Friday, September 19, 2008



All marriages do not start off with love as the unifying bond. One of the many banes of a traditionally inclined Indian mindset is the notion of arranged marriages. However, Indian women, being one of the most malleable of the female species on earth, adapt. Until, like the unfortunate Meenakshi, a stranger sweeps them off their feet. And they live on, resigned to the reality of their essential predicament. That marriage itself is a convenience for everybody except the two most closely concerned with it. That to satisfy everyone, one must brutally dissatisfy oneself. It is this moment of realization that the film ‘Mr & Mrs Iyer’ arrests with a crystal clear epiphany.

“What does your husband do?’ Raja casually asks. “Why, don’t you know? He’s a wildlife photographer !” is Meenakshi’s retort. It is meant to sound like a joke and both laugh dutifully. It is a joke that also underscores subtly the peculiar nameless bond between them. The husband is, in social parlance, the man the wife is supposed to love. In this exception, one of many perhaps, the man Meenakshi falls in love with poses as her husband at a critical point in the narrative. The irony is only too evident. Raja, in an oddly reflective tone, observes, “In general, the husband gives his name to the wife. Here, a wife is giving her name to the husband !” Curious indeed. But on further contemplation, perhaps it is not so surprising, after all. In a moment of crisis, assuming the name of ‘Mr Iyer’ saves Raja’s life. The ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ are social tags. One needn’t necessarily identify them as integral to one’s basic identity in a relationship. After all, we love a person and not a mere name. ‘Mr Iyer’ thus comes to represent to an objective onlooker the man Mrs Iyer might have loved, had she been allowed to make her own choices in life. The man with whom she might have spent beautiful moments of her life. In a tree house. In a guest house tucked away somewhere in the unchartered depths of a forest. On a moonlit night. In darkness, with only their quiet breathing for company. In moments of self exploration.

The past, however, cannot be blotted out. Neither can an uncertain future hold out of a promise of happiness. Thus, the only compensation one can effect is by living in and for the present, with the past for occasional stoic company.

If this interested you, you might not mind having a look at a rather well-penned contemporary review of the film...


S.A.M.B.I.T said...

By the way nice blog..
My self also a blogger..

Casuarina said...

Thanks awfully. Would appreciate detailed feedback too !


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