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Must-read fiction and non-fiction books about Pandemics: Your next read during the quarantine

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We all know how the “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” got out of stock suddenly after the fire incident at Notre Dame. Similarly, with the outbreak of Global Pandemic Corona Virus, much great fiction and a non-fiction books about Pandemics are in limelight. Some of these literary works on Pandemics are based on real pandemics while some of them are part of the authors’ imagination. These books are ready to become part of your reading list during this quarantine. These will help you understand the social and economic conditions of society during various pandemics and how they affect individuals. So, let us have a look at the list of must-read books about pandemics: –

The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers

books about pandemic (the next pandemic)

The Next Pandemic: On Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers is a must-read book written by Dr Ali S. Khan. The book throws light on the fact that microbes cause diseases but the people help in spreading it. With the advent of various deadly viruses like Ebola, Zika and now, Corona, it is quite sure that these epidemics are normal and they will keep on coming back. But how deadly they will become will depend upon the people. People often take precautions for granted, politicize emergencies and try to take it lightly. In this book, Dr Khan has talked about the pandemics and measures to be taken in case they return.

A Journal of The Plague Year (Penguin Classics)

books about pandemic (the plague journal)

A Journal of The Plague Year is written by Daniel Defoe. It is published by Penguin Classics and throws light at the 17th Century London where the streets turned empty and human life faded away in suffering due to outbreak of Plague. The book is written in the form of Journal of Defoe who was only five years old during the outbreak of the Plague. For the book, he recalled some of his memories and also used his experience. Though the experiences recollected in the book are four centuries older yet the social situation can be related to the present society in many ways.

Beauty Salon

books about pandemic (beauty salon)

Beauty Salon has been written by Mario Bellatin and Kurt Hollander. It is a work of imagination in which a pandemic broke out which infected men only. The narrator of the story gave refuge to some men in his beauty salon but the number of men began to increase. Whenever one of them dies, others came to replace the dead. The book metaphorically points towards AIDS and social treatment of a patient as the time when this book was written was known for a revolution against the inhumane social treatment of AIDS patients.

The Pandemic Century – One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris

books about pandemic(the pandemic century)

The Pandemic Century is written by Mark Honigsbaum. In this book, the author brings out the notion that our science is still not developed enough to prevent deadly pathogens present in the air waiting to cause harm to human life. In 1918, when Spanish Flu broke out, scientists and medical experts tried their best to prevent such deadly Pandemics in future. But even after a century of development in medical science, Zika, Ebola and Corona caused Hysteria in society.

The Coronavirus: what you Need to Know about the Global Pandemic

books about pandemics(the coronavirus)

The Coronavirus is written by Dr Swapnil Parikh. Dr Parikh has written about all the myths and facts that surround the evolution of Coronavirus. The book is written with keeping India in mind as India is a country with high population density and this increases the risk of coronavirus altogether. This book is a must-read for everyone who wants to understand the real cause of addressing this deadly pandemic.

These books on pandemic will not only help you get rid of boredom but also enhance your knowledge about the issue of grave concern. Even the imaginary novella like Beauty Salon is powerful enough to enhance the analytical skill of the readers and make them analyse both the stage of medical evolution we are at and the outlook of society towards such pandemics and those who are diagnosed with it.

I have had 3 years of experience in the field of media, as a video production assistant, photographer and as a writer. I am a political science graduate from the University of Mumbai.

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Entertainment

Shakuntala Devi Review: A Transgenerational Tale

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Shakuntala Devi

Writer and Director Anu Menon recently came up with a project named Shakuntala Devi on OTT platform, Amazon Prime. The movie is based on the life of Shakuntala Devi, Indian mathematician. Shakuntala Devi is the tale of a lady who rises from a patriarchal and low-economic background. The movie is based on the narrative of Anupama Banerjee. The daughter of Shakuntala Devi. The story though begins as a tale of achievements of a young independent woman but soon constricts the plot to the family drama and her relationship with her daughter. Shakuntala Devi is a transgenerational tale and it reflects the generational gap between three generations.

Cast

shakuntala devi(poster

The Cast of the movie includes Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra, Amit Sadh, Jisshu Sengupta, Ty Hurley, Amit Sadh, Jake Francis, Prakash Belawadi, Stephen Samson, Colin Blyth, Neil Bhoopalam, Sheeba Chaddha and Luca Calvani.

The movie has been directed by Anu Menon. It is narrated by Shah Rukh Khan and the credits for screenplay goes to Anu Menon and Nayanika Mahtani.

Plot

shakuntala devi(real shakuntala devi)

Shakuntala Devi is the story of an independent, feminist, talented and super intelligent mathematician Shakuntala Devi. But the story is neither a biopic nor a documentary on her life. It even comes with a disclaimer that it is the story of Shakuntala Devi as a mother from her daughter. The story begins with the childhood of Shakuntala Devi. She was born and brought up in a patriarchal setup which did not consider women as the bread earners of the society but objectified them. This is quite evident from the exploitation of her mother faced at the hand of her father. The fact that her mother never raises her voice against injustice led to clashes between Shakuntala Devi and her mother and she decided to become an independent woman. She went to Europe, met a man, married him, had a daughter with him and separated with him. In the second half, the movie portrays the relationship between Shakuntala Devi and her daughter. They did not share the warmth of the mother-daughter relationship.

Transgenerational Tale

shakuntala devi (transgenerational tale

Shakuntala Devi is a transgenerational tale which portrays the relationship between mother and daughter in three-generation. The bitterness and clashes Shakuntala Devi had with her mother were also shared by Her daughter Anupama for her. All the three women have a different outlook and different societal background which shaped their opinions about each other.

Review

Anu Menon has beautifully directed the tale of mother and daughter. The best decision was to select Vidya Balan for the main role. Vidya Balan has stolen the show with her acting. The way she has associated herself with the character, the next time when someone would take the name of Shakuntala Devi, the face of Vidya Balan will come in front of your eyes. But the movie in some way has compromised with the life and achievements of Shakuntala Devi as a person. The movie is solely based on point of view of the daughter of Shakuntala Devi but every story has more than one point of views. The movie does not inculcate point of view of others. But the movie already informs the viewer about this through a disclaimer as mentioned above. The acting of Amit Sadh and Sanya Malhotra has brought life to the characters. The movie is simple and beautiful. It beautifully portrays mother-daughter relationship and how the life experience of a mother impacts her relationship with her daughter.

Final Words

Shakuntala Devi is a mesmerizing tale of a beautiful relationship between mother and daughter across three generations. But the relationship that they share is impacted by the life experiences they faced and it adds bitterness in their relationship. The whole movie is directed in such a way that it will make the viewer feel the story of mother and daughter. The movie could have been in a way to introduce more about the genius of Shakuntala Devi but it is solely based on her role as a mother. Overall, the movie is a good choice to watch and adore the acting os talented actors like Vidya Balan. Sanya Malhotra and Amit Sadh.

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Raat Akeli Hai Review: A Crime Drama Portraying Patriarchal Society

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Raat Akeli Hai

Raat Akeli Hai is a crime drama movie released on Netflix. It has been directed by Honey Tehran and has Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte in lead roles. Though the movie is a crime drama this is not the only thing it deals with. Raat akeli Hai is a reflection of social evils and some barriers existing in society. It was released on 31st July 2020 on Netflix. The movie is full of twists and turns what a thriller demands but has also been analyzed as a reflection of misogyny and ill-treatment of women in patriarchal setup. The movie also speaks about the complexes held by men which are generally brushed off and never brought out in public.

Cast

raat akeli hai (poster)

The cast of the movie includes Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Shweta Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shivani Raghuwanshi, Ila Arun, Sawanand Kirkire, Nitesh Kumar Tiwari, Nishant Dahiya and Aditya Srivastava. It has been directed by Honey Tehran and produced by Abhishek Chaubey and Ronnie Screwvala.

Plot

raat akeli hai(actors)

Raat Akeli Hai is a story of a small-town cop named Jatil Yadav who summoned to investigate murder case of a politician. Jatil Yadav suffers from inferiority complex due to his dark complexion. Several girls have also rejected him for his dark complexion. When he began to investigate the case, he came to know about Radha, the mistress and wife-to-be of the dead politician. The storyline dives deeper into the character of Radha and reflects the condition of men in a patriarchal society. Jatil Yadav began to solve the case and unfolded many mysteries hidden in the big mansion.

Ratings and Review

raat akeli hai(radha)

Overall, Raat Akeli Hai is an interesting crime drama which is unpredictable. It begins at a suspenseful note and it is quite difficult to predict the storyline. Though in the end, Jatil began to find direct evidence one after another which might seem like a compromise with the interest of audience but looking at the point that the movie is more than just a thriller, the storyline is justiciable. The movie hits hard on the social set-up by portraying the position of women in a total patriarchal society. The movie refers to dowry, character assassination of women, her objectification and actual buying and selling of a woman. Radha who was sold by her father was abused mentally and physically for most of her life. The way she was referred to in the family deeply marks her position in society. She is a symbol of all the women who are still treated badly within and outside their household.

Another important dimension that the movie talks about is complexes held by men. This topic is generally ignored by the society but Raat Akeli Hai has strongly portrayed how Jatil Yadav suffers from inferiority complex due to his dark complexion. Several girls have also rejected him due to the same reason and finally, he even tried to lighten his skin tone by applying fairness cream. He is also ashamed of his name Jatil which was originally Jatin. He blames his mother for making mistake during his tenth standard board exams due to which his name became Jatil.

Coming to the acting, Nawazuddin Siddique and Radhika Apte are well-known excellent actors. In this movie, the strongest and most loud performance is performed by these two actors. The other actors have also tried to perform their roles effectively. Some scenes of the movie have monotonous tones such as the interaction between Jatil and his subordinate and the later stage of the investigation but overall the movie is a good movie to watch.

Conclusion

Raat Akeli Hai is a crime drama concerning patriarchal social set up. It is the story of a young cop dealing with his complexes within and mysteries outside. It is also the story of a young girl who has been prey to patriarchal society and has been objectified all her adult life. But she is strong and never accepted her as helpless. Overall, there are many reasons to watch the movie. You can watch it for an unpredictable thriller, outstanding acting by lead performers and wonderful direction.

 

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Entertainment

Dil Bechara Review: A Special Movie Of Most Special Actor

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Dil Bechara

Recently, Sushant Singh Rajput’s final movie Dil Bechara got released on Disney + Hotstar. The fans had been waiting for so long for this moment and now that it is out, it was declared the most-watched movie on OTT platform in a day. Sushant’s acting has made each and every viewer laugh and cry at the same time. The movie has been the top-rated movie on IMDb. Let us have a detailed review of the movie.

Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi, Saif Ali Khan, Sahil Vaid, Swastika Mukherjee, Sunit Tandon, Saswata Chatterjee

Director: Mukesh Chhabra

Music: A.R. Rehman

Dil Bechara-1

Dil Bechara, a Bollywood movie based on John Green’s Bestseller ‘The Fault In Our Star’. The book was a YA novel based on the story of two teenagers falling in love. But the difference is made by Cancer, which differentiates this love story from others. The novel was recreated into a Hollywood movie with the same name starring Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in the year 2014. Dil Bechara has been created on a similar plot with a thought, “What if those teenagers were Indians?”

‘Ek Tha Raja, Ek Thi Rani. Dono Mar Gye Khatam Kahani’

Those who have read Green’s novel or watched the Hollywood movie must have already been aware of the melancholy the plot deals with. But even those who are watching the movie for the first time would also be dealing with similar thoughts after watching the movie. Dil Bechara talks of the issue of a serious disease in teen years of life and tries to supplement it with love, fun, adventure and melancholy. The movie is a rollercoaster ride.

Dil Bechara (released on hotstar)

Kizie and Manny are the main characters of the movie. While Kizie has thyroid cancer, Manny had osteosarcoma. The story revolves around their evolution towards acceptance and love. What lights up the movie is their Paris trip together. The movie has been rated 9.8/10 on IMDb. Even IMDb website was frozen for around an hour as a lot of people rushed together to rate the movie on the platform.

Dil Bechara has been released on Disney + Hoststar. The movie has been made free to watch on the platform so that more and more fans can watch it. People are embracing the movie with so much love that social media is flooded with positive reviews and comments full of love and support. After the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, fans had been demanding for his last movie to be released on a big screen but due to COVID crisis, the movie was released on a digital platform. However, the movie still successfully earned positive reviews from the audience.

A few days back, Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley were seen tweeting on Twitter that they would be watching the movie together. Not only this, but a lot of people from countries other than India are also demanding to watch the movie. We hope the movie will soon be released on a global platform and come out as a Global Hit.

The movie would have been released much earlier than this but could not be released due to ongoing MeToo allegations on director Mukesh Chhabra. Due to this reason, the movie has been released now.

The acting of Sanjana and Sushant are commendable. Sushant’s smile has been the most attractive part of the movie. However, fans soon realized that just like a last letter of Manny to Kizie, the movie has also been the last memory of Sushant. But for sure, he will always remain in our hearts.

Recently, Sajana Saghi also opened up after the release of the movie and shared how she and Sushant used to share a special bond during the shooting of the movie. The fans missing Sushant felt his presence not only on the screen but also in their heart. You watch movies but Dil Bechara is not a movie you will watch, you will feel it.

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Bollywood

Timeless Bollywood Movies To Watch In The Quarantine

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Timeless Bollywood Movies

Every week, Bollywood movies are released. But only a few timeless Bollywood movies always remain close to the heart of the viewer. These movies are suitable to watch anytime. During quarantine, we all are bored of trying out ways to pass our time. What about appreciating some great movies of all the time? Here is a list of some timeless Bollywood movies which you can watch and reminisce older times.

Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

timeless Bollywood movies(dil chahta hai)

Dil Chahta Hai is a movie based on the bond of friendship that three friends share. All them have different personalities and different approaches towards life but they all are still connected due to their bond. The movie was released in 2001 but even today, it is one of the most liked movies by viewers. Dil Chahta has been directed by Farhan Akhtar. The cast of the movie includes Amir Khan, Akshay Khanna, Saif Ali Khanna, Pretty Zinta, Dimple Kapadia, Ayub Khan, Sonali Kulkarni, Rajat Kapoor, Ahmed Khan and Suhasini Mulay.

Swades (2004)

timeless Bollywood movies(swades)

Released in 2004, Swades is one of the best movies produced in India. The movie is about an Americanized NRI who works as a scientist in NASA. He travels back to his country India and looks for his beloved nanny who raised him. In the later part of the movie, he advocates reforms for this village. The movie is directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. The cast of the movie includes Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, Kishori Balla, Rajesh Vivek, Farukh Jaffer, Smith Seth and Daya Shankar Pandey. Swades was one of the movies which is considered very much ahead of its time. It is one of the classics of Bollywood cinema which is a must-watch.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)

timeless Bollywood movies( znmd)

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is one of the best Bollywood movies ever released. A road trip, three childhood friends and life-lessons. The movie is about living your life, falling in love, celebrating friendship and combating your worst fears. The movie has been directed by Zoya Akhtar. The Cast of the movie includes Hritik Roshan. Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah and Ariadna Cabrol. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was appreciated a lot by the millennial generation. It is still one of the best movies and can be watched anytime.

Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

 

At the end of the day, a family is what matters the most. Dil Dhadakne Do is a movie based on this notion only and introduces the Mehta family where every family member holds a troubled relationship with the other family members. However, no one wants to talk it out. Their life takes on a cruise which changed their lives forever and taught them valuable life lessons. The director of the movie is Zoya Akhtar and the main cast of the movie includes Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Anil Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Shefali Shah and Rahul Bose. DIl Dhadakne Do is all time one of the best comedy family drama movies ever.

Taare Zameen Par (2007)

Dil-Dhadakne-Do

Taare Zameen Par released in 2007 is the story of Ishan, a little boy who is sent to boarding school as he is not able to score good grades in the school. Ishan who suffers from dyslexia was constantly punished for not performing well. However, a new teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh in the boarding school identifies his problem and help him discover his hidden talent. The movie when released addresses the issue of dyslexia and excessive pressure on students to perform well in academics. It left many parents in tears and is still regarded as one of the best movies ever. The movie was directed by Amir Khan and Amole Gupte. The Main Cast of the movie includes Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan, Tisca Chopra, Tanay Chheda, Vipin Sarma, Sachet Engineer and Girija Oak.

Bollywood is a treasure full of a beautiful and timeless piece of arts. The need is to explore them out. The above-mentioned movies are based on different topics. Where Movies like Swades and Dil Chahta Hai were regarded as movies ahead of the time, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do are perfect releases. But all of these movies are equally good and must watch.

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Dutee Chand’s Recent Facebook Post Gave Way To A Controversy

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Dutee Chand

Recently, National Champion and India’s Fastest Woman Dutee Chand uploaded a post to the Facebook including pictures of her BMW with a caption that she wants to sell her BMW. She took down the post but soon it caused havoc over social media platforms. A statement made by Dutee led to a flood of tweets and reactions by people. Let us see the whole matter.

The reason was given by Dutee Chand to sell her BMW

As the reasons for selling the car, she said that she since always wanted to ride a BMW and got the opportunity to buy it after she got Rs. 3 Crore for her achievement in Asian Games. But her present financial condition is not fine and she is not able to continue with her fitness training for Tokyo Olympics. She also said that she was not able to get any sponsors due to COVID-19 as according to her, her money has exhausted. So, the last option left with her is to sell her car. Even Odisha Government has made it clear in a press release that they have paid Rs. 3 Crore to the 24-year-old athlete after her Asian Games achievements.

Controversies over her statement

dutee chand(press statement)

Soon Dutee Chand’s post became viral before it was deleted. After the reasons specified her according to reported media, people began to rant her on social media. A lot of people called it her publicity stunt. They said that Dutee had enough money to finance her but all she did was just to receive limelight. At this, Dutee Chand came out and said that she is very unhappy with such comments. She also released a press statement on Wednesday.

She accused the media of misinterpreting her language. She also said that her KIIT Academy and Odisha Government had always supported her but she did not want to burden them. She also remarked that she never said that she wanted to sell her car to maintain her finances for fitness training. But she also made a point by saying that it is undeniable fact that her training is very expensive and she would be happy if the money she gets by selling her BMW would be diverted towards her training. Dutee Chand said that she always loved luxurious cars but maintaining them is a costly matter and she considered it spendthrift on her part. According to her, a car can be bought when she would receive money from the government, post-COVID crisis.

Dutee Chand expressed her grief over people showing much interest in her personal life and dragging her personal issues into all this. She requested everyone to not comment over her personal life, family matters, state government and her alma-mater.

Even after Dutee’s statements, many people were expressing their different views over social media. Some were supporting her while many were still calling it her publicity stunt and a way of attaining publicity. But after all this, currently, things are taking a peaceful turn and there is hush on social media platform regarding this matter.

 

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