Book Review: Broken News by Amrita Tripathi

Yet another debut novel by an Indian author. But Broken News is more than a college-goer’s love story. It gives you a peep into the world of news, the world that lies behind the TV screens in our drawing rooms. Oh yes, that’s what they say, even though I sometimes wonder if all people keep their sole television sets (India has multiple cellphones in every home but TV sets are still, majorly, single) in their drawing rooms. At least my parents don’t. And I don’t have a TV set of my own yet.

So coming to the book, Amrita’s Broken News reminds me vaguely of Bridget Jones’ Diary which I had read long back, mainly because both of them talk about thirty something single women, and in some way, have a similarity in their tones too. But then, while Bridget is obsessed with her love life, Amrita’s character M is not much involved in a relationship and talks about life in general, focusing on the work part of it.

While the book starts quite casually, and has a ‘bitchy’ tone in the beginning chapters, it gets more serious as the life of the character, M, gets more complicated and her problems start outgrowing her. She starts with the small trouble around her in the office and gets on to more difficult things, even murder/suicide which make things difficult to cope with.

And then, there are some interesting things too. I mean, apart from the main text of the book. Like before every chapter there is a ‘What We Learn’ where u get three lessons from the chapter. For example, the first chapter starts with

  • We all sit in judgement
  • Post-colonial angst’s still alive and kicking
  • Gods no longer smile.

Well, I think I have told you enough about the book and if it’s difficult to continue without a spoiler. Hence I will stop here. To summarize, I would say that Broken News is not a path-breaking story but if you want to see the Television News Industry from a been-there-done-that girl’s eye, it’s certainly not bad. A good debut.

Aamir and Sharman to replace Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi?

Oops! It’s a well spread rumor, coming from comparatively reliable resources. So it’s almost a news. Rajkumar Hirani is planning to replace Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi with Aamir Khan and Sharman Joshi for the new Munna Bhai movie, Munna Bhai Chale America. The interesting thing is that the promos of the movie, showing Sanjay and Arshad of course, have been doing rounds on the Internet for years now.

If that happens, it will be worth seeing if Sharman Joshi makes as good a Circuit as Arshad. My guess is Sharman will have a new name instead of Circuit, but since it’s a Munna Bhai series, I don’t think Aamir will be called anything else. And while my opinion is that Sanjay Dutt any day makes the best ‘bhai’ in Bollywood, how Aamir does that role will have to be watched.

Whatever it is, I think the news is bad. For one, I do not want a new Munna Bhai, and secondly, I think Aamir should get ahead of Hirani’s comedy now and go on to do better films.

Indian Ocean Singer Asheem dies

Asheem Chakravarty, the lead singer and Tabla player of band Indian Ocean passed away in Delhi today at an age of 50. Asheem was hospitalized in Delhi after two heart attacks in Doha, Qatar.

Indian Ocean fans call Asheem the man with the golden voice. He used to sing at the same time while playing Tabla. Indian Ocean is famous for their albums Desert Rain and Kandisa. They also have Black Friday to their credit.

Twitter HACKED!!

Oops! This was big. Suddenly Twitter shows that the website was hacked by some Iranian Cyber Army and showed Iranian flag with an email ID iranian.cyber.army@gmail. Though the page showing the flag was loaded only once at around 11.30 Indian Standard Time and seconds after that Twitter was shown as unable to load, link broken, and taking too long to respond in different browser. Unavailable in short.

Even the Desktop client tweetdeck was not working and said ‘Problem with all Tweets‘ which changed to ‘There’s a problem – don’t panic‘.

Paa too in Court!

As per a Times of India report, a lawsuit has been filed in a court charging Amitabh Bachchan with violating the disabilities act through ‘Paa’ in which he plays a 13-year-old boy suffering from progeria, which accelerates the ageing process.

Big B has been accused of poking fun at people with disabilities.

The case has been filed by Patna High Court lawyer Shruti Singh in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate under The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. It has also been filed against director R. Balkrishna.

“I filed a case in the court demanding a probe into whether ‘Paa’ violated the act or not,” Singh said Saturday.¬†As a result, the lawyer’s name has come to the front page of the Times of India and I hope many other places. So her work must be over.

“My stand is simple: If it violated the disability act, the authorities should act against the producer and actors of the film for making a joke of disabled people,” she added. Now, after watching everybody using all their spare tissues to wipe their faces, I’m wondering how Auro and co. made a joke of disabled people.

Wasn’t there a fine of 10000 bucks or something on useless PILs? Well, 10k well spent by the lady then.

For once, Please!

Journalism in India has become a rat race. While being ‘Sabse Tez’ has become the mantra of News Channels, even newspapers go limits sometimes. Yes, I have become habitual to those news channels. I know how to deal with them now. I have removed India TV from my TV and I know when to switch to MTV tickr for better news.

But what if the print media starts doing that? Yes, they are doing it. And though there were questions on the media after 26/11, you still can see things like this:

DNA: Responsible journalism?

This is what appeared in the DNA Bangalore Edition of 26/11/09. I really want to know if it was necessary to put the words ‘You Read it First in DNA’ even today. Can’t we salute the martyrs and pray for the victims without a race, for one day? Is THIS their responsible journalism?

That’s that for me. Only newspapers. I know I can’t bear with the television today.

Madhuri to play Mother: The Indira Gandhi

So there is some news for Madhuri Dixit fans out here (for everyone almost, I’d say). It’s being made by filmmaker and theater director Krishna Shah who claims to have been writing the movie for the past 23 years now and wants to bring it on screen within two years.

The movie will be in two parts due to its length. It’ll be in Hindi and English mixed and won’t have songs. In short, there is one more guy out there to make a ‘different’ movie. So let us see, in two years, how this turns out. Hope to see Madhuri doing something worthwhile in Mother: The Indira Gandhi now.