Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book review - Aadujeevitham (Malayalam)

There was this huge book sales going around in the city. The crowd had a varied mixture of hip new gen, screaming kids, housewives and the socialites. The organisers would've made some real profits out of this .
I was there looking for a hot shot Mallu writer. He was young, NRI and his first book was such a huge hit. I even heard it was adopted into the curriculum by the university. I was on the lookout for that book.

I asked the salesman.
He pushed two  into my hand ' He just released his second one . And its already a best seller.' I thought for a minute and finally picked them both.
Just out of my childish curiosity, I read the second one first. I was very much impressed and wrote a review on it.
Then I moved on to the first one ( the gross seller) - ' Adujeevitham', which can be roughly translated into ' Goat's Life'.

The book gives the first impression of a tragic novel out there to exploit the reader's tear glands. But a second look gives an impression of something more than sensitivity syndrome. You get a powerful feel of strong currents of human emotion , when he's cut off from human civilizations and made to fight against the bare nature.

Humankind always strived and prospered as a society. Even though man being a fragile as an individual , the society could tame the nature and bring it to its dominance. Even when we clamor against institutionalization and social degradation, we fail to understand that our survival depends entirely on standing together.

There is a dual backdrop the writer has chosen . The story first unfolds in Kerala where the Gulf boom only has started to set in. Najeeb who's just a casual laborer finds it difficult to raise his family. He's forced to search for a livelihood in Gulf, much against his own wish.

The writer being migrant himself would've been able to take a viewpoint much more realistic . The popular image of the gulf malayalee returning with a truck load of goodies is given a rest.

Having had to leave his hometown and a pregnant wife is a tough decision, or to put it in perspective, It's a humiliating decision. Man is destined / programed to find livelihood for his family. The moment he fails to do so , there starts his degradation. Which is more the less equivalent to degradation of his manhood.

Now unravels the second backdrop- The Arab countries which suddenly finds itself finding oil and wealth. The eager and meager ones migrating to an unknown land of unknown culture hoping to earn the daily bread. Najeeb finds himself waiting at the airport for someone he doesn't know and staring into an unknown future.

Meanwhile the author draws a parallel character along with protagonist, Hakkim. He's younger and doesn't have ant familial obligation. The young guy came over to the Gulf following his father's footsteps. He too lands along with Najeeb and waits for an unknown Arab but with youthful nonchalance.

Late into night an Arab comes picks them up and drives away into night. They are soon taken into an uninhabited land. A sense of danger lurks in mind when both of them are separated. He soon finds the nature of his job- a goat herd.

The ingenuity of the writer is reflected here. He portrays the dealings of the protagonist with three objects: the goats, desert and his predecessor.
Najeeb on his arrival, meets his predecessor. Najeeb can't understand the language of the man. He feels a revulsion to this man who doesn't bath or clean himself. He despises the man as a pre historic animal. But soon Najeeb finds himself turning into the man he despised. The man tries to escape and Najeeb finds his dead body later.

Then there's the magnificent desert. Although we find it barren and hot, Najeeb soon discovers it as  habitat for a wide variety of beings. The desert reduces its inhabitants into rough people. I loved the part where he finds himself caught in rain and absolutely no shelter. The author deserve accolades for the way he vividly describes how an average guy from a lush, green place slowly comes into term with brown, hot the desert.

Thirdly, there are the goats. The protagonist , when he comes there first , sees a huge herd. He has a goat at home. But soon realizes taking care of a herd isn't the same. He grapples and struggles with them. Soon he becomes one of them. In absence of any human friend, they become his friends and relatives. Najeeb finds out that man is nothing but an animal .

Overall the book is a great read, but it deserves some serious reading into the middle. There are so many images the writer has used very well to give out the message.

I thanked God for my life after I finished it.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Arranged v/s Love

Years ago, I was still in college. That was the time when first seeds of rebellion and  reality, all grappled with each other. There were choices to be made and a life to be lived.
It was a time when India was doing rather well in industrial arena. The MNCs came in hordes and picked their students promising them immense wealth.

We had to prepare ourselves for this group discussions which were part of the interview. One such topic was 'arranged v/s love marriage'. I were as usual shy and tongue tied. I were looking for someone to hand me a chance to speak. Then suddenly all the blabber seemed to die down and I spoke my first sentence

' In India marriage happens between two communities rather than individual'
No one had a counter.

Years have gone by. Now I stare at this inevitablity called marriage. Or rather I would say with doubts on the stand I took long time back. Many of my mates got married, out of love or out of helplessness. A few years ago, the whole of my faith community was shocked when a devout guy bludgeoned to death his newly wed wife. The reason being she questioned his impotency.

My cousin , was too very eager to migrate to UK. He married off to a girl who seemed quiet and homely. But they divorced soon after because he couldn't digest her male friends and night life. He came back home .

My college mate, she was bubbly, full of cheer, very intelligent and grounded. ( I was smitten once upon a time too ) . She got married off to a well connected guy and flew USA. From the last chat, she's not pleased with living a life.

It's alarming that the way in which  so called 'arranged marriage' system has evolved over the years. In the name of preserving an age old tradition, we have mixed up commercialization, greed and fetishism.

Once when the avenues for a boy and girl to meet were rare & when joint family system was still in force , the arrangement of marriage had a relevance. But today you live in a cellular world and you have access to so many women right from college. So when you get tied down to a choice , make sure its the right one.

I have a few female friends who's undergoing the process of groom hunting. The process starts off with building a fake profile in the internet. Then the groom comes visiting or his relatives( who voluntarily took the responsibility of destroying his life ). The small talks are made , which is used to evaluate the financial viablity and family name.

Then the guy talks to the girl in private. The probable questions being 'have you had sex', 'you have boyfriends', 'you have beautiful girlfriends', 'you wear western outfit'. After the whole fiasco the visitors return home and call the girl back to say ' you and your family stink '
The girl is forced to fake more for the next fiasco.

I met a beautiful girl, Swathi. We talked on her family. She was married right in college braving some tough opposition from family. They both were jobless and had to live out of family charity. Slowly they both made a mark and ended up with cool careers. The way she talks about her daughter and husband, I was in  awe. I asked her the secret ....LOVE...she said.

The greatest shortfall in arranging a marriage is we look at the education, character, looks, family. But we don't bother about love.
Subjecting our women to such humiliation and then sing praises of the institution is moronic. Every practice and culture has to evolve in time, or they might destroy us.

**** A big thanks to the bitch for the inspiration***

Monday, June 11, 2012


Last Sunday, I was lazily trying to find out the month of the year. Oh its June. Is there anything about June which I haven't noticed.

Oh I began blogging roughly three years ago. All these years, just look at the way it is. Starting it out from an air conditioned room, today I fond myself in a new world. I have met different people from different backgrounds. I travelled, read , drank, wrote.

I always had this feeling of cutting myself into fame. But its all elusive. My friend told about trying emotional blow jobs. Some people might say, hey be happy in who you are. Hell no, I too want to be in spotlight. Why is it so evil for me ?

Meanwhile , three years of age has slowly opened the dark future that lies ahead. I am too sarcastic and egoistic for my own good. It's been reflecting on the write up too. There's no place in this world for honesty.

Three people I ought to remember :
1) Pestosauce: Marvelous guy . I sometimes had this dark feeling, it was indeed me who was writing it

2) crusader : a great load of talent. His slow shift of ideology was a surprise, a pleasant one. Started out as a budding reporter recently, which I'm sure he's gonna rock.

3) Jane : I greatly enjoyed mail chatting with her. Such a baggage of experience. And a very beautiful lady.

4) JJ : the way I came across her was a surprise. She took the courage to strike friendship with a Pervert

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Movie review - Diamond Necklace (Malayalam)

I would shamelessly admit, in the first few minutes I had a feeling that the movie was about to fizzle out soon. But after an needlessly hurried opening, the pieces fall smoothly into their place. Hats off to the director Lal Jose. He has shown his versatility to handle subjects, characters, landscape beyond those timezones. This is where our so called greats failed - to adapt.

The film is cast mainly on three  hinges, which is worth the mention

1. Dubai :
I belong to a generation who migrated to Emirates to make their dough. Back then it was a land of boredom. The money earned was invested back in homeland. These expatriates dreamt of happily living ever after they earned a lot.

But soon the second generation who found out that they prefer the Emirates to the homeland and found it comfortable living there.

By then giant global  financial monster of asset creation gobbled up the emirates. The money generated started to be invested there. It was supported by the new western educated rulers. The emirates started to grow rich, sauve and aesthetic. Along with it came many avenues to burn up your cash.

The after effect was a credit culture that traps many of the youth in. The director brilliantly , effortlessly dwells on this major issue. He doesn't go overboard with speeches.
Slowly but surely the happy-go-lucky hero finds his life sinking into the credit swamp, taking his loved ones along.

2. Women

More the less its a fair sex  dominated movie where we see how the interaction with different women ultimately affects the evolution of  the protagonist's life. All the characters are sketched and executed brilliantly. We see a host of brilliant performances.

It starts off with elderly colleague pampering him with love and care only to have her heart broken in the end.
The Tamil nurse walks away with much applaud for her body language, attitude and emoting. She comes to Dubai to fulfil her mother's dream, only to have it broken by the man she loved.
Then comes the immature and bubbly wife, who is despised by the hero and she demonstrates the depth of her love towards the end.
The women who's dumped by her fiance on learning her illness finds solace in another man, the protagonist, who's also out there to take advantage. In the end she realizes there's more to life than material and indirectly imparting the knowledge to the protagonist.

Then there's the mother who thinks the world of her son. Although she's very well aware that all's not that well with him. She silently plots for the change in him.

Then there's a diamond necklace which binds the entire story together.

Technically speaking, there were instances when the story was rushed through. This being a longer movie compared to modern standards, the director must have decided to concentrate on the intrinsic climax.

There are some very lasting imageries. The girl deleting her fiance's details from the phone was one. It showed the longetivity and concept of modern relationship. So was diamond necklace sinking.

At the same time there were also some ordinary visuals. They looked as if someone else.screwed in a few in between.

The music was exemplary. It seems the modern theology of lighting is to create an artificial feeling of the whole setup. Or even reality may be given back seat in favor of aestheticd.

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.