‘Kheer’ is a Valentine’s Treat from India

By  · Published on February 14th, 2017

Short of the Day

Nanu has some explaining to do…

Relationships, like people, age, and as such they also change. A person at 65 is not the same as they were when they were 25, nor are their requirements for relationships. As we age, especially if we have lived and lost a long relationship, companionship for some people becomes the love that binds them together, even if the alignment isn’t perfect.

That’s the backdrop for Kheer, an Indian short film from director Surya Balakrishnan that tells the story of a grandfather put in the tricky spot of having to unexpectedly introduce his “lady friend” to his two young grandchildren while cooking the titular treat, a sweet pudding made from rice and a variety of spices, nuts, and fruit. Granddaughter takes offense that her “Nanu” has moved on after the passing of his wife and her grandmother, as she does that Nanu is making her favorite dish for the new woman. By the end, of course, Kheer proves as nourishing as the pudding it references; both are simple, sweet, and warm.

Anupam Kher, who’s been an A-lister in Bollywood for the last three decades (and also played Dr. Patel in Silver Linings Playbook) makes his short film debut in Kheer, which makes this little film a big deal in the world’s largest film industry. Kher plays Nanu as both stern and gentile, adamant and accommodating, and ultimately a big softie, which makes him, in short, the perfect grandfather. And while romantic love here is a catalyst for revelations of familial love, it’s still the perfect little treat for Valentine’s Day, because it demonstrates love’s versatility, its ability to change as we do, being just what we need whenever we need it.

Make some room in your heart for Kheer, it deserves a spot there.

(And don’t forget to turn on the closed captions.)

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