Laputa- Castle in the sky


 ‘Laputa, Castle in the Sky’ is an animated film made in Japan in 1986 by director Hayao Miyazaki. The story too is scripted by the director himself. The idea for this children’s movie is derived from the book ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. The name Laputa was first used by Jonathan Swift in this book to describe a fictional flying island. The inhabitants of Laputa had vast knowledge in areas of mathematics, astrology, astronomy, science and technology. They used the properties of magnetic levitation to make the island float in the clouds. Here also it is no different, except, just that the civilization no longer exists there and the land is guarded, protected and taken care of by a robot.

The film starts with a little girl Sheeta trying to escape air pirates and the people holding her captive in an airship. She accidentally falls from the plane, but the mysterious turquoise colored crystal necklace begins to glow and makes her descend slowly floating in the air, thus saving her. She lands senseless in a mining town of Japan and is taken care of by a lad of her age, Pazu(I keep hearing Potshu though). Then begins the adventure of chasing and being chased. While they try to decipher the magic possessed by the crystal, they realize that the government, the military and even secret agents are involved in it. Then comes the big revelation that Sheeta is the only living heir to the kingdom of Laputa, and again the treasure hunt- the search for Laputa begins as the kids join hands with the pirates.


What I really liked about the movie is how it portrayed the mining culture of Japan during those times. The children’s rendezvous in the deep abandoned mines where they meet an old uncle, chat a lot and learn about Etherium- the magical thing that the crystal is made of, is one of my favorite scenes. Another endearing scene is when the robot recognizes Sheeta and protects her with all his might. And the depiction of Laputa itself is so beautiful. It is protected by a hurricane around it. The eye of the storm is a very peaceful place. The final song has a sense of longing for the things that have passed, long lost in time, as is the beautiful life in Laputa.

The entire movie felt like living a childhood fantasy, a childhood dream. The best thing about anime is that it never even once mocks these childhood fancies, rather it brings out the child in you that is somewhere lost under responsibilities and duties.

robot taking care


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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