TOP HT WKND Reads: Chithi, dipping global population and more… - Hindustan Times

TOP HT WKND Reads: Chithi, dipping global population and more…

Mar 03, 2024 10:50 AM IST

Gripping tales from the southside: Anupama Chopra on Poacher and Bramayugam

In this week's best WKND reads, we've the problems with a global population dip, the Planck/Chauffer test, gripping tales from the southside, and more…

Representational Image(Pexels)
Representational Image(Pexels)

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1) In Chithi, the past is not rose-tinted, but harks to stranger times

Bollywood screenwriter Pubali Chaudhuri (Rock On!; Rock On! 2; Kai Po Che) has written, directed and produced her first film — the 23-minute long Chithi (Bengali for letter) — as much as a personal memory project as an exercise to test her screenwriting skills on an actual set and with actors.

“After decades of working in the ‘industrial' environment of mainstream movie-making, I wanted, for once, the freedom to have the film shape up in the way I imagined it,” Chaudhuri says.

The indie film premiered at the Indian Film Festival of New York in May 2023 and also went on to be an official selection at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and the London Lift-Off Film Festival last year. Read more.

2) The countdown begins: What the coming dip in global population means for us all

While India worries about its growing population, the world is looking at the entirely opposite problem: This is the century in which the planet will empty out. Countries around the world are seeing a slow, sustained collapse of fertility. Even in places where population is growing—India, North Africa—a tipping point is approaching.   Read more.

3) Gripping tales from the southside: Anupama Chopra on Poacher and Bramayugam

In August 2019, at a Q and A, after the screening of Virus (2019), an enthralled viewer asked the film’s director Aashiq Abu, what they were reading and watching because the storytelling in Malayalam cinemas was so much superior to Bollywood. That moment came back to me over the last two weeks as I watched Bramayugam and Poacher.

Bramayugam is a fantasy horror period film co-written and directed by Rahul Sadasivan, who earlier made Bhoothakaalam (2022). The title means ‘The Age of Madness’ and the story is set in the 17th century. Bramayugam, shot entirely in black and white, is an allegory about power. Read more.

4) Know reservations: It’s okay to not have the right answer, says Charles Assisi

A question I am asked often is what I do. When I respond with “I am a journalist”, what inevitably follows are questions for pointers to an “insider’s” view of the political climate in New Delhi. Elections are just around the corner and people want to know. The problem is, I don’t have one because I am not a political journalist. To get to this point where I can say “I-don’t’-know” has taken enormous courage. And I wear this courage as a badge of honour. And each time I say no, I tell myself I have passed the Max Planck/Chauffeur Test. This needs some background. Read more.

5) The WKND Quiz

A medical college named after him in the Bronx, New York’s poorest borough, will now provide free education after a billion-dollar-donation by former professor Ruth Gottesman. He was a patent clerk and theoretical physicist. Think genius hair and E=mc2. Who is he?

a. Isaac Newton
b. Albert Einstein
c. Richard Dawkins
d. Stephen Hawking


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