Mission Mutton Biriyani

The air is filled with the aroma of it. Men, women and children; some burqa clad and some elegantly dressed. Some are already seated on the chairs with a bored expression while others are standing on one leg, slouching to one side, waiting for their rightful place. They are all eagerly longing for a plate for mutton biriyani. You are right, it’s a Muslim wedding reception.

The bride and the groom are on the first floor, elegantly dressed up and have a weary look on their faces. Greeting those unknown people and flashing a fake smile makes it even worse after standing in attention for two long hours. A long queue is leading to the bride and groom. Getting a chance to congratulate the couple after a long wait is like getting a ticket to the dining area on the ground floor, swarmed with people waiting to dig into the piping hot mutton biriyani.

My friends are restless, so am I. We spy on the guest’s plates. They are frustratingly slow in finishing their biriyani, while others are on the lookout for a second serving of biriyani and payasam that comes along with a bun. After sliding in between chairs and creepily standing behind some guests, we find a place. The plates are placed swiftly. Our eyes are in their full efficiency like a 360-degree CCTV camera, searching for the elusive plate of mutton biriyani. The string hoppers (idiyappam) arrives, we gesture our hand in unison, signifying ‘NO’. Next, the brinjal gravy and the bread arrives – Nope. Only Biriyani and Chicken gravy.

The biriyani arrives, to be served in our plate. The biryani travel from a huge cauldron to a big vessel and then transferred to a plate that can be served with a piece of mutton. We dig in to the piping hot biriyani. The meat is tender and flavorful and the rice with a chewy texture.

After all the waiting and chit chatting, we are suspiciously silent. Instead, we get busy devouring the delicious items on our plates, relishing them silently and mindfully. My friends have their own way of pairing with the onion raitha and the brinjal gravy with a piece of mutton. I prefer to have my Mutton Biriyani plainly, with a piece of chicken and gravy to accompany the rice.

Mission accomplished.

Why Long-Distance is The One Word that I Dread?

Who said technology brings people closer?

It made us fall in love,

She craved for intimate affection.

I craved just to hear her voice.

She moved away from home,

In search of a job,

A new city and new life.

Unattended calls and unsent messages,

It made me distant from her

Or was she distancing herself?

Ping! A notification,

She had fallen in love,

With a person who gave her,

What she craved for…

Mayaanadhi: A Stirring Tale of Romance

The romance genre in Indian films is mostly dominated by two storylines – A man and woman falling in love and then there are problems, either caused by their parents or goons, or a man stalking a girl till she falls for him in the end supported by a mix of romantic songs.

Here is where the Malayalam movie Mayaanadhi comes into the picture. Starring Tovino Thomas and Aishwarya Lekshmi , the movie stands out as a one-of-a-kind movie in terms of story, characterization, and performance.

Several special aspects lend a magical touch to the movie. John Mathew a.k.a Mathan (Tovino) is introduced as a racketeer who is trailed by the police while he is immersed in love with Aparna (Aishwarya) who is now ambitious in making it big in the cinema industry. Aparna who has distanced from Mathan owing to a small rift ends up being loved by him again (or falling in love again?)

Director Aashiq Abu takes the movie slowly, giving enough time for the audience to get the feel of the movie. Mayaanadhi is refreshingly realistic in terms of dialogue delivery and the depiction of the society in general. The sequence where a Aparna’s mom prods her to come home to attend family functions and proudly mentions her educational qualifications to the guests. The film has a feminist undertone in it, which subtly delivers the message and is not forced into the movie with hard-hitting dialogues. Aparna never mentions her ambitions nor desire to settle down, yet Mathan never intends on giving up on her. She is stuck, at times confused and silently craves for Mathan’s love.

The cinematography by Jayesh Mohan is top-notch, especially in the romantic love-making sequence where the lead characters are blissfully into each other and capturing their faces of happiness. Rex Vijayan delivers soundtracks lend a memorable touch to the movie, with use the soundtrack of ‘Uyirin Nadhiye’ in various parts of the movie.

There is one line by the heroine that made an impact in the movie – “Sex is not a promise.” I cannot reveal anything more about this particular sequence or about the movie as it will lose the magic. This one sets a benchmark in Malayalam cinema and for Indian cinema as a whole.

Raining Love

Essential, scarce and mysterious.
Dripping down your freckled cheeks,
They roll down like pearls,
Cut off from a string.
The sky kept worshipping you,
While I kissed your wet lips.
The world around me blanketed,
In darkness.
We stood in the Rain,
After all,
We were raining in passion.