This Sunday, went to the newly released Tamil Movie ‘O Kadal Kanmani‘. This isn’t about my views on the movie, although I should say that I was impressed by the storyline and liked the movie a lot. Good music, very good background score, handsome hero, beautiful and expressive heroine, understanding old couple… It had its moments of cliche’s and unwanted scenes, but overall was a breezy and nice romantic drama. This isn’t the first movie to talk about live-in relationships. There was a Thriller called ‘Pizza’ which had a small plot but since it wasn’t very important to the main story line, it got breezed over. But this being the romantic drama, the story revolved around that and also about Alzheimer’s of an older couple. It reminded me of the movie ‘Away from Her‘, which is so amazing and so heart wrenching.
Incidentally, just a week before, even before I knew the plot of this movie, one of my friend was coercing me , as usual, to get ‘settled’ in life a.k.a get married again. He is a little conservative in his opinions and beliefs. So when we ended up talking about marriage and live in relationships, he told me that it wouldn’t suit our culture. I told him that I ain’t as worried about the culture as I am worried about my comfortability with it. He wasn’t convinced, as usual 🙂 Having grown up in a conservative and orthodox family, until I started work, I had no clue as to what live-in relationship really meant. But then once I started work, and got to know about the outer world, I should say I was a little surprised, but then as long as people involved are happy and content, it is fair and OK with me. Once, a young girl in my hostel came to me and asked me what I thought about live-in relationships. I had no clue as to how to answer her, because she sort of looked up to me and I didn’t want to be in a position to guide her in these matters, when I wasn’t sure what it entailed. This society being a patriarchal society even now, I had heard of cases where the women were the ones who end up being emotionally hurt (not to mention in some cases where the physical hurt was also involved) in such relationships. Not until 2005, cohabitation or live in relationships were even recognized. I told her that as long as the people involved were strong enough to handle the ups and downs of it as it would be in any relationship, it is fine with me.
There is a line in the movie, where the hero’s sister in law sort of interrogates the heroine suspecting something and when she is confronted, the heroine agrees to their living arrangement. So the sister in law asks if they were gonna get married. For which the heroine asks how does a marriage certificate would change anything at all with the way they live. Finally they do get married for a different reason, but that is entirely their prerogative and not because they wanted to prove something to the elders, who didnt understand their live in arrangement. Where do I stand with these kind of relationships? I don’t think I would mind a live in relationship to be with someone whom I like and can actually see a future with, if not forever at least a few years. If that has to be sealed, signed and delivered, for all practical and legal purposes through a marriage, then that is the path the relationship should go through. Does a marriage certificate really change the relationship ? I would say, yes, it does to some extent. It gives it a legal binding and we are emotionally attached to it so some extent. Some people need that kind of grounding and trust that comes with it. But not all. I believe emotionally , it doesn’t matter. Until the emotional attachment between the people involved is strong and alive, the paper binding holds good and has value. Else…
I am glad that such topics are being handled in the mainstream Tamil movie and making people at least start talking about it, rather than in hushed tones.