Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lunchbox Recipe



Lunchbox’, the new movie by debutant director Ritesh Batra is a love story where the protagonists never meet. Nevertheless, love blossoms - love that is overwhelmingly real, sweet and poignant. In an age where love is all about songs, flowers and gifts, this film underlines the fact that when wavelengths match, life itself can play cupid.

The one thing that makes for a meaningful relationship, much like effortless prose, is the honesty with which it is created. The depth lies in capturing the subtle nuances. And much like a fascinating tale, it makes sense to go through the chapters of life to understand the script better.
As clouds float over my balcony, I settle down with a coffee mug to ponder over more than two decades togetherness. It was the matrimonial supplement of ‘The Times of India’ that brought us together. When the local priest, bless his soul, matched our horoscopes with thirty-five out of thirty-six qualities in tandem, he knew his astrology. Though opposites attract, we are similar in many ways when it comes to values, outlook and attitudes. Both of us are loners, preferring to stay away from the din and bustle of socializing. Both of us prefer to save rather than spend on expensive clothes or gadgets. Perhaps the similarities have something to do with our respective upbringing. Being Leo’s, we value our pride more than anything else. Right or wrong, that’s the way we are!

However, if men are from Mars, and women from Venus, we are different in our unique ways. Our premise to coexist happily rests on the philosophy of ‘Agree to Disagree’.

How else can I explain his Zen like patience, a perfect foil for my child like edginess? While I am instinctive, his approach towards people and situations is nuanced. We have a distinct approach towards reading, when it comes to which author to read, what genre to buy or how long to delve on a page. I am the kind of reader who loves to zip through stories while exploring emotions. Unlike me, he enjoys ruminating, introspecting and regurgitating at leisure.

He wants me to read Bimal Jalan’s ‘Emerging India’ and Shashi Tharoor’s ‘Pax Indica’. Broaden your horizon, he says.

I want him to read Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Interpreter of Maladies’ and Jodi Picoult’s ‘My Sister’s Keeper’. Soak in the emotion, I say.

Ditto with movies and television! For instance, he loves realistic cinema, with ‘Pyaasa’ being his all time favorite. However, I am unable to sit through movies which portray violence or misery. Not that I enjoy ‘Chennai Express’ kind of movies, but intense and violent movies which leave a tinge of sadness make me uncomfortable. And yet, despite the different likes and dislikes, events in life have played cupid in cementing our relationship.

In more than two decades of togetherness, we have endured loss of parents, suffered in sickness, screamed with joy, cried in pain and wrestled with adversity. Every event provided an opportunity for two strangers to cement the relationship. 
Pardon my rambling, as I am not offering any advice here. Not much is gained from advice.

As I write, the husband saunters in.

‘What are you writing?’

I promptly minimize the screen.

‘Nothing. It’s a rough draft.’

I treasure my privacy when I write.So I wait for him to leave the room. But he lingers on.

‘Can you please leave me alone?’

“What can you possibly write that I don’t know?” he laughs. “I know you more than you know yourself.”

I don’t have an answer to that.

(Also in Friday Gurgaon)

85 comments:

  1. So nice! I bet you, this post itself is worth a hundred 'Lunchbox's!

    Curious - Do you both agree to disagree on how great Gurgaon is? :P

    I am glad I got a chance to meet both of you. He was definitely the more reserved one compared to you!

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    1. Oh, yes. We have similar views on Gurgaon . Gurgaon has sparkling beads and sequins stitched by the private sector on a fabric maintained by the government that is rotting.
      :) But what to do, we love it - with all its warts and moles.

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  2. Now that was touching Alka! Togetherness does not come with an identity of thoughts, tastes and feelings but in respecting the other's point of view even where you do not agree. And you two are living the life that most people only talk of.

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    1. How do you do it? My five hundred odd words are summed beautifully in two sentences!
      :)

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  3. In what appeared to be a movie review, it turned out to be a sweet love story which could not have been narrated better in lesser words, Alka:)

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    1. Thanks Rahul. I am a little hesitant while publishing personal posts.

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  4. A lovely peek into a beautiful relationship, Alka! It is quite amazing how real life stories play out. Loved the gentle undertones of love written all over this post.

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    1. :) Do you feel hesitant in sharing personal posts? I do. This was a long post lying in my drafts. I edited most of it.

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    2. Yes, I feel hesitant too :). I do spend a lot of time editing them just like you. And personal posts are always shown to hubby first :).

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  5. My God, Alka. That was like reading me and my beau's story. We are both Capricorns, and I ditto the "Agree to disagree" on every point you mention. Especially on - "Though opposites attract, we are similar in many ways when it comes to values, outlook and attitudes." :) Beautifully written post. I guess this is what happens when "life itself can play cupid."

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    1. So it did strike a chord! Glad you like it. Thanks dear.

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  6. i love my privacy when i write too! and yea, only opposites can attract...and over a period we realise it is the very reason we love each so much.

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  7. "I know you more than you know yourself" Beautifully put by your husband :) . I too hate movies showing extreme sadness or violence and would prefer a slapstick comedy that makes no sense in the real world :). And yes, my husband and I were brought together by a matrimonial ad and an astrologer's approval :) But yes, over the past seven years we have learnt a bit of 'Agreeing to Disagree'. :D

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    1. I also love, "I am me because of you'.

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  8. Relationships are about getting our needs met. We always seek that elusive something that’s missing in us. So, falling in love for is more like filling in a jigsaw puzzle with the missing parts and feeling complete.

    A beautiful, poignant post from you, Alka.

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    1. True. This was a long post written a day before our anniversary. I saw Lunchbox yesterday and decided to upload this.

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  9. Nice read Alka! May the sweetness in your relationship remain so forever!

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    1. Thank you Indrani. It's a pleasure to see you here.

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  10. Geez--I thought I was going to get a take on lunchbox and instead I got a take on Alka Gurha and her Mr.:) Sweet..as sweet as I believe lunchbox is..

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    1. I am so happy to see you here Bhavana. Thank you for reading. It means a lot.

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  11. Life itself plays a cupid to people whose wavelengths match . So true! A beautiful and a poignant read Alka:-)

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  12. I got all emo reading the last line :) Hope every couple blossoms in love like this
    Am more interested in the movie now ! I am like ur husband - ruminating, introspecting and regurgitating at leisure. :) - books or movies!
    God bless u both

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  13. Tender and romantic. We fall into a comfort zone with one another after decades of living together. Each and every expression can be decrypted. :)

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    1. Such a pleasure to see you here Janaki. Thanks!

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  14. Loved it !.....just loved reading it. God Bless you both!

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    1. Nothing can beat the joy of a friend reading your post.
      Thank you for spending time Shalini!

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  15. That's such a sweet post. God bless the two of you, always. Thanks for sharing a piece of your life with us!

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  16. Nostalgic, funny and such a special post :) Made me smile and made my eyes moist all at the same time <3

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    1. Its a pleasure to see you here Sridevi. Makes my day!

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  17. That was a cute love story. I actually thought it's the movie review, but thus one was more interesting and fruitful than any movie/book review. You reminded me of my own love story. Very nice!

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  18. Loved the post Alka.Most of us are sailing in the same boat. Opposite do attract and i can vouch for that in the three decades of togetherness.By the way, i too am quite like your husband when it comes to reading books or watching movies..Where hubby dear prefers all the action packed movies :P

    Wish you both loads of happiness and togetherness always.

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    1. Thank you Sunita. Yes, and mine just cant relate to Facebook! I cant understand why!
      Men indeed are from Mars!

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  19. Somebody said it right, Life is a journey and there is no prescription for a perfect life.
    We learn while we travel together, learning from each other, I guess

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  20. Enjoyed getting a peek into your life. That was a sweet post.

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  21. We are as different as chalk and cheese but like you, have figured out that a good dose of tolerance and a sense of humour (his :) helps.

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    1. Chalk and Cheese and yet, Peas in a Pod!

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  22. A very touching post Alka! And surprisingly, I found a lot in common about us here. Maybe, that is more to do with the similarities of the inhabitants of mars and Venus. I too donot like him reading mine before its done :)

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    1. Thank you Vaishnavi. Glad you liked it.

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  23. So thoughtful insight into the past, through the window of a movie review. It looks like the moments you spend together are worthy of being treasured.

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  24. Such a beautiful post Alka. So full of love.

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  25. That's such a sweet post and so heartwarming to see the beautiful relationship you share with your hubby, Alka! Super like :)

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    1. Thank you Shilpa. Glad you super liked. Makes me super happy!
      :) :)

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  26. Such a sweet post. Everybody has their own lunchbox recipe I suppose.
    Lovely post :) :)

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  27. Alka,

    I haven't watched the movie but I know I will like it. But the other day I was discussing it with my friend. To be honest, it was more of a monologue, but the point being made was, that people will like it on screen, but not in real life, other people, those who don't have any connection with the people in context. They'll talk, debate over the social boundaries and mock the episode. But not in the theatre, there it is art.
    But for once, they do not understand that, or even wonder (even when my entire premise might be wrong) that arranged marriages are such. Why think of the movie outside the purview of marriage, why think of it as extramarital when it could be happening to us. And it would be the most beautiful thing.

    But I am only extrapolating, I haven't watched the movie.
    And you, because you draw a parallel here, with your own marriage, I assume that you've made the same connection. And I hope that you are basking in the warmth of the feeling :)

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. The parallel I draw here is more artistic than real. My story is different from the movie. Some arranged marriages work, some are made to work and some are disasters. I guess, there is no set formula. :)

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  28. Hi,

    that is a sweet post! I am planning to watch this movie very soon. and I think some privacy is very much required in all the relationships..it keeps the relations healthy and alive :)

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    1. A pleasure to see you here after a long time. Thanks for reading.

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  29. Sweet...wishing you both many more decades of love and togetherness :) Want to watch this movie soon..

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  30. Hi Alka, I did not know that you are also a Leo. I am planning to watch this movie. Saw the trailer last month and it appealed to me a lot.

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    1. Rachna, it reminded me of A Japanese Wife by Kunal Basu where the protagonist marries a Japanese girl via letters. Vijay Nair had given me that book.

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  31. "How else can I explain his Zen like patience, a perfect foil for my child like edginess? While I am instinctive, his approach towards people and situations is nuanced." - This is wonderful. In a generation that doesnt believe in everlasting love with one person, where dialogues like "kiss karne ko bola hai, virgunity thodi maangi hai?" are gulped down with ease, where no one winces when "main tandoori murgi hu yaar, gatka le saiyaan alchohol se" hits eardrums, this movie is a breath of fresh air. I love it more so, cz before we got married we went through a long courtship of over twelve years that spanned over numerous blue colored inland letters, food money spent over long distance phone calls, salaries from first jobs spent in ridiculously expensive gifts that none of us could otherwise afford...things like that. And your post is a perfect dressing on top.

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    1. In an attempt to move with the times some film makers end up being flippant and idiotic. I wonder if youngsters were able to identify with the kind of relationship portrayed in Shudh Desi Romance.
      Every event in those twelve years must have strengthened your bonds. Wish you many many more.
      Thanks for reading.

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  32. ANY ONE WHO READS THIS,WILL BE A BLE TO CONNECT TO IT.
    AWESOME.

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    1. That is such a sweet thing to say. Thanks Mr. Chowla.

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  33. There are some posts that make you jealous in a very happy way. This was it. Life is beautiful!

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  34. Ha ha .... “I know you more than you know yourself.” ... that sounds familiar at this end too :-)
    By the way I am sure you liked Amol Palekar & Utpal Dutt's Golmaal.

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    1. Glad the thought echoes. It is one of my favorite movies.

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  35. Great to read your post..!! for me its bit ahead of time.. i always wonders does this planet movements and 35/36 counts really makes a difference in life..?? The question is not on your personal front but in general..!! :)

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    1. Astrology is a science but it is also a matter of faith. And in matters of faith there is no place for logic. To each his own.
      Thanks for reading.

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  36. That was a beautiful post Alka.
    It reminded me so much of my own married life.

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  37. All ye lovebirds make me envious! Wish you many more years of happiness together!

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  38. 20 years!!!!! so cool:) We've only completed 2 years and most of the times, we call it quits after a fight! Work keeps us bonded though:) Nice to know a little about your husband in this post! Like you guys, we both are opposites but have the same approach and beliefs in life. Stay blessed, stay happy forever....

    I guess one can comment on a marriage only after this long a journey, but that takes away a complete lifetime shared with another. My generation is getting more individualistic and selfish. With my hubby's friend also applying for a divorce this month, along with my best friend, I am quite numb about my immediate environment. Both their wives are involved in extra-marital affairs and quite repent-less about it!

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    1. You are right. When individualism or selfishness creep in, the journey hits a roadblock. Wish you many many more happy years of togetherness.

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  39. You are a beautiful writer. I am thinking of my husband all the time :)

    Loved reading it.

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  40. Lovely writing and lovely words... May you always feel what you feel.

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    1. Apologies for not replying earlier. Thank you for the kind wishes.

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  41. Wonderful post Alka.. When I read the initial few words, I honestly thought it was a movie review and I wanted to stop.., but something compelled me to read on. And boy! I'm glad I did.. Beautifully penned the nuances of your relationship, and I truly admire bloggers / writers who can share their private life with class and finesse.. And of course, got to know more about you - Stopping by from the Tuesday Thingy :)

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    1. Nischala, so good to see you here. Glad you liked it sweetie. Thanks.

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  42. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww Touchwood! That should be perfect for such a beautiful post.

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    1. Hey, thanks Boss. So good to see you here.

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