Anu Menon’s Waiting (2016) Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin

I would say go watch Waiting. Not just for Shah and Koechlin, but for the concept behind the film. Because it is something which people tend to easily overlook. Unless,          they have lived it at some point in their lives (god forbid)

Waiting in front of an ICU or an ICCU, or being a bystander to a dear one (in a state of coma)/admitted to the hosptial for something .. is an anxious moment nevertheless enveloped in a lot of hope. I think that is why even if we add dots after the word waiting it becomes onomatopoeiac, the dots imitating the waiting in the meaning of the word ……..

The film stages a comaradarie that develops between two such bystanders, Prof Shiv Natraj and Tara Kapoor. They are in their different stages of shock, grieving over their spouses who are admitted to this hospital in Cochin. The difference between how two people stuck in a similar situation can help each other is how the film progresses.

The film begins when Tara is informed that her husband has met with an accident and has drifted into a coma. The film follows her “stages of grief” as it were,

However, this could also be an indication that these are the stages Prof Shiv had gone through when he was first informed about his wife’s stroke. He has been waiting for his wife to wake up from her coma for 8 months now. In this time, he has brought back a rhythm to his life around his wife who is in the hospital. It is endearing to see him read to her. At the same time, it is sad to see him wide awake when the alarm rings at 6 in the morning. He passes on his experience to Tara who is a mess in the first-two weeks.

With focus on these two characters, the film is layered with ideas of a generation gap, new age technology, spousal relations, empathy, friendship, human interactions and belief systems.Out of all this, I loved this one very practical line that Shiv tells Tara, (paraphrasing) in a situation like this eating, sleeping and bathing should go on like daily routine. I think it makes a lot of sense. Not just in the given situation but under any circumstance that temporaralily upsets the equilibrium of our lives. I would add, reading, if you are a voracious reader, or whatever one does with their hands in terms of crafts and recreation, and daily exercise..  Here’s the trailer.

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My soft corner for the film also comes out because I could go to Cochin and back in 90 minutes. Familiar roads of my home! 😘

Cross posted @ pins n ashes