Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Great Indian Kitchen

This is not  a movie review but my own thoughts

A friend suggested I see this Malayalam movie, The Great Indian Kitchen.  To put it mildly I was shocked and stunned.  Having lived my entire adult life in USA, I could not believe this was happening in an educated family in India.

Nimisha Sanjayan is a dancer and brought up in Bahrain.  She gets into an arranged marriage with a teacher in Kerala.  Her in law home is a patriarchal family.  She tries very hard to adjust and be submissive.  But they test her patience.

Don’t want to give the end of the story.

The movie is directed by Jeo Baby.

The actress Nimisha Sanjayan did not just act.  She becomes a real submissive housewife.  She tries to adjust to their whims and fancies.  But she can tolerate only so much.

She tolerates some of the disgusting things:

The husband and father in law eat and spit the waste all over the dining table.  She has to eat there after men finished eating.  But when they go to a restaurant, the husband shows good table manners.  The wife asks him about it.  The husband gets made and ask her to apologize.

The father in law is a cunning character.  He asks her not to cook rice in a gas stove.  He wants his rice cooked only in fire.  He does not like his clothes washed in a washing machine.  He asks the daughter in law to wash his clothes by hand.

I don’t even want to go about her sufferings during her monthly period time.  She should be away from everyone else.  In fact, it was suggested she should not sleep in a bed.  She should sleep on the floor.

The movie is not about the “great” Indian kitchen.  It is about the Indian domestic slavery.  It is about a wife who is a cook, cleaner, and a sex slave.

Excellent movie.  Everyone should watch this.  Orthodox patriarchal families should learn a lesson.

22 comments:

  1. Sadly SG I know this story only too well and I know that still such practices are prevalent in India and who knows even in indian families residing in US... but the ending is worth watching...no wonder there has been an increase in divorce rate in India....go women power....this movie made me so mad and I cheered for her in the end.....was extremely happy for her.....well written SG......

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    1. Thanks for your comments Dee. This happens even in some Indian families in USA too? I didn't know that.

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  2. This was the practice several decades back. If it happens now, i will call the husband a spineless character and encourage the girl just to walk out.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Mr. KP. HeHeHe. You are right. The husband is a spineless character.

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  3. Since you are on Malayalam movies, you should watch Drishyam-2 as well.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. I saw Dhrishyam-2 a few weeks ago. Very good one. Hope Kamala Hasan makes Papanasam-2.

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  4. I haven't seen the movie but what you mention is relatable to what i have observed or heard of while growing up in small town. Though much has changed over time, i am sure, there are places where this is still practiced. What surprises me the most is that, some women willingly participate in such regressive practices. Perhaps it is because of the way we are conditioned since childhood, while growing in such orthodox families.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Ajeya. I agree with you. We personally know a professor at a prestigious university in USA who told us --- whenever she visits India on vacation...in her inlaw home..she has to stay in the kitchen only and not allowed to come where men folk are talking. She told us she tolerated because it was only a 3 week vacation time.

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  5. I haven't seen this. Will surely do. Actually many good movies, like Dhrishyam 1 and 2, also remain to be watched.

    I really don't understand why men / husbands behave like that. Maybe something to do with psychology, upbringing? I don't know. It's not just at home, one finds such devilish characters all over the place, in offices, on streets ...

    I once thought domestic violence was only in India that too in uneducated families. I was really surprised to learn how prevalent it is even in educated societies and developed countries.

    In India, once upon a time, women had to suffer all these. They had no option, because marriage was a necessity from the point of view of survival. Today, gladly, it's not so.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Pradeep. You are correct. With women financially independent, they don't have to put up with this.

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  6. Do hope the movie has a happy ending.
    Really sad to see that such things are still continuing in real life.
    Hope no woman has to go through such...
    Such double standards! Imagine behaving properly like a civilized person in a restaurant & spitting all over the place at home!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Anita. The movie had a happy ending. Depends on what we think is happy ending. I think it is a happy ending. The husband never repaired the leaking pipe in the sink in spite of her asking her asking him to call a plumber for 3 months. Last scene. He orders her to bring 8 cups of tea. She takes the nasty water from the leaked sink and throws at the face of her husband and father in law and walks out of the house. She becomes a dance teacher again.

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    2. Interesting! Nasty water from sink instead of 8 cups of tea :)
      Serves them right!
      Glad she pursues what she loves and no longer be a slave.

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    3. Just saw this video-
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTjrj4oSdjw
      The husband initially stops & then encourages his wife to continue her dance.

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  7. Ironically the husband character is a teacher who is supposed to instill good values in children

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    1. Thank for your comment Jayashree. And, welcome to my blog. Yes, the person who is supposed to instill good values in children is such a bad character.

      Jayashree, please visit here as often as possible. Thanks.

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  8. I haven’t seen this movie tho many told to see . Planning soon when I get time

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    1. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. Please see this movie. It is a good one.

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  9. I am going to see this movie- apparently with titles on netflix...I raed about it yesterday and today on your blog!

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    1. Thanks for your comments My Space. And. Welcome to my blog. I don't know Malayalam either. I saw this movie with English sub titles. I am sure you will enjoy this movie.

      My Space, please visit here as often as possible. Thank you.

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  10. I haven't seen this movie, though I have a plan to watch it. Some unlawful happenings occurred in Kerala families, decades or a century back. First it was matrilineal system, in which the eldest brother was responsible for everything in the family. Some people were cruel and made their sisters, nephews and nieces suffer much. Some people were selfless and hence suffered due to the undue demands of sisters. Then came patriarchal lineage into force. The husbands were bossy masters and wives were slaves; exceptions numerous were there though. Now totally changed the things in Kerala. The female's voice is loud and bickering is frequent and upshot in some cases separation, reunion and the like.
    Nice impressions.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sarala. And, thanks for the history lesson about Kerala.

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