Byomkesh Bakshy! A Movie My Brother-In-Law Actually Likes!

So, back at Thanksgiving 2 weeks ago, I saw this movie for a second time.  And I am just now getting around to writing about it, because Christmas and work and Dear Zindagi, and it’s all been a very stressful time.  While I was visiting her for Thanksgiving, my sister and I had a wonderful time watching sappy romances, but it is always a bit of a quest to find a movie that would suck in my brother-in-law.  Bahubaali worked wonders last year, and this year I did the “just keep us company for the first 5 minutes” trick with Bakshy!, and by ten minutes in, he was asking us to pause it when he ran into the kitchen for more pizza, because he didn’t want to miss a minute.

That’s the thing with this movie, it is a Hindi film for people who don’t usually like Hindi films.  Of course, conversely, that means that it is NOT a Hindi film for people who usually like Hindi films.  Minimal songs, emotion, relationships.  Maximum action, logic puzzles, and in depth historical recreation.

I first saw it in the theaters, at a 10:30am matinee with just me and my friend in the theater.  Which I think is the only way I would have learned to enjoy it.  Because I was in the theater, so I was stuck not just finishing the movie, but focusing on it.  And since we were alone in the theater, my friend and I could also talk about it as it was playing and sort of help each other get into the mood.  And by the end, I not only really really loved the film, it inspired me to track down Howrah Bridge and CID and some other old school Noir classics.  Because, and I gave a little talk about this at a conference a few years back, Byomkesh is a total throwback to that era in all kinds of different ways.

I’m not going to make you sit through the whole talk, because why would you want to, but here is the big thing you need from my research for it, the British Film Institute’s list of the necessary elements of a classic Noir film:

BFI noir.jpg

Byomkesh has it all!  Except for “European emigre director” and “Script based on American pulp fiction”.  Because it has a Bengali emigre to Bombay director instead, and a script based on Bengali pulp fiction.  But otherwise, identical!

Including the plot being complex and/or far-fetched, which means my spoilers section of this is going to include a lot of “I didn’t follow this part”.  And also means, you SHOULD NOT read the spoilers before you see the movie!  It is SUCH a great plot!  At least, what little of it I could follow.

Going back to my beginning point, this is why it works so well for the kind of people who usually say “Indian films? Yuck!”  It’s not about turning off your brain and just feeling things, it’s about turning on your brain and turning off your heart.

(This song makes NO SENSE, and it makes me feel everything!)

Ouch, that sounds mean.  There is still heart there, definitely.  But the goal of the film is not to evoke an emotional response, it is to challenge you intellectually.  In all sorts of ways.  From catching the occasional little language play in the dialogue, to making us notice neat little continuity Easter eggs (like how Byomkesh gets an idea in the middle of shaving, and then for the next few scenes his face is only have clean-shaven), to tracking the relationships through little moments, not through big declations and fantasy songs.

A big part of this is the removal of songs entirely.  There’s a few quick snatches of sound, but they are there to evoke the era more than anything else, not to speak to the character’s emotional state, or to try to bring out that same emotion in the viewer.  So I guess it’s not a removal of songs, as much as an ALMOST removal of songs.

 

In the same way, there is an almost removal of romance, and of relationships.  The other big tenants of Indian film.  Oh, and also of stars.

That “almost” is why I feel like I could only enjoy this movie thanks to seeing it alone in a theater with a friend to discuss it with.  The relationship and romance and star and song stuff that I enjoy is still there, I just had to be focused enough to see it.  To treat it like a “mystery”, with tiny little clues along the way, just like everything else in the film.

The end result is, I think I was more committed to it all!  Because I had to focus so much, the little bits that I gleaned became that much more powerful and meaningful to me, then if they had just been thrown in my face the way they usually are.  Everything, from wanting to follow Sushant Singh Rajput’s career, to wanting to read the stories so I could learn more about Byomkesh’s wife, to listening to the soundtrack at work.

Now, in my SPOILER section, I am going to deal with the actual “mystery” in a very superficial manner.  Because if you’ve seen the movie, you know all about it anyway.  And if you haven’t seen the movie, DON’T READ THE SPOILERS.  But what I want to really dig into and discuss is all the side-stuff that I enjoyed so much more, the little call-back jokes and relationship hints and character building.

 

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for the mystery plot in no time at all?  I’m not even going to go through it as we discover it in the movie, I’m just going to lay it out chronologically as everything would have happened.  4 years earlier, the local head of the Chinese opium gang was forced out and “killed”.  He managed to survive, and instead went into hiding pretending to be a landlord and ayurvedic doctor, gaining the trust of the neighborhood.  He discovered one of his tenants was a brilliant chemist who had come up with a way of hiding heroine so that it would only appear chemically once it was processed by the body.  He sent his mistress to get close to the owner of a chemical factory so they could use it to process the opium.  And, at the same time, he became close to a local Japanese spy who was secretly training young freedom fighting college students to help the Japanese invade and take over Calcutta, with the promise of them giving the college students a Free Bengal.  Finally, it was all coming together, he was helping the Japanese plan their attack using the opium routes, he killed the chemist to get him out of the way, and faked blackmail letters to the factory owner to frame him for the murder and get rid of him too.  When that didn’t work, he had his mistress kill the factory owner for him.  He was going to take over the Calcutta underground with the support of the Japanese and the freedom fighting students who were innocent of the bigger plots.  Enter Byomkesh!  Who figures out the whole plan just in time, alerts the British to stop the invasion and save the city (not that the British are great, but they are better than the Japanese/a crazed drug dealer would have been), makes sure all the innocents are released from prison, and is generally great.

What makes the movie really jaw dropping in plotting is how the first half shows Byomkesh easily solving all the mysteries.  Finding the chemist’s body, figuring out he was making opium, discovering the involvement of the factory owner and the blackmail, it all seems to be falling into place and clear.  And then at the interval, the audience learns along with Bakshy that all our solutions were set-ups, there is a whole other level to the game we didn’t even see.

Which brings me straight to characters, the part I found interesting!  This is very much an origin story.  But it’s not just “and then I discovered I was really good at solving mysteries”.  It’s a lot more than that.  It is showing how Bakshy was driven to this career not just by his intellect, but by his ethics and his character and his internal pain.

(Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back and get an origin story for Don?  How did he become so smart and powerful and ruthless?  What happened to him?)

We first meet Bakshy in the college lounge, he is a brilliant student but no one likes him because he is so rude.  He rejects Ajit’s initial advances both because he isn’t interested in solving a mystery and because he isn’t interested in making a friend.  But then we see him meeting with a young female student, telling her that he has a good job offer, everything her parents might want, so they can get married now, right?  And she gives him her wedding card, for her marriage to an even more successful student.

So, what have we learned?  Bakshy is a kind of unpleasant difficult person.  But he wants to be “normal”, kind of.  He is in love, he is ready to get a normal reliable job and marry this nice shy looking girl and live like everyone else.  And then he fails, she doesn’t want his efforts, she wants someone else who is naturally successful.  And so he gives up on the “normal” and throws himself into the mystery Ajit offered him.

And he really has fun!  At first, he is into it for the excitement of solving mysteries.  It’s a challenge, but it’s kind of a “boy’s adventures story” kind of thing.  He gets to dress up and meet new people and solve riddles.  And explore deserted factories and be seduced by beautiful women.  And, most of all, he is able to find a partner in this, the equally quick and sort of on a different level then most people Doctor who runs his rooming house.

But then the second half hits.  And all of a sudden he sees that his fun adventure has real consequences for real people.  The Doctor becomes his dark mirror, someone who chose to use his intelligence and ability to see the truth of a situation to manipulate events with total self-interest.  Byomkesh is disgusted to see how he himself was used, how his simple enjoyment of puzzle solving was turned into something to be used for evil purposes.  And he determines that he must continue with this mystery, not for the joy of solving it (although it’s still kind of fun, both for Byomkesh and the viewer), but because it serves a larger moral purpose in the world.  Byomkesh has grown up into the real “Truth seeker” he was meant to be, in it for the virtue and the higher purpose and the true justice, not just for thrills.

This is where the “Star” part of the film is still present.  Sushant is really really good in this.  Really giving himself to the character, which means being opaque for the first bit, then overly eager for the second, and finally kind of serious and opaque again in the end.  It’s not a showy role, it doesn’t scream “A Star is Born”.  But the film works better if you pay attention to Sushant, if you let him be your total focus, just like star driven narratives are supposed to work.  It’s a similar trick to what he pulls off in Dhoni, keeping the real life person and story as the centerpiece, but still allowing himself to be the focus of this version of it.

(This is another movie my brother in law would really like.  If it is out on DVD or streaming by Christmas, I might suggest it for another family viewing)

And Byomkesh’s two biggest relationships, Ajit and Satyabati, both play a big part in these character shifts, and serve as markers for the audience to track them.  At first, Byomkesh rejects Ajit.  Ajit is emotionally conflicted over his father’s dissappearance, it is the kind of emotion Byomkesh doesn’t want to think about.  And Ajit himself is a faithful follower and clearly a “good man”, but is not the sort of exciting distraction Byomkesh wants.

Usually in Noirs, the hero is torn between the “good” and “bad” woman, and that is the case here as well (although he is never really attracted to the “bad” woman, more kind of puzzled by her).  But more than that, he is torn between the “good” and “bad” partner.  Ajit, simple and sincere and loyal.  Versus Dr. Anukul, who is quick and witty and a little bit more complex.  In the first half, Byomkesh is drawn to Anukul and rejects Ajit.  But then he discovers witty and fun Anukul was only witty and fun because he truly didn’t care how his actions affected others.  When Anukul invites him to join in his campaign, to live a life of thoughtless adventure and mind games and domination and power, Byomkesh is horrified at himself.  And retreats to Ajit.

In the second half of the film, we get to see the beginnings of the partnership between Byomkesh and Ajit, which is also the beginnings of Byomkesh learning to relate to people as people, not as puzzles.  It’s not just Ajit, he also feels responsibility for the young freedom fighters that Dr. Anukul is leading to their death, for the undercover cop who lives in the rooming house with them, for eventually all the people of Calcutta who are under threat from the Japanese.

That’s another thing I love about this movie, how humanist it is.  Byomkesh the character, and the film, both have a strong message of “we aren’t judging the Japanese, or the British, or the Chinese drug gangs.  We are just trying to find the solution that will cause the least death and pain to the people of Calcutta.”  It’s an era in Indian/Bengali history when there are no clear “good guys” or “bad guys”.  Yes, the British had been oppressing them for over 100 years.  But, on the other hand, the Japanese are actively bombing the city.  Even the Chinese drug gangs, the film makes sure we are aware, are a side-effect of the evils of Colonialism, under British rule the opium trade was tolerated in India, and encouraged in China.  And these gangs have their own code of honor and ethics, in the long run it is better to let them continue their trade than give the city over to Dr. Anukul.  That’s the bottom line, Dr. Anukul is the only character who really truly does not care about anything besides himself.  And therefore is the character who (along with those he has tricked into joining his plan) can cause the most amount of damage to the people of Calcutta.

While the growth of Byomkesh and Ajit’s bond is the biggest sign of Byomkesh’s heart opening up (to put it in very sentimental language), the romance is the culmination of all of this.  I know it doesn’t look this way, if you aren’t watching for it you might not even notice the romance is happening.  But I think Banarjee the director was counting on us knowing to watch closely.  Because his marriage to Satyavati is such a well-known element of the books, as soon as her character was introduced, we should have been studying her and Byomkesh’s reactions to her.

First, she confronts him.  He is running all over the place through his house, and she holds her ground and confronts him.  Second, she makes a quick decision to trust him and help him gain entrance to the police captain, and is able to easily use her strength of character to make it happen.  Third, she goes to his all male rooming house and tries to hire him, which is what brings him out of his depression following the realization of how he has been tricked.  And she takes charge of the treatment for his illness, confidently ordering proper food food for him.  Fourth, at the very end, she is the first thing he thinks of in the final confrontation, diving across the room to grab her hand and pull her to safety.

Byomkesh thought he wanted a “normal” wife, that shy little co-ed we saw at the beginning.  But now that he has embraced his true self, his non-conforming brilliant self, he also knows he doesn’t really want that.  He wants someone who is made of stronger stuff, who is a little unusual, who not everyone will notice or appreciate.  And who challenges him to be better.

Alternatively, there is the “femme fatale”, who is constantly using tricks and wiles to try to confuse him.  And only succeeding in making him feel vaguely uncomfortable.  It confirms that he doesn’t want a “tricky” wife either, he wants someone who is bluntly straight-forward.

(Why Lauren Gottlieb?  Why not, I guess?)

Satyavati sees through his simple charade to gain entrance to her house.  But she also sees that he can help and she should trust him when he shows up again, half-shaven, at the police station.  She sees him more clearly than anyone else ever has.  And later, she helps him see himself.  When she appears at their boarding house, begging for help, he suddenly sees how his talents can help others, and why he can’t just give up and give in.  And he sees her clearly too, and sees that she has already chosen him for her life partner.

I really like her character, so simple and straight-forward and strong.  And one of my favorite parts is when the poor rooming house servant comes in with snacks and she immediately starts giving him direction on what Byomkesh should be eating.  First, confidently knowing she has the answer.  Second, completely comfortable giving directions to this servant she has never met before who works for a bunch of men in an all male rooming house.  And third, no concern about the obvious statement it makes of her interest in this man, that she is taking control of his care and feeding.

Byomkesh diving for her at the end feels out of nowhere, lazy, unless you have been watching closely for the rest of the film.  And then it feels natural.  She sparked his interest, she took control of his life, they were already a couple without needing to say anything.

Although he does have to actually propose.  I love his proposal, telling her that “all he has to offer is Ajit”.  As in, “Ajit, my loyal friend who is both a possession and a family member”.  And her calm (well, calm for someone who just survived a massive gunfight) reaction, which feels kind of like “well, okay, I hadn’t thought about it before but now that you say it, this is obvious”.

That’s what their whole romance is, obvious.  There’s no games, no hidden emotions, it’s all there if you look for it.  The audience just needs to look.

Like everything else in the film, the clues to the mystery, the character building, the relationships, it’s all there in front of you if you look hard enough.

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20 thoughts on “Byomkesh Bakshy! A Movie My Brother-In-Law Actually Likes!

    • No no, that’s legit. They cut the full version of all the songs from the film. It’s just a few second here and there. And then they made actual song videos purely for promotional purposes.

      On Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 4:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Glad for the confirmation that I wasn’t crazy…because I could tell exactly where Calcutta Kiss should have been and it was jarring. I get why they decided to do without. I hope they do follow through with the sequels. This was the first movie where I understood why SSR is loved by the critics.

        Off to finally watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil…it just came out on DVD. Also, finally watched the AIB Roast and it was both appalling and entertaining. I’m not a huge fan of insult comedy but I do sometimes enjoy it when it’s done well. Arjun looked great in his kurta and I kind of want him and he was dating Sonakshi at the time which he basically confirms on the show. I like the idea of them together but he’s clearly off sowing his wild oats now and she’s with someone who’s more low profile. I should wait until the next Monday question post…but wanted to know if you watched and what you thought?

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        • Freudian slip up there…that should have read “…great in his kurta and I kind of want him and Sonakshi to date again…” 🙂

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          • Darn! Not available prime, so it will be faster to just stop by my local store on the way home tomorrow. And I was just there by there to go to the bank! Darn! If I’d known, I could already own it. Moving on….

            I haven’t seen the AIB roast, I really should. Right when it happened and everyone was talking about it, I couldn’t find it streaming anywhere. And now that it is available, I don’t even remember to look for it.

            And please, ask me a question any time! I put the question posts up on Monday so they will be available to you all week whenever you want.

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          • I saw that it released on Amazon.in and knew that I could get it online;) I will be buying it once it’s available on Amazon here or through induna. I don’t feel guilty because I almost always buy the DVD anyway when I watch things online. It’s just too long to wait until they’re on EROS or Netflix and I need to see them asap.

            Just finished watching it…still processing, but first thoughts…it was polished, well-acted, but I do think the ending was majorly flawed. I did like that at various points I identified with both Ayan (especially in the wedding sequence…been there, done that) and Saba (thinking a fling with a younger man is a good idea…not). The twist wasn’t necessary and I think the same emotional resolution could have happened with another plot device. Also, not particularly happy with the problematic, physical intimidation of Alizeh by Ayan. Other random thoughts…the framing of the interview was a little forced, Ranbir needs to stop playing spoiled cry-babies, Anushka can pull off any role, and Aishwarya, despite a strong performance, continues to keep her distance from the audience. Fawad’s badly groomed facial hair bothered me, SRK’s cameo belonged in another kind of movie, the music was beautiful (Bulleya is still my favorite), and finally I think that Karan Johar is the most tortured hero in Bollywood.

            If you do get a chance to watch the Roast, please post your reactions!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Agreed about Ranbir, Anushka, and Aish. I struggled a lot with the ending myself, you will get to read all my many many posts about it, now that you don’t have to worry about spoilers.

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  1. I’m from India and this movie was the first time, I came across the dark side of the revolution – foreign interests with not-so-noble intentions and misguided, gullible youth. I was intrigued. In hindsight, it seems only natural that not everybody’s determination and efforts contributed in a meaningful way. It’s easy to miss these nuances, having grown up with the glorious struggle for Indian independence ingrained in your head.
    Also, please watch the roast and write about it. It’s not particularly great. It was new to India and I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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    • Now you are making me think about what I was taught about the American revolution. And you know, I think the same thing was happening! We learned about noble Lafayette and Casimir Pulaski, but we never talked about why a French and Polish nobleman might be interested in helping a British colony get freedom. France just poured money into our revolution, seeing it as one small battlefield in their war with England, while in America we saw it as our own fight for freedom and the French contribution is only mentioned as a footnote.

      And I will definitely check out the roast! Maybe tonight, if I get home from work early enough.

      On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 8:54 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • HI Margaret. I loved this review for how deep it went on to discussing history of Indian independence. Although, it is not a refutable fact that Britain was responsible for the largest engineered human massacre in the history of the world (60 million deaths due to artificially engineered famines in India and 90 million deaths due to opium wars and trade in China), I can’t argue with the fact that Japanese were more brutal than British. Another point is that while Japan believed in outright brutalizing everyone in the territory they invaded without the help of anyone in the territory, the British took help of both Indians (immoral Maharajahs and Nawabs and civil servants) and Chinese (opium gang warlords and members) to oppress India and China respectively. So, the blame of oppression not only goes to the British but also to the immoral conniving countrymen of these two countries.

        However, I have to bring up a familiar topic (I guess) here in the field of social justice. What gives a more brutal and long-lasting blow to a society?
        1) Long period of systemic oppression where the oppressed are treated not as humans and psychologically and socially damaging them in an almost irreversible manner.
        or
        2) A relatively short period of extreme physical brutality where the oppressed are raped, maimed and massacred causing them great physical and psychological damage which they will recover from only after a generation or more.
        Classic example of 1) are Nazi Holocaust of Jews and Japanese invasion of China and South-east Asia. Classic examples of 2) are the long-drawn opium trade and opium wars between Britain and China and the long-drawn British rule of India. I had a discussion once with a British social activist who argued quite cleverly that systemic caste oppression in India in the 100s of years from medieval times to now is much worse than brutal Islamic invasions by foreign marauders which was more brutal nevertheless but happened for a short period. Also, the caste system put the downtrodden castes in a brutally hopeless social situation from which they are trying to recover for long where as there was no bad social outcome in India due to Islamic invasions. I agreed completely and argued that British rule in India or British opium trade with China can be argued to be much much worse than the Japanese invasion of China and South-east Asia using the argument of the drastic social and developmental consequences. She gave a half-hearted nod and I upped the ante by calling Winston Churchill an uncivilized barbarian for presiding over the Bengal famine that killed 2 million people and not showing any moral conflict. She immediately dismissed my argument saying fighting and leading a big war like world war II makes one heartless and he can be excused for this. Imagine this statement came from a social activist. After thinking about it for a long time, I have developed an opinion that both 1) and 2) have brutal consequences whose extent cannot be quantified and compared. What do you think Margaret?

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        • The question for me is always a matter of the problem in front of me today. If we are talking about WWII, the choice is clear, you need to stop the force that is killing millions day by day. Once that force is destroyed, then you can turn around and deal with the slower damage. Like, if you are in a house that is burning down and also has dry rot. Stop the fire first, then look at the dry rot.

          I thought this film did a really good job of handling that. It wasn’t bad for the freedom fighters to be fighting for their freedom. But at the moment that the entire city is about to be destroyed, everyone’s focus shifted to stopping that, first of all. And then you can go back to the slow attrition freedom fight.

          My Colonialism seminar in college talked about how you can’t divide colonialism and those evils from the German and Japanese actions in WWII, they are all related. The slow process of dehumanization that the Orientalist theories and colonial practices put in place for hundreds of years, the end result was the Nazis and the brutal Japanese invasions. It’s not a coincidence that WWII ended up ending colonialism. The people back in Europe were suddenly confronted with what can happen when you dominate a people, and it disgusted them. The newsreels and stories of the common soldiers from WWII were impossible to censor, the way you could censor stories of the Bengal famine.

          But then the other part of it is that the Imperial Japanese and the Nazis were so obviously immediately evil that their influence has been all but destroyed. Which means, today, as you go about your daily life, it is the other more insidious evil that remains and which you must constantly fight against.

          What makes it tricky is when we talk about history. If you were alive in 1940 on the earth, the Nazis and the Japanese were burning down your house. There is no question, they were the biggest most immediate force of destruction and true Evil in the world. But only for like an 8 year period. In 1931, in India, you should absolutely ally with the Japanese! And in 1946, as soon as the Nazi regime and Imperial Japan fell apart, go back to focusing on the evil of the British and other colonial forces, those are the worst people who are still around.

          On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 10:58 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Amazing reply!!! I liked every bit of what you said here. What is even more interesting is the difference in the tone of our responses for the question on which of the two problems/situations among 1) and 2) is worse. Your response showed the attitude of a problem solver and my response showed the attitude of an emotional observer. Although I don’t like to bring stereotype here, it is commonly discussed in gender-based psychological studies that women generally approach problems and situations with an emotional attitude while men approach them with problem-solving attitude. I do not agree with this. I being the guy and you being the woman, we are breaking gender stereotypes here with our responses. Aren’t we?

            Coming to the topic of China, do you think Mao’s cultural revolution was a happy consequence of the double oppression of British (through opium trade) and Japan (through brutal invasion)? Many Chinese argue that it is better than Indian messy pluralistic democracy because cultural revolution and the authoritarianism that came with it gave rise to a situation where a benevolent leader like Deng Xiaoping got the authoritarian power to take the tough decisions and implement them to make China prosperous again in just two generations. India, on the other hand, took up pluralistic democracy where power was decentralized and any rise of authoritarian leaders like Indira Gandhi was checked soon enough. I have two arguments against this idea of the Chinese. It is almost gambling with mayhem if you are allowing authoritarianism to thrive just so that one of the authoritarians may turn out to be benevolent who will rapidly change the economic situation of the country with tough decisions and actions. Good for China for having Deng Xiaoping but it could turn the other way round. Also, I consider cultural genocide as equal to or worse than a normal genocide although the UN’s international law does not agree with me (thanks to China’s veto power). The Chinese youth of today face an existential crisis where they can only relate to western culture because their culture is literally washed away but the brutality of Mao’s cultural revolution. It is a crisis because the government wants the Chinese to see the west as enemy but Chinese people can only relate to western culture and so, they cannot see the west as enemy. All artificial attempts to revive their lost culture now are not so effective because it is not easy to recreate something that was established for thousands of years in a matter of a decade or more. These are my emotional arguments. What say you about the Chinese situation today with a problem-solving attitude? Also, do you think it is better that India retained its culture through a messy democracy despite losing many prospects of early material prosperity? Is material prosperity more important than survival of a culture?

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          • Well, as a humanist/realist, culture-shmulture, it’s all about the value of human life. The cultural revolution killed well over a million people. The most conservative possible estimate puts it at 400,000 deaths, but the more accepted figure is closer to 1.4 million.

            Before that, the Great Leap forward killed 30 to 55 million people. It’s hard to grasp that many deaths, it starts to turn into raw numbers, but that is an unimaginable number of grieving parents, children, wives and husbands. And before death, unbelievable pain and suffering.

            The thing about an authoritarian rule is that it has the ability to cause this kind of mass death in a way that disorganized chaos never can. India has it’s own example of this, Partition, a great authoritarian decision made without any input by the people. And it was the most deadly point in all of India’s history. That one big decision by those with absolute power killed more people in one fell swoop than decades and decades of bureaucratic disorganization and slowness.

            It’s funny that you are surprised by our respective views. In my experience, women tend to be much more grounded. We are the ones who have to raise the babies, care for the sick, bury the dead, etc. etc. Men may go off and be philosophers and think deep thoughts, but women are the ones stuck dealing with the day to day.

            On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 5:09 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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