A sure-fire way of enjoying Valentine’s Day is through the gut. This is the common route taken by the short films Lovey Dovey and Kheer to mark February 14.
In the 20-minute Lovey Dovey, army officer Gautam (Rajeshwar Nag) and his teacher-wife Suvy (Nidhi Singh) take a day off from work on Valentine’s Day and spend quality time together. They shop and eat in the small market of Chail, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Through their awkward conversations, it is revealed that the newly weds have met through an arranged marriage.
For the first 15 minutes, director Adeeb Rais builds up the plot through comic scenes involving a chili spray, a breakfast of pickle and cornflakes, a condom discount offer at a store and a quiz aimed at romantic couples. The short warms up in the last five minutes when the disenchanted couple share a drink by a bonfire, exchanging stories about their hopes and disappointments from their marriage and toasting the night to the beginning of a lifelong friendship. It won’t get you teary-eyed, but it will make you feel a little giddy with schmaltz.
In Kheer, Anupam Kher plays Govind, a widower who prepares a sumptuous pot of the rice pudding to win over the affections of his grandchildren, Stuti Dixit and Abhimanyu Chawla. While visiting Govind’s house, the grandchildren find an elderly woman (Natasha Rastogi) helping Govind with the household chores. Is she their grandfather’s new girlfriend?
In under seven minutes, director Surya Balakrishnan infuses her short with the quotidian humour that we often miss in the bigger (and busy) picture of our daily lives. The interaction between the characters is warm and evocative, firing the belly for a bowl of home-made rice pudding sprinkled with a dash of (you guessed it).
The quirks and perks of travelling with your hard to impress mom
We must admit that the jar of pickle always comes in handy.
A year ago, Priyanka, a 26-year-old banking professional, was packing her light-weight duffel bag for an upcoming international trip. Keen to explore the place, she wanted to travel light and fuss free. It was not meant to be. For Priyanka was travelling with her mother, and that meant carrying at least two extra suitcases packed with odds and ends for any eventuality just short of a nuclear war.
Bothered by the extra suitcases that she had to lug around full of snacks and back-up woollens, Priyanka grew frustrated with her mother. However, one day, while out for some sight-seeing Priyanka and her family were famished but there were no decent restaurants in sight. That’s when her mum’s ‘food bag’ came to the rescue. Full of juice boxes, biscuits and sandwiches, her mother had remembered to pack snacks from the hotel for their day out. Towards the end of the trip, Priyanka was grateful to her mother for all her arrangements, especially the extra bag she carried for Priyanka’s shopping.
Priyanka’s story isn’t an isolated one. We spoke to many people about their mother’s travel quirks and habits and weren’t surprised at some of the themes that were consistent across all the travel memoirs.
Indian mothers are always prepared
“My mom keeps the packed suitcases in the hallway one day before our flight date. She will carry multiple print-outs of the flight tickets because she doesn’t trust smartphone batteries. She also never forgets to carry a medical kit for all sorts of illnesses and allergies”, says Shruti, a 27-year-old professional. When asked if the medical kit was helpful during the trip, she answered “All the time”, in a tone that marvelled at her mother’s clairvoyance.
Indian mothers love to feel at home, and create the same experience for their family, wherever they are
“My mother has a very strange idea of the kind of food you get in foreign lands, so she always packs multiple packets of khakra and poha for our trips. She also has a habit of carrying her favourite teabags to last the entire trip”, relates Kanchan, a marketing professional who is a frequent international flier often accompanied by her mother. Kanchan’s mother, who is very choosy about her tea, was therefore delighted when she was served a hot cup of garam chai on her recent flight to Frankfurt. She is just like many Indian mothers who love to be reminded of home wherever they are and often strive to organise their hotel rooms to give them the coziness of a home.
Most importantly, Indian mothers are tough, especially when it comes to food
Take for instance, the case of Piyush, who recalls, “We went to this fine dining restaurant and my mother kept quizzing the waiter about the ingredients and the method of preparation of a dish. She believed that once she understood the technique, she would be able to make a better version of the dish just so she could pamper me!”
Indian mothers are extremely particular about food – from the way its cooked, to the way it smells and tastes. Foreign delicacies are only allowed to be consumed if they fulfil all the criteria set by Mom i.e. is it good enough for my children to consume?
An approval from an Indian mother is a testament to great quality and great taste. In recognition of the discerning nature of an Indian mum and as a part of their ‘More Indian Than You Think’ commitment, Lufthansa has tailored their in-flight experiences to surpass even her exacting standards. Greeted with a namaste and served by an Indian crew, the passengers feel right at home as they relish the authentic Indian meals and unwind with a cup of garam chai, the perfect accompaniment to go with a variety of Indian entertainment available in the flight. As Lufthansa’s in-flight offerings show, a big part of the brand is inherently Indian because of its relationship with the country spanning over decades.
To see how Lufthansa has internalised the Indian spirit and become the airline of choice for flyers looking for a great Indian experience, watch the video below.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.