Wednesday, January 15, 2014

15th January 2014

It's back to square one, the climate in Delhi. The sun was playing hide and seek and we were sitting ducks to the winds imported from Siberia. The winter is playing her dirty tricks on us again.
For most part of the day I looked for jobs in research writing and editing in and around Bangalore and Mumbai. I do have a job in hand but the thought of moving to Chennai isn't an appealing invite. Yes the city will surely roll out a welcome mat for me, but due to my illiteracy of the Amma's language my days in the city would be testing times. Meanwhile the HR manager at Springer has sent me an e-book on basic tamil which seems to be a tough nut to crack. Bangalore and especially Mumbai would give me the edge over Chennai but for now both cities are only on my wishlist and not hit list. And by hit list I meant hitting on their streets.
In the evening we had cold conversations about families falling apart after which I made gajar ka halwa. Gajar ka halwa is few of the desserts that I can dish out.
After dinner I sat back to read but my mood gave up on me. The other thing that holds my interest nowadays is the news. And oh yes, in the next few days a surprise will take the nation by storm. Dad heard the rumors in the parliament and we have since been playing chinese whispers about it at home.
While fidgeting with the remote a malayalam movie caught my attention. It had veterans like Tilakan and Balachandra Menon in the lead with KPSE Lalita playing a dumb housewife and mother of four.

The movie talks of a family of seven where Tilakan plays the father and a taxi driver and Balachandra Menon the eldest son. The part that I had started to watch showed the family proposing a guy for marriage for their only daughter. Much to their dismay and surprise the girl gives a loud shout against the idea. She decides to confide about her boyfriend in her eldest sister-in-law who breaks the news to her husband, the eldest son. He in a fit of rage slaps his sister and orders her to obey him and their father and marry the guy they had proposed for her. The brothers, the eldest and the second one meanwhile blame the parents in spoiling her for choices and forcefully tell the sister to marry as per their wishes to upkeep the family honour. The girl is in no mood to budge and the brothers decide to play Sherlock Holmes on her boyfriend. The second one admires the poet in her boyfriend for he happens to be a theatre actor, while the first one gets carried away by the wealth and respect. The shrewd and calculative elder brother suggests to the father to give up on the fixed proposal and get the girl married to the wealthy heir of a guy his daughter was in love with. While the father apologizes to the guy they had proposed feeling shameful of giving her independence to take her own decisions, the daughter of that guy's family is offered in marriage to the second son. I wonder were marriages a barter system then?
The weddings take place amidst much pomp and show. The girl goes to live with her then boyfriend and now husband's mother and him. His mother not very happy with his decision banters about the dowry other rich families had offered for her son. And she in an act of charity passes a confidence motion for this driver's daughter who she thought might be adept at homemaking.
By this time there arrived many instances when I wanted to bang my head on the wall so I switched off the idiot box.
Some of the most startling moments from the movie were a dumb mother who had no opinion in the family matters for she refuses to give a verdict on the first guy that had been proposed in marriage for her daughter. To a gang of brothers who thought that their sister had no rights to choose a life partner for herself, which was an honour only the men of the house were bestowed with. To an apologetic father who melts at his daughter's rightful resolute for her life. To a mother-in-law who thinks that sons can be sold for a fat sum of money in the arranged marriage market. I call such grooms 'male prostitues'. To the director and story writer of the movie who were filthy stinking patriarchs, to say the least.
The movie was called 'Kudumapramanam' in malayalam which translates to the saga of a family in english. The saga of this family was a sordid one.
I wonder what are the kind of stories that entertained the movie goers then? These kinds that were thoughtlessly made portraying women to be brainless emotionless creatures who had to dance to the tunes of the men in the family or the movies that are made in today's times. Ones with a visibly nude woman gyrating to please a bunch of leching men, drunk with desire and sexist sentiments.

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