Last night, I told my little girl a story. It has been our ritual for years. She gets ready for bed, I massage her feet, and then tell her a story. She loves it. I love it too. Just that, so many years have passed, that the bag of stories has almost been emptied. Every time she asks for a story, and I ask the same question” Do I have a bhandaar of stories?” , to which, comes the same reply, always “Yes !”. And so, mining from memory, and having exhausted Panchantra, Amar Chitra Katha, Tintin, and the regular ones , and my own created story trunk ,I find Bollywood movies are the next best bet. ( They are long enough to keep the kid enthralled , and since the kid sees many more American and Japanese shows, a bit of Hindi is much needed anyway!) And so, every night, I think up of a popular one – usually a comedy. Malamaal weekly, Hangama, Anda Apna Apna,and so on.. Even so, with the popular list getting exhausted, and my own creativity also running low at times, there are some moments when inspiration strikes. And last time was one such. Jab we met! What about that ? Such a cute movie, technically a romance, but woven around trains, journeys, life and more. And train journeys being my favourites too – why didn’t I do this earlier? But, never too late. I went through the plot- Aditya, the rich , jilted, and depressed businessman tries to end his life on a train journey to Delhi. On the train, he meets Geet, a bubbly young sikh woman , who is on her way to Bhatinda, in Punjab. She rescues him from his depression. She tells him how she loves herself .”I am my own favorite, she says”.In a very abrupt but practical way, she makes him for get his ex-girlfriend( she literally makes him flush the ex-girlfriend out of his life, in a minute), and makes him a collaborator in her plans to elope with Anshuman. Aditya and Geet reach home, and meet everyone, and then they run away, to meet Anshuman. Aditya leaves Geet with Anshuman in Manali and leaves for Bombay. He is by now, a transformed man, full of energy and takes his business to greater heights. Meanwhile, Geet has been jilted by Anshuman, and is living a sad life in Shimla- Manali , unknown to her family and Aditya. Aditya launches a calling card called Geet which is publicised on TV Channels. The family sees the ad, and come running to Bombay, to meet Aditya and get Geet back. When he explains that Geet is not with him, they refuse to believe him – and insist that he knows where she is. Aditya then promises to bring back Geet to Bhatinda and leaves for Manali. He meets Geet there, a shadow of her former self- depressed and thinking of Anshuman. And in turn, he brings back Geet from depression ,by flushing Anshuman out of her life. In the final part, Geet hears a train coming, relives the train moments with Aditya, and finally realises that she loves Aditya, not Anshuman. A soft mushy tale, with jhatka songs, dances and more but with a meaning too. The story of Geet and Aditya,their bouts of depression and attempted suicide are so relevant for the youngsters of today. And then came my interpretation to the kid – distilling the essence. “Here’s the hidden message in the movie. No matter whether you are depressed, feeling sad, inferior or anything morbid in life, remember, there’s always someone who will be there for you. Who will think you are the best. Who will think the world of you. It is your parents, always, and maybe some others also. But, never feel inferior, or down, for every life is precious; you are the best, and always will be. Be your own favourite- like Geet!” I love these moments of story telling every night. Not only do they relive my favourite stories, but they also allow me to delve deeper into the meaning of life. History teaches us so much, stories teach us so much, when we look deep inside them. And life teaches me so much as a parent – learning every night along with my kid. For that moment, I love becoming a kid too- enjoying my own story time ! Regards, Aina Rao The ambling Indian. www.amblingindian.com- Discover, celebrate and enjoy India with the aam aurat and her quirky reads on...
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