Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sargam - A 1992 Movie Review

This is a malayalam movie directed by Hariharan. Probably everyone in Kerala would have watched this many times. I got a chance to watch this movie yesterday.

Brilliant make - a nice mix of psychology and music.

I could identify, Vineeth, Renuka, Thilagan, and Nedumudi Venu in the movie. I wouldnt know the rest of the stars but I must say the movie has been done very well and is set in the late seventies or so it seems. Or may be the nineties itself. I would not know such a set up because I grew up in Tamil Nadu.

The whole movie has been shot in a bungalow of old times. They call it Kovilagam which seems to mean Temple. I assume that the ancestors of this family had once been very rich and provided for the families working for them and lived a kingly life with great taste towards traditional arts. The family in the movie seems to be richer as well and did have regards for arts, especially music.

Kuttan Thamburan had epilepsy and his close pal, Hari was around right from childhood to take care of him during every fit of the attack. They grow up almost like brothers. All medications prove useless and the final resort was to get him married to one of kuttan's uncle's daughter Thangamani, per the advice of the doctor (Vaidhyar) in the village. This girl and Hari were in love, but because they were bound by the affection for Kuttan Thamburan's mother Subhadra, Hari and Thangamani had to give up their love. Hari becomes very busy with his world of music and becomes a world famous in six years time. He left the village on the day of Kuttan Thamburan's wedding.

Kuttan Thamburan comes to know of his wife's love for Hari and that the whole family had known about this and still gone ahead with the marriage made him angry. He misses Hari around a lot and then with all search for Hari proving useless, Kuttan Thamburan ended his life the day after the wedding. Thangamani becomes paralysed at the sight of the shocking scene of Kuttan Thamburan's death.

Hari comes back to visit Subhadra six years later. That is when he comes to know the story of all that happened after he left Kovilagam. The once cheerful and bubbly girl Thangamani, a wonderful singer and Veena artist is presently paralysed and speech deprived as well. Hari's shock knows no bounds. Subhadra was upset all the while and Hari gave her support and she completed grieving over her son and also spoke out her mind of the guilty feeling in her; that one wrong decision of marriage ruined the entire Kovilagam.

Hari's music programmes were committed all over the world and when he decided to leave, he comes to meet Subhadra. She breathed her last when Hari sang a lovely song. The memories of the past came flooding to Thangamani's mind as she heard the song and slowly her speech came back.

The story of Sargam ends there, giving us leads to believe that Subhadra died after ensuring that finally Thangamani is in the right hands. Hari probably remarried and the great musician couple probably lived on to contribute to the music world,making their village proud.

The story also had another silent artist, who was in love with Hari. It was her big loss but it was never exaggerated, and leading us to believe that you dont always get what you want. But you generally have to accept what happens because what happens is per the norm of life.

The story has a lot of wonderful songs, by Jesudas. This movie is a muscial treat.

As for psychology, we see that Hari's father, a music teacher never really took care to discover the hidden music talent in his own son. He always wanted Hari to study which he was not really interested in. Hari's dad used to hate the times that Hari and Kuttan Thamburan spent together.

Thamburati Shubadra, loved Hari as her own son, but when it came to getting her son's health alright, she didnt think about what Hari and Thangamani would be going through to give up their love. The biggest mistake she made was the root cause of the end of Kovilagam.

Hari's sister discovered a girl's love for Hari and promised her just like that about marriage to Hari, instilling the love strong. No one asked Hari's view. If they had, this girl would not have had to wait for six years to know that Hari loved Thangamani.

Kuttan Thamburan's father's moral science was not very clear. He never had father's love ever. No one bothered to even feel what he must be going through at the times of epilepsy and the emotional outbursts that followed. They only worsened his illness to the incurable state. He discloses that he always felt unnecessary in this world especially to Kovilagam and Hari was the only perso who probably loved him. At least that was what the family made him believe.

Hari lost his mother as soon as he was born and grew up with his father and sister. So Thamburati Subadhra's motherly love kept him attracted to the house which Hari's dad never understood ever.

Thangamani lost her dad and was living with her mother in Kovilagam. Her affection for Hari soon grew into love and because she and her mom were in the tharavadu and noone else would decide to give their daughter's hand in marriage to Kuttan Thamburan, with no other support, Thangamani was forced to marry Thamburan. Had there been someone to speak for her she wouldnt have had to go through the agony.

Now, all these and many more of psychology is very evident in the movie. It seems that life is a mix of circumstances which bring experiences, which then develop into psychology and then what happens to you is mostly based on this psychology.

It is a very ordinary movie, with a different story line, strong direction sense, great choice of artists, good acting, precise characterization, heavenly music and absolute no-nonsense scenes.

If you are watching this movie to see a way to laugh or if you are under 25, then Sargam is not the right movie. But, if you are looking for a well directed movie, without tears, but with good emotions and great music, and if you want to learn to understand better, then Sargam is a great watch.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On silence and quietness

Being silent and Being quiet are not the same.

Absence of Noise is Quietness.
Presence of Peace in the midst of noise is Silence.

Being quiet resolves disputes.
Being silent never brings up disputes.

Being quiet can mean acceptance.
Being silent can mean forgiveness or patience.

Being quiet all the time can cause problems to be promoted from trivial to disastrous.
Being silent all the time can cause problems to be demoted from disastrous to trivial.

They said, Speech is Silver, Silence is Golden.. Quietness didn't find a place in the proverb.

So, speak when you must, with Silence as the goal in your mind.

Speak to make peace.
Speak to appreciate.
Speak to love.
Speak to thank.
Speak to care.
Speak to reduce stress.
Speak to have fun.
Speak to communicate.
Speak to emote.

In all these instances your mental silence will only improve.

In examination halls and temples quietness will improve your focus. Temples and examination halls should revise their sign boards as 'Silence and Quietness please'.

In hospitals and places of condolences quietness will give a feeling of having understood someone's pain.

When you know you are talking to someone who is not in the right frame of mind to understand, quietness helps.

In all other instances, silence helps but not quietness. Being quiet all the time, only increases the noise in your head. There is really no point in being quiet all the time with a lot of turbulent thoughts running inside your mind making your mind a very noisy market with absolutely zero peace quotient. So, talk it out to improve your silence quotient and hence the peace quotient.

Silence is all about the intangible mind, while quietness is all about the tangible noise.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nrityanjali's Sharanarpitam - Wonderful

Thursday evening was grand for us. I was very excited to have an invitation for a Bharatanatyam dance performance of my friend's daughter. I had learnt the art as a child and I now know to appreciate Bharatanatyam. I can sit for hours together watching dance performances.

So, off we went to this place called Al Wadi Al Khabir and struggled to find a parking space outside the venue, Crystal Suites. Inside, there was an event manager who directed us to the place and our friends came out of the hall with two passes. The effect inside the hall was theatrical and the first performance of the children had begun.

The programme started with a lot of Shlokhas sung on various Hindu Gods and Godesses. All the children who took part in this dance were under seven years of age. The stage was colorful and the lighting was perfect. I liked the grace, the style, the ease and the uniformity with which the children did their performance. It gave the best first impression on the whole programme.

We decided not to sit and look at the heads of people in front of us, so took the farthest corner of the hall from where we could see every move of every student on stage without any hindrance. Neither of us is very tall, so this standee state was the best decision that we took that evening. The hall was brimming with friends and parents of the children peforming on the stage. I stopped for a second, wished sincerely that these children get to perform on Chennai stage where the hall will have at least three to four times the crowd I saw in the 300 seater ball room at Crystal Suites.

In Chennai, all the children can wear natural Jasmine flowers which are rare find in Muscat. So, for this programme, all the little heads were adorned with artificial flowers which beat the real ones in their carefully woven strands. The importance of South Indian attire which almost always includes flowers on children and women's hair-do made me smile with pride. Oh yes, I am a super-proud Tamilian who loves Jasmine flowers and South Indian traditions.

I am used to seeing the traditional dance dresses which have a silk finish, contrast borders, pyjamas with frilled pleats and frilled blouses for children. The seasoned and age-wise senior dancers wear a silk saree styled the same way. Now, for this programme, I was expecting something like that on stage. But it turned out that the dress sense was different, new, and modern without compromising on the traditional look. Most of the children had a Salwar Kameez (which they can use for any function later) designed to look like the traditional dance attire. The color choice and the designing was over and beyond anyone's expectation there.

The rest of the programme had the famous En Pallikondeeraiya with a group of students conveying the meaning of the song in as best a manner as could be possible. Then there was the highlight of the day where a group of eight students danced to the rhythm of a song on Mata Durga Devi. If I were to ask a once more, I would definitely ask for this song. It was about the Godess Durga Devi, the all-powerful Goddess in India.

I loved the Abhyasam where a group of dancers showcased what they do each day in their dance classes. It had a few basic dance steps that the children are taught early on in dance sessions. These steps help to keep focus on the Jathi, Thala and the Mudras later on.

There was a Bharatiyar song which was centered around the rain and how people rejoice. Was wondering when was the last time any one us would have really danced in rain. Well, we talk about umbrellas and rain coats and staying indoors because we would fall ill.. In effect forget that rain is a wonderful gift.. Must be farmers to know what rain means really. The dance was rejuvenating to the mind and the colors of the dresses and the stage was a treat to the eyes.

The voice that sang for the whole programme and the team that supported the excellent vocalists is worth a mention. The Nrityanjali group felicitated all of the Orchestra and the chief guest addressed the audience. The last programme was that of the Guruji. Smt. Premila Ramesh herself. We could not stay for the programme, but then I am sure it would have been the highlight anyway. Her students' performance spoke volumes about the teacher's skillset. We missed it but had to leave.

You must remember that this performance is in Muscat, Oman, far far away from India and in this place to stage a wonderful dance performance in a close to traditional way is not an easy task and all appreciations to Nrityanjali's dance teacher, Smt. Premila Ramesh who along with her team of well wishers and students has made this show a grand success.

Dance - always a wonderful energizer. I wished many times during the programme to dance right where I was, but then remembered I was in a huge crowd and can't do that. If you ask me, any good dance performance must make you also dance to the tune. I saw such a performance day before yesterday, one that will remain in my mind for many years to come.

And the best part of Thursday was that it gave me a chance to know that my husband likes the art too and ofcourse is a good sign that says, I can attend many dance programmes in future.

Nrityanjali's Sharanarpitam - A wonderful experience. All thanks to my friends who invited us for the programme, else watching a traditional and professional dance programme in Muscat, was something that I never even imagined.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Cooking and healing touch!!!

I was not feeling too well yesterday and over the last few days. It was my husband's birthday yesterday and I wanted to feel good. Now, I didn't know that all it takes to change from a 'not-too-well' state to 'feel-better' or 'doing-good' is just that one voice in my head which said: Just get up and get going... Make some nice special meal for dinner and of course take rest after you are done. After all, it is his special day and do not break his day's cheer!!!!

I do not know even as I write this post as to how I actually worked myself up to make a grand dinner ( Okay, not so grand, but yes a different dinner I must say )

On the menu last night we had:

Badam Kheer
Masala Vada
Olan ( Kerala dish)
Mango Sambhar
Tomato Rasam
Capsicum curry
Moru Molagai or fried chillies

We had a good dinner and it was only after I put away the dishes and cleared the table that my feeling of 'not-well' really propped up again.. Can cooking be connected to a healing touch??!!!??

Wondering if I would have mustered energy for a normal meal had it not been my husband's birthday yesterday. It just took a wonderful meal to make me feel less ill and this morning I am almost fine I would say. Once again proven fact that it is all in the mind!!!!

Saturday, May 07, 2011


Today, I woke up toa reasonably good start as compared to the last few days. Still, somewhere deep down I knew that I am not what I usually am.

Discovered that blessings are always around when I switched on my computer. There were emails to make my mood better, some old friends came online after many months just today, and I did receive some emails from people after a long time. Also read some interesting blog posts.

Now, all these would have happened many times in my life, but somehow today I realized that all of these are blessings that have been in my life over the years and never realized as much as I did today.

Am much better spirited person now.

We often do not know how blessed we are until a moment comes when we have to put up with something to realize how much blessed we are.

I remember this verse from school : I thank the Lord that I've been Blessed; With more than my share of happiness. Its probably just that I never bothered to realize the gift of a simple email, a chat conversation, a forward, a quotation, or being surrounded by nice people all these days.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Listening and understanding are two different things!!!!

I have often thought it is easy to understand someone else. But then realized in one important and striking moment today that actually it is not easy to understand anyone at all. All the times that we have claimed to have understood someone were probably because we were not involved in the scene as much as them.

They say, everything is funny as long as it happens to someone else...

Another saying : Head ache and Stomach ache can be understood only if you face it yourself at least once.

It only means that unless the other person is also in the same boat as you or has been there before and done that before or been through it before, just like your situation only then it is possible to understand.

The other times that we claim we understand, we are just empathizing with the person's situation and may be give a lending ear to the other person's thoughts and emotions. But we really do not know what all must be going through someone's head when they say what they say!!!

This is a realization that struck me as a bright lightening blow a few hours ago.

The next time when I want to say I understand, I probably will correct the same as I can listen.. That is the best that I can do for someone in need. After the initial surge of emotions subside may be I can ask if there is anything I can do for them....

I recall one such time when my friend said, "No, you don't understand" and I was super upset... but now I know it is true that no one can really understand anyone else unless they have traveled the same path before.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Splash on Judgement

Lets reserve judgment to managerial decisions and trial court rooms; Keep personal and social circle out of this.

Your judgement need not be correct; Often it is just an assumption.

If someone says something, it is expected that you listen, but it is definitely not mandatory to judge them by what they say.

Almost always, you are judged by what you say, what you wear, what you do, but rarely by what you are. So dont worry about any incorrect judgement.

Judgements are like statistics; they are just a broad scale to go by, but they are not to be completely trusted.

Do not judge a person, but definitely judge his actions. That way, even if your judgement is incorrect, you still won't hate the person.

Everyone has a right to give opinions, but often these opinions get stated as judgements. Know the difference between the two!!! Opinion is a view point, Judgement is a conclusion with no ammendment. Don't hesitate to give your opinion but ensure you think twice before you make it sound like a judgement.

You always judge others based on yourself or your thoughts - own or acquired. So any incorrect judgement may mean that you or your thoughts are flawed.

Judgements in courts take all efforts to prove the charge for a reason. Unless you are in such a role, why judge?

If you must judge, keep your thoughts about it yourself. Do not force your judgement on someone else.

Who are you to judge someone? Why are you judging anyway? Keep your views but throw away your judgements. Remember, You are not the SUPREME.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

On Men and Women

Men are Men and can be ridiculous; Women are Women and can be stupid!!!

Men can follow world news much easier than what is happening in their homes; Women dont care much about who is playing today's cricket match but it is very important for them to know who is the designer for the next dress in display in a shop.

Men are generally the happiest when left alone; Women are generally the crankiest when left alone.

Men love to be carelessly dressed; Women love to look carelessly dressed, but would have spent hours together carefully on the carelessness.

Men talk less; Women can never keep quiet; even the quietest woman is silently talking to herself.

Men act like they dont love gossips, but then news channels are in business only because of them; Women don't act, they love gossips but don't love news channels anyway.

Men cannot sit and read for a reason women can never understand - Books make you listen to an idea; Men like to listen only to themselves. If the home is lucky, then they sometimes listen to the women at home - mother, sister, wife, and daughter.

Women like to behave as if they do not want to be told what to do.. But honestly, they care for suggestions.

Men are too practical at times for women to manage; Women are too sentimental at times for men to manage.

With so many differences and so many more that were, are and would be, wonder how Men and Women balance together on the same scale on all walks of life!!!!


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...