When I thought of penning down a review for “Waiting” my hand started shaking. May be the hospital setting was too much of a dejavu for both me & my wife. Hospital can never be fun. But hold on! Don’t judge this film by its gleam “setting” only. This slice-of-life film is a humane story of hope and celebration of life amidst all ordeals. An unlikely friendship happens between two strangers Shiv (Naseeruddin Shah) & Tara (Kalki Koechlin) both of whose partners are fighting death in ICU. Unknowingly they became symbol of strength for each other.

You guys won’t be surprised if I say that both Naseer & Kalki gave a fab performance (expected) but you would be really surprise to hear this is one of the finest sensitive love stories of recent times. Add on to that there are lots of life lessons take-ways from the film and here’s few which caught my attention:-

Life lesson – Takeaway 1 (The meaning of love that stays tall braving all calamities)

Yes, this humane story explains “love” in a perfect way which many blockbuster romantic films have failed till date. Move aside external display of “lau” with quintessential Bollywood heroes (the Rajs, the Prems & ilk) shouting at the top of their voice “Kehena hai jo..khulke kaho”.. Nah! True love transcends to your soul and binds you emotionally without giving any sense of realization that it has actually happened. And then you seamlessly connect and start understanding your soul mate. Then it is the fear of loss that binds you even more as you decide to spend 40-50 odd years of your life with the particular person, sharing your joy & agonies. Life is not a bed of roses and we don’t need to be reminded of the same. It is all about understanding the same and the tacit acceptance of holding each other’s hand tightly in all the phases of the journey. Shiv’s love for his wife is an example of one such contended couple who didn’t let anything to come between them. They accepted their existence without children, now that’s something rare in previous days. Their love went through test of time and sailed through. Now when she is in coma Shiv still doesn’t leave hope. It is their undying love that injects optimism in him as he tries to be normal in front of her and even fights with doctor to let her stay in life support hoping to see her waking up, someday….

 

Life lesson – Takeaway 2 (It is only YOU two and no one else that matters in the long journey of life)

In one of the finest sequences Shiv reasons Tara that it is solely her grief and she has to battle it out. It is not that her friends and family have disown her but they also have their own life and it is practically impossible for them to focus on her grief. Now this is a valid angle which hindi mushy romantics films fails to project. Even if one might be having a big Barjatya style family or a big bunch of friends but all fails flat if one is disconnected with his/her soul mate. It didn’t matter even whether Simran’s babuji is giving a nod to their marriage as in the long run it’s her journey with Raj, and only Raj. Somewhat cliché but we often tend to ignore these things. The film highlights them subtly. It is but only two of you who have to take this long journey together so whatever big life decisions one needs to take it should be a joint call without any external influence. There’s no harm in taking advice from well-wishers, family and friends but that should be restricted to advice only. Probably we as a culture needs to imbibe it and keep our “love” intact forever. Otherwise it just becomes a big compromise in the forced long run.

Life lesson – Takeaway 3 (In difficult times choose your friends carefully)

Ish might have been Tara’s best friend but somewhere down the lane an emotional disconnect had occurred. Indeed, someone might be your best friend but seriously if he/she starts patronizing you with sh*ts like “keep faith”, “believe in god”, “Stay Positive” craps in your difficult times just simply tick them out of your life for good. Your friend should be the one who can understand you. Stick to those few who effortless alleviate you emotionally and otherwise in days of pain.

Life lesson – Takeaway 4 (A stranger might just become your closest friend in troubled times)

Situation changes and so does life. When in adversity often strangers who are growing through similar phase might just become close and yield positive impact. Just like Shiv and Tara’s empathetic symbiotic relationship. Who would have thought that an odd sexagenarian Shiv would have connected with a young girl Tara even though their frequencies doesn’t match. Initially Shiv is shown to be complaining about the young generation who speaks their heart out without thinking twice but then slowly an unlikely bond happens as both of them progress to accept the harsh reality.

Life lesson – Takeaway 5 (Trust and confidence between patient and doctor is a must)

Well this one is debatable but somewhere there’s a need to argue with your doctor and try to get an explanation thus being in a position to take your own call. And a little googling about your loved ones disease won’t do a harm. It only educates you to have your voice while discussing.

But somewhere you are helpless as you’re not the doctor. So debate but don’t go overboard with your doctor. Amicable relation helps in troubled times. The film did a great job in showing the doctors as caring humans who are trying to do their best but at the same time bounded by some protocols and obligations. (Ever reliable Rajat Kapoor excels yet again as the head neurosurgeon.)

Anu Menon should be duly credited for making this sensitive film that’s devoid of formulaic melodramatic trappings. At the same time it is not a sad and boring film. On contrary filled with fine humour the film is about hope and celebrating life as we all “wait” for a better future. As for our protagonists who are much unluckier are just waiting to start their next journey of life – may be with or without their physical presence of their Love.

Long awaiting this film, the aforementioned take-ways will surely leave an impact in my coming days.

P.S: Cine-enthusiast in me is truly excited to have watched two great Hindi films in two days – Phobia & Waiting. Btw if you would have asked me to rate “waiting” I would have surely given it a 4 out of 5