By Behram Dumri
Former pilot Indian Army Avistion Corps and avid golfer
This is for all above 65 to understand where have they reached and All youngsters to let the elders do what they need at that age. Graceful in growing.
An Interesting movie on Netflix :-
”Would you be interested in coming to my house sometimes to sleep with me?”
A 70 year old lady knocks on the door of her 70 year old male neighbor one evening, and pops this question to him. The lady is Jane Fonda and the man she proposes to sleep with her is Robert Redford. The movie is titled “Our Souls At Night” and is directed by our very own Ritesh Batra for Netflix.
Jane Fonda looks so graceful when she says this to Redford – that I was just awestruck by her dignity. This dignity in their relationship stays throughout the film as they decide to meet each other and explore their loneliness and loss together. And while they do so, they make peace with their past and fall in love with each other. Sex is last thing on their minds and what they seek is a sense of sharing and togetherness, and that which they realise is the essence of all human relationships.
“Who would have thought at this time in our lives that we’d still have something like this. That it turns out we’re not finished with changes and excitements. And not all dried up in body and spirit.”
Jane Fonda plays the lady in control of her life. She cares little about the gossip in the small town about their affair. But Redford is scared to be noticed and gets angry when confronted about his relationship at such a ripe age. Redford is also very tentative against a confident Fonda, who pours drinks, cooks dinner and later even goes out with him to a restaurant in their town, ogled at by everyone there. And as they enjoy each other’s company as lovers, reality sets in with the arrival of Jane Fonda’s son and grandson. The film ends with a lot of hope and happiness. The end is subtle, yet beautiful.
To someone like me, born in India, this relationship between 2 “senior citizens” looked unreal at first. But Ritesh Batra’s sensitive direction, the superb screenplay and the evocative background score, made it all believable and real. Everytime I saw Redford slipping into Jane Fonda’s house from the backdoor, with a paper bag filled with his night clothes, I had a smile on my face. And then one day, Jane refuses to open the back door and forces an embarrassed Redford enter through the front door. These are little things that make you feel for the old couple as they slowly let go off their inhibitions to be together with each other.
Coming back to Indians, we as a community rarely think about the lives of people past their prime. We believe they have been there and done that and should now be relegated to the roles of grandfathers and grandmothers. They are called senior citizens and they are expected to behave their age. A majority comply. But what about those who still love their life and want to enjoy it like youngsters do?
The fact is that some minds do not age, even when their bodies grow old. What should such people do? Should they abide by the traditions of the world and waste the fag end of their precious lives, lonely and frustrated?
Everyone wants to have a good life, not just young people. And those who have spent an entire lifetime working for their family; they deserve to be rewarded even more generously for their selflessness. But here we see them as retired parents whose only job is to sit at home, watch TV, look after their grand children and go for morning walks. A weekend drink or a yearly foreign tour is the best they are expected to enjoy. Many lose their long time partners, but we tell them to intertwine their lives with those of their children and grandchildren. And this happens even in the most educated and prosperous families in India.
Can we change this for our elders? Can we allow them the freedom to do what they want? If we talk of equal opportunity, then we need to exercise it for our elders so that they can be a little more open about what they want from life and a little less lonely by doing things that they wanted to do but never dared due to societal pressures. And that should also include having a live in relationship with someone they would like to spend their remaining life.
It is not just the young, but even the seniors needs to think differently as to how would they want to spend the rest of their life. As Jane Fonda says, “I made up my mind I’m not going to pay attention to what people think. I’ve done that too long—all my life. I’m not going to live that way anymore.” I agree with her.
To all those who believe that there is life after 60, need to believe that there is life after 75, and maybe 90 as well. Age is just a number. And to all those who believe so, you must watch Our Souls At Night.
And to all those who are young and who may believe otherwise, remember that age catches up with everyone 😉
oursoulsatnight #riteshbatra #netflix #robertredford #janefonda