Monday, July 20, 2009

Thanks in advance..

If you're a regular reader, you probably answered these questions a little while ago. Be an angel, and answer them again please.. its important for you to answer now if you answered the last time..
And if you didn't see these questions before, they're a novelty and you'll be tempted to answer them now..
So either way.. please do answer these questions in the comments section, and i'll be eternally grateful. :-)
1. In India, is it possible to get Braille on your visiting cards? Yes/No
2. Do you know of an organisation called Esha – People for the blind? Yes/No
3. Would you like to/have u visited the Esha website?

Thank you!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Esha- People for the Blind

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you have been subjected to Esha at least once.


Esha is an initiative that works towards employment for the visually disabled. What sets it apart is that Esha does not make contract workers - we are in the business of creating blind entrepreneurs. All our sevice offerings are such that they can be best delivered by a blind professional. In addition, we groom the person to take on additional responsibility for the other aspects of running a service setup independently.

The current service offerings of Esha are:
1. Braille enabled visiting cards - our flagship product. Your regular visiting card, gets a distinct identity with a few raised dots.. Braille.

2. Theater Workshops - These versatile workshops help in sensitisation, team building and a general good time. They are available for office teams, teachers, others in a work environment. Personally, methinks the ppl who benefit most from these workshops are kids - gives them a total change of perspective that is VERY good for their general life coping skills.

3. Tactile Maps - These, alongwith the braille enabled visiting cards, are the quick fixes that get you brownie points with very little effort. For a visitor to see your braille enabled cards, and then to see tactile maps being available.. is very impressive. They don't have to know it took less than 2 hours of one person's time to get it all in place.

4. Accessibility Audits: These are for the really involved. Any facility - public or private, can get an audit to figure out how well a blind person would fare in your space.. its an eye opener. But the real eye opener is the simple steps that come in the report. Imperceptible changes that make one realise how easy it is to make a space accessible for everyone.

5. Braille Greeting Cards - Any card with braille added to it, or a special card made all in braille with words of your choice.. perhaps even an embossed image.. they're fun things to send to a blind school on the New year.. or on the birthday of a child.. The Blind never get greeting cards.

So, thats about Esha. To know more, go to www.braillecards.org

And if you are interested in partnering with Esha for your corporate social responsibility initiatives, contact Esha at esha_braille@yahoo.com

The Esha blog is here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bimal Roy Birth Centenary

July 12th was Bimal Roy's Birth Centenary..



If you dont already know about Bimal Roy, he was among the most brilliant filmmakers we have seen in the industry. His films (with popcorn) still make better watching than most of the current films. He could entertain and sensitise.. of course, his times were times of idealist cinema.. and he was a cut above..

The birth centenary is a good time to bring out that popcorn.. and treat yourself to some of the best cinema Indian celluloid has seen.. here is the pick-list:
  • Do Beegha Zameen - Inarguably, one of the finest movies ever made.. unfortunately, as relevant today as when it was made..

  • Yahudi - One of his most under rated films..

  • Bandini - Watch this one to see Nutan and to see what a good actress can do with a well crafted character..

  • Madhumati - One of Vaijyanthi Mala's best performances..

  • Devdas (The Dilip Kumar one)

  • Sujata - Who can forget that super romantic.. Jalte hain jis ke liye.. teri aankhon ke diye.. and the untouchability message for which this film is celebrated. However, my favorite part of the film is the song "Bachpan ke din.." for the juxtaposition it presents ... without sermonising..
To see a complete list of his films and to know more, go here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Film Review - New York

In the year 1996, a film called Maachis was released. In the year 2o09, New York was released. The former was classic Gulzar - great poetry et al, the latter is classic Yash Raj Films - great visuals, glamour galore et al. The former was set in Punjab of the 1980s, the latter in New York of the 2000s. The differences end there.. now for the similarities:

Both these films deal with the process by which a terrorist is born. The process is simple - overzealous law enforcement officials who over-do the "interrogation" , and do it on the wrong people, in a way that strips a person of his basic dignity, and makes him want to "get back" at the "people who did this to me" .

Both the films present this truth in a very hard hitting, effective way.. the subject, sensitive as it is, is handled delicately, yet with an underlying strength that adds resilience to the story telling.

The rest of the review is ONLY about New York.

If you think good looking people cannot act, watch this film. These are three superlative performances.. each bettering the others.. but a special mention must be made of John Abraham.. it takes a lot of courage to give the shots that this movie needed.. and he has done them all par excellence.. after this film, he is an actor in my book..

Katrina Kaif can act.. it was a tall order to match up to the screen presence of the other two, and at some places, she beats them to it.

Neil Nitin Mukesh has already proved himself as an actor. With this film, he leaves absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind about his versatility and screen presence. John Abraham is a good looking person who can also act well. Neil Nitin Mukesh is an actor who also happens to look good.

Irrfan Khan needs no more eulogy. His performance remains great as ever. Perhaps he should give vesatility a chance now:-)

Like all YRF films, the visuals are a treat.. there isnt one bland moment in the film.. the editing is perfect.

The story is full of surprises, gripping yet warm.

Some surprises that the film flung at yours truly:
  • Neil Nitin Mukesh's voice is a lot like his grandfather - Mukesh.
  • There is third degree even in the human rights aware Amareeka, and no one can do anything about it.

And just as i was thinking of all the questions that the film throws at you, this post came along on Indscribe's blog.. and this one on Soul in Exile's blog ..you must watch the film and then read the posts.. will cost you a night's sweet dreams..

Good Night.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Do you know this?

In India, is it possible to get Braille on your visiting cards? Yes/No
Do you know of an organisation called Esha – People for the blind? Yes/No

Please post your answers in the comments section.

Palkon pe chalte chalte.. पलकों पे चलते चलते जब ऊंघने लगती हैं

पलकों पे चलते चलते जब ऊंघने लगती हैं ,
सो जा आँखें सोती हैं तो उड़ने लगती हैं,
सौंधे से आकाश पे नीले बाजरे बहते हैं,
पांखी जैसी आँखें सपने चुगने लगती हैं ॥

पिघली हुई हैं, गीली चांदनी, कच्ची रात का सपना आए,
थोड़ी सी जागी, थोड़ी सी सोयी, नींद में कोई अपना आए
नींद में हल्की खुशबुएँ सी घुलने लगती हैं...

आंखों से कहना , लोरी में रहना, रातों का कोई छोर नही,
तेरे तो और भी होंगे सपने, मेरा तो कोई और नही ...
बोलती आँखें नींद में सपने सुनने लगती हैं ....

My all time favorite lullaby.. and one that works on Ishaan too.. :-)
Film: Daayra, Lyricist: Gulzar, Singer: Yesudas, Music: Anand-Milind.

Rough Translation:
When eyes sleep, they fly..
They are there for the picking, blue and lovely,
Eyes, pick the floating dreams like birds pick grain..

The moonlight.. molten and spilled all around me..
I dream of a moist night..
A little awake, a little asleep,
and a dear face comes to mind..
All my sleep is scented that moment..

Eyes, stay in the lullaby, for the night is endless,
You must have other dreams, but you are all I have..
Eyes that speak so, listen to dreams in the night..

yes, i know thats a really bad translation.. but what can one say? Am sorry.. please help if u can..