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In the Tamil movie Roja, there is a moment that breaks the unhappiness in the life of a women. Roja, the heroine, grows up a happy child in the countryside of Tamil Nadu, India, but under unusual circumstances, in an effort to support the dynamic of the family she loves, she agrees to marry a man who grew up in the city and whom she barely knows. She is unhappy with the marriage and plans to return home. Just then, as part of a formal event at work, she meets her husband’s boss. When the elderly gentleman realizes that he and Roja grew up in the same countryside, he immediately asks her about paniyaram, a rice, water and milk-based savory fritter traditional to the area. As he proceeds to longingly compare the paniyaram’s shade of white to that of, thumbapoo, a local white flower, Roja breaks out into a smile and nods her head in acknowledgement indicating she knows how to make it. Seemingly breaking protocol, the gentleman wonders if he might be invited to taste the paniyaram, but Roja says she has to return home.

 

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