a book and a movie.
The Book- I Too Had a Dream by Verghese Kurien is an inspiring, fascinating book. It charts the life of a young Malyali man who studied metallurgy in the US and quite accidently landed in dusty, tiny Anand, got involved with a group of farmers tying to set up a cooperative, and decided to stay on in Anand. The twist of fate that lands him in Anand also finds him his mentor and his life’s mission and eventually makes him the Milkman of India.
To me, and I am sure to many others, Kurien comes across as a no nonsense, straight speaking, principled man. I found reflections of my impression of him in the manner in which he recounts his life- honest, upfront,fearless. He is candid in sharing how he reached the heights that he did and graciously shares the credit for his success with those who stood by him in trying times. He is equally candid in admitting his mistakes (of course in hindsight). His commitment to the rural people and his people centric approach guided his decision making, as is clearly visible though many of the examples he shares in the book.
I Too Had a Dream talks of how real, tangible economic change is possible at the grassroots if those working with rural communities have their principles in place , are committed to the cause and don’t fall pray to selfish personal motives and lose sight of the larger goal they had originally committed themselves to. It talks of how one should faces adversity and surmount it. How power and authority should be used for the benefit of those in need .And most importantly it talks of how a nation was built- painstakingly, brick by brick.
In a commercial world guided by profit and ruled by MNCs, it is heart-warming to read of a true story that depicts genuine empowerment of people. The Amul brand is owned by the farmers who form the cooperatives. How often do we see large scale collectives of people that not only produce but also market so successfully?
In my opinion, the 250 page book is totally worth your time. Highly recommended.
PS:Besides the book about the man who made Amul, what do I love about the utterly butterly delicious butter ? The rocking in- sync- with- the- times ads! Admit it, you like ’em too!
You can find a treasure trove of Amul ads here.
The movie- Ajab prem ki gazab kahani starring Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor. Tickets were purchased in what I suspect was a moment of insanity. We arent a movie crazy family so when my parents laid a few hundred rupees on the counter and bought tickets to the recent bollywood flick that everyone’s talking about, I was duly surprised. I was even more surprised to find out how not worth our time the movie was. The parents didnt think it was so bad but thats the thing with movies- they are very subjective. I thought the movie bordered on intolerable. The story line was, in typical Bollywood style, anything but believable- young jobless boy runs a “happy club” that aims on making others happy (what else?), meets young, pretty orphan girl who is being married off to some cheapo by her parents. He falls for her, mends his ways, learns to earn a honest living (in a halwai’s shop, please note) and works to help her get rid of the cheapo in the hope that she will declare she loves him, only to find out later that she loves some third guys….. you get the drift? The acting was ok, nothing outstanding. Katrina is a pretty face but her dialogue delivery isnt the best. Ranbir’s acting is averagely good but its not something that will linger in your mind as a great performance. While I found some of the humour tasteless, there were a few dialogues that got a laugh out of me. The ending reminded me of Hera Pheri- slapstick pandermonium. The saving grace of the movie was its songs and according to me, the best of the lot was this one-
Watch it if you have time on hand and nothing better to do. Alternately, go to the theatre to watch it but leave your brain behind.
I am off to the City of Joy for a day. Be back by the weekend.