The Great Indian Kitchen

Somebody had the audacity to portray what exactly happens in most of the Indian Kitchens.  Not a movie on Culinary wonders, let me clarify that. If you want to know what happens in the kitchens of India, watch this movie. I wouldn’t say every household is like this, but still 90% of family is like this only. Slight changes will be there if the family consists just husband and wife or if the family is a bit more “progressive”. But otherwise it is ditto what happens in every Kerala household.
The movie The Great Indian Kitchen begins with an unnamed young woman passionately dancing. She marries an unnamed man soon enough and moves into her husbands house as the custom dictates. No character except the servant has a name in this movie. This is to show that the situation does not belong to a particular family but every single one.

If you are not familiar with the culture and tradition of India, I will give you a gist.
# Most of the time, the actions of the girl child is judged by the phrase  ‘behave yourself, you are to be married off to a good family’.
# After marriage the bride has to leave her family and move in to her husband’s house. ( a few cultural  groups are exempted)
# More often than not this house includes grandfather, grandmother, father, mother and husband. Sometimes husband and wife move out and live in separate house.
#Indian Culture basically preaches dependency. Like when we are younger they teach us that you are depended on your parents. Once the boy or girl becomes the age they are taught two different things. To a boy they say ; you have to earn a job and take care of your parents and wife and grandparents if they live with you. To a girl they say; start learning cooking, learn to drape a saree and complete the course with good marks. Because if your husband’s family agrees then you can get a job.
# Not even once in the life chart independence is written. If you are a kid, you are depended on your parents, if you are an adult with a job then your parents are depended on you, if you have kids they are depended in you. If you become older you are depended on your kids. There is not  a moment in your life where you live for yourself.

I am not against family values or relationships. I love my parents so much. But my problem is against the system which teaches you dependency. Which indirectly ask you to live for others only. I mean everyone  needs a break right?
Back to the movie. This is the most realistic movie I have ever seen. The movie is 99.9% life and .1 % fantasy. I have read so many comments on the movie saying
1. The movie so lagging
2. Some scenes are repetitive that it’s boring.
Dude, that’s the whole point if the  movie. That’s how a housewife’s day goes. It’s repetitive. It’s boring. People make her do the same chores everyday. They tell her it’s her duty, her responsibility, her role as woman. They ask her to be proud of her life. They manipulate woman in thinking that they are doing the worthiest thing she can ever do. By failing to do the that she is failing herself and the whole womanhood. She is disappointing not just her family but the whole society.
I know this because I have faced many of the things said in the movie. My friend said that she had similar experience as well.
I have talked to a bunch of girls about this movie and they all said that  they are scared to get married after watching that movie. Not because the movie puts you in an uncertainty, but in a certainty. This is how your life is going to be after marriage. Proposals will be like ‘will you be the partner for life? Everything will be shared and we will be equally contributing to our life and family’. Now the hidden message here is
‘ equality is like you do one thing and I will do the other. You cook, I’ll eat. You wash, I’ll wear. You clean, I’ll enjoy, you work, I’ll work too. You do the chores after work, I’ll rest after work.’
I am not being negative, this is what happens in majority if the families.

The “progressive” families in kerala have the attitude that “We will let our daughter-in-law or Wife work even after marriage “. Now what happens is the woman have to get up early, do all the chores, prepare break fast and lunch and go to work. Return from work, do the chores, cook tea and snacks and dinner. That too with minimum or no help from her partner.  I have heard older people say men cooking and helping woman in the chores is so humiliating for himself. It’s not at all manly.
Cleaning,cooking and taking care of babies are the duties of woman only. Doing those makes a man weak and less manly. A generation of people thinks this and propagates the same. But fortunately present generation doesn’t think so. They think a little more clearly and logically. Men have realized that cooking is not a gender role but a life skill. That’s why majority of the men knows almost everything. They do it all the time when they live alone. They clean their own plates, clothes and room. They cook everything from common rice and curry to Biriyani. But once they get married, they forget everything. They cook occasionally, when they are free and feels like cooking, which happens once in a month or so. They cook only specials for special days. Only if they have the mood. But women doesn’t have that freedom. She can’t cook only if she have mood. She have to cook no matter what.

I once had a discussion with my friend about these topics and I asked him. Will you help your wife in chores.
He said ‘If I have job and I am tired then no’.

What if your wife have job and she is tired or sick?
‘If she is sick then she doesn’t have to do it either’.

Oh That’s good. So what about the chores?
‘We can order food, and she can wash the clothes tomorrow or day after tomorrow. I won’t force her to do anything anyway’.

Still you won’t do it huh. ‘Why is it necessary that I should do it. Why are you forcing me?’

Oops. Sorry. Nope.. Nothing.
So that’s how his mind worked.

Getting back to the movie. It’s basically a movie on a woman cooking and cleaning. Many people had positive response to it as well. There were some people who understood that the effect of this movie is for a week maximum. Many men said that they will change for a week or so, after that they will be the same old them. So make the best out if it and involve husbands in doing chores. It’s a relief to see there are men who see things clearly and acknowledges it. They give us the hope of a better tomorrow.
I know a lot of people who believes feminism means ‘Man-hating’.  People consider being a feminist as such a bad or worse thing. In a world of such people, the men who are educated and rational are clearly a blessing. Every single person is responsible for what happens in this world today. We cause it in one way or the other. Most of the time a woman can’t cut her own hair. She needs the permission of her father, mother, brother, grandparents, (after marriage) husband and in laws most of the time. She doesn’t have rights on her own hair. Also cutting a long hair short can get you in trouble and a lot of judging. May be that’s a topic for another time. Till then I would suggest you to watch The Great Indian Kitchen if you want to see the absolute reality. Ciao…

10 Questions with my Boyfriend

I decided to interview my boyfriend/fiancé. When I checked about it on google I found that so many people have already done it and I am not the first one to think about it. Although a bit disappointed about not getting the patent, I was glad that I will have some ideas on what to ask to him. I checked several sights and shortlisted 10 questions to ask him. Before unfolding the interview let me tell you some things. We have known each other for the last 7 years and our love relationship is celebrating it’s fifth anniversary this February.
I have asked him some questions before but not like this. Not this matter of fact serious types. This time I decided to do this in the proper way. And this is how it went.

1. What about me made you fall in love?
A. You are open minded. You always talked a lot. Our conversations and friendship were unique. And I wanted it forever.

2.. What is your favourite thing about me physically and why?
A. Your lips. Your lips have a beautiful shape.

3. What’s the one similarity between us that you absolutely love?
A. Same wavelength, our sense of humour is on the same level and our concept on most if the stuffs are alike.

4.What’s the one difference between us that you absolutely love?
A.You can multitask and I give my full attention to one thing at a time. Also you like to plan things, organise and be prepared while I am more like a lazy ass.

5. If our relationship ended, what’s the one thing about it you’d miss the most?
A. Our talks. We never stick on to some particular topics. We always talk about a lot of things no matter what its relevance is. We have that kind of relationship. It’s really awesome that with one person you can talk about anything and everything without being judged.

6. Favourite thing to do together?
A. Late night talks. It’s fun and it’s sometimes informative also. We should sit and talk a lot at nights.

7. Favourite thing I said to you
A. I love you. ( That’s on me, I shouldn’t have asked that question to such a lazy ass)

8. If you have to choose a movie for us to watch together, which one will you choose?
A. Raja Rani (A Tamil Movie)

9. If you could change one thing about me what would it be?
A. Being negative, approaching things with a prejudice. Being a pessimist in silly matters. Being a push over, sacrificing things so that no one gets hurt. (Looks like he got a long list for that question )

10. How have you grown since being in a relationship with me?
A. I have become a feminist. I started to think from a woman’s perspective. I have become more funny. I have tried to become more organized.

So that’s it. It was really nice to do such an interview with him. He cooperated completely with me. I guess he had no other choice.

Anyway, it was fun for both of us. So next time I am going to interview one of my best friends. Ciao…

Life of the Party

Melissa McCarthy has the cutest and most innocent face ever. Undoubtedly she was born for the role of Deanna. I am just gonna talk about the movie Life of the Party and how it made me fee. I will be leaving the technical sides out.

I just happened to see the thumbnail of LOTP on Netflix and saw my favourite lady’s face there. I checked the synopsis. A divorced woman is going back to her school to complete her graduation. ‘Huh, interesting ‘. So I watched it. God, that was one of the best 1 hr and 47 minutes of my life. It begins with a happy chirpy mother dropping her daughter off to her hostel in the beginning of her senior year. Her happy sweet life comes to stand still when her husband asks for a divorce. At first she don’t know what to do. The only thing she regret every single day is dropping out of college with only one year left for graduation. So she decides to rectify it. Deanna once again comes back to the school, this time to complete her senior year and graduate. The struggle and fun begins there. She’s excited like a new kid on her first day of school. She is excited about every little things that contribute to her school life.

Oh how I wish if I had a friend or roommate like her during my hostel days. My school life would have definitely been a better one. Words are not enough to express the joy I had when I was watching this movie. Just not Deanna, even her bestfriend Christine (Maya Rudolf ) is also a gem.

Deanna Miles is, without any doubt, the sweetest, coolest and funniest person I have seen on movies. She is such a beauty too. How she totally came in to the spirit of a highschool without losing her earned wisdom and world view is actually inspiring. She is older than every other students in the school. Her teacher is her ex- classmate. But she was excited about it too. The only thing that bothered her was her daughter’s comfort. Luckily she had the sweetest daughter . Let’s say Maddie got her mother’s nature. The gang she first meets, oh such horrible people so selfish and arrogant that they harass Deanna whenever they meet. Just Kidding. The gand is also a bunch of sweetie pies. Why would I attempt such a terrible jock on harassment, is a question to me also. But you can watch the movie if you haven’t already.

All in all the movie was just what I needed. It cheered me up like no other movie ever did. Just seeing Deanna smiling made me feel like “Everything is fine”. I had a smile on my face just seeing Deanna talking and talking. I have to say my sincere gratitude to the script writer, casting guy and the director for such a treat. Bless the soul who chose Melissa McCarthy for this role. It is such a feel good movie that says ‘Have fun people’. It tells us how we can enjoy even the smallest things in our life. I am going to say that my best decision so far in 2021 was to watch this movie. I will probably put this movie on the “Movies to watch if you are upset’ list. I would say drop everything now and watch this movie.

I would really like to know if there is any other movies which have similar themes or effects on people. You can suggest me such good movies. Also which is your favourite movie that made you so cheerful?

Isn’t she the cutest, people?

Change of Heart

‘Your daughter needs a new heart. The only match comes from a murderer. What would you do?’

This is the caption I found on my copy of Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. I read the caption. Pretty interesting situation. Then I started to read the novel. Man, if only the situation was as simple and straight as the way caption puts it.

June’s husband dies in a car accident from which she and their daughter escapes. She is remarried to a police officer who helped her through the trauma. Five years later she is expecting her and Kurt’s child when he and Elizabeth (her daughter from the first marriage) is shot dead by a carpenter (Shay Bourne) who worked for them.

The child is born with a severe heart condition that affects her life(gee give June a break, right? ). At the age of eleven, Claire is going through a hard phase in dire need of a heart. Let’s just pause there.

With a caption like that, we think the main character is the mother. Well, nope. Draw a word web of sun and she will be one of the many rays that surrounds the circle. And in the circle stands Shay Bourne, the murderer. Exactly. He is the centre of everything (no pun intended). He is the first person in the last 58 years of New Hampshire to receive a death sentence. At the early 20s he is put in the jail to be executed. Somehow it gets delayed, for 11 years.
Now strange things start to happen in the jail. The pipe water suddenly turns into wine. A dead bird comes back to life when Shay touches it. He shares a small piece of gum with 7 other inmates and still some it is left. Most importantly, Lucius, the guy in the neighbouring cell gets cured of AIDS leaving no symptom to indicate that he was a severe patient till yesterday. So is officer Smythe’s son.
Ring any bells? Turning water into wine, giving life to dead, curing the sick! Quite familiar scenarios, right? Well, what happens in jail never stays in jail. People around came to know about it and they declared Shay Bourne, a convict for double murder, the messiah. But Shay Bourne wants nothing but to be able to donate his heart to Claire Nealon after his execution. Which by the way is not possible if he is executed by lethal injection. Here comes Father Michael as spiritual advisor and Maggie Blooms as his self appointed attorney. They tries to help Shay inorder to help themselves. Another example for there is no selfless good deed. (Again F.R.I.E.N.D.S reference) Father Michael wants to make up for what happened in the past (read the novel, if you want to know what it is. I can’t tell you everything). Maggie wants to remove execution from the penal system.

The novel is not entirely focused on a mother’s dilemma of whether to accept the heart of the perpetrator. It’s much more than that. From the beginning itself we get the feeling that the culprit is given more importance than the victims. Towards the middle we find ourselves on the side of Shay. At one point I was so excited for this Shay guy that I had to smack my own back of the head and say stop cheering for a criminal. As pages turned I was literally confused about Shay. People called him Messiah and Jesus incarnated. We are given so many parallels between the both. But, no. Shay is not Jesus. He is just a man who followed the path of Jesus and worked for the greater good.

About this novel, it gives you a new perspective on religion. TBH this novel was equally informative and entertaining. God, this is why I love reading novels. I don’t know how Judi Picoult come up with such brilliant plots. I would suggest everyone to read this novel Change of Heart. You don’t have to be religious to read and enjoy this book. Coz this one is not about religion but about human and humanity. Then again, we can easily call GOod Deeds GOD.
The plot is full of crucial events. Loads of miracles to pull us more into the world of characters . The journey through this novel is more like unravelling the character of Shay Bourne. His character remains mysterious even at the end of the novel. I’ll tell you why.

Claire walks back to life with Shay’s heart beating inside her. She finds that her dog lying motionless. She checks for heartbeat which has already left the body. She calls out for her mother and hugs the dog’s dead body. Now it’s time for the final miracle. When she keeps the dog close to her heart, Dudley’s heart starts to beat again. Dudley is alive again. Okay so may be it’s not a final miracle, it could be the beginning of some new miracles.

Like Kurt Nealon says, people are never who you think they are. Read it guys. It’s really good.

The Woman in the Window

Let me tell you about Dr. Anna Fox. She is living alone in her home separated from her husband Edward or Ed who got the custody of their daughter Olivia. Or we come to know about it from her musings and conversations. Anna never leaves her home. She sit there all day, her groceries are brought by her tenant who lives in the basement. She never leaves her home because she is Agoraphobic. As a routine Anna’s therapist comes and talk to her. Anna spends all her time sitting by the window and watch the world and life pass on without her.

Enough of this boring, repeating life. One day, comes the new family to the vacant house opposite to her. Now she was interested in the family including a father, mother and a son. She keep on looking through the window to know more about them. Now now, we all know staring is a bad manners and spying on someone for our own time pass is an even worse habit. But now that our protagonist is agoraphobic and she don’t have the choice of going out and meet new people and have a proper social life she is stuck with this window plan. So let’s just forgive and support her and move on.
She sees the mother in that house and later she comes to Anna and identifies herself as Jane Russel, mother of teenager Ethan. They grow a bond really fast and Anna comes to know that the father of the house wouldn’t appreciate this friendly meeting. Later she meets Ethan who seems really sweet and shy and they also starts a friendship. Ethan tells that his father, Alistair is a very strict and controlling man and both Jane and Ethan are really afraid of him. Very bad Alistair, very bad. One day as Anna was doing her usual spying and staring she sees a terrible thing. Jane is stabbed by someone. Terrified she calls Police and reports it. The police goes to crime scene and finds that the mother is in fact healthy and alive. Anna sees that the woman is different and says that she is not Jane. But police gets evidence that proves the woman in the house is indeed Jane Russel. Anna’s words are ignored. Later Alistair comes to her house and asks her to stay out of their matters and stop spying. Anna is now convinced that there is something suspicious. One day she receives a picture of herself sleeping at night through an anonymous email. Creepy, right? She calls the police to inform this weird incident and she is thrown back to a place where she never wanted to go. Here comes the first twist…. Nah I am not gonna tell you that. Anyway, the police proves that Anna is prone to have hallucinations and this photo incident is just one of them. Like, she could have took the picture and sent it to herself. I mean selfie is not a rocket science.
Later she finds that pic in her own phone and remembers the photo she had taken when Jane came to visit. In that picture she got the glimpse of Jane. She confronts Ethan and he reveals that Katie who identified herself as Jane was actually his biological mother and Alistair and Jane are adoptive parents. Katie’s frequent visit infuriated Alistair and he stabbed her to death. Scary Alistair. Ethan promises Anna that he will talk to his parents and then to police.
But then something happens at night when she was about to sleep and there comes the second twist. Not so much of a twist. She remembers the conversation with Ethan and realizes that he said something which there was no way he would have known it. Now a shiver is running through your spine. For a second you just can’t focus. Loads of thoughts are running into you like the sharp little drops of monsoon rain. Blurring your vision and pricking you all over your body. It’s not that I hate rain or something but dude, sometimes they do hurt. She freezes when she feels the presence of Ethan in her room. To know the rest of the events just read The Woman in the Window by A. J Finn. But I would like to apologize to Alistair Russel first. Sorry man.

I read this book last year. The first half of it was cliché, you know. You could easily predict the events and read what is told a million time by others. You fall into the familiar flow of the peaceful stream only to be thrown off the cliff. Not just that, you try to come up to the surface of water with theories, predictions and conclusions only to be push down by another wave of plot twist. As a reader I always try to predict the climax. In this case I had to come up with a number of them because I had to change it whenever the plot twist tore my conclusions into shreds.
This is the debut novel by Dan Mallory who wrote under the pen name A. J Finn. When asked about this mundane beginning, he said it was intentional. This feeling of familiarity made the twists more powerful than we expect.

Now I should add one more thing. Those who have read Saving April by Sarah A Denzil need not to read The Woman in the Window. Because the plots are strikingly similar. I am no one to judge or say who stole whose plot. I have read this one and haven’t read Saving April yet. But then I checked and I was like, ‘yep, both plots are just twins. One girl and the other boy’. Then again if you haven’t read neither of the books, I would say read The Woman in the Window. It’s not like I am promoting this one or anything, it’s just I haven’t read Saving April and don’t know anything about it’s language or flow of events or feel. But I have read this one and it is really good. It’s thrilling. It gives you goose bumps and surprises (or shocks). I mean a novel is at it’s best when it proves you wrong about the conclusion, right? I like to be proven wrong by the authors when it comes to thrillers, cause if they prove you right, then they are not thrillers anymore, just plain ordinary novels.

I would have read the other one also if the plots weren’t so much similar. It’s like ‘potato – potato’ (in Phoebe Buffay’s voice).

The Gift

The novel The Gift talks about Lou Suffern and his life during the time of Christmas season. The novel gives you a small pack of magic and a gift of insight.  Lou Suffern is busy.  He thrives when he work.  He is absolutely brilliant in his job. Evidently workaholic. He is reputed in his workplace.  He owns a big house and he earns a six figure salary.  He  is married to his girlfriend for 10 years and has a daughter of five and son of one. Everything seems perfect, right?  Well let’s see.  He is an adulterer.  He is not sure about his daughter’s age.  He takes everyone and everything for granted.  He never acknowledged the presence of his son ( not because he hates the baby but because he never thought it’s his responsibility too to take care of him). He  believes the kids are his wife’s duty.  He considers himself as a know it all/charming perfectionist and a well balanced juggler who can keep  his family, work and relationships safe in his hands. 
                He believed his only duty to the family was to provide financially. The aim of his life was to earn more,  reach more higher and reap more promotions.  Then comes Gabe,  short for Gabriel, a homeless man who was helped by Lou.  Lou gives him a job.  As a mail guy in the office.  I think Gabe acts more like  a conscience for him.   We see him asking question to Lou that makes him uncomfortable and seeing him in his office make Lou feel intimidated.  Gabe asks questions Lou doesn’t like to hear or want to answer at all. Gabe points out things that Lou doesn’t wanna see. Gabe knows what Lou thinks and speaks.  And then comes the magic.  We all wished for a little magic in our life that could make our day a little more better. Here Lou is given such a magic which help him double up and see himself through an objective perspective.  How he does things and how he should have done things etc.
              We believe we have all time in the world (sach mein,  bahut time hain na hamare paas : MS Dhoni movie).  We believe those who are around us do things because that’s their duty or responsibility and that’s how they should have done anyway.  We believe people around us our dear ones would stay forever even if we treat them like tissue or for our own benefit.  Well,  definitely that’s not how things are.  We don’t have all the time in this world nor will our beloved stay forever for us.  We may not always find a partner or friend like Ruth,  who always clean up after you mess up and then give another chance. We take people, time,  love and life for granted.  When we begin to do that we start to lose everything. People have feelings, they feel hurt and used and neglected or sidelined. It’s about priority.  Not about time or work or money.  We have prioritised things and we act accordingly.  We put someone third or fourth on our list and on their list we might be first or second.  Let’s just say if we don’t give as much respect and attention as you receive, we start to get inflated like  a big balloon. Remember what happens to Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Yeah,  she floated towards sky.  We wouldn’t be blown away but at some point we will burst.  I mean we will suffer for our actions. Like the saying,  you reap what you sow.
          Oh – kay…  I got carried away and preached a bit too much. Sorry about that.  But the thing is that’s what happens to our main character Lou Suffern.  Just when he sorted out his actual priorities and decided to pick up the falling parts,  he got blown away.  Because,  let’s face it, time never waits for anyone. The Gift is written by Cecelia Ahern who shot into fame with the publication of P. S I Love You. This one indeed is must read.  Now that we are talking about life and time,  I would ask you to read The Time of My Life too..  that’s a pretty interesting one too.

Still Alice – Still Thinking about Her.

They say when life gives you lemons,  make lemonade.  Pretty optimistic and encouraging proverb, right?  But what if life gives you lemons but you forget how to make lemonade, or worse fail to spell or even identify lemons. I guess that’s what an early onset of alzheimer’s do to you. Lisa Genova has told the story of Alice Howland,  a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and how her picture perfect life gets changed by a neurodegenerative disease.  Being a Neuroscientist her career might have helped the author to bring life to the characters in the novel. I read the book some years ago and after that I watched the movie also. The plot is so gripping that here and there you get a lump in your throat. Sometimes while talking about her symptoms and how she feels and how her family feel,  we feel like we are nibbling at a lime. It’s sour.

        Everyone forget things. Sometimes random things,  sometimes important things too.. But what if at one point we look at our parents or best friend cluelessly,  trying to figure out who they are. And then all of a sudden you are reminded of who they are,  then comes the drowning feeling and pangs of fear. I can’t even imagine how awful they must have felt.  Going unrecognised by our beloved is a nightmare for many of us.
          The movie also is a brilliant depiction. Julienne Moore literally live as Alice Howland. The scenes where she forget the bathroom of her own house and cries, man,  it definitely is heartbreaking. (It’s not like I forgot the scene where she fails to recognize her own daughter, but still).I felt like holding her close and comforting her.  Thank God her husband John comes and helps her.  Both the movie and the book are awesome.  No wonder the book was a best seller then and Julianne Moore won an Academy Award for Best Actress at the 87th Academy  Awards for her role as Alice Howland.
I love this novel,  you know. It was like talking to Alice or watching her life and career in it’s peak and then watching things fall apart around her and her not being able to pick it up. Alzheimer’s takes our Alice from her own world where everyone and everything is comforting and familiar and make her walk through some strange land where she finds it difficult to recognize people, place and she has no idea how to get out of there. You didn’t think the choice of name was random, did you?
No one dies in this movie or book. But still you feel sad. You see how hard Alice try  to keep the disease at bay. Her family tries to change themselves to fit perfectly together with their beloved. They try their best to make things easier for Alice. She is trying her best to remain the same Alice. Memories and knowledge and all other things that made her what she is now, is slipping away through her fingers. She tries to hold on to them in vain. Her words are taken away from her. But she is still Alice, whatever may happen.

The words that come from her revealing  how helpless she feels,  hit you hard. And it hit you even harder when you realize that,  although fiction,  this could be true since the person who wrote it, is a neuroscientist, she knows better and it could be real. More lumps in the throat.

The Storyteller – an experience

I read books for experience.  It takes me through different times, introduce me to different people and tells me different stories.  Yeah,  I know traveling is a better way for these experience,  but that’s not my point. Most of us know, books are sooo am-az-ing.
I came across such a book.  Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller. Recently I decided to be a fan of good books rather than any particular author. Definitely The Storyteller got into my good books’ list. The narrative is mesmerizing, brings you into plot,  making you a silent spectator throughout the novel. The novel has four different plots intertwind together. Ania, Sage, Minka and Josef. Four different characters and their stories go hand in hand, sometimes even mixed up. You wanna know a short story of vampire type thing,  read this novel. Wanna know a girl who is trapped inside of herself, unable to go forth because of her memories, read it. Wanna know the traumatic experience the Jew had to go through during the holocaust,  read this.  Wanna know how a German boy felt about all this,  read this.  Though it is purely fiction, it takes your breath away with the realistic narration and the flow of events.  The book makes you weep,  makes you angry,  makes you smile,  gives you hope and gives you a tiny little drop of satisfaction before it ends leaving you in uncertainty.  You’ll be like,  “Wait, what..  What..  !” “Oh crap!”
      You are given the choice of putting a label on the final action. Was it a forgiving?  Was it an avenging?  Was it an Upior taking birth?  Or was it a mistake which is gonna haunt Sage for the rest of her life?   Jodi Picoult once again proves that she indeed is a great Story Teller.

Oh by the way if there are any foodies like me are out there, you can expect a feast for your soul. Such long and elaborated detailing of cooking and baking give you the feeling that you are in the kitchen sitting on the table watching Sage knead and knead and twist and turn the dough.  You feel the comforting warmth of the kitchen and smell of freshly baked bread. You feel that eating good food is the closest you can feel to heaven.  I have to say this because, really, talking about this book without mentioning the bread and rolls would be such an injustice to the novel.  And I can’t do that.  I am a just person,  you know. (Head  held high and eyebrows so raised that it nearly touches my hairline)

The Boy in Striped Pajamas – Thoughts

I watched the movie recently and it left me thinking about so many things.  I will share a few with you guys. 

So the movie is good and makes us shed a few tears, because, apparently  the boys are dead.  But when I look deeper into the movie I wonder for whom was I supposed to cry more. With whom should I sympathize more.  Since the movie is set in the backdrop of Nazi concentration camps,  it should have done more justification to the history.  But this movie does nothing but trivialise the holocaust and put the sole focus on a Nazi family and the conflicts the members are facing. In bits they show the condition of a Jew by introducing us to Pavel’s stooped figure and how Kotler treats him.

The boy,  Bruno, (the protagonist and the German boy) befriends a Jewish boy named Shmuel who happens to sit at the border of the concentration camp, near the electrocuted barbed wire fence hiding from officers who are clearly not in the vicinity.  Bruno shares food with Shmuel and they become close.  I don’t know if a prisoner could have sat there for this long without getting noticed by officers who search for an opportunity to torture the prisoners. Anyhow Bruno’s exploring takes him to the solitary prisoner boy who looks weak and tired. Their friendship and the followed perks might have given Shmuel hope and positivity and something to look forward to tomorrow.

Later when Bruno lied to save himself for the fear of punishment, it cost Shmuel almost an eye. He was sad but not ready to loose the only hope and happiness he had there. Bruno decides to make up for lying and letting down Shmuel once by helping him to find his missing papa. Shmuel gets Bruno the prisoners’ uniform and Bruno sneak into the camp. The sites in the camp is disturbing for the boy but they seem much better than what our history says.  Some of the prisoners are sitting tired,  some are lying down, some are looking out through the window, some are even sleeping on their bed.  They all seems to have a lunch break (with or without lunch). Unfortunately the officers whistles to ask people to march to somewhere.  Trapped inside the flood of crowd Bruno and Shmuel holds the hands of each other and follows the orders.  They were lead to the gas chambers and the rest is predictable.  Bruno’s parents frantically search  for their son and find that he has gotten into the camp.  Realizing the worst possibility the mother cries out clutching her son’s clothes and the father wails unsure of what to do. The tragedy focused in the film is the accidental death of the German boy who happened to get trapped in the gas chamber with hundreds of Jews including Shmuel,  both being unaware of what was waiting for them. The movie ends  at the faces of devastated parents. Because of such an ending I am confused about one thing.  Who is the boy mentioned in the title?   Is it Shmuel who is forced to wear the striped pajamas all along because he happens to be Jewish and thus a prisoner,  or Bruno who wore it because he can sneak into camp and help his friend find his father, which he considers, will be a new adventure.

By focusing on Bruno’s death and his parents’ reaction the movie hints subtly at the Nazi’s version of White Men’s Burden whereupon they say how many sacrifices they had to make their country a strong and independent one. May be that was what the director and the author of the book intended right? (Or not, I don’t know ). Nazi or Jew, kids are kids. People are people, if they die on screen I will weep for them. But what I am thinking is who deserves our tears. The mother was crying for the Jews from the beginning of second half of the movie . May be they wanted us to think Jews got their share of tears from the mother, so let’s all cry for Bruno at the end and look how shattered his parents are. Or they didn’t. I don’t know. I am all questions and no answers. I guess I cried for both the kids. Maybe the author/director wanted us to see the death of fraternity or friendship between the two cultures happened during the Second World War. Then again as I said, all these are just my thoughts.