“The breaking of stereotypes allows for recovery of memory.”
~ Shiv Visvanathan.

Abhaya photo

My friend and fellow moviephile Abhaya sent this photograph and asked “What does this photograph indicate?” I leave the question with my readers and shall come back with the answer at the end of the post.

It is my assigned duty at our home to set yoghurt. This is due to historical reasons when I was a caregiver to my late wife and became quite expert at setting it. My daughter in love Manjiree too is expert but indulges me and lets me set it so that I have the sense of being useful at home.

It is however true that on some occasions, I let the milk boil over as shown in the photograph and it takes quite a bit of work to clean up the stove and the kitchen platform so that Manjiree does not come to know that I had been careless. She might otherwise decide to bar me from the kitchen. (I hope that she does not read this)

So, my immediate reaction to this question from Abhaya was to say that it is a common occurrence in my life with milk boiling over due to negligence.

flying jaat

This picture is a scene from a recently released Hindi film, Flying jaat. Such scenes would never have been allowed for exhibition by Indian censors till a few years ago. Yes, that was the situation till not too long ago. The couple would normally be shown as going behind a tree or a bush or something like that.


This one is from another recently released Hindi film, Mohenjo Daro. You can imagine what pleasure the censors would have had in cutting this right out of the film till a few years ago, when you consider that they would not even allow a kiss to be shown!

What do these two photographs and their explanations have to do with this post?

When the censors would be happy with the couple disappearing from view for a few seconds to indicate a kissing scene, when it came to steamier stuff like the lower photograph, the screen would show the kitchen and a scene of milk boiling over to symbolise hot stuff happening off screen!

And that dear readers is the answer to Abhaya’s question which he very kindly provided himself later!

19 thoughts on “Nostalgia.”

  1. i remember in ‘to catch a thief’ with cary grant and grace kelly…
    when the camera panned outside the window where magnificent fireworks in the black night sky were going off! i would much prefer seeing that after a steamy kiss than the below picture in your post. too bad the censors couldn’t find a middle ground.
    i have a very good imagination. i do not need to see it all! 😀
    tammy j recently posted..cozy minimal

    1. That is what the censors have always maintained, that Indians have very good imagination and can conjure up steamy scenes as long as there are some acceptable metaphors shown! Then the producers went on the warpath and said that their artistic sensibilities were being curtailed and so there has been some relaxation. And I too remember “To catch a thief” with a lot of good feelings about it.

  2. I have NO IDEA what that photo indicates. Electric contraptions are sold for anything you want to cook/brew/culture. I cheated & read yoghurt in the next paragraph. That’s what the thing is for. I kept our yoghurt at the right temp. using a thermometer.
    Now I buy yogurt (American spelling).

    1. Boil the milk, allow it to cool down a bit till it is comfortable to hold the pan, in another vessel which is only used to set yoghurt, spread starter from previous day’s yoghurt, add the milk and allow it to cool down to room temperature in a casserole thermos. You will have well set yoghurt in about four hours. Refrigerate it.

  3. I’ve certainly lived long enough to have my own movies in my head (steamy or otherwise)! I don’t need to want to see the fully exposed frame. But movie makers are bent on educating us, whether we need it or not!

  4. I was a little amused at the contrast between the milk boiling over due to negligence and the absolute attention required to um, get milk boiling

    I use an insulated yoghurt maker and it takes eight hours. I make it overnight and eat delicious warm yoghurt in the morning.

  5. I love the idea of the metaphor – that could relate to anything – steamy or not…

    But in some cultures that may not quite hit the hot spot of knowing what that meant…next time I have a boil-over, I might become all hot and bothered. (usually my boil-overs occur in boiling water/veg either on the stove or in the microwave…)

    1. Absolutely. The context and the setting is all that matters. I doubt very much that without the screen showing something to precede it, it will do any harm to you while you are boiling water/vegetable!

  6. This is unexpected and rather funny. The post also challenges our approach to life in its all aspects. The juxtaposition is brilliant! I am only sad that I do not boil milk those days, I would enjoy this strange association.

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