Lion

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Lion

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:32 am

Great real life story and well made movie, especially the first half which is a non stop tear jerker, and adventure told from a five year old street kid's viewpoint, rolled into one. The second half is fine but not as well narrated. Makes me want to read the real life person's book on which the movie is based. I remember reading about him a few years ago when his book was published.

Try this exercise -- what are your earliest memories of places? I've been thinking non stop since I watched the movie last night,  and can quite easily recall exact layouts of the home I lived in (TN) when I must have been four or five. The layout of the streets, the neighborhood, the way to school, the thatched roof classroom, and the temples nearby are all recalled quite vividly.  I have very fragmentary memories of the home before that (Maharashtra).
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Re: Lion

Post by t w on Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:24 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:Try this exercise -- what are your earliest memories of places? I've been thinking non stop since I watched the movie last night,  and can quite easily recall exact layouts of the home I lived in (TN) when I must have been four or five. The layout of the streets, the neighborhood, the way to school, the thatched roof classroom, and the temples nearby are all recalled quite vividly.  I have very fragmentary memories of the home before that (Maharashtra).

did you live in that TN house for long? I lived in the same house from about infancy through 14 years. my earliest memories of that house is hmm.. 

1 - our front garden. It had 'english' grass. It was lighter green, and very fine and soft. I remember rolling in it a lot when i was 4-5 years old. We had a pet dog, who was super ferocious to all, but very indulgent with me. So I used to ride on his back like he was a horse, put grass inside his nostrils, pull his tail, etc. Another one of my earlist memories is tasting heavily milked down tea one of the summers when parents used to have morning tea outdoors, when i made my case that I am in first grade, hence old enough to drink tea. Mom went away for work for 6 months when I was 6, so grand ma came to fill in. Learned playing cards from her, and tire her out by one more one more one more, in that garden until it was dark and mosquitoes would make us go indoors. 

2 - there was a mid sized neem tree in the same garden. Close to the main gate. Once i learned to climb on it, at about 6-7 years of age, I used to station myself there. There was a nice little perch made on it by 3 branches crisscrossing. Guess I was always a loner. I would sit there almost half a day. My nanny used to sometimes bring me my meals and snacks right there. People had nicknamed me gilhari. All oh my parent's colleagues used to pass that road. And I had hello uncle! hello aunty! kinda chemistry with them. Yep, they could not pass through that road w/o getting heckled by me. One of my earlier memories of that tree though, is when I was almost 3, and a huge branch of it fell on me... but, I missed it by a few inches. Only the leaves hit me, not the main branch. Yeah, I have had close brushes with death first 10 years of my life, but that's for another thread. 

3 - We had an enclosed 'aangan' in the back of the house. In summer, our live in nanny's husband used to sprinkle water on it to cool the floor down. We used to set up our beds out, and me and siblings used to sleep outside. Sister used to keep a radio set on her tummy, and we used to sleep listening to binaca geet maala, etc. I was a very very very naughty kid. Always running away. Our kitchen used to open in that aangan. So my nanny used to tie my ankle with a long rope when she was cooking, so that I stayed within the aangan, and not run outside to play with kids in the back of our house (up until 3-4 years I think). So most of my afternoons would be passed playing around that aangan by myself. 

4 - the main school where i spent my entire school life accepted kids only age 4 and onwards (like should be 4 by september, and I was august born). So mom put me in another prep kinda school when i was 3. A very scary looking guy was hired to drop me there on his bicycle. One day he was off, so my nanny's husband took me. I was used to him taking me to the zoo (chidhiya ghar), so I assumed that's what's gonna happen that day too. So when he dropped me, I would not let go of him. Kept crying. An old woman who worked there likely as a janitor took it upon herself to console me. She talked very gently to me, hugging me, laughing etc. She had no teeth and an almost black tongue on the edges, and pink only in the middle. I got so engrossed in looking at that, that I stopped crying, and went in quietly. 

We used to sit 3s on each side of the classroom. I used to sit in second row aisle on the left side. And school work was HARD for me, also i think i had speech and reading issues. That's when this guy with a roundish face and oily hair, sitting in the middle of the first row infront of me. He taught me everything. My mom thinks that school was the best thing that happened to me in terms of laying a strong foundation. She doesn't know it was actually the hard work of my first sweetheart. 

One day I didn't have any friends to play with. So i sat down on a concrete something built around the tree. I was wearing a small frock. So sitting on the burning hot cement thing burned my thighs. My first casualty of being a girl. 

5 - kindergarten in my new school. There used to be a banyan tree right outside the classroom. Our playtime used to be to hang on those branches like monkeys. And there was a tank there which was covered by tiles, making it ideal for playing 'langdi'. We played there even when we were in higher classes in elementary school. 

6 - grandparent's house in another city. We used to visit there atleast twice a month until my grandma was alive. That's the house i got in my dreams for years. And funnily, so did my siblings. All us cousins used to sleep outside there too on the terrace most summer. Very pampered by aunts. Most houses around had choolhas (they had gas), so anywhere i smell anything smoky even now, i am taken back to that town. It was a 'modern' house by all means, but my very haryanvi grandma kept their own buffaloes down, and a fresh baalti of milk used to come up every evening. Her daily routine would be to churn out chhaanch or butter or something in a round pot by pulling on the ropes attached to it. I remember playing with her jiggly arms. They had a huge pantry. I remember playing in wheat while they worked on removing small rocks/pebbles from it. We had to sit on the floor in the kitchen there on big wooden pattis (dining table was for special occasions). Water there was very bad tasting, so we used to come back super dehydrated.

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Re: Lion

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:12 am

I lived there only two or three years. I attended a government school (the only option). One evening, a young boy, a pan handler, showed up at our doorstep and was quite persistent even after my mother had given him some food.  I have a distinct recollection of the events that followed. I stepped out of the house, discovered that the boy was a classmate of mine and told him to leave or else I would report him to our teacher the next day. My folks were quite shocked at the company I kept, realized that the school was not the best option for my future and sent me off to live with my grandparents in another state.
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Re: Lion

Post by pravalika nanda on Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:17 am

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:I lived there only two or three years. I attended a government school (the only option). One evening, a young boy, a pan handler, showed up at our doorstep and was quite persistent even after my mother had given him some food.  I have a distinct recollection of the events that followed. I stepped out of the house, discovered that the boy was a classmate of mine and told him to leave or else I would report him to our teacher the next day. My folks were quite shocked at the company I kept, realized that the school was not the best option for my future and sent me off to live with my grandparents in another state.
he was your age and your classmate and he was in the unfortunate position of begging. couldn't you have been nicer? looking back, would you have preferred to act differently?

i mean you're feelign bad about some movie about a 5-yr-old street kid who seems to be a lot like your classmate.


my parents went to telugu-medium schools in the village (and spoke only telugu at home) until they suddenly went to the university in the city. it made them value their experience and they fund the education for many individuals in their village and here.


Last edited by pravalika nanda on Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:19 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : ..)

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Re: Lion

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:35 am

pravalika nanda wrote: looking back, would you have preferred to act differently?


I hope I would have acted differently given the life experiences I've had. That was just a five year old's reaction to someone who was hassling his mother. Like your parents, I too went to tamil medium schools (they are called vernacular schools in India) on and off until grade 7 or so in many small towns in TN. I value the experience of growing up among students who came from diverse economic backgrounds.
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Re: Lion

Post by garam_kuta on Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:26 pm

i recall reading the early memory recall of Carl Sagan's son, when 3Y old, could have been his own birth - not very sure, but then the recall timing was 3Y after the event. Autobiographical memory may depend on many factors, depending on the time of the event and the first recall, or it's from a reiterated memory (ie., already recalled, at least once before) etc., see page 101, para 1

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Re: Lion

Post by pravalika nanda on Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:19 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
pravalika nanda wrote: looking back, would you have preferred to act differently?


I hope I would have acted differently given the life experiences I've had. That was just a five year old's reaction to someone who was hassling his mother. Like your parents, I too went to tamil medium schools (they are called vernacular schools in India) on and off until grade 7 or so in many small towns in TN.  I value the experience of growing up among students who came from diverse economic backgrounds.  
good, that's my impression of you as well and i wanted to make sure. thanks.

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Re: Lion

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:02 pm

I counted a total of twelve residences I lived in, not counting my hostel room, in the twenty plus years before leaving India. I don't think I ever felt rooted, but the homes I live in do have special memories. The only one I ever went back to was some fifteen years ago to a railway quarters flat where I lived with my grandparents. My grandparents had passed on by then. The current occupants of the flat let us in, and I closed my eyes, standing in the middle of the kitchen/puja room, and let the memories of my beloved grandparents flood in. It was a positive but intensely emotional experience.
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Re: Lion

Post by t w on Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:17 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:I counted a total of twelve residences I lived in, not counting my hostel room, in the twenty plus years before leaving India. I don't think I ever felt rooted, but the homes I live in do have special memories. The only one I ever went back to was some fifteen years ago to a railway quarters flat where I lived with my grandparents. My grandparents had passed on by then.  The current occupants of the flat let us in, and I closed my eyes, standing in the middle of the kitchen/puja room, and let the memories of my beloved grandparents flood in. It was a positive but intensely emotional experience.

parents gave up the rental house when i was born, and lived in a short term rental apartment for a month while prepping for it. So those two don't count. 

Other than that, I lived in a total of 2 houses when in india. 

here

- dorm for a month
- 2 bed apt in the campus, shared with 3 others, for about 3 months. 
- 1 bed rental apt with XH while I finished school. (rented it for a year, but lived in it for 10-11 months, as were still not married when we rented it. Then XH was stuck in India for over a month, and I didn't have a license until then).  
- 2 bed rental apt for about 20 months. This was the best phase of my life. 
- 3 bed house for 4+ years (started ok, ended bad phase)
- 4 bed house for 11+ years (current residence. started worst phase, sorta stable now. Many elders in the family kept insisting the first 2-3 years to just sell the frigging house. But here we are, still stuck in it).
- i think i will get into another township and a much smaller house after son is done with high school. Not sure if i will wanna co own that with XH, or maybe buy two townhouses next to each other. Or maybe a decent duplex together, let's see (assuming he and i are still together for next 6-7 years). 
- i keep telling kids i will retreat into himalayan region as soon as i can. Let's see.

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Re: Lion

Post by t w on Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:38 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:I counted a total of twelve residences I lived in, not counting my hostel room, in the twenty plus years before leaving India. I don't think I ever felt rooted, but the homes I live in do have special memories. The only one I ever went back to was some fifteen years ago to a railway quarters flat where I lived with my grandparents. My grandparents had passed on by then.  The current occupants of the flat let us in, and I closed my eyes, standing in the middle of the kitchen/puja room, and let the memories of my beloved grandparents flood in. It was a positive but intensely emotional experience.

i was very emotional about the first house we had lived in. So my mom convinced the new occupants to let me visit it once, I think after about 7-8 months. They had done the rooms in a completely different way than we had. Didn't feel like my house any more. Our bedroom was their family room. Our living room was their bedroom, just didn't make sense. In our living room there, the switchboard was right over where we kept our diwan against. So in the dark, our habit was to place one knee on the diwan and reach out with one arm to turn on the light. When I went to revisit, I walked up in the dark, and raised my knee to turn on the lights, but there were just two desk placed by the two sides of the switchboard, making me look so stupid throwing up my leg in the air. The new occupants had completely ruined the awesome garden and vegetable garden that my parents had so meticulously maintained over the years. It was all brown now, even the guava tree was gone. Came back feeling completely detached and sad. Never asked to see it again. 

Passed by that house quite often. Over the years, it began looking more and more like a jhopdi, as no one maintained the 150+ years old house after us. It had started out as a public school hostel of royal/brit kids in its earliest glory. Would be so hard to explain to my later friends, etc, that this wretched looking place was a really good house and it felt very good to live in it while we were there. Later we heard that it's been split into two smaller houses. And last year someone said the whole area (our house, and rows of very small houses behind it) have been flattened, including the temple too i think. I am yet to see it though. So ya, there is literally nothing to speak of the first 14 years of my life. No standing evidence. Second house, I still go to it. I think I will take to bed if my brother ever decides to sell it, 5-10 years from now.  

Our first house here where my older kid had her 4 years of earliest memories, was also brought down to make a newer bigger house. About 6 months after selling it, we decided to drive by it one day and saw wooden frames in its place. Daughter had one of her biggest bawl out moments where she blamed us for stealing her childhood memories (by selling the house). Had to take her to her favorite restaurant to pacify her.

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Re: Lion

Post by TruthSeeker on Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:54 pm

Went to watch Dangal, the next 3 shows are sold out.

Ok, give me tickets for Lion.

Sir, only first 2 rows are available.

I leave the queue, and rejoin, to ask an old American lady - which movie did u come for?

With a spark in her eyes - she replies - Lion.

With a spark in my eyes now - I ask why? 

She replies - This movie was on 60 minutes last week. She tells me about a 5 year old Indian body scavenger, and how its based on a true story, but stops short to reveal the end.

I request her - I am here with my 11 year old boy, is it suitable for him? Given the Christmas time, I dont want to depress him.

She goes - Oh No! He'll enjoy it, the end is on a good note, but I cannot reveal it to U.

I end up watching the movie "standing", though I did want to sit down on the stairs.

While my wife and son watch it from 2nd row. fully occupied.

I gave up, and just sat down in the very first row, all by myself.

Awesome movie. My son could not relate to it much, having his life with chocolates he throws in trash or asks Santa for iPhone 7.

But he must.

Thanks,
TS.

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Re: Lion

Post by Maria S on Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:06 am

The first time I heard about this movie was on the CBS 60 mins show in Dec.

Seems quite interesting..would like to see it in the movie theater. Checked the local movie listings, don't see it at this time.

As for childhood memories..and memories also being selective..earliest I can remember are the happy times at my grandparents home in Vellore..was about 4..it was a modest white house (painted white), which stood out, with a huge flower garden..especially the colorful; white, pink, purple Bougainvillea flowers..all around the compound walls..playing in the swing, see saw, sandpit..with friends..we also had many pets.. dogs, cats, parrots..

Many years later I visited the home, was nothing like I remembered..was strange and difficult to see the lovely single home and garden turned into an apartment (flats) complex. 

Thanks for the movie reco. Don't think that this movie and our 
life-memories in general, can be as relatable, special or moving to the younger generations (whether they were born and raised in the US or India for that matter)..as they are to us. 

They will be irrelevant and boring for the most part to them, which is understandable:)
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Re: Lion

Post by t w on Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:50 am

come to jersey, it's still on Smile. but i think i will wait for netflix. been wanting to watch it since i saw the previews. 

we also had bougainvilleas in both the houses. Old house also had jasmine (that i use to make a garland of, for ganesh bhagwan), and pink raat rani (that we used to braid to make a bracelet or something). Smelled divine.

the garden was D shaped. entry was on the circular side through 2 vidya bushes. The circular side was bordered by all kinds of seasonal plants. The garden had roses in summer (I think) and beautiful colorful flowers in winter. We had a very dedicated (govt) gardener who treated the place as his creative outlet.  The rose plants were very tall.  One end had a neem tree, and the other end had a lime tree. The straight side also had a little patch, on which i grew my first lauki (bottle gourd) plant.

Our pet dog was extremely protective of my mom. If any stranger came even 20 feet of her, he/she would get chased out, and if unfortunate, bitten too. One dusky evening, we were all sitting in the garden, and the dog was not on a leash (or i think he was on a leash but had an open range in the garden). a villager walked in the main gate, and before we realized it, he was already walking in through the vidya entrance into the garden, approaching mom straight.  Mom didn't get a chance to alert him about the dog, or to stop the dog. Dog was probably watching him, but guess he was gauging the danger levels. the moment the villager was 5-6 steps into the garden, the dog barked ominously and jumped at him. the villager screamed, turned around and ran. But instead of going for the entrance, he went straight into the rose bush (probably coz that side was closer to the main gate, and probably coz he couldn't see the roses in the dark). I still remember that scene. Him almost the same size as the roses, wearing all white kurta, dhoti, and head gear, both arms raised on the sides (as in hands up position), and hitting the roses head on. Now, my mom is a nervous laugh-er. The moment she saw this she burst into an uncontrollable giggle. Luckily we were able to hold the dog (or maybe his leash stopped him), and the villager didn't get bitten. But getting his dhoti out from the thorns was another task. Not to mention all the scratches. thank god people didn't sue those days.

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Re: Lion

Post by Maria S on Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:01 pm

Thanks for the invite Tracy:)

Your memory and descriptions are so vivid..interesting reads..
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Re: Lion

Post by t w on Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:52 pm

Maria S wrote:Thanks for the invite Tracy:)

Your memory and descriptions are so vivid..interesting reads..

hehe guess i have posted waaaay more than i should have (instead of restricting myself to the thread topic), but can't explain how therapeutic it has been for me. my childhood was rock solid, so it feels good to think back and reflect. I draw a lot of energy from the process. But I know it's a selfish process, so will refrain Smile

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Re: Lion

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:46 pm

pravalika nanda wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:I lived there only two or three years. I attended a government school (the only option). One evening, a young boy, a pan handler, showed up at our doorstep and was quite persistent even after my mother had given him some food.  I have a distinct recollection of the events that followed. I stepped out of the house, discovered that the boy was a classmate of mine and told him to leave or else I would report him to our teacher the next day. My folks were quite shocked at the company I kept, realized that the school was not the best option for my future and sent me off to live with my grandparents in another state.
he was your age and your classmate and he was in the unfortunate position of begging. couldn't you have been nicer? looking back, would you have preferred to act differently?

i mean you're feelign bad about some movie about a 5-yr-old street kid who seems to be a lot like your classmate.


my parents went to telugu-medium schools in the village (and spoke only telugu at home) until they suddenly went to the university in the city. it made them value their experience and they fund the education for many individuals in their village and here.
You and Max probably are wrong about his ex-classmate in school really begging for food in his house due to poverty. He might have felt like getting food from Max's house, perhaps he thought it would taste better, or as a kid he might have felt suddenly hungry, like the kids at that age usually do. 

When I was working in Tripoli, we had an Egyptian couple (the man was a prof. in the Univ.)  living next door. They had a very young son (named Mohammed), slightly younger than our kids. Every time young Mohammed came out of his house and if he saw our front door open, he would straight run to our kitchen, grabbing whatever he thought was a food item, and then go, sit next to our kids and start eating that food item.

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Re: Lion

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:49 pm

http://www.historyvshollywood.com/video/saroo-brierley-interview/

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Re: Lion

Post by Maria S on Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:45 am

Finally went to see Lion yesterday.

Really moving and great storytelling. Keeps one engrossed from the beginning to the end. Was surprised to see the appeal it has for American audiences, and how engaged they remained. I suppose there are different takeaways..the son-mothers bond (while so they are so different-yet exactly the same in love and understanding of their son).stood out and made it a special movie.

Thanks Max for the reco.
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Re: Lion

Post by Maria S on Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:56 am

Oh, how can I forget to mention the little one-child actor?

Sunny Pawar is brilliant..just a natural actor! His performance is so powerful and haunting.
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Re: Lion

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:53 am

Maria S wrote:Oh, how can I forget to mention the little one-child actor?

Sunny Pawar is brilliant..just a natural actor! His performance is so powerful and haunting.

Well said! I thought the little boy's performance overshadowed everyone else's. Brilliant!
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Re: Lion

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