those who are there for me and give me the courage to weed out all the negative energy from around those who I care about. 

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Thank You For… love

I am grateful to this complex emotion… It can stir up joy, satisfaction, hurt, anger, hopefulness and so much more. Love and its power often moves me… I am grateful that my heart can feel, that it can give endlessly… To feel loved is the best feeling in this world and I am grateful to have felt it time and again… Give me the strength to love with all that I have and give me the courage to accept love, to receive love…

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Thank You For… spices and flavours

I have always been grateful to the joy of cooking, but today I feel grateful to have a box of spices. The sweet aroma of cinnamon, the zingy flavour of asfoetida, the soothing calm of cumin, the crackiling sparkle of mustard, the warm crunch of pepper… I love the magic they bring about in food. As I lose myself in the process of cooking, the masalyacha dabba transforms into a color palette and the kadhai becomes my canvas… with the spatula I mix and match to create a flavour- the very flavour that'll make sure that my family enjoys the food that nourishes them… Much like the emotions that add flavour to the nourishment that life's experiences provide us with. 

Give me the strength to isolate and appreciate every flavour of life. Give me the courage to paint many a beautiful stories with these emotions… Help me make the lives of those around me rich with flavour and delectably enjoyable… Thank you

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Thank You For… Solitude

So absorbed I am in my people that I often forget about the gift of solitude. Spending the day, alone, with my thoughts, with myself and learning to appreciate my own company has inspired me.
Thank you for this ability to realise that you are the best critic and the best admirer you can have. And thank you for giving me one smart sister who taught me the value of my own company…
Give me the strength to appreciate myself but give me the courage to change what I don’t appreciate without losing the essence of who I am…

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