Keshava – A Magnificent Obsession

Bhavana Somaaya has been writing for cinema for more than forty years. She has not only worked as a film critic but published several books, worked on radio, and has no limit to her explorations. In her sixties now, she has started learning Bharatanatyam since past two years. “Keshava”, is her book on lord Krishna and his relationship with several elements of nature. Bhavana has written yet another book on lord Krishna and she finds him to be her inspiration to seek serenity and joy in life. “Anyone who comes in contact with Krishna is consumed by him,” said Bhavana. She said that Krishna is an alluring deity and adores the overall charisma he has. 


Bhavana said that lord Krishna has the power to make everyone feel special; when a person comes in a relationship with him, one feels that lord gives all His attention and makes one feel important. Further in the session, she narrated how Keshava was not the original idea of a book or rather not just one single book, in fact it is a compilation of several small sections. She initially wrote “Tulsi”, her book which she struggled to publish as it was short of the required word limit. After a few years, she added the aspect as to how Tulsi is related to lord Krishna. While working on the book it thrilled her and she transformed it into an elaborated idea which dealt with Krishna’s relation with the natural elements of the world. That is how the book ‘Keshava’ came into existence with Tulsi as a part of it. 


Bhavana spoke about how she considers evolution and absorption to be the mantra of her life. This, to her, is Krishna’s most prominent characteristics. Applying the same, she revealed that she got the inspiration to write the book from a Gujarati text on Krishna that she had wished to translate. But she faced many difficulties because she did not know the script. She learned several languages to complete her research and her book. 


She told the audience that she has used very lucid language in this book which is different from all the other books that she has written so far. Despite the construction of this book being quite mechanical, yet it does not bind the reader to go by a chronological order. Each chapter serves as a different segment and establishes individual relation of the elements with Krishna. She calls it a book of devotion, belief, and prayer. 

Bhavana left the audience wanting for more with her endnote informing about two more upcoming book launches.



About the Author: Aditi Dua is a Masters student in English with Communication Studies who has a knack for aesthetics and poetry. Apart from being a literature enthusiast, she highly celebrates challenging ideologies and provide disputing ideas of death. Always available for a conversation over good coffee. She currently writes for TheSeer

बार बार देखो – Unraveling a Hit

The noon clouds passed over as illustrious figures took the center stage. With an elaborate topic of discussion – ‘Unraveling a Hit’; the conversations took place around what makes a movie well acclaimed. The 45-minute discussion also touched base on what are the categories a critic looks into whilst reviewing a movie, how the medium of watching films have changed over generations.

MD & Chief Learner @LXL IDEAS, Sultan Ahmed mediated the discussion. He is a 1st generation social entrepreneur and a winner of 6 President of India’s National Film Awards. Along with Bhawana Somaaya, Manish Mundra and Supriya Pathak – the dais discussed on how movies have evolved over the decades. Bhawana Somaaya has been writing about Hindi cinema for more than 40 years. She is a film critic, columnist, and author of several books which includes biographies of Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini. Manish Mundra is an Indian film producer, philanthropist and businessman. He is the founder and head of Drishyam Films, and Managing Director of Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, a group company of Indorama, a multi-billion dollar petro-chemical firm headquartered in Nigeria. Supriya Pathak is an award-winning theatre, TV and film actor. Her films include Ram-Leela, Sarkar, Sarkar Raj, Wake Up Sid.

The conversation opened with the importance of critiquing a movie. They discussed on what are the aspects of movies that critics look into for a 5-star performance. Bhawana took an example to illustrate how the star system works. She mentioned about the 2010 drama-romance hit Band Baaja Baaraat. Of the total rating she gave for the movie, Bhawana highlights how she dedicated an entire star for Anushka Sharma’s performance as Shruti. Discussions also moved in the direction of what makes a good movie. Manish on a personal note mentioned that any movie that makes efforts to highlight the tradition of the country is taken well by the audience. His acclaimed movie, Masaan – when mentioned during the discussion received a huge round of appreciation from the audience. The conversation was looped around the idea of change of screens over time. As technology imbibed within our households, people have become reluctant to leave the premises of their home. In the comfort of their walls – technology has given them new forms of screens to watch and enjoy movies. Supriya also stressed on the fact that the age of television was golden. And with the new age screens, the flavor of watching films has changed too. 

As Sultan opened the floor to questions, the seated audience was keen to voice their questions. Manish expressed that it is painful to know that people head to pirated sites to watch movies and how it is a big blow for small producers.


About the Author: Liyana Shirin is a modest graphic designer and an amateur blogger. She believes in weaving stories that come as a ‘solace on a late winter night’. She loves climbing mountains and can be seen spending hours looking at the night sky. She currently writes for TheSeer. She also writes on her personal blog: