Of Grandmothers

oru-muthassi-gadha-posterI enjoyed watching Oru Muthassi Gadha, a Malayalam film released over Onam last year.

When translated the title means A/one Grandmother’s Mace. It is a Jude Antony Joseph film, a director who has made a reputation with his maiden film, Om Shaanti Oshana (check Hotstar to watch the film). I like him for his quirkiness, like the way he came up with the cigarette smoking is injurious to health mandatory ad for his first film casting Nivin Pauly and Aju Varghese. In this film, he has made his characters speak out the names of the behind the scene crew of the film during the title credits, bits of information which many of us usually don’t bother to read as it scrolls in and out. Jaya Bachchan had done something similar for Pa. Farah Khan films usually show all its cast and crew in person.

This film’s title suggests the story is about a Mutassi. Mutassi is one of the words used to refer to a grandmother in Malayalam. (I call my two women Ammachi and Ammamma.) Gada is a club or a mace, the same weapon seen in pictures of Bhima and Hanuman. And I think that use of the word gada makes this film’s story different from the regular tales around a nuclear family with a grandmother in an urban space. Have you seen a grandmother with a club before? Flintstones did 😛

This Mutassi is what we call in Malayalam a “mooshaatta” grandmother. (In the film she is nicknamed as Rowdy Mutassi) Now, mooshaatta can mean grumpy, to give you an example, Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant is also a mooshaatta intially before he changes over into happy one. If a little girl was the reason of his transformation, here, it is a woman. This other woman is the mother of our mooshaatta grandmother’s daughter-in-law. They are grandmothers to the same set of kids, Alice and Allen. But in the beginning of the film, the kids love our other woman grandmother, and hate our mooshatta, for obvious reasons.

The film’s plot goes into certain details and reasons as to our grandmother’s uncouth behaviour in public and at home. The film also tries to talk about how generations need to bridge the gap between them. If both sides could meet half way then life becomes less grumpy, and more happy.

During some moments of the film, I did feel the producer had taken money from Whatsapp and Facebook as a means of promoting their services and products. Because if you don’t know what whatsapp or Facebook is, you can get a visual guide to how to install, use and create an account and use it through the film 😛

Predictable ending, by the end of the film our mooshatta mutassi is tech savy, gadget friendly and has got herself sorted. You can read about the plot and detailed storyline online. the film has borrowed from Morgan Freeman’s and Jack Nicholason’s The Bucketlist. And it is through the items on the bucketlist that our mooshataa becomes a non mooshatta grandmother.

ps: I wouldn’t have watched the film this soon if not for a conversation I had with Aneesh at the comment section on films in general.

 

 

#morningthoughts 

With hot chocolate and a slice of cake! 

One Sat Morn 

“Scale back your long hopes

to a short period. While we
speak, time is envious and

is running away from us.

Seize the day, trusting

little in the future.”

(Horace) 

#eveningthoughts

#morningthoughts

“I never tire of writing about coffee, it seems to me an inexhaustible, monumental theme. I sometimes feel it is a subject which may well occupy the space of a whole saga” RK Narayan

I never tire of drinking cups of coffee. The strawberries add to the brightness of a day that begins with a cuppa of a piping hot coffee … 

#morningthoughts 

Of 3 blind men 

I happened to watch oppam (a 2016 malayalam film) and kaabil (a 2017 hindi film) one after the other in a span of a few days. And believe me, watching two films with two enthusiastic blind men in the lead did nothing to my psyche or sympathy for anybody or the film. But it made me go find Yodha (an older 1992 Malayalam film) on you tube and watch it all over again for its treatment of the same handicap. 

I should neither be judgemental nor be critical about a film. But what irked me most about both the newer films were how they glorified the blindness aspect of their lead characters from the start when these characters are shown to be self reliant and do not think of their blindness as a handicap to live by. 

Therefore I go back to Yodha, where nothing of the blindness is highlighted in extravagant proportion to make the star, that is Mohanlal. It could be because the star becomes blind mid way through the film when the plot of the film has entered a crisis. Ashokan, the character played by Mohanlal, finds it as a handicap, but tries to adjust to his blindness without much fuss, learns to horne his other senses and use them to the hilt. The rest as Coleridge has said we need to suspend and just believe. 

When a Malayalee today sits to watch Oppam, they may see a Mohanlal who has already been trained to live with his blindness, a training he was given in Yodha back in the 90s. In that way, the film is a commemoration of sorts.

However, nothing explains how and where the hrithik roshan of kaabil receives his training from 😎😂😎😂

Oppam (2016) Malayalam | dir: Priyadarshan | Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu

Kaabil (2017) Hindi | dir: Sanjay Gupta|  Hrithik Roshan, Ronit Roy

Yodha (1992) Malayalam | dir: Sangeeth Sivan | Mohanlal, Madhu, Siddhartha, Jagathy

#3 poems of lore

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night‘)

(From Interstellar)

I’m hungry 

This is sev puri .. 

Mending Walls and Long Tables

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What are your first thoughts about a Wall and a Table, separately. Since I just got out of watching Matt Damon’s The Great Wall, that is the freshest memory of a wall!

Coming to tables, the first thought that crosses my mind are round tables, especially when the group is larger. Square and rectangular tables, the longer they are, I feel, divides the big group into smaller groups making conversation between all of us null.

Walls also reminded me of this poem by Frost they taught me school

“He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: ‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offense. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him, But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather He said it for himself.” (Robert Frost, Mending Wall)

 

One Art 

The art of losing isn’t hard to master; 

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster

(Elizabeth Bishop, One Art (1976?))

The clipping of the poem from the film in her shoes, read by  Maggie played by Cameron Diaz