Thank You!

My day started with watching the video shown below.

Of course,the video touched my heart deeply but it did bring back a timeline of events which taught me how to “really” say thank you.

The first lessons of saying thank you were from my parents. Every time somebody gifts me a chocolate,they would tell me “Say Thank You” and I would tell “Thank You”.I always thought it was a custom to tell Thank You when somebody gives us something.After a while,when my parents started making me hand over the gifts to people,I was told to say “You are welcome” once they tell me “Thank You”.Even telling “You are welcome” was a mechanical activity.During school days,though the entire class shouts “Thank You Madam/Sir” after every class,I am sure that neither me or my classmates were thankful about it.The chanting of Thank You was more about the happiness and relief which we got when the teachers left the class than the thankfulness for teaching us.But then,as we grow up,we do learn a lot of life lessons.During my teenage phase,telling somebody Thank You was about shedding the my ego.So I rarely thanked anyone.I felt so embarrassing when somebody thanked me. I would look down wondering what to reply them.I used to feel very awkward by hearing the word Thank You.So I would show a fake smile and run away from the situation.I didn’t know how to handle such situations.

Things changed when I started my college.First time away from home,new place,new language,new people and new food.Altogether I was in a messed up state.But,luckily I got a friend,Chittu, on the second day of the college.We talked for hours in a stretch and became friends in no time.Chittu and I became the relief sources for each other.My roommate and I were struggling to get along well and Chittu and her roommate were on the same phase too.Interestingly,my roommate and Chittu’s roommate became buddies.In a week,Chittu had reached the saturation point of her frustrations.Wardens were strict about the rules as they claimed that in first year, students from same state should not be roommates.Yes,Chittu is from Kerala.Chittu was infamous for her punctuality.She was always the last one to reach the class.As we both go to the class together,I will also end up reaching the class late.Daily,for 8.30 AM class,we will be the last ones to run from the mess.Then one day,we were royally late to the class;so we skipped our breakfast and ran to the class.To make the worse worst,she slipped and fell down on the steps of the hostel.And the shameless we are,we smiled each other and went to mess to have breakfast.We were happy to skip the first hour of class and leisurely walked to the class.By end of the day,back pain started for her.The second week of our college had just started and nobody knew each other well.But,we still managed to borrow an electric kettle and an Iodex cream.My roommate was happy to temporarily move to Chittu’s room for few days.After three days,Chittu and I reluctantly talked with the warden and to our surprise she agreed to the idea of Chittu moving in with me and we kicking out my roommate to Chittu’s room.After talking to the warden,I was just simply standing at the door of my room.I don’t know what happened in next five minutes.Looks like Chittu had all her suitcases packed and ready.She just ran across the corridor twice or thrice and there she is,shifted to my room.Both of us laughed like crazy people and she hugged me so tight and said Thank You.That was the first time I felt the real meaning of Thank You.The Thank You she said had all the happiness and relief which she had felt then.That was a very genuine Thank You.One Thank You made me feel so special and that was the beginning of a very beautiful friendship.Thus I started thanking people very sincerely.I made it a habit to look into the other person’s eyes and thanking them with a smile.Some people respond,some just stare at me and some others show their happiness.

Trust me,this habit has made both my life and smile more beautiful.And,this is a Thank You note for Chittu which was long overdue.

So,next time don’t hesitate to thank someone.A Thank You can make wonders in life.

 

 

 

 

PS : Thank you Brags for that Facebook post.

10 Valuable Lessons Malayalam Cinema teaches Men and Women

Disclaimer  : The post deals with Malayalam cinema because I don’t have enough knowledge to extend the details of this post to the movies of other languages. But, considering that we live in India, I am sure that most of what told in the post could be generalized.

 

Lessons for Women

1) Women should not shout

It is a common and indispensable dialog in a Malayalam movie. If ever a woman shouts, then the next dialog will be a man shouting back at her reminding her that a woman should not shout. I think this dialog comes automatically from a scriptwriter’s pen. Also, a woman’s voice touching the roof of the house or coming out through the bedroom wall will collapse the house.

2) Girls should be courteous, coy, pleasant, well dressed, well-mannered, and presentable and she should know cooking

Most of the movies will have a five to ten minutes session for advising a girl to be a “girl”. This is the part where the hero gets to talk on and on about his knowledge about perfect women. The situation in the movie will be as follows. The girl will be smart, talkative and independent. She likes to wear western attires and the clothes suit her well too. There will be a positive vibes of happiness around her. She drives a car. She eats food cooked by her Mother or maid. What on Earth is wrong in that? But, then there comes the hero. He tells her that girls should be coy and demure. Girls should not talk much. Girls should wear a saree. Girls should know cooking. A girl allowing the man to drive is feminine. He would shame her either in front of her family or in front of her friends. But neither her family nor her friends would stop the hero from puking the advices. Instead, they would stand like statues. Then with a heavy heroic background score the hero will leave the scene. And the transformation happens. There she is, our heroine, standing in a saree with her neck drooped   and cheeks blushed. She fell in love with the hero.

What the !!!

3) Life is lost, nothing is lost, but chastity is lost, then everything is lost

When I hear some dialogues, I feel that the world is balanced on a girl’s chastity. A man going to jail by killing someone is still a matter of pride but a woman losing her chastity is the biggest sin. In Malayalam cinema, there are only two solutions for this problem. One; the girl’s family, at times the neighbourhood will also join the family, begs the molester/rapist to marry her to wash off the bad name on the family. The girl’s father would fall on the molester’s feet, the girl’s mother would beg and finally the wedding happens and they live happily ever after. A song will be shown to portray the transformation of the molester and then the girl’s gets pregnant and delivers a baby boy and all is well. Two; the girl kills herself and all the shame and crack in the family honour are restored in minutes.

4) No matter what goes wrong, it is always a girl’s mistake

This dialog is reserved for the girl’s Mother. And yes, Mothers are always right. If a man stalks her, it is her mistake. If a man gropes her, it is her mistake. If a man rapes her, it is her mistake. If a man gives her a love letter ,it is again a girl’s mistake. If the family business dooms, then it a girl’s (daughter – in – law) mistake. No matter what shit happens, end of the day, it is always a girl’s mistake. Why did you allow him to stalk you? Why did you allow him to touch you? Why did you walk through that route so that he felt like raping you? You must have definitely done something to attract/provoke him.

Holy shit!

5) The best way to shame a girl is by talking nonsense about her morale and conduct

Any woman could be silenced by talking nonsense about her morale and conduct. The misconduct could include travelling alone, talking with boys, going out with men, drinking/smoking habits, going to clubs, going for western form of dances(traditional dance forms make a girl divine),failed relationships or marriage, not obeying her husband or parents, and wearing clothes which are not in the list of clothes allowed for a Malayali girl. Between every two lines, the hero or any other male character would boast a lot about the culture of Kerala and if the scriptwriter include point no.2 also, then this scene will be received by thunderous applause.

6) Nirvana of a woman’s life

This scene comes when a girl refuses to get married. Either her Mother or Aunt gets this piece of dialog. The scenes teach us the importance of getting married and staying married. The dialogues are gems of life changing information that they explains how important it is to have a man in a woman’s life, and how important it is for a woman to be accepted by the in-laws. And a woman’s life is completed only when she suffers the pain of delivering a baby, preferably a baby boy so that she has somebody to take care of her once the Husband dies.

7) Education is shit!

Girl: “Enikku padikkanam” (I want to study)

Girl’s parents: Pinne,padichittu collector aakan povalle. (Oh, as if you study and become a Collector)

These two dialogues are one of the most clichéd dialogues. Any time, if the girl refuses to get married and tells the parents that she wants to study, then the parents will shun by teasing her.

Some other dialogues related to education of a girl are

  • Pennkuttikal padichittendha oru kaaryam,veruthe kaashu kalayan.Aa kaashu kondu avale kettikkan nokku                         (What’s the point in a girl studying? Waste of money. Instead spend that cash and get her married off)
  • Pennkuttikal itrayokke padichaal mathi                                                                                                                                                                       (This much education is enough for girls)
  • Veettukaaryam nokkan valiya padipponnum venda                                                                                                                                              (You don’t need education to take care of a house)
  • Veruthe padippichittu pennine vazhi thettikkano?                                                                                                                                                  (Why do you want to educate her and spoil her conduct?)
  • Valiya degree undayittonnum oru kaaryamilla,vallathum vechu undakkan ariyanam                                                                                     (Having a degree is not a big deal. You should know how to cook well)

8) A girl is the light of the house

This is the safest way to make a girl obey the rules of patriarchy without making her feel that her life is restricted within an invisible boundary. The society and the movies glorify this fact so much that this is imprinted in people’s mind. They proclaim that girl is everything for a family and then impose rules on her to fulfil the mandatory conditions to be the light, mop and mixie of the family.

9)A girl falling in love

Though recently there has been a change in real life in the way the family reacts when they find out that the girl is in love, the cinema industry is still stuck with the chaos mode. The Father will blame the Mother for not making the daughter understand the value of culture and the family pride. The Mother in turn curses the daughter and blackmails her by holding kerosene can ready to pour on her. If she falls in love with somebody of a same caste, then the chaos level is normal. If she falls in love with somebody out of her caste, then the chaos level is at its maximum with a ten fifteen minutes scene of explaining her the family’s tradition, pride and name or about the hardships which the parents had to undergo to bring the kids up. If the girl falls in love with somebody of other religion, then the chaos cannot be measured. The Father would declare either to kill the daughter or go to jail (yes, killing daughter and going to jail is an awesome act) or to suicide together as a family.

10) A family which has to survive on a woman’s earnings is shame for the predecessors

This dialog is slightly out of fashion now but the grandparents who are heading the family cannot sleep without delivering this dialog whenever the women in the family wants to go out for work.

 

Lessons for Men

1)Slapping a woman is a man’s birthright

In Malayalam movies, slapping a woman is considered as the most matured act of a man. Husband slaps wife, brother slaps sister/s, and strange man slaps strange woman. In short, slapping is considered as the best medicine a man can give a woman to shut herself. An argument goes on and instead of the third dialog, the man slaps woman and there will be roars in the theatre. Women in the theatre shamelessly nod for this telling it was the heroine’s fault and getting one or two slaps will only make her a better woman.”Onnu koodi pottikeda avale”(slap her once more) is a common dialog which male audience shouts  and most of the times, the man on-screen slaps her once more as if he has heard the audience. See, the scriptwriter knows the audience well.

2) Love a girl? Stalk her,dude!

I don’t have any hopes about this trend dying soon. Some writers are even more brilliant. At times, raping her makes her fall in love. The hero whistles, tries to hold her hands or hair, follows her everywhere, intrudes her privacy and then voilà, she falls in love. The much appreciated Annayum Rasoolum was an epitome of stalking .A stranger following you daily at night till your doorstep is creepy and not romance.

3) One of the duties of a man is to protect family’s honour

The man will never allow anybody to spoil the honour of the family. So the best way to restore the family pride is either by kicking the girl out of the house or by killing her. If the family is powerful, then they can kill the man with whom she is in love and then force her to marry somebody else.

4) He is the decision-man

He decides and he orders. He decides what the Mother should do, what the wife should wear, what the son should study, whom the daughter should marry etc. The family which runs on a man’s command is a good family and a family which runs on a woman’s command is a bad family. It is an itching for the screenwriter if he doesn’t portray the family ran by a woman as a bad one and then an angelical man would enter into their lives and advises the woman head of the family to step down. He takes up the place as head of the family and all is well. The End!

5) Rules for men

A man should know how tame a woman and make her obey him.”Pennine varacha varayil nirthuka”(making the woman obey the man without protest) is a classic art and a man who learns it is THE MAN. Obeying wife or Mother(or any other woman) is considered as degrading the manliness. Other men would advise like “poyi chathoodada”(Cant you go and die?) if they come to know that their friend listens to his wife/Mother.

6) The sign of machismo

Womanizing by getting bored of sleeping with his wife is a sign of machismo but if a woman strays then she is a whore. The hero would list out why he is bored with his wife and then nobody asks a question. Should I explain what happens if a woman sleeps with somebody else?

7) Mistakes made by men are never mistakes

Men make mistakes but every mistake made by them is pardonable even if they kill somebody because they will always have a valid reason. The scriptwriter will make sure that the man(especially the hero) has enough reasons to support him for his actions; even if he rapes a woman. In that case, the man will sob saying I lost my control, it was a mistake—Do you think I will ever do such an act when I am sober?

Bloody hell!

8) Want to take revenge?

A man has the power to spoil a girl and the girl’s family. So if you want to make another man obey you, the best way is to threaten them to rape the women in the family. Why using your brain when all you need is to open the zip? Seriously, when we watch certain movies, the plot tells it without any shame. This is considered as the easiest way to threaten or take revenge.

9) The freedom to fall in love

A man has complete freedom to fall in love with whomever he wants. Why is it so? A man has the freedom to tell about his openly but a woman telling her love is a risk. Not just in movies, even in real life, people around her would tell her not tell anybody because it will reduce her chances for “good” proposals.

I doubt whether there is any movie which tells the man not to fall in love. Why is it so?

10) Man is always right…

…even if the woman counterpart is more intelligent, more educated, smarter and more talented than him. Period.

A to Z Challenge 2014 : This year,it is all about Men

I’m lazy.I have been always lazy.Last year,this time,when the A to Z challenge was happening,I happily sat back and read others’ posts.Remember,during our childhood we feel an urge to try things what our friends(enemies) do.Last year,towards the end of the challenge period,I too felt like writing about things from A to Z.But,laziness is inborn,so writing twenty six posts and publishing them were a grueling task.So I made my thoughts concise and stuffed everything into one post;you can read the post here.

2014 is an awesome year for me.So I thought,why don’t I disown laziness and mood swings and then write twenty-six posts.So this year,the theme for my A to Z challenge is about men:short stories about men whom I have met,seen,known,heard,liked,disliked,loved and hated.No! this series is not about the men I fell in love with or about men who fell for me.Yes! you can find few love stories and also regular readers might see a couple of repeated posts but short stories will be mostly about so many other flavors of life.

Don’t panic.I will not be using the real names of the people.

So,watch out for the series in the coming days.Who knows may be it is your story.

 

Continue reading

Love,Lust and Bubble

“Diya! You there?”,Vidya banged on the door.

“Let’s go?”, Anu pinned up her dupatta and asked Vidya.

“Diya is still not up”

“She must be tired from the trip. Let her come for the second hour. It is Malathi’s class. She will not let us in if we are a minute late. Come… Come…” Anu dragged Vidya.

Vidya again banged on Diya’s door during lunch break. Vidya stood in front of the door and tried calling Diya’s phone.

“Vidya, what happened to Diya? Is she too tired from the trip that she can’t even come for the class?”, Shalini laughed loud.

“Listen, I know it was you who spread the news about her trip.”

“Of course, it was me. Tell me one reason for not doing it.”

“Past is past.”

“Then what I had told about her is past too.”

“Diya, just open the door!”, Vidya yelled at the closed-door and banged on it.

Students flocked and they asked Vidya so many questions. Vidya gave up and told everyone that Diya is sick.

During the class, Vidya told her concerns to Anu. Diya’s phone is switched off; her parents have already called Vidya thrice; nobody has seen her after trip.

“Don’t worry; this is not her first time. Or on a happy note, may be they must have made out too many times that she is tired.”

“But still, can’t she at least open the door?”

“We will do one thing. Let’s bunk the next class and then go to her room.”

“OK. Let’s do that.”

When they reached Diya’s room, it was latched from outside.

“She must have gone to the toilet.”

“Let’s sit inside the room.”

They waited for an hour chatting each other.

“Diya’s guts! appreciated.”

“I don’t feel that she has done anything great.”

“But, again how did she make it? Aren’t her parents very pestering and strict?”

“Sigh! She told her parents that she is going to Kodaikkanal for the class trip and then went to Ooty with Deepak.”

“Whoa! She has brains to handle her parents. But still, I would have shivered to death for going on such a date. That’s why Ramesh and I date only inside the campus and I chose him over Naresh because Ramesh and I are from the same caste. I can’t handle complications. It is very difficult to sleep with one guy and then marry another one. I kinda feel disgusting.”

And Diya came holding her bucket in one hand and toiletries in another hand. She looked terribly tired. Eyes looked droopy and face looked pale.

Vidya and Anu sat straight eagerly waiting to hear the stories.”Diyaaaa”, they called teasingly.

She didn’t look at them but stood next to door opening it wide. Vidya looked at Anu and then looked at Diya.She was still standing there holding the opened door.

Shalini was sitting in the mess and Vidya purposely avoided looking at her.

“How is Diya? Her phone is switched off.” A text message flashed in Vidya’s mobile phone. It was from Deepak. She immediately called him but he didn’t pick up the call.”*******”, Vidya told herself.

Then Anu came running to mess and dragged Vidya out.

“Looks like there is some problem.”

“What?”

“Ramesh told me that there is a rumor that Deepak was just idling time with Diya.He is not serious.”

“Oh that, even I knew. I don’t think even Diya is serious about the relationship.”

“Then who cares. Let them **** how much ever they want. I was worried that Diya was cheated.”

“No, Anu. She isn’t that kind of person. She knows well that any guy would fall for her charm. So if not Deepak, then somebody else.”

“I seriously want to know the art of being a *****.Guys come and go just like this in her life. Phew!”

“LOL!!”

Four days passed and nobody saw Diya in the class. For two days Vidya and Anu checked on her before going to class but then they got busier for the cycle tests.

During the first test,Diya came to class.She looked terrible.She had dark circles.Her hair was messy.Her lips were dry.The entire exam hall looked at her but she walked slowly to her seat.After ten minutes,Diya walked out of the exam hall.Anu leaned and looked at Vidya and she looked equally clueless.

Vidya and Anu ran behind Deepak after the test.

“Hey,listen,is there any problem between you both?”,Anu asked in stern voice.

“No.What problems?”,Deepak asked innocently.

Deepak joined his friends, laughed over some boys joke and cycled away.

Vidya slightly pushed the door and it opened. Diya was lying down on her bed. Anu also got inside the room and closed it from inside.

“Diya, wake up.”

Diya got up and hugged Vidya tightly. She screamed blue murder.

“What happened?”Anu whispered.

Diya cried. She cried uncontrollably. In two minutes, there was a pool of tears on her.

“Did you see Deepak?”

“Yes, we met him after the test. He looked normal. What happened to you?”

“He has a girlfriend in Delhi.A relationship approved by their parents.”

“WHAT?!!??”,both Anu and Vidya exclaimed.

“Yes,she had called me few days back.She shouted at top of her voice.I didn’t know what to reply.”

“What did Deepak say?”

“He told me that going to Ooty was my idea.Now the blame is on me.”

“Huh!”

“Actually,why did you go with him?Anyway you were not serious and he was also not serious.”

“Who the hell told you that I was not serious?”

“So you were serious? Oh my God!”

“Of course I was serious. Otherwise why would I weave such a big story and tell my parents?”

“So, what is next?”

“I don’t know.”

“Coming for lunch?”

“No!”

Anu and Vidya walked over to the mess and Anu said, ”What goes around comes around. This is the punishment for snatching Shalini’s boyfriend last year.”

“Don’t talk nonsense.”, Vidya joked,” punishment it seems.”

Days passed and the cycle tests were over. The weekend came. Diya and Anu had gone home. Vidya was bored watching movies and sleeping over books. She went to the mess for evening tea. The mess was deserted, so she stretched her legs and kept it on the chair on the other side of the table. She enjoyed the hot elachi tea and went for one more cup.

“Is Diya going out with Ashish?”

Vidya looked back to see who it is. She smiled at Shalini.

“No. I mean I don’t know; I don’t think so.”

“Hmm”

“By the way,which Ashish?”

“Ashish — Deepak’s roommate; Rakhi’s boyfriend.”

“Oh!”

“I saw Ashish and Diya in the railway station on Friday night when I went to see off my friends.”

“Oops”

“What is she up to?”

“They must be the new friends.”

“Rakhi told me that Ashish broke up with her on Thrusday night.”

The elachi tea tumbler fell down from Vidya’s hand.

Sunday night,Anu texted Vidya — “TTE caught Diya and Ashish from train’s loo. It is a chaos here.”

Vidya looked at the text message and then deleted it.

 Next day while going to the class,Vidya knocked on Diya’s door.She was lying down and crying.She hugged Vidya tightly and cried.

“Why did you do this?”

“I don’t know.”

“Leave it.Get ready.”

Before reaching the class,Diya got a call.Both of them stopped their cycles.

“I am bunking the class.”

“Why?”

“Manish wants to talk to me.”

“Diya! Don’t do this.”

“Bye.I will come for the next class.”

Vidya said nothing and cycled to the class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabbage

Priya stretched her right hand to touch Saahil.

Saahil“,she called him pulling his hair,”Saahil,calling bell;maid“.

He rolled over to the other side and snored.Priya patted him on his bum and got out of the bed.She yawned and tied her robe’s ribbon.When she opened the door,Akka stood there with a bag half-filled with vegetables. Akka’s forehead showed the daily frustration of waiting in front of the door.

How many times have I told you to give me a spare key?“,Akka murmured and went to the kitchen.The noises of vessels falling into the sink released her irritation.

Priya went back to the bed and crawled inside the quilt.She hugged Saahil from behind and bit his left earlobe. Saahil chuckled and rolled on top of her. Priya laughed and Saahil passionately kissed her.

***************************************************************************************************

Akka,all ready?“,Priya stood at the kitchen door and asked.

Muaah! Bye“,Saahil kissed Priya on her cheeks and sipped the milk and rushed to the front door.

Lunch!“,Priya shouted.

Team lunch today“,the voice came out from somewhere down the staircase.

Akka,tomorrow buy some chicken.It has been a while.

That guy owes Rs.20.He is an asshole.

That’s OK.No problem.

Please pack my lunch too Akka,I am already late.

Then who will wash the dishes?

Don’t shout.I will pack it.

Priya went to the room and brought her hand bag.She took out a smelly lunchbox and smiled at Akka.

Sorry,forgot to wash it.

Huh!Give it.

Priya grinned.

Wait,why did you buy cabbage?Haven’t I told you not to buy cabbage?

Today,plantain was not there,so I thought I will buy cabbage and shred it.

Don’t ever buy cabbage.

Why?

Priya said nothing.

Akka,let’s go.I am already late to office.” 

Akka came out holding the garbage bag in one hand and a cloth bag on the other.”Dish wash liquid is over.Mustard and jeera are over.

OK.You buy them tomorrow.Keep this.”,Priya stretched out a Hundred Rupee note.

After driving for a while,Priya stopped the car and breathed heavily.She opened the door and puked on the road.She searched for the bottle and gulped lots of water;but,again puked.She closed the door and turned on the air conditioner.She turned the blower on to her face and swallowed air.

5.30 AM.The alarm rang. Riya woke Priya up and went to the toilet.

Riya! Did Priya wake up?“,Mom asked from the kitchen.

Priya dragged herself from the bed and leaned on the toilet door.

I don’t want to go to school today.

As if I want to go.”

“It is because of our school bus.The class starts at 8.45 AM and for that we need to start from here at 5.30 AM.

What to do?

Why can’t you tell parents to send us in public bus?Then we need to start from home only at 8.15 AM.

We are too small.

You?Small?Aren’t you in 6th standard?

But,Parents will not agree.And,yeah at least today please don’t puke.

What will I do?They smoke up the bus with foul-smelling agarbathis and I feel suffocated.”

Today also cabbage“,Riya opened the steel lid and smirked at Priya.

Amma!”,Priya shouted.

I know but what can we do.There is no money.I will tell Dad to buy something else tonight.Few more months — once our new house is built then Dad will have money with him.

Amma,you don’t know anything.Rice and cabbage for breakfast,rice and cabbage for lunch and rice and cabbage for dinner.Do you know,I vomit daily in the bus?

“Ayyo,what happened Priya?” “Riya,is it true?”

Riya said nothing and continued eating.

Yes,Amma.I am telling the truth.I feel suffocated inside the school bus.The agarbathis smell churn my stomach.This cabbage never digests for me and I puke until I reach school.Two days back when I puked,rice and cabbage came out and boys made fun of me telling that I eat rice for breakfast.Friends always tease me saying Amma knows to cook only rice and cabbage.

Amma said nothing.That day,an hour after getting inside the school bus,when Priya burped,smell of cabbage prevailed in the air surrounding her.And she knew,it is time to run to the door.The bus driver braked upon seeing her next to his seat.She ran to the nearby bushes and puked her soul out. Riya sat in her seat without acknowledging the happenings.

Can’t you tell your parents to buy some medicine to stop vomiting?“,driver showed all his disliking in his voice.

Are you pregnant?“,asked Vijay and his boys gang.There was a big laughter when Priya walked back to her seat.The taste of undigested half-cooked cabbage lingered inside her mouth for the entire day.

Madam,ID card?

Priya flashed her ID card through the car window and drove off to the parking lot.That day when she opened one of her lunch boxes,she saw fried,yellow colored shredded cabbage.She smelled it once and then ran to washroom.

I have indeed become Old

Few weeks back while driving in Calicut,something pricked me when I passed the Sarovaram Bio Park.It is situated at the Mini Bypass Road — on the way to Arayadathu Palam from Eranjipalam Junction.Two decades back,the plot where the bio park stays now was an exhibition ground.Weekend plans were either to roam in the S.M.Street or to go for an exhibition.The latter occurred only once or twice in a year — during the Christmas week and during summer vacation.So the demand was higher.A lot of vendors,circus groups and performers camped for a week or ten days.There will be everything from safety pins to furniture. Some families came with big-shoppers and filled their bags full.In school,we pinched each other and howled “same pinch” upon seeing same colored fancy pens/pencils in the hands of classmates.School boys calculatedly spent 12-hours at the exhibition to meet their crush(es).School girls went their parents in the hope that they might see their guy.Love birds used the opportunity well.Parents shopped as much as they could.

In Calicut,the first mall came into existence in 2007.Focus Mall.People rushed into it as if the world will end the next day.Some people even told that Focus Mall was a realistic version of Orkut. We met our long-lost classmates,forgotten teachers,purposely avoided relatives and nosy family friends.Some people went to Focus Mall daily.Some others traveled from other end of the city to visit the mall.Shopping from Focus Mall became a matter of pride.A lot of people shopped only from the mall despite the frustrating crowd and the unnecessary waiting in the queues.People of nearby districts and places made one-day trip to Calicut to visit the mall.Taking guests to the mall was a proud moment.We boasted to every Manu,Binu and Vinu that the biggest mall in Kerala is in Calicut.But,the initial rage disappeared like whiffs of smoke in the air.People were bored with seeing people whom they know every time they go to the mall.People became bored with the crowd.And the rage slowly died.When newer malls came,people stopped going to Focus Mall.Last time when I visited the Focus Mall,there were hardly any crowd despite being a Saturday evening.

I truly wish those exhibitions and fairs at the temples were back.I miss the fun in riding on the giant wheel,I miss eating cotton candy and I miss those waiting-days.Or are these the symptoms of growing old?No matter what,those days were indeed golden.

 

Once Upon A Time I Believed That …

… I was that little girl in the floral frock in my parents’ wedding picture

… Paneer is plucked from trees

… My Grand Parents were old during their childhood

… My Parents were siblings

… Doctors are old men

… There were more than 1001 Gods in the world

… If we jump from a flight,we can sit on clouds

… Nitish Baradwaj is my boyfriend

… There were so many Moons and Suns

… There was a world of dead people under the Earth 

obsessed_with_the_past

… India is the only good country in the World

… I will marry Mammootty

… Dreams come true the next day

… Only religions existed and there are no subdivisions to them

… My Mom bought me from a shop

… I have  dark skin because my Mom wasn’t bathing me properly

… “My” God is watching me from the sky

… I will become blind if I lied to Parents or teachers

… Gods fought each other in the sky

… I will become taller if I drink Complan;Urgh!

15 Malayalam Movies which I want the World to Watch (Romance)

*Spoilers all over

It was an uphill battle to make a list of love stories in Malayalam Cinema as I have strictly avoided chick flicks and college romance.

15)Chamaram

Chamaram tells the story of Indu played by Zarina Wahab who is engaged to her cousin brother Ravi despite her Father’s disliking towards Ravi.Indu’s Father was never faithful to her Mother,so after her Mother’s demise he runs a relationship with another woman.Indu gets a job in the town as a college lecturer and moves from the village.Meanwhile,Vinod,played by Prathap Pothen, is a spoiled brat student in the college and he falls in love with Indu.He will tries to woo her but she moves away from him telling that she is already in love with Ravi. During vacation Indu reaches home and sees that Ravi is already married to somebody else.She comes back to the college and gets closer to Vinod.The movie has a very beautiful song Naadha nee varum.

14)Ulkadal

It is the story about Rahulan(Venu Nagavally) and the three women with whom he falls in love with during the three different stages of his life.More than the movie itself,it is famous for the romantic duet Sarabindhu Malardeepa.

13)Rathinirvedam

Immense respect for Bharthan and Padmarajan for making this movie when such a concept was not even talked freely in the society.The movie is about a teenager Pappu and his fascinations about the next door girl Rathi who is older than him.Though Rathi ignores Pappu’s initial infatuation pranks,the story takes a turn when she starts to reciprocate.Kudos to Jayabharathi for her portrayal of Rathi chechi. It was indeed a role which most of the leading actress denied to do it.The movie is considered as a landmark in  the history of Indian Film.

12)Meghamalhar

It is said that the leading pair Biju Menon and Samyuktha Varma fell in love during the sets of this movie.We cannot blame them because the movie will make you fall in love.How many stories have you heard about finding the lost love of childhood. Let me not spill the beans and spoil the suspense. But this movie is such a simple and heartwarming love story.The climax scene of the movie is a beautiful silhouette frame which shows the charm of their love.

11)Mazha

This is a very intense love story.A rich girl(Samyuktha Varma) who loves poetry comes to a new place and falls in love with her music teacher(Biju Menon).The love blooms but it is broken when he is obliged marry to his fiancee. She moves to the city and continues her medical studies.She marries Chandran(Lal) but they lead a very mechanical life.They decide to fix their marriage and work on it.Then one day,he reads her old personal diaries and knows about her lost love. Chandran starts suspecting every man around her and gets addicted to alcohol.After the untimely demise of her husband,she goes back to the village to meet the music teacher to hear shocking stories.The movie is an adapted version of the novel Nashtapetta Neelambari by Madhavikutty.

10)Sukhamo Devi
This movie is said to be a page from the life of the director Venu Nagavally.The movie is about the love story of Devi(Urvashi) and Nandan (Shankar). Their friend Sunny dies in an accident the on the day Devi and Nandan were planning to elope.Devi is forced to get married to Dr. Venugopal(Nedumudi Venu) and she shows arrogance to her husband and her daughter. Nandan decides to marry Sunny’s girlfriend and tells Devi to go back to her husband and lead a happy life.

9)Ore Kadal

How do you handle when love gets complicated?How do you handle when you are married but loves another man strongly?This movie directed by the very talented Shyamaprasad deals with the conflict of love and its undercurrents. Mammootty plays the role of a famous economist and Meera Jasmine plays the next door housewife.The meeting between them sparks love inside her and the love,guilt and his denial eat her life.The scenes between Mammootty and Meera are very profound and deep.The movie went on to win numerous awards and it was screened in so many film festivals.

8)Nakhakshathangal

A love triangle written by M.T.Vasudevan Nair and directed by acclaimed director Hariharan.Monisha won the National Award for Best Actress for her role as Gauri,the maid in the house where Ramu(Vineeth) ends up.The daughter of that house,Lakshmi is deaf and dumb and she falls in love with Ramu and their wedding gets planned. Ramu gets into the dilemma of whether to show gratitude by marrying the Lakshmi or to fulfill the promise given to Gauri with whom he is in love.Listen to the melodies Manjal prasadavum and Areyum bhava gayakanakkum.K.S.Chitra won National Award for the first song.

7)Njan Gandharvan

This is one of my favorite movies.There is a belief that we will die if we take movies about Gandharva.Somehow making the belief true,death took away Padmarajan who was the director of the movie.The movie is about the fantasy romance of a college girl and the Gandharva.The songs by Johnson are soulful and the song Devanganangal is considered as one of the toughest songs to sing.

6)Innale

Gauri (Shobana) meets with a tragic bus accident and loses her memory.She gets admitted in a hospital and then becomes a part of doctor’s family.Sarath(Jayaram),son of the doctor(Srividhya) falls in love with her and their marriage is fixed.On the day of the engagement,the doctor gets a call from Dr.Narendran(Sureh Gopi) telling that Gauri is his lost wife and he has been searching for quite sometime.Dr.Narendran comes with his wedding pictures with Gauri but sees that Gauri has not recognized him.By seeing the love between Gauri and Sarath,Narendran leaves without telling the truth to Gauri.The story was new then and Shobana did a wonderful job as Gauri.Yet another love story from Padmarajan.

5)Chemmeen

Which song Keralites think when there is a lost love?The answer has been the same for decades.The song Manasa Maine Varoo sang by Manna Dey is one of the evergreen hits of Malayalam.The movie is about the lost love of Karuthamma(Sheela) and Pareekutty(Madhu) and the life of fishermen folks of Kerala.There is a belief in the fisherman community that the safety of the fisherman is in the chastity of the fisher woman back home.Karuthamma is the daughter of a poor fisherman who is in love with Pareekutty who is a Muslim fish trader. Karuthamma’s Father Chembankunju played by Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair is his masterpiece role in his acting career. Karuthamma marries Palani (Sathyan)sacrificing the love.She moves into her husband’s village.But when Pareekutty visits her,the scandal breaks out.Palani’s friends laugh at him but he trusts Karuthamma and goes to the sea.He gets inside a whirlpool and at the same time Karuthamma and Pareekutty walks into the sea.

4)Pranayam

A recent movie which is directed by Blessy and it deals with the emotions of the lead actors when they confront truth.Grace(Jayaprada) and Mathews(Mohanlal) are staying with their daughter and family.Mathews is a retired Philosophy professor and he is constrained to a wheel chair.Grace and Mathews share a deeper bond of love and one day in the lift she finds Achutha Menon(Anupam Kher) who was her first husband.The movie is poetically beautiful and handles the subject of the feelings of older people well.Amidst the plethora of love stories about the teenagers and youth,this movie holds a  special place.All the three leads have amazingly acted and an extra word of appreciation goes to Anupam Kher for doing this very challenging role.I loved the way the scenes between the two old men have pictured;so real.Rarely we get to see two men bonding over the same woman they love.

3)Namukku Parkaan Munthiri Thoppukal

This movie is famous for its screenplay done by Padmarajan.The story revolves around Solomon and Sofia played by Mohanlal and Shari respectively.Solomon falls in love with Sofia who is his new neighbor.The acting of Thilakan as Paul Pailokkaran,Sofia’s stepfather was highly appreciated.The movie showcases the love of Solomon and Sofia and the hatred inside Paul.Though the plot looks like the cliched love stories,the beauty of the movie is in the screenplay which brings in verses from Bible.Even the proposal from Solomon is done with a biblical verse and the nod from Sofia is a smile.

2)Thoovanathumbikal
The most famous and the most discussed cult love story of Malayalam Cinema.This movie directed by Padmarajan is considered as one of the greatest Malayalam movies made till date.The movie is about Jayakrishnan played by Mohanlal who falls in love with two women.The background score of the movie done by Johnson is still fresh and beautiful.A must watch movie if you are following Malayalam movies.This movie is still widely studied by movie enthusiasts.I am not revealing the plot here because this movie should be watched afresh without any knowledge about the plot.It helps in ferreting your own love for the movie.NB : Don’t read the Wikipedia page.

1)Pakshe

Balan played by Mohanlal an IAS aspirant and Nandini is an upcoming writer.Though there are financial differences between the families,their wedding which was already fixed gave them the freedom stay closer to each other.One day,Balan’s Father kills himself shifting the responsibility of repaying debts to Balan.When Balan gets through IAS,Vikraman,a rich contractor,makes an offer to repay the debts for Balan. The condition kept in the offer will be to marry Vikraman’s daughter Raji to which Balan refuses.Everybody forces Balan to marry Raji but he goes to Nandini’s house in the night to elope with her.But she will refuse to go with him telling she can’t put his Mother and two sisters on the street.Only after the wedding,Balan gets to know why he was offered help.His married life becomes sour as years pass by and Raji asks to sign in the divorce papers.After a fight he leaves the house without telling anybody.During the vacation,he meets Nandini again.The second half of the movie is both beautiful and heartbreaking.This movie showcases brilliant performances by Mohanlal and Shobana,especially the latter.

Not Everybody Can Surprise Me

Ahem! I was so proud when I wrote the post, Want Surprises in Life?Ask ME!!, two years back.But, my friends took a great effort to surprise me with something which I hadn’t thought even in my wild dreams.

Yes,I am getting a year older this week and few of friends blew my mind with a gift.happy_surprise_by_pachoncku-d3avj2r

There was a custom of celebrating birthdays in a particular Facebook group I am in and then when people got busier,the custom slowly died.So when my friends invited me over to a mall,I wasn’t expecting anything though I had a slight doubt about it.But,when I considered the lectures,the blaming and the harassment they had poured on me over the phone the day before the meeting,my doubt vanished in the air.

And there I reach and see an empty table and the minute doubt that was inside my head disappeared.But, when they gave me a brown-paper cover, I used my Sherlock brain and guessed the gift.Wow! brilliant me — a greeting card signed by my friends.Two seconds later I realized that I am a shame to Sherlock and there are chances that Benedict might disown me by seeing my observation skills.

But before seeing the gift,don’t you want to know the culprits who almost made me cry out of happiness?

Thank you my sweetheart Meow,my loving Prasanna and my awesomatic Gils. Muaaah! and thank you Aaroo for turning up and making it a bigger surprise.

Now for the gift

CLICK HERE

For the password,please solve this anagram – That Big Id Fry

15 Malayalam Movies which I want the World to Watch (Drama)

***Spoilers all over***

15 . Sukrutham

A successful journalist plunges into depression after knowing that he has blood cancer.He sees no hope in life and prepares himself for dying.He even tells his wife to get closer to their friend,who had a crush on her for a long time,so that she gets a life once he is gone.It is then he undergoes a holistic treatment and that makes him a new person with full optimism and an urge to live.But when he comes back during the recovery stage,he confronts the stark truth.His wife is unhappy,his relatives are unhappy and his childhood crush who was serving him is unhappy too.He realizes that all the love and sympathy the people had showed were only because he was about to die.The heartbreaking scene is when he sees his own obituary kept ready in his newspaper office. Mammootty plays the protagonist role without any glitch.The film won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam.

14. Bharatham

It was after watching this movie that I started loving classical music.The movie tells the story of a classical music family.Nedumudi Venu plays the elder brother and Mohanlal plays the role of the younger brother.The movie shows the emotional bonding of closely knit family relationships.The story becomes serious when the elder brother slips into alcoholism and to save the face the younger brother sings at the concert.The elder brother accuses the younger one to be an opportunist when the latter shot to fame and appreciation.The movie takes a turn when the elder brother goes missing to be found later as dead.The second half of the movie is the emotional struggle of the younger brother to hide the elder brother’s demise as their sister is getting married the next day.Mohanlal won the National Award for Best Actor for his role as Kalloor Gopinathan.The songs are too good that K.J.Yesudas won the National Award for Best Singer too.I love the keerthanam Raghuvamsapathe which is in the ragam Shankarabharanam.The keerthanam was a masterpiece from the music director Raveendran as he wrote it.

13. Kaliyattam

Inspired from the William Shakespeare’s play Othello,Kaliyattam deals with suspicion and back stabbing.The movie is set against the backdrop of the Hindu Theyyam performance and Suresh Gopi plays the protagonist Kannan as a Theyyam artist.The movie is very beautifully written and directed.This movie introduced Lal as an actor and his performance as Paniyan ,that too in a debut role,was simply amazing.The movie starts with Kannan marrying Tamara,the daughter of the village head, against the latter’s wish.The village head is played by Narendra Prasad who is a very powerful actor.He says to Kannan that if his daughter could cheat her own Father,then she might cheat her Husband too.Kannan’s right arm,Paniyan plants seeds of suspicion in Kannan’s mind about Tamara.Suresh Gopi has portrayed the Theyyam artist with sheer brilliance winning the National Award for Best Actor.

12. Deshadanam

Mothers in Kerala cried as much as they could after watching this movie.The movie revolves around a Namboothiri family.The movie deals with the personal pains of the family when they had to sent the family’s only child to a monastery.The songs are soulful and capture the depth of the heartache of the parents.My favorite scene is when the boy comes home after the ceremonies in the monastery. According to the rules,after the ceremony the kid is a spiritual person without any family ties but the boy is too young to understand the concept.He runs to his Mother calling “Amma” and she kneels down to show her respect to the boy.This broke my heart and I couldn’t resist my tears.

11. Bhoothakannadi

The beauty of this movie cannot be explained in ten sentences.Even today,critics and movie researchers write pages and pages of appreciation.A masterpiece from Lohithadas. This movie is a must watch one for the passionate movie lovers.The realization of the protagonist shown in the climax will remain a big pain your heart.My advice would be not to read the plot of the movie before watching.And of course Lohithadas won National Award for Best Director Debut.

10. Paithrukam

This movie might make an atheist believe in God.I love the dialogs in this movie especially the ones between Nadrendra Prasad who plays the Father and Suresh Gopi who plays the eldest son.The movie is about the disagreements about the principles and beliefs of a vedic scholar Father and an atheist son.Though I disagree with certain things shown in the movie,I can’t stop watching it.I lost count on the number of times I have watched this movie simply because of my love for the way the movie is taken.A personal favorite of mine.The rendered version of the keerthanam Seethakalyana is beautiful.

9. Sadayam

I was scared to go out of the house for many days after watching this movie.For the first time I was scared of Mohanlal.He plays the role of a convict and the movie shows his reason for killing them.

8. Vidheyan

I don’t like this movie because Mammootty has acted too well as Bhaskara Patelar and his looks haunt me still. Mammootty went on to win so many awards including National Award for Best Actor.He plays the role of a selfish,cold and pervert landlord.He is bloody cold in this movie that I wanted to kill him getting into the screen.What an amazing actor he is.Respect!

7. Kireedam

The movie which we, Keralites, are very proud of,yes indeed very proud of.The movie which made Mohanlal the King of Malayalam cinema then.The movie which showed what an actor Thilakan is.You will start believing in fate after watching this movie.You ask any Malayalee,Kireedam and the song Kaneer poovinte will be always their evergreen movie and song respectively.Kireedam shows the life of Sethumadhavan played by Mohanlal who had to kill a criminal to save his Father, who is a policeman,from getting attacked.And his life goes upside down.One of the best scripts from Lohithadas.

6. Mathilukal

Both the novel and the movie are incredible.The movie is an adaptation of the novel by the same title written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. The novel is said to be autobiographical one and talks about the prison life of Basheer. Mammootty plays the role of Basheer.This is one movie in which there is no female cast.The movie revolves around Basheer falling in love with a woman prisoner who is on the other side of the wall.They never see each other but talk across the prison wall.The woman prisoner is shown as a voice over.Then they come up with a plan to meet but before that Basheer gets released.The movie won four National Awards including Best Actor Award for Mammootty,Best Director Award for Adoor Gopalakrishnan and many international awards too.This movie is a classic and unique example of how we can make a love story without rosy visuals,erotic dialog and even without showing a female on the reel.This movie is awesome.

5. Nizhalkuthu

The plot is so profound that every scene lingers in you for days.The story is about the hangman in the Travancore,British India.The movie revolves around the life of a hangman.The guilty feeling of hanging an innocent man is pictured in raw.While watching,you tend to sink in too much for the hangman’s emotional struggle and yes,the movie is very disturbing.The performance by Oduvil Unni Krishnan as Kaliyappan is worth watching and in my opinion his performance was class apart.People who like to dissect movies should not miss this one because every frame is important.

4. Thaniyavarthanam

What will you do if people refuse to believe that you are sane?The plot of the movie goes like this –A family believes that one man in each generation becomes a lunatic due to a curse.Mammootty tries hard to make people believe that he is not the one in his generation who is suppose to become mad.But the people around him refuse to believe the truth even after the doctors declaring him as sane.Without any choice,he acts like he is mad and the movie ends with a tragedy by his Mother feeding him food mixed with poison.

3. Kodiyettam

Actor Gopi became Kodiyettam Gopi or Bharath Gopi after the portrayal of his role as Shankaran Kutty in this movie.He won National Award for Best Actor for living in the movie as a carefree,lazy and good for nothing guy.He pushes us into dilemma whether we should hate him or not.He refuses to change even after getting married.The movie shows how he changes in his life.My favorite scene in the movie is when Gopi goes to K.P.A.C Lalitha’a house for pennu kaanal and Lalitha becomes all coy and romantic by watching him from behind the door.

2. Elippathayam

After watching this movie,you will know why Adoor Gopalakrishnan is considered as a genius in the cinema industry all over the world.The movie shows the struggle of Unni,played by Karamana Janardanan.

Wikipedia says

It is critically considered by many to be one of the most outstanding pieces in Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s filmography.
This film documents the feudal life in Kerala at its twilight. The protagonist is trapped within himself and is unable to comprehend the changes taking place around him. The film won the British Film Institute award for Most Original and Imaginative film shown at the National Film Theatre in 1982. The film was shown at a number of film festivals around the world, including the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.

In this movie too,climax scene is a well written one.

1. Nirmalyam

Any day,any genre,any language,this movie will always remain as the best movie I have ever watched in my life.I have to tell you this — I deeply regret for watching this movie so late in my life.I have been hearing my parents raving about this movie and about the protagonist played by P.J.Antony but procrastination failed my attempts to watch this.The movie is made from M.T.Vasudevan Nair’s short story Pallivalum Kalchilambum which I had read during my school days.But back then,I was too young to understand the stark realities in life.I bet you that after watching P.J.Antony in the role of “Velichapaadu”(Oracle of a temple),you will not forget him for lifelong. M.T.Vasudevan Nair himself directed movie and his script was flawless.Of course P.J.Antony won National Award for Best Actor and the movie won National Award for the Best Feature Film.

So what is your score in the above list?

PS : and  wait for the next post — 15 Malayalam Movies (Love Stories)