In some measure, Dhruv Sehgal’s I Love Thane in Amazon Prime’s latest anthology Modern Love Mumbai is a cautionary tale on the trappings of a dating app, its trials and tribulations and the emotional toll it takes on a person when things don’t go as ‘planned’. The 34-year-old protagonist, landscape architect Saiba, played by Masaba Gupta, is caught in the dating app loop, spending a lot of time and energy hopeful about finding love just by swiping right. Her expectations from a prospective date are different, and she fails to find the perfect match in the app universe. The emotionally excruciating process gives her self-doubt and humiliation in abundance, as she admits in one scene, but then she starts the grind all over again in the hope of finding that elusive love and Mr Right. On one of her Date Zero, where she meets a hotshot startup founder whom she had never met in person before starts listing out the must-have qualities in the prospective life partner. His long monologue is greeted with her blank, bleak stare. The camera zooms in to capture the disappointment in Saiba’s gaze and matches it with that of another woman sitting a few tables away and out on a date as well; the women exchange a glance of blighted hope, equally let down by their respective dates. The fleeting moment elucidates the dating app plot that often makes one feel like a square peg in a round hole, with many misses before that one hit.
(The frames that tell the story… from I Love Thane in Modern Love Mumbai, currently streaming on Amazon Prime.)
The ethos of Padma Shri recipient Shyam Sunder Paliwal’s life revolves around water, daughter and trees. A resident of Rajsamund district in Rajasthan, Paliwal is the architect of the Piplantri Model that hinges on water conservation, environment protection and saving the girl child.
“It was not too long ago that the district was known as a hub of marble mining. When I took over as Sarpanch of Piplantari, I found that the water here was severely contaminated. The poor sex ratio was another worry. The winds of change began to blow when we started an initiative to plant 111 saplings to celebrate the birth of a girl child across the villages, nurture and help the tree thrive. Slowly, the rural communities had realised that the trees that would grow from these humble efforts would help the environment in more than one way. Simultaneously, we started water conservation efforts like building small check dams,” says Paliwal, founder of Kiran Nidhi Sansthan, a grassroots organisation committed to rural development.
His initiative brought about a visible social change and helped water and environmental conservation in Piplantari. More than three lakh trees have been planted here in the last ten years, and the water level has increased to 50 feet from 500 feet. “It is heartening to see my penance bear fruits. It has been a long and arduous journey spread over the last two decades. We never dithered but stayed put, instilled confidence in the people and won their trust to do this wonder here. It was possible because the community came forward and pitched its support to these initiatives for tree plantation, water conservation and saving the girl child,” he says.
But the work is far from over. The much-celebrated water warrior’s Piplantari Model is the perfect medium to convey the message to others, and many Panchayats and village heads are following in his footsteps.
He will continue his work on these three fronts all around the desert state and elsewhere in the country because it is an ongoing process. “There can never be enough of these measures to save the environment from climate change. We need to do more, all the more,” he emphasises.