SELF DEFENSE TRAINING FOR CHILDREN

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Self defense is nature’s eldest law. – John Dryden.

I believe in the age old dictum that a healthy body bears a healthy mind and it is our first duty that we are capable enough to protect our body from any unhealthy intrusion. We are alive as long as there is life in our limbs and taking care of that life becomes not only our foremost right but also our fundamental duty towards ourselves.

Being a family man and also having a young child there have been times when I have worried about his physical well being. I may be there to protect him now but there will surely come a time when he will have to venture out on his own in this world. The world as we all know is cruel in its own way and there shall surely be no favors granted to him and he shall have to make his own path. I am ok with him having to work hard to find his place under the sun, but I get disturbed when I think if he were to face any untoward situation and these are the feelings and fears which every normal father has. These are the times when I strongly feel that a mandatory course on self defense training should be made compulsory as a part of every school curriculum especially in junior/middle school level. These courses may include training in Karate, Taekwondo or Jiu jitsu and also the trainees should be taught how to apply these in real life situations. It is no use being trained in self defense if someone is unable to apply the same when faced with an inappropriate situation. The real life scenario is all the more grave for girls who are actually more vulnerable to face physical violence at home and outside. It is on a regular basis that we come across incidents of women facing abuse in the newspapers and the statistics only reflect a very minor portion of the incidents that happen as majority of the cases go unreported. Hence a proper course in self defense would do them a world of good and make them more confident about their own selves. This is the least we can do so as to make our girls self – reliant.

Having played the character of a Hero in many films I have fought many a time with the so called Bad man onscreen. But enacting a character on screen is very different than what happens in real life. The harsh realities of life are a grim reminder of the fact that we should prepare our younger generation in every possible way so that they can face every challenge that life has to offer and if they are well prepared to protect themselves, then only will they be able to protect others. Today, I end by bringing in front of you a favorite quote of mine by Ronald Reagan who said “Self defense is not only our right; it is our duty.”

Love you all.!!

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CAREER vs PERSONAL LIFE

 

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Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life – Confucius.

I have had the rare privilege of being in a profession which I immensely love. I am aware that everybody is not so lucky and have to thank circumstances and opportunities that led me on to this path. Yet, an actor’s life is full of struggle, hard work and luck which is decided by the Friday verdict at the box office.

During the early phase of my career, I had to put in a lot of hard work to find my place in Tollywood. I worked multiple shifts, often stretching till late into the night while also reporting early morning the next day for the morning shoot. The mind used to get drained along with the tiredness of the body but in those days all that kept me going was – “If hard work is your weapon, success will be your slave.” Thankfully, I didn’t lose my focus and was rewarded with super duper hits like Amarsangi, Biyer Phool, Sindur Khela etc which were followed by Autograph, Moner Manush and Jaatishwar much later on.

One thing that I tried from the very early days of my career was to segregate my work life from the personal space that I share at my home front. In the initial days of my career as an actor my mother and  sister were the ones I turned to after arriving from shoot. It was a stress buster to talk to them about the happenings of the day. In due course of time, I had a family of my own and soon enough, my wife Arpita and son Mishuk became the rocks of my life. It was a lovely experience watching my son grow in front of me and like any other Father, I take pride in his achievements. Having said all these, I have to admit that I would have been much happier if I could have spent more time in their company, in spite of my busy schedule. Also it shall be very much fair to say that, had my family not given me this much space and understood my constraints I could not have pursued my career with so much focus and dedication. So they truly deserve their place under the sun in my share of success.

Stardom, actually is easier to get but difficult to maintain. In order to maintain my position I have relentlessly tried to be resolute in being true to my craft, which has held me in good stead in my professional area. Also, I truly believe that a family is the backbone of an individual and one should not neglect it for the sake of one’s career. Having said that, I am also guilty of the same and would have liked it better if my report card would have been slightly better in this respect.

I shall end by saying that make sure you have a healthy career but at the same time make out time for your personal life as your career is only a part of your life and there are many other parts which deserve due attention.

Love you all. !!

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SHANKHACHIL — Gets Zee Cine and Filmfare awards

 

 

People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards. – Dale Carnegie.

An actor’s life is actually not an easy one. It looks very glamorous to the outside viewer who looks at things from his perspective, but those who have chosen acting as their profession, can only understand the innumerable factors that go into being a success in this field. Primarily we are dependent on getting a good script, backed by a great team and after ensuring that the execution goes as per plan during the production process, have to wait for the audience reaction which is the barometer of a film’s performance. So, after the completion of this entire cycle when a film does good business it makes me very happy but when a film gets noticed and is rewarded by the public, it just gladdens my heart.

Shankhachil, was a movie which was close to my heart. It was great to be a part of a team where Goutam Ghose was at the helm. We all know that many people have faced hardships because of the result of partition. Innumerable families were displaced and many lost their homes. The political situation of those times have found mention in the works of many scholars. It is the human angle that is explored in this film through the eyes of a family which crosses over from the present day Bangladesh side to the Indian side in order to pursue the treatment of their daughter. The circumstances which follow quite efficiently bring out the nuances which constitute human behavior. The visual imagery captured is excellent and the Ichamati river as portrayed signifies a geographical as well as a human divide. The performance of all my co-artists has been excellent, to say the least and the music of the film brings out the Bengali flavor which is the binding element in the entire film.

It was thus a matter of great pride that yours truly was selected for the Filmfare Award 2017 for Best Actor – Bengali and Best Bangla Actor (Male) at the Zee Cine Awards 2017 for Shankhachil. These awards completed a full circle for me as the film was appreciated by many and getting these awards were the icing on the cake. It gives me reason to believe that I am following the right path as far as selection of roles is concerned and the types of films I believe in. Also, it justifies my immense faith in the audience which has always appreciated good cinema. Lastly, these awards act as an impetus and motivates me to perform better in the assignments I take up in the future so that I don’t disappoint someone who spends his hard earned rupee and enters a cinema hall hoping to be entertained by my performance.

Love you all. !!

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GIRL CHILD EDUCATION

 

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One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world – Malala Yousafzai.

Girl child education is an area which is very close to my heart. There is actually a very personal reason behind this which I can share with you all. Actually during my early years, even though I was the son of a star actor, I was not offered anything on a platter. It was during those days that the people who were closest to me were my mother and my sister Maku, around whom my world revolved. In general, women have had a profound effect on my life, so I stand for anything that concerns their well being, education being the most vital one.

This quote echo’s my thoughts clearly – “When you educate a man, you educate an individual and when you educate a woman, you educate an entire family.”  As a woman is the person who actually holds the family together and a mother is the first teacher for a child it becomes very important that she herself is educated enough so as to pass on the right values to her child and give them a proper upbringing. Education makes a woman more aware and self confident with respect to her rights, duties and responsibilities. She can be an equal partner as compared to her husband in the family set up and can contribute to the family income by virtue of her job. Having financial independence is a direct outcome of education which helps a woman to be more in control of her life. She gains respect, recognition and if faced with ill treatment can fight back. In short, it is Education which makes a woman empowered.

Now a days, because of the economics behind it, it becomes very difficult for a single earner middle class family to live a comfortable life. An educated woman with a job has a scope of contributing to the family kitty and God forbid, if the worse were to happen she can still survive with her children, instead of being dependent on others. Education has an exponential effect on the marital life of women, as educated women marry at a later stage and have a say in planning the family, which studies have shown have a direct relation with the reduction of infant mortality rates. One can safely say – An educated mother gives rise to a healthy child.

It is heartening to note that the Government is doing its bit to promote education amongst girls. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana, Kanyasri are few examples which have been devised, keeping in mind the interests of the girl child. Let us hope they bear fruit and our little girls of today can be strong women tomorrow, capable enough of taking on the world. Also, let us in our own small way do our bit of contributing to the same.

Love you all. !!

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An Adda session with Soumitra Kaku

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An actor whom I have admired over the years and consider an inspiration has been Soumitra kaku. Our bonding over the years has led to many adda sessions and it was during one such session that we had explored the idea of having an Artist’s forum for the betterment of the artists working in the industry. It is no mean feat that our Bengali film industry has been the provider of many livelihoods and many families derive their sustenance from the movies being made and the entire supply chain that is associated with it. Also, it has been observed, that there are times when a senior actor who has fallen on hard times does not find any resource to fall back upon. So is the case with the technicians who when deprived of work have to face real hardships to run their family. There have been instances when I have done my bit to reach out to those in need, but there has to be an association where everybody associated with Tollywood needs to come together and join hands to ensure that we can help others when needed.

Tollywood, has produced many glorious films but one area over which Soumitra Kaku and myself had many discussions was the difference in the films being made in our times and the ones which were made during his days as a lead actor. We had dissected the works of the leading directors of his times and dwelt on the scripts that were used in those days. It is no doubt that we have made rapid advances in technology, there has been a massive increase in the budget of the films, the marketing and distribution of films has become more organised and scripts have now started to play a pivotal role in cinema. There has been all round improvement, but still the essence that the old films carry have been very difficult to replicate. It is no doubt that music played a very key role in the films of those days and there were legends like Geeta Dutt, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay and Manna Dey amongst others whose melodious voices still linger on. But I shall not be doing justice if I do not acknowledge the contribution made by artists of my generation in taking forward their heritage and improving upon it the best way we can.

The Bengali Film Industry has always been a strong one, it is true that we have had our share of struggle but it is also true that we have survived and prospered, courtesy the love and affection of the fans who have consistently demonstrated their love for good cinema.

Love to you all. !!

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