I went to watch Jodhaa Akbar on Friday night with my parents – completely impromptu. It was the first time in months I actually watched an Indian movie for more than 10 seconds, and probably the first time in a year that I watched it in a theatre, my last one being Water. [Of course, Water is in a completely different class from this, being an independent film by Deepa Mehta, the director of Fire, the famous Indian lesbian film.] Usually I can’t stand most Indian movies – a subject which I’ll expound on another day.
I am soooo gay. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t realise it earlier.
I came out to myself officially about 3 years ago, and from there, it took me about a year or two to be absolutely, 100%, no-looking-back sure. And it is small revelations like this that just adds to the pile of evidence.
What revelation am I talking about? I doubt anyone reading this blog will understand what I am talking about, but today I caught the beginning of an old Malayalam movie, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, translated literally as “A Brave Western Tale”. It is a tale, set in the Kairali training grounds, of love and loss, of tragedy, of an orphan’s journey of being rejected. This movie is as classic, as enduring, as solid in the Malayali culture and history as you can get.
The film itself was made shortly after I was born, but set in a much olden time where women dressed like this:
[I can't get a better photo, sorry.... this was before the internet age].
They were simultaneously strong warrior women and angel-like beings of beauty and grace. They set the standard for femininity, and captured the imagination of an entire generation. Only now I realise it, but I fantasised extensively about these women at that time [I was six or seven when I was first able to watch and understand the movie I think]. I thought I wanted to be like them… but now I know I really wanted them. Them with their elaborate hairdos, their voluptuous ripe bodies, their grace and passion.
Talking about these women, I might as well take this opportunity to gush about Vidya Balan, who first captured my attention when she played Lalita in Parineeta.
I totally fell in love with the character in the movie… this intelligent, witty, strong woman who is at the same time, a little domicile and soft, a paragon of Indian femininity and natural beauty. I seriously can’t take my eyes off her when I watch her on screen.
But of course, perfect women like this don’t exist in real life – which is why they are called fantasies, isn’t it?