Presents – Salami – Ishq
A long time ago as evolution turned monkey into early man a lot of things began to change. Nudity was replaced by modesty and concepts like breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacking came into existence. Some Early People were emotionally drained as they watched animals being used as food and gave up eating meat, thus becoming the earliest vegetarians.
These Early Vegetarians were ill equipped for a vegetarian life since farming had not yet been invented and passed away really quickly.
It was only well after humanity had fine-tuned farming that some people could afford to give up omnivorous ways and go back to being vegetarian as a fashion statement. Some others are vegetarian even today for emotional reasons. They can’t digest animals enduring punishment so that humans can get their nourishment. I want to ask these people how they are sure plants don’t feel pain. Or for that matter vegetables. To illustrate, imagine the pain that potatoes and corn go through when the little ones in their families are plucked to make a stew or a starter. They are called Baby potatoes and Baby corn for a reason. Vegetarians are separating them from Momma and Poppa Potatoes and Corn every time they cook!
Like we learnt in school, man and for that matter, woman is/are Omnivorous.
This brings us to this week’s release, which is peppered with Non-vegetarian humour.
Salami-Ishq (For the love of Salami) is the story of 6 groups of people. These groups are not strictly groups; they are more like 6 couples. Though, not couples in the strict sense; the term ‘couple’ is used metaphorically as in ‘a couple of drinks (till we get drunk)’ or ‘the Indian medium pacer Couple Dev (hopefully Malcolm Marshall)’. The 6 couples are from different parts of the world; from different walks, runs, marathons, hash-runs of life (none, unfortunately from the Bangalore Walk). They are ignorant about each other’s existence, but end up being brought together by destiny, fate and the one thing that connects all of them, Salami.
Salami, a commonly used breakfast meat, might sound simple enough but isn’t. Let us learn then, why Salami holds a connection to the lives of these couples. We will borrow from the reams written on the subject by Stephen who hawks a tome called ‘A Brief history of Salami’.
A Salame (plural: salami) is a cured sausage of Italian tradition, which means that traditionally if you have an ill sausage on your hands, you go looking for an Italian who can cure it. The name comes from the Italian verb salare (which is different from the Hindi word aalare, meaning ‘he’s coming’), meaning ‘to salt’.
This salt connection is why we must remember to watch this movie with a pinch of salt.
Historically, salami has been popular amongst Italian peasants due to being a meat product able to be stored at room temperature, especially since refrigerators were expensive.
A traditional salame is made from a mixture that may include the following:
-Chopped pork (you have no chopped pork? What? Pigs have wings now?)
-Wine (no, no! you can’t have a couple of drinks with that wine!)
-Salt (yes, we need a pinch of salt. No, not metaphorically)
-Various Herbs and Spices (nobody is really sure which ones to use. No, not the eatery in Indiranagar)
Other types of salami include imported brands, which are ideal, especially as you don’t need to prepare them.
A sneak peak into some of the stories that make up Salami-Ishq:
Story 1:Vidya Balan wakes up in the morning to find an anniversary gift by her bedside. It is a packet of rare South Italian Paprika Salami from her loving husband, John Abra-ham. She is excited as she relishes the feel of the fine meat and understands that the gift is a metaphor for their relationship. They are completely crazy about each other and find it quite difficult to keep their hands off each other.
But where did Abra-ham acquire this Salami?
Story 2:Govinda wakes up in the morning and gets into his colorful taxi(two colors, yellow and black). He rams into a blond called Stephanie who runs a meat-manufacturing unit in Italy. The huge bag of packaged meat that she is carrying careens out of control and large packets of salami are plastered all over the ever present traffic jam, making a continental breakfast of it. They fall in love and the meat is forgotten, which makes their love a ‘pure’ kind of love (as in ‘pure veg food’). Meat being forgotten also works well for Govinda as there is a lot of meat on him that needs to be forgotten.
Characters played by Salman, Priyanka, Anil, Juhi and four other actors of various sizes inhabit the remaining four stories. To find out more about this paean to red meat (not to be confused with communist recipes) go watch the movie.
As you watch the movie, you will wonder if the ticket price you paid is a real world metaphor for a kind of computer fraud called Salami fraud. In the salami technique, criminals/directors steal money or resources a bit at a time. But well, that is your food for thought.
* Objects in the Preview Mirror may appear sillier than they are.
Disclaimer: Characters in the above story are not based on any characters in the film. Any resemblance or humour is pure luck.
**OPM appears in the Thursday edition of Bangalore BIAS and previews a Friday release