Mid-July, 2013, it was. My University exams had just got over. Non – M.B.B.S. folks were busy studying for their exams. M.B.B.S. folks were going out of Kolkata. My baby sis had her school. The weather oscillated between pouring heavily and being scorching hot.
As a result, I was stranded at home. I know the adjective isn’t apt yet that is how I felt. I had all the time in the world yet I had none to accompany me on my shopping excursions, food joint explorations and more.
That was when I decided to have movie marathons, not on my lappy but on the good old television. Each day I would watch 3-4 movies. Some made me happy, some made me think. But none left an indelible mark until THE HOLIDAY happened.
Each day, I would check the newspaper and whichever title caught my fancy, got listed under “to be watched today”. Likewise, THE HOLIDAY was no different.
A movie about several individuals caught in a web of fake love, temporary love, miserable love, timeless love and all other kinds of love.
That was a time, when I had had been told by my Prince Charming that he preferred someone else. I, being me, simply moved out of life, deleting him from all my possible lists. I am not the kind who would beg or stalk or threaten or demand why. I simply moved out without questioning. I tried being happy. Most of the times, I succeeded. None could ever possibly guess what I was going through. But at times, the sadness was over-whelming. It gnawed at me, eating me inside while I faked laughter and mirth.
Hello, am not re-telling my sappy tales. I was simply laying the background. So, such was the mood and the circumstances when I watched THE HOLIDAY.
From the very beginning I was empathizing with Iris, played by Kate Winslet in the movie. I was enjoying the tale when something happened, that made me sit up and take notice.
Iris, on her vacation in Los Angeles, meet a former Hollywood playwright, Arthur. In the course of conversation, she breaks down and rattles off about her pathetic existence and how she tortures herself more by putting up with her former flame, who was then happily-engaged to another co-worker. At this junction, the old wise man explains, “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and the best friend. You, I can tell, are leading lady. But for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake!”
Out of the blue, I happened to find a new perspective in life. The movie binging had ended with THE HOLIDAY. The movie or rather these particular lines had acted like a balm, soothing my ruffled nerves.
Instead of watching movies all day long, is I started helping out Maa in the kitchen and thereby discovering my love for cooking. 1st year was very hectic and I hardly had time for myself. As a result, I had piled on weight and had put my love for books on the back-burner. Post exams holiday was put to good use by reading more and exercising daily.
At the end of the holiday, I was happier and healthier. I looked great and I felt great. That was how THE HOLIDAY ended up being a medicine, a medicine that improved my quality of life.
And since then,
and, i’d never been happier.
(P.S. i had written 3 pieces for a certain contest and only one of those got short-listed. This one, “BALM” happens to be one the other two. So i had decided to put this one on my own blog.)