Posted in Scribbled Thought

Axone : A Recipe from North-East India

So, this Thursday I just watched this film. I got a suggestion from Scoopwhoop. And it was not a bad decision. Axone is a food product of Nagaland. I searched about it on the internet and Wikipedia showed that the word Axone is made of two words. Axo means aroma and Ne means deep. So the word Axone means deep smell. This is fermented soybean. I thought, “Okay, I might learn a new recipe.” And guess what!! This movie really made a nice dish. North-east India consists of 7 states.

But there are hundreds of ethnic groups are coexisting among the 7 states. They have different languages, cultures, food habits and of course physical appearance than the rest of India. Whenever I think about that region, I can’t help but think about the beautiful nature, colourful dresses, people with warm smiles and tasty foods. But in the mindset of mainland India, their mongoloid look makes them less Indian and ‘Axone’ tells that story.

Story Outline

The movie starts with a scene of a few young people collecting some ingredient and utensils to cook for their friend. They live in Delhi, capital of India. They are the north-eastern Indian, living in Delhi. Some of them are looking for a job. Some of them are preparing for Govt. exam. Some of them are running a shop. But together, they are like a family. As the story goes on, it is revealed that one of them, Minam is getting married in a small ceremony.

To surprise her, Chanbi and Upasana, her two roommates are making axone as it is a very important dish for the wedding. Though they managed to gather the ingredients, the real problem arose when they started to cook. As they put the Axone, the fermented smell irritated the neighbours and they protested (obviously powered by their stigma against the North-Eastern people). The story revolves around their problem to find a place so that Axone can be cooked.

Scribbled Thought

In this movie, if I think the hot pot resembled India then the ingredient Axone is the northeast. Without it, the dish is not complete. Actors in this movie have been cast properly. But I think the director has not used Adil Hussain properly. In the whole movie, he just kept watching others. I don’t know what does it meant. Was he representing the common attitude of Indians of watching everything without getting involved? The character Shiv is a perfect portrayal of next-generation Indians. He jokes about everything. He constantly asks for a northeastern girlfriend to show himself edgy. He felt shocked when Bangdong cursed him saying ‘Indian’. I think this is a powerful scene. Bangdong is a traumatized person. His backstory is something we are habituated to watch in the news. Often they are branded as ‘Chinese’ due to their appearance. This scene was a slap on this mentality.

I liked the story of Zorem also. This movie beautifully portrayed the emotional evolution of a man to let go of the past and accepting the present. The character Chanbi is the thread holder of the story. She is the mother figure of the group and a fierce woman. But at some point, she also breaks down when the neighbours threaten them to throw them out. But in this movie, we got to see the harmonious side also. Many northeastern people have settled in Delhi. They got married in another community. They are having their own family. Dolly Ahluwalia and Vinay Pathak, both of them are the comic relief and these characters supported the team whenever it was necessary. The end scene was beautiful. The dresses they wore were so colourful and beautiful, I said, “Mom, I need to buy few Mekhlas.” In the end, I would like to say that this movie is a nice short story which will keep lingering into your minds days after watching it.