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Showing posts from September, 2010

Sufi Paranja Katha Directed by Priyanandanan

The theme of Hindu girl falling in love with a Muslim man and converting to Islam has been explored in so many Indian movies. However, this is the first movie directed by the National Award winning director Priyanandanan that I watched and it is called Sufi Paranja Katha (The Story Told by a Sufi). The story revolves around a beautiful girl called Karythiyani (starring Sharbani Mukherji), who is the heiress of a reigning, upper caste Hindu family.

Right from the beginning, her beauty is intoxicating, to the extent that even her maternal uncle, who sees her as a daughter, feels disturbed and uneasy in her presence because she is so seductive and innocent. She falls in love with a Muslim trader called Maamooty (starring Prakash Bare) and she runs away with him. This is where the story really begins because it captures her journey into his life, and more importantly, his religion and society.

Despite being a staunch Muslim who is loved and respected in the community, Mamooty receives a…

Elsamma Enna Oru Aankutty - A Review of Lal Jose Movie

When my parents and I opted to watch Lal Jose's 'Elsamma Enna Aankutty,' we never expected that Padma theater in Ernakulam would be packed with college students, families and batches of girls. We just wanted to watch a movie that seemed to hint comedy and entertainment, with stars like Kunchako Boban and Indrajit. Of course, I must confess here that I've always liked Kunchako Boban's movies and I see them again whenever shown on TV.

This movie is beautifully shot in the hilly ranges of a village near Idukki. I am not a photography expert but the landscape's scenic beauty is truly breathtakingly remarkable.

The protagonist is a young girl called Elsamma (starring Ann Augustine), who dons various hats in her struggle to make an honest living to support her three sisters and helpless mother. She works as the village's newspaper girl and her close friend is Palunni (Kunchacko Boban), the milk delivery boy.

Right from the start, their conversations are typica…

Simple Dental Tips From Reader's Digest September 2010

Readers Digest (September 2010) gives us simple tips to take care of our teeth and I am sharing some of these tips because it is useful to all of us:

1. If you are a parent, it is essential to take your kid regularly for dental check ups to a qualified and well experienced pedodontist. Ask the pedodontist to show you how to make your child brush his/her teeth properly. Ask tips on how to choose the paste and brush for your kid. Those are little details but important, nevertheless.

2. Use floride toothpaste and brush twice a day. Ideally, you must spend at least 3 minutes brushing your teeth and ensuring that all the nooks and corners of your teeth are brushed properly.

3. Avoid consuming or giving candies and soft drinks to others because it exposes the teeth to sugar, leads to acid formation and dental caries. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after drinking colas because it can damage the teeth enamel due to etching.

4. If you eat anything that is sticky and tends to cling arou…

Kerala: An Enchanting Temptress

To me, Kerala is an enchanting temptress, a palette of different cultural and regional experiences. The cosmopolitan culture of Kochi is totally different from the traditional, time honored traditions of Palaghat or the warm hospitality of Malabar or high business, commercial and political melodrama that is a part of Kottayam with its mostly Christian influence or the slighly rigid, no frills life that derived its sustenance from the government based structure and culture of organized life in Thiruvananthapuram. Each place has its own beliefs and cuisine that are distinct and ethnic and different from other parts of Kerala.

My friends and cousins in each different city of Kerala teach me something interesting and sometimes disagreeable about the place and its people. It would be wrong to say that every city in Kerala is perfect. That is not true at all but each and every place in Kerala offers a distinct cultural experience. Of course, it could be true of all cities and places in Indi…

Freedom is a Priceless Gift, So is Personal Space

There are some little things in life that we can change. My parents, from their conduct, taught me this. I want to share it here because I see the lack of it affecting the sanctity of relationships across families and friendships.

Give Personal Space, Don't Give Advice

Lets face it. We are educated, grown ups and we don't need people telling us how to do things. We have a fairly good idea of how to manage our private spaces and there are people who can step in to help us when things go wrong or when we ask them for their advice. Too many relationships are spoiled by imposing one's own perceptions on others, whether it is in family, friendships or even at work places. The simplest and most effective solution is to give each person his/her personal space, respect that space and don't give advice unless it is requested. Sometimes, your intuition can tell you to break that rule but giving inputs all the time and giving advice all the time are two different things that requ…

We are Family!

Last week, we went to watch the KJo movie 'We are Family.' The movie is a remake of the popular Hollywood flick, Step Mom. We knew what to expect in the movie so it wasn't something so great to write home about but it was a good film to watch.

My four year old loved the movie. From start to finish, he was so engrossed in the family drama. That night, Adi hugged me tight and said, "Amma, please don't die, please don't. I have no body to look after me or love me if you die. Please dont have an operation."

That night, he kept saying in his sleep, "Please don't die, Amma. Please don't die."

It struck me then how this film can impact the emotions and vulnerable side of kids, something the movie makers never even hint about because the trailers show the happy, fun side of being a family. In India, most families go to watch movies with their kids, so shouldn't the film makers have either suggested an age limit for kids or something? For pr…

Agnidevan Directed by Venu Nagavally

This movie is one of my all time favorites. The story is gripping, intense and involves a family drama and the conflict between two brothers who share the legacy of "Ezhuthupura" or the writer's workshop, that is a family tradition and their role as the main writers and publisher of a daily newspaper come to the forefront of their rivalry with each other. While one brother (starring Devan) has a clinical, business oriented attitude to growing the newspaper industry that he heads, the younger brother (starring Mohanlal)feels very emotional and passionate about the craft of writing and reporting. He gives everything to enriching his relationships and cannot understand how to approach it with business goals because writing, in itself, marks tradition, legacy and so much more in their family of distinguished writers.

Perhaps no film has captured the conflicts facing the writing industry in Kerala, which has some of the best writers and reporters but a clear history of forcin…

Aye Auto Directed by Venu Nagavally

Another super hit movie that Venu Nagavally is famous for is, Aye Auto, the first commercial entertaining movie of its kind that delved into the lives, conversations and relationships of auto rickshaw drivers in Kerala.

Once again, it is Mohan Lal’s exceptional acting abilities coupled with humorous dialogues that made the movie so popular in Kerala. The story is about a poor auto rickshaw driver who meets a girl called Meenakshi from a rich, well known family and begins to fall in love with her. She teaches him English and dreams of seeing him as someone who can speak the language with confidence while he dreams of her as someone as beautiful and priceless to his life just like the auto that he calls ‘Sundari.’

There is no ‘sugar coated romance’ as such but from the way they look at each other and care so deeply about each other, you can guess how deeply they are in love and yet fighting the conflict within to not acknowledge it because the divide is too great.

Also, no director h…

Sukhamo Devi: Directed by Venu Nagavally

Not just as a fan of Venu Nagavally but as an avid movie watcher, I have to admit that Sukhamo Devi is a path breaking Malayalam movie that influenced many youths in Kerala. A campus romance with a most heart wrenching narrative and happy moments, by his own admission, Director Venu Nagavally called it a true portrayal of his own tragic love story.



The campus movie paved the way for a great shift in the realm of story telling, scripting, music and even the characterization of the protagonists. The way this movie reached out to touch and influence young minds cannot be expressed sufficiently in words. It changed our perceptions about campus romance, friendships, relationships and even the intimacy of our experiences in campus once we have come of the mould and learned to separate ourselves from those whom we once considered central to our happiness in life. 

Remember, the song ''Sukhamo Devi'' and see how it just transports you into another world altogether? Mohanlal, Sh…

A Humble Tribute to My Favorite Director - Venu Nagavally

This morning, the news of Venu Nagavally’s demise stunned and devastated me, though my only connection with him was through his brilliant Malayalam films. Though an actor, it is the director and script writing abilities of this great artist that made me his staunch fan. Being the son of a noted writer, Nagavally S Kurup, it is perhaps a priceless genetic inheritance that endowed Venu Nagavally with the unique insights of a fine writer, impeccable film making style and attention to making entertaining movies that did not lose compassion and human values in a very touching way.

It is from Twitter that I got to know about his demise and the tweets were filled with sadness from Malayalis across the world, who recalled some of his finest movies that are still so popular, such as Sukhamo Devi, his first directorial venture.

There are many movies of Venu Nagavally that I admire and love to watch several times over. I am sure most Malayalis feel the same about his films. I want to touch upon…

How Time Flies (A Poem)

Out of the blue, these lines popped into my mind. I don't even know what prompted it but it just flowed into my mind and I jotted it down and read it again, hoping t change or make it read better. Somehow, I didn't find anything to change so here it is, I am presenting a short poem after many years:

Time flies,
You don't realize,
you've grown up,
out of beliefs that once warmed,
then taught you there's no going back, ever,
like the gush of blood,
against your skin,
touching,
flowing,
searing,
all that you held pure.

In our Eyes, Our Children are Perfect

I love Jodi Picoult's novels because I admire the way she writes and brings her characters to life, not missing even the tiniest details about the characters. Her writing and storyline is brilliant and perfectly researched and yes, she keeps you guessing till the end.

However, when I read The Tenth Circle, I was so disturbed. It is about a father called Daniel, a cartoonist by profession. He is the perfect father and husband and his world revolves around his daughter Trixie. The story revolves around Trixie who is a typical teenager till she comes home one night, alleging that her boyfriend had raped her.

From the time she entered her teens, her father senses that for the first time, he has lost her because she is in a world he cannot enter - the violent, sexual world of teenagers. What makes it worse is that she is keeping a distance from her father, not because she doesn't love him anymore but because the secrets she has to guard are the very things no father wants to hear…