The Lunchbox’ revolves around Ila Singh and Saajan Fernandes who exchange letters after a lunchbox gets delivered to the wrong address.
Finding love by chance remains one of life’s sweetest pleasures. One such related story was brought to us when ‘The Lunchbox’ was released. The film gave us subtle but skilful performances by Nimrat Kaur, Irrfan Khan, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and a remarkable love story to remember. Today, the film completes 9 years but its relevance stays unaffected by time and age.
Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’ is a romantic drama that revolves around the life of Ila Singh (Kaur), a housewife, who wants to rekindle her otherwise dead marriage. One day, to please her husband, Ila sends him a lunchbox full of food prepared with love. However, as the film’s dialogue goes, “Kabhi kabhi galat train bhi sahi jagah pahucha deti hai.” The lunchbox mistakenly reaches Saajan Fernandes (Khan), a lonely widower who is about to retire soon. Ila and Saajan start talking to each other via letters; the rest is history.
At first glance, this seems like an old-fashioned love story in the modern age. A housewife and a widower exchange love letters wanting to be with each other irrespective of their status and age. Is it really that old-fashioned though? Today, love stories also take place on Instagram DMs. We use chats instead of letters, but the feelings are the same. One day you come across someone on Instagram or Twitter. They are a nobody but soon their words melt your heart. At first, you’re hesitant. Should you really interact with this person? Ila hesitated too. However, you start anticipating their responses. Just like Saajan would wait for Ila’s tiffin, you wait to see their name in notifications.
Despite not knowing who the other person really is, you fall for them. Even without meeting them, you still know them a bit better than those around them. Only Ila knew that Saajan loved aubergines, his assistant Aslam (Siddiqui) didn’t. Soon, you start daydreaming; you indulge in wishful thinking about a future with them. You get lost in your own world, blushing, losing your focus from all things important because what’s more significant than love? “Saajan, Saajan, mere Saajan…”, you listen to songs and your heart reminds you of them. Then comes the stage of “Chitthiyon mein toh kuch bhi likh sakte hai. Humein mil lena chahiye.” Love makes you unreasonable. Saajan came back from Nashik and Ila wanted to go to Bhutan with him. However, the story goes on, a different journey for each.
Many people ridicule those who fall in love online. They call it naive and even (rightfully) risky. However, writing love letters is not very different from falling in love online; it’s the feeling that counts. The Lunchbox gave us the nostalgia of good old romance. However, ‘love’ remains the same, untainted by the age and mediums of communication. So, here’s to the ardent and courageous lovers, to the Saajans and Ilas of Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. No matter how you choose to travel, may your destination await you with arms wide open.
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