The lunchbox

 Sometimes Bollywood movies feel like you are experiencing zombie apocalypse already. Its like the story line, the dialogues, the acting, the songs are all gnawing your brain and you come out dumber than when you entered the theater.

So  what  do you do with a movie that has Irrfan khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in it? You pretty much  jump at your chance of resurrection and you go and watch it. I am talking about The lunchbox. It is a job so well done that it restored my diminishing faith in Indian Cinema. I am a human again.
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It’s a story that revolves around a neglected wife, Illa who believes her enhanced culinary skills would make her husband notice her again and relieve her of the drab of a life she has been living. She does find  relief  not from her own husband though. When The Lunchbox meant for her husband by an error of the dabbahwaala lands up at Saajan’s, a widower, office table. Saajan  is  fast approaching retirement from his dull and average job . Feelings are. what are exchanged through lunch box from then on.

Now you might think what got into me that I talk of a movie that has been released quite a while ago. Thats because I rewatched Life in a Metro. And I could not help but notice the stark similarity in a way.

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Two undermined Housewives Illa and Shikha(Shipa shetty in life in a metro) in a loveless marriage find solace and love outside of it. Both of them are blessed with husbands who are obnoxious and heartless  in their own way. And yes they are philanderer. So basically the housewives are living a life so pathetic that the audience would feel happy for them when they find love outside of their wedlock.

So far so good. Now I wait eagerly for that moment. When the wife would finally kick the sorry asses of their husband and walk out of it. But it ain’ t happening. Wait, What? I ain’t getting no action? While one sorry Ass gets the wife back, the other’s is still progressive as she plans to leave for another country. We see a plan there though even if we don’t see her actually doing it.

That is what disappointed me. Why couldn’t the women be shown walking out and accepting the love that they deserve. Because they aren’t  sure if the audience is prepared yet. Are we so open-minded and progressive e to accept the wife’s affair or are we still clinging on to the whole saga of how a wife should work out her marriage. The age-old formula. And for me this is where the creative glitch lies. This is where I see a powerful movie succumbing to the demand and narrow-mindedness of the society. The movie just doesn’t break free from the expectations and bondage just as the women don’t.

So what if the husbands are scum bags? The man is shown sleeping around on various occasions. The woman isn’t. Because the woman should return chaste. So the one time she wants to give in to her feelings, the douche of a friend has to return early and spoil it.

 It is okay for a groom to abandon his wedding though. The bride is just a mere measurement of blouse and petticoat. We can accept that. See aren’t we progressive?

Having said that I loved these movies. More so The Lunch box.

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A letter to Chetan Bhagat.

This letter is in response to http://www.chetanbhagat.com/columns/home-truths-on-career-wives/ if you haven’t read the article kindly click the above link and read it to understand the context of my  deep concern.

Dear sir

I read your article on woman working woman. Unintentionally though as it was shoved onto my face(book) thrice. Not once or twice but thrice so you can well understand that even I who is busy making phulkas all day took notice and read it to see what the fuss was about. Since then I lay sleepless all night in the worry that I could be raising a mollycoddled child. Who better to consult regarding aforesaid issue than you, since you understand a child’s psychology so well.

Below are my concerns

What are its symptoms?

You see after I read your knowledgeable  article I have become one  crazy woman looking for clues in the way he behaves. He seemed normal. But then who am I to judge? I am not exposed to world much. I go down to the park sometimes when I am not busy making phulkas or mollycoddling my baby. I meet many stay at home mommies and their kids. All seem normal. Yes they cry when they fall down. Demand an ice cream sometimes.  Hug once in a while. Run. Climb. Slide .Jump. you get the hang? So kindly explain how the child who I see coming out of the day care in the evening would do better than mine? I am worrying myself sick!

 Will he suffer from the mollycoddle complex all his life?

What is its diagnosis? Will my “mollycoddled” do better if I start working?

 

I know I might not be able to find a job as I cannot relate much to organizational issues. But still something. Lets see…ummmm…what do I know? * rubs her chin, itches her head* oh I know! making phulkas!!! Oh  speaking of phulkas…why are you so obsessed with them. Is it because of some traumatic incident that happened to you during your neglected not so mollycoddled childhood? Were you hit by a phulka on your head causing severe damage to your brain? Is that why you write such dimwit novels? Oh was that rude? What else do you expect from a worthless woman who cannot even suggest a good holiday destination to her family. *bangs her head with the rolling pin she is using to make phulkas*  too many phulka jokes you say? No nothing like yours sir. Your article took them to a new level altogether.

I would be very glad if you could throw some light on the above doubts.

I have seen cocktail though, Can I call that an accomplishment in my petty ignorant life? Its not like you think chetan jee!. Meera too, like Veronica, is modern independent working woman, parties, dances and is not bound by social taboos.( Doesn’t she refuses to go back to her husband? Remember?). Its just a matter of falling in love.

And can you help me understand why are you referring to woman as an asset? Isn’t asset something a person owns? You got to work on elaborating on your vocabulary though.

A spouse who understands office politics and can give you good advice can be an asset.

 Thanking you

Spitefully

PS: Women empowerment is not about supporting selectively its about letting woman embrace her faith and her beliefs. Its  not just about treating woman as equal to man but also treating all women equally without involving your biases and expectations! I am proud to be a woman brought up by a housewife!