Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
'Piku' - An e-motional journey with quirky characters
It portrays a dysfunctional Bengali family to the core. Based in Delhi's Chittaranjan Park, Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) is a cantankerous, hypochondriac septuagenarian, who constantly fears that he is 'critical' with issues relating to his bowel movements or the lack of it
 
Film: "Piku"; Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan, Moushumi Chatterjee, Raghubir Yadav and Jisshu Sengupta; Director: Shoojit Sircar; Rating: ****1/2
 
The posters and the title scream aloud, "Piku - Motion Se Hi Emotion" and true to its title, there is nothing holding it back, literally and figuratively.
 
Shoojit Sircar, along with his team, who earlier gave us "Yahaan", "Vicky Donor" and "Madras Cafe", this time with "Piku" delivers a gem, that can go down in the annals of Indian cinema as one of the most entertaining films of the year.
 
"Piku" is a slice of life that tackles the "basic" truths with candour and humour.
 
It portrays a dysfunctional Bengali family to the core. Based in Delhi's Chittaranjan Park, Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) is a cantankerous, hypochondriac septuagenarian, who constantly fears that he is "critical" with issues relating to his bowel movements or the lack of it. He suffers from chronic constipation and his life solely revolves around his defecation.
 
This leads his daughter Piku (Deepika Padukone) to sacrifice her personal life to take care of her ageing father. She is largely tolerant and indulges most of his idiosyncrasies. So much so, that she willingly agrees to a road journey from Delhi to Kolkata when he insists he wants to visit his ancestral place, to where he belongs.
 
The duo, accompanied by their Man Friday Boudhan and the owner of the taxi company, Rana Choudhary (Irrfan) as the driver, embark upon the journey. Throughout the journey, the film captures the fine nuances of its quirky characters through their bickering and squabbles.
 
Amitabh plays the senile old Bhaskor Banerjee to perfection. He captures Bhaskor's spirit with such aplomb that he is repulsive and endearing at the same time. With this role, which includes the Bengali accent et al, director Shoojit Sircar has ensured that Amitabh has pushed the envelope further. The only flaw, albeit that can be overlooked, is Mr. Bachchan's clumsy get-up. His protruding stomach and unkempt wig were a tad unwarranted. Perhaps minus those, Bhaskor Banerjee would have looked more realistic.
 
Deepika, too, lives her character. There is something endearing about her Piku that probably only she could portray. She is natural and convincing as the independent, but family-oriented Bengali girl, who cares deeply for her father.
 
Irrfan, though excellent as Rana Choudhary, getting into the skin of his character, largely plays himself. His no-nonsense and matter-of-fact attitude is an extension of his personality, but he fits the character of Rana equally well. As an actor, he holds his own against Amitabh Bachchan when he nonchalantly states, "Death aur sh*t, kabhi bhi, kissi ko bhi, kahin bhi, aa sakti hain".
 
The rest of the cast. too, laudably essays their roles effectively and leaves a lasting impression on the viewers. What contributes to their performance, is undoubtedly the well-etched characters.
 
Apart from the performances, it is Juhi Chaturvedi's writing that is brilliant. The script is taut and also verbose, but that's the way it was designed. The screenplay has the right combination of light and poignant moments. The din created by the endless chatter of the characters too, is unbelievably real. The sarcasm in the witty dialogues is intense and packed with subtle messages and humour. Naturally then, these keep you in splits.
 
The background score by Anupam Roy is apt and mellifluous. The songs blend seamlessly into the narration, thereby enhancing the quality of the scenes.
 
Visually, the film is atmospheric. The dark frames by Kamaljeet Negi capture the mood and the moments clearly, but the snappy edits of quick shots in the initial scenes and a few jerky frames are a bit jarring.
 
Although "Piku" keeps you in "motion" for two hours plus, it is one of the most entertaining and enjoyable rides about life's fundamental needs, which you will thoroughly enjoy!

User

Gender disparity common in high-income medical education
If you think gender disparity exists only at the low-level income group, think twice. Women who serve as directors of internal medicine residency programmes are paid less than their male counterparts, says a new study.
 
In fact, wage disparities extend to high-wage, high-prestige positions as well.
 
"Despite the increased percentage of women faculty in US academic medicine, disparities in achievement still exist," said lead author Lisa L. Willett from the department of medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, US.
 
Even after controlling for academic rank, career path in general internal medicine, and age, the differences remained.
 
These differences have persisted since at least 2008, found the study.
 
"The disparity exists regardless of region, programme type, academic rank, general internal medicine specialty, age, or years of experience. In addition, we found that the gap in salary has not narrowed over the past five years," Willet said.
 
Salary data was divided into $25,000 increments and the mode, or most likely, salary was $200,000 to $225,000 for men and $175,000 to $200,000 for women.
 
For the study, the team analysed responses from 241 programme directors and programme administrators from the annual Association of Programme Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) survey in August 2012.
 
Historical trends were also assessed from similar data from the 2008-2011 surveys.
 
"Reporting this information is an important step in addressing the disparity in an effort to improve it. Sponsorship of women without awareness of, and subsequent advocacy for, salary equity is unlikely to correct these disparities," the authors said.
 
The study appeared in The American Journal of Medicine.

User

Can Modi’s nuclear deals clean up India’s Air?
Nuclear energy does not emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants -major concerns, given the air-quality crisis in Indian cities and the widespread economic effects of local and global climate change
 
India's civil nuclear accords may be part of the solution to air pollution problems as it tries to move away from highly-polluting coal, which accounts for almost 80 percent of its electricity generation, towards a clearer and greener option.
 
An agreement with the Canadian company Cameco, one of the world’s largest uranium producers, was one of the highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent three-nation visit to Germany, France, and Canada. Cameco will supply 3,000 tonnes of uranium over six years -- enough to power 1,700 megawatts (MW) of India’s 5,780 MW of nuclear-power plants.
 
A similar agreement was concluded with Uzbekistan in 2013, and India is trying to close a fuel supply agreement with Australia, which has the world’s largest reserves of uranium. These agreements are in addition to those already inked with Russia and Kazakhstan.
 
Nuclear power accounts for 3.5 percent of India’s electricity generation and 1.3 percent of its total energy consumption, but the government has set some ambitious targets. It wants to triple nuclear capacity by 2024 from 4,780 MW in 2014 (5,780 MW now). A more recent and extremely ambitious goal is 63,000 MW by 2031-32.
 
Nuclear energy does not emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants -major concerns, given the air-quality crisis in Indian cities and the widespread economic effects of local and global climate change.
 
However, nuclear power comes with potentially catastrophic safety risks, which India hopes to keep under check. Other countries weigh the risks similarly, although Germany intends to close nuclear plants by 2022.
 
China, the biggest user of coal globally and the biggest polluter is also trying to aggressively move to nuclear power. China’s target: 58,000 MW of nuclear power by 2020 and 150,000 MW by 2030. This is a key component of China’s plans to increase the share of non-fossil fuels (excluding coal, oil, gas) from less than 10% now to 15% by 2020 and 20% by 2030.
 
The problem is with nuclear fuel. Arranging affordable nuclear-fuel supply has been a challenge for India. The nation is currently saddled with 23,000 gas-based power plants, almost idle for want of fuel. Electricity from gas is also 2-3 times costlier than nuclear power, depending on gas prices, a concern in an emerging economy.
 
Scaling up nuclear energy is a problem. Out of 5,780 MW of nuclear-power capacity that India operates, 3,380 MW generation relies on imported fuel. Domestic uranium supplies are enough only for the remaining 2,400 MW.
 
Historically, India’s nuclear power programme has been constrained by a uranium shortage. The programme started to grow only after the Indo-US nuclear agreement of 2008, which allowed India to import nuclear fuel and ink agreements with fuel suppliers. According to official figures, India has the following agreements:
 
- With Areva of France for 300 tonnes uranium ore concentrate inked in 2008.
 
- With TVEL Corporation, Russia, for 2,000 tonnes of uranium dioxide pellets over five years signed in 2009, 58 tonnes of enriched uranium dioxide pellets also signed in 2009, and 42 tonnes of enriched uranium dioxide pellets signed in 2015.
 
- With NAC Kazatomprom of Kazakhstan for 2,100 tonnes of uranium ore concentrate over six years signed in 2009.
 
- With NMMC of Uzbekistan for 2,000 tonnes of uranium ore concentrate of over five years igned in 2013.
 
- With Cameco of Canada for 3,000 tonnes of uranium ore concentrate over six years signed in 2015.
 
India has 3,800 MW of nuclear-power capacity under construction and another 43,100 MW is proposed. Of this, 1,000 MW of under-construction capacity and 31,900 MW of proposed nuclear capacity will be built in collaboration with companies from the US, France and Russia. For these reactors, the contractors must provide fuel throughout a plant’s life, which can last up to 50 years.
 
For the remaining 14,000 MW of indigenously designed nuclear capacity, India needs to source fuel. Domestic uranium supplies, as we explained, are inadequate. Moreover, domestic uranium also has other uses -- to build nuclear weapons -- and using it only for fuel is not something New Delhi would like to do.

User

COMMENTS

atul gupta

2 years ago

One fistful of thorium can supply power to the entire city of Mumbai for one whole year India has over 30% of world's supply of thorium which can supply sufficient energy to India for the next 1000 years. Yet we are doing nothing about it except signing contracts for super expensive reactors and fuel.

atul gupta

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)