Abhi J
4 min readJun 13, 2020

Gulaabo Sitaabo and why it made me sad

I watched Gulaabo Sitaabo today and honestly it wasn’t a good movie. I think the fad of slow brewing movies/shows has become a rage hence more and more directors are using it for storytelling but most Indian directors are struggling with it. After Thappad, this was the second failed attempt at trying to convey a story of 45 mins in 130+ minutes. The only standout is Amitabh Bachchan. Watch it for him if you have to. Ayushman Khurana has now become boring and repetitive. His lack of acting proficiency is now becoming more and more visible with three back to back average or below average performances (Dream Girl, Shubh Mangal Zyaada Saavdhaan and this). Maybe his days are numbered from here on. Despite my disappointment with the movie, I was moved by the end and what it laid out in front of the audiences. A grim reminder that life is not kind to those who don’t try and make something of it. You can make hay while the sun shines and then comes the darkness..

I have heard stories of people losing wealth throughout my childhood from my parents and relatives yet somehow it has always been difficult to empathise with that. A lustrous youth has the maximum wrinkles in the old age if much time and energy is spent to keep the show running. Just imagine where you are right now and the comfort that you have right now, the car, your home, good food etc. etc. and then think about a term called “Inflation”. In lay man terms, picture this, in late 90s, a packet of Lays used to cost INR 10 and the weight of that packet was around 60 gms (At that time it was called Ruffle Lays) and today the same packet of chips still cost 10 bucks but the weight is roughly around 25 gms. So in 20 years, to buy the same amount of chips, you have to spend approximately 2.5 times more. Which means a rough inflation or price increase of ~7–8% per year. Now use this inflation or price increase and calculate what would everything cost in 20 years from now? Roughly 2.5 times? And in 40 years? So if you earn INR 50,000 per month today, in 20 years you would need to earn atleast 1.25 lacs per month to be able to just continue your current lifestyle. Nothing else. No dream car, house or holiday. Add to that, other expenses which you currently don’t pay for (Could be expenses of dependents for education, healthcare and out of pocket) and whatever is your current savings rate, it will go down exponentially! This is where, the movie made me sad.

Times change, world moves on (if we are lucky enough to survive for long without being extinct as a race due to evolution) and people who are stuck up in the past or latch on to something (hoping good fortunes), often face the grim reality when the hair turns grey. That reality is very sad, very very sad. But how many of us are actually ready for it? Probably no one, yet somehow the mundane boring lives of ours doesn’t prepare us for this grim reality. It pushes us to enjoy this life! in this moment! To be happy now because no one can think so far ahead. How can we? We have television in our lives. 24*7 access to endorsement, celebrities, magnanimous life and we want all of it now. The only difference between us and our parents generation is that in their times, there used to be a handful millionaires (or Indian lakh pati) and now almost all working class population with a basic undergrad degree is a lakh pati (and 1 in 10 of them are millionaires too!) with a laptop and access to the world. So nothing that we have, can ever seem enough as someone in some corner might have more!

In no way, do I want to be pedantic. I, like others, am equally corrupt and exposed to the large world of consumerism and I, like all others, believe that I need to stockpile 2–3 different bottles of foam based hand wash from Bath and Body Works, even if I already have one from a lesser expensive brand (and that does the work just fine). Yet the movie and what it depicts made me sad. It made me realise that the future is so uncertain and grim that this whole saying of “Make hay while the sun shines” doesn’t make sense. Like stock market experts always suggest, the best time to buy a share is when everyone sells and the best time to sell, is when everyone wants to buy! Hope none of us are the victims of a life lived too complacently when it is the darkest!