Month: October 2008

Welcome to Sajjanpur is engaging

Welcome to Sajjanpur is engaging

I saw “Welcome to Sajjanpur” yesterday. I thought it was nice. Easy on the mind. The songs were totally unnecessary, otherwise it was pretty engaging.

Shreyas Talpade is brilliant in his portrayal of an educated rural young man who dreams of becoming a fiction writer someday. The character is basically a noble creature at heart, complete with ordinary human weaknesses. He is believable. So is Amrita Rao as a young married rural girl waiting for her husband to return from the city. Not at all glamorous, Amrita still looks beautiful and fresh.

The other cast and crew were OK. Ravi Kishen was at his irritating best. Ila Arun added to the irritation quotient of the film.

Through “Welcome to Sajjanpur” Shyam Benegal shows that you can make a film on an extremely simple story, without too much conflict and yet keep it engaging. Not among his best. But still pretty good.

Freedom from second-hand smoke

Freedom from second-hand smoke

India is far behind in the list of countries that have banned smoking in public places. But then, it is better to be late than never, especially when it concerns the health of millions.

I support the ban comprehensively. It is about time we took the dangers of passive smoking seriously. For those who believe that the ban is unfair, this is what I think: smokers can smoke as much as they want to – after all we live in a democracy and we have no right to object to an individual’s choice. But, the same individuals must respect a non-smoker’s choice too. I don’t smoke because I think it’s not for me. I am convinced that smoking harms me. Then why should I be subject to passive smoke? By smoking in public places, you force non-smokers to inhale the smoke. And that, mind you, is definitely unfair.

There are some who think that instead of banning smoking in public, there should be a ban on manufacture and sales of cigarettes – at least there won’t be a moral dilemma among smokers. It’s a democracy thing again – won’t we take away their right to smoke? Yet, we have banned drugs altogether, haven’t we? I reckon that if the government is so sure of smoking being injurious to health, it should ban it altogether.

But at least banning in public places is a good start. Let us enjoy freedom from second-hand smoke.