The Lion’s Fort

In the year 1665, Shivaji Maharaj had to give up several forts to the Mughals because of the Treaty of Purandar. One of these forts was Kondana. But due to it’s strategic importance, Shivaji wanted to win it back.

This famous story of the 1670 Battle of Kondana was recreated on screen this weekend by the Ajay Devgan-Saif Ali Khan starrer, Tanhaji.

As a history lover, I appreciate movies which bring back to life stories of unsung warriors such as Tanhaji.

Tanhaji Malusare was a Subedar in Shivaji’s regime. He was also a lifelong friend of the Chhatrapati. He had gone to Rajgad to invite Shivaji for his son, Rayba’s wedding. Upon learning of the plan to regain Kondana, he immediately put the marriage plans on hold & took charge of the Mohim.

He is quoted to have said the words,

“आदि लगन कोनदानाचे, नंतर रायबाचे”

First we shall win back Kondana, then get Rayba married.

The fort was looked after by the Rajput commander Udaybhan Rathore. This character has been portrayed wonderfully by Saif. His look in the movie was very often compared to GoT’s Jon Snow.

However, let me tell you, Udaybhan is nothing like Jon Snow. In Saif’s own words, “Udaybhan is insanely wicked. He is a great warrior, and is smart, but he is also unhinged. The idea was to show the character as crazy yet lucid.”

I love a period drama that does justice to the historical account.

Tanhaji along with his platoon had scaled the steep fort in the dead of the night with the help of a Ghorpad (monitor lizard).

Once inside, they fought bravely against Udaybhan’s forces. They managed to break open the Kalyan and Pune Darwarzas and penetrated the fort from all directions. After a fierce battle in which Udaybhan literally broke down Tanhaji’s shield, the Marathas successfully regained Kondana back.

However, Tanhaji was grievously injured and he succumbed to death. Upon hearing of this loss, Shivaji was overcome with grief and he uttered the famous words,

“गढ आला पण सिंह घेला”

The fort is captured but we lost the lion

To commiserate Tanhaji’s memory, Kondana was renamed as Sinhagad, which means The Lion’s Fort.

Sinhagad is now one of the tourist attractions in Maharashtra. A memorial of Tanhaji is constructed on the Gad.

In 2019, site restoration workers unearthed the original Samadhi.

I have visited this fort twice but I was intrigued by it’s history after watching this fabulous movie.

Now Watching 🎬

The other day, a colleague remarked that I watch a lot of movies.

Yes, I do.

See, for most people, going to the movies is something they do for a fun day out or to pass their time. I make time to watch the movies I want to watch.

I watch movies for the same reason that I read books – to experience a different world. I wish more & more stories are told & I get lost in all these brilliantly made stories.

Whilst watching a movie, I’m sucked into the whirlpool of emotions.

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It feels all real to me in those 2-3 hours. And even afters, I love discussing different angles & re-feel every emotion. Like, I stay in that mood till I watch something else.

I’m very “filmy” that way.

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Apart from fluffy rom coms, there are movies made which genuinely make you think and question your beliefs. And if nothing else, at least you know how many sexy locations are out there to explore. Or you know, pick a tip or two from what the heroine is wearing 😜

When I go to a theater to watch a movie I love inhaling the popcorn smell.

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Umm yumm.. that scent should be bottled and sold.

Also, the Inox theme song that plays before the start of the movie or even the tunes of the production house, that kind of ups my excitement to watch a movie.

Most of the times though, I always watch a movie at home. Contrary to popular assumption, I do not watch every movie in cinema halls.

Movies make me happy, okay!! And I want to do more of things that make me happy 🙃

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Love & Gelato

This story is about a girl, Lina (short for Carolina) who lives with her mother. Her mother has cancer and her last dying wish is that Lina go to Italy and live with this man called Howard, who is supposedly her father.

Lina does not want to leave America. She definitely does not want to go to a foreign country and live with a father who wasn’t even there in her life for 16 years. But to honor her mother’s last wish, she goes to Tuscany.

She starts living in Howard’s house and gets her mom’s journal over there – a journal that her mom had maintained when she was living in Italy.

As Lina reads the journal, she realises that her young mother was totally different from the woman she knew, she learns about her mother’s journey, she experiences Italy through the eyes of her mother and makes memories of her own and falls in love as well.

There is a nice line in this book, that goes summerised like this –

“People come to Italy for many reasons but they stay back for the same two reasons – Love and Gelato.”