What’s the secret of happiness? Let’s learn from Mitchell Marsh and his super cool World Cup celebration.
If I were to choose a single image that encapsulates the essence of this World Cup, my finger would point unhesitatingly to this particular scene. It’s the picture of the young Mitchell Marsh, his foot triumphantly planted atop the World Cup trophy. The fact that it was Pat Cummins who shared this moment with the world is far from coincidental 😉
For many, it might be arrogance or direspect, but in my perspective, Mitchell brought a philosophy echoing the very thoughts and actions of Buddha himself. This philosophy, known in English as ‘Detachment’, embodies ideas of dispassion, disillusionment, and liberation from entanglements. The epitome of this concept, in its most tangible form, was achieved by Buddha in the name of Nirvana & Hindu saints and Jaina aints in the name of ‘Moksha‘.
The Zen of Victory: Mitchell Marsh’s World Cup Philosophy
Osho Rajneesh, Ramana Maharshi, and various Jain saints have extensively spoken about this philosophy. However, Mitchell Marsh, through a single act, illuminated this principle in its most tangible form. Every achievement, whether it’s winning the World Cup or an election victory, is transient.
The essence here is the concept of detachment and the transient nature of events and achievements. Mitchell Marsh’s act is a powerful embodiment of this, showcasing that even significant victories like the World Cup are just fleeting moments in the grand scheme of life. I remember a Zen Buddhist story that may connect this better.
The Tale of Two Monks: A Lesson in Non-Attachment
Two monks, one older and one younger, are travelling together. At one point, they come to a river with a strong current. As they prepare to cross, they meet a young woman who is unable to cross by herself. The older monk offers to carry her across on his back, and she gratefully accepts. After he safely delivers her to the other side, they part ways.
After some time, the younger monk questions the elder: ‘Was it right for you to carry that young woman on your shoulders?‘ To this, The older monk replies, “I put her down on the other side of the river. Why are you still carrying her?”.
Cultural Misinterpretations: Respect vs. Detachment
On Sunday, Mitchell Marsh was in the role of this older monk. By declaring the World Cup trophy merely a cup after the victory, he precisely and subtly communicated to us the impermanence of both triumph and defeat. It’s a profound lesson in how fleeting both success and failure are.
There are those who criticise this scene. They see placing a foot on the World Cup as disrespectful. These are the same people who do not hesitate to remain silent in the face of blatant injustices. They forget that respect is a feudal value, heavily overshadowed by hierarchy. In their view, certain actions, even symbolic, are unacceptable breaches of decorum, ignoring the deeper symbolic messages such actions might convey.
Practising Detachment: Insights from Mitchell Marsh
In it, Mitchell mentions that he has been training with a psychologist to navigate life, focusing on how to become detached from outcomes. ‘Detachment’ is the key concept Mitchell emphasises. This concept echoes Lord Krishna’s teachings in the Bhagavad Gita about acting without attachment to the results. I cannot recall another recent instance where the profound teachings of Buddha or lord Krsihna have been so effectively put into practise.
Feudal Mindset & The Philosophy of Detachment
Our leaders, superstars, and celebrities should all take a leaf out of Mitchell’s book. His approach is a guiding finger to those who revel in the shadows of egoism. Let’s take a closer look at Kerala.
Look at our hon.PM Narendra Modi, If he goes to great lengths to maintain his power, it’s not surprising. He has been in power since 2000, and detachment from such a long-held position is no easy feat.
Reflecting on ourselves, can we detach from our past, from our achievements? If it were a yes, we wouldn’t have celebrated Arjun Reddy or Kabir Singh, and we wouldn’t have played so many Lofi songs. Letting Go is a skill that we all should gain.
Most of us bask in the glory of our past successes or failures, but true happiness and growth lie in moving on. Growth happens when you let go. This is especially relevant in a society where maintaining status and power often becomes an end in itself. If we can learn to detach, to let go of these attachments, we can find not just individual contentment but also create a more balanced and equitable society.
Detachment: Here lies the secret of happiness. As I always say: Live to Love, Love to Learn, Learn to Liberate. This mission makes your life content.
‘In the Mood for Love’ and ‘As Good As It Gets’ are my favourites from the post-Lunchbox era. This transformative journey commenced with a simple, unassuming film from 2013 directed by Ritesh Batra—‘The Lunchbox.’
The Lunchbox: A Lens into Realism
This movie is not just for a weekend entertainment; it offered me a fresh lens through which I could explore the nuanced, unspoken dialect of human connections.
The movie is set in the bustling life of Mumbai, home to the renowned dabbawalas and their near-perfect lunch delivery system. However, an unusual mix-up one day led a dabbawala to exchange lunchboxes, it became the link for an unexpected companionship between Saajan Fernandez and Ila.
As an accountant on the brink of retirement, Saajan’s character reflects every scene with an air of melancholy that resonates with anyone who has ever gone through loneliness once.
Saajan’s routine commute to work begins with a Mumbai urban bus ride, accompanied by a stop at his late wife’s grave before heading to his mundane accountant job.
On the other hand, we have Ila. Movie begins with Ila, a housewife who tries to get her husband’s attention by making tasty lunches for him. She thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Her neighbor, Deshpande aunty, helps her out with recipes, joking that her husband will build her a Taj Mahal after tasting the food. Ila sends a lunchbox to her husband’s office using a dabbawala.
From Salty to Sweet: The Beginning
When fate humorously redirects Ila’s delicious lunchbox to Saajan, Saajan’s response to the first meal is precisely what you’d expect from a lonely accountant uncle – “Dear Ila, the food was very salty today.”
That’s all he has to say about the meal Ila put her heart into. However, this complaint marks the beginning of a unique bond between two lonely souls. Here begins the beautiful tale of ‘The Lunchbox’.
What follows is a series of letters exchanged between Saajan and Ila.
Saajan’s letters give a glimpse into his life and the changing world around him, like when he mentions,
“Life is very busy these days. There are too many people and everyone wants what the other has. Years ago you could find a place to sit on the train every now and then but these days it is difficult…When my wife died she got a horizontal burial plot. I tried to buy a burial plot for myself the other day and what they offered me was a vertical one. I spent my whole life standing in trains and buses and now I will have to stand even when I am dead.”
This newfound mode of communication allows them to open up in ways they hadn’t with anyone else before.
This is where I want to tell you, ‘The Lunchbox’ isn’t merely a story of romantic inklings; it’s just one layer of it.
Why The Lunchbox is More Than a Romantic Film
The Lunchbox is a film that explores a wide range of human emotions and relationships through its simple but powerful storytelling. It’s not just a love story between Ila and Saajan. It’s also a story about several characters who are searching for comfort and connection in their mundane loneliness.
Every character in ‘The Lunchbox’ has a touch of loneliness. Ila is trying hard to bring back the missing spark in her marriage; Saajan, a sad widower stuck in the same office job for over thirty-five years without even a friendly chat with his office neighbor; Aslam, the orphan seeking familial bonds; and the Deshpande couple, each lost in their own realm of silence. Even young Yashvi, Ila’s daughter, seems quiet and serious throughout the movie. Something not common for a child of her age.
Maybe this is the same reason, why I am obsessed with the characters of ‘Lootera’ and there Pakhi resonates with the same echo of solitude.
What Lies Beyond Romance in The Lunchbox?
There are multiple instances where The Lunchbox proves that it’s talking about human connections, a deep bond that’s formed between people when they feel seen and valued—not a curious attraction or mere romance.
One line from Saajan beautifully captures the underlying theme of his and Ila’s shared bonding: “I think we forget things if we have no one to tell them to.” This simple line tells us about the deep need we humans have for connection. It also shows how good it feels to find someone to share our everyday moments with, whether they’re boring or happy. Aslam, Deshpande Aunty, Saajan, and Ila are all looking for this kind of connection.
Just like Ila is searching for a new spice to rekindle her husband’s affection, each character is searching for something missing in their lives, and that missing piece is a bond to share!
In addition, look at the vegetable Ila chosen for her delicious dishes. Bitter Guard, Baby pumpkin aka Tinde & even Brinjal —could be a metaphor for their unconventional life choices, or maybe it seems like a gentle reflection of narrative’s core, where bitter experiences pave the path to the sweet essence of companionship, understanding, and perhaps a subtle hint of romance as well.
The Lunchbox is a film that celebrates the unity and diversity of the human connections. The characters in the film come from different shades of life though they are connected beautifully like a string of pearls.
Saajan’s poetic observation is a beautiful example of this. In a scene, Saajan explains his reflections on a painter’s works, “I felt like stopping to look at a painter’s works. All his paintings are exactly the same but when you look close, real close, you can see that they are different, each slightly different from the other…”
He sees himself in one of those paintings; he compares people to paintings, noting that they may all seem similar at first glance, but when you look closely, you can see the unique differences that make each individual special.
This is exactly what you are seeing in the film. In one angle, they all are same. But if you look close, you will see the differences.
Aslam is a Muslim, Saajan is a Christian, and Ila is a Hindu. Saajan writes in Queen’s English, I never heard someone referring to a ‘Brinjal’ as an ‘Aubergine’ and Ila replies in Hindi.
Deshpande Aunty and Ila share a deep emotional bond, even though they do not have a visual connection. This is because they are both able to sense and understand each other’s feelings.
Here communication goes beyond language, diversities, and limitations; it’s tapping into the essence of human connection.
The Lunchbox and its Painful Romance
In the romantic parts, Saajan’s sadness really hits you when he opens up to Ila, saying that he can only dream through her young hopes. He mentions, “No one buys yesterday’s lottery ticket.” This is a honest way to say that his own dreams are fading away.
But Saajan’s thank you to Ila is really heartwarming. He tells her, “You are young, you can dream. And for some time you let me into your dreams and I want to thank you for that.” You can really feel that he means it.
As the story moves on, Saajan sees that life still has more for him to experience. This part leaves you smiling with hope.
The movie gently encourages us to find the sweetness in the bitter, to look beyond the ordinary, and to appreciate the simple joys that life places in our everyday lives.
In doing so, The Lunchbox is not just a movie; it is a gentle nudge to appreciate the unspoken, the unexpressed, and the unnoticed nuances of human connections around us. In the beginning of the movie, we see Saajan’s neighbour, a young girl, closing the window on him, but by the end, that same little girl is waving at Saajan, and Saajan smiles back.
Reheating The Lunchbox: A Cliched Angle on the Ending
The ending of The Lunchbox really a debatable topic. The internet is full of explanations on climax interpretations. At first, I liked open endings but not recently, since, it confuses us.
Here are my two cents on The Lunchbox ending.
A part of me, maybe the pessimist Akhil, thinks that Ila might have given up and ended her life. When she took off her jewellery, it reminded me of the lady who jumped from the terrace to find peace (news in the movie).
Positive Akhil looks into Deshpande Aunty tells Ila that she was able to clean a running fan. Could this news have given Ila the courage to clear up her own life’s messes? Will the train bring Fernandez to Ila before she leaves? I hope so, deeply.
The Lunchbox tells the stories of people tied together by thin strings of chance: a dabbawala’s mistake, voices across the old walls of a worn building, a basket dropped from one window to another. A lonely man and his letters, a housewife and her delicacies… Through life’s unsure moments, they all found relief in a unexpected bonds, and in the midst of loneliness, sparks of connection showed up, warming the hearts stuck in life’s endless give and take.
The Lunchbox is an experience about the simple everyday interactions between people that make a difference. Experience it!
Before I talk about the movie Siya, let me share some horrible incidents with you.
Case – 1
On September 14, 2020, a case was registered at the Hathras police station in Uttar Pradesh, India, under number 194/2020. The victim was a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted by four men from an influential family.
The four accused men dragged the victim into a field and gang-raped her. They also tried to strangle her to death. The victim was found lying unconscious in the field by some villagers. She was rushed to a hospital in Hathras.
The police were able to record the victim’s statement on September 22(After the protest). She died on September 29, 2020.
On the night of September 29, at around 2:30 am, the victim was cremated by the Uttar Pradesh Police without the consent or knowledge of the victim’s family. Petrol was used for the cremation.
When the news initially broke through social media, the Agra Police, Hathras District Magistrate, and UP’s Information & Public Relations department dismissed it as “fake news.”
A video surfaced in which the Hathras District Magistrate can be seen pressuring the family to alter their statement. He was heard saying, “Don’t ruin your credibility. These media people will leave in a couple of days. Half have already left, the rest will leave in 2-3 days. We are the ones standing with you. Now it depends on you if you want to keep changing your testimony…”
Inhumane Actions For Defence
On October 2, the head of BJP’s IT cell, Amit Malviya, tweeted a video of the 19-year-old victim, revealing her face, allegedly violating Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code.
On October 4, Rajveer Singh Pehelwan, a former MLA of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), organized a rally in support of the accused. The rally garnered hundreds of attendees, including family members of the four accused.
A BJP leader, Ranjeet Srivastava, claimed the accused were not guilty of the crime. He further questioned, “Such girls are found dead only in specific places. They are discovered in sugarcane, corn, and millet fields, or in bushes, gutters, or forests. Why are they never found dead in paddy or wheat fields?“
Another statement that drew fierce criticism came from BJP MLA Surendra Nath Singh, who suggested that “Sanskar should be instilled in girls to prevent incidents of rape.“
Reports from The Wire and other sources indicated that the Uttar Pradesh government engaged Concept PR, a Mumbai-based public relations firm. Allegedly, the PR firm released press statements on behalf of the government, asserting that the Hathras teenager was not raped.
The Hathras police arrested the four accused—Sandeep, Ramu, Lavkush, and Ravi—on charges of attempted murder and gang rape.
On March 2, 2023, the Hathras district court acquitted three of the four accused—Ramu, Luvkush, and Ravi. The fourth accused, Sandeep, was convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (IPC Section 304) and offenses under the SC/ST Act. However, he was not found guilty of rape and murder, receiving a life imprisonment sentence along with a fine of ₹50,000.
The State government, led by Yogi Adityanath, and the district administration announced a compensation of ₹2.5 million (US$31,000) for the victim’s family. Additionally, they offered a junior assistant job to a family member. Furthermore, the family will be allocated a house in Hathras under the State Urban Development Agency (SUDA) scheme.
Case – 2
This is infamous 2017 Unnao Rape Case.
The 2017 Unnao rape case involved the gang rape and assault of a 17-year-old girl in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, India. The incident occurred on June 4, 2017.
According to the victim’s statement, she was enticed by a woman named Shashi Singh, along with her son, Shubham Singh, and daughter, Nidhi Singh, to relocate to Kanpur with promises of securing a job.
On the night of June 11, 2017, she accompanied Shubham Singh and allegedly endured multiple instances of rape by him and his driver, Awdhesh Tiwari.
On June 21, 2017, 17 days later, the victim was found in a village in Auraiya district, Uttar Pradesh. She received medical treatment for her injuries at a hospital in Lucknow.
The police recorded her statement on June 22, but prevented her from identifying one of her assailants BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
Apr 3, 2018: Rape survivor’s father is beaten up by MLA’s brother and his goons.
Though both sides lodge complaints against each other, the police choose to arrest only her father and he is sent to judicial custody. Her father dies in police custody. The post-mortem report lists the cause of death to be “blood poisoning due to perforation of colon”. It also lists multiple injuries on his body.
Prior to his death, he accused Atul, the brother of Sengar, of leading the assault. However, no action was taken in response to this complaint at the time.
On April 8, 2018, the victim attempted self-immolation at the residence of Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
April 11, 2018: The victim and her family are confined to a hotel room on the pretext of protection, without water or electricity.
April 12, 2018: Sengar, Atul Singh and their accomplices are arrested by the CBI.
April 14, 2018: The CBI makes a second arrest in the Unnao rape case . It takes into custody the woman who allegedly took the girl to Sengar on the day of the crime.
July 2, 2018: The uncle of the victim is convicted in a 19-year-old case of attempt to murder that had been filed by Atul Singh. He is sentenced to 10 years in prison by a district court.
July 28, 2018: A Rae Bareli truck-car collision leaves the girl and her lawyer critically injured. Two of the victim’s aunts are killed in the accident. The victim, who is battling for her life in a hospital in Lucknow with multiple fractures, head and chest injuries, and her lawyer are on ventilator support.
On December 16, 2019, Sengar was found guilty of rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. His associates were also convicted and received varying prison terms.
Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav
As we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, marking 75 years of our independence, we find ourselves questioning the very essence of our freedom. Has it truly manifested? Can we truly call ourselves free when there is an evident shift of power from one oppressive regime to another? Britishers may have left us, but did they leave a vacuum only to be filled by illiterate criminals?
Who should we blame for this?
The responsibility, I believe, falls upon each one of us. We, the citizens of India, who possess the right to vote, have the right to choose who shall represent us and who shall guide us.
There’s a saying, “Politicians are like diapers; we should change them frequently, otherwise it stinks.” Well, power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. A truth that most of us have learned through life experiences, but do we act upon it?
Politics in our country seems to have become a playground for the criminals and oligarchs. Once an individual assumes a political position, they cling to power like a leech for their entire life.
South-North-West all same
States like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka all reflect the same issue:
Look at Tamil Nadu; one family has been ruling the state for years. Go to Telangana; one person is ruling the state like there is no alternative. Look at Karnataka; it’s either Siddharamaiyya or Yedyurappa. On the national level, we have dynasty politics, or ultra-right-wing politics.
Our collectivist culture, our admiration of heroism—it’s not wrong! But when it transforms into blind admiration and political slavery, we must recognise and correct it.
If you are a communist, no matter what, you try to defend the party. You want that party to be in power, no matter how corrupt or fascist they are.
If you are a BJP supporter, you don’t care who your CM is or what they do. You just want to see the saffron flag waving.
It’s not about the party we support or the colour of the flag we want to see waving. It’s about who represents us and shapes our future.
Remember the atrocities that have been committed under these ultimatums of power? The VYAPAM scandal (Over 40 deaths, still a mystery) or the Balrampur gang rape—the list goes on.
Just like in our Telugu movies, where the common man bows down to the hero, the “devudu”, we too find ourselves bowing to these politicians and bureaucrats, suffering their injustices.
Siya – Untold story of 1000s of girls
Siya is Manish Mundra’s directorial debut, starring Pooja Pandey and Vineet Kumar Singh.
I am happy that I choose Siya over Adipurush today.
I believe Adhipurush is the past, and Siya is about my present and future.
Siya, a 17-year-old rape survivor, is being held captive and repeatedly abused by a group of powerful men. She had two options: “endure in silence” or “fight injustice bravely.” She chose the second option.
Siya decides to go against all odds and fight for justice. The film talks about how the police and politicians using their power to suppress the truth and oppress the oppressed.
Pooja Pandey, the lead character, beautifully plays her part as a simple, obedient, yet courageous woman. She doesn’t transform into a fiery fighter instantly; the character’s progression is remarkable.
Vineet Kumar Singh stands out as a modest lawyer who handles notary work and refuses to be intimidated by the police, providing strong support to Siya.
Master of Realism: Immersing Viewers in Jithin’s Worlds
The world of cinema is often filled with spectacle and extravagance. Yet, Jithin Issac Thomas shines as a filmmaker committed to realism. He crafts narratives with a raw authenticity that sets him apart. His movies break away from common film industry cliches, and instead, paint real-world stories and characters.
Look at his latest film “Rekha,“(Read Rekha review here) a movie set in the small town of Kasaragod. It’s a perfect example of how much he cares about staying true to life. Every little detail in the film, like the way people talk and the unique habits of the characters, shows just how much attention he pays to getting it right. He’s not just focused on making things look real, but also on telling stories that feel genuine.
What’s really special about Jithin Issac’s movies is how he pulls you right into the world he creates. You’re not just a passive viewer when you watch “Rekha.” Instead, you become a part of it all.
You feel like you’re actually walking the lonely streets of Kasaragod, experiencing the village’s simple charm, eavesdropping on friendly conversations, and getting a glimpse into Rekha’s life. It’s an extraordinary cinematic experience that anyone can enjoy, no matter who they are.
Jithin’s films go beyond simple storytelling; they establish a genuine connection of empathy between the viewer and the story. Try watching Rekha or Attention Please.
Jithin Issac Thomas: Breaking Stereotypes and Shaking Up Norms
Jithin Issac Thomas is not afraid to challenge societal norms and break stereotypes through his bold storytelling. His films tackle unconventional subjects and explore themes that many filmmakers shy away from. By doing so, he pushes the boundaries of cinema and opens up discussions on important social issues.
In Rekha, he used a subtle method to do this. But In “Attention Please,” he is louder about this.
Jithin is dissecting the sensitive topic of caste discrimination. The protagonist, Hari, played by Vishnu Govindan, is an aspiring screenwriter who faces ridicule and dismissal due to his caste and complexion. Jithin fearlessly exposes the deep-rooted prejudices that exist in our society, forcing the audience to confront uncomfortable truths.
It’s Jithin Issac Film, Expect Turns!
This commitment to breaking stereotypes extends beyond social themes. Jithin’s films take unexpected turns and subvert conventional storytelling norms. He keeps the audience on their toes, constantly questioning what will happen next.
In “Rekha,” what initially appears to be a simple love story takes a sharp turn towards an intense revenge thriller. This unpredictability challenges the audience’s expectations and leaves them in a state of surprise and contemplation.
In Rekha , he is trying to challenge that “I am Man!!” pride set by the conservative society with “I am a woman” pride.
By breaking stereotypes and shaking up norms, Jithin Issac Thomas encourages viewers to reflect on their own biases and preconceived notions. His films have the power to ignite conversations and spark change in society. They serve as a reminder that cinema has the potential to be a platform for social commentary and introspection.
Jithin Issac films serve as a catalyst for change and inspire audiences to think critically about the world around them.
A Voice for the Voiceless: Speaking Up Through Cinema
Jithin Issac Thomas has carved a niche for himself as a filmmaker who amplifies the voices of the marginalized and overlooked. Through his cinematic endeavors, he serves as a catalyst for change and raises awareness about pressing social issues.
Jithin’s commitment to giving a voice to the voiceless is evident in his films, which tackle a wide range of subjects with sensitivity and empathy.
Addressing Social Injustices
Jithin Issac Thomas’ films don’t just entertain; they speak. They talk about the folks we tend to forget or ignore. It’s like he hands them a microphone and says, “Here, tell your story.”
In his film “Attention Please,” he fearlessly shines a spotlight on caste discrimination. The character of Hari, an aspiring screenwriter from a Dalit background, faces ridicule and discrimination from his flatmates. Jithin’s portrayal of Hari’s struggles not only exposes the deep-rooted prejudices prevalent in society but also challenges the audience to reflect on their own biases.
Another film that showcases Jithin’s dedication to addressing social issues is the anthology “Freedom Fight,” in which he directs the segment titled ‘Pra. Thoo. Mu.’
This narrative explores the themes of rebellion and resistance, encouraging viewers to question oppressive systems and stand up for justice.
Jithin’s storytelling compels the audience to confront uncomfortable realities and motivates them to take action against societal inequalities.
Amplifying Women’s Voices
In the film “Rekha,” the titular character takes center stage as a tomboyish woman who confronts an act of injustice and embarks on a path of revenge. Through Rekha’s journey, Jithin challenges gender stereotypes and highlights the strength and resilience of women in the face of adversity.
Through Rekha, Jithin gives a voice to these women. He tells us that ego, revenge, pride, all these are not just a “Man thing”. It’s challenging “I am Man!!” pride with “I am a woman” pride.
In interviews, he emphasizes the need for more representation and equal opportunities for women in the film industry. By shedding light on their stories and perspectives, he aims to create a more inclusive and equitable cinematic landscape.
Jithin doesn’t just make films. He makes statements. And those statements speak for the people who need to be heard.
The Art of Uncomfortable Conversations
In his own words, he creates “not to please or appease an audience, but to make them think, to make them uncomfortable.” This audacious approach sets him apart from many filmmakers of his generation and makes his films unique and thought-provoking.
I believe, Jithin’s ultimate goal as a filmmaker is to inspire social change and create a more inclusive and empathetic society. Through his films, he seeks to spark conversations, challenge societal norms, and encourage viewers to reevaluate their perspectives.
In an industry often driven by commercial considerations, Jithin remains unwavering in his commitment to meaningful storytelling.
How South Film Industries are different in their ideologies? Are they Promoting Anti-Hindu elements? Why are Brahmins often targeted in Tamil films? Why is Tamil Movies are anti-Hindu or anti-God 😀 ? Is it a threat for Hinduism?
In recent times, there has been a prevailing notion among certain fanatic cyber warriors that Tamil and Malayalam movies are anti-Hindu, while Telugu movies are considered more pro-Hindu.
However, if you look closer, you will get a different narrative altogether. In this article, we will try to see a different shade of Tamil cinema (Kollywood) and explore how it is different from other industries.
If you don’t have much time, this is a short and sweet answer.
Neo Wave Tamil Cinema: Breaking the Shackles of Casteism & Oppression.
The Neo Wave Tamil cinema movement, led by directors like Vetri Maaran, Ram, and Mari Selvaraj, directly addresses the issue of casteism. These films aim to break down caste barriers and raise awareness about the oppressive nature of the power.
Dravidian Identity: A Counterbalance to Hindu Nationalism
Tamil cinema has a strong connection with promoting the Dravidian identity. Filmmakers like Karunanidhi and Pa. Ranjith have used their films to support the Dravidian movement, which challenges the dominance of Hindu nationalism promoted by right-wing ideologies. Regional parties in Tamil Nadu actively support and endorse this expression as it is closely tied to their existence.
Now, let’s see other industries, in south, and let’s understand, how they are diversified in their core.
Kannada Cinema: Celebrating Linguistic Pride and Ethnic Minorities
In Kannada cinema, there is a strong emphasis on celebrating the language and Kannadiga pride, especially in popular mainstream films featuring superstars.
Furthermore, the emerging neo-wave Kannada films (Shetty gang) embrace and highlight the cultural heritage of the region, including its ethnic minorities.
These films explore the conservative perspectives from the past, emphasising the significance of preserving one’s roots and heritage.
Malayalam Cinema: A Diversified Motives in Narratives
The Malayalam film industry can be categorized into three distinct genres.
Firstly, there are films that promote communism and align with left-liberal ideologies. These movies often reflect progressive and socially conscious narratives but heavily biased with communism.
Secondly, there are films that explore stories related to the Islamic faith, particularly centered around the Malabar region. These movies shed light on the unique cultural aspects and experiences of the Muslim community.
Lastly, there is a group of creators who address a range of social issues, including casteism, oppression, bureaucratic atrocities, conservative mindsets and body shaming.
One distinct feature of Mollywood compared to all other industries is, Mollywood won’t promote linguistic pride, rather it talks against regionalism.
Telugu Cinema: Multiple Shades of Saviours, United by a Common Goal: Profit
Telugu cinema presents a diverse range of narratives and ideologies but with a common root: Conservatism.
Tollywood’s inclination towards conservatism can be attributed to a significant diaspora audience residing abroad. Telugu movies often evoke a sense of nostalgia and cultural pride among this diaspora community, creating a strong connection and a feeling of pride in their heritage.
The Sukumar school of filmmaking strongly promotes native culture and conservative values rooted in the past. In contrast, the Balakrishna and NTR schools perpetuate the aura of royal lineage and uphold brahmanical racial purity.
Another significant aspect of Telugu cinema is its dedication to portraying Hindu mythology and its symbols. Directors like Trivikram, Rajamouli, Koratala Siva, and Boyapati Srinu lead the way in bringing these mythological narratives or symbols to life on the big screen.
Additionally, emerging talents in Telugu cinema are increasingly busy with promoting Telangana dialect and celebrating linguistic pride.
However, it is worth noting that Telugu films often do not explicitly address the social issues mentioned in other industries. Films like Viduthalai, Taramani, Kadaisi Vivasayi may be rare in the Telugu film industry.
Why Tollywood Is Not Getting A Renaissance
The Telugu film industry is largely governed by a few influential figures, and all of them belong to any of the 2-3 castes, either Kamma (NTR Family, ANR Family, Nani & Mahesh Babu) or Kapu (Mega Family) or Kshatriyas (Prabhas, Ravi Teja & Sunil).
Even the writers or lyricists belong to the same group, be it great lyricists or writers, like Aathreya, Aarudra, Sri Sri, Veturi, Sirivennela, Ramajogayya Sastry, Jonnavithula, Tanikella Bharani, Avasarala Srinivas, K Viswanath, or Trivikram (all are Brahmins, if I am not wrong, but that’s not the point; the point is representation and diversities of identities)…
Secondly, neo-producers often characterized as oligarchs, whose primary focus is on business profitability. Consequently, aspects beyond commercial considerations are often given secondary importance.
It is crucial to understand that Tamil cinema, alongside other regional film industries, is not anti-Hindu. On the contrary, it actively promotes social equality, addresses casteism, and incorporates Hindu philosophy in its unique way.
Do you remember the film “Arangetram” where a purohit’s daughter turns to prostitution to uplift her family’s fortunes?
It’s been exactly fifty years since its release in 1973, directed by K. Balachander, a Tamil Iyer filmmaker often seen with holy ash on his forehead.
Being pro-Hindu or pro-any religion goes beyond blindly following orders or ideologies. It also entails the ability to criticize and refine, which is what makes Hinduism a liberal religion.
From Shankaracharya to K. Balachander, they all engaged in critiquing and fixing the system instead of blindly adhering to ancient manuscripts and commandments.
“Anti-Hindu” is a lens, if one holds extremely pro – Hindutva views, you will find any critic as a threat.
Now let me tell you a secret, that rarely people understands: It’s not only Telugu Films, Tamil Films are also great at promoting Hinduism. But both are not same.
How does Tamil cinema incorporate and promote Hindu philosophy?
For those interested in delving deeper, it’s worth noting that Tamil cinema is actually at the forefront of promoting Hinduism.
The term “anti-Hindu” is an ambiguous word, leaving us wondering what truly constitutes a film as anti-Hindu. Does it require explicit portrayal of Hinduism or Hindutva or its symbols to be considered pro-Hindu?
And who has the authority to determine these categorizations?
Before answering these questions and understanding the anti-Hindu or pro-Hindu elements in the Tamil film industry, let’s talk about Hinduism and its nuances.
Exploring the Nuances
Through conversations with a diverse range of individuals, including liberals and ultra right-wing fanatics, I’ve discovered that the true depth and adaptability of Hinduism often go unnoticed.
When compared to Abrahamic religions, Hinduism stands out with its tolerance and flexibility, offering a unique perspective. Hindusim doesn’t believe in Supremacy of one god and it help the followers to be tolerant to other religions & beliefs.
Now, let us see the essence of Hindusim, through the lens of a liberalist.
Hinduism: Beyond Religion
Hinduism transcends conventional religious boundaries and encompasses a way of life and a rich cultural framework. It move into profound existential questions, explores the purpose of life, and intricately examines the relationship between humanity and the divine.
At its core, Hinduism is way of life (just like Democracy), shaping a holistic worldview (Loka samstha sukhino bhavanathu).
To understand how South movies, especially Tamil films, promote Hinduism, it is essential to explore some of the unique philosophies within the religion.
These philosophies form the very foundation of many Tamil films, resonating with audiences and communicating profound messages.
The Cycle of Rebirth
Reincarnation, a central belief in Hinduism, explores the concept of the soul’s successive rebirth in new bodies after death.This aligns with the idea of a cyclic theory of time, where the divine takes multiple incarnations to restore cosmic harmony.
Translation: “Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness, O Arjuna, I manifest Myself on earth.”
From 1963 film “Nenjam Marappathillai” to Films like “Maanaadu,” or the bilingual film “Awe” directed by Prashanth Varma, or Suriya’s “24,” and Vishnu Vishal’s “Indru Netru Naalai” beautifully showcase this philosophy of reincarnation or cyclic theory of time.
Atman and Brahman
Hinduism introduces the concept of Atman, which refers to the individual self or soul. Hinduism believes that Atman is eternal and intricately connected to the god or divine power known as Brahman. Unlike the Abrahamic religions that view the soul as a distinct, separate entity created by God, Hinduism emphasizes the inseparability of the individual self (soul) from the divine.
“The self is never born nor does it ever die; nor having come to be will it ever cease to be. The self is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval.” (Chapter 2, Verse 20)
This fundamental philosphy is different from the idea of resurrection.
While Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism believe in the resurrection of the physical body in a transformed state, Hinduism presents a different perspective.
Tamil Films Promoting this Core Philosophies are many. Let’s explore a few remarkable examples:
Kamal Hassan’s “Anbe Sivam” (2003)
This thought-provoking film revolves around the concept of “Ayam Atma Brahma,” highlighting the belief that the divine essence resides within each of us. It celebrates the profound connection between individuals and the divine, fostering empathy, compassion, and spiritual growth.
Bala’s “Naan Kadavul” (2009)
Directed by Bala, “Naan Kadavul” embodies the essence of Hindu philosophies with its exploration of divine intervention, the paths of karma, and the transformative power of devotion. It delves into the complexities of human existence, while emphasizing the cosmic interconnectedness between mortals and the divine.
“Karnan” by Mari Selvaraj
“Karnan” weaves a powerful narrative rooted in social justice and equality, drawing inspiration from ancient Hindu epics. It highlights the struggles of the marginalized and champions the notion of dharma (righteousness) against oppression, the hero is supported by the soul of his sister.
This list won’t ends here, it’s long.
Diverse Paths to Salvation
In Hinduism, individuals have the freedom to choose from multiple paths to attain spiritual liberation.This is in contrast to Abrahamic religions, which often advocate a more singular path to salvation
Karma Yoga advocates selfless service as a means to spiritual growth. It emphasizes performing actions with a sense of duty, without seeking personal gain. Tamil heroes often deliver dialogues that reflect this philosophy, inspiring audiences with the importance of altruistic heroism.
“Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani.” (Chapter 2, Verse 47)
Krishna advises Arjuna to focus on his duty without being attached to the outcomes or being driven by personal desires. He emphasizes the importance of selfless action.
Bhakti Yoga focuses on devotion and love for the divine. It involves cultivating a deep and personal relationship with a chosen deity or form of the divine. While this philosophy was more prominent in the 80s and 90s, its representation has become relatively rare in contemporary Tamil cinema.
Jnana Yoga centers around knowledge and wisdom. It emphasizes the pursuit of self-realization and understanding the true nature of oneself and the universe. Modern Tamil heroes and heroines often embody this philosophy, celebrating personal freedom and intellectual introspections.
Tamil Films Showcasing Diverse Paths & Moksha
Films like “Oh My Kadavule” (2020), Thiagaraja Kumaraja’s “Super Deluxe,” Vikram’s “Anniyan,” Manikandan’s “Kadaisi Vivasayi” and Suriya’s “7 am Arivu” serve as noteworthy examples that showcase the philosophy of diverse paths to salvation and talks about Moksha. These films explore different aspects of the paths to liberation, offering audiences thought-provoking narratives that inspire introspection and self-discovery.
Karma vs. Divine Judgment
Hinduism introduces the profound concept of Karma, where the consequences of one’s actions and intentions shape their future experiences and circumstances. Even God can’t escape Karma.
In contrast, Abrahamic religions emphasize the concept of divine judgment, where individuals are held accountable for their actions and face rewards or punishments in an afterlife.
In simpler terms, irrespective of prayers, good deeds, or repentance, Karma remains as a nasty b**ch which follows individuals throughout their lives. Tamil cinema frequently explores these themes, offering thought-provoking narratives that showcase this nasty face of Karma.
Prominent Examples which explore Karma in Tamil Cinema
Tamil films have explored the depths of Karma, presenting captivating stories that reflect the consequences of one’s actions.
Let’s explore some noteworthy examples:
Nalan Kumarasamy’s “Andavan Kattalai” examines the struggles of two individuals as they face the repercussions of their choices, illustrating the complex workings of Karma.
Kamal Hassan’s iconic film “Nayagan” portrays the journey of a gangster grappling with the Karmic consequences of his actions, ultimately seeking redemption.
Manikandan’s “Kutrame Thandanai” delves into the life of a man caught in a web of events driven by Karma, highlighting the impact of past actions on the present.
Films like “Dashavatharam,” “Super Deluxe,” and “Katradhu Tamizh” also explore the themes of Karma, inviting audiences to contemplate the interconnectedness of actions and their consequences.
Dharma: Morality and Ethical Duties
Hinduism embraces the concept of Dharma, encompassing moral and ethical duties. It recognizes that moral standards can vary based on circumstances, life stages, and social roles.
Abrahamic religions often adhere to a divine commandments and sins, where moral standards are considered fixed and rooted in the commands of God. In Hinduism it’s not black and white, rather it’s grey.
The conversation between Arjuna and Krishna during at Kuruskhetra is the proof for this.
“Better is one’s own dharma, though imperfectly performed, than the dharma of another well-performed. Better is death in one’s own dharma; the dharma of another is fraught with fear.” (Chapter 3, Verse 35)
Filmmaker Thiagaraja Kumaraja aptly captures this philosophy in his own words, “Yethu Thevaio Athu Dharamam” (What we need is Dharma).
Films like “Aaranya Kaandam” and “Super Deluxe” illustrate this philosophy, where the concepts of right and wrong become blurred. These works challenge viewers to navigate through the shades of gray, exploring the complexities of morality and the multifaceted nature of human actions.
There is nothing absolute right or wrong; it’s all depending upon the lenses and the needs. Essentially, It’s about you and your survival.
Maya: The Illusion of the Material World:
Hinduism introduces the concept of Maya, acknowledging that the phenomenal world is an illusion, and true reality lies beyond the perceptions of the senses.
In contrast, Abrahamic religions generally consider the physical world as real, created by god and not inherently illusory.
“The wise mourn neither for the living nor for the dead.” (Chapter 2, Verse 11)
Once again, director Thiagaraja Kumaraja delves into the concept of maya in his recent film “Ninaivo Oru Paravai,” questioning the boundaries between reality and imagination.
Even Thiagaraja Kumaraja’s “Super Deluxe” talks about the same in the end with the characters alien and Gajji.
Films like “Bogan” by Lakshman, “Awe” by Prashanth Verma, “Kadaisi Vivasayi” (Vijay Sethupathi track) by Manikandan, “Diary” by Arulnithi, “Eeram” by Arivazhagan, “Karnan” by Mari Selvaraj, and “Deja Vu” by Arvind Srinivasan also touch upon the theme of Maya. One personal favorite is Nalan Kumarasami’s “Soodhu Kavvum.“
These films challenge our perception of reality, inviting us to contemplate the illusory nature of the material world and the deeper truths that lie beyond.
Panentheism: Divine Presence in Nature
One striking aspect of Hinduism is its belief in panentheism, acknowledging the divine presence within all aspects of the natural world.
This one is my personal favourite philosophy considering Hinduism as a way of life. All the ancient civilisations followed this.
This sets it apart from the monotheistic beliefs of Abrahamic religions, which emphasize the existence of a singular God or Supreme God.
Hinduism perceives the divine as immanent within nature and all living beings.
I remember when I was a child, I was scared of a centipede and tried to kill it. Then my grandma shouted at me, “Lakshmi Devi” will curse me if I kill a centipede. Because the centipede is Lakshmi Devi’s chariot. This might sound ridiculous, but there is a strong impact on nature. After that incident I never intentionally hurt any animals or reptiles, be they a snake, a spider, a lizard, or a dog. It’s a fear, for a good cause.
Everything in nature is related to God. From Ganges, Himalayas, Rats, Snakes to even Ashes.
This pantheistic approach fosters a deep sense of interconnectedness, reverence, and responsibility towards the nature..
Environmental Conservation and Sustainability
Hinduism’s panentheistic perspective aligns harmoniously with efforts towards environmental conservation and sustainability. By recognizing the divinity in nature, Hinduism instills a profound respect for and protection of the environment. It promotes the idea that humans have a sacred duty (dharma) to preserve and care for the natural world, perceiving it as an integral part of their spiritual journey.
The film “Kadaisi Vivasayi” directed by Manikandan, serves as a remarkable example that exemplifies these themes.
Kadaisi Vivasayi’s title card is shown with a shot of a peakcock on the rock and a song in the background, which translates to “Whether you are a figment of imaginations or an idol made by humans, Muruga, you have a boundless devotion.”
In the movie, later, the farmer asks the court, “How can I kill Murugan’s peacocks?” Will write another post on this soon.
Through the portrayal of peacocks, paddy fields, trees, and stones as divine entities, the movie beautifully captures the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world.
It emphasizes the significance of living in harmony with nature, showcasing the traditional practices of elderly farmers who deeply respect and protect the environment.
Personal Freedom and Fanaticism
It is essential to note that the philosophies discussed here aim to empower individuals rather than impose religious dogmas or the authority of a godman.
That is why I said, Hinduism is a way of life.
Unfortunately, some fanatics distort these philosophies in the name of culture and heritage, thereby disrupting the true essence of this “way of life” nature of Hinduism.
I have heard stories from my friends about the challenges they face when it comes to inter-religious marriages. They often share the consequences they encounter from church communities and religious dogmas.
In many cases, if they marry someone from another religion, the expectation is that the non-islamic partner must convert, or else the community may resort to ostracizing the family.
It’s disheartening to witness the impact of such rigid beliefs on personal choices and the potential for social exclusion.
Thankfully, as a Hindu, I have the freedom to marry a girl from any community without interference from temples or pandits. However, I am concerned that these fanatics may soon infringe upon this freedom of choice in the name of religion and culture.
In my opinion, those who attempt to confine this vast philosophy within rigid structures and commandments are the ones who are anti-Hindu.
On the other hand, those who promote the philosophy and question or criticise the evils in beliefs can be considered pro-Hindu.
“Ninaivo Oru Paravai,” directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja as part of Amazon’s Modern Love: Chennai, will share a similar aesthetic experience with films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love.
In these films, characters are often framed by the rectangle of the film frame, as well as by smaller internal shapes. This create a sense of separation and isolation or a sense of mystery and intrigue.
As suggested by the title, “Ninaivo Oru Paravai” (Memory is just a bird), memories are ephemeral, free-spirited, and mutable.
I hope you might have seen, 2000’s Memento or if you are a film enthusiast, you might have seen 1975 “The Mirror”.
Just as Nolan manipulates our perception in “Memento,” Kumaraja crafts an immersive experience, challenging the viewer to distinguish the boundary between hallucination, film inside the film, and reality.
Like a complex maze with a thousand doors, each revealing a new riddle, “Ninaivo Oru Paravai” presents an intricate puzzle.
Let’s Open The Door: Ninaivo Oru Paravai Explained
Here is one possible interpretation from my side:
Our main character, K, scripts a story about a couple going through three breakups, one patch-up, and three intimate moments, filled with scenes that connect these elements into a coherent narrative.
Sam, who read K’s script, starts experiencing hallucinations about incidents mentioned in the script after their breakup.
Let’s see what’s in K‘s film.
The story begins with an intimate moment between Hero and Heroine, the only elements of their identity that we know is that hero is an aspiring film maker. The leftover dialogues suggest they’ve chosen to separate, marking their first breakup.
What led to this?
They met on a film set in July, when they were both junior actors. They fell in love fast and became intimate.
Six months later, they made the decision to live together. We see them enjoying their time together.
One rainy night, an astrologer warns them about an upcoming separation.
This makes the heroine worry and feel insecure, and she becomes possessive.
This might have caused a rift between them.
We then see their second (or maybe first) break-up, which is tougher to bear. After this, the hero leaves the house, and the heroine watches him from the balcony. This time, she moves from right to left on the screen, with an infinity loop in the background.
After this, the hero might have had an accident, causing him to lose his memory.
The hero’s sister asks the heroine to help him recover his memory. He still remembers the heroine’s name. The heroine visits the hero, writes down their beautiful memories, and shares them with him. The hero reads each note, embedding these memories in his mind.
There is a rain scene, it’s a beautiful memory that heroine written in the note for hero.
If you look closely, you will get some hints from those frames.
A Hidden Revenge Story
At this point, you might see it as a revenge story, where the heroine tells him to believe everything she says, whether it’s true or false. He lives with the uncertainty of his memories, unsure if they’re lies or the truth. It’s like a Thursdayism philosophy that K used to talk about in the past.
I see it as a form of revenge because the heroine was dealing with the same feelings after their break-up. She couldn’t tell what was real and what was an illusion.
Now, she’s passing the same feelings on to the hero, telling him,
“Anything you remember won’t be the truth but a figment of your imagination. I’m the only one who can tell you if it’s real or just your imagination.“
But she promises him that she never cheated and that they’ll never see each other again. She gives him back the script that he wrote.
As she leaves, she repeats the hero’s words from their first break-up, “Avvulo thaana (That’s it?)” “I guess so.”
You can see this as the third break-up in the script.
A Happy Ending
The heroine then comes home in the rain, with the hero following her. She closes the door on him when he begs for her love.
She asks why she should love him.
He replies that even though he’s lost all his memories, he still remembers her. This shows his love for her.
Sam opens the door, and they get back together. She says they’re going to live happily ever after, just like the characters in the movie.
She then comes back in, possibly after making love, closes the door, and the title card “A film by K” appears.
This is K’s film.
Let’s Now Explore, What is Reality?
After her breakup, Sam seeks help from a psychiatrist to cope with her emotional distress, and she starts improving with treatment.
During her visit to the doctor, bird tattoos are visible on her neck (in the present or real). These bird tattoos might serve as symbolic keys, resembling a love bite, possibly representing the painful remnants of love and memory.
This tattoo plays a pivotal role in this film. It helps us distinguish between the real and imaginary worlds (or events from K’s scripts) in the film.
Let’s Pick Some More Hints
On reaching home and starting to clean, the tattoo on Sam’s neck is visible.
When she picks up the ashtray, it reminds her of the couple’s habit of smoking together after making love.
While Sam is holding the ash tray, you can see that cactus in the background is dry. But, when she see K’s sister, cactus is green. Sam’s hallucinations are vivid and colourful.
She begins to hallucinate again. K’s sister’s arrival and the entire hospital sequence seem copied from the script. While Sam converses with K’s sister or during her time at the hospital, her tattoos are not visible.
While searching for toilet paper, we see tablets on the shelf, but she doesn’t use them. Sam starts to hallucinate the entire script (written by K) as her own memories or present experiences.
In the climax, when they meet for the last time at the bar, Sam’s tattoo is initially not visible, which suggests it’s a hallucination influenced by the script.
And this scene is there in the script or K already discussed this with Sam (So first part of the meeting is a hallucination).
From Hallucination to Painful Reality(In the Climax)
But when she says, “We won’t meet again; I came to give you back the script,” her tattoo becomes visible, suggesting that the event actually occurred in their real lives. So, this is her real memory. This might have been there last meet and after this K might have met with an accident.
or else, That painful breakup scene in the script was their last meet and here nobody is there opposite to Sam, and she is hallucinating K is there oposite to her and leaving the script saying “This was one last thing I had kept in your memory”.
To make it more concrete, she is raising glass and leaving the table by keeping 500 rupees( can be going Dutch as well). There are no dialogues from K, once the tattoo appears. It’s a hallucination, she is leaving the script on empty table.
Even those orange lights are some hint, you can see the shades of orange in all her hallucinations.
K is Dead!!
Following that painful break-up, K might have met with an accident and slipped into a coma or might have died. Why?
In the subsequent scene, Sam’s tattoo is visible, and she is walking back home with a clear sky. The doctor calls her and warns her about hallucinations. She mentions a journal written by Sam (which contains what we’ve seen as hallucinations, which she might have written in reality as well).
When Sam mentions meeting K, the doctor reacts with surprise, uttering “K?” in a tone indicating impossibility. Hence, K might be dead or incapable of meeting Sam. The doctor shows shock when Sam mentions rain, suggesting there is actually no rain.
In the next scene, Sam is shown talking to K at their home, and it’s raining. It’s a hallucination.
There’s a dialogue from Sam: “We are going to be like those characters in the movie, we are going to live happily ever after from here.“
However, after this, Sam comes and closes the door. Her tattoos are visible; it’s actually real. She hallucinates that K is with her and sleeping inside. She returns to her loop which ends happily. The door closes. She is going to live like that.
Now doctor (In the film) is the only one who knows K is dead or what happened to him other than Sam. If you look closely, you can see that Doctor and Josya are same.
Ninaivo Oru Paravai: Ending Explained
I’ve another theory about the break-up scenes in the film.
I think Sam has been through a similar experience before, and the Psychiatrist helped her escape this cycle.
In the first break-up scene, Sam walks from the left to the right of the screen. But in the second break-up, which is more painful, she walks from right to left, with an infinity loop showing in the background.
It’s possible that Sam might have experienced the entire events again and again as hallucinations, undergoing the same series of pain and happiness.
Even the song’s lyrics playing in the background highlight this: “Will time stagnate at anyone’s behest?” and “Fish that swims in the mirage.” (song after their second break-up scene)
Like a pendulum, Sam oscillates from left to right and right to left through her memories (her real memories might be).
After her appointment with the psychiatrist, we observe her returning home and revisiting the pain while gathering objects linked to her memories of K.
And when she picks up the ash tray, she starts hallucinating again. At this point, she is disrupting the cycle, striving to create a happier ending.
She hallucinates about K’s sister and her meetings with K. She finds a solution, just like in the movie; she hallucinates and reunites with K on that rainy night.
A song plays in the background while she stores the memories (notes) in the jar: “Till the summer skies burst, and rain pours forth, will your eternal suffering persist.”
In that rainy night, she is seeding a happy ending for that eternal suffering.
One Last Theory
Let’s shift our perspective by 180 degrees and consider that the actual director or writer could be Sam, not K.
In real, Sam is the one who wrote the script, drawing from her own memories. She wrote the script and in the end she left is at the bar assuming K is there and it’s his script (Like in her movie script, in the present she is living like the chaarcter in the movie, so she believes, K wrote the script).
The doctor has been working to erase K from her mind. It’s no coincidence that Josya in her script ( who predict the break-up or being a reason for a rift in their relation) and the doctor bear a striking resemblance. There’s even a scene where the doctor discusses Sam’s journal, reinforcing the idea that Sam is the writer.
If you observe closely, the notes written by Sam and the notes on the script have the same handwriting. Look at the ‘S’ written on notes and script. But the notes on the toilet paper, which were written by K, are in a different handwriting.The notes written by K on the toilet paper display a distinct handwriting style
This all reminds me of Kim Ki Duk’s movie ‘3 Iron.’ In the end, the hero returns to the heroine’s house and lives there unnoticed by the heroine’s husband. It implies that three people are living in the house, but the husband is unaware. This raises the question: “Is the world we live in reality or a dream?“
In a similar situation, K might be living with Sam, but no one else knows. It’s hard to discern the reality.
Thiagaraja Kumaraja made this movie as a distorted jigsaw puzzle, by watching it multiple times, you will be able to fix it in order. But he removed one piece from the jigsaw: “Why They Broke Up?” this is the trigger to ACT 2 of the movie ( or even K’s script).
Maybe there might be more clues to reveal that #WhatHappened moment. Please share as a comment if you find any.
We’ve all heard of actor Vikram, the star who has won hearts with his versatile performances.
Though he born in Film Family, why he couldn’t succeed initially?
Why he couldn’t become a superstar though Rajanaikanth predicted the same?
But do you know how he made it to the top, against all the odds?
Vikram’s journey to stardom is a tale of grit, determination, and hard work that is sure to inspire and thrill you.
The Inspiring Journey of Actor Vikram
Born into a family connected to the film industry, his father’s failed career made it hard for him to break in. His father was a producer, his maternal uncle was director-actor(Thiagarajan), his cousin was top-star Prashanth.
But he didn’t get much support from his maternal family. Despite these setbacks, Vikram pursued his dream of becoming an actor and caught the attention of directors as a model.
He also learned karate (his karate classmate Besant Ravi, later turned out to be a sidekick villain in films) and dance to improve his skills.
Overcoming Challenges: Vikram’s Early Struggles in the Film Industry
Although Vikram demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication, his 1990s acting career was characterized by setbacks.
Vikram’s debut movie, En Kadhal Kanmani, premiered in 1990. Over the course of his first 15 films, 11 were box office disappointments, with Ullasam being the lone average performer.
Vikram’s luck improved when Amitabh Bachchan produced Ullasam, starring Ajith and Maheswari as the lead pair. Initially, the filmmakers had intended to cast Arun Vijay in a co-lead role, but he was not interested in dual-hero projects and that led to Vikram’s signing instead.
This opportunity allowed Vikram to work on smaller film projects.
However, his luck was short-lived, and he soon found himself taking on minor roles in Malayalam and Telugu cinema.
To make ends meet, Vikram even resorted to dubbing for other actors, such as Prabhu Deva and Ajith. Despite these challenges, Vikram remained steadfast in his determination to achieve success.
Actor Vikram to Chiyaan Vikram
Actor Vikram’s cousin Prashanth was already a top star, but they didn’t communicate with each other. Fortunately, luck favored Vikram once more in 1997, as it had during Ullasam.
Assistant director of Balu Mahendra, Bala, penned an unusual romantic script titled “Sethu” (originally “Akhilan”), inspired by his classmate’s story.
First, Bala offered the leading role to his housemate Vignesh, who declined. Next, actor J.D. Chakravarthy was approached, but he was unavailable due to another commitment. Murali was also considered but ultimately did not join the project. In 1997, Bala finally offered the role of Sethu to Vikram, who was struggling at the time.
Vikram believed that Sethu would be his big break. He declined smaller roles and took a risk.
To prepare for his character, he shaved his head, lost 21 kilograms to become half his size, grew his nails, and spent hours in the sun to darken his skin as the script required. Vikram lived on fruit juice for six months and maintained his appearance with a minimal diet.
Regrettably, Sethu encountered financial obstacles and was stalled due to Bala’s perfectionism and rustic approach to coworkers.
Director Ameer, Bala’s assistant at the time, implored various producers to invest in the film. Even after post-production, the film had difficulty finding a distributor, and only after 67 screenings did it secure a buyer. Most rejected the film due to its tragic ending.
Bala and Vikram used funds from Vikram’s wife, Shailaja, to organize press previews. Despite favorable reviews, no one showed interest in buying the film, leaving it completed but unreleased.
Ultimately, the film premiered on December 10, 1999, with a single afternoon showing in a B- Class theater. Thanks to word-of-mouth publicity, the film ran for over 100 days in multiple Chennai theaters.
As a result, Vikram was swarmed by fans on the streets. Sethu’s blockbuster success proved that Vikram’s dedication and faith had paid off. Following Sethu’s success, Vikram added the prefix “Chiyaan” to his screen name.
The Rise of Chiyaan Vikram: Success with Saamy and Anniyan
Vikram’s success didn’t come easily, and it wasn’t everlasting. After Sethu, Saamy elevated Vikram’s career. The film broke box office records in Tamil Nadu, surpassing Rajnikanth’s highest-grossing movie, Padayapa.
After watching Saamy, Rajnikanth himself predicted that Vikram would become the next superstar. Saamy remained Tamil Nadu’s highest-grossing film until 2005 when Anniyan broke records across South India.
The Two Critical Errors in Vikram’s Career
Although Vikram didn’t have as many fans as Vijay or Ajith, he dominated the far more extensive family audience, which comprised 65% of weekend watchers back then.
However, he made two critical errors in his career after 2005:
First, he didn’t focus much on mass masala films, while Ajith and Vijay pursued a mix of scripts.
Ajith delivered big hits like Dheena, Citizen, Villain, Attagasam, Varalaru, and Billa, which generated substantial profits.
Ajith’s flops included Red, Raja, Anjaneya, Jana, Ji, Tirupathi, and Aalwar.
As you can see, with six hits and seven flops, Ajith managed to survive by the skin of his teeth, till the release of Mankatha.
Vijay delivered average or hits during this period, including Tirumalai, Tirupachi, Bagavathi and blockbusters like Ghilli and Pokkiri.
Vijay’s flops during this period were Azhagiya Tamil Magan, Aathi, Udhaya and Sachein.
With four hits and only four flops during this period, Vijay thrived and managed to become one of the first choices for producers and distributers.
Secondly, He invested too much time in films like I (and even Robot) and Raavanan, causing him to miss out on many films, for example Ratsasan. The good decision is he rejected the villain role in Pushpa.
Similarly, after the collapse of Kanthasamy, he chose stereotypical projects or ordinary plots, such as Rajapattai, Thandavanam, Sketch, or 10 Endrathakulla. Out of this only Thandavam could manage some positive reviews.
Chiyaan Vikram: Versatile with No Haters
After 2010, his only decent hits were Daiva Thirumagal and Iru Mugan.
Vikram encountered numerous challenges, including financial struggles, small role offers, and missed opportunities with renowned filmmakers.
Yet, even during those difficult times, he trusted his chosen path and pushed himself to improve. Despite setbacks, his performances in films like Saamy, Anniyan, and Bheema solidified his position in the industry as a versatile actor.
Vikram’s journey exemplifies grit, determination, and perseverance. His performances, transparency, and dedication to his profession continue to inspire us.
While many actors have foreign accounts, Vikram still uses his SBI account at the Besant Nagar Branch for transactions. He is a man of honesty and simplicity.
Actor Vikram’s Latest Movies: High Hopes for Thangalan and Dhruva Natchathiram
Even with numerous box office failures in recent years, actor Vikram remains a beloved figure in the Tamil film industry. This could be attributed to the audience’s admiration for his dedication to his roles and passion for cinema.
In both successful and unsuccessful films, Vikram’s enthusiasm and commitment are evident, garnering the respect and admiration of fans, including myself.
We have high expectations for his upcoming releases, such as Pa. Ranjith’s Thangalan and GVM’s Dhruva Natchathiram.
With Maniratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan 2 (PS-2) releasing tomorrow, we’ll witness the star Vikram shining once more as Aditya Karikalan, showcasing his capabilities to the world.
As the saying goes, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Vikram’s passion for his craft sets him apart, making him a true underdog hero in the film industry.