Jaipur Beat · Movie reviews

A bullet or a tablet: what exactly is this Leela ?

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is one of those rare genres of directors who always believed in doing things differently not bothering too much about the masses’ opinion. Whether it was Hum Dil De Chuke, Saawariya or Guzarish, every movie was conceived and treated differently. People were excitedly waiting for Ram leela aka Goliyon ki Rasleela, a movie featuring Deepika Padukone after two back to back successful movies and Ranveer Singh. Shot extensively in Udaipur and Rann of Kutch, the colourful promos of the movie reflected larger than life setup.

Team “Jaipur Beat” yet again took it upon themselves to watch the movie on the very first day and share its review with our audiences. The movie starts off with screen full of chromatically dressed ladies and you are immediately made to realize that you watching a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie. The movie talks about a town in Gujarat that deals in selling of guns and its people drinking beer on streets where a guy and a girl from two rival, constantly-clashing mob gangs fall for each other while the others are spraying bullets and shedding blood. And yes full marks for guessing that Ranveer (Ram) and Deepika (Leela) belonged to these two communities. The movie starts with a slide stating “inspired by Romeo and Juliet” which in itself is a strong statement.

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The two meet at Holi celebration and within minutes fall in love with each other. The lip to lip kiss stamps the official confirmation of their affair. If only rest of the movie was as brisk as their romance. These two decides that the only way their romance can flourish is by putting this enmity to rest. Further story of the movie gets divided into the war and their love story.
Deepika-Padukone

Deepika and Ranveer have awesome chemistry to complement frenetic direction of Bhansali and the truly fabulous set pieces. For a change there are lot of double meaning dialogues exchanged and cheesy SMS text by these two. Initially their kisses were seriously giving competition to movies such as Shudh Desi Romance. Ranveer leaves no opportunity to take off his shirt, something director did with Salman Khan too in HDDCS. Deepika looked seriously stunning in typical gujrati ghaghra choli and did justice to the role. Her acting during the later part is delight to watch.

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The real star of the movie is Supriya Pathak as a god-fearing matriarchal mob boss with a rascally twinkle that intermittently threatens to turn villainous. From Khichdi to Ramleela is surely a journey for this talented actress. We must say, she should do more movies. Gulshan Deviah, Abhimanyu Singh, Sharad Kelkar have their good moments along with Richa Chadha who was also very powerful in the small role given to her.
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The music is composed by Bhansali himself. The hangover of HDDCS in the background track and holi song etc can be easily recognized. The song Bhai Bhai is really interesting but the song that stood out is Laal Ishq.

Bhansali has shot this movie on a grand scale. It looks like one big ‘Bhansalized’ canvas of colourful painting. The sets are huge and at times remind us of Saawariya.

Watch this movie for Bhansali’s dare, for Deepika’s screen presence, for Ranveer attempt to be different and off course for celebrations and festivities India offer. I won’t predict a massive collection like Chennai Express but surely this movie will bring audience to the theatre.

Points : 3.5/5

Celebrations · Food · Jaipur Beat · Jaipur Fashion · Jaipur Happenings · Jaipur Jewellery · Jaipur Lifestyle · Pushkar Fair · Rajasthan events · Rajasthan tourism

The Golden Tale of Pushkar Fair

After a long soothing bath, he steps out. Dressed in classy colors and adorned with gorgeous jewellery, as he walks towards you with a jingle in every step, with an innocent look in his eyes, he asks “Are you here to see me, admire me or take me to your world??”

And all you do is find yourself staring without a blink at this tall, brown and composed creature, the mighty king of the desert; camel.

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Wrapped in the golden sands of Rajasthan and a deep riot of colors, comes the Pushkar fair to bathe you in the spirit of festivity. The festival does not celebrate an occasion or a victory but vividly rejoices the rich culture, happiness and the chilly onset of winters in November. The fair embarks in Kartik Shukal Ekadashi and is celebrated till five long days till the Kartik Purnima with the aim of trading cattle including camels, horses, cows, goats, sheep etc.

A pleasant winter morning at Pushkar
A pleasant winter morning at Pushkar

Pushkar Camel fair is an event in Rajasthan treasured with vigorous activities such as cultural and musical events, thrilling camel safari tours and a stay in the traditional camps. Traders from various parts of the country can be seen in the fair. Dressed in sophistication and roaming in open jeeps, these men travel to the fair for the trading of livestock. Groups of camels, herders and traders begin to appear from out of the desert and set up camp in the dunes around Pushkar. There are lively discussions as groups of vendors and purchasers meet around their animals and negotiators help to arrange deals.

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Amidst this, you see a stadium in the middle of the ground where all the interesting activities and traditional competitions take place. As fascinating is the voice of ‘kabaddi kabaddi’, equally fun is the sight of horse and camel racing where the participation is not limited to Indians alone. The foreign tourists get involved with equal zeal and enthusiasm.

A foreigner making her way through the Pushkar fair
A foreigner making her way through the Pushkar fair

This does not end here. Pushkar fair always has more to offer than you think !! Another factor that lures travelers to this charismatic fair is the camel competition. This is different from camel races. An array of camels is decked up in beautiful clothes and interesting patterns for the awe-inspiring beauty contest. The owners leave no stone unturned in making their camels look dynamic and eye catching as the one looking the best takes the prize. The sights of bedecked camels with their owners sitting on the backs are astounding and leave many jaws drop out of enthrallment.

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People taking camel rides and admiring the beauty of this festival

In one of the competitions, a large number of people are made to sit on the camel’s back. The camel then lopes across the sand and throws its riders off its back, amidst cheers and jeers from thousands of spectators. The camel which succeeds in accommodating the maximum number of people on its back, wins the competition.

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The wonders of this fair are such, that it does not limit itself to the borders of the country, many international tourists are drawn to this festival like bees to honey and are seen enjoying every bit of it. If there’s someone that enjoys and cherishes this festival more than anyone else, it’s a photographer. This festival is undoubtedly a vivid photographer’s delight. From the cultural Kalbelia dance to the joyous tourists, the golden land is a plethora of expressions.

A lady walking in the colorful streets of Pushkar
A lady walking in the colorful streets of Pushkar
Believe it or not, these are painted stairs leading to the shop where all these services are offered
Believe it or not, these are painted stairs leading to the shop where all these services are offered

Apart from the exciting competitions, the tourists and locals also get a chance to witness the varied art of colorful Rajasthan. From jewelry items for cattle, ranging from beads, strings, saddles, saddle-straps and cowries to items specifically exhibited for the human folks, a plethora of artifacts exhibited is just endless.

Silver ornaments and bead necklaces from Nagaur, patchwork, printed textiles as well as the famous tie ‘n’ dye fabrics from Ajmer are a major attraction. Fashion however does not end here. The fair is also known for the varied body tattoos it offers. Since this is the time to gear up the town’s otherwise slacking business, every household is seen to set up some or the other stall to allure the passing crowd. A rural bazaar that it is, one either has to walk or hire a camel cart while trotting around. There are yummy food stalls seen as well.

The camel traders stay here and are seen taking small water breaks as they move ahead with clear visions in their minds. As the day comes to an end, the sunset makes a perfect silhouette and there’s a priceless sight of dust and gold blending and brightening your senses.

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Jaipur

The Grand Diwali Affair

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The happiness is in the air, you can feel it, it is infectious. The evenings are mildly cold and everything is lit up. Your friends who stay out of Jaipur are visiting, the holidays from work and college are close and you have endless reasons to go out every day. Above all this, it is the time for lots of family time! Isn’t this the time of the year that we really wait for?

Worldtrade Park

For people our age, somewhere along this celebrating-it-our-way spirit and despite the family poojas we have forgotten to check what does each of these days mean in the most mythological sense. How many of us know the wheres of the origin of the mythological names, the whys of the rituals associated with each of these? Let’s change that from here and know each of these days a little more ritually!

Puja

Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi marks the beginning of the three days festival celebrations. And celebrations that don’t need a day go on much longer than just Diwali. Literally speaking, Dhanteras translates to Dhan meaning wealth and Teras meaning 13th day as per Hindu calendar. Since the purchase of metals is considered auspicious on this day, we see utensils, electronic items and silver being purchased for our homes. As we make trips to the market for these purchases, Jaipur is glowing and the brightness is at its peak.

Time we light up our home, in fact every corner of it, with those traditional diyas and aroma candles too for the aesthetics these days. It is Naraka Chaturdashi or Kali Chaudas, known to us as Choti Diwali. Kali (dark) Chaudas is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark half of Hindi Āshwin month to worship Mahakali or Shakti as on this day Kali killed the wicked Narakasura. On this day, we try to sprinkle colours in a floral pattern, so as to form a beautiful rangoli at the entrance of the house.

Jaipur Market

When out of the house, everybody seems to be at the sweet shop or at the jeweller’s. It is surely keeping the confectioners and the jewellers busy as a bee and happy as a clam! For those of us on the consumption end of sweets, it does not get more sugary at any other point in time. If one is counting calories, there are even diet mithais in the market. Get those for yourself or don’t get on that weighing machine.

Diyas

Now comes the grand welcome of the most important festival in the country, Diwali or Deepavali, the festival of lights. We have read all about it through the school textbooks; the return of lord Rama after 14 years of exile. To welcome his return, diyas (ghee lamps) are lit in total of fourteen. No matter how many clothes we have, new clothes to wear for the day are one of the best part of the festival.

Crackers

The Laxmi pooja with the family and the cracker bursting competition with cousins give memories worth cherishing for a long time. Some pictures should be clicked so that we do not rely on our memories completely.
But did we know that Diwali is an official holiday even in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji? So forget your worries, actually leave them to the happy breeze blowing and make the best of the year left.