Neelathamara (“Blue Lotus”)

I just finished watching a Malayalam movie of the same name, It is actually a reinvention of an old Malayalam movie. The story revolves around kutti maalu’ . A naive girl. A woman. A symbol. A blue lotus.

Like many other women-centric movies in Malayalam, this story tells her story, it doesn’t have a moral to back it up, it doesn’t have a stirring climax, it doesn’t have drama over every changing frame. But it is nevertheless a story. It portrays humble emotions and those modest gestures. It captures the vulnerability in a human life. May be that is what life is all about. Those moments, those simple moments of happiness, those seconds which helps to dry out the tears. Those poetic moments of contentment. Simple victories of overcoming grief and weakness. In the end, being able to ponder and not arrive anywhere.

Why does it needs to reach anywhere, why is the end point so important?

The title can mean different to different people. It can be taken at its face value, or as a metaphor or even just as a culturally important symbol. For me, it is a bit more than that. The literal translation of it can be put into words as “infinite contentment”. The lotus as a flower blooms in clear or muddy water with same hue and glory. It represents contentment under happiness and distress. The color blue represents infinity. Just like the ocean which runs down to the horizon, and the sky which takes the vision farther than the farthest. And just like the root of the lotus runs deep in the water, the state of contentment runs deep. The lotus floats and stays above water. The infinite contentment is a state of mind. It is just there. It is not an end, neither is it any means to an end. It is not the conclusion. It is not a statement, it doesn’t have any reason. Its either there or not. The state of mind floating above three dimensions is either there or not.

-Santhosh K Ramachandran