I am yet to be made aware of another regional community that attaches so much significance to the presence of an insect, specifically, the picture wing dragonfly, when it comes to their greatest celebration that represents a new beginning, gaiety, mirth, hope and above all the warmth of homecoming. Our little Onathumbi has been so ingrained in our Onam celebrations, that it is but natural to find its reflections in Malayalam Cinema too.
There is no other film that weaves a story around childhood and sibling love like Kakkothi Kaavile Appoppan Thaadikal (1988), in Malayalam, written by Fazil and directed by Kamal , and looking at the way things are progressing, there never will. Kamal calls it the movie closest to his heart, Vipin Mohan (legendary cinematographer) says there can be no film like this, ever. It doesn’t have a single superstar of the times, no sky-high budgets, no glitz. All it has is a beautiful story of separation, independence and the inevitable reunion, deftly woven around a myth that stays sacred in the collective consciousness of one’s childhood – everything that is embodied by an appoppan thadi ( Grandpa’s beard a.k.a Calotropis Gigantea) !