Thursday, 16 January 2020

Dialogue - the Spoken Word



By Jaideep Sen

Ever since I changed the ringtone of my cell phone from Sholay’s “Yeh Dosti” song to the dialogue from Trishul— Main paanch laakh ka sauda karne aaya hoon aur meri jeb mein paanch phooti koudiyan bhi nahin hain”—innumerable compliments have been pouring in about the ringtone.  So much so that if the phone is lying next to me and I pick it up instantly, the caller feels disappointed that she or he couldn’t savour the complete dialogue and relish its recall value. On several occasions I’ve asked them to call back again and taken the call after a few seconds to allow them to enjoy this immortal dialogue—through their ears and into their hearts.


The Father-Son Conflict in Trishul: Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan
These compliments actually got me thinking about the quality and impact of Dialogues by the Masters of Writing Salim Saab – Javed Saab. It also gives me the opportunity to offer this piece as a humble birthday gift to Javed Saab on the occasion of his 75th birthday today.


Ironically, in Salim Saab’s own words, Dialogue writing is the least challenging of the three aspects of writing: story, screenplay and dialogue; Screenplay being the most difficult mountain to climb because even a good Story can be underwhelming if told in an uninteresting way and if it doesn’t surprise the audience at regular intervals. But here the incessant compliments about the ringtone drew my attention to how much well written dialogues impact and stay back with the listener and in this case took them back so many years into the world of one of Salim Saab – Javed Saab’s slightly underrated and lesser talked about gems, Trishul.


Sudha Chopra and Sanjeev Kumar in Trishul
I say slightly underrated because somewhere it got eclipsed by the gigantic shadow of success that Deewaar and Sholay achieved. Trishul is an extraordinarily powerful take on illegitimacy and was walking a tight rope of a man on a mission of bringing down his biological father for having wronged his mother. Conceptually, one would feel that the father – R.K. Gupta – played with absolutely the right blend of arrogance and vulnerability by Sanjeev Kumar Ji is in the wrong. But when I recently saw the film, the scene in which the young R.K Gupta’s mother played with such conviction by Sudha Chopra Ji emotionally convinces him to marry Kamini and not Shanti, I quite absolved the young R.K Gupta of betrayal. I doff my hat to Salim Saab and Javed Saab for such balanced and sensitive writing.


Salim Saab had once told me that what is morally wrong can never be emotionally right which is why we the audience are always on an emotional see-saw in the fight between Vijay and R.K. Gupta because both are right and wrong in their own way. So much so that when a very senior filmmaker was seeing a preview of Trishul  he’d told Salim Saab at the interval that the film wouldn’t work due to the dynamic of a son destroying his father. But in the second half when Vijay slaps Balwant Rai for abusing R.K Gupta, the same filmmaker told Salim Saab that with this sequence they’ve vindicated Vijay for not allowing anyone else to trespass into his fight with R.K. Gupta. That itself, in his view made it a successful film.  


The ambulance scene in Trishul
Trishul did not only become a very successful film but is also a special film in Salim Saab-Javed Saab’s career because it was the first time in their career till then that they on seeing the final cut of the film felt it did not have the same bite as its predecessors Zanjeer, Deewaar and Sholay. They decided to add some teeth to the screenplay and for the first time did some additional writing – this was how the famous ambulance beat literally drove its way into the film where Vijay before beating the daylights out of his opponents has an ambulance ready to take them to hospital.


How tall Trishul stands to date amongst Salim Saab- Javed Saab’s priceless body of work finds its validation in the compliments that I have received for something that was written more than 40 years back underlining their genius and the power of their dialogue, the spoken word.





Monday, 13 January 2020

Keeping Yourself Motivated

2020 has rolled in and with it a new set of to-do's for the Year. Am I the only person to feel pressured by the things that were left undone or half-done in the year gone by?

I don't know about you but I feel like being the "woman on a mission" is simply too much pressure and takes the joy out of life and the things that are supposed to give you joy! So, what's the point, right?

In the process you end up stressed out for the projects that remained unfinished. And what about the achievements? The small and not-so-small things that you got done? The moments of joy that were perhaps a bit too fleeting?

Pause. Take a deep breath. And pat yourself on the back for those little successes. Because believe it or not, life is too short to harp on the failures. Move on, if something is not working out, accept defeat gracefully and move on to something else. Staying motivated is not just about counting your successes. It's also about accepting failures and not letting them diminish your enthusiasm. 

Here is a quick tip for keeping focus and staying motivated. Break up your big project into more manageable mini-projects with deadlines. If writing a blog every week feels overwhelming, commit to smaller tasks during the week such as jotting notes and ideas for your blog on a scratch pad and/or coming up with more ideas for posts. This will make writing the weekly blog much easier as you have your handy notes to fall back upon. Secondly, you would also have some additional ideas for the next week.

So I am still a 'woman on a mission' but with a slightly different approach. Here's to 2020! Hope it is a good one for you too!

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Spotlight: Devika Fernando's New Title 'Sweet Surprises'

On my blog this week, I welcome my author friend Devika Fernando who writes multiple series and stand-alone novels in multiple genres. Simply keeping pace with Devika's fast and furious book releases is exhausting...and also extremely awe-inspiring. Seriously, Devika, you need to give me that recipe to your secret sauce! 😄

Without further ado, here's a look at 'Sweet Surprises', the latest title from the author. This is Book 3 in the Inn Love Series. 

About the Series:

This small town romance series features novels that each revolve around a bed & breakfast in a different country. The books are sweet romances, set in countries like England, Canada, and Italy. They can be read separately as stand-alones with a happy ending and are great for fans of Nora Roberts. No cliffhangers, no cheating, but some mild swearing. 

Sweet Surprises 


A fiercely independent interior designer from America - A charming Italian man with a secret identity - An old villa with its own secrets

Italy has always fascinated Victoria. Now that the interior designer from America is there to help convert a grand old villa into an inn, it feels like a dream come true
even more so when she falls head over heels in love with the handsome gardener. The few precious days she shares with Riccardo make her rethink every decision shes ever made in life. But just when Victoria is ready to take a leap of faith, she learns that her irresistible Italian isnt who she thinks.

Riccardo Moretti is the heir to a marble empire fortune and definitely not relationship material. But when the fascinating American woman overseeing the villa
s transformation mistakes him for someone else, he seizes the opportunity. With her, he can truly be himself, removed from scandals and from his familys claws. Hes lost his closed-off heart to the talented, outspoken foreigner - but will their love be enough to overcome all the obstacles and secrets in their way?

Sounds interesting, right? Here is an excerpt from the book....


Riccardo glanced at the woman walking next to him, wondering why he felt this strong pull towards her. It wasnt merely attraction, though he found her utterly beautiful. His body was reacting way too powerfully to her nearness. That moment when hed had his arm around her and her curves pressed close, he had felt such longing that it was almost a physical ache. Another second of her in his embrace and hed have done something as foolish as kissing her.
Idiota, he mentally scolded himself, sei spazzo. It was crazy to think she would welcome such advances. They were basically strangers, and she had no idea about his true identity. And yet, he yearned with every fiber of his being to get to know her better.
Careful.
He grabbed her hand to stop her in her tracks. His short cut had taken them through a small thicket of trees that loomed like ghostly shapes in the moonlit semi-darkness.
Theres a small stream running through here, he explained and saw her lean forward to check why he had stopped her from strolling on.
Oh, youre right!
Acutely aware that he was still holding her hand, Riccardo had to push himself to focus on the here and now.
Its very narrow here, just a few meters. There are stones you can step on to cross it, but you have to know where to set your foot. He turned to her, feeling her fingers tremble in his hold. Im sorry, it was stupid to lead you this way but its the short cut I am used to. We can either walk back a bit and take the normal route or you can let me help you across.
She peered at the inky expanse of water, trickling slowly rather than rushing like a proper stream. Ah well, whats a night stroll without a bit of a risk? With a chuckle, Victoria shrugged. Was she aware that she hadnt pulled her fingers out of his grip yet? Lets do this. But I have a feeling you did this on purpose, so you can be a gallant knight in shining armor without seeming chauvinistic.
Yet again, she surprised him. Riccardo laughed, giving her fingers a squeeze. No, I swear. I took this familiar path automatically, I wasnt thinking. And how could he think straight when being near her scrambled all his brain cells? Shall we?
Lead the way, fearless knight.
With another laugh, Riccardo oriented himself and then pointed at a dark shape by their feet. Here, see. This is the first stone. Theyre all big enough to get a grip but they might be a bit slippery. Just follow in my footsteps.
At her nod, he took the first step and led her cautiously across the few meters of water. She let go of his hand as soon as they had crossed the brook, and he felt oddly bereft.
Only five more minutes, then were there. He nodded ahead, at where the lights were much brighter and closer now.
Great. She gave a single shiver, hugging herself.
You are cold. Im sorry. It can cool down rapidly here at night.
He had no idea why he was apologizing for something clearly out of his control and not his fault. Reacting on instinct, he slipped out of his leather jacket and draped it around her shoulders. His hands lingered on her arms for a precious second or two, feeling her lean into the touch before he stepped away.
Thank you, she mumbled, her voice quiet and wobbly. Was she as impacted by their closeness and the tension shimmering around them as he was?
Calling himself a fool again, Riccardo lengthened his stride. The sooner he got her home, the better, or he would really do something stupid and invite her for dinner and a glass of wine.




You can also find Book 1 (Tanatalizing Temptations/England)  and Book 2 (Hidden Hopes/Canada) in the series here!

About the Author


Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds - something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet and sensual, deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust.

What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, Devika is a faithful servant to all the cats and dogs she has adopted. When she's not writing, she's reading or thinking about writing.

Connect with Devika