Neerja, a biopic on Neerja Bhanot, is sure to inspire everyone by the sheer courage shown by the 22 year old, a posthumous Ashok Chakra awardee.
This biopic on Neerja Bhanot, is sure to inspire everyone by the sheer courage shown by the 22 year old, a posthumous Ashok Chakra awardee.
It is not an ordinary feat when a twenty two year old girl saves the lives of three hundred and sixty people in extreme circumstances. But this act of incredible valour was undertaken by Neerja Bhanot, an Indian Flight Attendant, who went beyond the call of her duty and showcased an exemplary deed of kindness which is bound to reinstate one’s faith in humanity.
On a fateful day in September, 1985, Neerja was the senior flight purser on the ill fated Pan Am Flight 73, flying from Mumbai to USA. Little did she know, that it would be the last flight of her life. The aircraft was hijacked by a group of terrorists who aimed at targeting all the American passengers on board.
While rest of the cockpit crew escaped abandoning the passengers, Neerja, being the senior most cabin crew on board took control. She showed a keen presence of mind, concealing the passports of all the American citizens thereby saving many lives. After holding the passengers hostage for seventeen hours, when the terrorists opened fire, Neerja fell prey to the bullets while shielding three children.
Like the rest of the crew, she also could have escaped and saved her own life. But, that is what distinguishes her from an ordinary person. She was courage personified and at such a young age, faced an ordeal, the thought of which is enough to send shivers down your spine.
This incident happened in 1985, when I must have been a two year old girl. I must confess that, until recently, I was ignorant of the story of Neerja Bhanot. Then some months ago, I saw the picture of Bollywood actress Sonam kapoor dressed up as a charming flight attendant. The pictures floated everywhere, on facebook pages, newspaper links and so on. That is when it dawned upon me that, the aforesaid actress was going to act in a biopic based on a woman called Neerja Bhanot.
When I further read about her, I was both intrigued and baffled. The act of bravery was so supreme that it seemed almost unreal. No wonder, she became the youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra (the highest peace time gallantry award of India), along with a host of bravery awards from US and even Pakistan.
The movie which is aptly christened “Neerja”, tells the tale of an ordinary girl who performed an extraordinary feat. Though grapevine is ripe with talks of whether Sonam Kapoor has done justice to the role of Neerja, I am ecstatic. People will now know the story of a brave heart. People will know how a young girl went beyond the call of her duty and made us all proud. People will know, how her parents still commemorate their valiant daughter every year by honoring two women who have displayed such acts of bravery that shine through.
Whether, the movie will be a blockbuster or not, I cannot anticipate, but one thing I can say with certainty is that, it will help reach ‘Our Neerja’ to every nook and corner of the world. Even if for a couple of hours, in the cozy seats of a cinema hall, people will remember that a girl made a difference, and made us believe that humanity surpasses all. In that, the movie will have achieved its purpose.
Published earlier here.
Image source: Neerja trailer.
Before she took the plunge to be a mom and be a part of the chaotic yet amusing world of motherhood, Meha worked as a Business Analyst in an elite IT firm and as a read more...
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When Dylan came home, I was happy I had a little brother. But soon, strange incidents began happening. No one could explain the hideous things he did or why he did them!
“Nobody loves me!” he cried, as he was forced to sit in the car. Dylan was red with rage and tears covered his face.
“That is not true. We love you a lot. You will be away just for a short while and then we’ll get you back home”. Mother didn’t believe her own words. For the first time she wasn’t sad that he was leaving.
“Bahu, you are this family’s Mahalakshmi. If you wake up late, how will it bode auspicious for this house and hearth? Go, take a bath first, and help me in the kitchen."
“Bahu, you are this family’s Mahalakshmi. If you wake up late, how will it bode auspicious for this house and hearth? Go, take a bath first, and help me in the kitchen.”
“Ma, I’m visiting my in-laws for the first time after marriage. I’m looking forward to this!” Aditi exclaimed.
"Neerja, its good to take care of your family, but don't try to become so sacrificing and devoted that you forget your own existence. No point in trying to make everyone else happy but yourself."
“Neerja, its good to take care of your family, but don’t try to become so sacrificing and devoted that you forget your own existence. No point in trying to make everyone else happy but yourself.”
The alarm clock woke up Neerja at her usual time of 5 am. She was feeling lazy and a bit uneasy. But, she knew she couldn’t rest. Her kids Rashi and Ratan had their school, her husband Suraj had to go for an urgent meeting and her mother-in-law needed her morning medicines on time.
Bollywood has been slow get on the path of biopics on Indian women, but we have had many that have hit the box office in the past decade. Here's a look.
Bollywood has been slow get on the path of biopics on Indian women, but we have had many that have hit the box office in the past decade. Here’s a look.
India, though one of the world’s fastest developing nations, is plagued by rampant gender discrimination. Every day we find women struggling their way out through this vicious circle of regressiveness. But there are some who rise above all that, and are women who inspire us with their lives.