The Mainour and the Eyewitness (Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum)

When I went to watch the movie Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum with my daughter (who was watching it for a second time), there were expectations. One, it was Dilish Pothen’s second movie – the first one being Maheshinte Prathikaaram (Mahesh’s Revenge) which I enjoyed thoroughly. Two, among other actors was my all time favorite, Fahadh Faasil. And three, going by Maheshinte Prathikaaram, I expected it to be totally realistic and a visual treat that would capture all the rustic charms of scenic locales of verdant Kerala. The movie not only fulfilled but also was beyond all my expectations. Cinemas, it is said, mirror life. Going by that I found it a brilliantly realistic movie, So much so that I joined my sister and nephew to watch the movie once again. Now this is rare – not only do I select and watch movies, never have I watched the movie on the big screen twice. That then was the magic of Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum.
Right from Scene 1 to the last frame, the build up is well thought out and executed. It was a revelation to see Suraj Venjaranmud play the role of Prasad sans comic overtures and dialectal variation. He comes across as a sensible young man, working with effortless ease donning the role of a man who falls in love, who fearlessly marries Sreeja (Nimisha Sajayan) in spite of theirs being an Inter-caste marriage and then moves far away from their village in south Kerala to north Kerala, hoping to be able to lead a peaceful life. He comes across as the man next door, harangued by the challenges of life, but nonetheless facing it with composure.
One can never believe that this is Nimisha’s first movie. She emotes her role of Sreeja with ease and grace – that of a village belle, but with enough pluck and nerve to battle the roadblocks ahead of her.
Sreeja’s father’s role is played by Vettukili Prakash and is a cameo. He comes across as a hurt and aggrieved father who is categorical that it’s him or his daughter- both together cannot stay in the same place, given the caste overtones of his daughter’s marriage. An actor who moved to cinema from the rich spaces of drama, he lives the role.
Alancier as ASI Chandran realistically mirrors the life of ordinary policemen. The system they are in does not allow them to react and respond to human predicaments. Notwithstanding that there are occasions when he sympathizes and empathizes with the beleaguered couple. He brings to life the stresses and strains of a policeman with characteristic elan – which finally gets him to request Sreeja and Prasad to admit that the chain is theirs. The couple as well as the audience is equally astounded at this turn of events.
Yet another unforgettable character is Siby Thomas as Sub Inspector Sajan. Being a policeman in real life, he is able to impart tremendous authenticity to the reel life character he plays. He portrays the entire gamut of emotions ranging from patience to agitation to anger to fury and despondency with such poise and polish lending it an air of seasoned competence.
The cynosure of the silver screen however is the masterful actor Fahadh Faasil who plays the role of the nameless thief. Right from the moment action focuses on him, he is able to rivet all attention to him. Be it saying that his name is also Prasad, to undergoing all the cruelties inflicted on him to make him admit to the crime of swallowing the gold chain, Fahadh is brilliant. His powerful eyes and the quirky smile endear him to the audience. It’s amazing to see the range of this fantastic actor who has always shown remarkable sense of choice of roles, at times even taken the calculated risk of opting for negative ones like the pimp who gets penectomised in 22 Female Kottayam. One tends to fall for the endearing thief who is seen in the last frame getting a thank you note written and posted to Sreeja, and then out into the streets of Mangalore – indicating that the is off the case that alleged him to have swallowed the stolen chain.

The Wondrous Charms of Nature

Born and brought up in verdant Valparai in the Anamalais and then nurtured in enchanting Kerala, I grew in Nature’s lap, so to speak. However, I learned to observe and experience the wonderful charms of Nature only when I joined as a teacher in picturesque Munnar.

The gurgling streams, cascading waterfalls, the lush greenery, the myriad kaleidoscopic hues of evening and morning skies, the bluish green mountains around, misty valleys, azure skies, the chirp and chatter of birds, the brilliance of flowers, the majesty of trees especially Flame of the Forest and Jacarandas in full bloom – all have made me a pagan worshipping these delights. The memories of the days that we – my precious friend Sam, my darling daughter Aathira and I – went on long walks, soaking in the lush beauty around fills me with deep gratitude. Not only did they make me fall in love with nature, but also cherish the relationship with these special people in my life.

The monsoon brought rains that slashed and winds that whistled incessantly. The strong pitter-patter pelted the tin roofs and created a compelling cadence. The gusty winds threatened to blow roofs away. Water gushed and rushed, lightning streaked and claps of thunder reverberated all around. It revealed the awe inspiring power and fury of Nature. To this day whenever there’s a strong gush of wind, my heart beats wild and a gnawing fear settles in.

In winter during the biting cold the enchanting pastime was to stand in the sun savouring the warmth that crept into every pore of one’s being.

The magic of fireflies glowing and that of a star studded sky on dark nights were entrancing. Squeals and trumpets of elephants, the barks of deer and grunts of wild boars made our nights exciting. The love for wild life and Nature stoked then continues to burn brightly making me live the philosophy of live and let live.

Letting Go

Today’s world is rife with problems of multifarious kinds, be it professional or personal. Stress at work and damaged relationships at personal fronts have maimed us and led to dis-eases of the body, mind and spirit – resulting in a vicious cycle in which we are helplessly trapped. How do we combat this and snap out of the distressful and self-damaging vortex?

To me the answer seems to be mindfulness. Break away from the inordinate haste that prevails over us. Where are we rushing to at a frenetic pace? The pursuit of material wealth that we are after, will that be a panacea to make our lives contented and peaceful? Lives of the rich and might show that it does not. Yes, money is needed for us to live a dignified, decent life. But that does not mean that we must worship the Mammon.

My first brush with Mindfulness was over two years back when I went on a ten-day hiatus of Vipassana Meditation. Till this day, I believe that this has been the best decision I have taken in personal and spiritual growth. After that, practicing Vipassana, and reading scores of books and innumerable articles on Mindfulness, I believe that it has helped me be a better person than before. Every day I believe I am evolving.

Mindfulness requires one to be compassionate first – not only to others but also and most importantly to oneself. Let go of the regrets of the past and dreams for the future. Live in the present authentically and the future will take care of itself. And the best fallout is living a life free of stress. Thus it rejuvenates and revives the body, mind and spirit making us vibrantly ‘alive’  human beings.

Sharing a very meaningful infographic about how to counter work place stress to go with this post. I hope using any of these techniques, one of which is cultivating mindfulness, you will be able to be a handle some of the issues you may have.

May you be happy…
May you be peaceful…
May you be free from anger…
May you be free from ill will…
May you be free from animosity…
AnichchaAnichcha… Anichcha…

This infographic was produced by Unum. Unum helps employers manage stress at work.“>

Why "Luminesce"?

Words are such magical things! 

I have chosen the word Luminesce as the name for a blog for the student community because it aptly captures what today’s students need. If you check the online dictionary it means: 

Main Entry:
luminesce /ˌluəˈnɛs/ Show Spelled
Part of Speech:
be suffused, blare, blazeblush, brighten, color,crimsonfillflame*, 
flareflushgleamglimmer,glisten, glitterignite, incandesce, kindle
light, mantle, pink*, pinken, redden, rose, rouge, shine*,smolder, thrill
tingle, twinkle
Look up Luminesce in the link below (a screen shot of which is given). 

The two key words are “shine” and “reflect”. If you shine and reflect, you will luminesce.
These two words are very important for you are tomorrow’s leaders. The 21st century world beckons you and has pinned its hopes on you…

That you will be trail blazers, flame kindlers, torch bearers…

That you will flare hopes, gleam, glimmer, glisten and ignite genuine passion

That you will don mantles with mettle, rise and then shine

That you will smoulder at inequalities and injustice

That you will be your own twinkling little star!

To “Shine” in your chosen field you need to have the required knowledge. True Google is God with you; yet you need to know what is true knowledge – I mean sift chaff from grain.

To “Shine” in your work place, you need to be more than anything else a fine human being.

You need terrific inter personal skills.

You must be a lifelong learner & keep updating your skills.

You must be a fine team player.

You must be sustainable in your thoughts, words and deeds.

To “Reflect” all these, you must eloquently model them.

You must have in you the spirit of sharing.

You must be a happy person with a positive outlook.

You must persist and persevere.

You must remove the scars of yesterday and the fears of tomorrow – live for today!

Hopefully I will endeavour to provide insights into all these for you.

Cheers & wishes for a happy journey of life ahead!!