Between sweet and sour — Muramba

The sweet and sour of life between Break-up and Patch-up…about relationships and everyday joys. review of the Marathi movie Muramba. a Romcom.

“Its Chinmayee’s movie,”

“Its about a husband empowering his wife”

It was Hobson’s choice and off we went to Samrat for the movie. Somehow I expected an near empty theatre, and to my surprise it was a near full house, the audience ranged from young couples to senior couples to the “united Indian family goes to movies

A well narrated crisp movie, in the first half it deals with the mundane ridiculousness of everyday life. while the second half brings the more pertinent issue out.

Traditional story telling is either about a person, or a event, this narrative is more focused on the event, “the breakup of Aalok and Indu” the narrative uses flashback to share the events that lead to the break up.

Chinmayee Sumeet as Janaki Aalok’s mother has given a restrained elegant performance. The concerned mother who is alternatively dominating and allowing her son space. Sachin Khedekar as Aalok’s father, who very subtly brings his son to his senses. Mithila Palkar as Indu the girl in love who wants to supportive, but needs to know what she is supporting and Amey Wagh as Aalok who is trapped in his own comfort zone.

Chinmayee and Sachin bring out the bond between the much married couple very well, the easy companionship the underlying protectiveness and respect comes through. Somewhere through the movie there is a feel that there is something else happening which Aalok with his blinkers about his break up is missing, it turns out to his parents wedding anniversary.

Indu on her scooter, Aalok on his bike, the Deshmukhs(Sachin and Chinmayee) in their car,  Janaki’s hurt when her son calls her, “a 10th pass from Dharwad” with disdain, her own self-satisfied look when drives the family car through the safe roads of the housing colony, the detailing has been meticulous.

When Mr.Deshmukh calls his wife by her maiden family name “Ashtekar” it brought home some familiar family moments.

With English subtitles it made understanding the movie easy.

Muramba Well I say – ah movie for the family to see.

The Community Garden at Taleigao

devancha bhaat (1)
Community Garden at Taleigao

It is such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth to feel at one’s finger tips the possibilities of the new seasons. Growing up in rural west coast, between fields and kitchen gardens we pottered around, it helped us connect and the single greatest lesson that we learnt was that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that  as the sun shines and people can still plan and plant, think and do, we can, if bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.

With  habitat growing aerially, and earth being entombed in cement, we seem to create quite a havoc.

But sometimes there are small hopes that pops up like this patch of garden field at Taleigao, it is marooned by aerially rising buildings, but yet holds like hope. I am not talking of the fields that the farmers own, there is a patch of field where there is a community garden.devancha bhaat (3)

This is an movement spear headed by the late dada Panduranga Athale of swadhyaya, where people come and work with the earth, they grow and tend to the garden. The proceeds can be taken by the people who contribute or they are sold and the money goes to the movement.

There are couples who want to re-bond, who take to working in these patches together.  They are not allowed to get their kids along on these time schedules, the band of swadhyayees are so committed that they walk or cycle around to villages creating these community gardens.devancha bhaat (4)

There can be no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden if he/she is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.

I was thinking of my grandmother Kitta-doddamma, who used to tell us that garden, “hitla-thota” as she called it, called for a lot of dedication, sacrifice, which why the agrarian India worshiped Bali, the spirit of sacrifice. She used to tell us that being with plants one learnt patience and the power of sacrifice, the seed in sacrificing its skin, the soil in sacrificing its nutrition, the nematodes of the earth they contributed too, the rain with the water to the soil,  finally when the plant came up it was moment of celebration the bringing in of abundance in every way.

devancha bhaat (5)
sweet potato

footprints on the sand.


what is the “Kasam” I want my husband to take… well none. For promises, are lot like impressions the second one does not really count for much. The moment you make someone promise anything it is the same moment you ask them to lie to you.

Let us assume, that I ask for a promise, and he promises, and yet will not east away the means of breaking his promise. Is it that he distinctly means to break it? not at all, but the desire which tend to break it are at work in him dimly and they make their way into his imagination. And relax his muscles in the very moment he is telling himself over again his reason for the vow.  This could be the other way round, I mean I could make a promise that I do not honour if it is okay for me, it is okay for him.

When we talk of relationships, yes there are promises made… well I would call them commitments, and it is a bad thing to break a promise but I know now that it is worse thing to let a promise break you.

When I do not take time out on international men’s day or Movember to run a perform appraisal of my efficiency as wife, or rather Mr.D does not hand me a not delivered feedback form, I don’t see why I should do it. May be the times I see single set of footprints on the sand they belong to Mr.D for he was carrying me… I do not know, so I cannot judge until I have walked in his shoes.

When it comes to a Hindu ritual wedding, the bottom line is that the groom promises the Bride’s father, and not the bride … after which he invites the bride to be his partner in

Ishe ekaopada bhava saama manuvraataabhava—with the first step I invite you to be my partner in love, more aptly in divine connect.

Urje dwipada – the second step is to share energies.

Rayasposhe tripada – the third step is for us to create abundance.

Mayobhyochatushpada – for fourth step we share the joys of life.

Prajabhaya panchapada – for the children we may have, and for whose children we are, that is family responsibility

Ritubhya shadpada –  with the sixth step we experience the  seasons of life, that is we grow older together.

Sakha saptapadhi – with the seventh step we become companions, and friends

Mind you beacons of Hindutva nowhere are sons mentioned its the priests who put these fillers in.  still at the end of the day I do wonder if it is time we added a eighth vow in the marriage promising that we shall spend time with our husband or wife more than with social networking sites.

forgottenAs for #Sadasexy I would say, Mr.D ashtapadjeevanganayatitebhavasamamanuvrtobhava.

That is with the eight step let us take stock of our life. Have I brought the nourishing female energy to the relationship and have you brought the male energy that protects and provide.— have we both been our authentic self in the partnership?—Have we both contributed our best to the partnership?–Bhava sama manovrtobhava.

Do excuse me for not sharing Sadasexy’s picture he is kind of media shy.

“I’m blogging about the kasams I want from my man this Women’s Day with the #SadaSexy activity at BlogAdda


Dare You To Share


Every relationship is different, but there are some essentials that form the foundation for every single one of them. They are love, trust, commitment and promises. Every couple makes some promises to each other and these are not wedding vows, these promises are unique to every couple. When BlogAdda invited us to share this I decided not to write, since I am kind of sceptic about kasams and rasams.

“Hi doc” said shalan,

“hi sweetheart, what’s up” I asked,” you tell me doc, what’s the BlogAdda prompt for the week-end”

“Well books and titles I replied.”

“Any interesting campaign?”

“Naa! Just some mushy one for woman’s day.”

“Oh! Are you writing?”

image courtesy internet

“About Kasams? You must be joking. After working hard to remove unwanted vows from my space I’ll be damned if I wriggle into new ones, knowing that one it won’t be heard, and if heard it will be ridiculed.”

“Will you do something for me?” shalan asked, “Sure sweetheart, anything other than reducing the dose of pethadine.” Shalan smiled at my pathetic joke, everyone knew with 40% burns the pethadine derivative helped to cope.

“Well” she started, “I know I do not have time, sujatha in the next bed had 25% burns and she left, mine is 40%.  An interesting life that I have had, a promise of companionship of building values and life together all seem such farce. I have to thank Srijeeth, for ,.if he was around to hear my words, my silence would not flow into the canvas to create the gallery that I have created.hijabi

Words would stay undocumented, carried away by the wind, I am living in hell from day to the next. My voice smothered, I talk to the walls the squirrel on the parapet,  the crow that eats the food I cook, is the only thanks I get, the laundry, the works, it is mundane, it’s boring I could do it all, but what kills me is the poverty, that inflicts me, the worst one of it all the poverty called loneliness/  where would I go if I escape I wonder I feel so utterly powerless and feeling imprisons me in a prison that I entered of my own free will. I locked the door and I threw the key away,”agnisakshi

“Hush baby” I intervened trying to calm her, she pushed my hand away, took a deep breathe and said, “let me continue doc when I can. I the first place I should not have believed in promises. The world is full of them, the promises of riches, the eternal salvation, of infinite love. There are people who promise anything, and other who accept whatever ensures better days ahead, I suspect that is what I did. Those who make promises and do not keep them end up powerless and frustrated exactly the same happens to those who believe those promises.”

“Its sad, to love somebody who does not deserve it, nor cares for it because they are all you have, because any attention is better than no attention. For the same reason, it is sometimes to satisfying to cut myself and bleed. On those gray days where eight in the morning looks no different from noon, and nothings has happened and nothing is going to happen I am washing a glass in the sink and it breaks accidently, it punctures my skin. Then there is shocking read, the brightest thing of the day, finally a sense of warmth so vibrant it buzzes, it is actually my blood. That’s okay because at least I know I am alive.”

“Doc I have put it all on paper, I want him to share this with our children, on the day I am gone. I know it a bad thing to break a promise, but I think now that the it is a worse thing to let a promise break you, that’s what I did. This is the last kasam, and I hope he honours it.”

I looked at Shalan, every lineament of the girls wasted body was a testament to her inner turmoil. I can only imagine what kind of pain she must have been to destroy herself the way she did, I know there is something ironic in my compassion for the girl, but I can’t help feeling that this utter mortification of the flesh is worse than anything that I myself have done.

“I’m blogging about the kasams I want from my man this Women’s Day with the #SadaSexy activity at BlogAdda


No Laughing Matter

#LoveAndLaughter activity.

“I am going to the crown hotel”  my husband said,”This damn thing is a pain to take out” he continued to mutter, and suddenly both of us burst out laughing. The conversation sounds incoherent right.

Well this came from an old conversation where we built a dective story as we watched one of those jasoos serials, we had created a scenario were a jealous wife follows her husband to the crown hotel, dresses up as a waitress and poisons the girlfriend with a rare poison. On the face of it is a mundane story and nothing really funny about it, but everytime someone says crown hotel it brings to that moment of fun that we experienced together without worrying about judgements.

Actually laughter is the physiological response to humor and is combination of two parts, a set of gestures and the production of sound.  When we laugh the brain get us to do both the these activities simultantous. If we dain to laugh heartily then the arm, leg and truck muscles get involved too.

The encyclopedia Britannica describes laughter as rhythmic, vocalized, expiratory involuntary action. It involves 15 facial muscles. Fifteen facial muscles contract and stimulation of the zygomaticus major muscle occurs.  The epiglotiss gets into action, making us gasp as the air intake occurs irregularly. The vibrating vocal cords release sounds that range from giggles to guffaw. The sonic structure of laughter reveals human laughter consists of variations on a basic form that consists of short vowel like notes repeated every 210 milliseconds. Laughter can be ha-ha-ha variety or the ho-ho-ho kind but not a mixture of both. Humans have a dector that respons to laughter by triggering other neural circuits in the brain, this in turn generates more laughter. This makes laughter contagious.

Humour researcher Peter Derks calls laughter response a really quick, automatic type of behaviour, and how quickly our brain recognizes the incongruity that lies at the heart of most humour and attaches an abstract meaning to it determines whether we laugh.

Philosopher John Morreall believes that the first human laughter must been a gesture of shared relief at the passing of danger. Since the relaxation that results from a bout of laughter inhibits the biological fight or flight response laughter may indicate trust in one’s companions. Laughter occurs when people are comfortable with one another when they feel open and free and more the laughter, greater is the bonding in the group. The connect between bonding and laughter could be another reason of laughter being contagious, which is a common desire not be singled out from the group.

Shubha Vilas in book the Stolen Hope which is a part of the Ramayana the game of life series (  gives an interesting insight on humour.

Humour during ones own failure is the sign of acceptance

Humor during another’s failure is the sign of arrogance

Humour at ones own pain is tolerance

Humour at another’s pain is insensitivity.

“This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.”

PS: note I strongly object to the use of the word Better Half, in a marriage both the partners are equal.

Lighter Moments

#LoveAndLaughter activity…

It was dinner at Dr.Tripati’s place with Dr.Chayya and his wife.

“How are you guys going” Dr.Tripati asked us when it was time for us to leave.

“By bike” replied my husband

“One or two” asked Dr.Tripati

“One” replied my husband. That was when Dr.Tripati entered the conversation, “How are you going doctor” he enquired of me.

“With him’ answered Dr.Tripati on my behalf.

“Do you live close by?” was Mr.Chayya’s question he was mildly curious, now Mr.Chayya has known me for 5years and known my husband for a bit longer,

I was all set to retort, when my husband replied, ”Yes Mr.Chayya, we live close by, actually in the same house.”

“oh! Same house is it”   he repeated suddenly it struck him, he turned to me and said, ””Why”

“we live in the same house.”

‘Oh! Are you related,’

“Yes, Mr.Chayya, legally related… my the order of the court.” corrected my husband. The look on Mr.Chayya’s face was priceless,

This was top of the mind lighter situation.

Though I never realized it, it is rather difficult to remember the lighter moments of our lives. I think that does it, I am going to gift myself a dictionary this year,  so that I can look up fun, I’m not sure I know what it means anymore.

It might also be a great idea to take hands on workshop on expressing our enjoyment, thats when laughter manifests does it not?

On an academic note laughter is not the same as humour. Laughter is a physiological response to humour. Laughter consists of two parts, a set of gestures and the production of sound. When we laugh, the brain pressures us to conduct both those activities simultaneously.  When we laugh heartily changes occur in many parts of our body, in the trunk muscles, in the limbs both upper and lower.

Encyclopaedia Britannica actually describes this a rhythmic, vocalized, expiratory and involuntary actions which in common parlance is called laughter. It involves roughly about 15 facial muscles, like the   Zygomatic Major, and the respiratory system is tackled by the epiglottis, there is regular intake of air that makes us gasp. There are times when tear ducts are activated while the mouth is opening and closing and struggling oxygen intake continues. The face becomes moist and often red.

The intensity of this could vary from sedate giggles to boisterous guffaws.

The existence of this is of course very important for a relationship. Yet it is rather strange that we tend not to bookmark these or dwell on these moments we tend to dwell on moments of pain, disappoint instead. Its more than just pleasurable activity.. When people laugh together they tend to talk and touch more and to make eye contact more frequent.

Maybe it is time to keep a laughter journal, like gratitude journal and note about the things that made us smile, laugh and giggle during the day. After all the uninhibited laughter, the self conscious giggle and the gentle smile they are moments that uplift us.

“This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.”

Pride March…?

Will I accept if one day my child announces that he or she is gay…? I probably belong to Methuselah’s generation but I am a little confused about what the stink is about, after all relationships are personal and that’s way they should stay. First and foremost where do I come into the picture? The child is in a relationship, not me. Essentially in a relationship there has to be nurturer and provider energy.  And usually the progesterone goes with provider while estrogens tend to bring in the nurturer. There may be conditions when anatomy and physiology say different things. Or anatomy and physiology declare something, while psychology may be the variant.

If my child asks my opinion then I will say NO simply because asking for my input means there is a doubt and doubt is the best way to screw a relationship up. At the end of the day, marriage is a relation between two individuals, and only between two individuals, all the legalities made sense when there was economic dependence, and defined roles, the legalities are for the inheritance of progeny. Be it heterosexual or homosexual, the strengths and threats to a relationship are this same.

What I find amusing people even the so called … evolved intelligentsia, or the rebelling populace have an issue using the word homosexual, they will still go with lesbian and gay and of course the media is very gallant about it the tag goes Lesbian and gay rights. That is ladies first. Why are we getting all excited about the American sexual laws changing I don’t see how it matters. Even the Pride march well that’s attention seeking too. Yes I am being very judgemental here.

If one were to go through the news paper and the kind of comments it is as if, being homosexual is normal while being heterosexual is deviant, Instead of closet homosexuals we will be dealing closet heterosexuals soon.

.Well I am sorry kids to let you homosexuality has been around for ages.  Ramayana talks of asura women in relation with each other, producing progeny that had no bones.  We talk of Krishna becoming a woman for a night so that Airavana could experience sex. If you do want go on a PRIDE March… is that what it is called,? do so not because you have a homosexual partner but do so because you have a partner someone who enhances your life Kaya-Vacha-Mansa. Karmic ally when we talk of incarnations, the souls of Atlantis tend to lean towards homosexuality, because they were androgynous.