I have a niece, Lakshmi. We all call her Meenooty (short for Meenakshi kutty). She is ~7 years old. She is adorable, but more than that she is irritating to the core. So irritating that I fight with her everyday, But, people usually tend to forget it because of her sweet looks.
When she was a baby, she used to be my world, whenever I come home for my short visits, she used to be the sweetest thing at out home. She is still sweet, but she started using her charms for her own means. Shedding croc tears for every thing under sky. I literally fight with her everyday now. Well, I can be irritating and intolerable too. And wants the world to work my way, and sometimes I sigh looking at her thinking about the pain I might have caused due to my Meenooty[adamant] nature.
Well, enough prologue, to get to the core. Yesterday, I ordered “Stanley ka dabba”, a movie by Amol gupte, The director of “Taare Zameen par” fame on Tata sky (a DTH service). The movie was going to start at 8pm. It collided with Meenooty’s Mr.Bean on Pogo. After a small skirmish and persuasions from her mom, she relented. And we 3, Me, Meenooty and her mom started watching the movie.
It is a bitter sweet story that revolves around a 4th grade boy[Stanley] who works at a hotel in the night, and goes to school in the day. It is his story. His hunger, his small wishes, his naughtiness. He drinks just water during lunch time, his background is not revealed till the very end. He lies to his friends about his background. Once his friends find out that he skips meals, they form a gang and starts sharing lunch with Stanley. The villain, a Hindi teacher called by kids as Khadoos who is also gluttonous eats on Students’ and other teachers’ meal boxes. He hates Stanley and one fine day prevents Stanley to enter the school unless he brings his own dabba (meal box).
That is the basic plot, [you can watch what happens on your own]. It is told in a non preaching, sweet way. The [sic] Stanley appears to me as a lotus. Appearing as a bright thing among his surroundings of filth rising above like a flower unscathed. A bright boy who wants to be loved and appreciated. The movie may not make you cry. But, it is a feel good movie driving us nicely into the boy’s beautiful but tumultuous world. It is depicted in a much better way than “Taare Zameen par”. Because, you can actually easily relate as one song suggests, There is a Stanley inside each of us.
We 3 finished the movie, with Meenooty too enjoying it, though she got disturbed here and there and even wanted to change the movie. Also, her eye got teary at one occasion. As for me, I was glad that she watched the movie. A girl who has everything at her disposal!
As a matter of fact I didn’t know what I wanted her to gain from the movie. But, was glad that she watched it and was able to see a different child’s life. About how lucky she might be in her own life. Enough said, We all went to sleep soon after the movie.
Next morning. I didn’t see her going to the school. But I was told by her mom that she cried in her bed in the night for a long time. I don’t know what touched her. I don’t know what moved her. I don’t know whether she learned anything. But, when I heard that she cried, it reminded me that after all she is just a small girl with a very sweet heart.
And inside me. a childish Meenooty was present, and she wept too..!!!