Art Attack: Bhansali Edition

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Saad Khwaja, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Alas! Times are not good for any figure of speech or expression – be it humour, satire, or art. People have dumbed themselves down to a point where they only understand polarization and the game of binaries oscillating between two ideological extremes. You are either a patriot or a traitor; “sickular” or a “bhakt”; with us or against us. There is almost no scope of meaningful conversation where ideas can earnestly be exchanged, no patience to hear the other side out.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a National Award winning filmmaker who has made a sizeable contribution to modern Indian cinema with movies such as Devdas and Black, was attacked by members of the Karni Sena, a local political outfit that claims to protect the interests of the Rajputs. Alleging that there were objectionable scenes between two of the characters in the movie being shot, the group stormed the set and proceeded to rough up Bhansali and the crew, and vandalise the film equipment. The spokesperson of Karni Sena refused to apologise, justifying the attack stating that they would not tolerate distortion of history.

Such groups of miscreants, self-proclaimed moral enforcers, have had their share of attention – taking the law into their own hands and handing out their definition of justice to the “wrongdoers”. It is understandable that some such groups do not understand the intricacies of art and difference of opinion, but what is disturbing is the reaction of a large proportion of the educated masses to this. Without even having knowledge of the script or the end product, a majority of people on various media platforms have sided with the Karni Sena, claiming that Bhansali deserved it because his movie might offend their cultural and communal sensibilities. The Home Minister of the state condemned the violence, but at the same time mentioned that the Sena’s anger was natural.

Such incidents need to be dealt with more objectively, both by the authorities and the public. It is when people lose empathy, refuse to let go of their myopic vision and lose objectivity in their arguments and actions, that we as a people truly lose out.

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Sherlock Season 4 Episode 1 Review: The Vow

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Tanmay Jhalani, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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So the first episode of the popular BBC TV Series, Sherlock, Season-4, has been released in India on 7th of this month, and as has been the case with each season, it has triggered the debate amongst the viewers that whether the episode was worth all the hype and wait.

As a diligent Sherlock viewer, I would try to present a dichotomy of the first episode and help the readers draw an opinion over the above-stated debate. This comes with a SPOILER ALERT for all those who haven’t seen the episode yet, and are willing to do so.

Write then, the first episode (The Six Thatchers) begins from where The Abominable Bride leaves, with Sherlock been acquitted of the charges of murder, and solving cases like a cake-walk as ever. What’s different, is that you get a glimpse of a more humane side of the abnormal detective, in the sense that he keeps his close friends and aides Dr. Watson and Mary closer to himself. All this, ‘coz of the vow he had taken to protect the couple from any danger they or their baby Rosie could face. Dr. Watson, on the other hand, is showing his naughty side, as he is supposedly cheating on his wife, and secretly texting a young and beautiful fellow bus passenger since some time. In midst of all the case solving, Sherlock cannot help but have premonitions of something big coming his way. Maybe it’s Moriarty. Maybe it’s not. But he is seeing things.

All of a sudden he is handed over a case of identical thatchers being destroyed all over the city, with some accompanied by murders. Sherlock gets to the root and finds out that a certain Mary Watson’s past is somehow involved in this case. At the end of the tunnel, Sherlock and Mary do manage to solve the case. But in doing so, Mary takes a bullet for Sherlock and fails to sustain it.

The episode culminates with Sherlock gasping at the site of Dr. Watson holding the dead body of his wife Mary in his arms, biting his own teeth, screaming in pain, and cursing Sherlock for failing to keep his vow. The climax scene is a video message by Mary to Sherlock, asking him to make her a promise; a promise to save John Watson.

So all in all, viewers get a big upset, as there are no definite signs of Moriarty’s return. But on the other hand, you see new sides of Dr. Watson; first the cheating husband, then the mourning one. You see new characters to the story, like the passenger woman. But most importantly, you see the most fragile side of Sherlock, with the death of Mary and agony of Watson. It surely provides the queue for a great season ahead.

From Filmfare Awards to People’s Choice Awards :Priyanka Chopra’s mettle shines bright..

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Abhijeet Roy, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Background

The People’s Choice Awards is an American award show, The show has been held annually since 1975,recognizing the people and the work of artists in the entertainment industry, voted on by the general public. Last year, Priyanka chopra won it for the favorite actress in a new TV series category and this year she won it again in the main lead category.

Opinion

What an incredible journey of Miss CHOPRA,  from marine drive to rodeo drive, she has mesmerized both the countries with her sheer acting skills but this isn’t the first time Indian actors have stepped into Hollywood shoes, but with Priyanka I think its different -she managed to play it, on her own terms ,grabbing the pivotal role  in an American TV show “Quantico” was  a big opportunity which she no doubt handled with great poise and dedication. What was more heartening to see is her big win at the “Peoples choice awards” not once but twice ,most recently when she won as the best actress TV drama series crashing down her big Hollywood contemporaries like Ellen Pompeo, Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, and Viola Davis. Its really good to see someones hard work being paid off so beautifully and aesthetically. The “Padmashree” actress is not only making India proud but also paving the path for many other  actors to get a ticket to Hollywood.

In a white country for a brown girl to make her mark is really promising ,from Oscars to Emmy’s every prolific international award show has her on their red carpet. It might seem very flowery but to get your name in the ” Time 100 most influential people in the world ” is really path-breaking. An accomplished Bollywood actress, a staunch supporter of  educating the girl child, a powerful women to look upon she is really nailing it all. Kudos for her success and making India proud on a global platform. This miss world truly symbolizes women power.

#Abhijeet Roy,VGSoM,IIT Kharagpur #Priyanka chopra #India proud #women power

 

The War between Heroes is started…

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Prajval Amin, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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With the release of Batman vs Superman on March 25th, 2016 the war between Marvel and DC is again started but this time on big screen. Who will win this war is the big question here.

The answer is pretty simple. Comparing this two is like comparing Green and Red apple. Some People like the Red one while other like the green one.

They have friendly rivalry since 1930s when they are mainly in the comic business. If we compare heroes, DC heroes are more popular around the world than Marvel. The main reason behind this is the animated movie release by DC. Every 4 month DC release the animated movies which attracted the young ones while one the other side marvel barely release one movie every 2 year. But the picture is exactly opposite in movies. Marvel made 28 movies in last 15 year while on the other hand only 24 movies are made by DC in last 35 year.

If we compare the profit marvel has the upper hand right now especially after the Marvel Cinematic Universe started with Iron Man. This is continued by the X-Men and Avenger Series, unlike the DC whose only batman series is successful at box-office.

If we talk about toys and merchandise, for DC superman and batman combine made around $770 million and on the other hand for Marvel only Spiderman made $1.3 billion every year.

In comic sales also marvel defeated the DC but the difference is very less here.

But DC has one advantage here. DC never files bankruptcy while Marvel files bankruptcy in the year 1996. But by analyzing the current situation it is not wrong to say that bankruptcy wasn’t affect the Marvel so much.

Marvel and DC are rival comic book companies but they knew people love more if Superman fights with Spiderman or batman and caption America together defeat joker. So for public interest, increasing the revenue and get benefit from each other they collaborate. This is the time when two top comic book companies cross over and publish common comic. But this is not going too far and they are again opposite to each other.

Hope we find this type of collaboration in movies also in near future. Up till than it is hard to say that who will win and the war between heroes is continued on the screen.

Why waste your resources on VPL?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Saurav Prakash, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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This is an essential question that every manager encounters during their tenure. Why spend extra on activities that do not yield result directly? The answer to these questions can only be found after carrying out the cost-benefit analysis of the entire process. But, before evaluating the process it is essential to understand the entire process and the output that it yields.

So, let’s try to understand how VPL works! The VGSoM Premier League or VPL process begins with the secret form floated by the most adventurous committee Sportscom. The form provides you with an opportunity to become Sir Alex of VGSoM or, to test your cricketing skills by being the Bradman of VGSoM. Students of both the years are encouraged to be a part of this annual event to show their team skills or, to be the Chanakya of VGSoM.

Once the forms are being filled, the managers are grouped into 4 teams, namely, Red Dragons, Blue Brats, White Tigers and Black Panthers. The managers then brainstorm till the day of the auction to create strategies regarding which player is most likely to provide maximum dividends. And, once the Auction day arrives. The managers are suit- strapped in a room to battle it out among themselves to select the best and battle out for the rest.

Finally, every team has a complete squad of managers and players – all dedicated towards a common goal of winning the most coveted winners trophy of VGSoM. The teams battle it out among themselves at Tata Sports Complex, TSC over a week and finally, we get a champion, a Tiger whose roar is acknowledged by everyone else.

The major characteristic of these events is they are jointly organised and participated by both the year students battling it out for their glory. The juniors get an opportunity to learn the art of winning from Seniors who are searching for the talent yet unseen.

So, at the end, these entities do not emerge as students from different years but they are bonded by the spirits of their teams, sharing the joy of winnings, and overcoming the dreads of losing.

So, the question that we need to ask is – is this not worth of an enough reason to continue with it? Is this platform not good enough to let students mingle, learn and share their experiences and the brotherly feelings among themselves. A question worth asking.

Thanks!

Responsible Filmmaking…

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Varri Anusha, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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My Sixteen year old brother called up last week to tell me about a movie he watched. He seemed quite impressed with the content, which I could understand because he would never call me to talk about any random movie he watched. It was the recent release ‘Neerja’ – the story of a 23 year model cum air hostess and her extraordinary courage. Throughout the call he was convincing me to take time out that very week and watch this movie. It was then that I thought, ‘When was the last time someone tried convincing me so much to go and watch a film?’, and I couldn’t recollect. And that too, a movie like ‘Neerja’ being suggested by a teenager was not something that happens too often. That was when I decided to watch it to the earliest possible and my brother was right. A Hindi movie without item songs, without loose plots, without vulgar comedy and without anything that would make me say, ‘why did I even think of wasting these two and half hours?’. Film making sometimes does wonders and this was one example. And this is what films ideally do – they impact the society, its thinking and its actions. Film makers need to understand that they have this onus on themselves, of conveying a constructive message to the society. If teenagers like my brother are thinking about this particular movie even 24 hours after watching it, I was just trying to imagine the impact action movies, movies with vulgar comedy and obscenity have on their thoughts and actions. In a country with approximately 250million adolescents, it becomes even the more important to keep a tab on the content being released in public. And everyone knows, ‘keeping a tab’ is next to impossible. It is all about responsible film making. But all this is easier said than done. And so I discuss all this with my mother, and both of us get going with our usual work.

Talent or Sympathy for Caprio!

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ajeetesh Kumar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Leading up to the 2016 Oscars ceremony, there has been a whole lot of chatter surrounding Leonardo DiCaprio and the fact that he’s never won an Oscar. TheRevenant star has now been nominated five times. He scored nods for 2014’s The Wolf of Wall Street, 2007’s Blood Diamond, 2005’s The Aviator, and 1994’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. And now he’s earned even more recognition from the Academy with 2016’s nomination for his brooding portrayal of Hugh Glass in The Revenant, which could mark his first win at the Academy Awards. And while he’s
certainly deserving of being recognized for all of the above films (and
let’s be honest, 1996’s Titanic, too) here is what he did for each roles.
1. When he played “Arnie” in the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” lost  to Tommy Lee Jones from The Fugitive.When getting into character, Leonardo DiCaprio remarked of it: “I had to really research to get into the mind of somebody like that. I spent a few days at a home for mentally retarded teens. We just talked and I watched their mannerisms. People have these
expectations that mentally retarded children are really crazy, but that isn’t so. It’s refreshing to see them because everything’s so new to them.”
2. The Aviator (2004) – Lost to Jamie Foxx from Ray.
The Aviator depicts the life of aviation pioneer and movie producer Howard Hughes. Crippled by severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio)
struggles to maintain his success and prestige as he grows more and more unstable, experiencing symptoms that even a romance with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) can’t save him from. Leonardo DiCaprio is at his absolute best: powerful, charming, serious, and sorrowful–depicting all the complexities of living with mental illness with such natural ease. This, of all the movies on the list, is a movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio really escapes his own ego to become this other person. In portraying a man obsessed with perfection, DiCaprio himself becomes perfect.
3. Blood Diamond (2006)– Lost to Forest Whitaker from The Last King of Scotland.
In the movie he is Danny Archer, “a soldier of fortune” (his words, which he instantly counters with “or is that too much of a cliche?”), enlisted into the South African army at a young age and now a hard bitten, fearless diamond smuggler who in his opening scenes is arrested for smuggling a few precious stones across the Sierra Leone border. Needless to say, his acting was superb and he stole the hearts of millions of people again with his performance.
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)– Lost to Matthew McConaughey from Dallas Buyers Club.
The black comedy crime film based on a memoir of the same name was either going to be the biggest hit or the biggest miss of the 2013 Oscar season. While the truth is somewhere in between–some might say mediocre, or mostly good–the real winner in this film is Leonardo DiCaprio. His performance as Jordan Belfort, fraudulent riches-hungry stockbroker,  is extreme in all the right ways: hilarious to frightening, captivating to repulsive, always inevitably expressive.
DiCaprio carries a lot of the weight of this movie on his own, only deferring to other actors, particularly Jonah Hill, when he needs some humorous support.
5. The Revenant (2015)- WON!!!!!!
So Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar.
We all know he was one of the most deserving candidates, but the preparation and personal struggle he went through in preparation for his role that won him the award has been entered in the history books, to be recounted as folklore in the far future.

 

 

 

What matters the most is the will to do and the attitude…

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Dhruv Shah, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The odds were stacked against Mark Dharmai owing to being a dwarf and a tough background he hailed from. But more often it is the people who overcome the odds who etch their name as one of the great ones and Mark Dharmai is one of them. Mark is a badminton player who has represented India in various international tournaments and has won many laurels for the country.

SOME FACTS ABOUT MARK DHARMAI:

1.) Mark has represented India four times at the World para-badminton championship and bagged the bronze medal twice.

2.) He has won two gold medals in shot put and javelin throw at the Para Athletic State Games held in Gondia.

3.) With absolutely no professional training or coach, Mark had won a bronze medal at the World Championship in Germany, in which he partnered a Russian in doubles.

Its time that we all start appreciating the unsung heroes of India.

 

 

 

Game of Thrones: Win or Die

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ruchi Patel, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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One of the most viewed television series worldwide released it’s first teaser trailer for the season 6 on February 14th, 2016 on HBO at 9 pm EST. Game of Thrones, best known for killing of the most favourite characters on show kept the fans around the world waiting for months to give out this first glimpse into what will happen in the upcoming season of the show. It is the first time that the story-line in show has surpassed the story-line in the books. This has kept most of the fans debating about the fate of their favourite characters after the last season ended.

The minute-long video is shot in action but leads down to a massive speculation on who will survive the upcoming season. The teaser showed many familiar faces on The Hall of Faces, the dark chamber in the House of Black and White in Braavos.

The video first gives viewers a glimpse of the head of the departed Ned Stark accompanied by his voice. After focusing on a few other characters who have already met their demise such as Richard Madden’s Rob Stark, and Michelle Fairley’s Catelyn Stark, the clip then begins to show Jon Snow.

In the finale of season 5, Jon Snow was stabbed multiple times and left to die, but his fate in the show had been a mystery ever since then. His face showed in The Hall of Faces seemed as the signal of his death.

Despite Jon Snow’s controversial appearance in the Hall of Faces, the final blow of the teaser was when viewers saw the head of Peter Dinklage’s character Tyrion Lannister in the dark hall heavily hinting that he is headed for an imminent death.

However, before the latest teaser trailer ends, the final shot saw the busts of Sophie Turner’s Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams’ Arya Stark, Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen, and Lena Headley’s Cersei Lannister.

The teaser left the fans with more anxiety than before. The fates of all the characters in the show seems doomed. In addition to this teaser, HBO released a set of posters showing the heads of the most prominent characters of the show in The Hall of Faces.

With this trailer showing no actual footage from the show, the writers try to tease and torment fans until the show returns on April 24, but this could also mean that the lives of key characters are in danger for the upcoming season. After all, the message of the show is clear: Valar Morghulis (All Men Must Die).

 

The Viral Fever: Funded by Tiger Global

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ruchi Patel, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Tiger Global Management LLC has invested $10 million (₹65.6 crore) in ‘The Viral Fever’, an online digital-entertainment channel. Tiger Global picked up a stake close to 25% in the firm, valuing it at around ₹270 crore.

‘The Viral Fever’ is an online video-content creator channel, which was founded by Arunabh Kumar, an alumnus of IIT, Kharagpur. He was later joined by Amit Golani and Biswapati Sarkar. TVF was started to reach out to the younger generation covering topics like Indian, movies, lifestyle, social concepts, politics, TV programmes, etc. The group is known for its comedy videos such as Barely Speaking with Arnub—a satirical take on Times Now’s Arnab Goswami and its original online series such as TVF Pitchers and Permanent Roommates.

TVF has been successful in reaching out to young Indian audience who seldom watch the television to either pass the time or for entertainment. At present, the TVF Group has a total team of 70 with 11 as consultants in Mumbai and Delhi. Contagious Online Media Network Pvt Ltd- The Viral Fever’s parent company, earned a profit of ₹22 lakh last year.

Tiger Management Corporation founded by Julian Robertson was a hedge-fund which operated from 1980-2000.After closing his firm, Julian started using his capital and experience to help upcoming hedge-funders known as ‘Tiger Seeds’ in return for a company’s stake.One such Tiger seed was Tiger Global Management founded in 2001 by Chase Coleman-III, who was estimated as one of the most profitable hedge-fund founders. Tiger Global has stakes in close to 110 companies mostly based in the Internet sector. It has raised funds of about $35 billion to become the largest and most active startup investor over the years.

Tiger Global investments in India were on the rise, as it funded around 18 Indian firms by 2015. E-commerce and online marketplace companies like Shopclues, Roposo, LimeRoad, Quikr, InShorts, Grofers, LocalOye, Culture Machine and Policy Bazaar were funded so far. Tiger Global also invested in other firms like Chaayos, Delhivery, Freshdesk, Chargebee, Moonfrog labs, Ather Energy and Vedantu.  Tiger Global Management funded around $400 million to Ola cabs along with other investors to increase the value of Ola cabs to $5 billion. Tiger Global also increased their investments in e-commerce giant Amazon by $1.1 billion to buy 2.44 million more Amazon shares. Flipkart, Amazon’s arch rival is Tiger Global’s existing portfolio firm, with investment amount similar to that of Amazon’s. Prior to funding TVF, Tiger Global invested in another digital content creator Culture Machine, which runs the Being Indian and several other YouTube channels.

According to a report by US magazine Forbes, a total of $54 million have been generated by the top 10 online video content creators on YouTube for 2014 and 2015.

The lucrative revenue of digital content creators, and funding by well known investors will surely lead to a surge in free digital content creators around the world. The world has become a smaller place with content available free on internet. It is easier to connect to anything happening around the world nowadays because of the internet penetration. It also gives everyone a platform to express and reach out to masses.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Viral_Fever
  2. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/tiger-global#/entity
  3. http://www.livemint.com/Companies/3TwExKIWy3bPwVZS4APOjM/Tiger-Global-invests-10-million-in-online-videos-creator-Th.html