In these days of liberalisation and the free market, it is commonly assumed that markets work simply, uniformly and with equal benefits to all. Yet, the ground reality rarely accounted for, is that markets are deeply embedded in the societies they function within.
Meals Ready examines the market of South India's most important foodgrain: Rice. It explores the town of Walajabad in Tamil Nadu and finds that the unequal bargaining power of the growers, financiers and buyers of rice, has a direct link with the divides of power and privilege that cut across rural Tamil society. Be they the hierarchies of caste and gender, or politics and religion.
By ignoring these links, market-led economic reform in the India threatens to deepen these inequalities and thereby, the very existence of the symbol of the Indian countryside, the small farmer.

Duration 46 mins
Format Betacam
Language English, Tamil, Hindi
English subtitles

Meals Ready


Direction Surajit Sarkar, Vani Subramanian
Camera Hemant Chaturvedi
Editing Madan S Rajan, Yousuf Saeed
Music Karaikudi Subramanian


Persistence Resistance, New Delhi, 2009
One Billion Eyes Film Festival, Chennai, 2007
Quotes of the Earth, New Delhi, 2004
Roshd International Film & Video Festival, Teheran, 2000
The International Short Film Festival, Bangladesh, 1998
Mumbai International Film Festival 1998
Ecofilm 1998, Lille, France, 1998
Film South Asia, Kathmandu, 1997
13th North-South Media Encounters,
Geneva, 1997