There it is…

Last Saturday I took my kids to watch Les Miserables. The younger two weren’t keen to watch a musical.but I convinced them that they won’t regret it.  ( and a bit of bribe thrown in for good measure..popcorn for each..Normally I don’t buy popcorn because the cost of popcorn + drink is more than the cost of the ticket!)

Like I promised, my children didn’t regret watching Les Miserables. They loved it.

They talked and talked and talked about Hugh Jackman’s and Anne Hathaway’s acting on the drive back home. And I told them how important it is to not to have preconceived notions.. If they didn’t come for the movie because they thought musicals are boring, they would have missed out on a great movie. It would be their loss, no one else’s.

In the past few months we have seen a lot more Indians in Brisbane than before and I have noticed that my kids don’t even react when they see an Indian child of their age. Every time I see a lady wearing saree, I feel a sense of belonging,that we,the lady in saree and I share a common bond, even though I haven’t worn a saree for ages, the bond is still there, it will always be there. I constantly worry about my children’s sense of belonging.  There was an episode in Akkara Kazhchakal, where the father wants to introduce the children to Kerala, by getting Mallu TV channels. I too felt that it is my duty to introduce my cultural background to my children. I thought the easiest way would be to watch something in Malayalam.

I refuse to have a satellite TV and the only option for me to watch something in Malayalam in on Youtube. The mallu association here often arranges screening of mallu movies in the local theater. My shorts wearing, english speaking kids would stick out like a sore thumb among the pious, gentle, fully clothed mallu kids. I refuse to humiliate my children.

Being the ever resourceful mother that I am, I told my children that we are going to watch a mallu movie on youtube. .

On Sunday, we had early dinner and I warned my children, Mallu movies are very long, there are songs and dance etc like les misarables ( what a crock eh??). I made popcorn and being the idiot that I am, without reading the review, I chose to watch Casanovva..purely because Mohan Lal was acting in it.

“Mom, were those guys attempting to do PK ( Parkour)?” “Fail” said my son.

“who in the world would have an affair with this old guy?” “disgusting” said Yaya.

“Is he mallu or Italian? ( after the graveyard scene where mohanlal kisses the old italian lady), but mom you told me this is Mallu movie, I am confused said my youngest.

So am I..not just confused, I feel betrayed.

In the past few weeks, my FB wall page has been flooded with posts about respecting our woman..Everyone talks about Indian culture and how we should teach our children to respect our women.. And here we have a middle aged hero..portraying himself as a  womaniser and suggesting that woman are to be used and discarded..and a female idiot who fall in love because the boss has commanded!

I was trying to teach my children not to be prejudicial and then ended up  having to explain to them that what they saw in the mallu movie is not real, that is not India and that isn’t how it works…Yet, I didn’t have to tell my children that Les Miserables was not real or those things never happened during French Revolution ! How bizarre..




9 thoughts on “There it is…

  1. I think you choose the wrong movie. There are lots of good Malayalam movies along with these totally usless ones. If had chosen grand master instead of Casanova –. Casanova is one of the worst movies I have seen. I took my kids to watch English Vinglish recently, they did not want to go, but loved it in the end. So may be check the reviews next time.

    • Reena Every actor and every director has a responsibility to tell a story in a way it should be told..I assumed that a senior actor would know better! I should have read the fault entirely..

  2. LOL! You chose the worst movie ever. But yeah, not that there are so many good mallu movies floating around these days.
    Now that I have reconciled with the fact that I maybe a NRI/ NORK for much longer than I anticipated, I have this nagging question every time you talk about the mallu bias against shorts and modern clothes. I am really not part of any mallu org’s because I hate the politics- but on the rare occassions I do go, I do see kids coming in modern clothing and nobody really flinches. (or atleast I think so). Are people still bothered about how and what you wear even in a foreign country, even in this day and age?? Have you observed it everywhere? Im asking only because I do want to get more involved to get that sense of belonging (dont we all?)- but dont want to be judged on what I choose to wear.

    • Jina, one of Yaya’s classmate is Indian. She smuggles short skirts to school and change her outfits before school starts each day. Her mother is a well known professional with a masters degree and a Phd, who is on a mission to raise a traditional Indian girl in Australia. I get the ‘look’ every time I go out.Indian associations are the custodains of Indian culture..I am yet to see an association where a woman is not judged for what she chose to wear.

      • I always thought they wear traditional wear at these association do’s because thats the only chance they get to wear traditional stuff.
        I honestly think (or maybe its wishful thinking)-things are changing. A lot of my friends and myself in here and in India wear shorts, capris, tanks, (so-called revealing tops), and other similar items. At least outside of India, I would have imagined these judgers of clothing and custodians of Indian culture would be in the minorities these days. Oh well–associations are out for me then..:P.

        P.S. I was talking in context of a foreign country and metros in India. I would be frowned upon if I wear shorts in my native. Heck, I was frowned upon when I pierced my nose when I was 14 (How could a Christian pierce her nose? The horror of horrors!!..:P)

  3. Haha…of all the chose this one…!!!there wee many watchable movies in the last 2-3 years..Salt&Pepper, Traffic, Ustad Hotel etc…

    • Sophia: It was such a stupid thing to do. Mohan Lal was the next big thing after sliced bread when I was doing my pre degree 25 years ago. at least I though so. I was watching the movie with my oldest child who is 15 and trying to tell her that this dude was such a big influence in my younger days…was really a sad thing to do.

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