Dear Yogis,

ZOOM: The Gita Study at 10am. Sunday.

I love, love love good movies.  Not violence, not stupid time-wasters, but something that is binge worthy (as they say). A movie that informs.   I have two addictions at the moment.

A Japanese series about one of those tiny back street diners in Tokyo which we only know as ‘DINER” (I would love to visit), and its fabulous owner “Master” .  We never get to know his name but in series 2 and 3 three there  is the suggestion that there is perhaps a “mistress”.  Certainly a lady who knows how to be treated.  Like the shark in Jaws she is implied by what happens around her, however, you actually get to see her in series 3, but there is still a question mark.

The fascinating part ( and the whole point of the series) is the interaction between the clients… a changing group with regulars – a transvestite or two, Ryo the Yakuza boss, and my favourites –  Marilyn the stripper, her Chiropractor boyfriend Kim, and Mr.Erect the porno star.   There is a Wikipedia expert, a strange poet, three female friends,  and so on.

I can’t stop watching and do so every lunch time – as the episodes are only 20 minutes long, it works well. No matter what the occupation of the diners, their interactions are respectful and caring.  They feel for each other (in a reserved Japanese way) even over dinner.   At the end of each episode is the recipe that has featured in the previous 20 minutes in the diner, with lots of cooking tips.  They are easy, and will transform your meal times as they have mine.

This is a movie on Netflix about the females in a Muslim family living on the edge of a desert.

They are already at subsistence level as the movie starts, although it is obvious that the man could afford to lift their standard of living but doesn’t…controlled poverty controls the family.  This is no different to the 21st century model.  No matter how devout, no matter how orthodox, the person who controls the money, controls the family. (A lesson to us all).

At the start of the movie the male, the husband,  takes a second younger wife, and it is the repercussions of that move which inform the story.  The eldest daughter is learning to drive, has a lover,  goes to University,  however gets low marks which she knows means her father will refuse to continue paying.  In the end she relives her mother’s life and is “sold” to the highest bidder in the marriage market, and is powerless to change.  As she slips into the life she (and the 2nd wife) would choose to avoid, clearly sees her younger sisters will have not any alternative either. Already she is bitter and angry.

This community reminds me of the Romany communities (Gypsies) in Europe and England..  The big, white arranged marriage, submissive clever wives, controlled interactions, dominant, “less intellectual” males.  The women feel powerless to effect change, and don’t run away on the basis that what they have, no matter how terrible from our point of view, is better than being alone. 

In this movie and I think around the world, the males interpret the Qur’an to suit themselves.  With regards to polygamy the book clearly states that a man can take a second wife only if he treats both wives exactly the same.  

I am sure this “misunderstanding” regarding responsibility is lived out in many households in that part of the world. The first WIVES are banished having to leave their children behind and beg from the husband (even for food) if they disagree, which happened in this movie. Not unlike Victorian England; watch “The Duchess” with Kiera Knightly to see the English equivalent.  Stately home, servants, money, but no more kind to women than the Muslim version.  The women in each case are chattels, possessions, whose job it is to provide what the husband needs without question.

Perhaps ISIS and other terrorist groups also interpret the Qur’an to their liking  to enable violence.  I am pretty sure this happens also in Christian Countries, and even in Rome, the Pope having the ability to deliver words directly from God.  Infallible!?  Both sides in every war believe that God is on their side, whomever and however they view God.

It is a movie worth watching although it is disturbing for the parallels in the west and in many women’s lives.Thank goodness I am a yogi, and at the moment Brahmacharya.


Let me know what you think about these movies.

Namaste.  JAHNE