Wake Up Sid turns 10: Ranbir Kapoor, Konkona-starrer is an ode to Mumbai and the small joys of life
Months before Ayan Mukerji's directorial debut Wake Up Sid released 10 years ago on this day (2 October, 2009), I was already aware of its themes.
During the summer vacations, my parents and I accompanied my elder brother to Mumbai, where he got admission in a college quite close to the one where the film was shot. Mumbai in the monsoon, the first tryst with college life, and the yearning for independence, were some of the themes the film touched upon, but I had already experienced them first hand.
There was more than one reason for why the Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sensharma-starrer hit home. It was a coming-of-age film not only for Ranbir's character Siddharth, but also for Konkona's character Aisha. Though it would be tough to fathom she was 'independently' living in a large studio apartment in Bandra, near the sea, and with the salary of an editor's assistant, her job at a local magazine might have planted the first seed of journalism in my life. In fact, Konkona's character in Madhur Bhandarkar's Page 3, four years before Wake Up Sid, exposed me to the underbelly of the entertainment media industry.
While re-watching it recently, and after having arrived as an entertainment journalist working in Mumbai, the hook was no longer Aisha seeking independence through her work for me. They say the grass is always greener on the other side so you look towards a film to fill the gaps in your life. In my most recent revisiting, I realised the little things in Mumbai I did with my friends (also the small joys Aisha and Sid indulged in) no longer made it to my daily life routine.
Small joys were an indispensable part of my life four years ago when I had little money to spend on streaming services or eating out. When I had just moved to Mumbai, and was nowhere close to being independent, I enjoyed indulging in these small joys. For instance, I would not even consider moving to this expensive city without a job confirmation, like Aisha did. The three times I moved to Mumbai, I always had a purpose or at least a safety net. I was not seeking 'independence' the way she was.
When Aisha and Sid turned a messy flat into a home, and an aesthetically done up home at that, it looked extremely contagious. In reality, I'd probably turn to a Movers and Packers if I ever plan to switch flats. I also realise it is the production team of the film that is behind the look of the gorgeous Bandra flat.
Another instance of the 'little things' Aisha and Sid indulged in, is when they celebrated Aisha's birthday in a real low-key manner. While Sid, given his privileged background, urged Aisha to go out and party, she insisted she wanted her celebration to be just about "tum, main, aur do cup chai" (you, me, and two cups of tea). As they relished the tea, and each other's company, along with a makeshift cake made out of bread and jam, on the terrace of her apartment, I realised the last time I enjoyed my two cups of tea was only in the company of myself. I can no longer settle for such a small celebration on my birthday, which is increasingly getting noisier and busier.
From emptying a water bottle on each other to enjoying Mumbai's mango season, there is a lot one can do without spending a bomb, if the company is equally invested in the small joys. Over the years, I have increasingly found solace in writing, which has 'matured' over the years according to others, but I know somewhere, it comes at the cost of killing the child within. When Aisha refers to Sid as a "bachcha" throughout the film, and gets labelled the same by her boss (Rahul Khanna) at work, she realises how much of Sid has rubbed off on her.
Aisha takes to writing too, in her first magazine column, 'New Girl in the City', to express her realisation of how Mumbai has become synonymous with Sid for her. I must admit, through this piece of writing, I have encountered a lot of these childlike friends. But I must also confess they cannot help me as long as I do not try myself, to keep the child within me alive and kicking.
Updated Date: Oct 02, 2019 15:00:29 IST