Indian Super League

Bengaluru FC sign Gursimrat Gill and Sairuat Kima, Pune City retain Emiliano Alfaro

The 21-year-old Gill spent one year in Bengaluru, joining from the AIFF Elite Academy, before moving to NorthEast United.

Bengaluru FC have completed the signing of youngsters Sairuat Kima and Gursimrat Singh Gill on two-year deals till the end of the 2019-’20 season, the club announced on Monday. The duo join Kean Lewis and Rino Anto in the Blues’ camp as they continue to reinforce their squad ahead of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final tie against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FK in August.

Twenty-one-year-old Gursimrat, who first joined Bengaluru in 2016-’17 season from the AIFF Elite Academy, went on to feature in the I-League and the AFC Cup campaigns before being part of the Federation Cup winning squad in May 2017. The youngster was excited to rejoin the Blues after spending a season with NorthEast United.

“I’m really happy to have joined Bengaluru FC again. I was unlucky to be injured for most parts of my first stint at the club, but I’m glad that the club kept an eye on me and wanted to bring me back. I’m looking forward to joining the team and playing a part again,” said Gursimrat who made five appearances for the Highlanders in the ISL.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Sairuat who joins the club from Jamshedpur FC, began his youth career with Mizoram-based Chanmari FC before joining the DSK Shivajians youth setup in Pune. He was promoted to the first team during the 2016-17 season where the 6’3” tall defender featured in the Durand Cup and the Federation Cup apart from being a mainstay in defense in the I-League. The U23 India international was then snapped up by Jamshedpur in the ISL 2017-18 draft and featured for the Jharkhand-based side in the Super Cup.

“This is a big moment for me, and I’m really grateful for this opportunity. I’m excited to play for a professional club like Bengaluru FC, one that I’ve admired a lot. To go onto the next level, I must train regularly with the best players and BFC have the finest of the lot. Playing with them is something I’m eagerly looking forward to and hopefully I’ll give my everything and achieve success with the club in the coming years,” said Sairuat after completing formalities.

Emiliano Alfaro returns to Pune City

Pune City retained the services of striker Emiliano Alfaro for the 2018-19 season. The Uruguayan joined the club in 2017-18 playing each and every match last season.

Speaking on retaining Alfaro, Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Alfaro has been one of our key core members and a fan favourite too. He clocked almost 90 minutes in every game he played last season and his speed and decision making up-front contributed big time to FC Pune City’s historic run to it’s first ever play-offs. His performance was exemplary and we are glad to have retained his services for the upcoming season.”

The striker plied his trade as a professional first in his home country’s national premier division club Liverpool Montevideo in 2006. He donned the national colours against Italy in a friendly in 2011 that got Italian club Lazio to pick him. He spent three seasons with Lazio before re-joining Uruguayan club Liverpool Montevideo in 2014-15 helping them win the Segunda Division Title. During his stint with Pune City, Alfaro played 19 games and scored nine goals making him the highest scorer of the club. Alongside skipper Marcelinho, the two were one of the most lethal striking pairs last season.

Expressing his happiness, Alfaro said he is looking forward to his second stint with Pune City. “I am excited to don the orange amd purple of FC Pune City again this season. After being a part of this exciting group last season, the decision to continue was as easy as it gets. I am confident that our team will continue from where it finished last season and give Orange Army more reasons to celebrate.”

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.