Of More Love or Half of It

The sixth novel from Chetan Bhagat has its movie adaptation all set to release on 19th of May 2017, and the social media has been talking about it all the time. What it has done to our world is to provide the idea of a “half girlfriend”, or “half relationship”, which is expected to become an even more common term with the release of the movie starring Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. Even though the term feels new, the basic idea of being more than friends, but not a girlfriend is not something new in an Indian scenario with the lack of clarity over the relationships between boys and girls.

It is even possible with the love stories that stand the test of time, as the same begins as something insignificant, becomes a relationship which can’t be named, and then goes on to become something more interesting. It is during this phase during which it becomes something that can’t be named, that we have the case of a half relationship, and it was always there with no name attributed to it. I remember more than one case with such a situation, related to friends, cousins, neighbours and from parts of those tales from schools and colleges which are told by someone we know.

Long ago, there were these two people, this boy and girl who competed for the first rank in the class. These two have been so strong with the evil subjects like Mathematics that one case of full marks in it pushed me directly to the third. I had always found them united in Mathematics, a quality which they had carried over to the higher classes. For me, Mathematics was a dangerous thing, and being united in it felt strange; there was no Romeo and Juliet in Mathematics, I had thought. But the way in which they competed and helped each other in the subject meant that they were so good in the subject and complimented one another.

I wished that I could score better in the languages, but the highest one could score for English was about five marks less than hundred, and a higher level of marks was not yet invented for Malayalam – my Hindi was only at the developing stage with new Bollywood movies being watched; so they held the top two positions for very long. By the time we were about to leave the school, all the students in the class were certain that there was something between them, a force which couldn’t be named, as the term “half relationship” was not invented yet – but the news just spread across the school, and everyone seemed to be confident that they were more than just friends.

Both of them found it quite easy to deny the same, and the girl could actually deny such an allegation with more ease – maybe the boy would have accepted it as truth if forced to, but the exams were approaching quickly and people went on with it. The two possible half lovers were not seen together much after that though, and some other girl who had half love for Physics and Chemistry had topped the class. There was not much heard about the Mathematics couple after that, and they finished further down in the ranks; most people blamed it on the tough Mathematics paper and the rest on a half relationship which was rumoured to be there.

Then, many years later, one day, while having Vegetable Puffs and Blackcurrant Shake at Navya Bakers which has been my favourite bakers for quite some time, someone called me by my name. The stranger told me that I hadn’t changed a bit from school, and I said to him that it is because I had shaved, and otherwise he would have to search for my face inside the beard. I also told him that whoever he is, has really changed, and I won’t be recognizing him without help. He introduced himself with a Mathematics problem, and even though I wanted to run away with the evil subject beginning to attacking me again, recognized him easily.

He was talking a lot about balancing the equation, and when the girl with him joined the conversation, I understood the fact – the Mathematical couple was together again; what was a half a relationship had become full in marriage. Well, that would solve their life’s equations with ease, I thought. They had found each other again while doing MTech again, and with her repeating for engineering twice, he had two extra years to get settled in life and ask for her and in marriage; the community and religion being the same, and the half equation had become full. I ordered one pista shake as his treat and wished them best of luck, and hoped that all which were half, would become full again – half girlfriend to full girlfriend, half lover to full lover, and all things finally complete with marriage. Even now, when I see the equations of Mathematics, I remember two special equations which went on to solve the problem themselves.

I am sharing a Half relationship story at BlogAdda in association with #HalfGirlfriend.

TeNy

Half and Quarter Relationships

The college days have so many things happening out there. Well, it is the nature of the campus to keep something or the other happening all the time, ensuring that there is no dull moment. There are so many stories that the classrooms, the trees and even the library and the canteen will have to tell. Some people try hard to create something, and sometimes these stories just take birth out of nowhere. By the end of your time at the college, you think that you have heard and witnessed them all, but that is neither end or the beginning of the end, as the tales shall continue.

The stories of girls who elope with someone working at the canteen, the driver of the auto-rickshaw bringing vegetables to the canteen, or the security guard might come quite natural, but that would make the tale that of full girlfriends and wives. There are also so many love stories that learning about the love stories in just one department will need a lot of energy and concentration. A very few get married later, and the rest will have love disappearing. Then there are those half relationships – they should considered a separate section, and could be part of a deeper study, and even between them, there are so many sub-sections.

Among all the half girlfriends, let us focus on one, which can be termed as a quarter relationship at times, but it more half, if we join the two quarters together. It never really reached the three quarters, and so we can take it as the half relationship. It was those times when I considered myself too good to fall in love, and it was a reputation that I wanted to maintain, being on good terms with everyone, with the students, teachers, books, and even those trees which gave some nice shades to sit under them. There were quiz programmes, seminars and the rest, but for some others, there were more to do which included not much of these mentioned.

There were my juniors whom I had met due to a seminar being conducted under our department – otherwise, I was not that much into meeting new people unless they were characters part of the curriculum. They were the kind of people whom you would see everywhere, and they were also the type that you would only see together. They were people transformed into siamese twins by whatever was termed as love by every common student that was witness to this togetherness. The list of places which they were only seen with each other and nobody else was getting longer.

I also met them together, on the steps, and so not inside the building or outside it. I had already seen them multiple times in the canteen, but as I had dedicated that time to my special cup of tea, it never counted. As I approached to meet them, they increased the distance between them by a few centimeters, and they introduced each other as random classmates working together for the seminar. In a seminar with Shakespeare related topics including Romeo and Juliet, they were going to procrastinate things like in Hamlet, and seemed to be in the half relationship in a state of “to be or not to be”.

I think that they were pretty much confident about where this was heading, and they always had the backup plan, to deny that this was ever going to proceed further than a half relationship. It was more like taking the safe way out, as even though they were united with one religion, they were divided by community. They were caught in between, and being at the safe zone meant being in the half relationship. The half girlfriend proved to be the right choice for him with only a few days to go before the classes ended, project and exams followed, and they went separate ways.

Years have passed now, and maybe they have realized that having a half girlfriend or half boyfriend was not the way to go, just in the name of satisfying society. Maybe they are just happy that this half relationship is gone, and parents and relatives know better. We can’t be sure about that, as only time and fate and tell these stories better than us. We just play along, and hope that all things happen for the best reasons. I couldn’t find either of the two in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and I wish that they found the best partners, and none of them was another half or quarter relationship after marriage. I am pretty sure that these two are not going to miss Half Girlfriend when it releases.

I am sharing a Half relationship story at BlogAdda in association with #HalfGirlfriend

TeNy

Music: Through the Years

The thing about music is that it has been an essential part of my life through the years. Even though I listen to less music these days, it was more essential during those times when there was not much to do otherwise. Both Hindi and Malayalam music have made my life better during those days when nothing much happened. Even while playing computer games, there was some music playing in the background. These are the songs which go back, just to those end times of the last century. 1980s and 1990s have been the best times related to songs as well as the movies as far as Malayalam movie industry is concerned.

“Rajahamsame” (Chamayam: 1993)

Along with another song from the same movie, “Ragadevanum”, this is not just my all-time favourite song, but part of one of the best movies of the time. Set in the background of the sea, fishermen and drama troupes, Chamayam was one movie which had to courage to be different. I haven’t really liked many movies belonging to the drama or romance genre during the early 1990s, but with its willingness to come up with a different story and follow a path with variety, Chamayam was one of them, and this song has a big role to play in making one falling in love with the movie.

“Ambalapuzhe” (Adwaytham: 1991)

Adwaytham was one of the movies long ahead of its time, but it still did work so well at that time; the songs were also very good, and this one is a special thing – I believe that I have mentioned this song before, but it is the kind of song which you can listen to, and also talk about all the time. During those days of cassettes, one had to work hard to find the music and get it recorded into those empty ones. As I see that cassette shop now, it is now a motor-bike service centre – memories fade for sure, but not when we remember songs like these which are more like the nostalgia of those times.

“Malayali Penne” (Bandhukkal Sathrukkal: 1993)

I have found this song to be a lot like those Malayalam poetry works which we had to study at school. Even though I have been reading a lot of Malayalam works during my childhood, a lot more than the English books, this song happened to be one of those which were so difficult to sing except for the first line. Even though I could never come close to learning most of the words mentioned in this song, I believe that this song has efficiently used the beauty and vocabulary of Malayalam language. I can guess how difficult it will be for a non-Keralite to learn Malayalam – even I had decided to choose Hindi instead of Malayalam for my Plus Two due to the depth of my mother tongue.

“Nee En Sargasoundaryame” (Kathodu Kathoram: 1985)

The first time I heard this song, I wasn’t sure where it was from – happens with a good number of movies which have released before our birth. The movie was an emotional drama, and it wasn’t among my favourites; so coming up against the movie name was always going to be tough – but there was the point when the Doordarshan Malayalam helped by bringing those older movies to us, and then I knew the movie. There are two other interesting songs in this movie and one of them might be the more popular thing, but this one is indeed my favourite.

“Thumbippenne” (Dhruvam: 1993)

I would consider this movie as one the best Malayalam thriller of the last century, telling the story of a man named Narasimha Mannadiyar who goes on a long wait to have his revenge on the wanted criminal and terrorist Hyder who killed his brother. With amazing songs like this one as well as others, this movie is a lot like an all-rounder flick. With a cast that included Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram and Vikram in his first Malayalam film, there is no part of this movie which I liked less, and this is one song which you are sure to love. Even the background score was so good!

“Onnaam Raagam” (Thoovanathumbikal: 1987)

There are many more songs to be part of such a list, but I shall end with this – along with “Megham Poothu Thudangi”, this song was always among the big favourites. When we think more about the same, a lot of movies with Mohanlal in the lead had some of the most amazing songs, and they have very well contributed to us liking those flicks even more. If we decide to take the examples, there will be so many of them. As Thoovanathumbikal is one of the most remembered movies of its time and has a certain cult status, the songs have surely played the part here too.

*I would also like to mention “Pon Veene” from Thaalavattam, “Kunu Kune” from Yodha, “Eeran Megham” from Chithram, “Shyaamameghame” from Adhipan, “Athmaavil Muttivilichathu” from Aranyakam, “Pravahame” from Sargam, “Aareyum Bhaavagaayakaraakkum” from Nakhakshathangal, “Ethrayo Janmamayi” from Summer in Bethlehem, “Nilaave Maayumo” from Minnaram and many other songs.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

Why Watch Anarkali?

It has only been a few days since I watched Anarkali, the romantic comedy with thriller elements starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Priyal Gor in the leading roles. I wanted to expand my already written review on Anarkali to bring you the reasons to watch Anarkali and to choose it over most of the other movies at the theatres right now. It is the one movie other than Rani Padmini which I feel the need to watch again among the flicks currently running in the theatres. It is also one of my three favourite Malayalam movies of the year.

The first reason why you will feel the need to watch Anarkali is for the visuals. The visual beauty remains the big boost to this movie and it is so throughout the flick. In that way, Anarkali is also an asset to Lakshadweep tourism even with all the islands not covered. There are some very nice shots in this movie which will stay in our minds and ask us to leave on a trip to the islands. Anarkali might be only the second movie to capture the beauty of the islands so well, after Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal.

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The romantic side is undoubtedly strong, with the beauty of the islands nicely contributing to increase the level. The songs nicely add to the charm of the movie, and there is a certain amount of cuteness with love and even in the distance, there is hope throughout this movie. The desperation, and the feeling that it is so difficult to have the right thing happen exists here too, just like in the movie London Bridge – the mood is the same, so close to hopelessness, and yet we know that things are possible within this universe.

Anarkali has Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead, and he has his third movie going on to become the big hit, reaching the theatres and staying with Amar Akbar Anthony and Ennu Ninte Moideen. The movie has another fantastic performance from him, giving him another one to make it big this year. He has been right there with the first big hit of the year Picket 43 and even his lesser appreciated Ivide was powered by his own amazing performance; the movie itself was rather above the common audience. Anarkali has him doing what he has been doing the best.

Biju Menon is back to doing another amazing supporting role after playing the leading role in Salt Mango Tree which is already running in the theatres. With his unparalleled comic timing, he makes sure that this movie is full of fun. The comedy throughout this movie has his own touch. If you have watched the trailer and the main song in this movie, you will know what to expect from his character. He has always been good in these kind of roles, and here he once again proves the same. The opinions will be cent percent clear on this one, just like what happened with Vellimoonga.

Priyal Gor is not just incredibly cute, but manages to do an amazing job in this movie. She makes a very nice pair with Prithviraj and manages to has a grand entry as the heroine of this movie and into Malayalam movie industry. Samskruthy Shenoy also has her best role and this might be the character with whom the audience here will relate her – even though not the heroine, her character will immediately catch our attention with the expressions. Another one to bring the surprise is Suresh Krishna here.

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Anarkali tells the tale that true love will survive, no matter whatever happens. There might be struggles on the way, and may be the beginning itself might be troublesome. But love is no love unless it wins over all these tests. In the end, Anarkali nicely establishes that love is beyond all barriers through not just one love story, and not just with the tales of love, but with situations which prove the same. There might be bigger hits, but Anarkali shows the way how a romantic movie should be done. Yes, it is undoubtedly about Premam and Ennu Ninte Moideen.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie Anarkali.

TeNy

Removing the Wrong Scenes

Among the movies which have been running successfully this year, Ennu Ninte Moideen has a big place, and it might already be the highest grossing Malayalam movie of the year and was already the Malayalam movie with highest collection all-time after Drishyam, Premam and Bangalore Days when last checked a few days ago. It is a movie that claims its position by the quality of true love more than anything else. It is something that none of the newer movies could claim, and even so, it has been overrated by the fans as the greatest love movie of all times.

I recently came across two of the deleted scenes from the movie, which were uploaded on Youtube by the men behind the flick. Even though I liked this movie very much, I had my thoughts that some scenes which should have been there, had gone missing, making this movie incomplete at some parts. At some points, the movie was just rushed without having the connecting links. The character of Moideen surely deserved more moments, and with these two deleted scenes, we have two big ones!

The first scene has the character Kottatil Sethu (Bala) confronting Moideen (Prithviraj Sukumaran). This is a scene which has a very high impact in the rivalry between the two which develops after Moideen’s love for Kanchanamala (Parvathy Kottuvata). It has not just the intensity but the right display of the twist of events. There was the need for a big impact scene showing the change of things around and this is one such sequence which has been sadly removed from the movie.

Here, the football match has its announcement of players which begins and Sethu is nowhere to be found, only to appear later in the rival team. As he refuses to shake hands with Moideen, it shows his intention which is just to injure Moideen during the game, and Moideen plays along making sure that it doesn’t go on to become a fist fight and a possible communal riot later. The big brawl is nicely averted by Moideen with his intelligence, which is revealed in the end.

Prithviraj, Tovino and Bala has performed very nicely in these sequences. There are powerful feeling expressed around here, and you will love how Moideen reveals his intention towards not making a scene and inspiring a brawl or riot among his own people. The goodness of his mind and his smart ideas are on display here. One has to wonder why this wasn’t included in this movie. The fans would want the man to be a rowdy and beat everyone up and so they won’t want this intelligence sequences, but the thinking audience deserved this.

The second scene is even better and never deserved to be even though about to be deleted. It once again showed Moideen’s righteous state of mind because if he was murdered by the crowd, that would have caused a communal riot, even though the blind fans will want this removed hoping for the hero to beat up the whole crowd or stopped them with some punch dialogues. But here, Moideen chooses the right method, to retreat, something which every common man would have done.

The second scene also fills up some parts of story and Moideen’s character well. The fans wanted this character to be a rowdy or a murderer, which is why they would also want these scenes to be deleted. Those who thought that this was not quality enough will still love the “class” of Amar Akbar Anthony. There is also more of Sija Rose in this character rather than in the theatrical version. Someone with the ability to think will wonder why these scenes were deleted though! The only reason could be the total length of the movie, but for the same, there were other scenes which were better removed including the stage drama sequences.

TeNy

Premam vs Moideen

If you ask about the overrated movies in the history of Malayalam cinema, two of them have released in this year itself, within a short gap, one of them being Premam and the other one being Ennu Ninte Moideen. The pre-release hype and publicity were also heavy in both cases, with Premam‘s songs making it big and Ennu Ninte Moideen being wildly promoted on the social media like the life of some people depended on it. Both films were hits on the social media even before the release happened. Lets do a comparison.

Pace: Premam wins this one clearly because a good portion of the second half of Ennu Ninte Moideen is a drag, while Premam is a full entertainer. There is no moment of boredom in Premam while the recent release struggle in the second half. There is also something about the progress in Premam which moves in a peaceful manner, reaching its destination, and making the point. Ennu Ninte Moideen has its moments of losing the way, and the focus often goes buried. WINNER: PREMAM.

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Love: The focus of both movies is love, and both have its extra dose with Premam having three love stories of the protagonist and Ennu Ninte Moideen having a love triangle. Here, it is the latter which has the advantage because of its reflections of true love and strength of the same which goes on for years without change. Premam is not far behind though, as the protagonist remains serious about it from his side. But the same element is stronger in its newly found rival. WINNER: ENNU NINTE MOIDEEN.

Connectivity: Even though a normal person and those with intellect with find it impossible to connect both movies directly, the one which comes closer to life is Premam. It has the advantage of making a connection with at least someone we know, while Ennu Ninte Moideen is no common man’s story, as it takes another route to bring the impossible love for a normal person. Meanwhile, Premam knows what people go through and what they want, which is the reason for its success. A love story which stays closer to life has more charm than any other. WINNER: PREMAM.

Aim: There is nothing much to separate these two here, even though Ennu Ninte Moideen has the special advantage due to the presence of true love which takes a rather traditional stand. Premam has the disadvantage of showing too much of the wrong side of the youth, and also not bringing the possible morality element to the attention of everyone, even though it has all the elements for the same. But Ennu Ninte Moideen scores here, with its aim of portraying true love accomplished, even with the drag and lacking in the ability to use the available material fully. WINNER: ENNU NINTE MOIDEEN.

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Totality: Among these two movies, the one movie which knows what it wants to do is Premam. Everything is clear right from the beginning to the end, and it is a flick which finishes what it started very well. Meanwhile, Ennu Ninte Moideen struggles there, with no idea what it want to do with the political, especially the socialist side. The trailer had given the idea that he was going to be shown as the socialist and the strong political worker, but in the movie, he doesn’t have that side. Even the heroine can raise voice only in the convent hostel; otherwise she is a weakling. WINNER: PREMAM.

Overall, Premam is a better cinematic experience, thanks to the director, Alphonse Puthren. There has been enough overrating of Ennu Ninte Moideen by the mindless fan-boys, even more than Premam and it is time for these people to accept what other say too. As more people with intellect are watching the movie and realizing that it was overrated by the fan-boys, Ennu Ninte Moideen will find its real place. A good movie without doubt there, but it is not something that brings awesomeness. I like it when people have opinions, but seeing “greatest movie” status for every new movie and not allowing different opinions is depressing, and so is people keeping sharing the same thing again and again publicly, and hurling abuse at everyone who doesn’t agree.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook pages of the two movies.

TeNy