"Moonam pakkam" : The third day


Moonam pakkam, like all other works of Padmarajan, is a piece of creative ingenuity.
The movie is centered around human relationships- the delicate nature of human relationships, their complexity, and the way the ordinary pattern of our lives revolves around these relationships. It focuses on the simple things that give meaning and purpose to life.
In this movie, the main focus is on the relationship between Jayaram (grandson) and Thilakan (grandfather). Jayaram gives meaning to Thilakan’s life, justifying his continuing existence.
But, on a closer look, we are made to realize that the movie portrays a delicate network of intertwined relationships:
Nalini, whose life is solely nourished by Thilakan’s generosity.
Bhadra, whose dreams and goals revolve around Jayaram. While her grandfather fills the void of her parents, Jayaram gives her life a direction, a goal.
Jagathi- yet another lonely soul, who integrates himself into Thilakan’s network and fills the void in his own life.
The old doctor, whose association with Thilakan is so old and deep that one tends to overlook it.
They are all people deprived in their own ways, but the deprivation is buried by the social network that these people have created, filling the void in each others’ lives, and giving warmth to each other.
On the peripheries of this network of human relationships, are physical factors, which derive meaning from the rim of human existence that surrounds them- the lovely old house built in wood, the pond, the trees and fields, the sea and sands, the forts and ruins…
Death will always be a haunting fiasco in all our lives. This movie addresses the impact of death on our carefully woven lives.
Death targets our near and dear, and we learn to come to terms with it…we shift our goal and focus, and we continue to live.
Sometimes, death brings to surface the depth of a relationship. Also, death is powerful; it puts back the focus on all the negativities surrounding us, highlighting our hollow existence. Both these are highlighted with great sensitivity in this movie:
The grandson-grandfather relationship is so deep, that it is ordinary and natural. Had the grandson not met with death, the essence of this relationship would have been lost on us.
Also, while the grandson lives, Thilakan’s platter seems full. His grandson’s death brings to light the frightful loneliness and emptiness in his life.
This movie has a simplicity about it. It is so ordinary that one would mistake it for real life. Like Vincent says- simple works of art are the most difficult to replicate coz they have practiced the most rigid elimination.
Like all of Padmarajan’s movies, the location is a tranquil place, with immense natural beauty, and very little people…where one can hear the sounds of nature.
This movie is built on a deep rooted emotional plane- there is no element of heightened emotion all along the movie, and then it terminates abruptly with a haunting climax, throwing on our face, the horrors and the powers of reality, that we so cleverly choose to not acknowledge.

Dear diary….

There are two souls who have shared my life a long way. One of them is Bangalore city…and the other, of course, is you- my diary.

Bangalore- the city where I was born…the city which saw me through all phases of my life until that fateful day when I left it for good. A city where I own nothing now…save for the memories. The memories, they are all over the city. The memories connect me to the soul of that city. That city has a beautiful soul- a soul which has inherent happiness within it…and which always made me a part of its own happiness. A city that thrust into my life a lot of light, colour, love and happiness. A city whose soul I could always perceive. While I celebrated my life with people, I could see the city wink at me…show me a thumbs up…an invisible presence which always made itself visible to me. We had this perpetual silent communication between us. Bangalore, to me, was beautiful and sensuous. In its pace of life, its weather, its character, its blend of tradition and modernity, its cosmopolitan feel, its infectious zeal, its optimism, its well-lit streets, its people- there was something palpably beautiful. And to Bangalore, I was beautiful (that is how it always made me feel). The freshness and fragrances that lingered, the dampness of my hair and the feel of the breeze against my face, the dreams in my eyes, the smile on my lips, the bubbliness in me, the feel of freedom as I rode my bike across its streets in the evenings- I used to feel beautiful from within. On that fateful day when I said goodbye to Bangalore, I did not know that I would eventually find myself in a place where life is as harsh as the sun that shines there. From a city that nurtured me like I was some delicate princess, I moved to a place where I withered away. I know that it is an essential component of life- the exposure to life at its ground level, with all its hardships and brutality…but there is the longing to occasionally return to the comfort of the city which parented me and to revert back to the childish innocence that characterized those years of my life. I long to visit that city…to spend time with it…to let it come to me…to talk to its soul…and to re-experience in my mind all that I once experienced.

My association with you (my diary) is not as old as with Bangalore, but then you have seen me through those phases of my life which are immensely valuable to me today. The year was 1994. We were all into those magical years of adolescence. That beautiful and profound phase when we suddenly become aware of the existence of our own being. That is how I remember it. Until that point in life, I had always looked outward…and had been oblivious to the existence of my own being. And then suddenly, I started looking inward…for something phenomenal was happening to my body and mind. It was the beauty that pulsated within me that longed to spill out…and to color the world in its own colors. I was both confused and excited at the same time. I wished to talk to myself…to hear the voice of my own being…to discover myself. That was when you were born. I was able to give form to my inner voice within your pages. You have known me since then- since the time I started to know myself. You have seen me evolve. And I have come such a long way. Yet, to this day, I feel the same with you- the same ease and comfort as those early years. To you, I can always be myself. I can be blatantly honest and truthful…without fear of hurting or being hurt…without fear of losing something precious…without fear of being judged.

From being naive and vulnerable, I have become wiser…stronger. And yet, on a day when I am exhausted from being strong, it is my memory tree that I turn to. The tree stands sturdy in a wild forest, and it is the only one of its kind. On this tree, there are no sorrows…no dangers…no unpleasantness. It is a huge tree with extensive branches. Each of those branches is home to me. I love going back to them and feeling the warmth and comfort of their familiarity. And then, I am ready to take on all the struggles in the forest. That is the magic of this memory tree. It is my only possession in this world…a possession from which I ‘create’. It is a tree whose branches touch my dreams…and whose roots are formed by emotions. The roots are deep…for emotions have profound depth. I used to think that we ‘contain’ emotions…but in truth, emotions contain us. They are too deep to be contained as a whole within one mortal being.

You are special in that I can trace my evolution within you. Within your visible pages…between the words on your pages…I can perceive my own self. And the path that I have traversed lights up as I read you and reveals to me a beautiful journey of life!