22 Nov

I watched a documentary on Tamil poet Salma by Kim Longinotto yesterday and struck a deep chord with me. It’s painful and yet extraordinary journey of a brave woman’s desire for expression and becoming her rightful person. It’s a brilliant coming of age of a luminous individual aganaist great odds. She was confined to twenty years of solitude and she finely found her brave beautiful voice.

For more on documentary please find a fine tribute by Fariha Roisin and she writes:

” The film focuses on Salma, a reknowned South Indian poet who has a hunger for knowledge and desires to make her own path. She wants to do away with the old world’s paradigms and institute a social understanding where women are accepted and encouraged to cultivate themselves within society.

Salma’s tale is an extraordinary one to follow. At 13, she was locked away once she got her period; she was hidden and seen as a threat. So it was in a makeshift jail that Salma grew and matured, suffocated by the expectations of society and tired of the punishment she was receiving due to the nature of her sex. She constantly felt as though she had time, “but no life.” Refusing to marry the man she was betrothed to, she dreamed of another existence, one beyond what she had ever seen or known. Her eagerness for life grew with every breath and she desired to learn as much as she could about the world around her.

“I would read anything,” she utters in one scene. She recalls how her mother would buy vegetables that came wrapped in sheets of newspapers and how that was a source of education for her — how it was her gateway to gain access to the outside. “I begged to finish school, but they wouldn’t let me.” Instead, she was groomed for marriage as that was — and still is — seen as the appropriate thing for women to do. When they come of age, they must marry and they must have children. Women are not educated because they are seen as subordinates. The mentality that they have nothing to offer is a chilling sentiment that is carried throughout the film. ”

For more of review please see:

“As I was physically confined to the house from the age of thirteen, with little or no opportunity for contact with the outside world, it was my experience of reading books that gave me the urge to write. Protracted periods of loneliness and the related emotional crises determined the language and content of my poetry. Feelings that could not be shared with anyone created a language of intensity. ”

Source :

Salma’s journey of a child confined to home and to her sufferring’s in marriage and to her intense desire to learn and write, getting published and finally becoming a politician is a remarkable journey of a woman breaking out of her shell and finding her place in the world. It not only touched a raw nerve but also inspires me immensely.

Why does it inspire me?

I was thinking that had been living the same kind of life for twenty years. Why my life is so fixated? The same long walk to buy vegetables, the same going to temples, the same visits to hospitals, the same worries about mother and brother. What will happen to mother? What will happen to my brother? If go somewhere..

So whenever had good work, that was only joy, that has plateaued with time and destiny. I have no complaints and think am the one of the good start up guys of my time and my country. The assignments are a testimonial and many years ago Industry CEO’s wrote to me also in encouragement when was young, thanks to my brother Rajiv (TIE,NASSCOM)who was was my first and only mentor. Now I have a job. I hope to have a career.

It’s not about Job. It’s about life. I sometimes wish to have a personal life like others going to movies, traveling, taking a vacation…

I remember a friend of mine had asked me out some year’s ago and we met in a bookshop. I told her ” You know I don’t know where to take you out” ( still I don’t know). She took me to a candle shop and bought candles. The shop owner’s wife kept looking..

It’s always been this away. When was younger my doctor friend would take me out or my dear friend Venu would drop in and show me the city just to take me out of my world..

I was very worried about my brother and family. It’s all fine now..

But I still worry…what will he do if I go out? or move in a different city?

I dont have answers yet.My brother is a big part of my life. My mother also though she scolds me sometimes and it affect’s me a lot. I am not ideal but want them happy.

I want to be happy and live my life too…

Salma inspires me to break my shell..

Salma is my hero. I wish to be Salma.

This for today. Goodnight friends!

Love, Suresh


2 Responses to “Salma..”

  1. Sonya Kassam November 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    This looks like an interesting film Suresh, thanks for sharing. I hope you can act on the inspiration to benefit yourself.

    • sureshvn November 23, 2015 at 1:52 am #

      It is a good film Sonya, thank you have never given up friend 🙂

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