Mumbai Diaries: After Diwali, movies and more

I just realised I haven’t written since November 4th and that, too, was barely a post- it was a promotional offer on my artwork, and before that I shared some quotes. I don’t count that as writing – it was a way of saying, I’m alive and breathing. Talking about breathing, it’s tough doing even that, these days. Ever since Diwali, the air quality in Mumbai has been bad, thanks to the bursting of firecrackers. In fact, on Monday, it was worse than Delhi (which is generally bad this time of the year because of the harvest stubble burning). The mask that we now don is a big help with the pollution, except that it’s been quite warm and you end up sweating underneath the mask.

Anyway, last Friday, we visited the theatre – it was our second movie after the lockdown was lifted. The first one was ‘ No time to die’ which we saw two weeks earlier- the last of Daniel Craig as James Bond, which I and my husband watched as the girls were busy with exams. It was fun going back to the theatre and chewing on popcorn while watching Daniel Craig driving through exotic locales in Jamaica, Italy, Norway and London among others, killing the mafia, destroying vehicles and doing all things that only Bond does.

However, the second movie we watched was an eye-opener-

a) I realized I’d forgotten the art of understanding a movie without sub-titles even when the movie is in a language I understand and speak. In this case it was Hindi. It’s probably got to do with watching movies on Netflix with the subtitles on- its become a crutch. I had a hard time depending on my ears and my eyes to comprehend what was happening.

b) In addition, I also realized that I’m no good in sitting through a three hour movie, staring at the big screen, with no popcorn or any other distraction. Thankfully, though, I managed because the movie was entertaining- it had a little of this and that- ‘the full package’ like they say- Bolywood masala.

c) Furthermore, sitting in a dark hall with nobody beside you (as per covid protocols, every alternate seat is kept empty), in front of a screen that’s far away from you, and surround sound so loud that it drowns all the other noise around, is far better than meditation. In the minutes before the movie began- when they showed the trailers and advertisements, my mind wandered to places I hadn’t gone to in a long time- I had an epiphany, sitting in a theatre full of people and loud noise- the sweet parts of my childhood floated before my eyes and I felt thankful for those who were responsible for it- those who are no longer here, and instead of begrudging the fact that they aren’t, and feeling sorry for myself, in that moment, I felt light and blessed.

Coming back to the movie- ‘Suryavanshi’. It’s the third part in a series. I remember us watching the second one, sometime in July 2019 . When the movie ended and they shared the spoiler said and said, the next one would release in the beginning of 2020, we groaned thinking of the long wait. Then Covid happened and the world was shaken up- the movie was the least of our worries. So, after one year, ten months when the movie was released, I realised how quickly time flies, how unimportant some things are and how much time we spend unnecessarily delving on them. Covid has changed me in a lot of ways as I think it has many of us. But I’m not sure if its all good. I’m a lot less excitable these days, which I’m not sure is a good thing. I think its important to feel excited about things, to want something so bad that it keeps you awake at night. I don’t feel that anymore. I just feel thankful if my family is safe and healthy and at peace. Does that make me complacent? I don’t know. I don’t want to judge myself too harshly so, I am telling myself that 2020 was a year of upheaval that shook my core. And maybe, 2021, was the year of healing- and healing is a slow, quiet process, and I needed to let it happen at its own pace. On 26th November, it will be a year since dad passed away. I feel a difference- a quietness after the storm. I’m in a good place now but it doesn’t mean I’m not sensitive to insensitivity. I still need to learn to get over that.

As the year ends, I remind myself of Andrea’s words when I feel that I haven’t run as fast, as I did the year before or the one before that. She says, ‘ I am thinking less about what I have harvested this year and more about what I can do to reap a good harvest in the next.’

And as part of that reaping, I’m focusing on strengthening bonds with family and friends and nurturing my writing and art.

Talking about building memories and strengthening bonds, we are planning a short holiday sometime in the middle of December. Hopefully, that pans out and I’ll be able to share my trip with you’ll. My sister’s visiting for Christmas- we’ll be seeing each other after two whole years! The last time we saw each other was Christmas, 2019. Then I have extended family visiting for New Year’s. It means I hope to be ringing in 2022 with my hands full and home filled with laughter and good cheer. Hopefully, it lasts through the year 2022.

What are your plans for December? Remember, however the year 2021 has been for you, look forward and sow in December, what you want to reap next year. Count your blessings!

Wishing you’ll a wonderful weekend.


Smitha All Rights Reserved.

7 responses to “Mumbai Diaries: After Diwali, movies and more”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    So interesting Smitha – from the atmosphere in Mumbai after Diwali – usually the day after bonfire night on 5th November the atmosphere is full of smoke and mist the next morning, but it only lasts for a day or so – to your experience in the cinema. I haven’t been to a cinema for absolutely ages so it’ll be an interesting experience when I do. I think maybe we’ll still be healing for a while to come. This year still hasn’t felt normal and, like you, I’ve felt not much of anything – I need to get my enthusiasm back. Hopefully the coming year will feel better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      I’m so glad you found the post interesting, Andrea. It was an attempt to get back to blogging again. Your line made me push myself out of this fortress that I’d created around me. And I’m making an attempt to get back – sowing this year, so I can reap stronger bonds next year. Thank you for your post, Andrea. I needed somebody to tell me that it’s OK that I did nothing this year.
      I hope too that the coming year will be good for us 🙂 both creatively as well as personally. Do check out the cinema and let me know if the darkness and noise in there helps you ‘meditate’ too😊.


  2. lynnfay73 Avatar

    I think we can all relate to this feeling –shell shocked, I’d call it. How much the virus turned the world upside down –and/or how much response (or overreach) changed it. It does seem hard to have goals outside appreciating your family and life–I have just now gotten back into some revision. I have lots of revision to do. And I haven’t blogged as much? Why? I feel shell shocked maybe. Hard to decide now how to move forward, to make a difference. Luckily, I think my fantasy/sci-fi/literary thing deals with a lot of the issues on all our minds. So a good revision would be nice. I hope all your gatherings are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Dear Lynn, thank you for writing back and letting me know you’re going through the same feeling. It helped and made me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one going through this stage of being ‘shell shocked’. I do want to go back to what I used to be but I guess its not going to be easy considering everything we, as a world have been through. I wrote this post to end the silence because I find it’s easy for me these days to be in my ‘shell’. I’m working on a book too. I hope it sees the light of day soon. Thank you for your good wishes. I wish you a lovely festive season too and best wishes for your book too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lynnfay73 Avatar

        You have been doing so much better than I have, Smitha! Overall. I’m awed by your work ethic and your talent. I hope I do as well as you do! We’ll see. XO

        Liked by 1 person

  3. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha, it is lovely to see this long chatty post from you and catch up on your news and reflections. 2020/21 have been difficult years for everyone. We have had to adjust to the idea that humanity is not the all powerful natural form we believed it was and that we are all still pawns in the hands of nature. People as a collective had become to arrogant and to confident and I think this pandemic was a necessary readjustment for our species. I am glad you have made peace with your father’s passing. This is an natural part of the grieving process and I think it is a great relief when you arrive at a place of peaceful acceptance and pleasure in memories and times shared. Have a lovely day, Smitha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hi Robbie, it’s always good to hear from you. Thank you for sharing how you feel about the last two years. I kind of feel I could easily become a recluse if I don’t make a conscious effort to shake off this comfort zone I’ve got into. You’re right about the world needing a shake up. I hope those who needed to change, have.
      Thank you for being such a wonderful friend and sticking with me through everything I’ve been through, Robbie. It means a lot to me. I am, by God’s grace at peace now.
      I realized I had drifted away from how I wanted my blog to be – ‘chatty’ since the last one and a half years. So, this post- to try and get back to who I was. Hugs to you, Robbie💛


Leave a Reply. I love comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: