English Vinglish Happy Vappy

So we head out, my sis in law and a couple of friends late last night to catch Engli-Vingli as Pattani insisted on calling it. We reached the theater, settled in and waited for the promos to finish and the movie to start. Start it did to the hustle and bustle of everyday life in an upper middle-income family. The busy dad, awkward teenager, understanding dadi, the super housewife and the adorable little son. It took a little getting used to the image of Sridevi and her voice. Setting the base and tone for the story we have a few scenes where Shashi is looked down upon because of her lack of English speaking skills.

The movie is predictable, the pace fast and the characters well etched. What elevated the movie in my mind were the little moments. The visuals that spoke more than the words. The wordless magic that was spun by the scenes that played out. The cup of coffee cooling by the patio as Shashi attends to the others in the home. The effortless ease with which she plays the role of an empowered small business owner. The pride with which she puts away her earnings. The facial expressions that speak volumes.

As I walked away from the movie and into the darkness, I had a smile playing on my lips. I mouthed a wordless thank you to Gauri Shinde for keeping the plot simple, the music muted, the characters real and picking a wonderful cast.

I only wished I knew French.


To the moon and back

Thursday night. The clock showed 9:03 PM. Kids were in bed. Saathi zoned out in front of the TV while I leaned back on the recliner with a book in hand. A week back, in conversation with a friend the topic veered to books and she said if there was one book that epitomized Romance it was Chase the Moon by Catherine Nicholson. Intrigued, I searched for and found it was a book written in 1984, the author seemed to have written just a couple of books.

The title seemed simple enough and the cover illustration did not feature tall dark silhouettes. Hmm! I thought. Looked it up on amazon and on an impulse ordered it. Clicking the submit button caused a surge of happiness to shoot through my spine. I have never done anything as impulsive as this I thought. I knew the book would reach in a week. A couple of days later, I heard a shuffling sound by the front door and peeked. A bright yellow envelope lay at the door innocuous enough.

I picked it up and tore it open in a hurry.


I was reluctant to read it right away. So, it stayed tantalizingly in sight. On a desk between the kitchen and the family room. Each time I passed it, I promised myself I would savor it on a weekend night when there was no pressure to wake early the next day. By the time Thursday night came, my resolve weakened. A couple of chapters today I promised myself as I opened the book.

The clock showed 12:35. I closed the book. My eyes slight damp from the tears that must have leaked through somewhere in the two odd hours I roamed through Paris and Biarritz. Rarely do you stumble on books that capture the yearnings of an incurable romantic. The wonder of watching the sunrise with the birds for company. A kind of passion that consumes the human heart in all the fine detail. While this might not be the book for someone looking for long languorous looks and all-consuming physical passion, it is a book that will enchant you if you think sitting at the beach fingers linked staring at the horizon is how you want to live your sunset years.

I put away the book in my library feeling overwhelmed in a mellow sort of way.