Of Bombay and Wake up Sid

(Talking movies, differently #2)
(Contains spoilers)

Ten years ago when I had watched Wake up Sid, I was a child with hopes and aspirations and dreams to hold on to. At that time this movie was all about growing up and living the life of my dreams just like Aisha. The scary proposition of moving to a new city and building your life there moment by moment was exciting to me, also the independence that came along with it. The movie doesn’t focus entirely on the hardships that the Bombay city presses on you once you choose to live and make a life in this city and so then the child in me aspired for how Aisha lived and what she had.

Sid: Aisha, tum Bombay kyun aayi ho?
Aisha: Independent banne…I’ve lived all my life in Calcutta. Apni life ko ek nayi direction dena chahti thi toh Bombay chali aayi!’

Ten years later, today, I have come a long way- I pursued my graduation in Bombay, explored myself as a writer and then moved to Ahmedabad for my post graduation in English literature. Where my life was drawing parallels with Aisha’s in my years in Bombay and the independence of living I had a chance to experience in Ahmedabad, my post education time and my cluelessness today to find a purpose in life slowly drags me to relate more with Sidhharth’s character these days. In all these years my life has changed and so has the dynamism of characters crafted in the movie for me. Maybe that’s what it means when an art grows with time.

There’s a lot that the movie has to offer. It isn’t just about Sid as the movie title suggests. It’s about the randomness of the universe working in the favor of Aisha and Sid as they take a long walk by Marine Drive when they meet for the very first time. Such night walks in Bombay with a good company can be magical and so it was for the both of them. Sitting at Marine Drive talking about dreams, aspirations, the city itself and how an individual life contributes and reflects to the making of a bustling place like Bombay, a foreshadowing was always paving way for stronger bonds between the two.

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The struggle of a middle class family striving for its survival in Bombay is also very subtly expressed through the characters of Sid’s father and Debby, Sid’s classmate. The company Sid despises so much, Flower Showers, wasn’t built in a single day. Even Debby’s dislike towards Sid is because where life was a piece of cake for Sid, since he was born with a golden spoon in his mouth, for Debby the city was always testing her worth. Bombay is the best example of the city of disparity. I remember my father told me once that this city is for everyone; the eight rupees per piece Vadapav seller stands outside the 180 rupees per burger at the Burger king Franchise.

But the most beautiful tribute to the city comes from all those characters, those spaces, where dreams perspired in little corners of hopes and fears and yet something about being in Bombay pushed these characters to finally live their small-big dreams. As Aisha fulfilled her dream of ‘Apna ghar ho, Apni ek zindagi ho, khud ke paise kamaao, aur khud ke paise udao,’ Sid found his sense of purpose in life and not just purpose, but a roommate, a friend, an out of comfort zone apartment, a job and even love. Midst the lead characters overpowering the script, the same dreams and hopes were also silently reflected in Sid’s mother’s constant efforts to speak in English just to communicate with his son, and maybe even become a friend to him in doing so.

Sid: Tum writer ho Aisha?
Aisha: Well, professionally toh nae but ek din zarur… I hope.

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Where the city was seamlessly conjoining with the characters of this movie, a special friendship, support or bond was growing between Aisha and Sid. Aisha, for whom Sid was always a ‘baccha’ could never see her significant other in him. Sid, who transformed when his life came in contact with Aisha’s always found ways to keep proving his worth to her. Just the unexplored possibility of love between the two as their togetherness paved way for a constantly changing life, the arrival of love was the city’s gift to them, or maybe that’s how the hopeful romantic in me sees so!

From Aisha’s dramatic yellow wall of her apartment to random moments of ‘Hum saath reh rahe hain, ab saath kaam kar rahe hain, shaadi kar lein kya?’ From Chotu’s resourceful absence in Sid’s life to his mother’s love for him in the form of a carton of mangoes, from Aisha’s subtle jealousy for Sid’s girlfriends to her denial of such feelings and finally an acceptance of it all in the form a beautifully written magazine article, Wake up Sid became a piece of life in Bombay. A city that is known for harboring dreams, taxing you with expensive bills of living, where finding your own space and breathing under your own roof is a luxury, a city that is constantly hard on you, a city standing tall in the way of your life as it begins to build brick by brick in it, and a city that can surprise you with the unseen possibilities of companionship and love and togetherness and friendship midst the struggle, Wake up Sid captures it all.

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What it could mean to share your life with someone is beautifully portrayed between Aisha and Sid.; what it means to grow with someone and to become more than who you used to be and to be able to have that opportunity to feel a newly awakened love and most of all to share it freely, to able to hear the sound of love in the middle of the ever changing music of the Bombay city is a dream in itself, a dream within so many different dreams, a kind of dream which finds you than the other way around…

Aisha: Sid, mere article ka kya hoga?
Sid: Hona kya hai Aisha, jo hoga acha hee hoga.
Aisha: Tumhe kaise pata?
Sid: Bass…pata hai.

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