Netflix’s most anticipated series Sacred Games is back with its most anticipated season. And we have been on the edge of our seats with curiosity and excitement since it first announced the date of release. The best part of it? No character let us down this time as well.
Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are in top form, setting the standards high for more. The thrilling, intriguing and hooking nature of this series with the perfect combination of dark humour and dialogue that are too real to be.
As the makers follow the storytelling style of the previous season and narrate the story in a non-linear fashion, the twists and turns give it a massive thrilling touch. The story transverses from one time period to another – a sort of juxtaposition of the lead characters – Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) – and their storylines. As Nawazuddin himself turns orator for his story in flashback, Saif unfolds key points of what danger is Mumbai in and amidst it, also deals with his complicated personal life.
Gaitonde, who was last seen breaking a jail, is now seen somewhere in the seas. He has nothing on his mind but revenge. Nawazuddin reprises his role as the notorious gangster, but not in Bombay or Mumbai, Gaitonde is now setting up his business overseas in Mombasa, Kenya. But things are changed – Gaitonde, who called himself Bhagwan, is now coming to terms with his own fall. His empire is in deep waters and he is away from the city he loves, Bombay.
Simultaneously, Saif Ali Khan as Sartaj is looking for the mission puzzle pieces. Delivering a restrained performance with just the right amount of intensity and ease, Saif as Sartaj keeps you hooked. It might be his duty as a cop to investigate and solve the intricate process, but as a viewer, you cannot help but start looking for clues yourself as the story progresses. Pankaj Tripathi as Guruji and Kalki Koechlin as Abelman deliver a stellar performance as expected.
Sometime during the show, a prominent character says, “Nucleus se hi nikle the, nucleus mei hi waapis jaayege” and that, can be an apt and short description of the season. Crime, corruption, and communalism – the three facets of Sacred Games have been dealt with sensitively. The elemental and mental chaos, both, have been truly portrayed with finesse. Anything more about the plot will be a giveaway, but it would suffice to say that the show is a ticking bomb, one that you need to invest your time and attention to.
With the show being both mysterious and thrilling, it doesn’t yet lose sight of its commentary, plot and story. As with the first season, it leaves you with questions and things to think about for the next season.
Season 2 of Sacred Games gets a 5/5 from us easily.
Definitely keep this season on your watch list this vacation because it’s worth the time.
In August of 1947, the Bengali nation found itself divided into two countries. But geopolitical borders can only separate people, not their cultures and souls. West Bengal and Bangladesh are two bodies with one soul, with their hearts beating within the people who contain a bit of both entities. The culture differences might be overwhelming to some, but to many, the similarities is where the harmony is strengthened. The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is specifically loved by many Bangladeshis because of still containing the residue of original Bengali traditions and inspirations gracefully enough, while becoming a modern cosmopolitan city.
A tale of two cities
Kolkata is not just a city to many, it is also an emotion for being the heart of emergence of the historic personalities, events and art that have shaped the dimensions of our collective culture. It will forever remain precious since it has still preserved it all with simplicity, sincerity and joy.
Dhaka is different. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing but it has had the fortune of being the home of Nawabs. This 400-year-old city still preserves the faint scent of its lost glory days in the narrow alleys of Old Dhaka. Being someone who appreciates food and fraternity, my love for Dhaka is eternal since you will find it in loads here. The versatility of cuisines and food habits here beats some of Kolkata’s for me. Old Dhaka is undeniably the heart of likeable chaos and urban heritage. This is how it steals my breath, even after being overwhelmingly crowdy.
I have been blessed with the fortune of having a residence in Kolkata, unlike many. Being a wanderer in nature, Kolkata as a city has always actively taken part in shaping my emotions, feelings, values and cultures. The city has a particular aesthetic that no other city could beat for me till now. This is a city for the people with a hearty appetite and curious eyes. Kolkata gave me so much more than a place to stay. It gave me comfort, peace, diversity and joy. So much, that I became addicted to its roads flooding with sodium lights, yellow ambassadors with loud Bollywood songs from the 80s, earthen tea cups that have their own flavour and so much more! The air of this city has a distinct smell, the smell that will excite anybody who is familiar with the diversity it offers.
Dhaka pampers you with unpredictability and availability. It gave me a home to grow up in and understand myself better. Nothing in Dhaka is too far but it consumes time like no other. Even then, it will still give you hope. From the delicacies to the nightlife, everything here is a trade. The trade of time, energy and sometimes, life.
Kolkata or Dhaka, why not both?
While Kolkata wows me with art and ethereal beauty, Dhaka prepares me for the worst. It is like Yin and Yang, balancing each other in harmony. Kolkata was originally inspired by the British. Their credit? They built it. Kolkata’s credit? It preserved and carried it, even today, like it’s their own. The historic buildings, churches, temples, mosques, offices.. everything gives you the feeling of being in the right place, no matter how many times you’ve visited the place already. The best thing about Kolkata carrying its cultures so devotedly even today is the candidness behind everything in this city. Nothing feels forced, nothing feels odd. Even the shady alleys will offer something to your thoughts.
Being a frequent visitor of Kolkata since the age of 4, I realized there’s more of Kolkata in me than Dhaka, as I am now labelled an adult by society.
The cultural similarity we share has been sowed within me by Kolkata and was nourished here in Dhaka. Every time I visit Kolkata, I learn something new, even if it isn’t directly associated with anything cultural.
A tale of two art forms
Dhaka has its own way of expressing itself. It will express its ‘sorrows’ through the sweat stains of a tired Rikshawala on a humid day, ‘happiness’ through the smile on the face of a mother when her child returns home, ‘fear’ with the speeding buses and trucks on busy streets, ‘anger’ with every innocent life lost, ‘hope’ with every warning a girl receives from random strangers when her orna is tangled to the wheels of a rickshaw and ‘joy’ with every cricket match Bangladesh team manages to win. We have our own graceful way of doing things here.
Kolkata is a living art. From Howrah to New Market, the extended roads with shadowy alleys, sodium lights and oversized billboards, the faint smell of incense coming from a distance and the classic yellow ambassadors lining up one after another in traffic, everything will please your eyes. Kolkata isn’t entirely modern but it doesn’t want to be it either. It is almost like a modern cosmopolitan woman draped in a saree, unpretentiously appreciating the combination. This effortlessly beautiful city has always been therapeutic for me, whenever I felt dilemmatic, whenever I needed a breath of fresh air. The discipline of this city despite the chaotic charisma as it may seem to many, is praiseworthy as well.
Being in a love-hate relationship with Dhaka has enabled me to appreciate the best of both cities.
Dhaka will always capture a bigger part of my heart and a broader part of my understandings of culture. The city may not be as artistic and aesthetically pleasing, but it will make you appreciate the little things in your life. Dhaka lets you set priorities and act on it everyday. Dhaka will disappoint you, but some days it won’t and you’ll fall in love with it. The heart of Dhaka is not what it contains but the people who make this city liveable. Culturally, Dhaka has given me the concepts of assertiveness, relationships and the importance of being there for each other. Dhaka will destroy you first and then build you up better. Compared to Kolkata, Dhaka gives you hopes with conditions. Dhaka gives you freedom with restrictions. But Kolkata?
Divided by a border, united by culture
Kolkata lets you live, in all the ways you want to. As Dhaka keeps me grounded, Kolkata gives me the wings to fly. The combination of two didn’t only help me appreciate the beauty of the Bengal, but also it gave me a strong sense of security and cultural awareness.
If these words didn’t make enough sense to you as someone who’s yet to breathe the air of Kolkata, why don’t you pack your bags and board the next flight to make sense out of it? And if by any chance, you’re reading this from Kolkata, it’s never too late to visit this cousin city at least once.
According to reports cited by ANI of India, India will broadcast Bangladesh’s BTV from now on under a new contract signed by the two countries. Anyone else feeling funny here or is it just us?
We all, especially the 90’s kids, have a soft spot for BTV. It was our sole source of legendary shows like Alif Laila and Ittadi. But times have changed. BTV, however, hasn’t.
BTV, as old as time
As time went by, we grew up but BTV couldn’t. Where two negatives make a positive, two positives make a BTV. Even during some dire national situations, BTV would just stay overjoyed with lemons and agricultural successes. BTV’s program quality hasn’t improved in ages and the actual function of this TV channel remains a mystery.
Pardon us if we fail to see how broadcasting BTV in India will portray our cultural and media scenario to our neighbours.
One-sided cultural overflow
The free flow of cultures between the countries has been strongly evident since the last 30 years. Bangladesh had access to almost all of Indian entertainment channels where India had zero. Television media and preferences in Bangladesh are now so inspired and influenced by Indian media that BTV solely can’t balance out the one-sided cultural overflow.
Zee Bangla and Star Jalsha making their mark on our cultural territory along with Indian advertisements and products has made us more aware about India than Bangladesh. A large portion of Indians on the other hand, don’t even know how Bangladesh has been relying on them for almost everything; even how our geographical maps collide.
A futile attempt?
The cultural invasion is so massive that with a minimal contract like this, it is nearly impossible for Indians to learn more about Bangladesh and its media unless a new contract for broadcasting is made that ensures the equal flow of media and channels, if not Teesta’s water.
It is not every day when you get to remember what your father is going through to raise you as a better version of himself unless it is father’s day.
We write emotional captions on Facebook, upload cute photos with him and keep thinking it will wow him because the overwhelming response you are getting from your friends is wowing you.
But this probably doesn’t work well on Bengali Dads. Because you can’t convince him into thinking that a touchy caption on Facebook is a good enough reason to be happy on this day.
Bengali dads have high expectations, remind you that.
So what are the ways you can actually wow your Bengali dads?
Ditch Social Media for a day and cook something for him with effort
Let’s face it when we are uploading cute pictures with him and writing captions for him which are ultimately read by our friends only and not our dads. We only care about how nicely we put our thoughts into words and how much validation we are getting even though our lives are falling apart here.
But if you really want this day to be only about your father, ditch social media and cook something for him. Let him get assurance that you are not entirely useless. That you can make things happen if you actually want to other than fixing the wifi router and occasionally, his android phone.
Buy him something nice and cute that has functional attributes
Our dads are probably never buying a new pair of shoes and a new watch for themselves even though he will buy you 3 pair of shoes and 4 sets of new clothes just because you can flex on social media. Dads will not buy their essentials and still be okay with it because dads are absolute sweethearts and all things nice.
We often overlook his needs and hardly care about if his supplies are in an inadequate amount in the house.
On this father’s day, look around for your father’s stuff.
Figure out what he needs new. It could be a shaving kit, a perfume set, a new pair of shoes, a mobile phone, or whatever he might need new.
Surprise him with it, he will probably love the gifts but I’m sure enough that he will probably feel good knowing you’ve taken the time to care about his necessities and cared to buy them with effort.
Just spend some good time with him
I know that many of us don’t get the time to sit and talk with him even for a while. We always prefer our busyness over his and we feel that it is okay for us to fall asleep because we’re tired whenever he’s home late. Ditch work for a day maybe, take him out for coffee. Or just spend some quality time with him. Talk about how he’s doing and what things he is worried about currently if he looks worried.
Sync yourself to his energy.
You’ll feel more connected to him and his feelings if you’ve been distant for a while.
Show him what you wrote in the captions, on a piece of paper
A lot of our Dads don’t actually get the whole social media culture and don’t like being on facebook for various reasons.
But they do secretly kind of dig the whole letter or card thing if their child makes it with love and effort. Don’t just post pictures with him on social media and write a caption and expect heart reacts because it’s nice.
The day is all about your father. So instead, write it all on a piece of paper and give it to him on this day. I’m pretty sure he’ll be happier to discover his child’s creativity and choice of words that deserve a thousand heart reacts.
Promise to yourself that you’ll actually work on being a better child
This one is more of a continuous process with a long-lasting impact on fathers. Our fathers don’t want anything else but their children to be better and stand up to his expectations in every choice we make in life.
Father’s day is just one day but it should leave an impact on all of us regarding how we should appreciate our fathers’ efforts to run the family and ensure a better future for us.
So let us make better choices, better ourselves for our fathers and their expectations from us. We often tend to forget that as we’re growing up, our parents are getting old so they deserve love, care and support from us a bit more with every passing day.
So, let us become what they want us to be.
Let us give them something to be proud of so that they can feel that their efforts in raising us up are not going in vain.
The term pink tax may sound harmless to many. But it is the root of all the discrimination existing in the system that is alone a barrier to the progress we think our society has made towards establishing equality. But what exactly is a pink tax? A generic definition would say:
“The pink tax is a phenomenon often attributed as a form of gender-based price discrimination, with the name stemming from the observation that many of the affected products are pink” – Wikipedia
For people who have little or no idea about this weird tax that weirdly connects to gender discrimination, it can be a little too much to take in.
Pink tax is basically an unfair price hike for products that are used by women.
We all know how the wage gap is still a thing worldwide and how women are perceived as the ‘less efficient’ gender. And then capitalism says hi as it always does in crisis and suggests an illogical pricing strategy for corporations to wipe off their bank accounts with products that have the same utility as men’s.
The actual scenario
There has been a lot of research on the pink tax that found that overall, women were paying more than men 42% of the time. How much more? About $1,351 more a year in extra costs. This may sound a bit weird but we have all been paying this pink tax to sanitary napkins as well. Even some years ago, sanitary napkins were considered as ‘luxury items’ and a handsome amount of tax was imposed on it. Later, word went out and the tax was said to be removed from it but companies still sell it with higher prices with no logic behind it.
Why are we paying more?
It is found from multiple research that products for women are priced higher even though it serves a very neutral purpose. From makeup to hygiene to clothes and even toys, anything pink or feminine is pricey. Companies are known to have a phrase for justifying their price on a product that goes like ‘Shrink it and pink it’ – which implies the product can have a higher price if it is pink and small. Research and development, following trends, meeting trends, advertising products on television and in magazines are not cheap. Companies are willing to spend more money advertising to women than they are toward men, contributing to the price discrepancies.
The average expenditure of a girl will always be higher than that of a man not because girls are always high maintenance, but they are charged more than they should have and there’s not much they can do about it.
Old Navy got busted for charging more for women’s plus-sized clothing but not for men’s. The plus-sized women’s jeans were $12-15 more than the standard sized ones. But there was no such difference between the prices of men’s plus and regular sized jeans.
Pink tax in Bangladesh
Till date sanitary napkin is considered a luxury cosmetic item in many parts of Bangladesh. Majority of the sanitary napkin prices range from BDT 70-145/pack. It is difficult for a girl to spend this amount of money for sanitary napkins each month especially where the average income of the family is below BDT 10,000/month. Apart from sanitary napkins, from shampoos to cosmetics to clothes, men’s shopping isn’t as expensive as women’s shopping. Even female oriented services e.g beauty parlors, salons are taxed differently than male oriented services. Recently, there have been some active discussions about this tax issue and people have demanded to demolish the ‘luxury item’ tag on sanitary napkins for start. When will it be implemented, or will it ever be? We don’t ‘pink’ so.
The real cost of Pink Tax
In general, even though women pay 13% more than men, but paying more for sanitary napkins and daily hygiene products doesn’t seem fair to many, because obviously it isn’t. For a country like Bangladesh, girls will have to resort to sanitary napkins for better hygiene and convenience but if the price remains as it is with the purpose being taxed, they may or may not consider their right to get basic hygiene as ‘luxury’. So, even if our country will be progressing nevertheless, a major portion of the contributors to our national GDP won’t be able to enjoy empowerment at a basic level.
So what could be done?
We can raise awareness among shoppers. The advice we could give women is to think outside of the aisle. In so many instances, there are equivalent products being sold for significantly less in the boys’ or men’s section. The onus should be on manufacturers to price goods fairly—but consumers should know that they have a choice: The red scooter is just as good as the pink. And if consumers find a case of gender pricing disparity, it is always possible to start a dialogue with the retailer.
What’s the one application that the millennials and the Gen-Z are obsessed with in 2019? Surprisingly, it’s not Facebook. Although Facebook is definitely among the obvious answers, Instagram wins easily considering how fast its usage has gone up in the last couple of years. It is easy-to-use with a simple feed setup. Also, the term ‘followers’ sounds better than ‘friends’ who you barely talk to anyway.
Instagram is widely accepted since people can be whatever they want to be here. Lately, people have been drawn more towards either following an influencer or being one. Now, who exactly is an ‘Influencer’?
Influencer: the individual whose effect on the purchase decision is in some way significant or authoritative. — Cambridge English Dictionary
Since the dawn of E-commerce and digital marketing, companies found it more convenient to market their products on Instagram. Mainly due to its rising popularity, promptness and mobility. Instagram was probably one of the pioneers in propagating the changing trends in lifestyle, tech and fashion. Primarily because it created a platform for its users to articulate their thoughts through filtered photos, videos and relevant captions.
This allowance, however, became an integral part of our lives with time. The people who stood out in providing meaningful, impactful and consumer-friendly reviews and recommendations were soon recognised as ‘Influencers’.
The overwhelming follower base and somewhat easy access to being popular to a group of people excite the youth. Influencers are now given the equal amount of importance by companies as any other public figure reviewing or endorsing their product. It is indeed a good start for the people who genuinely feel they will be good at this. But a lot of people are clueless about ‘what it takes to be an Instagram influencer’.
Here’s an easy guide.
1. Target audience
It is imperative to set a target audience before you start. If your target audience are the people who love makeup and fashion, try and reach out to people with similar interests and be relevant with your content.
2. Unique approach
Uniqueness sells in Instagram so always consider being different from the influencers in the same field. Adequate research and audience friendly approach goes a long way. Don’t copy, don’t be boring.
3. Be proactive
Being responsive and reaching out to the followers who support you is important. If you care about your audience, show them and make sure to reply to your DMs appreciating your followers for taking the time to go through your feed.
4. Stay in touch with the trends
The changing trends in fashion and lifestyle in our generation might seem like a lot to take for many. It’s okay to not catch up with each and every one of them but it’s useful to stay in touch with some for your follower base.
5. Be transparent/neutral about products while reviewing
After you’ve gained a considerable number of followers as an influencer, chances are they’ll be inclined towards your opinion while buying or using any products they might buy. Some might take your words too seriously as well. It is very important to realize that your sincerity in this field will only make you a reliable source of information for the consumers. So try to be informative and as honest as possible while reviewing products.