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the Manjadikuru journey

I have never written about Manjadikuru on my blog. Why?

Well frankly I wouldn’t know where to start! The other day I got a call from the production team of “Orikkal Koodi”, a television show on Mazhavil Manorama that asks us to revisit our past and recollect the journey with the viewer. People talk about their school, college, family home, their village…. their roots.

How do I explain to them? That I too had some wonderful memories in Kerala but would not be able to revisit them because most of it has now disappeared from existence. My such memories were built on moments I spent in Kerala during summer holidays from Dubai. Those two months wonderfully coincided with the Kerala monsoon and the best of times were spent in my grandparents homes in Calicut & Mahe. In those times and places, I discovered plenty – about love, life, family and myself.

Today those places have disappeared . Ponds that witnessed our patience and adventure have been filled in and houses built on them. Trees that have showered us with fruit and care have been felled to make way for roads that take us to a deadend. Boundary walls that measure cents and centimetres have divided our space of carefree spirit into many fiefdoms . The world has changed and perhaps I have too. But this is not just my experience… I know now, that this is true for many others too.

Within me I refuse to accept that everything has changed. In my head those times and spaces still exist. That is the world we created for Manjadikuru. And then we filled it with characters that we have all seen & known.

The making of this film has been one helluva journey!  But  F…I…N…A…L…L…Y the more important journey begins now – when the film will reach its audience. How about joining me on this trip?  🙂

Let us ‘nostalgic fools’, look back with longing to when life was simpler and richer. Lets find those little things that may have no price tag but have tremendous value. Do join me on www.facebook.com/manjadikuru

Comments: 29

  • sridhar (@crossroadz) April 2, 20126:58 pm

    This completely resonates with me. Hearing everyday from my Dad who recollects his childhood filled with the various “Kalli’s” and “Vela’s”. Atleast those art forms exist today but not celebrated with the same fervor they were as before. All I had was a ground behind my house and the city “corporation” ate it. It becomes all the more difficult for us city breds as we have very little to treasure and they exist only in our memories. Can we have the pleasure of being Nostalgic!

  • MIDHISH DAS K April 2, 20129:00 pm

    waiting eagerly

  • Mathew Mampra April 2, 20129:21 pm

    Your writings reminds me of MT and me too is being considered as a nostalgic fool, lovingly by friends.I am happy that even my Bangalore brought up children too are proud to get counted in that clan.They read Malayalam and speak just like any other native malayali child in Kerala while speaking and writing in good quality English (like you).
    Keep writing…
    Looking forward to watch the movie

  • raghunath April 2, 20129:25 pm

    Here is yet another “nostalgic fool” who can very easily relate to all these….

    Eagerly awaiting Manjadikuru…aptly at the beginning of yet another summer vacation…

    …and wishing the very best…!

  • Pyari April 3, 20128:34 am

    Yes.. Finally!!!! But when is it getting released?

  • cinematters April 4, 20126:08 pm

    Dear Anjali,

    Your mailbox seems to be full. Emails bouncing. Could you please check?..

  • sapnaanubgeorge April 9, 20121:23 pm

    The many Y’s of our mind has no specific answers yet we never stop . You have reached a goal your mind has set, to make the manjadikuru, the red seeds of your mind and life. You have reached what you wanted achieve and anther Y how the audience with react and receive them is something the audience will give you in time.As long as the effort and the honesty and going hand in hand the result will all ways be positive like your vibrant color of manjadikuru… red seeds of happiness. God bless you for touching the last step of your goal, the rest will fall in to place. .

  • Rakesh Ramachandran May 25, 20128:58 am

    The film was so nostalgic, leaving a pain in our heart, showing us how we are, ahd how we shouldn be.. This is a story we all know, we all had seen, but we had never thought about….

  • Divya Rajan June 2, 20123:45 pm

    Heartfelt thanks for gifting us a brilliant journey back to the most cherished days of my childhood!!! could connect myself so much to the movie that it left me in tears of joy and sorrow at the same time! Hats off to you 🙂

    Please tell me where I can get to download the brilliant bgm of this movie 🙂

  • Fasil June 10, 20121:11 am

    loved this cute film … thank you Anjali

  • Savio June 21, 20123:58 am

    Hi Anjali,

    I am a Malayalee who admires Malayalam cinema but cannot read or write Malayalam (we are a small but steadily growing population you know.. haha!!). So the review is lost on me but I would have loved to see your film while I were in India. Your short in Kerala Cafe was very interesting so count me in to seek out an (original) DVD when it’s released 🙂

    During my recent trip to Kerala I managed to watch a Malayalam film – Diamond Necklace – and that set in depression of epic proportion! I guess Joy Alukkas is going thru some serious mid-life crisis that he now wants to produce and act in films? Or he figured making a 3 hour ad film for his stores may boost sales? Either way it begs the question – do we, as an audience, celebrate mediocrity like never before? I mean this is glorified crap and an insult to any life form! Yet I hear folks in Kerala saying it’s a good film!

    It’s very exciting to see the kind of work coming out from the “indy” scene in Bombay. The Anurag Kashyaps and the Dibakar Banerjees and the Zoya Akthar’s who tend to push the envelope in terms of content and themes that go beyond the norm….. this is the kind of path-breaking work that Bharatan and Padmarajan and their contemporaries had started in the 80’s in Malayalam cinema. Where’s that spark gone? Did filmmakers in Kerala stop evolving at some point? The best work I have seen recently from Kerala is “Indian Rupee” …. But I can’t help think that the film would have been considered routine fare in the 80’s and 90’s.

    Anjali, I hope you find your voice in this space and re-establish an identity that our cinema so desperately seeks. I wish you well and hope to see something exciting in the near future….

  • gauthamkalikrishna June 26, 201211:56 pm


  • gauthamkalikrishna June 27, 201212:27 am


  • rolivenair June 30, 20121:45 pm

    Dear Anjali Menon
    My name is Ranjana,friend of Rajeev Lalith in Face Book. I am a young poet and writer. Professional an Accountant. I had seen your movie Manjadikuru, it was speechless. The way you presented the movie and each character’s in the movie was outstanding. I am a big fan of you. As a women I am proud of you. The movie Ustad Hotel just released today but the review was unexpected around the world it say” Great script and work”. You a great fantastic women with great ideas. I will be a great well wisher of yours. Have a great life with blessing’s from God.

    NB: Opening my eyes and ears to hear good works from you. [:)]

    Ranjana Raj.

    • saju January 25, 20149:28 pm

      Pls send me one of your poem….

  • Gopakumar July 1, 20127:36 pm

    Hello Anjali,
    Nicely narrated, it touched me a lot; it is morethan 100% right on Sri Jagathy, he is one of the best talented actors of this industry but unfortunately he born in India and is acting in a regional language Malayalam, otherwise his popularity would have spread in the whole wold like of Charlie Chaplin. He is a much talented actor, but a very people like you only tried to extract his best from him, rest were all casting him in steritype roles and simply making money. But even there too, he used to create his presence with his unique acting style. His diversity is so deep, so that nobody can identfy a same Jagathy in any two moviews. it is too sad to say that none of our so called directors never tried to extract the maximum from him. His best is yet come, Get well soon sir…. we want to see you again on screen….. we want to see you awarded with Dada Saheb Phalke Award…..May God Bless You!!!!!

  • sobha k.k July 18, 20131:47 pm

    ma’m ente peru sobha. manjadikuru kandilla kerala caffe kandu. ustad hotalum kandu nalla film. enikkoru story mam’nodu parayanannund. please contact me if you interested

  • Rosy Mathew July 10, 201412:24 am

    Dear Anjali,

    After watching Bangalore Days lately, I felt like I must surely watch Manjadikuru in order to feel the essence of childhood. To be truly honest, Manjadikuru is a breathtakingly movie which takes me back to be my imaginable childhood. I am one of those individuals who are proud to say they had the most memorable childhood while growing up in a beautiful village. When I was in 2nd standard, I came to the US with my family. Whenever I went to india for vacations, I was like the character vicky in the movie. After watching this movie, I broke into tears because I remember those times I fought with my cousins and friends, but we always came to a compromise. The movie really captures the childhood days everyone enjoys no matter what corner in the world we are living presently. Every scene vicky shared among his friends reminded me of the times I swam with my friends in the lake nearby our home in India.

    Also the theme of friendship, family bonds, and the anxiety of growing up is well demonstrated to the audience. Hope I could see more exciting movies from you in the future.

  • Amoolya Mannava December 6, 20144:44 am

    Hello. I just wanted to congratulate and thank you for this film. I think of most art as being beyond reality, an appeal to that which is human in us, beyond our persons. I do not understand Malayalam unfortunately but your movie was as a poem or a song;so old yet so fresh, so simple yet layered, so essentially Indian and yet truly human. It was a treat and an inspiration. Thank you again for this beautiful piece. Do please make more of such. We will, as an audience look forward to them. Good Luck.

  • Veekshith KH December 31, 20149:34 pm

    Hi after watching Bangalore Days and Ustad Hotel, I’m totally in love with your writings. Now i want to watch Manjadikuru, but there is a slight problem. I’m from Mangalore and don’t understand Malayalam and cannot find any English subtitles of Manjadikuru.

  • Dicy January 16, 201511:14 am

    Dear Anjali,

    I just watched the movie manjadikuru . I loved it. Simple yet so profound.

  • Nalin Nandan June 11, 201811:09 pm

    Hi Anjali Ma’am, I’d watched this movie when it was screened at IFFI, Goa a couple of years ago. I was part of a bunch of student delegates from Manipal University. I remember dragging all my non-Malayali friends to watch it, just because I was a huge fan of your work. And I remember all of them relating to the film and being so grateful to be able to experience such an opportunity to watch your work and you patiently answering all our amateur and immature questions. Thank you for letting me experience film’s window through your eyes and giving it a whole other meaning altogether. I am still learning a lot of things at the professional level and experimenting with several career routes. But it’d be great if I could intern under you at some point, only to learn more of the powerful vision of storytelling. Please let me know if and where I can contact you at a professional platform. Thank you.

  • Ilakkiyaa March 31, 20209:50 pm

    I still remember vividly the day I watched Manjadikkuru in a theatre in Ernakulam. I have an uncle who, growing up, would hand me CDs from his multi-lingual collection of classics telling me, “Iyaaku njan kurachu NALLA cinemakal kaanichu tharaam”, paving way to me watching Italian and Iranian movies at a young age. He was the one who said a new movie had come out, and I still remember how I felt as the credits rolled, looking around at the empty seats and wondering how anyone could afford to miss such a gem, and what colossal idiots Malayalis proved to be. To this day it remains one of the movies closest to my heart.

    Which is why I keep suggesting it to my friends. But I recently realised it is not available on Prime or Netflix or Hotstar or YouTube or any of the streaming sites really.. I couldn’t trace it anywhere.. Maybe this is a silly request, but is there something you could do to put it back on the radar? I really really want all my non-Malayali friends to watch it. Could you help?

  • Mahesh May 21, 20202:59 pm

    hi Anjali mam! Watched Manjadikkuru after many years(I initially watched it in theatres and felt happy then).
    Such a beautiful journey to our lost innocence.Its one of those rare movies which i felt would have been better with a not-so-happy ending.During the penultimate scene ,when vicky was leaving with kannan and manikutty looking on amid roja’s painfilled return, i felt the rain inside me- a pain ,a heavyness of heart which i want to cherish but with hope.But then the scene moved on, to its predictable climax ,wiping out that feeling. And i felt robbed!
    On the whole,it was a gem .Like those small red seeds ,it grows inside me!

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