Bollywood doesn’t often treat us with meaningful movies. ‘The Lunchbox’ directed by Ritesh Batra is a rare exception. Last week, I watched it for the umpteenth time, and a sequence stayed with me. The basic premise is the exchange of letters tucked in tiffin-boxes between Saajan and Ila. In one of the letters, Saajan writes about one of his daily happenings.
‘On being intrigued by a painter’s works Saajan walks to him and takes in the beauty of his paintings. He sees that the painter has created, with much care, many paintings and all of them look exactly the same. But when he looks real close, he notices that each painting is slightly different from the other- a different car here, a different man there, a dog gallantly crossing the street. In one of the paintings, he finds himself, or at least he thinks it is him. He purchases that particular one and crumbles into a child-like smile. He is happy.’
Now imagine you are witnessing a painter’s works. Which one would you buy? As a kid, you would cry for the one which has shiny colors. As a young lad, you would want the one which contains speedy cars or fancy bikes or fantastic scenery. As a responsible adult, you would want the best painting for the price you pay. But if you know yourself well, you would, like Saajan, buy the one which connects with you. One that you relate to.
God is a marvellous painter. He has created countless portraits, in the form of situations, roads both literal and metaphorical, emotions, passion, beauty, and wonder. Now it is up to you to find what’s yours- the five minutes of your day that you spend listening to your favourite song or the thirty minutes you spend hiding behind a fiction piece, or that one time you felt an unmistakable sense of immortal peace when you visited your love after a long time. Whatever it is. Find what’s yours.