Sunday, October 07, 2012

English Vinglish - A GangVani rear-view

There are two types of knowledgeable people.
First are those who know something and make a big deal out of it. They are the ones who want the world to know about their prowess of knowledge and boast of being superior to many by the virtue of what they have come to know, in the process hurting or humiliating those who don't have that knowledge.
And to constitute the second type, there are people who know a lot of things and yet are able to keep themselves grounded. They don't really show off their knowledge to gain superiority, but in stead prefer passing a slight grin when someone else shows off in front of them.

Apart from Sri Devi's atypical Hindi accent( for someone who knows only Hindi), everything in Gauri Shinde's English-Vinglish comes as a breeze of fresh air into the movie hall. People should watch it for their mothers, with their mothers. Sri Devi portrays the role of Shashi, a typical higher-middle class home maker and mother of two, who gets up every morning and goes to bed every night without spending a minute in between for herself. She loves making laddus and also sells it to the local neighborhood only to get mocked by her non-appreciating "busy-in-a-meeting" husband at the end of the day. Although her life revolves around her kids but she doesn't get the respect she deserves because of her scrimpy knowledge of the English language. Her daughter feels ashamed to introduce her to her friend's mother, her husband feels uncomfortable to hug a lady colleague in front of her, but strangely though, inside all this unjustified 'judgmental' atmosphere Shashi is shown to have found peace. Shashi, like all mothers, forgives. And perhaps that is why she continues to survive with equal determination and equal love everyday. Coming back to the plot.
Shashi's sister who lives in New York, informs them about the wedding of Shashi's niece. Shashi is forced to go 4 weeks in advance to New York, and that too all alone to help her sister arrange the wedding. Although unwilling to leave her family alone, Shashi sets foot on New York. A country of unknowns, unknown faces, unknown food, unknown culture and most importantly unknown language.
Here begins the adventure of transformation and self-realization.

There are no negative characters in this film. Everything is circumstantial.
How often do we yell at our mothers out of no important reasons?
How often do we get irritated at their asking simple questions which seem silly to our complicated brains? When we miss our girl friend, we make it a point to tell her that so that she gets to know that and misses us in return, but do we do the same for our mothers? How many of us have called up their mothers to tell her that we miss her? The number would be very few. 
Do we communicate with her so well, that she can tell us how much she misses us?
Don't we find it "uncool" sitting amongst our friends when she calls up to know where we are?
In the process of growing up, we tend to forget the factor that always stays with us. We tend to take her for granted and never really care that she might get hurt at our actions. We treat her in the worst possible way, we get rude, we manhandle her emotions as we know that no matter what, she will never go away. She will forgive and love us back.
And the funny part is, these things doesn't make us the villains.
English Vinglish is an eye opener for those who have ignored their home makers. Its for those who feel inferior to walk hand-in-hand with their mothers because its not "cool". Its for those who educate themselves and consider their mothers illiterate. Its to show how fake is that education. Its for those who love their mothers, but never make her feel loved. Watch it to hear the words your mother might not ever say to you, as you will never ask how she really feels. Watch it to celebrate motherhood. Watch it to get grounded.

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