Date night with the hubby and we skim through the cinema listing. One of the worst things about being married to someone so different from you is making the decision of which movie to watch. Luckily I got to pick and booked tickets for the critically acclaimed film- ‘The Lunch Box’.

Here’s the story- Set in Mumbai, it revolves about the relationship that blossoms between two people as a result of the mistake of the dabbawalas – i.e. tiffin delivery men. Ila is a homemaker and mother, restless and frustrated with the monotony of her daily tasks and the fizzled romance of her marriage. Saajan is a widow who drowns his days with endless paperwork, commuting in trains and indulging in chain-smoking. The serendipitous lunch box plays the role of bringing together Ila and Saajan when the dabbawalas deliver the lunch box that was meant for Ila’s husband to Saajan. And from here begins a series of exchange of notes, confessions of loneliness and despair, and of course- food!

Another character who plays an ancillary role is Shaikh- whom I absolutely loved! Mostly because he played the part of a person who can be so infuriating for no particular reason. He’s a street-smart, chamchutype who knows how to climb the ropes of a tough world. He’s shrewd and is a survivor. But then there is a surprising element to him as well that’s brought about in through his relationship with Saajan, and you realize maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

Saajan, Ila and Shaikh- three characters in this simple, heartwarming film. Yes, the idea is one which we have seen before, the collision of unhappy strangers leading to an avalanche of bittersweet emotions. But for me what was different was that ‘Lunch Box’ was so real and yet unreal at the same time. On one hand we see Ila breaking down as she sifts through dirty laundry and Saajan staring blankly at a television set, eating stale take-out food. On the other, we see the two characters who have never met, dreaming together of escaping to Bhutan to find the happiness that life had denied them. There is something in seeing people dream together, secretly knowing that that is all it will remain- a dream.

Lunch Box’ was so real and yet unreal at the same time. On one hand we see Ila breaking down as she sifts through dirty laundry and Saajan staring blankly at a television set, eating stale take-out food. On the other, we see the two characters who have never met,dreaming together of escaping to Bhutan to find the happiness that they had been denied. There is something in seeing people dream together, secretly knowing that that is all it will remain- a dream.

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