Posts by hitherkusum

As a writer, I strive hard to not deviate from the path of presenting discriminations, prejudices and real-life experiences, which often take backseat, especially in today’s assembly-line production system of the publishing industry. Moreover, I strongly believe that a writer owes responsibility towards the society and its people; hence, s/he must use words for bringing forth some of the thought-provoking realities and experiences of the society, which cannot be ruled out and demand immediate attention. Stories, particularly those based on real-life experiences, can assist a society in critically engaging with culture and religion of the present time and can enable its readers in transforming themselves into catalysts of changes. In South Asian countries, writers, especially native writers, have and are playing a crucial role as pressure groups, who through their writings have drawn attention of readers located worldwide to till now deliberately ignored issues and debates. Hence, as a reader and writer, who grew up in one of the tribal-majority areas, I have been immensely inspired by the writings of our native writers. Simple, yet deeply contemplative, stories of Mahasweta Devi, Sadat Hasan Manto, Amrita Pritam, Mahadevi Verma etc have assisted me in intricately examining our society and its divisive forces. Moreover, writings pertaining to some of the new issues related to ‘identity politics’ have drawn my attention too. At the same time, I also grew up reading popular pulp fictions and fascinating stories related to ‘magical realism’, as it transported me into an almost unimaginable realm of the Universe. As a child, I earnestly believed in fairies, mermaids, knolls and dwarfs; but as an adult, lost in the ups and downs of a metropolitan life, I yearn for these endearing characters more than ever. Also, I have been immensely inspired by Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Kamala Das, Pablo Neruda, Orhan Pamuk, etc. Like any other writer, I am not just smitten by words but also by theater and cinema. From the direction of cinema, Piero Paolo Passolini and his works have given a new meaning to my works. Well, the crux is that I love reading and I am literally married to words. Among many things, I love leafing through books and magazines, fragrance of an old novel, big and bold letters of a story, sketching the characters in my mind while reading, books of all sizes and shapes disarranged in a row etc. And, I believe we can never satisfy our ever-dissatisfied souls; therefore, the only right way to control its restlessness is by keep on writing – good, bad, short, long – till the end. Hither Kusum

MON ONCLE – A Review

Image result for mon oncle

Some movies have the tendency to impact the mind of the cinemagoers forever. The impact is so powerful that each and every scene of the movie remains etched in the memory. Irrespective of the time and space, one can still feel the sensation as felt while watching the film.  One of such movies is without any iota of doubt is the classic French film titled “Mon Oncle.” Directed by one of the greatest directors, Jacques Tati, this movie is a comical take on the consequences of growing industrialization and increased dependence on technology. It simultaneously draws attention of the viewers toward the difference between bourgeoisie and proletariat class. It’s a light-hearted visual comedy that leaves the feeling of pleasure and happiness at the end. The charm of the movie is in its unsophisticated portrayal of the daily life of the both classes. Under the brilliant direction of Tati, the easy-going characters and scenes seem extremely believable. It’s extremely endearing to see the way Tati, who also plays the role of the protagonist in the film, brings forth the key theme before the audience and leaves it upon the audience to draw the main lessons out of the entire film.

Related image

As rightly stated by many reviewers, the entire effortlessly shot movie revolves around Tati’s character, Hulot, a simpleton living in a room on the roof. What struck a chord in my heart were the lovely people in the neighborhood of Hulot’s place who shared admirable camaraderie. The amusing life of blue collar workers, such as sweepers, vegetable vendors, etc., is like a treat for the eyes of the audience. Unlike other main characters, Hulot enjoys frolicking around in the city, both alone and with his nephew, Gerard. Despite being unemployed and confused, a matter of grave concern for his sister and her husband, he continues to be care-free and entertaining, least bothered by the rejection for his antics at the new job. The main attraction of the entire film is the antics and prances of Hulot that leave the audience in a fit of laughter. The coming together of the characters obsessed with home-based technology and a simpleton like Hulot leads to a series of amusing mishaps. The cons of leading a life controlled by technology have also been shown in an interesting manner. Some of the amusing cons include the locking up of Hulot’s sister and her husband in their highly technical garage, their inability to conduct a normal conversation due to the constant irritating noise of the machines running in the kitchen, etc. The funniest part of the film is the way fountain is switched on as an exhibit based on the status of the visitor. This shows how technology is used by the bourgeoisie to compete with each other, unlike the proletariats living in the neighborhood of Hulot.

One of the most fascinating parts of the film is the sweet bond between Hulot and Gerard. Unlike his parents, Gerards looks up to Hulot and is always ready to frolic around with him. While he is a fun-loving boy enjoying company of other boys playing innocent pranks on others and eating street food, he looks totally exhausted and bored in his spacious technologically controlled home. He is bored of talking to the guests from his neighborhood due to their superficial mannerisms and foolish conversations. These scenes give an insight into the materialistic and consumerist lifestyle of the bourgeoisie class. Though made as early as 1958, it a movie that stands as relevant as ever. In this age of addiction to mobile phones, movies like Mon Oncle are quite essential.