Who sent the cat in “Summer in Bethlehem”?

Photo by Tong Nguyen van on Unsplash

One of the movies I vividly remember from my childhood is Summer in Bethlehem. It is a Malayalam movie released in 1998, and I saw it on TV sometime in early 2000.

For those who haven’t seen the movie, the story surrounds the lives of two friends, Dennis & Ravishankar, who live in a picturesque location in Ooty. Dennis is a successful dairy farm (Bethlehem)owner and Ravi is still struggling to build his empire. I can confidently say the movie sparked an interest in me to start a dairy farm, as I was floored with the idea of Dennis getting to walk around in his shorts while he’s listening to music from his walkman!

I can ramble about how beautiful the farm is, but that’s not why I decided to write about this movie.

The movie starts with a song and the visuals about how a woman (whose face is hidden on purpose) is gift-wrapping a cat (with a bindi)along with a cryptic message for Ravi. Not to forget, a cassette with a melodious song! Talk about heights of romanticism coupled with mystery!

I am not sure why a cat was chosen, as felines are not really the best symbols of love. Anyway, the cat reaches Ravi and it obviously sparks curiosity in both Dennis and Ravi. As both continue their quest to figure out who sent the cat, Ravi receives the news about how his grandparents are visiting with his cousins during vacation. This sends him into a frenzy as he is worried about his family figuring out his issues in business. But, Dennis reasons that it would be an opportunity for them to figure out who sent the cat because he feels one among the 5 grown-up cousins could be the culprit!

As conveyed to Ravi, his grandparents land with an army of cousins. After a few humorous scenes, the second part of the movie takes the route of family drama and there isn’t a lot of reference about the cat thereafter. Since the intensity of the drama is high, the cat disappears for a while! Kudos to the scriptwriter for showing the true nature of a cat: always disappearing!

But in the climax of the movie, as the train departs with everyone, the cat reappears from one of the windows of the coach with someone caressing it. Obviously, someone is the one who sent the cat in the first place. As the caressing gets tiring, the cat is retracted and someone decides to throw a cloth with a message that they will be visiting Bethlehem again for next vacation. And, it is Ravi’s responsibility to catch the person before that.

Neither Ravi nor the audience has figured out who sent the cat!

Thank you for reading!

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