Food orgy and a bad movie

A weekend of a lot of wedding food and 2h 25min of a spectacularly bad movie

The last weekend of August was a food orgy. I was at Nitya’s cousin wedding.

Indian weddings are like test matches. This wedding was more like a shortened 30-hour match. Yet, there were four massive meals to be consumed (Lunch, Dinner (Saturday), Breakfast and Lunch(Sunday)). 

So basically - A. LOT. OF. FOOD. You know that beautiful feeling when you sit in front of a table, with its white paper sheet and a clean banana leaf in front of you - that basically lasts for one meal. Here’s a little math: Each meal has, let’s say, an average of 15 items. So 60 items over four meals. Even if you account for a 15% overlap (that pesky curd pachhidi and other things), it’s at least 50 items you get to eat.   

50 items. Five. Zero. In a space of….24 hours. Mughal emperors probably has slightly fewer items in their feasts. #Justsaying.

Then there’s the way we eat it. Although I had compared Indian weddings to test matches, the meals in south Indian weddings have more of a T20 vibe. There’s a fury to the opening sequence as things get delivered onto your plate. Think Jofra Archer but with masal vadai. Before you can say “Is that pal payasam?” your plate now has about 10 items and you are frozen with indecision on where to start.

...but there’s a mama who deposits a steaming pile of rice on your plate. Sambar follows. Your spell breaks and you now nimbly navigate it within the confines of your rice and from spilling on to your crotch. In wedding meals, like T20 cricket, it’s best not to be too much in your head. The best advice is to activate your inner Ben Stokes and attack the food like you mean it.

Extravagant wedding food

This may sound hypocritical after shoving down four square meals but hear me out. 

Thousands of kilograms of food is wasted in weddings everyday across the country. One study found that Rs. 339 crores worth of food gets wasted per year in weddings just in Bangalore. Apply any multiple you want (not less than 10) to get to a country-wide number. Most of us know it. And yet, when it comes to a wedding we organize, we do…….well, nothing. 

Because we don’t want to be the assholes that don’t feed anyone. 

Wedding food planning is complex, to say the least. There are several meals, each with multiple courses and items. Portfolio proliferation is a nightmare for effective planning. Ask Tim Cook. Then there’s the estimation of number of people who would turn up - we don’t have a concept of RSVP or even a notion that you can’t turn up for a wedding and its food without informing in advance. There have been a few weddings where I’ve just ‘turned up’ - not even sure if I had been invited. Another complexity multiplier are the multiple sessions - you really aren’t sure who is going to turn up for what event. 

The result: Enormous buffer. Waste.

Perhaps we need to simplify the whole deal. Make wedding a single event ceremony and a quick reception. Invite only a limited number of people. It’s not a public service event especially when 99% of the people who turn up belong to the same economic class as you. Another way to reduce complexity is to make the menu simple. Four great things to eat are better than 40 average ones. 

And finally - and it’s high time we do this - ask people to respond s’il vous fucking plait if they are going to turn up. 

If nothing works, consider using something like Nofoodwaste.in. This award winning social venture basically takes excess food from weddings (and other places) and donates them to those in need.

Pretty damn cool if you ask me. Feeling socially responsible is just a phone call away. 

Comali

After all the food-orgy, we decided to do a group movie on Sunday evening. Sometimes, when you are in a group, and the blood in your head is heavy with cholesterol from the feast you make decisions that you wouldn’t make otherwise. Seeing Comali was one of those decisions. 

Image result for comali memes

Remember that thought experiment about a monkey typing for an infinite period of time may eventually end up creating all the works of Shakespeare? Ok, they took it to heart in this movie. Except they didn’t have infinite time. 

Q: Can monkeys write movie scripts?

A: Comali.

Q: Is Jayam Ravi annoying?

A: Comali.

Q: What happens when a guy wakes up from a Coma of 16 years because he was bitten by an ant (yes, you heard it right) and then, having woken up, proceeded to run around harassing a married woman and assaulting another, doesn’t find a job and instead of learning some marketable skills, decided he was going to steal an old family property worth crores from a politician?

A: He becomes an internet influencer. 

Wut? 

Here are some other things that happen in the movie:

  • Jokes about the fragile mental state of the guy who came back from coma

  • The coma guy harasses a woman right in her home in the presence of other members, like his OWN-FREAKING-DOCTOR who is her husband

  • Coma guy sexually assaults a woman...

  • ...the woman then proceeds to give him a job 

  • Coma guy spends several days post coma before he knows that a tea no longer cost less than 2 Rs. 

  • Coma guy has proper biceps after 16 years in coma

  • Coma guy spends his post coma days trying to pull off a heist of some idol from a minister’s house

  • Finally, Coma guy becomes a youtube influencer

I think the movie would have been better if the guy had never woken up from Coma and we’d stared at him sleeping in his bed for 2 hours straight. And it’s time to stay far away from Jayam Ravi films.  

Where are the good movies?

I am desperate for good Tamil movies in 2019. I am still rich from the spoils of the second half of 2018. What a spectacular year that was! 

  • Chekka chivantha vaanam

  • Kaala

  • Pariyerum perumal

  • 96

  • Vadachennai

  • Kolamaavu Kokila

Of course there was 2.0 as well, like a black hole of mediocre, towering over all of the above, but still. If you haven’t seen any of the above, you must right away. I recommend taking off from work today and seeing any of these. 

I am a huge fanboy of Santhosh Narayanan and eagerly wait for his next composition. Kaala and Vadachennai backgrounds were…..mmmuuuaaahhh. But all those other movies in the list above also had equally awesome music. It’s like all the stars aligned. 

Then 2019 came. And except for Petta, I haven’t been excited by anything so far. But I am waiting for the as yet untitled Karthik Subburaj, Dhanush, Santhosh Narayanan film. In the meantime, I am just nourishing myself on Fahadh Faasil movie orgy. That guy is a beast! Maybe it deserves a post of its own and I’ll reserve commentary there.

But, it’s always good to remember that for every bad Comali there is a worse Vishwaroopam 2. Could be worse, is all I am saying.

-Tyag

P.S. Do you have any good Tamil movies recommendations from 2019? Leave in the comments. 

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