My Breakup Story

I was calm like the night sea.My family was surprised how I broke up with him.Even I was surprised how it happened.It became a talk in the family WhatsApp group.Man of the House asked me during a private conversation that how I’m dealing with it.My brother made so many WhatsApp calls to me and my parents because he couldn’t digest the situation.

Guests were in disbelief upon hearing it.Parents,especially my Mom,asked me directly and indirectly so many questions.My closed ones weren’t taking it well upon the heartbreak I had.All of them had the same question,”Are you fine”?They were worried that I might breakdown because it was such a deep relationship.Man of the House was secretly happy that finally he doesn’t have any competition to win my heart.

In a world where breakups have made beautiful stories,let me take you to my love story unknown to the world.

I don’t know how I met him.He just appeared in my life from nowhere and became my soulmate.My Parents had issues with him.They tried their best to separate me from him.My brother was the only one kind to him. There were so many talks and arguments regarding him that had happened at the dinner table. Parents gave me all possible examples of how he could spoil my life.But,I was adamant that I will not break up with him at any cost.My family gave up on me and told me that whatever happens because of this relationship,good or bad,I will have to deal with it.

He saved me from household chores and cooking,he sat with me through each book I read and every movie I watched,he rescued me from attending my Aunt’s cousin’s wife’s nephew’s wedding,he showed me the beauty of sleeping till 11 AM,he ate with me so that I’m not alone during my brunches,and he advised me that 8.30 AM classes were not worth it.

Before Man of the House got promoted from Pretty Boy of my Dreams, he was my constant companion.So when Man of the House went down on his knees,I couldn’t help not to tell him about my secret soul mate.

He was kind and supportive when I was dating.He helped me to manage my weekends and dinner dates.He gave me subtle hints that late night movies are not a great idea but he never opposed. After few,years he and Man of the House became good friends and we had an awesome time together.Occasionally,my Brother would join us too and we four became a great company.

Even then, my parents weren’t happy with my association with him.Mom was worried that after wedding,he could be an issue.But,Man of the House surprised me by saying that he doesn’t have any issue with my close association and I said the most awaited word,’yes’.

Years passed by, and life was great.He continued to be my companion,our companion.

But,hell broke out when I became pregnant.My family felt that he being in my life is not a good idea and, most importantly,not good for the baby.When I looked at my Man,his face reflected the same opinion.But,I didn’t heed to any of these.He has been with me for two decades and breaking up with him didn’t go well with me.

And,I delivered the most beautiful baby girl.A week later,when I got back home from the hospital,I was enjoying his company late night.Suddenly he kissed me.I was surprised.

He said,”Listen,we have been great together.In fact,we were the best comrades.But,I think it’s time to part.Yes,we had lots of fun together,but now you are a Mom.Your association with me will affect your baby.Also,your Husband has become the best Father and me being with you might stop you from being the best Mother.I will be happy and proud once you become the best Mom in the world and I’m sure you will .Let’s part our ways.Trust me! It’s for your good.We will meet after 35-40 years when you are old, alone, and bored in life.I promise that I will come back to you.Now, let me leave.”

He kissed me again.

I couldn’t react.I was in shock.I didn’t cry.

Next day,I was up so early and I was feeding the baby.I had already showered.I had changed my baby’s diaper.My Mom came to the room and found that something is wrong.She asked me where he was.I told her what had happened.She was so happy that she hugged me.My Man was in so much disbelief but I could feel the relief in his voice.My Brother was the one who found it most difficult to accept my breakup because he knew how much I had valued the relationship.

I thought I would feel bad.I thought I would struggle to move on.I thought I would miss him.But, nothing happened.My life had become busier than before after being a Mother.I didn’t have time to think about him.At times,my family makes fun of me abouthim and I laugh at those jokes.

As I put my baby to sleep at 5 AM and sit down to write this post,I realize the change brought in me by the breakup.Yes, certain breakups are necessary in life.

My beloved Laziness,I look forward to be with you in my old age when I’m alone. Please come back to me.

I love you.

Advertisements

Hopes Amidst the Ocean of Misogyny

It has been exactly 54 days since one of the Malayalam actresses was kidnapped and harassed by her driver and the gang. It did create an uproar both in social media and in daily lives. The culprit was arrested and the Police were in search of his mobile phone for video clip and call details.The police have been searching in the dark for quite a few weeks for the mobile phone and now, the case has reached nowhere. I am hoping that the culprits are punished and this case will not end up like the Soumya murder case and the Jisha murder case.

During the week when the incident had happened, there were a lot of discussions and debate happening online and offline. I remember during the Nirbhaya gang rape, victim shaming soared high and it was heartbreaking to see people known to me made jokes out of the incident, made misogynistic comments without any shame and blamed the girl for her misery.

But, things were different this time.

Yes, of course, there were people who wrote articles and opinions for their sadistic pleasure, but they were a minority this time. Ordinary people reacted in amazing ways that, finally, people understood what misogyny is. Earlier, the most difficult task for me was to make people understand what misogyny is.They never understood it.They blamed me that it was my problem because I see things through a feminist’s eyes.

I am not being blind-eyed to various other heinous incidents happening around us, especially the child molestation cases which are roaring high in Kerala.But, there is hope in front of me because

  1. The actress showed the courage to file a complaint.
  2. People were ready to accept that there have been misogyny in our daily conversations, the jokes we share, the movies we make and the way we were brought up.
  3. People are lashing out when they witness sexism around them.
  4. More cases are being filed recently and people are raising their voices against abuse.

Let’s talk further about sexism. Is raising our voice the solution? Will it beat sexism?Will it curb abuse? Will it help us in creating a generation which has a positive outlook on gender equality?

It starts young. It starts at home and school. It starts from that

  1. Pre-school teacher who shouts,”Why can’t you give the toy to him?You are a girl.Don’t be so adamant”.(It gives a feeling to the girl that she doesn’t have the right to fight/argue.)

  2. Custom of making a boy as captain/class leader and a girl as vice captain/assistant class leader irrespective of the leadership skills.(It gives a feeling to the boy that because of his gender, he can always enjoy certain positions even if he doesn’t possess the required skills.)

  3. Grandparents/parents who tell that it’s good if the boy learns the driving and the girl learns cooking.(It gives a feeling to the kids that there are certain skills associated with the gender.)

  4. Parents who tell their daughter that there is nothing wrong in giving up a fight/quarrel/game with her brother.(It gives a feeling to the boy that he is superior to girls and expects them to accept the defeat every time.)

  5. Society which teaches that moral shaming is the easiest way to silence a girl.

  6. Parents who lament that they don’t have a son to protect their daughters.(It gives a feeling to the boy that he is a protector or somebody who has more decisive power in the family.)

  7. Teachers/parents who silence the girls when an abuse happens at school.(It gives a feeling to the boys that they can always escape after doing a mistake because girls will not complain.It is a big encouragement for the boys to repeat the abuse.)

  8. Schools which run counseling sessions for girls and not for boys.(It gives a feeling to the girls that the harm is always on the girls irrespective of who did the mistake.It gives a feeling to the boys that they can do anything and it is the responsibility of the girls to take care of themselves.)

  9. Society which conveniently defends saying boys will be boys. (It gives a feeling to the boys that their gender gives them certain privileges to do certain mistakes.)

  10. Society which preaches that boys are the strongest of the genders.(Boys grow up with more confidence than the girls.)

This is not an exhaustive list and if we look deep, we will be able to find strong misogyny in the silliest matters we have been doing and talking in our lives.Now that people have been welcoming gender equality,let’s continue spreading the message of equality,let’s continue raising our voice against sexism and let’s continue the mission of creating a better society to live in.

We, the current generation parents, can bring a massive change in our society if we raise our kids right.I am hopeful about a brighter, happier and healthier generation which will appreciate and practice gender equality.I hope to see a day when feminism is not a bad word anymore.

 

Related Reads :

https://heyithinkthisway.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/what-i-feel-now-is/

https://heyithinkthisway.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/10-valuable-lessons-malayalam-cinema-teaches-men-and-women/

https://heyithinkthisway.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/worries-of-an-indian-girl/

 

It’s a Chicken Week

Celebrating Sri Krishna Jayanti by watching TV whole day is a boring way of celebrating it and TV is not worth watching during weekdays. The only exciting thought was that next day is Friday.So,last Friday I came back home with full of joy and romance only to see a blister on my stomach.

I screamed!!

I understood what it is and rushed to the Doctor and he confirmed it.

Chicken Pox!!

I got it from my Brother who got it from his colleague who in turn got it from his roommate who got it from his girlfriend. That’s the history in short.

So, I cried;I cried for varied reasons:weekend plans were spoiled,Armaan Malik was in town,our favorite kid’s birthday party and a Thalassery wedding was on our weekend schedule.Going for a Thalasserry wedding is a happier affair than going to Barbeque Nation for lunch after skipping breakfast.It was quite some days that I have photographed my friend’s kid.And,as days pass by, I’m becoming a hard-core fan of Armaan Malik.All my plans just flew into the trash and they smirked at me.

Like the online media says:What the Doctor told me before I left the clinic made me happier,stronger,and better.

He said,”Stay in your room.Do not get out at any cost.You can infect this entire street“.

Muhahahaha!!

I felt like the villain in the superhero movies.I loved my new evil power.I felt like running from one end of the street to the other spreading the virus.I immediately made a list of people whom I should infect.I searched online for ways to courier virus.I also searched whether there are any superpowers that I will possess due to the viral infection.

But,the lazy woman I am,and also thinking about the FedEx charges,I decided to keep the virus within myself.

So,I went back home and broke the news to the Man of the House who was busy playing FIFA.All he heard was Chicken.So,he told me that it’s a good idea to order Chicken Pepper Barbecue for the dinner.

Next one hour had all the perfect scenes for making a video of a dethroned Princess. (Do we have dethroned Princesses??)

The bedroom looked empty in no time.Plates, mugs, and spoons were engraved with my name,families were informed,and our maid was called upon to take care of me. 

She came home with a bag full of Neem leaves.She kept one bunch on a corner of the bed and another under my bed.She dipped me in water boiled with neem leaves and all of sudden, I felt like a model posing for the advertisement of Margo soap. The best thing was my clothing-Now, I walk around in Hawaiian fashion wearing Sarong dresses.The only things missing for a perfect photo are my Man and my sunglasses. It’s time for another beach vacation.

Past four days have been amazingly terrible and life just can’t be wonderfully worse.

Actually, I feel like an alien on a fruit diet trying to get back to its human shape.

Isn’t that an interesting movie thread?

After sleeping throughout the day,it is dark outside and my party begins with tasteless foods and fruits.

Counting chicken days now!!

Necessity is not the Mother of Invention

It has been a cliche that my friends and family have kept low expectations of me during weekends. Through the years, it has been imprinted in their minds that I am in hibernation during weekends and disturbing me with phone calls will invite situations.

During childhood, the upbringing and the environment forced me to believe that laziness is a sin. Be it at school or home or social gatherings, lazy people were always considered a burden to the World. The numerous sayings in English and Malayalam degraded laziness and made it into the list of childhood nightmares. There was so much societal pressure to make sure that nobody calls me lazy.

So, there is a story which was popular both at school and home.

Once upon a time there lived a man in a far away village.He was hardworking and he owned a donkey,a lazy donkey. The man was unhappy with the donkey. Daily, he took the donkey to the market and tied sacks of salt on it. Carrying sacks of salt across the river was a terrible job for the donkey. One day, while crossing the river, the donkey fell down into the river. After getting up, it realized that the sacks weighed lighter. Upon reaching back home, the donkey felt good. So, next day the donkey purposely fell down into the river and got back home again feeling good. Now, let’s stop the story here before the man teaches the donkey a lesson. Lessons are boring!

Yes! the society narrates this story and makes us feel that laziness is a dreadful deed.

But, do you know the flip side?

It kills the creativity that is born out of laziness. Nobody has taught us that the donkey was clever enough to find a solution to his burden.He found a way to be happy in his life.

Let’s think this way : We were lazy to walk long distances, so we invented vehicles;we were lazy to wait for hours to cook a bowl of rice, so we invented cooking utilities;we were lazy to do our jobs,so we became filmmakers, photographers, and writers; we were lazy to call a person,so we invented texting, and the list continues.

Now look for moments when you had done something creative,something different,something simpler, and something happier. Now, think deep. Didn’t you do it because you were lazy to do something else?

It took two decades for me to realize the power of laziness.

Remember the quote from Mr. Bill Gates?

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

He makes sense because I have noticed that I have always found a simpler solution to beat a problem/challenge/situations/deadlines.

I am sure all lazy people will show thumbs up to this.

So, let me conclude this way. It is not necessity who is the Mother of invention,

Laziness is the Mother of Invention.

PS : I was lazy to think about a topic to write, so I decided to write about laziness.

Man of the House : If laziness is the Mother of invention, then who is the Father?

Me : Boredom!

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

Actually, I had stopped my series on Malayalam movies. But, one of my readers requested me for a list of Malayalam movies which are tearjerkers. So, here it is. Grab your tissues and get ready to weep.

**Spoilers all over**

15) Chithram (1988)

Chithram is a perfect movie which has all the commercial elements and it still stays a classic movie. The movie had record collections in the box office and ran for more than year in the theaters. The movie stars Mohanlal and Ranjini in the lead roles. Kalyani (Ranjini) decides to marry her boyfriend against her Father’s wishes. Her Father who stays abroad disowns her by hearing the decision. Kalyani gets ditched by her boyfriend on the day of their Register Marriage. She stays with her Father’s best friend, Kaimal (Nedumudi Venu), who is her local guardian. He gets a call from her Father saying that he has forgiven his daughter’s act and he is coming to India. To cover up the boyfriend story, Kaimal hires Vishnu (Mohanlal) to act has Kalyani’s Husband until her Father goes back. Three of them act well in front of her Father and Kalyani eventually falls in love with Vishnu. It is then a mysterious relative (Soman) comes to meet Vishnu. Three-fourth of the movie will take you on a laughter ride and the ending parts will make neutralize for it and make you cry.

14) Kaalapani (1996)

When you watch this movie as a kid, this is a patriotic movie but, as you grow-up this movie is more of an incomplete love story. The movie is about the sufferings of Indian prisoners who were brought to the cellular jail of Port Blair, Kala Pani.

The movie starts with Sethu (Vineeth) who is Parvati’s (Tabu) nephew going to Port Blair in search of his uncle. Govardhan (Mohanlal) who is a doctor gets arrested on the day of his wedding with Tabu. After reaching the jail, he witnesses the extreme behavior of the British people and suffers. Govardhan’s friendship with one of the British doctors,Len Hutton, helps in getting an order for the release of 14 people including him. Len goes to Mohanlal’s house and informs Parvati the good news. But, the sadistic jailers had plans to kill all 14 of them. Mukundan (Prabhu) was Mohanlal’s soulmate at the jail and he gets killed as part of the jailer’s plan. Govardhan kills the jailers in the fury and the order for his release is stopped. On the other side, Parvati will wait at the railway station for welcoming Govardhan and she ends up waiting there for decades. The movie ends with Sethu coming back from Port Blair and standing in front of Parvati without any answers.

12) Pavithram (1994)

What will you do if your parents expect a baby during their old age?

Unni (Mohanlal) is the second son of Easwara Pillai (Thilakan) and Devaki (Srividya). He is love and unofficially engaged to Meera (Shobhana). The family goes into a celebration mode when Devaki becomes pregnant in her old age. But, she dies during delivering a baby girl. After a heated argument, Easwara Pillai leaves the house and Unni decides to take care of the child. His decision strains his relationship with Meera and they breakup. Unni acts as both the Father and the Brother to the baby Meenakshi (Vindhuja Menon) and she starts calling him “Chettacha”.

The movie is about how he brings her up and his intense emotional attachments towards her. When she goes to a hostel in the city, Unni who is an aged villager becomes an embarrassment for her. Unni couldn’t digest the changes the city-life had brought on her. The movie ends with Unni losing his mind and unable to recognize her when she comes back home to apologize.

11) Ennenum Kannettante (1986)

It is a teenage love story between Kannan (Sangeeth) and his cousin Radhika(Sonia). They both must have come to their ancestral house for the summer vacation. After an ego clash, they realize their love for each other. When Kannan plans to reveal his love, the plan backfires badly on them. When it was time for her to go back to U.S, she waits for him before getting inside the train. He reaches the station only after the train had started and tries to get inside the train and fails. He goes unnoticed the token of love which she had left at the station and their love stays unsaid.

10) Santhanagopalam ( 1994)

The typical lower middle-class family where the sons are struggling to get a job. Kurup (Thilakan), the Father, works in a factory and he goes missing in an accident while traveling with the second son, Jagadish and the latter survives. After months of waiting, Kurup is declared dead. The sons are overjoyed as there is an insurance in the Father’s name. When the paperwork for claiming the insurance was about to finish, Kurup comes back home. Nobody except his wife is happy upon his arrival. When the insurance people come for verification, the sons will lock up the parents. The movie shows the extent to which the sons cold-heartedly torture the parents for the money.

9) Kakkothikkavile Appooppan Thaadikal (1988)

I was so scared to leave my brother alone after watching this movie.

One day a beggar comes to a house and asks for water. The elder sister leaves the younger sister at the door and goes to fetch the water. When she comes back both the beggar and her sister must have disappeared. The movie then takes you through the life of the younger sister who had become a beggar and how she comes back to her home. The song “Kannaamthumpi Porammo” is an evergreen hit. Also, Revathi made one of her best performances as the beggar girl, Kakkothi.

8) Vatsalyam (1993)

A family movie which portrays the love and affection the middle-class families have for each other. Raghavan Nair (Mammootty) is the one who runs the family and his biggest dream is to see his younger brother Vijayakumaran Nair (Siddique) as an advocate. The latter was also set to marry his uncle’s daughter. But, things don’t go according to what Raghavan had planned. Vijayakumaran marries his mentor’s daughter who is from a wealthy family. The new member of the family is disgusted by the lifestyle of the lower middle class and she humiliates everyone. The misfit goes to such an extent that Raghavan and his family ends up leaving the house. The movie was a superhit which won accolades for Mammootty. This was the first directorial venture of the talented actor Cochin Haneefa.

8) Moonnam Pakkam (1988)

It is a belief that whatever goes into the sea will come back to the shore on the third day. This belief is called Moonnam Pakkam.

Thilakan lives a lonely life and it is his grandson, Jayaram, who lights up his life. Jayaram often visits Thilakan with his friends and during one such visits, Jayaram drowns in the sea and his friends survive. On the third day, his body come ashore and the family breaks down. Unable to handle the pain of loss, after the funeral, Thilakan shocks the family by going far into the sea and committing suicide.

7) Deshadanam (1996)

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 send 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.

6) Thanmathra (2005)

Let me be truthful; I haven’t watched this movie yet, for the fear of depression. Mohanlal is a happy family man who works in a Government office. One day, he misplaces an office file in the fridge. Another time, he takes off his shirt in the office to take shower thinking he is the office. He gets diagnosed with Familial Alzheimer’s disease, a disease which causes a gradual loss of memory and cognitive abilities. The family supports him during this plight and the movie is a real tearjerker. Mohanlal’s performance was widely appreciated and the talk of the town was that nobody couldn’t hold back their tears during the movie.

5) Perumazhakkalam (2004)

Oh boy!! this movie is a melancholic poem on the backdrop of rain masquerading as the tears of the protagonists. The movie talks about the extreme emotions two wives had to undergo. Raziya (Meera Jasmine) who is a Muslim girl is married to Akbar (Dileep) who works in Gulf. During a fight, he accidently kills his friend Raghu Rama Iyer (Vineeth). Raghu comes from a Palakkad-Brahmin family and his wife is Ganga (Kavya Madhavan). To save Akbar from the death penalty, Raziya needs a letter signed from Ganga saying she has pardoned Akbar. The movie is about the emotions they both undergo and the bold decisions taken by them. Rain plays an important role in the movie as it thickens the heartache. On one side, there is a woman begging for her Husband’s life and on the other side, there is a woman who has lost her Husband and struggling to forgive the murderer. A must watch and a personal favorite.

4) Kaazhcha (2004)

I remember walking out of the theater with a lump in my throat after watching this movie. The director Blessy has a special talent in making people cry. Mammootty who is a passionate movie fan runs movies on his projector during village festivals. One day, he finds a boy who was displaced from his family during the earthquake in Gujarat. Mammootty takes the boy home and he becomes the part of the family. When life was going happy, legalities come to play and Mammootty had to take the kid back to Gujarat. The law forces him to leave the kid in the refugee camp as he can take the kid only after a confirmation that the kid’s family is no more. In the last scene, Mammootty tries his best to request the refugee camp in charge to inform him if such a confirmation comes. And, you can guess the rest.

3) Amaram ( 1991)

Who loves you unconditionally? Sea! That’s Achutty’s late realization.

Achutty (Mammootty) is a fisherman who has only a daughter. She studies well and becomes the first person on the shore to pass Class 10. But, she is in love with his childhood sweetheart who is unschooled. It was Achutty’s dream to make his daughter a doctor and he opposes the relationship to continue. But, the two elopes and gets married. The son-in-law (Ashokan) eventually impresses Achutty but his ego will make him challenge the boy often. After one of the quarrel sessions, the son-in-law goes to the sea to catch the shark and doesn’t come back. The blames lands on Achutty as he had also gone to sea that day. He tries to convince his daughter that he hasn’t killed the son-in-law. He risks his life and goes to the sea during the storm and finds the son-in-law unconscious. Though he proves his innocence, he loses trust and hope in others.
The song “Pulare Poonthoniyil” is a visual treat from the director Bharathan.

2) Daivathinte Vikrithikal (1992)

Haven’t you seen certain people who are too attached to their native place? This movie is made from M.Mukundan’s novel of the same name.

As an 8-year-old, this movie had bothered me so much that I couldn’t handle the tension of the protagonist. I cried and took the help of my Father to get over the depression. The movie happens in the independent Mahe. Alphonso (Raghuvaran) is a magician who refuses to migrate to France during the French decolonization of Mahe. The movie is about the agony he and his family had to undergo when miseries come as a flock. There is a scene where Alphonso had to sell his favorite piano and he looks at it in pain for the one last time. I still remember Raghvaran trying to show the magic to the “new” generation kids and failing to get the response he used to get earlier. Yes, we all hate change especially a change from our roots. This movie will make you understand what the elders undergo when they refuse to move in with you to greener pastures.

1) Akashadoothu (1993)

I will give you a million dollar in rupees if you can watch this movie without shedding tears.Take up the challenge,watch the movie and soil your tissues.

Happy Crying!!!

You can check out these too :

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

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

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

Respire

She ran as fast as she could. The pain burned her body and soul. She wanted to look back, but fear stopped her. She saw a fleck of light at the end of the road. She could hear the noise of the metal wheels. She ran faster. The darkness ahead of her way comforted her but she still yearned to reach the light at the fag end of her road of hope. The metal wheels shrieked and suddenly a bright light made her blind. The night refused to end.

Her soul respired, her body knitted and her heart ached. Her blurry eyes saw his teary eyes. She could see his smile between the smelly tears. The salty kiss made her realize that she was alive because he was her destination, he was the gospel truth of her existence and he was her man.

Their love wiped the slate clean and when she looked out of the window the Sun was already up and shining in their life.

 

And the Award goes to …

… the pride of Kerala, the Super Star …

It was in my Class 3 that I first won a prize for a competition. It was first prize for Malayalam elocution as part of the school’s annual cultural festival. The speech was about how reading habits will help us grow as a better individual. My Father had taken his train commute time to write the contents for me. If my memory is correct, it was my Grand Parents who listened to my rehearsal sessions and commented on my performance. Those days, society wasn’t obsessed with the performance of their kids. So, it was not a big deal at home about me performing in the competition.

Winning the competition did make an impact in my life. Today, if I am a passionate public speaker, this brass trophy was the starting point. I am thankful to the judges who made me the winner of the competition. So, if a small prize could make a shimmering spark in my childhood and gave me the confidence to grow as a mature speaker, I believe that prizes/awards are important for budding talents.

The Malayalam film awards have been disappointing me for quite a few years. The recent award function by a TV channel was never different from the past years. Malayalam industry can always boast about the immense talent pool which it possesses; also, the new talents too. But, the new talents are rarely recognized expect in the viral Facebook posts. The award functions make sure that the big giants of the industry get an award irrespective of their performance in the previous year. Yes, of course, I admit their past glory but how lame it is to award someone who had only duds last year. I am wondering how the stars feel in front of others when they are called upon for awards by belittling the upcoming talents and going blind on other brilliant performances. This is like giving away Best Cricketer Award every year to Sachin Tendulkar as he was the greatest batsman of the millennium.

How come Perariyathavar was ignored when Suraj Venjaramoodu won a National Award for his performance in the movie? There could have been a mention of the different treatment and style shown by the Aadu team. Aadu bombed at the box office and went on to become a torrent hit. Not recognizing the talents of Anend C Chandran, the 24-year old cinematographer of Premam movie is a sin. His brilliant frames have a huge part in the envious success of the movie. Premam enthusiasts can go back and check the bokeh effects Anend had done for the scenes of George and Malar; they are heart-shaped bokeh. The comedy timing and performance of Biju Menon in various movies are making those movies huge hits. Already, Malayalam cinema has the burden of the guilt of not honoring Jagathy Sreekumar when he ruled the lighter moments of Malayalam cinema. Oraalpokkam and Ain were not even mentioned. It was a shock that they ignored Pathemari for any awards despite brilliant performances by almost everyone in the movie.

If we continue watering the grown up trees ignoring the tender ones, awards might lose the purpose. Last year’s Malayalam Movie State Awards was an embarrassing slap on the audience’s faces. When rest of the World looks upon Malayalam movie industry for its talent, creativity and making, it is high time we should rethink about our awards.

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

**Spoilers all over**

15)Detective (2007)

The cult director Jeethu Joseph stepped into Malayalam film industry with this fantastic low – budget movie. Suresh Gopi plays double role in this movie – as a politician and as a detective.The story revolves around the murder of the “politician” Suresh Gopi’s wife.If you are yet to watch this movie,don’t waste time;watch it right now.The suspense is so freaking awesome that you would scream out of astonishment.

14)New Delhi (1987)

This movie took Mammootty to unbelievable heights of stardom.A well planned revenge story written by Dennis Joseph.The script shows how brilliantly a revenge could be planned.The movie is about a journalist-cartoonist played by Mammootty who gets falsely accused of fake charges.It is all about sadistic revenge.

13)Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu (1990)

This mystery thriller written by the genius P.Padmarajan tells the story of a Police Superintendent and a spiritual leader.The plot is not that great but I loved the way the suspense is uncovered;something which I couldn’t even remotely think of.The movie is worth watching for Padmarajan’s writing and the twist in the end.

12)Pathram (1999)

Pathram means Newspaper and this movie talks about the politics and the inside stories of the newspaper world. Manju Warrier portrays a bold role showcasing her acting brilliance.N.F Varghese is an exceptional villain.The movie is famous for its kick ass dialogs written by Ranji Panicker.There is fire in every dialog of the movie especially in the dialogues of N. F. Varghese. When I watch this movie now,I realize what an amazing actor he was.

11)Kannur Deluxe (1969)

SIgh!If you feel that what you saw in Vidya Balan’s Kahaani is great,then you are mistaken.Four decades back,our very own Sheela had done it in style.Hardcore Malayalam movie lovers should not miss this piece of gem.The movie is available on YouTube.Have fun!

10)Oru CBI Diary Kurippu (1988) 

The first in the series of four movies.The character, CBI investigator Sethurama Iyer, played by Mammootty became a cult and a big success.The background score by Shyam is still considered as a classic one.The movie is about the investigation of a murder of which had made it look like a suicide.Try watching the second one in the series which is Jagratha.I love its climax.

9)Yavanika (1982)

This movie is considered as a world-class mystery thriller of Malayalam.The millennials might find it slightly ordinary but I have heard from the previous generation that this movie was a blockbuster like a wildfire.The acting of Bharath Gopy is the main highlight.The story is about Gopy, a talented tabla player in a drama troupe, goes missing and how the mystery around it is revealed.

8)Oru Abhibhashakante Case Diary (1995)

A crime story with lots of drama but still a good watch.What I have always loved about crime thrillers is the way the suspense is unraveled.This movie is no different from the treatment of the traditional crime thrillers but the last five minutes is a treat.

7)The Truth (1998)

Somehow Mammootty has a special charm in doing characters in thriller movies.This movie is about the murder of the Kerala Chief Minister and the investigation around it.The movie is a one-man show from Mammootty. The last fifteen minutes of the movie will make you bite the nails. Mammootty’s mannerisms were great and yes,the dialogues too.

6)Shutter (2012)

My blood pressure went haywire while watching this movie.Such a simple but bold plot from the début venture of Joy Mathew.The movie has the name Shutter because it is about how one sees the world through a shutter.The plot is about a wealthy Gulf-returned man who gets locked inside a shop room with a prostitute for a night.The movie has lots of instances which shows the stark and raw intentions of people around us.Hats off to Sajitha Madathil for her remarkable performance as the prostitute.

5)Mumbai Police (2013)

There are times when  we feel that Malayalam movies are far better than Hollywood movies in story and execution.Mumbai Police is one such movie. Prithviraj Sukumaran at his best.After Vasthavam,this is his second best performance.The story revolves around Assistant Commissioner of Police played by Prithviraj meeting with an accident and losing his memory right after finding the culprit of another case.The case was about the investigation of the murder of his friend and colleague who is also an ACP. Outstanding suspense and matchless acting from Prithviraj.

4)Munnariyippu (2014)

Munnariyippu will make you think in so many levels.Yes,it is not a movie which will spoon feed you every detail about the protagonist,instead once the movie is over you can think/discuss to find out them.The screenwriter Unni.R has sprinkled clues all over the movie and of course,he shows his class in his writing.The dialogues are fresh enough to make you ponder over them.People who have read his masterpiece Leela would know about his abilities to weave the heights of insanityy(sanity).Aparna Gopinath deserves an applause.
Director Venu shows the advantages of being a cinematographer that the frames are simple.Loved the climax shot;wondering how much thought process must have done to have such a vision.
Last but not the least,Mammookka reminds us once more that he is one of the greatest actors we have.There is no introduction scene/BGM for him and there are very few dialogues for him in the movie.but,that one smile in the end makes the movie the best.

3)Drishyam (2013)

Let’s conveniently forget the plagiarism.Just watch the movie and you will never be disappointed.This movie will stay as one of the biggest hits in Malayalam.

2)Manichitrathazhu (1993)

Shobhana…Shobhana…Shobhana..Like the directors of the movie,even I wonder what this movie would be without her.Though the movie was remade into every other possible languages,it just increased the value of this movie.With a tinge of humor and drama,this horror movie is a classic one.This movie is at number two only because of its glitches in the script.But yes,we can watch this movie any day and still get shivers during the revelation scene of Shobhana.

1)Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha (2009)

Mammootty…Mammootty…Mammootty;yes,this movie portrays him in three different roles.The movie is based on a best-selling Malayalam novel of the same name by T. P. Rajeevan, which said the true story of the first recorded murder case in Kerala.The plot is about the mystery around the death of a young woman Manikyam.The story takes us into three generations of Kerala,the birth of communism and the accumulated power of the rich during pre-Independence era.I loved the bold script of and direction of Ranjith and the exceptional acting of Mammootty as Murikkum Kunnathu Ahmed Haji.

Now,what are you waiting for?Go,do a movie marathon.

You can check out these too.

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

Photography : This is how I started

Disclaimer : This post will not teach you how to take good photographs.

A week back I got a text from one of my kid brothers asking how I started photography.And,he was the fourth person to ask me the same.It was then I thought,why not write about my nine months experience in photography.

For everything,there is a starting point.I was surrounded with brilliant photographers but they were not my inspiration.Yes,I loved being in front of the camera and I had enough excuses not to click pictures — DSLR cameras are heavy,technicalities behind taking pictures are boring and if I click pictures,then who will click my pictures.Like everything,photography was also an accident.The first DSLR camera was a gift for my Husband but he was too busy to use it.Then considering that there is a camera at home and nobody is using it ,I thought why not try my hands on it.Like every other beginner,I started off with AF(Auto Focus) clicking furniture,vegetables and clouds.I was too lazy to learn the mechanisms of DSLR camera and for a month I shot pictures in the basic mode.It was then I went for a photo walk and learned that there is much effort behind every good photograph.But,then I wasn’t ready to learn.

There are plethora of photography pages on Facebook and there were few which I was following without any particular reasons.Then something strange happened that I started noticing the photographs very closely.Some photographers had shared the EXIF details and they looked Latin for me.By this time,I had already started a photography page in my name for flaunting the pictures I had clicked.It was then I realized that I don’t have  any pictures to post on my Facebook page.That’s when I started to get out of the house to my neighborhood areas to shoot pictures.Then came the biggest difficulty — I didn’t know what to shoot.I had pictures of every flower,every cat and dog, and every road.Upon searching online,I saw photographs of my area and I couldn’t digest the fact that somebody else have clicked my locality so beautifully.Then it became a challenge and I started shooting the road in every possible angles and one picture came out well.That was a relief and a big break for me but I stopped clicking pictures from that day.

After few weeks,during a dinner party somebody brought up the topic of my photography page and appreciated me for starting one.I smiled and thanked him.But his wife,very naïvely,started asking me doubts such as what is a RAW image,why are photographers using a stand(tripod),how to take silky waterfalls etc.That was one embarrassing night because I had no clue what RAW image was or why people used tripod or what silky waterfalls were.Again,I was lazy to learn the photography jargon and I checked with some of my photographer friends.Most of what they told me went over my head but I understood one thing — I cannot click pictures without knowing the technical side of photography.Below are the steps which I followed to learn photography.

Step 1 : Of course,buy a DSLR camera

Invest in a good camera and lens.Like everybody,I also started with an 18 mm – 55 mm lens and then slowly started using 70 mm – 300 mm. There is a phase when you know that it is time to try a different lens.

Step 2 : Learn the technical side

There is a YouTube channel PhotographersonUTube which is run by photographer Jibran Aslam.His videos are very helpful for a beginner.He teaches you every minute technical detail in layman’s terms.I also follow the website http://digital-photography-school.com/ which tells you about a lot of projects.

Step 3 : Everything starts from home

I am very thankful to my family and friends for patiently posing for me. I have pestered my Husband more than enough to experiment different shots.My friends helped me in doing a jewelry shoot which was more of a learning process of “how to shoot portraits”;you can check the pictures here.

Step 4 : Mimic other’s work

Follow a lot of photography pages and try to mimic their works.A lot of photographers give the EXIF details so you have the settings ready and you just need to find the correct angle and light.I keep a journal about the settings which have worked for me on my camera during various occasions.

Step 5 : Travel a lot

These days,I make sure to look up on internet before visiting a place to know the existing photographs of the locality.Researching helps in getting some predetermined shots.Traveling to one place a month makes a big difference in both you and your photography.

Step 6 : Do Photo Projects

Once you start reading the above mentioned website,you will come across a lot of photo projects.Each project will help you in learning various techniques.My favorite project was “Shoot everything you can”.In this project,I was suppose to be in a room and then click everything that is in the room.This project helped in learning how aperture works and by the time I finished this project,I had good control over using manual mode.Above all,I learned how creatively you can click an ordinary object.

Step 7 : Keep clicking!

Don’t get discouraged by seeing your first 200 photographs.Patience is the key.Always take your camera along with you.I turned my camera into my new handbag.Poor camera,now takes rest among the cosmetics and comb.Get rid of the shyness to take out the camera in public.Of course,people might laugh at you but you will get used to it.Don’t ever stop taking pictures.

I hope this post will encourage a lot of people to take up photography.

Happy clicking!

 

NB : Thanks to Vinod and Brags to pulling me into photography.

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.