Tuesday, 23 September 2014


MALAYALAM is not my native tongue, but I have picked up a bit at my workplace good enough for people to mistake me for a malayali.

Few weekends back, hubby dear bought me a Malayalam movie and we both sat down to watch it. He does not understand a bit of the language, and I turn translator.

The movie, starring the actor Manju Warrior, starts with a simple tale of a middle class household in kerala. And revolves around the aspirations and feelings of the members of the house hold.

How old are you?

The movie is a tale of a woman who in the humdrum of daily life, has put herself  last in her list of priorities.

Half way through I stopped translating we both were hooked onto the movie.

Her daughter asks a poignant question?

Who decides to put an expiry date on the dreams of a woman?? 

And the rest of the movie is spun around a charged up protagonist.

The question lingered for long in my mind. The movie does try to solve the puzzle and derive answers, but there is more to this question.

I thought of scores of women who have dreamed big and then buried those dreams for various reasons, the main one being gender. Then I also thought of the women who no matter what pursued their dreams against all odds, like the protagonist. We see many examples of successful women not only from affluent well-educated class, but also from far flung areas and without much material resources.

What differentiates them and the millions of others who lead lives with unfulfilled and unsaid dreams. The more I thought over it the more it dawned on me.
The first reason that the dreams of women remain just that a dream, is OURSELVES. Lets take up ownership of the situation. We let it go, we didn't believe in ourselves, we didn't work hard enough. How big or small the dream may be doesn't matter. It may be a dream of professional excellence, or a simple dream like that of the protagonist - her passion for a roof garden, or it may be just about yourself like to get healthy.

Why don't these dreams materialize. Are they past the expiry date? If so who set it? Yes the society and every one around you drills in these thoughts. As young children we put in the same number of hours of study and slog over our exams. We work hard on our jobs. Agreed life brings in responsibilities of a family, extended family and friends. But what about our responsibility to ourselves. What is that which puts us last in our list of priorities, its ourselves.

Coming to the title HOW OLD ARE YOU? Age is not an excuse, neither is time. Nothing should stop you when you are 18, nothing at 30 and not even at 60. You can be your biggest critic, but in the process you must also be your best supporter and believer. If you put yourself last in your list of priorities, so will the world. Not to say to shrug off any responsibilities of life, but not to give up on the responsibilities to yourself. The person you are, the dreams you cherish. Its important to be proud of what we are and what we can, and get on with determination towards our passion, be it whatever.

Be the best role model to your daughter. Let her learn not to be a victim to the circumstances, but a woman free to dream and a proud achiever of the dream. And if you have a son, let him learn that women reach for the dreams just like men. Let that be the norm for the coming generations.

For a change let your husband also revel in your success. You deserve it as much as anyone else. And not to forget the enthusiasm trickles down to all near and dear ones. A win-win situation.And don't forget to make new dreams.

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” ― Gabriel García Márquez.

“Age isn’t how old you are but how old you feel.” ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez.

What did the movie do to me?
Made me dust up some good life style habits I had let go of citing the lack of time. :-)

P.S : I watched Mary Kom too. What an inspiration!!



  1. oh I wanted to watch this movie too.. and simply didnt get an opportunity.. Must catch it on DVD..

  2. Lovely movie, touches our daily lives. A great motivator. Must watch!