Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
'Neerja' - A glorious tribute to the braveheart
Film: "Neerja"; Director: Ram Madhvani; Cast: Shabana Azmi, Sonam Kapoor, Shekhar Ravijani and Yogendra Tikku; Rating: ***1/2
 
Neerja, a biopic, encapsulates the life of Neerja Bhanot, head purser, Pan Am flight 73, which was hijacked in Karachi in September 1986 where she laid down her life heroically, trying to save the passengers.
 
Set inside Pan Am Flight 73 and Bombay's Navjeevan Society, this is a well made, crisp film that takes the audience through Neerja's short life of 23 years. And as Neerja, a die-hard Rajesh Khanna fan used to say, "Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahin (Life should be grand, not long)". She lived her life to the fullest and brought joy to those whose lives she touched, till the very end.
 
Director Ram Madhvani adroitly showcases Neerja's life and the actual incident of the plane getting hijacked in a brilliant narrative. He gives viewers a peak into her life with her family, her strong bond with her mother, her attachment to her father, the lessons she learnt from them and her traumatic marriage, in a smooth flowing plot, the focus of which never wavers.
 
The hijacking incident and the manner in which Neerja attends to the passengers, rescues them with single-minded devotion and confidence, remains the centre stage of the film. Yet, we get glimpses of her life, which tell us the kind of person she was.
 
Sonam Kapoor as Neerja Bhanot slips into the role with ease. Whether it is playfully mouthing the dialogues of her favourite superstar Rajesh Khanna, chiding her mother for her unnecessary concern, or staring adversity in the face as a composed flight purser, she makes it all look effortless as an actor.
 
But it is Shabana Azmi as Rama Bhanot, Neerja's spirited and loving mother, who steals your heart with a natural and heart-rending performance. She is every inch Neerja's mother whether it is waking her up lovingly before a flight or promising her a yellow salwar kameez for her birthday. The last scene where she gives an emotional speech on the first death anniversary of Neerja, is easily one of the highlights of the film.
 
Shekhar Ravijani, of the Vishal-Shekhar music director duo, makes his debut as an actor and plays Neerja's love interest, Jaideep, who dotes on her. Unfortunately the character does not offer him much scope by way of performance.
 
The actors playing the hijackers too are competent and display their anger, frustration, nervousness and unleashing of terror, in a convincing manner. The rest of the actors too are natural, not indulging in unnecessary histrionics.
 
Nothing in the film appears staged or artificial. It is truly a slice of Neerja's life.
 
The only aberration in this otherwise well told engaging tale, is the jerky camera movement and poor lighting, which barely allows you to see the face of the actors with clarity, giving it the feel of a film with compromised production values.
 
The music has been skilfully used to create the right mood in certain scenes and does not seem out of place.
 
Overall, Neerja is bound to engage you emotionally owing to the nature of its subject and its adept treatment.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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50 percent of Indian teenagers prone to high use of mobile phones
New Delhi : Fifty percent of Indian children and teenagers are prone to spinal problems due to the high uses of mobile phones, said a study done by a Mumbai-based hospital.
 
The problem may lead to permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong pain, it said. 
 
The neck pain and physical damage sustained from the overuse of one's mobile phone, tablet or other wireless devices has also been described as 'Text neck'.
 
Conducted by Lilavati Hospital, the study said 79 percent of the population between the age group of 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time, with only two hours of their waking day spent without their cell phone on hand.
 
India has the world's second highest mobile phone users with the figure standing above one billion.
 
"People working on computers most of the day, like software professionals and bank employees, are also prone to feel pain and slight numbness in their neck and shoulders," said Nirad S. Vengsarkar, orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital. 
 
Due to the overuse of phone, instead of a normal forward curve, patients can be seen to have a backwards curve which can be degenerative, often causing head, neck, shoulder and back pain, said the study.
 
"The condition can also result in emotional and behavioural changes as the stress can affect the release of happy hormones," said the study. 
 
"Resting the chin on the chest to look at the phone stretches the spinal cord and brain stem. This can affect respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. It can also mean that happy hormones, such as Endorphins and Serotonin are not released, meaning people can wake up anxious," said the report.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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One killed, 10 injured as Jat stir turns violent in Haryana
Rohtak/Chandigarh : At least one person was killed and 10 injured when police fired on Jat protestors in Haryana's Rohtak town on Friday afternoon, officials said.
 
The police fired when the protestors attacked the residence of the inspector general of police and that of Haryana Finance Minister Abhimanyu in Rohtak, police officials said.
 
Life continued to be affected in most parts of Rohtak, Jhajjar and some other districts of the state as the agitation by Jats continued for the sixth day on Friday.
 
The Jat protestors, who have been demanding reservation in jobs and educational institutions, torched several police and private vehicles in Rohtak. The protestors also damaged private property, and even manhandled media persons at some places in the town.
 
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's officer on special duty Jawahar Yadav dubbed the firing incident as "unfortunate".
 
BJP leader Anil Jain confirmed the death of one person in police firing.
 
The injured were rushed to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak, police said.
 
The protestors agitating for the past six days have blocked roads, highways and railway tracks in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Bhiwani, Jind, Hisar and some other districts, inconveniencing the common man. 
 
The Jat stir escalated even as the Haryana government called an all-party meeting in Chandigarh to discuss the reservation issue and the Jat protests. The meeting urged the protestors to end their agitation and remove the blockades.
 
Jat leaders rejected the appeal to withdraw their agitation.
 
After the all-party meeting in Chandigarh, Khattar said: "The government is in favour of reservation for Jats in the state and is trying to find out ways and means for the same."
 
Khattar said the government will prepare a draft bill on reservation and seek suggestions in this regard. "The government has positive approach on this demand," Khattar said.
 
Referring to statements of BJP's Kurukshetra MP Raj Kumar Saini, who is opposed to reservation for Jats, Khattar said Saini had been asked to withdraw his statement against the protestors.
 
"If the words of Saini have hurt the sentiments of the Jats, all his statements may be treated as withdrawn. Saini was out of station and as and when he comes back, he would take his words back," Khattar said.
 
The chief minister warned that no one would be allowed to take the law in his hands.
 
Haryana Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar said in Gurgaon that the state government was ready to give special backward class quota to the Jats in Haryana.
 
With the Jat agitation spreading in Haryana, authorities blocked Internet services in the affected districts.
 
Internet services, including 2G and 3G, in the worst affected districts of Rohtak, Sonipat and Jhajjar have been withdrawn since midnight, officials said on Friday.
 
"It has been done to prevent spread of rumours, as this could lead to the situation getting out of hand," a senior Haryana Police official told IANS.
 
Jat protestors clashed with security forces in Rohtak on Thursday evening when the police tried to remove the blockades. The protestors attacked police with stones and bricks. A police vehicle was damaged in the clash.
 
"Some roads are blocked by the protestors. We are trying to persuade them to remove the blockades. We have requisitioned paramilitary forces. We are prepared to tackle the situation," Rohtak police chief Saurabh Singh told the media.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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