Skip to main content

Floral undergarments

Assume a teacher does the following things
1. He misplaces huge amount of money he was entrusted with
2. ‎Puts the blame for the above incident on a student
3. ‎Is married and having an extramarital affairs
4. ‎Is caught red-handed gifting floral undergarments to this other woman. 

It is quite natural that the guy loses his job and is abandoned by his wife. And that is precisely what happens in Sherlock Toms to one of his teachers.  What I find very unnatural and weird is that throughout the movie he is ridiculed only for gifting floral undergarments.  I am puzzled as to what is so wrong in buying floral undergarments for your lover.  But, even if it is wrong, it would certainly be much lesser than his other crimes.  But, not so in the movie.  Not even once was he criticised for wrongly accusing his student, even though it is a grave mistake. 

The crowning jewel in this irony is that this act of gifting floral undergarments is remembered by Sherlock Tom's father, an Alzheimer's patient.  He has forgotten everything else but remembers this perfectly well.  I think this also ties well with my earlier article on Golanthara varthakal.  Related questions I do not find an answer to.  As I was curious, I had some discussions regarding this.

One possibility suggested to me was that there is nothing comical about the other mistakes.  If so, what is comical about this mistake?  Personally, I did not find it funny.  Assuming others found it funny, I am curious why?  Often, what is behind is our prejudices.  So a deeper introspection is really useful.  For example, many of our jokes have their basis in racism, sexism or some other stereotype.  We Indians are familiar for example with Sardarji jokes.  Many of these jokes ride only on the ridicule people have for them.  They will not have the impact if we replace the character with someone else.  This is a sign of a bad joke.  If the joke has an equal impact if we replace Sardarji with Malayali or Bengali or any other community, I think it is a much better joke.  Even here, I guess it is funny because it is ridiculous.  Bringing back to the question - why is it so ridiculous?  Another answer to my question was the following.  The funniness or the ridiculousness is because it is socially unacceptable.  The social unacceptability, in turn, is because it brings out something which others might be guilty of but would not accept.  It is their own shame that makes it more shameful than the other crimes of which they are not guilty.

That said, there are other harmless jokes whose funniness is equally elusive to us.  For example, why is someone farting funny?  It is true that a significant chunk of jokes is toilet jokes or sexual jokes.  To what extent are these cultural?  There are so many questions in my mind.

Finally, my biggest objection is that just because this is funny the other mistakes should not be completely sidelined.  By doing that you are trivialising those mistakes.  And that is a mistake in itself.     

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Naruto; the saddest death

For me, the saddest death in Naruto, is undoubtedly, Yashamaru's death. Let me say a few words about why I think so. For me death by itself is not sad. I would in fact say that death is a blessing for the one who is dying. It is sad for those who are left behind. From that perspective I think Yashamaru's death is the saddest. Yashamaru was the only comforting figure in the life of Gaara. The moment it is revealed that the assassin who tried to kill him was that same Yashamaru was heart breaking. The way Gaara cries "Yashamaru.." still resonates in my mind. Loneliness is one of the central themes of the anime. And, that scene captures it so magnificently. One of the most touching moments in the anime. There are several other deaths for which I shed a lot of tears. Like the deaths of Haku or Zabuza or Jiraiya or Obito. But they truly shine through their deaths. As Jiraiya himself says "The true measure of a shinobi is not how he lives but how h

Deepavali - an interesting twist to a Greek Myth

Greek mythology contains tales of dangerous semi-human enchantresses called Sirens.  They seduce travelling sailors to their island using music and song to shipwreck on the rocky coasts.  Odysseus wanted to listen to the song of Sirens.  Heeding to the advice of Circe, he asks his crew to fill their ears with beeswax(so that they will not hear the song) and tie him to the mast of the ship.  He instructed the sailors that they are to leave him tied even if he orders to do otherwise.  Thus he could hear the song of the siren while escaping the treacherous end at the hands of Sirens.  This idea is called pre-commitment and is a favourite of many self-help gurus. The Tamil movie Deepavali gives an interesting twist to this story -  the hero is not Odysseus but a crew member.  Let me elaborate.  The heroine in this movie suffers from post-traumatic memory loss.  Troubled by the stressful experience of not recognising people she is supposed to recognise, she decides to go away from home. 

Kumbalangi nights

I was not impressed by Kumbalangi nights.  I don't mean to say it is a bad film.  It is certainly worth watching.  The cinematography is extraordinary.  Also, it has its moments - nice little dialogues.  But with all that, it is just an average film, or so I feel.  As I had explained in a post before , people expect explanations when you express dislike.  Actually, I wouldn't say I dislike, but I did not like it as much as others - the people I talked to.  And, in this case, I think I understand some of the reasons.  And I will be sharing those reasons with you. What do you feel when you hear someone saying "These impoverished people are so lucky.  Wish I had a skinny body like them"?  Movies like Kumbalangi nights elicit the same emotion in me.  The major problem poor people face is lack of money.  If you make a movie on the poor and completely take money out of the equation, that makes no sense.  Kumbalangi nights does precisely that.  Not even once had they show