Swallow and The Great Indian Kitchen

It’s no secret that we live in a patriarchal world. We are at the dawn of new cultural reform, we are now truly understanding individual choices and freedom after years of shout-outs and books. But, any progress is progress. And to mark this progress, I bring out two cinematic parallels, Swallow (2020) and The great Indian kitchen (2021).

On the surface level, they might appear as two different films. But the thing that I clubbed them together is because in-depth they are the same movie! No, I’m not accusing of plagiarism, but I’m just pointing out the similarities in the theme. And this thematic similarities doesn’t occur from copying each other, but they exist around the world. 

The common theme in both the films is the identity crisis of a woman who is deemed to be a housewife for the rest of her life. And this happens everywhere in the world. The term housewife is synonymous to housemaid, the only difference is the wife is unpaid and should provide more services than a maid.

The theme

It is no exaggeration when I say women feel choked when this happens. Why would they as individuals should let another individual overshadow their identity? Now, the husbands don’t do that voluntarily in many cases, but it is indeed happening! In the name of culture and traditions we have long been shadowing a woman’s identity.

Both Swallow and The great Indian kitchen deal with this identity crisis of a housewife in their own different ways, deconstructing norms of their own regions. While Swallow is more focused on maternity, abortion, identity, freedom; The great Indian kitchen also touches religious and other cultural sentiments.

While Swallow is cleverly crafted and dealt with metaphors and surreal/psychological elements, TGK is straightforward and loud. TGK doesn’t hesitate from being passed away as over-spoken or being too predictable. TGK only cares about conveying the message and hence it is a mission accomplished. Right from the very first frame, the message and themes are clearly visible and understood in TGK.

The films as whole

While it is an artistic choice on how to make a film, it would have been better if TGK was not predictable. But at the same time, I’m hit with the dilemma that what if that is what they wanted to create? What if Jeo Baby, the maker, intended to bore me with predictability, because that is the entire point of the film. 

The film is nothing but an orthodox family and its housewife’s daily chores. Of course it’s predictable and repetitive. If this predictability was an artistic choice, it was a good thing to do so, because the message about the boredom and jail-ish feel of a housewife life is super conveyed!

But if it was a coincidence, then it was a lucky one. I wasn’t in awe looking at TGK as a film. But was in awe of the guts of the maker and the actor’s flawless acting. But if you ask if I would suggest TGK to others? Definitely I would! I urge all women and especially Indians to watch TGK!

Swallow keeps you hooked on with its interesting plot and character development. And it doesn’t feel like the plot is leading the character towards the shift. But it happens with TGK. Somewhere in the middle I felt like the character development was a bit shallow. It left a lot of doubts about the protagonist. The plot led the character shift in TGK, not how it should have happened. 

 We need more TGKs!

If only there were more details on the protagonist, it would have led the character development go smooth and doesn’t feel forced and projected. But Jeo Baby’s target was arranged marriage, regional cultural norms of marriage and post-married life of a housewife, so he might just have thought the details to be unnecessary. But the details would only have given a sense of completeness in the end.

India needs more movies like TGK. It is only through movies can we really make a cultural reform now. It’s time we understood why arranged marriages won’t work and only cause pain. It is already late to realise that housewives are nothing but housemaids with benefits.

Paava Kadhaigal, an apt title for such a wonderful anthology. This anthology speaks about four different stories with one common emotion, the honour killings. Directed by Sudha Kongara, Gautham Menon, Vetrimaaran and Vignesh Shivan, one story each. This is an anthology that portrays humans’ cruelty to sustain the honour in society.
The series begins with a beautiful graphic story that briefs all the tales in a nutshell played with a soulful BGM.

The concept-

As the series runs around the concept of honour killings, each story tells a different tale of why and how honour killings happen. Though centuries have passed, specific ideas still aren’t passe like “honour killings”. It is a beautiful concept to talk about as people should progress as the world is progressing.

The narration-

Every story has been narrated with a subtility that one can’t ignore the reality behind such stories. But one story that didn’t strike the heartstrings was the story directed by Vignesh Shivan. It stands last when compared with other stories of Paava Kadhaigal.

All angles study-

While the stories got us goosebumps with the hits and punches of emotions, some memorable scenes need light.
In the first story, Kalidas Jayaram plays Sattharu who just wooed us with his performance. The dialogue, “People either got irritated if I go close or came close to me with lust, no one ever hugged me with love!” brought a massive thought into how trans people are treated in society. Kalidas just lived through every tear he shed for the role. The song, “Thangame Thangame” still echoes in my ears.

In the second story, Jyothi, played by Anjali, expresses a deep emotion when she cries before her sister’s dead body.

In the third story, the chemistry between Mathi and Satya played by Simran, and Gautam Menon perfectly worked. When they are happy to when they are sad, the shift of emotions and expressions portrayed a perfect couple.

In the fourth story, Sumathi, played by Sai Pallavi, performed exceptionally in the climax scene. The conversation between Sumathi and Janakiram played by Prakash Raj is heartbreaking.

There are a few parts that are questionable in the series. Every swear word used in Paava Kadhaigal is women-centric. Where such liberal stories are spoken, these words shouldn’t hinder the audiences’ ears. We understand when they are used in anger, but story directed by Vignesh Shivan made a whole scene with swear words which had no purpose. The climax is an epic fail as there wasn’t a need to show that Jothi acted as a lesbian while she isn’t. It could have been better if the story had ended as if Jothi is lesbian.

That being said, there is too much to be told and consumed in this series. One cannot go without tears rolling in the eyes after watching Paava Kadhaigal. The foolishness of humans to have a hold of pride and honour in the name of caste, religion, status, societal standards should be stopped, and for what, Paava Kadhaigal is the answer!

The internet has become a significant part of our lives. According to a survey conducted by Forbes in 23 countries, more than two-thirds of the people cannot imagine their life. India is leading the study with 82%. By the stats, it is safe to assume that the internet has become an essential commodity.

To access the internet, we need a browser and a search engine. Google is the most popular search engine with an 87.35% market share. In the following article, let us learn Six browser secrets that only avid internet users know.

1. Keyboard Shortcuts: There are plenty of keyboard shortcuts that make the browser experience intuitive and easy. Let us learn some of them.

● You can switch between the tabs without using a mouse or touchpad, just press and hold the Control key and the number 1 to 9 depending on the tab number you want to navigate. For instance, if you have more than nine tabs, you can navigate using Control Key and Page Up or Page Down.

● You can open the downloads window for the browser just by pressing the Control key and J.

● You can quickly delete browsing data by pressing Control Shift and D and clear it.

● Closed a tab by mistake? No worries, you can quickly recover by pressing Control Shift and T.

● You can quickly go to the URL bar for typing by pressing Control and K or Control and E.

2. As a note pad:   You can convert any browser into a note pad with a simple link. It will be handy for people who do not want to switch tabs, especially on the phone and do not want to install a new application. Enter the below code in the URL bar, and you can enter the text and save it as an HTML file.

code : data:text/html, <html contenteditable> 

3. Easy Email Compose from URL bar: You can compose an email from the URL bar directly without opening your domain website. It is very convenient to skip the part of opening another website, clicking on compose, and doing it.

Just type “mailto:” after the colon, enter the email address you want to send the mail. Your default email client will automatically launch with a compose window. You can type the Email and send it.

 4. Reverse image search: If you want images similar to the image you have, Google has an impressive feature for you. You can upload the image or enter the URL, and Google will find the pictures for you.

Just go to images.google.com; if you are doing this on the phone, select the checkbox beside Desktop Site from the menu (3 vertical dots). Now upload the image or paste the URL, and Google will find pictures for you.

5. Getting better search results: You can make a few changes and get better search results. Let’s see a few of them.

● You can get search results involving specific keywords. To do that, Use quotes (“) for a particular word in your phrase, and you will get it.

● You can eliminate results containing particular words. To do that, use the minus or dash(-) sign to exclude results for that word in your phrase. It helps to eliminate the search results of a particular website you don’t want. 

● You can get the documents of a particular file type. To do that, enter the topic you want to have a document for and enter “file-type” and the document’s extension (pdf or doc, etc.). By this, you will get the required documents for your search.

 6. Fun with Google: There is a lot of fun stuff you can do with Google as your search engine. Let us find them out.

● Open google and type “do a barrel roll.” You will see that the page will roll.

● Open google and type “Google Askew,” and open the first link. You will see the home page tilted.

● Open google and type “Google Gravity” and open the first link and see the home page fall!.

● Open google and type “zerg rush,” and open the first link and have fun playing!

● Open google and type ” Google Sphere,” and open the first link. You will see the home page in sphere mode.

● Open google and type “Atari Breakout” and enjoy the nostalgiac experience of the game!

● Open google and type “Google Pacman,” and enjoy the Pacman right on your computer with that classical music!

Conclusion:

With the world internet growing very fast and reaching millions of people, we have everything at fingertips. Not only the above six but there are many more secrets and hidden features that we can use and take the maximum advantage of the browser. So go out there and dig as much as you can. Have fun using the above features for your comfort and convenience.

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