Saturday, September 20, 2014

Daawat-e-Ishq review: Aditya Roy Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra showcase memorable moments in this Love-Dhokha Story

Daawat-e-Ishq is not about a love story that revolves around food. It is about Love and Dhokha. It is about a young girl's 'daring to dream' story. Are you ready for this?



Daawat-e-Ishq: Love, Dowry and Dhokha

The opening scene in Daawat-e-Ishq takes you straight into a ‘bride seeing’ ceremony in Hyderabad. The boy’s mother looks her nose down at everything offered. It’s the typical “no girl is ever good enough for my son” scene that is shown.  The prospective bride is Gulrez Khadir (starring Parineeti), who is a sales girl in a shoe shop. She has many dreams: of going to the US to study fashion design, of designing her own shoes and opening a shoe shop….yes, she is street smart, ambitious, full of amazing energy and she has a “weak spot for men who speak English well.” So, when the boy and girl get a chance to talk alone, all hell breaks loose!
Gulrez Khadir is incensed that the prospective groom asked her if she watched “beelue” films instead of pronouncing it correctly as “blue.” She finds out that he had lied about  his educational qualifications too. 
Gulrez’s father, (starring Anupam Kher) is a clerk. He is afraid of his daughter’s BIG dreams which he sees as ‘unrealistic.’ His daughter's dream of making it big almost comes true when she falls in love with a suave, English speaking young guy who seems to be deeply in love with her too. He is all set to pursue his MBA in Kalamazoo and she is already dreaming of her life there. His parents, who profess to be very forward thinking, well-to-do, suave and educated, tell Gulrez and her father, they are fine with their son marrying whoever they want…but they need “help” so that their son can pursue MBA in the US. All the prospective bride's father has to do is to “help” by depositing 80 lakh rupees for their son’s education.
Gulrez is heartbroken that the guy she is in love with did not have the guts to question his parents when they made this demand. Her question to him is, “You and I fell in love and we want to get married to each other. Why are we talking about our marriage in terms of dowry?"
Then Gulrez realizes the fundamental fact of LOVE IN INDIA: whether arranged or love, the girl’s family always has to pay the highest price for it. Whether it is called a ‘list,’ a ‘help,’ 'gold' or 'property,' it is all pointing to one ugly thing: DOWRY.
Daawat-e-Ishq: Serving the Sweet Dish of Revenge 
So, Gulrez (called as Gullu) decides to fulfill her dream of going to the US and making it big as a shoe designer. She convinces her very reluctant father that it’s now their turn to make prospective bridegrooms and their families pay for the humiliation they have been through. They travel to Lucknow by posing as very rich NRIs who are looking to “shortlist bridegrooms.” 
Gulrez changes her name to Sania Habibullah from Dubai. And now it is the father-daughter duo's turn to put bridegrooms and their parents under scrutiny.


Among those who are chosen to be interviewed, there is Tariq Haidar (starring Aditya Roy Kapoor) who owns Lucknow’s most popular kabab joint. He is a high school drop out who speaks English badly, has a crude manner of talking, is a down to earth man for some one who is very rich and he falls deeply in love with Sania Habibullah. Her plan is to trick him into marrying her and then file a fake case against him citing section 498 A.
Now, citing section 498 A has been a clever move to bring in an element of pushing awareness around a social cause. The glitch is this - the movie highlights how the section can be exploited rather than how women can use it to protect themselves from dowry harassment. Law abiding citizens may not appreciate this "twist in legislative intent" that the film seems to focus on.
Tariq and Sania have nothing in common but there is a chemistry between them that blossoms. Here’s where the story loses its plot, becomes predictable and turns cheesy.
Daawat-e-Ishq: What I Liked 
In Daawat-e-Ishq, let me tell you what I really liked: 
1. Brilliant performance by Aditya Roy Kapoor as Tariq Haidar - a high school drop out who cannot speak English fluently. He was just amazing in terms of capturing the raw, refreshing spirit of Tariq Haidar! The movie shows that though Tariq is not suave, sophisticated or educated, he knows how to respect a woman in the manner befitting a real man unlike a 'city' guy. 

2. Natural, effortless acting by Parineeti in her portrayal of 'Gullu' - the ambitious sales girl who has a mind of her own and when she is determined to get something, nothing can stop her.

3. Several memorable moments in the movie such as where Tariq Haidar tries to woo Gullu by serving her food in the presence of his parents, how he has a conversation with her where he tells her that her real value is not in the dowry she brings but her beauty, her personality, charm and intelligence.

4. It is a pleasure to see the refreshing vignettes of Lucknow and Hyderabad. The heritage status, diversity and cultural richness of these two places are well portrayed. There has been a clear and note worthy effort to steer clear of "dolled up" landscapes. Every scene is clearly set in sync with the city and what it represents.


5. The music has a rare life that it breathes into the story. There are no fancy landscapes, exotic locations or make believe lands. Each song matches the mood of the situation and the protagonists breathe life into their characters with every song.  



Daawat-e-Ishq is an entertaining love story that is served with love and a dash of cheesy predictability. Watch it with your loved ones and enjoy the performances by its lead actors and have fun listening to the songs too!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seven Exceptional Posts That Will Motivate You to Own Your Choices in a Fast Changing World

Here you go with my favorite posts for this month’s reading list:


Is there a connection between writers and pubs? YES, says Billy Wilder. Head out to ScotlandsPubsandBars.co.uk, a great resource detailing dozens of pubs with connections to music, industry, literature, sport, architecture and more. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? 

If you aren’t tipsy yet, you have to read: Vidya Sury’s thoughts on the book “The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker”

Alice Walker’s book 'The Color Purple' had given me sleepless nights because of the heart wrenching narrative. 

Another heart-wrenching post is from Vishnu about  the “We own you” mindset of Indian parents wherein “your success is their success, your failure is theirs, your income is theirs….” For those of us who are in the denial mode, just look around. You will see this popping up everywhere – in schools, at PTA meetings, in family conversations.  Sadly, it is our children who suffer the emotional impact of our expectations. So, if you are a parent or planning to be one, Vishnu’s post is a MUST READ. 

Now I want you to pause whatever you are doing, take a deep breath, exhale and relax. It's a beautiful day outside - can you feel the golden sunshine embracing you, reminding you of all the love and friends who fill your life with happiness. 

Nothing in life is MORE IMPORTANT than realizing you own your choices, your life and your power to change whatever you are going through now. 

Be HAPPY - no matter what. 

You can also BOOST your mood with Five Exceptional Posts That Will Motivate You Today and Anupama Prakash's excellent book review on Bird Song - A Novel of Love and War by Sebastian Faulks.


And while you are it, make yourself this yummylicious Oreo shake from Rak's Kitchen. You'll LOVE it!

♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading my post. I dedicate this post with love and gratitude to all of you who love to read.  REQUEST: Please SHARE this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people in a positive way. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Would you pick up a book of erotic short stories?

I had begun reading an unusual book called 'blue: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories from Sri Lanka' edited by Ameena Hussein. It is recommended as a break-through in Sri Lankan writing. Here's a book review of it by Sharanya Manivannan.

This is definitely not a genre I read. But my rationale for picking this up was: Why not just see another person's perspective about an aspect of life that you know nothing about? 

The problem is: As a reader, I felt a complete disconnect as I began reading this book. I could not understand what made so many young writers put in so much effort to write this kind of fiction. This book, no matter what the reviews say, is not a milestone in Sri Lankan writing. I couldn't tolerate it at all.

Coming back to the genre of erotic books, the last book I read was 'Autobiography of a Sex Worker' by a Malayali woman - this was at least three years ago. After reading the book, I found myself able to empathize with sex workers in India. I saw a different world that shocked my sensibility and yet I began to feel for these women.

You may surprise someone by seeing real life and real people differently. That's one of the reasons I love to read. When I read, I don't 'judge' people. I love and accept them. I question their choices out of curiosity and not necessarily to be critical of them.

Most importantly, you become so involved with the characters and their lives that you begin to rework your perspective on people, their lives and choices.

We need more stories - erotic or not - to carry us away into a world of imagination. After all, it is only during these times that your creative spirit is rediscovered and savored.   



How do you like to explore newness and creativity - be it in books, films, stories you read? How open are you to "shocking" stories and how does it change the way you relate to real happenings in the real world?
I would love to know your thoughts.

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