“This isn’t just a grandma’s tale...
This is the tale of my grandma, my own ammoomma.
The beloved ammoomma I discern.
The ammoomma who knows me closely.
This is also the tale of many an ammoomma…”
- raj nair
The theme unfolds through 85-year-old Kalakshiamma, alias “Kaatha”. The widow of a celebrated Indian writer, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. A devoted wife of 65 years, a mother and a very well-known ammoomma (grandmother) of Kerala (a south Indian state).
Kaatha was born as the daughter of a farmer, her destiny to live life as a commoner with celebrity status as the wife of a literary giant. After the death of her husband she lives alone, at least physically, in a home built on dreams she had shared with her beloved, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Once a widow, she handed over her home to the authorities with good intentions of making it a promised monument celebrating her husband’s life. In reality her home has metamorphosed into a museum where she pays a rent of one rupee, perhaps only to become a tenant and, at least to some, a living exhibit.
The film documents the realities of aging, of past and current social issues and the colour of loneliness. Trying to (re)discover those milestones in the lives of Malayalee (people of Kerala) women, which made a sweet baby girl of the distant past just another grandmother, an exhibit of modernisation, one of the many silent victims of a much globalised face of Kerala increasingly being uprooted from its own tradition, ethos and milieux.