The Reader


The Reader is a 2008 movie starring Kate Winslet. It is adapted from a German book with the same title. It is about an intimate relationship between a younger man and an older woman over several years. The first half is very detailed and very scintillating. But the second half is so full of pain, and longing.

How far would you go to hide a secret? A secret that would bring embarrassment and humiliation. Hanna has a secret, she would rather confess murder she didn't commit and get imprisoned for life, than reveal it. And it is rather strange, that she choses to go to prison, than admit that she's an illiterate. As audience, you cannot understand her decision. You wonder is it that big a humiliation? Shame?

Hanna is a character I couldn't really understand. I watched out for her, loved, hated, despised her, longed to know about her, along with Mikael, but wasn't able to understand her.
There are many moments in this movie that overwhelmed me and touched deep. The trial scene where Mikael broke down to tears, after the verdict was passed for Hanna. The turmoil he was going through was palpable, uncertain whether to trust the evidences and speculating the things Hanna kept on hiding. Another part was when Mikael sent her cassettes, years later, when she was still in prison, audio recordings of several book read by him, for she always loved to be read to. He would read piles of books from end to end, record them in cassettes, mark each with dots for the parts, and parcel them to her anonymously. “The Odessey” to “The Lady and Her Little Dog” to “War and Peace”. Acts, dramas, and comics. He read it all for her. And oh, the luxury she had after so many years in prison- the joy of being read to- the luxury of fiction, imagination, books and words.

Hanna teaches herself the letters and numbers in prison. She teaches herself to read listening to Mikael’s audio tapes, and following the words in the same book. Story is very gripping one. I felt so while watching The Book Thief.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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