I just realised I haven’t written since November 4th and that, too, was barely a post- it was a promotional offer on my artwork, and before that I shared some quotes. I don’t count that as writing – it was a way of saying, I’m alive and breathing. Talking about breathing, it’s tough doing even that, these days. Ever since Diwali, the air quality in Mumbai has been bad, thanks to the bursting of firecrackers. In fact, on Monday, it was worse than Delhi (which is generally bad this time of the year because of the harvest stubble burning). The mask that we now don is a big help with the pollution, except that it’s been quite warm and you end up sweating underneath the mask.
Anyway, last Friday, we visited the theatre – it was our second movie after the lockdown was lifted. The first one was ‘ No time to die’ which we saw two weeks earlier- the last of Daniel Craig as James Bond, which I and my husband watched as the girls were busy with exams. It was fun going back to the theatre and chewing on popcorn while watching Daniel Craig driving through exotic locales in Jamaica, Italy, Norway and London among others, killing the mafia, destroying vehicles and doing all things that only Bond does.
However, the second movie we watched was an eye-opener-
a) I realized I’d forgotten the art of understanding a movie without sub-titles even when the movie is in a language I understand and speak. In this case it was Hindi. It’s probably got to do with watching movies on Netflix with the subtitles on- its become a crutch. I had a hard time depending on my ears and my eyes to comprehend what was happening.
b) In addition, I also realized that I’m no good in sitting through a three hour movie, staring at the big screen, with no popcorn or any other distraction. Thankfully, though, I managed because the movie was entertaining- it had a little of this and that- ‘the full package’ like they say- Bolywood masala.
c) Furthermore, sitting in a dark hall with nobody beside you (as per covid protocols, every alternate seat is kept empty), in front of a screen that’s far away from you, and surround sound so loud that it drowns all the other noise around, is far better than meditation. In the minutes before the movie began- when they showed the trailers and advertisements, my mind wandered to places I hadn’t gone to in a long time- I had an epiphany, sitting in a theatre full of people and loud noise- the sweet parts of my childhood floated before my eyes and I felt thankful for those who were responsible for it- those who are no longer here, and instead of begrudging the fact that they aren’t, and feeling sorry for myself, in that moment, I felt light and blessed.
Coming back to the movie- ‘Suryavanshi’. It’s the third part in a series. I remember us watching the second one, sometime in July 2019 . When the movie ended and they shared the spoiler said and said, the next one would release in the beginning of 2020, we groaned thinking of the long wait. Then Covid happened and the world was shaken up- the movie was the least of our worries. So, after one year, ten months when the movie was released, I realised how quickly time flies, how unimportant some things are and how much time we spend unnecessarily delving on them. Covid has changed me in a lot of ways as I think it has many of us. But I’m not sure if its all good. I’m a lot less excitable these days, which I’m not sure is a good thing. I think its important to feel excited about things, to want something so bad that it keeps you awake at night. I don’t feel that anymore. I just feel thankful if my family is safe and healthy and at peace. Does that make me complacent? I don’t know. I don’t want to judge myself too harshly so, I am telling myself that 2020 was a year of upheaval that shook my core. And maybe, 2021, was the year of healing- and healing is a slow, quiet process, and I needed to let it happen at its own pace. On 26th November, it will be a year since dad passed away. I feel a difference- a quietness after the storm. I’m in a good place now but it doesn’t mean I’m not sensitive to insensitivity. I still need to learn to get over that.
As the year ends, I remind myself of Andrea’s words when I feel that I haven’t run as fast, as I did the year before or the one before that. She says, ‘ I am thinking less about what I have harvested this year and more about what I can do to reap a good harvest in the next.’
And as part of that reaping, I’m focusing on strengthening bonds with family and friends and nurturing my writing and art.
Talking about building memories and strengthening bonds, we are planning a short holiday sometime in the middle of December. Hopefully, that pans out and I’ll be able to share my trip with you’ll. My sister’s visiting for Christmas- we’ll be seeing each other after two whole years! The last time we saw each other was Christmas, 2019. Then I have extended family visiting for New Year’s. It means I hope to be ringing in 2022 with my hands full and home filled with laughter and good cheer. Hopefully, it lasts through the year 2022.
What are your plans for December? Remember, however the year 2021 has been for you, look forward and sow in December, what you want to reap next year. Count your blessings!
Wishing you’ll a wonderful weekend.