Wednesday, May 9, 2012

36 Chowringhee Lane - Indian Picture

The age-old problems of eroding 'values' and expectations between the 'older' generation and the brasher youth.
Loneliness and increasing isolation makes an older Anglo-Indian teacher vulnerable to exploitation of an ex-student's boyfriend who wants to use her humble apartment for lover's trysts. They are careful to have everything  back in order by the time she gets back but I wondered about them using the woman's bed for sex and how come she didn't seem to notice? Maybe it's just me squeamish about such things, especially seeing that they go through the formal marriage arrangement later in the year - I thought starting connubial relations on someone else's used bedsheets would have been a major turnoff!
There were touches of humour with the teacher's cat being thrown in the bathroom as it inhibited action in the bedroom.
The teacher is touchingly grateful for inclusion in their company and gives up her beloved gramophone after obvious hinting, as a Wedding Present. The penny drops after she never hears back from them after the Wedding and they move on with their lives but she makes excuses and invites them over for Christmas as by now most of her Social Contact is gone-- I couldn't quite believe this part as this is usually where Churches come into their own - naturally they lie and buss she off. She naively bakes them the promised Christmas Cake and arrives to see a Party in full-swing with the prized gramophone the Star. The realization hits her hard and causes an Identity Crisis - earlier in response to a friend heading for greener pastures in Canada and then writing to say it was not a Bed of Roses by any means - she thinks out loud 'Why would anyone leave the country of their birth?' and implies why should they think it would be better anywhere else with 'strangers', but now with no family and being sidelined at Work it dawns on her that she is a old irrelevant relic from the Past.  I guess it is also a commentary that brash mercenary people 'get ahead' - my uncharitable non-Indian friends would say typical of the Indian personality but in fact it is a universal problem.

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