The story goes back to the late seventies and eighties when gizmos and gadgets were not yet a part and parcel of our lives. That was the time when landline phones were a rarity, mobiles and laptops were unheard of, we would wait for a whole week to watch a movie on the Black and White TV, and we met people only in person, not virtually. Friendship meant strolling around, playing on the ground, flying kites on the terrace, exchanging books and chatting with friends on topics that would never end.
Every summer, I went to Lucknow with my grandma, to visit my uncles and aunts and spend my vacations with my cousins. I don’t remember how it started, but it had become a yearly routine for a couple of years. I always looked forward to those annual trips for a number of reasons which included living for two months with a bunch of cousins, reading a whole lot of story books, gorging on ice creams, savouring papdi chaat, batasa (paanipuri/ golgappe), watching movies, gushing over our favourite stars, and sometimes even squabbling over them.
Many anecdotes of those days are still vivid in my memory and bring a smile every time I recall them.
What happens when a child is bestowed with incredible talent that tremendously surpasses the ability of others? Chances are that such a child is declared as a prodigy. According to wikipedia, child prodigy refers to a child, who under the age of ten produces meaningful output in some domain to the level of an adult expert performer. Wolfgang Mozart started composing at the age of three. Pablo Picasso is known to draw before he could talk. He made his first oil painting at the age of nine.
While some child prodigies grow up to become eminent individuals, not all children who are identified as prodigies grow up to be extraordinary adults. Prodigies may receive a lot of fame and adulation in the childhood, but more than adulation, they need support and resources to realize or surpass the promise shown in the childhood.
Many such issues arise in the movie Budhia Singh– Born to run, based on the true story of Budhia Singh, a boy from Odisha, whose name was listed in the Limca book of Records as the world’s youngest marathon runner in the year 2006.
December 2nd, 1984, was one of the darkest nights in the history of Bhopal and that of India, when poisonous gas flare had leaked out of Union Carbide India Ltd’s (UCIL) pesticide plant, killing thousands of people over the next few days.
Thirty years on, a film ‘Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain’ rakes up the memories of the hapless night as it narrates the heart rendering story of Bhopal gas tragedy, one of the worst industrial disasters in India that occurred due to corporate negligence.
The movie released in the US on 7th Nov and is scheduled to release in India on 5th Dec, 2014. The film is directed by Ravi Kumar, who upon reading Sanjoy Hazarika’s book, ‘Bhopal: The Lessons of a tragedy’, was inspired to make a film on the subject for a younger audience who do not know about Carbide or Bhopal.
The story unfolds through the life of Dilip, a poor Rickshaw driver living in a slum in Bhopal, who struggles on a daily basis to support his wife Leela, his child and his sister. Dilip is elated when he lands himself a job in the UCIL’s pesticide plant – the job helps him to earn wages to feed his family and marry off his sister. The factory is a symbol of progress and prosperity for Dilip. Dilip, however, is not the least aware of the impending dangers on his life and on the lives of his folks. Read more