‘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)