Tea Shops in Malayalam Cinema

Fading Screen Icons.

The Teashop Interiors The ubiquitous, humble teashop in our everyday lives seems to have been the best indicator of our ‘social progress’, going by the way it has evolved. With the screen ‘life’ more often reflecting the real life, its gradual disappearance from our daily lives, for sepia junkies like me is a painful reminder of the momentum that is taking our lives on a blazing trip onwards, seemingly on a one-way ticket.  I miss them terribly in screenplays these days. No, its not that their ‘presence’ was a significant pivot in the screen narrative, but it had, and it held its place, in the grand scheme of things, just like it did in real life, to our ordinary, and at times, extraordinary life in our quaint hamlets. A cursory look through the screen narratives from the 60’s to the present, say 5 decades, offers an amazingly surprising ‘evolutionary curve’ of our lives, the change in pace, ‘texture, environment and relationships in the screenplays that translated to movies. The ‘agrarian’ aspect seems to have all but disappeared from our screens – hardly one find the main protagonist tilling the land,  ploughing the field or for that matter, the lady love winnowing the harvest grain ! Gone is the Post man whose very presence is underlined with the simple one liner “Oru Kathundu/ Oru Reyisteerrrundu ..”, or for that matter, the local Toddy Shop.

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