Wednesday, July 12, 2017

OUR GOOD-OLD THALI AND OUR GOOD-OLD MASALA FILMS






Today, if we are losing interest in the Indian Thali, it is not a good sign. Whoever started it (Thali) first, and whenever it was… I must say one thing: Thali symbolizes Life… It comes with everything… sweet and sour, bitter, spicy and pungent… There is achaar (pickle) and karela (bitter goad), there is dahi (curd) and gulab jamun (sweet dish)… papad to crush, pepper water to clear your throat… Welcome everything, accept and relish everything… above all, give thanks for everything…

We called it a ‘complete meal’… the ‘Plate’… the ‘Thali’!

Very much similar have been our films… Hindi, Marathi, Gujrathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malyalam, Punjabi, Bengali, Bhojpuri all… They contained everything… Song and dance, romance and fights, comedy and tragedy, hope and despair, and, above all, a happy ending… We called them ‘Masala Films’… Yes, whoever started this trend, and whenever, yes, they understood Life from close quarters… We all had stress and worries in our lives and we went to the cinema halls just to forget them for a while… and, we all came back home from the cinema halls with smiles on our faces, hope rekindled in our hearts… a lot more energized…

The classic example of this kind of film was ‘Sholay’. It had everything… It was intense and it was brutal… It was heart-warming and heart-breaking… and, above all, it had memorable comedy… top class!

Why am I talking, today, about the Indian Thali and the Indian masala-films?

Today, young kids – both boys and girls – are crazy about comedy. Talented young boys and girls create outstanding acts and perform before an audience, majorly comprising of ‘sophisticated’ youth… You can see girls going crazy… Their boyfriends have to! Some of these acts are really original and you can really connect… They come from real life… and, that’s good. Social media, YouTube and other media have made it easy for both, the performers as well as the audience, to enjoy it…

And, there is this ‘Roast’… good, bad and ugly all!

Anyone. who, genuinely, makes us laugh… help us forget our worries for a while… help us reduce our stress and become childlike… yes, I think, he does a great service to the society. We need more of this breed…

But, honestly, I would rather sit inside a dark cinema-hall and laugh along with my tears, hope along with my despair and soar along with my fears, rather than sit before a stand-up comedian or a roast master and only keep laughing… I need to be reminded of real Life which doesn’t come with laughter alone…

That’s why, given a choice in a restaurant, I will, any time, go for our good-old Thali rather than an exclusive Butter Chicken or Tandoori Paneer Masala…

Nothing can beat the 'wholemeal experience' of our good-old masala films, you see!

GERALD D’CUNHA


Pic.: Internet

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