The Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood

and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth;

then took the other, just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim,

because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same,

and both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence:

two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

and that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost

When it rained.

1

Rains always brought me happiness. Love to hear the thundering in the sky when it rains like there is no tomorrow. Love it, when I get to hug myself against the cold air and the heavy downpour. It brings me closer to myself.

But today it was different. The car would take me only till the gate. I knew I had to climb up those steep steps uphill to reach home. It was raining heavily and Meenakshi was getting restless in my arms. She began to cry loud. Closed areas suffocated my little one, especially the car. I knew the reason and hence I decided to take the risk and walk it through the rains. The driver brought me the umbrella to the backseat. I managed to scramble out of the car, covering my little one with the end of my sari. She found it amusing and her smile took over her sobs. She began to play with the rains. Just like me, she loved the rains too. May be that’s what bonds us together – the love for rains. She splashed water on my cheeks and kissed them away with her little lips as she kept murmuring to herself –“mmm”, “mmm”. I wondered what she wanted to say, I wondered what’s in her mind. Meenakshi has always been a happy kid. But today she seemed to be ‘differently’ happy. She was giving me playful, naughty looks as though there was something she is holding back. I knew I might be reading too much into a child’s mind. But I knew her. She surprises me every day.

I was completely drenched by the time I reached home. Her grandfather and grandmother were sitting in the verandah waiting for their bundle of joy. They reached out to her. Unlike always she refused to go to them and clung on to me. I wanted her to go to them and not cling on to me since I was drenched. I was angry at her but at the same time happy deep inside. She didn’t want to leave me; she was accepting me as her mother – the mother who never gave birth to her.

May be nothing has changed – this time too, the rains brought me happiness. It gave me Meenakshi. I hugged Meenakshi against the cold air and the heavy downpour. It brought me closer to myself.

When I’m with you!

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When I’m with you

we stay up all night

When you’re not here

I can’t get to sleep

Thank god for these two insomnias

and the difference between them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Rumi

Dark

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He could hear someone cry – a restrained, contained cry. The sound of people shouting, horns blaring were over bearing. But her restrained cry hounded him. Her cry was not one of helplessness or fear– it was that of regret. It was a cry that had a story behind it. The one of betrayal.

He walked along the alleys – dark and grey. He dint know where to go but her voice led him. He was scared but wanted to reach out to her. He walked for hours together – didn’t realize when those hours became days and those days became months.

Suddenly he reached light – bright and flashy. The light blinded him and pierced through his skin. He began to sweat – he had woken up from his dream. But the sound of her cry still hounded her – a restrained, contained cry.

I like! Part VII – Bangalore Days (Subject in scrutiny)

Prelude: The trailers looked amazing, it had current craze period [Fahadh Faasil] – playing a pivotal role, featured the protagonists of the last Malayalam movie I enjoyed – Nazriya Nazim and Nivin Pauly and most importantly written and directed by Anjali Menon – whose ‘Usthad Hotel’ is one of my favorite movies and featured in one of my very first posts. I had more than one reasons to go watch the movie. However after watching the movie my reason for watching the movie once again (if possible) are none of the ones mentioned above. The one and only reason – Dulquer Salmaan – An actor is born – Period.

The Review: I have seen the crowd going crazy, whistling and clapping on the entry of one of the superstars or a slow motion track in the movie or a fight scene. It’s probably the first time in life that I have seen a theatre full of Malayalees which includes me, in a city like Mumbai, clapping and whistling when the director’s name flashed on the screen. Anjali Menon had indeed set the sky rocketing expectations and she truly didn’t disappoint us!

Bangalore days is not about Arjun aka Aju [Dulquer Salmaan], Das [Fahadh Faasil], Krishnan P P aka Kuttan [Nivin Pauly] or Divya Prakash aka Kunju [Nazriya Nazim]. It’s about relationships, aspirations, pursuing ones passions, finding yourself, unconditional love – it’s about all those simple things that can make you a better person and make the world a better place to live in.

Though I found great detailing and depth in every character in the movie, and some breath-taking and heart –felt scenes, this time around I choose to write what I liked about the movie not based on the characters or specific scenes – but on the relationships portrayed in the movie.

The cousins.

The skeleton of the movie is the relationship shared between the three cousins – Aju, Kuttan and Kunju. Each of them grew up in a different background, with different aspirations and outlook towards life. The relationships between their families have changed over times and have a lot of underlying currents. However their love and affection towards each other remain unaffected and they are not judgmental about each other. It was endearing to watch a young girl who has recently entered into the institution of marriage, a free soul who does not believe in the institution of marriage and a good boy who has idealistic expectations out of a marriage sharing their worries and more importantly being able to understand each other.

The husband – wife.

Yet another arranged marriage wherein there are unresolved emotions from the past, idealistic expectations, conflict of personalities, interference of families and the usual. The beauty of it lies in the way the two deal with all of it and find a common space. Well written and beautifully executed by the Current craze period [Fahadh Faazil] and his soon to be life partner in real life [Nazriya Nazim].

The mother – son.

A mother who aspires her son to get out of the surroundings she finds claustrophobic and a son who finds solace in the same surroundings where he grew up . Though the son does not agreement to his mom’s and decisions and views in life, he deals her with respect love and tolerance. Though I felt it was not close to reality, it can truly be an eye opener to all those who deal with the relationship with a lesser level of tolerance. Kalpana is someone who has always done justice to any role that she has been given and she does it in this one too along with Nivin Pauly who is a pleasure to watch on-screen.

The lovers.

Love Story, Walk to Remember and all those beautiful love stories flashed across my mind when I saw this one. Boy meets girl, chooses to stand by her despite all odds and finds himself in the process. Arjun’s realization that he wants to live his life with Sarah [Parvathy] , the way he holds her hand in front of the entire world, his feeling of being incomplete without her even when fame, success, recognition and money is at his door –step – all looks so beautiful and pure.- real love it is! Arjun was able to convey his innocence, distressed childhood, layers of emotions, love for Sarah, hunger for recognition all with such ease. Truly another actor in the making!

The daughter – mother.

Though it is a very small part in the movie, the relationship between Sarah and her mother caught my attention. May be it is because I can relate to it. Here is a mother who believes her daughter is the best and will go at any length to get her daughter the best in the world and a daughter whose aspirations in life are high but her choices in life different from her mother’s . A mature and modern portrayal of a mother – daughter relationship, in today’s world.

Anjali Menon’s Bangalore days deals with many more relationships in this 2.5 hour movie. It tells us that dogs are indeed man’s best friends and they can do what we cannot do – forget and forgive. It tells us life is not all about leading it the ‘right’ way but living it to the fullest. It tells us that life is too small to live in the past, learn to embrace your future. It tells us to let go of unresolved emotions and welcome the new ones waiting for you.

Putting it as simple as I could – without taking away any credit from the maker – it tells you that all those quotes about life, love and relationships that you keep liking and sharing in Facebook can be easily made a part of your life!

After watching the movie – I followed my heart, went ahead and spoke my mind to someone without assessing what the future holds, buried certain issues with a dear one that I was unnecessarily holding on to and did something crazy which I would not have done in normal course of things! If not for all the reasons I loved the movie, watch it so that it can inspire you to do these simple things I ended up doing!

P.S : Couple of things that I wanted to mention, but would have broken the flow of the review:

(i) Sameer Thahir has done an amazing job as the cinematographer;

(ii) Loved the back-ground music in the climax scene;

(iii) Natasha [Nithya Menon] has been styled amazingly well and loved the photographs of ‘Natasha’ and ‘her lover’  that has been used in the movie – a pleasure to the eye.

(iv) I would love to meet Anjali Menon over a cup of coffee!