“It’s a movie of moments” said my friend, the very offbeat MJ Shastry, as we stepped out of the movie theater after seeing one of the most delightful movies I have seen in a really long time. And that one line of his summed up ‘Piku’ pretty well. He was actually saying that to imply something along the lines of how it wasn’t a full-fledged story about something in particular and was actually just some priceless moments strung together to make a movie. Jay, please do correct me here if I’m wrong, right here on this very page for everyone to see (on the plus side, that’ll be one comment more than most of my posts have till now :-P)
Now, here is where I think that, that itself was the best part about the movie. There were no characters with deep background stories to explain who they are and why they are going to be like that, there was no building up towards a conflict that sucks all the characters right in and no definite happy or sad ending after making the audiences go through some serious anguished anticipation. It was random moments from real life strung together. These are the look-away-and-you-miss-the-pulse-in-it kind of moments that string together an otherwise essay-ish life, turning it into a story. The characters were unvarnished and the relationships shown were full of the depth that people spend lifetimes looking for and sometimes have all along and don’t recognize or acknowledge – like what I have with my mom.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I had a few moments of my own. The few on my mother’s lap, the one while she shared a joke somebody shared with her on whatsapp and laughed, the one where she fed me the first few bites of the paneer biryani that we had ordered for her and the one where she wouldn’t let me go to sleep hungry after I got back home late. Yesterday was an ordinary Sunday really if you didn’t take it to pieces like I did and Piku was an ordinary movie if you didn’t string together such pieces like the director did.
Yesterday, I met a friend whose housewarming I had missed. But, seeing his house when there weren’t unknown people getting wasted in it was actually so beautiful, I preferred it – although, when I was introduced to the half-empty booze bottles, stranded chip packets and told about leftover biryani, I did kick myself for missing the housewarming, for one tiny second. Coming back to his house – his random, crazy, quirky, cozy house, it had so much of him in it that I was longing for a space like that of my own more than ever.
We then rushed to the theater, were faced with a houseful show, got the tickets for the next one and were faced with the dilemma of how to get the one hour, before the show began, to fly past us? How on earth to get those 60 or so excruciatingly long minutes to pass us by? You see, MJ Shastry aka Hey (as I know him, or as he will be known henceforth to you and your people), is someone I met under very strange circumstances – we were set up on a date by a common friend. Back then, we both were freshly out of relationships and spent, what would otherwise have qualified for a perfectly romantic date, talking about the exes. Since then, he has been a friend and a potential inspiration for a character to the writer in me. I have met him less than ten times in my whole life, so whether or not we’d have anything to talk about seemed to be a question to both of us. And then we unexpectedly had a really fun conversation – about the number of things that the building above the movie theater could be, about which movies qualify for chick flicks and why, about a column of intricate carving in one of the old buildings opposite the movie theater, about superheroes, comics, pizza and the point is that it was an unexpectedly fun conversation.
Then, we saw and enjoyed every bit of the movie – the one about moments. You know, my day ended with sitting on the stairs of a strange abandoned building, listening to how Gen. D’s day went and having two rats scurry to their holes and go over our feet in the process. I mean, one of the things Gen. D keeps telling me is that it’s a very ordinary and boring life I lead and I need to spice it up; and nobody knows how true that is other than me, the one who has been feeling claustrophobic for as long as she can remember in how small her world actually is. I mean come on, of course I want the life with the thrilling stories, the O Henry type imagination, the character with the background, the build ups to the conflicts and the grand but more importantly definite ending – I want the whole damn blockbuster!
But, here’s something – even when I’m sitting atop Trolltunga in Norway, breathing in the endlessness (and smoking a cigar maybe), the Sunday night that I sat on Gen. D’s parked bike and we spoke about Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar is not going to be any less of fireworks in my heart. And that’s what delighted me the most about Piku – the small, ordinary, very negligible, very beautiful, very human intricacies of life covered so well that the delighted giggles lightly hurting my stomach refused to cease and the lump of emotion in my throat refused to melt away.
It was a Sunday that I might not entirely remember in the years to come but it was one that was filled with so much that warmed my heart. It was a movie that I might not entirely remember in the years to come and you know how the rest of the sentence goes. So here’s a new-found late night piece-let of philosophy from the learning-about-life insomniac – Life is not just in the moments that take your breath away, it’s also in the ones that simply warm your heart.
On that note, good night my beloved World! May you and I have many moments together that fall under both categories.