I keep writing several drafts of various things that I wish to share with my audience. And then I slowly lose motivation to write and don’t finish it. But today I wish to finish this draft and publish. So, this morning while scrolling through Instagram I came across this reel of the movie ‘The Lunchbox’. It is a 2013 Bollywood movie. This movie has a great impact on me. There are various reasons that I love this movie. I will list them one by one and I wish everyone watches this beautiful movie. I have a special place for this movie in my heart.
So the first reason I love this movie is the people who are playing those beautiful characters. Before I introduce the actors I would like to brief a little about the movie. In my first year of college, I came across something called ‘Mumbai Dabawalas’. Until then I didn’t know something like that existed. Our Sir mentioned that this whole ‘Mumbai Dabawala’ thing is being studied as a case study in Management courses in India. It was so fascinating! I always have a special fascination for Mumbai. I would like to thank cinema and its beautiful representation of Mumbai that has developed this love for that city inside me. So what is this term ‘Mumbai Dabawala’ ? ‘Dabawala’ in Hindi means someone who delivers lunch boxes. According to Wikipedia ‘Mumbai Dabawala’ constitutes a lunchbox delivery and return system that delivers hot lunches from homes and restaurants to people at work in India, especially in Mumbai. And I remember my Sir quoting that so far they have never made any mistake in delivering the lunch boxes. ‘Mumbai Dabawala’ plays a big role in this movie. This movie is about two people who happen to meet each other through this ‘Lunchbox’. The story is about ‘Ila’, a housewife. She cooks meal for her husband and through ‘Mumbai Dabawala’ sends it to his office. The second character of the movie is ‘Saajan’. He is a widower and lives alone. Suddenly one day he receives a Lunch box through the dabawala system. He is surprised as to who sent this. And from there the connection between ‘Ila’ and ‘Saajan’ starts to build. They start to exchange small notes over lunch box. Saajan thanks her for the food and they start to share different things about their life over letters.
Letters are so old school and romantic.The beautiful feeling of exchanging ideas over letters is always fascinating to me. The story slowly starts to develops and many interactions happen between them and it is a delight to watch them talk over letters. The characters are so well played by Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur. The characters, the backdrop of Mumbai and the onset of rainy season kind of weather just made me fall in love the movie. I have a dream to visit to Mumbai and to travel in Mumbai locals, to encounter the endless rush and witness the crowd. All these things fills me up with so much admiration for that city. I won’t know how it actually feels until I actually visit it. I love trains, and movies that showcases trains and people travelling in them is my favourite thing.That’s another reason I love this movie. The train travels of Saajan keep changing as the story develops. Initial travels of his are shown to be very boring. He doesn’t care much about others and dwells into some sadness of himself while travelling. Later as the story starts to build with Ila he is seen to be more accepting of people around him. Even his interaction with the supporting character ‘Aalam’ changes over the course of time. Initially he is reluctant in discussing stuffs with Aalam and within short span of time he develops a brotherly bond with him. This developments happen due to the introduction of Ila in his life. The trains play a helping prop in this whole part. Ila at the same time discovers how she can do so much better in life and is probably living a loveless marriage. She thinks about going someplace better and living a happy life with his daughter. This development in her thoughts starts to come after talking with Saajan. They both change each other’s perspective towards life and help each other grow.
Other than the story, I cannot forget the beautiful inclusion of the song ‘Mera dil bhi kitna Paagal hai‘ from the movie ‘Saajan’ in this movie. I do not remember cherishing this song so dearly before watching this movie. I feel the way this song is added in this movie elevated my emotions towards this song.
All these things make this a perfect watch. There are several scenes which break your heart and make you realise that how much we human suppress our own emotions for the happiness of others. There is a scene between Ila and her mother. I cannot talk much about it over here, but it itself needs a special blog and elaborate discussion.
One of my favourite scene is however the train scene of Saajan and Aalam, where Saajan asks Aalam whether he has ever been to Bhutan. He asks this because Ila has planned to move to Bhutan and he wishes to move with her. To which Aalam says, he has never been there but its a beautiful place and says that one should go there. Saajan smiles listening to this. Aalam however adds ‘ Kabhi Kabhi Galat train bhi sahi Jagah Paucha deti hai‘ which translates to ‘Sometimes, the wrong train takes you to right destination‘. The scene ends with them laughing over this and the discussion ends over there.
Much later in the movie Saajan runs into self doubt and thinks about settling in Naasik. He drops the plan to go Bhutan with Ila. But, then he doesn’t catch the train and comes back home and thinks of some way of connecting back to Ila and going to Bhutan. The movie ends there and it is left to us to end the movie for ourselves the way we want it. I sometimes like open ended movies. They leave the scope to form our own story, give our own version of ending to it. We can add our own story to it and let it go on and on.
Today when I re watched this scene, and all the good memories associated to this movie came to me. This movie is very close to my heart. Sometimes I wish to play certain movie characters and If ever given chance I would really like to live the life of Saajan and receive those letters and lunch box from Ila. Wait for that lunch box to come to my desk and wait for those interaction over letters. I know that’s an impossible dream but heart wants what it wants. And hope is a good thing, I can always hope for such dreams to come true. That doesn’t cost anything. And as Ghalib says ‘Dil ko Kush Rakhne Ghalib yeh khayal achha hai’.
So I dedicate this post for this movie and I wish I get opportunity to watch such beautiful gems all the time and get to know such beautiful stories!