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Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Different Farm




























































































There was a time when every malayalee family had one or more elders in thier house .



With the advent of nuclear families and the lean and mean age the seniors either stay alone if they have the place or either they are dumped into senior homes or some even on the streets .



many children today have never enjoyed the cosy laps of thier grandmothers while listening to tall tales ,they have traded this to the soft cushions in front of an idiot box or a play station vacantly staring at dotted images due to no fault of thiers .



Again with many of thier offsprings abroad or in ohter places within the country and visitng them occasionaly and sometimes never there are many senior members of the society staying in big houses all alone ,thier security is questionable and they are helpless when they fall sick .



Thomas should have thought of all this when he thought of building a seniors home .



Unlike the existing ones this one he feels would be different in its whole approach ,like a fresh breath .



The idyllic land placed admidst the placid backwaters off Shertallai close to all comforts but at the same time tantalisingly away from the dust and din reaching to acres owned by Thomas was made to order for such a purpose .



Quaint huts with smoky roofs reaching out to the green tree tops ,thickly canopied coconut fronds swaying in the pleasant wind that blows across the ripe paddy in the swampy fields



waddling ducks that play between your legs while walking in t he brown pathways meandering along the sides of sparkling water ,ponds ,canals ,thatched and roofed houses which dot the farm



Mango and jackfruit trees give a lot of shade and there is an air of somber peace that settles in as one drinks in nature in all its tangy freshness .

The azure skies lit by a setting sun which casts an etheral glow over the placid waters make the place akin to a painting

Thomas chief engineer for the CGH Earth Group for many years has rich experience with similar projects ,with his technical prowess and training ,his creative mind and astute business sense he had completed several such projects and this one is personal

to him it is a tribute to the aged ,

he always felt for thier plight and wanted to build a centre which to them would be a home away from a home .
unlike other senior homes there would no compromise on comforts and even luxuries
Thomas feels the aged deserve the best
individual cottages which could be sold or leased to couples or singles would have every facility available including domestic help .
The fittings would be all done with the senior citizens kept in mind

Even though each cottage would be furnished with a clean kitchen with all utilities a common kitchen and restaurant with home service would be available
the place would be totally secure with in house medical facilites and quick transportation to any place needed an ATM inside would help banking needs .
Praying facilities for all religons ,common club house , sports area ,Gym and a safe swimming pool would give respite to tired joints
yoga ,physiotherapy and saunas would also be there with trained instructors
A well fitted guest house with deluxe rooms would be available for visitors and relatives to stay as they come visit thier parents .

The plans are slowly and surely beggining to bloom as the landscape is being designed and the cottages being planned .

this is a venture where one could pay and get the best of comfort available ,the benifits would also fall on old people who cannot afford once it establishes itself .
on my last visit to Kerala I went with Thomas to vist the farm and fell for it
now you know where to look out for me when Iam old ! ( 20 yrs ahead )





































Friday, August 05, 2011

Salt N Pepper...... movie review



For a foodie like me this new malayalam movie was appetising indeed .

I sincerely wish more such malayalam films catering to a discerning audience are created .



The creator of the movie has blended a story of love for food bringing together two older persons who had missed the boat in thier younger days .

Food is always in the background ,be it in the steamy dough that magically turns into Kuttiyil thatu dosa (Pais dosa is a well known eating spot in Ernakulam where one gets more than 100 varieties of dosa at a jiffy....probably Pai gave the inspiration for the film ) or in the soft and succulent unniappams which makes the hero Lal whisk away the male cook of the house instead of the girl he had gone to see for possible marriage in his younger days .

The cook excellently enacted by Baburaj ( I had seen him as a stuntman and a villain in several movies ) showing great potential in a character role here ,he not only becomes the long term cook but also a conscience keeper for bachelor Lal who is an archeologist happy with rummaging in the past while living a sumptous presence in good food and essential Kerala Brews ( smalls ) to fill his soul and flesh.

Lal who has proved his mettle in acting in earlier movies never diasappoints us and is well paired with Swetha Menon who reminds me of Shabana Azmi with her prowess .

Swetha too is a natural in histrionics and a good looker too .





Lal has a nephew in the film enacted by Asif Ali ,he is an yuppie always seen with a speaker glued to his ears ,he begins all the mischief by presenting Lal a mobile phone by which Lal comes into contact by accident with another foodie Maya ( Swetha Menon ) who is a dubbing artiste

The phone romance almost fructifies on the day they are scheduled to meet each other but both wary of thier age and deficiencies in looks get one proxy to represent them and send them instead of going themselves .

Asif acts as a proxy to his uncle and meenakshi the young roomamte of maya turns up as her proxy and naturally the young ones promptly fall into love .


The older now lovelorn couple who never see each other till the time the film ends are strongly discouraged by thier proxies who tell them that the other person is too young for them.

A lot of frustration creeps up into Lal and Swetha who by now lose all thier hopes for a late age romance which to them was almost a final swing in thier lives

Vijayaraghavan acting as a senior archeologist who manages to position his digs near his former romantic intrests present house and the silent Moopan a tribal elder are the other lively characters that fill the film but above all it is food that takes the prima donna role and romance slowly but surely enriches it .
In the end all turns well when Lal and Swetha meet up in the Trivandrum museum after some twists and turns and bury thier past for a rich future .



The film reminded me of Cheeni Khum a hindi movie with Amithabh Bhachan as a chef in a London restaurant ,here too Amitabh is an older person involved with food and falls in love .


So friends remember that love for food and love for hearts go along together

Dont we all know that foodies have big hearts and can take a lot of love as much as they can take a lot of food !!!

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