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.

Few years ago, some time ago, we lived in different world. Today, we have evolved and separated ourselves from the advent of community jargon and have become ‘Global’. But the statement still hovers around like a hawk in an air of turbulence. Did we really accomplish the need or merely created another need out of a cucumber?

The world believed we became stronger after 9/11, but we also became a tad poorer and weaker in terms of adaptability and susceptibility. We also entered in to a new era where started judging people and their acquaintances by their names.
What’s a name – it is our identity, not a reflection of our abilities to make or remake. Nor does a name indicate plagiarism. But it was deemed as ‘fatal’, a name convulsed in to a benchmark for a religion and we started to crucify the guilt within ourselves.

Yes, the world changed. But the attitude and our behavior towards the human kind turned ugly and degraded. Before, we had inhibitions but were conducive. After, our intolerance towards a specific community has taken an unsurmountable leap towards de-manifestation of the human clan.
Yet, we have evolved as human beings. Yes, derogatory but precariously acceptable.

Citizens became traitors, names were objects to decipher identity, our brothers and sisters became ‘Jihadis’, and suddenly, our world became a religious cocoon under the scanner for dastardly acts of few unscrupulous, spineless people who take shelter under violence and cowardice to prove a point that embellishes all logic and purpose.
Yet, we are evolving and surviving.

There is no end to this apocalypse though. Crucification has only led to more indispensable powers and evil vibes. 9/11 has given rise to a plethora of demons that have emerged, submerged and reemerged since last 15 years, and the disaster recovery continues to struggle against audacity and ruthlessness. Above all, some excruciating powers inflicting pain and misery upon the lives of innocents is our bane for sheer existence.

I am certain, we are evolving amidst chaos.

Pre iPhone era. When photos were shot with devices we don’t see around today. Yet, impressive images with limitations and strong hands to shoot them. Out from the archives but still looks gorgeous!

What’s your pick?

yes, waiting is an art. waiting in the wings, waiting for time to salute you. waiting for the tide to adopt a different gear. waiting means you are almost there, but yet not there. yes, waiting does matter. holding on and not let go when the last barricade gives you a tough time. yes, waiting is tough.

waiting is to play with time. time isn’t everyone’s toy. it’s a toy with its own game plan, without indicators and warning bells. it happens, it moves, it turns, it again happens.

wait is for the time to occur for you. for me, for us.

Hazy, yet not saying it’s not clear. Confused, yet clarity hides behind the cushion covers of the holy mind.

Dazzling, yet not impressive enough to torment achievements and wake them from sleep to google inventions. Rusty, because too much is still not enough to consume riveting stories.

Perplexed with such goodness around you, the anti still lives to see some life and squeak through for blemish-less happiness. Yet, good times ahead.

 

We worship, we slaughter. We despise, we adore. We nonchalantly care for them, we treat them as commodities.

Creation of God whatsoever, what separates us? Caste, Creed or Religion? Well, all 3 I would say.

Rules are meant for all, written by few for all, practiced by very few but the clan is the same, race is the same, behavior pattern is the same.

What’s different? The geography. The map. The outside world. The inside world.

Destiny.