Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Rajinikanth plays the hero of the farmers. Wikimedia

‘Kaala’ Rajinikanth, it seems, is the son of the soil. Dark (kaala) thoughts are vanquished as he seethes against those who toil to torment the farmer. He rages against the landlord played by Nana Patekar, who it is quite clear from the trailer’s first shot, is a formidable adversary for our hero. Rajinikanth not only plays the hero of the farmers a la Aamir Khan in “Lagaan” without the dhoti, he also takes on Nana as only he can.

Interestingly, Nana plays a nuanced, scholarly adversary. So we can safely assume that this time Rajinikanth’s herogiri won’t be offset by plain unalloyed evil. This is a more complex villain. Nana addresses the masses and refuses to be a snarling lip-curling villain. That he insisted on learning the Tamil language from scratch for this part is a measure of the actor’s diligent commitment to getting it right.

We can safely assume the confrontational episodes between Nana and Rajnikanth will give a centrifugal force to what otherwise looks like a film designed to exploit the plight of farmers by pinning their exploitation to a suave refined adversary.

“To you, land is power. To us, (the masses), it is life,” says Rajinikanth to Nana.

‘Kaala’ Rajinikanth, it seems, is the son of the soil. Wikimedia

Why do I feel Nana would still get more applause than the hero in every state barring Tamil Nadu? Is the tenor of the trailer to blame for this unintentional leaning towards the wrong side?

At one point, Nana’s Maharashtrian character refers to Rajinikanth as ‘Raavan’. This is a subversive reading of the Ramayan popular in the south wherein Raavan is interpreted as a scholar and a nobleman who was destroyed by his passion for Sita.

Speaking of Rajini’s women, there is Easwari Rao as Rajinikanth’s “cutely bucolic” wife. They seem to share the same “cute” relationship that Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte did in his last film. Rajini is shown as an indulgent husband. But he is also shown to be courting another woman, played by Huma Qureshi (who of course speaks in a voice far removed from her own).

Read More: Veteran Actress Poonam Dhillon Says Age Barrier Is Yet To Be Broken In Bollywood

When you are the ‘Maharaja of The Masses’, you are entitled to your little side attractions. And you can be called “kaala” even if it sounds as racial as Roseanne Barr’s tweet that prompted her show on the ABC channel to be cancelled.

Rajinikanth can get away with anything. He is the hero that Indian cinema deserves. (IANS)



Narakasura's death is celebrated as 'Naraka Chaturdashi' popularly known as Choti Diwali

Diwali is arguably one of the most auspicious and celebrated holidays in South Asia. It is celebrated over the span of five days, where the third is considered most important and known as Diwali. During Diwali people come together to light, lamps, and diyas, savour sweet delicacies and pray to the lord. The day has various origin stories with the main them being the victory of good over evil. While the North celebrates the return of Lord Rama and Devi Sita to Ayodhya, the South rejoices in the victory of Lord Krishna and his consort Satyabhama over evil Narakasura.

Narakasura- The great mythical demon King

Naraka or Narakasur was the son of Bhudevi (Goddess Earth) and fathered either by the Varaha incarnation of Vishnu or Hiranyaksha. He grew to be a powerful demon king and became the legendary progenitor of all three dynasties of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa, and the founding ruler of the legendary Bhauma dynasty of Pragjyotisha.

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Safety-pins with charms

For all the great inventions that we have at hand, it is amazing how we keep going back to the safety pin every single time to fix everything. Be it tears in our clothes, to fix our broken things, to clean our teeth and nails when toothpicks are unavailable, to accessorize our clothes, and of course, as an integral part of the Indian saree. Safety pins are a must-have in our homes. But how did they come about at all?

The safety pin was invented at a time when brooches existed. They were used by the Greeks and Romans quite extensively. A man named Walter Hunt picked up a piece of brass and coiled it into the safety pin we know today. He did it just to pay off his debt. He even sold the patent rights of this seemingly insignificant invention just so that his debtors would leave him alone.

Keep Reading Show less

Sesame oil bath is also called ennai kuliyal in Tamil

In South India, Deepavali marks the end of the monsoon and heralds the start of winter. The festival is usually observed in the weeks following heavy rain, and just before the first cold spell in the peninsula. The light and laughter that comes with the almost week-long celebration are certainly warm to the bones, but there is still a tradition that the South Indians follow to ease their transition from humidity to the cold.

Just before the main festival, the family bathes in sesame oil. This tradition is called 'yellu yennai snaana' in Kannada, or 'ennai kuliyal' in Tamil, which translates to 'sesame oil bath'. The eldest member of the family applies three drops of heated oil on each member's head. They must massage this oil into their hair and body. The oil is allowed to soak in for a while, anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. After this, they must wash with warm water before sunrise.

Keep reading... Show less