OUR SOULS AT NIGHT
Many of you must have already read a touching Post on social media about Ritesh Batra’s (Remember his movie ‘Lunch Box’?) English movie, ‘Our Souls at Night’. In fact, I first heard about this movie, some weeks ago, when this Post began to do rounds on social media. Since then, several people have sent me this Post…
It’s a lovely Post capturing the beautiful old-age romance of Addie (Jane Fonda), a widow, and Louis Waters (Robert Redford), a widower. The story is about how these two, who are in their seventies, and who live alone in their respective houses opposite each other’s, decide to spend their time – particularly nights – together. Addie, one fine day, rings Louis’s doorbell and makes the first move: “Would you mind coming over to my place to sleep with me… Just to do away the loneliness?”
Even in a so-called ‘open society’ like America, such an idea sounds outrageous and scandalous. But, Addie is honest and confident… She isn’t worried about what people would say. But, Louis is a bit conservative, shy and scared.
And, that’s what makes this romantic story very unique and heartwarming!
They say, as you age, you look for a companion in your relationship with your partner and not for someone who can turn you on! This is the time, the aggression and ego undergo the process of mellowing down… Sexual intimacy makes way for the intimacy of two souls… Most of the relationships truly flower in these years of sunset… The wrinkles bring into the eyes a special kind of twinkle… It’s beyond the physical level!
A couple of years ago, one night, my wife and I received a small note on our phones:
“We are delighted to share the good news! Our dad, Robert, will start his second innings by tying a wedding knot with Sara in a simple church ceremony. Please join us in wishing them a very happy and healthy life together. Allen, Felix and Wilma (Children)”*
Robert uncle was in his mid-seventies and had lost his wife, a few years earlier, for cancer. They were a very loving couple, and their three children, who had now sent us the invite, were amazing adults now with their respective spouses and children. That night, when my wife and I read the message, it did take us by surprise. We don’t hear such things in India very often. But, here it was… An event handled with loads of grace, dignity and confidence. We really felt happy for the family of Robert uncle and his three children.
Similarly, some years ago, Mr. Karunakaran*, (someone I had known very closely), who was 75 at that time, and a widower (He had lost his wife some years earlier for chronic diabetes) chose to remarry a widow, who was much younger in age. She had two children from her first marriage and Mr. Karunakaran, who had no children of his own, decided to make all of them his own. The marriage has been stable and the couple sees themselves more as companions rather than the stereotype married couples.
Do we all long for companionship in our married lives as we age? Is it our need for sexual closeness, the bond of children and grandchildren along with the fear of ‘public opinion’ that keeps us ‘bound together’ till death does us apart? Or, is it something deeper and more sublime than that?
I believe, that there is a deeper need in our souls to be ‘together’ and feel that warmth and companionship as our skin begins to wrinkle and joints begin to ache… The thirst of the heart, I believe, increases as we walk towards our sunsets… and the thirst of our bodies slowly diminishes…
Is that not something so beautiful?
Please watch ‘Our Souls at Night’. You will get a good romantic sleep!
* Names changed