At a time of floundering commercial cinema making the means out of creativity, films like ‘Udta Punjab’ come as a neat surprise. Overwhelming, I would say. Scary and blemish-less.

‘Udta Punjab’ comes from the stable of Phantom films, and no prizes for guessing the creative minds behind the making of this dark, raunchy, spine chilling saga of the drug menace that has consumed an entire state.

‘Udta Punjab’ is the Punjab you and I will never dare to visit. It is the Punjab of our nightmares, the insanity behind the tradition of a beautiful state that it upholds in the eyes of public media.
If you grossly remember history, Punjab has been the eye of the storm in the past. Be it during the emergency in 70s or the infamous ‘Operation Blue Star’, Punjab has been a tepid travesty. Substance abuse is just another blip in a sea of huge political quick sand.

Coming back to the film, the narrative and cast is exemplary. In fact, I don’t think anyone else could have filled the shoes of Tommy Singh and Mary Jane other than Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Shahid is a brilliant artist and UP is another cap is his illustrious feather. Alia Bhatt has shown glimpses worthy enough of being spoken in the same breath as her father. The scene wherein she helplessly emotes and divulges her agony to an equally ravaged Tommy Singh is a paranoid stealer. One heck of a scene it is, I would say one of it’s kind in Indian cinema.

Kareena Kapoor has very little to do in this crime drama but holds her space in a well deserved cameo. The way she is killed by Balli while trying to stop him from fleeing her rehab is well shot. In fact, am equally fond of the scene where 2 youngsters claim to be Tommy’ fan and signify their inspiration by falling prey to drugs. It’s a pitiably powerful seen that even jolted the conscience of a stray celebrity like Tommy Singh.

Though it’s a Phantom production and inevitable names will have their classic intervention. But Abhishek Chaubey has been impressive. I did not see anything debonair from him since Ishqiya (not the sequel please) but Udta Punjab certainly brings him back in style.

‘Udta Punjab’ has an uncanny resemblance to one of my all time adorable favorites, ‘Goodfellas’. Don’t jump the gun yet, no pun intended but it isn’t a straight shot unless you know what I am talking about.

Our goals, ambitions, desires, aspirations, dreams – all are equally fragile and reluctant. That’s the steel behind the making of our mettle.

Uncertainty, for real, is a gruesome and agonizing yet perpetual way of establishing the impossible in our lives. We will never accomplish if all is in paper and written for our destinies to galore. The fear of failing gets us to the brink of success, the fear of a fling apart gets us closer to our tethering victory in an ambushed amphitheater. It’s all performance at the the right time, in the right place, with the right people. 

We have everything in us to take this world in our stride, get to place of persistence and courage. But we also have this horrendous knack of throwing it away for trivial reasons and see glory walk past us to the next corridor. We sulk in our inability to get past the difficult mile after sowing the seeds for months, perhaps years. That’s confidence. Our biggest ally in chaos. 

Remember, your confidence is the key to the minds of people. It furnishes, assimilates, manipulates and drives every one crazy. Confidence is an attribute but am a great believer in instincts. Do what is right, losing sleep over the consequences will get us closer to insanity.

The pursuit to happiness doesn’t exist, it lives in your ability to find and maneuver excellence. Yes, you are only a genius of situations. Don’t ponder much in to the concept as such but keep the search on.

Remember, we are one of our kind. The human kind.

Some cities just don’t give you a living, they breathe and emote, just like you do. Some cities make you what we are today. Calcutta is my soul and it’s DNA is the foundation of my life.

What I possess in Calcutta is beyond words, sometimes beyond comprehension. Feelings juxtaposed, memories unlimited and segmented nostalgia. Very few will understand, many will not. I don’t expect them to. 

Calcutta, I live you everyday.