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The Dignity of Dilip Kumar

  By Jaideep Sen        On 7th July, 2021, Dilip Kumar Saab was finally relieved from his suffering due to poor health of many years and gave lesser mortals like me to relive and rewind to the greatness of Dilip Saab.  Dignity is precisely what Dilip Saab brought not only to his performances but to the overall realm of Hindi Cinema.  A scene from Shakti My generation was brought up more on Salim Saab-Javed Saab’s Angry Young Man portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan Ji and uncannily it took the same haloed trio to introduce me to the greatness of Dilip Saab in Shakti . What a film, what crackling writing, what performances by both Dilip Saab and Amit Ji!  Dilip Saab was hitting the ball out of the park in every scene. Like a chameleon on top of its game -- because the character of Ashwini Kumar had such vast changing colours to cover. From a tough cop to loving husband to helpless father to ultimately shooting his only child dead.  Dilip Saab scored a 10 on 10 in every scene of this once in a
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How to Start your Screenwriting Journey

Photo by Clemens van Lay on Unsplash Newbie writers who are eager to start a career in screenwriting often ask me: I wish to become a screenwriter. How do I go about it?  Every writer's journey is unique and what works for me, may not necessarily work for you.  Like every journey, in this one too you may come across many different paths to get to your destination. The important thing is to get started with a rough map and then figure out the milestones on the way. So here are some tips...   Learn the Craft It all begins with learning the craft. So let's not jump the gun. And this is the fun part. If you wish to be a screenwriter, you need to understand how movies are written. The best way to do this is by watching a lot of films. Mindfully. So you have a bunch of films that you love. Those are the ones where you should start...not simply to be entertained but to understand the writing behind it. Take notes on what happens in a scene. How one scene flows into another. How c

#JustTheWayYouAre has a brand new cover

My feel good, emotional romance novella Just The Way You Are has got a fantastic new cover. Here's a little excerpt from the novella and let me know if you agree that the cover perfectly captures the Yash-Shikha vibe.  Shikha and Yash had ended up in his room long after the party broke up. Seduction by music - was that even possible? And then, one thing had led to another and they had ended up in bed with their bodies making music of a different kind. Truth be told, it had been pretty sensational.   After a shower she felt ready to face the world. She had no clue how she would do it but she had to give the annoying hunk, who also happened to be a good eight years younger than her, the brush off. She had no wish to be branded a 'cougar' or 'bitch', or worse still, 'slut' as she definitely was not into younger men.   She finger-combed her hair, took a deep breath and opened the door. She was ready to face the music.   As soon as she stepped out, she heard the

What is Writer's Voice and How You Can Find Yours

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash Writer's Voice is a term that's bandied about quite frequently on writing websites and during discussions within the community. But what exactly is it? The most simple definition is: it is the unique, individualistic style that distinguishes a writer from other writers. Most significantly, as Rachel Gardner puts it so eloquently: writer's voice is an expression of You on the page . It could be one of many things or a combination of several: use of diction, syntax, description style, dialogue, character development, flow of the narrative, tone, etc. However it goes beyond all this--it encompasses your personal world view. Through your voice you connect with  readers with your unique take.  It's the equivalent of your signature as a writer. And just like you did when you were young -- practise multiple ways of writing your name to finally focus on a particular signature that  you would use life long -- a writer needs to work on her voice

Release of my latest short story -- #Shelly

Most of my stories are feel good love stories. This time I have chosen to write something a little sinister, a little dark. It's an ultra-short love story titled Shelly: A Promise is Forever .  A couple of years ago, as part of a screenwriting challenge--where one is given a few prompts to come up with a short script--I had written this story. It has stayed with me and when I told a friend about this script, she said, 'Why don't you turn it into a short story?'  Though I had thought that fleshing out a six page screenplay would be difficult, as it turned out, once I started writing, the words flowed. Since the storyline was already in place it took me just a couple of days to finish a draft of about 2500 words. A couple of revisions and edits later, it was good to go. This is the first time I have turned one of my scripts into a book--and it has been an experience that I would not mind repeating.  The story revolves around two brothers. When a reluctant Anand Khalap agr

The Most Memorable Line of Indian Cinema

    By Jaideep Sen Last evening as I  was watching Indian Idol, I realised it was  a Mothers ’  Special episode which was obviously a tearjerker . Considering how emotional it was I was  instinctively reminded that perhaps after Mother India,  the most memorable Mother written in contemporary Hindi cinema is Sumitra Devi of Deewar . The character of Sumitra Devi was created with   immense   e motional depth by Salim Saab and   his erstwhile partner, Javed Saab . Indian Idol's Mothers' Special Episode Another slightly lesser remembered but equally impactful character is Janki   in Naam.   P enned independently and  individually by Salim Saab with h is back to the wall when h e wrote his first solo script  after a forced four year break following his parting with Javed Saab . But you need to be made of a different mettle of resilience to hit the ball out of the park against all odds and that’s what Salim Saab did with N aam . When after seeing the I ndian Idol  episode I  spoke

#BookReview: Gilbert's New York steals the show in 'City of Girls'

  Elizabeth Gilbert is famously known for Eat, Pray, Love , a book that I frankly did not enjoy and couldn't bring myself to finish. When I picked up City of Girls , I was intrigued more by the fact that it was set in New York, a city that I had visited a couple of years ago. Watching a Broadway show was the major highlight of my trip. Given that City of Girls is also set in the world of 'showgirls', I was hooked. New York of the 1940s comes alive on the pages as we meet the rich and entitled Vivian Morris who arrives in the City to live with her slightly wild and eccentric aunt Peg. Peg runs a theatre where Vivian befriends an interesting cast of characters including a sexy showgirl, Peg's female secretary and lover and their actress friend. Vivian teams up with her showgirl friend and finds ample ways to exercise her two skills -- "sewing and sex" -- until the inevitable happens. Scandal ensues and upends Vivian's life. Vivian returns to her