Room (2015)

Sometimes one doesn’t know what to expect from a movie or a book at all. Reading a review can also make you very judgmental of a team’s love affair with a story that they have put so much time and money to turn into life.

So The Purple Frog has a way of making choices here.

Over the years, it has realised that for a book, if it has WON a Booker, it will match the sensibilities and touch the heart that often gets frozen with everyday life and its rigour.

And in movies, if it has been NOMINATED for the Academy award, it will be appreciated here in part or full, for sure.

The Movie

So ROOM is a story of captivity of two people who view it differently because one has seen life outside the room and one has not.

Joy (the ma) who has seen the world finds the 10-by-10 foot room a burning hell and Jack (the son) who hasn’t seen anything except his mom and the room believes it is their world. Despite the chilling plot and setting, the movie gives you so many occasions to smile.

Both the actors are remarkable.

Every minute of the movie is like entering very very private moments of a very very private relationship. The mother-son conversations and their moments are as tight and warm as the room itself. They make the room their world. You can feel the world they mean to each other. Their bond and the friendship.

The wolf (Old Nick)

He would come every night and the girl held captive has taken it as her fate. She prods him only as much as he can take. She nudges him only as much as he can bear and offers herself just when she sees his entire energy gathering in and around his limbs.  She has been there for seven years and for the past five, since the boy has arrived, she has only tried to save him and feed him off the little groceries the wolf gets her.

In there, after the wolf leaves

There is a routine, there are songs and reading and writing and play and tears and comforting and everything in its purest form.

Joy raises the boy with great resilience and the part when she realizes he is grown up to be told the truth, she un-lies.

Not ready to accept that there is another side to the wall, he shows denial. (Watch this clip to see how hard it can be to Show/see reality).

Just when he accepts the new realities, she readies him to be brave and act.

The story continues

Now it is about his entry into the world, his once-in-a-while wish to want to go back to the comfort of the room and saving his mom once again who is now falling into the pits of depression.

From sending her his strength, his long jungle boy hair, to carrying a bit of her with him in the form of a bad tooth, there are very personal moments of a bond which you feel grateful for witnessing.

Towards the end he says – There are so many things out here. And sometimes it’s scary. But that’s ok. Because it’s still just you and me…

And that’s when you know how patiently he waited for ma to look at him and find Room-like peace in a different spot in the world.

One of those movies that can be watched every few years for perspective…

Thing this week

Made the room here more comfortable.

Got the walls painted in hues of the favorite color.

Read a bit about Typography. Saw some work of very dedicated artists.

Felt inspired, so instead of printing some perfect looking fonts, took the risk of trying hand writing. Felt pain in the wrists. Decided to write on paper as much as possible.

Got the work framed and it doesn’t look half bad. The work is still in progress…

The Purple Frog | Room Walls

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Adorably Pretentious

There is a TV series called Ravinder’s Kitchen on TLC. Here you can see an Indian girl, Ravinder, donning bright colours and a thick British accent while cooking traditional recipes with a twist in a warmly modern kitchen.

The Purple Frog has heard and seen many ‘eclectic’ Indians express dislike for her by raising the brows, rolling the eyes and ending the conversation with, SO FAKE.

So many people that it is worth dedicating one blog post to her.

Disagree with them

Somehow, The Purple Frog has always enjoyed this kind of pretentious (it’s not fake) where there is desire, playfulness, vulnerability and most of all an effort to experiment and CREATE.

So what, if in her kitchen, she rarely names the ingredients in Hindi. It could be because her Punjabi name for that INDIAN ingredient is not the same in a Tamil kitchen. Languages just unify, it’s the thought that counts.

Then the thick accent is setting and playfulness, colours of spring in her attire are definitely talking Baisakhi  and the rest is her comfort with self.

Recipes in her kitchen

Well, her recipes inspired from the kitchens of every corner of India are exactly what she sounds like.

Kheer Crème Brulee, Saag Cornbread (makai roti) Ramekins, Rum Mango Lassi with fresh vanilla seeds from the pod (she calls it A Narcotic Milkshake…Lol), Amritsari Fish Pakodas made in Beer, Caramelised Onion & Roasted Garlic Naan, Curry Prawn Puff, Crab & Sweet Corn Samosa, Baked Fruit and Nut Dal Kachori, Mango Saffron Baapa Doi Cheesecake, Smoked Rose & Beetroot Raita, Passion Fruit Mousse with Pistachio & Mukhwas Chikki, Double Peanut Chocolate Barfi and more things like that.

She has clearly TRIED blending what’s inside her home where she lives with one culture and the temptations of the outside world where she operates with varied cultures.

Her love for the crackling sound of zeera from her mum’s kitchen and the saltiness of salmon from the setting she is living in shows her appreciation. She is brimming with life and is capable of noticing the finer things and passionate enough to fall in love with them.

Here’s to Ravinder

Who mentions her mum and her tricks 20 times in her shows…Lol and yet takes immense pleasure in teasing her by ruining her authentic recipes with what new, thrilling stuff she enjoyed and brought back to add when she stepped out of the house.

In her shows, you can often find her smirk and say, Mum would hate this but then this is MY kitchen ma…Lol.

To give you a glimpse of this chef and her work

The Purple Frog tried looking for videos over the internet but found nothing that was close to her real work… So here are four video clippings that were recorded from the TV recordings. Hope you see the brimming life here and try the recipes from her kitchen.


Thing This Week

Double Peanut Chocolate Barfi

If you see the clip above, tried that.

Till the last 5 minutes of bringing out the recipe, it was all going fine. The Purple Frog had painstakingly arranged for all the ingredients and those like dark chocolate and coffee instead of milk chocolate and sugar that would suit the taste buds here. But just when it was melting the chocolate, a wrong decision made in haste changed the course of this recipe…It is a sad, sad story anybody who takes risks in the kitchen would relate with…

So that day,

Arranged the primary ingredient as Ravinder said, Peanut Brittle, such a glam name for the Indian chikki or mungfali ki patti…Loved it.

Then she said, “Pop it in a blender and BLITZ it”… sounded like a pop number to which one can only shake the head and go wild.

Then chose to follow only some of her instructions that went like heat lots of butter, add milk, jaggery, icing sugar, peanut butter, the peanut brittle crumble, spread in a pan, add top layer of melted milk chocolate, let it cool and freeze for about 3 hours, cut in pieces and devour.

She was calling these the surefire way to put on weight for those who need to. The Purple Frog reminisced about a few such people who have always wanted to but had none to share with…

Then all was going fine in the kitchen. Due to lil butter, a tiny amount of jaggery and extra milk, the batter was runny. That also didn’t dampen the spirit here.

The Purple Frog |Playing with Peanut Brittle and Chocolate

And then,

When melting the chocolate with a bit of coffee powder was turning out fine but was taking time, without thinking of the consequences, added a Tbsp of hot water and in a fraction of a second it turned lumpy.

The heart sank.

The melting lacy dark chocolate with that lovely aroma of coffee turned into an ugly lump. Had not imagined such a fate of this recipe…Heartbroken, almost hatefully went about putting the SLOTHY BLOB in the batter. Trying and its disappointments are so hard to overcome…

Kitchen Trials

Spent some time staring at the ceiling and wondering if it was the coffee that mixed with water and ruined it or is it that chocolate can’t take hot water for thinning, it has to be milk…or adding coffee was a bad idea in the first place or….: (

To sort it.

The only way things in the kitchen can be sorted is by putting the stuff in the freezer. It is a truth The Purple Frog swears by.

So instead of the fridge (as told by the chef), here it was kept in the freezer. Even after two hours, it hadn’t started to freeze (which means a complete recipe mishap) and some got stuck to the finger badly.

And then, Lol…nothing better tasting has been licked off the fingers here…

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A Level Playing Field

Recently The Purple Frog went to run in a huge sports field at an hour considered apt to go to bed in most households.

The field had flashlights on and it was noisy and playful. The weather was pleasant and so, accommodating of all the noises. The field had sections marked by the batsmen and goalkeepers for their respective games and mayhem ensued every time the game turned tense.

With so much life brimming in the middle of the night, The Purple Frog couldn’t resist hopping a bit more inside this jungle of sorts.

As it ventured a little more inside the field

There were young boys in their twenties enjoying a drink and watching the live match. ‘Not bad’ was the first thought that occured…immediately followed by, hmm, but bad. Lol.

Anyhow, after one complete round in the sports field

The Purple Frog was disappointed to see that there was not even one girl in the field playing or simply loitering around to chill like the boys and watching the match.

No where did the banner of the field read Men Only.

Then why does no girl visit this land of action at that hour

It wasn’t like this when The Purple Frog or even a generation before it was growing up. Places that offered action had both men and women join in.

Well, The Purple Frog will not buy the argument that all girls are suddenly sincere and just want the ‘right to education’ in place and there are no girls left of the type who want to play or loiter around for no reason under the night sky or enjoy breaking a rule or two by grabbing a drink, and get caught and pay the fine and go back with the lesson of never doing it again.

Then where are they?

Oh the last time a girl was living her age, someone captured it on a mobile phone as a MMS and the family ashamed of her basic instinctual teenage act, ran country to country for hiding.

So are girls not having fun anymore or is it the technology that has left them scared of the controversies and taboos that may arise?

Or is it the fear of getting abused/gang abused that has taken away the wish of wanting to engage in sports or playfulness that suits their age at locations that should feel safe?

Or are they only supposed to stay sincere and feel blessed that they are at least getting education?

Or is outdoor fun now a luxury only for those with rich, loving, open-minded daddies who try to offer protection as their girl goes around town having fun at wee hours?

The answer is hard to figure out.

But somewhere, something is going wrong…

Because there is a playground in the city where more than fifty boys feel like gathering at night and engage in banter and sports and naughty things that people their age do…but not one girl feels it could be her right to feel the night like them…

This is not how any of our past generations grew up in any strata of society. Places that offered action had both men and women.

The fears and taboos are only going to render a generation of men (not their mistake) who believe the ground is theirs to play and girls don’t want to share.

Girls are left with not much choice except for being more like each other, careful and sincere and wise and more thankful than they need to be!

There are fewer taboos and fears that occur to the boys to rethink of the choice to step out for play of any kind and that’s making the world their playground…

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