Ustad Hotel is a special film for a number of reasons. While all of us have something that we like, I’d like to talk about my personal connection to the film. In many ways, the film is about the bond between a grandfather and his grandson. This is the aspect of Ustad Hotel that appealed to me the most. From a very young age, I have been very close to my grandfather and seeing the bond between Dulquer and Thilakan filled me with so much joy.
There are a lot of themes that the film touches upon including Sufism, Altruism and the role that food plays in our lives. But this relationship is the beating heart of the film for me. Without the bond between Faizi and Kareem Bhai, the story wouldn’t move the way it does. Any scene with the two can be picked out and looked at but I have chosen one that is quite close to my heart.
It is the scene they share on the beach where Kareem Bhai teaches Faizi the importance of love in any aspect of life. Seeing this scene brings back so many memories of time spent with my grandfather. Listening to old Hindi songs, making tea at midnight after watching a cricket/football match are all moments that come flooding back when I see Faizi and Kareem Bhai. The black tea or ‘Sulemani’ that they have encompasses all that the grandfather wants to teach his grandson.
This refers to the fact that we must include a little bit of love in whatever we do as that is what it makes anything better. I’m not totally sure if I have said something about Ustad Hotel in a coherent manner but sometimes that’s the way emotions work. They take hold of you and make you feel even when you don’t want to. I would like to thank Anjali Menon for writing a story that will forever be etched in my heart and mind.
Until next time, bye.