As you might know from my pseudonym, I am a massive fan of Ponniyin Selvan. So when the movie got released recently my first instinct should have been to go and watch it. Thankfully almost all films here (AFAIK at least in Coimbatore) are being played in the theatres with subtitles in English. Which is brilliant as I could take Mr M to the movies too. All the cast is perfect according to the trailer and I love that Vikram is playing Adhitha Karikalan as no one could bring that passion in the character like he does. He is so apt for that role. I like that finally Aishwarya has got a meaty character which mostly is portrayed in a negative sense which means that she has to bring her A-game to it. But in spite of all this, something is holding me back. Maybe it might be that I don’t want my own visuals from reading the book mixed up with the movie version and also I would have to wait for the 2nd part of it for a little while. So I have been postponing watching the movie. In the meantime, my brother went to the movie Kantara and he insisted that we watch it, especially for Mr M as he would get to see some local culture in the movie.

When I had a day off work during the week, we decided to utilize it to watch the mid-day show hoping that there would be less crowd. Nope, the theatre was full! We had booked the Tamil dubbed version even though I hate dubbed movies but it had English Subtitles (The Kannada version was only available for a late evening show which didn’t suit us 😦 ) I forgot how loud the theatres can be 😀 I was glad that I had my earplugs in my handbag (it is a constant resident in my handbag…you never know when you need one).

The movie had a good pace and having grown up in the era of Veerappan and having grown up on the stories of the local people (including the tribes) and how they get affected by the rules and regulations of the government and such, it was relatable to me. It also had some humour laced throughout which made it a little light-hearted otherwise it could have become a dire and very heavy movie. It is still a very heavy movie in terms of its essence and what it is trying to convey and such …so interlacing the story with some romance and some lightness was done very neatly. For me personally, the movie kicks into the third gear only after the intermission when the unexpected death happens. The fact that you kind of know who had done it but not being able to articulate the rationale behind it was quite frustrating, I should say 😀 I like a good whodunit as you might know. The way it was all neatly tied at the end gave it a good finish. The use of the local folklore, local dance (belonging to the Mangalorean region), and local dialect (there were a few Kannada dialogues which were spoken in the local dialect and for those dialogues, there were additional Tamil subtitles provided), were all done very well. The dance form resembles Theiyyam which is a Kerala speciality. The spirituality of the people was also woven into the story very well. The other aspect which I found interesting was the environmental issues that were brought up. There wasn’t any resolution found in the movie, because that would have been difficult to achieve but they touched upon those aspects and left it to viewers how they want to take it.

My only grudge was the amount of violence in the movie. It was kind of needed to emphasize the attitude of the protagonist and his quick-fire anger but it sometimes gets too loud and too violent rendering the movie not suitable for young children. Also, I think the folk dance performance has a very ruthram effect to it which means there is a lot of anger and screaming so that might also scare the children.

Other than that, I enjoyed the movie immensely and was glad that I chose to go and watch Kantara instead of PS1 (not that I have anything against it.. I am just waiting for the 2nd one to be released and would like to watch both together). This was Mr M’s first Kannada movie. It doesn’t matter which Indian language it is in as long as it has subtitles but this is the first almost-Indie movie that he has seen in a South Indian Language. I have subjected him to Rajnikanth and his Robot movies so far. This movie was a huge deviation from the commercial masala movies he is used to. He totally enjoyed the movie and even tried to imitate the scream (very unsuccessfully might I add). It gave us points to discuss after the movie which I think is always a good thing.

Definitely, a must-watch movie. I should also say that the performance by the actors, especially Rishabh Shetty is top-class.

Wordless Wednesday

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Pitching Up – Interesting!

Pitching Up is an endearing portrait of the small town, focused on how introducing immigrants and first-generation Irish to traditional Gaelic sports has helped them integrate into the community, while at the same time preserving the region’s distinctive culture.  –  How Gaelic sports became a culturally binding force in Ireland’s most diverse town


It always amazes and amuses me whenever I end up greeting someone very very different from my culture. Yes, I already had told you about my nothing less than a nightmare experience the first time I encountered a greeting with the kiss on the cheeks. So I found this video funny and can understand where he comes from although I haven’t been to Middle East / South East Asia yet 🙂 .


After my first experience , I have been to a few places in Europe and last year to Spain where I have had been greeted with kisses on each cheek, thankfully, nothing like three or more as is said in the video. But still, returning that favor is not yet in my cards.  So I can say that I am sort of now immune to it, even though I still get a little stiff if some one hugs me (these young women in the fitness center do that at a regular basis. I wonder when that became a standard way of saying hi around here).

Made me smile amongst  a very busy day.


Freedom – of choice , of life & of opinion – not for everyone

She never thought that she will get married as soon as she would turn 18. If she had known she would have remained at 17 forever. You would think that being 18 years of age would have given her a wealth of knowledge about life. Psychologically, she was still a kid at that age, not interested in studies and hence dropped out of school very early, helping out her mother, who works as a maid, cooking for her family when required, playing with the kids in the apartment and taking care of them, helping out the elders with their grocery shopping (but never going alone anywhere, she is afraid of being alone). She hardly knew what entitles the bond of marriage and what responsiblities come with them. But when she was pursued by the other family in their home town, which is a small village, her parents were happy that they could settle down their first (though not the eldest) daughter soon inspite of their apprehension that may be it was too early. But what if they lose a good partner for her. After taking enough loans from everyone they knew, they had a wedding that would satisfy their villagers. She lead a very peaceful life for 4 months along with her parents, when her husband was searching for a better job in the same city where her parents were. But life had other cruel plans for her. When she had been to her husband’s place for a festival, little did she know that it will be the last festival for him. He met with an head on collission with a truck and ended up in hospital for almost 2 months, where he went into coma and finally left her to deal with the world, in his sleep. She is more shocked than sad that a life just went past by her even before she could register its presence. Not crying and always wondering what went wrong, there she is in her in-law’s place for almost 3 months without any clue as to how to proceed in life, playing with the neighbors kids. In the mean while, all her relatives and other people who knew her are wondering how to get her resettled. If she is pregnant , how to get rid of ‘it’ (how little a life means in some situations) so that she can be remarried to someone, not minding what her wishes are. Neither was she given the option in her marriage, nor will she be given for her yet to be born child. But then after much contemplation and discussion with the villagers, it would seem that her inlaws have decided that it will be better if she is married to her younger brother-in-law and if she is indeed pregnant at least their son’s child will be in their own family. Again no option given to her. Her life – it was earlier decided by her parents and other relatives and now by her in-laws and villagers. 
 When she understands and lives a little more, will she look back and think if she ever lead ‘her’ life or was it someone else’s that she had been living ? When she will ever be asked what she wants in life ? Would education have helped her ? The other person involved, the younger brother in law, was he given a choice in this ? Should we be happy that they at least decided to keep the child in their own family ? Should we be happy that there are so many people (the villagers and the distant relatives inclusive) taking care of this girl’s life ? Or are they playing God with a human’s life just because she doesn’t voice her opinion in anyway, because that is what she has been taught all her life ?
  After seeing this girl’s life step by step, I am glad of that one day in my life, when I decided to voice my opinion , a little strongly and I stood by it. I wasn’t taught anything different from what this girl was taught, but then I chose to break the mold and my family, even though they didn’t get it stood by it. Not many are given that choice or freedom.

I did contemplate about writing this piece but it has been festering inside me for too long and every small information I get about that girl, I get upset a little more. So I decided to go ahead and put it out there and add it as part of the challenge by OM.