The Sky is Pink

“The Sky is Pink”. Often, I have seen parents forcing their dreams on their children and telling them which career to choose. They fail to understand that the child’s happiness is more important than the child’s career. This movie shows that you can create your future. And that’s what Aditi Chaudhary (Priyanka Chopra) teaches her kids as well.

The story is based on Aisha Chaudhary’s mother and father, their romance, their marriage, their decision to have Aisha against genetic odds that they are aware of, their journey as parents of a kid who they know they are likely to outlive, and the abiding love that keeps them going. The film is narrated by Aisha herself, a dead Aisha who lets on right at the start that she is speaking to us from beyond the grave. Aditi is a strong-willed woman and Niren Chaudhary (Farhan Akhtar) is a very supportive and caring husband. Aditi and Niren have a rare gene due to which their child has 25% chances of getting SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency). For Aditi and Niren, the trauma is all the more acute because they have already suffered the loss of one child before.

Niren and Aditi’s story – of falling in love, their courtship, Aditi giving up her South Delhi life for an East Delhi chhajja, Niren surrendering himself to an untameable tigress, which frankly, he enjoys and wouldn’t want to change – all help build these two characters who carry the film on their able shoulders. Niren’s support for Aditi, who has embraced Christianity is commendable. At a time when Indians are killing each other in the name of religion, the film unexpectedly discusses a conversion without resorting to the stereotypes that propagandists have sought to perpetuate for decades. The hardships they face to have a better life for their children is what most parents have faced but we as children fail to appreciate it. Aditi and Niren’s journey from a struggling middle class couple who have to scrape cash together to travel to London for their infant’s treatment till Niren speeds up the corporate ladder is a very inspiring one. They go through the phase of long-distance relationship to being a single parent just to ensure that they can give the best to their children. Aditi sets up a date for Aisha with a schoolmate, gets her a canine companion and takes her on a snorkeling outing even as death stares the girl in the face. The doctor gives the option of lung transplant but Aditi doesn’t want her daughter to go through so much pain for her selfishness of wanting to keep Aisha alive. That’s where the concept of right to life is illustrated.

By virtue of being the ‘healthy child,’ Ishaan loses out on being the center of his parents’ world, and therefore, his childhood. He shoulders the burden of understanding that Aisha will always be the priority, he can’t be selfish, throw tantrums or even sneakily make out with his girlfriend without having Aisha’s illness steal the show. He is stiff, but that’s only because he ought to be. Yet, when he gives up chasing a train about to pull out of the station to take a call from his sister, who’s engulfed by a fear of inevitable, impending death, he jokes, “Bas kuch saal, phir toh hum sab tere paas hi aajayenge.” He disconnects the call and this time, he doesn’t fight back his tears. The movie has successfully portrayed a beautiful brother sister relationship with the help of these 2 characters. In spite of being busy in their lives, they are always there for each other.

Aisha introduces her family by her nicknames for them: Moose for her Mama Bear, Panda for her Papa Bear, and Giraffe for her brother Ishaan. There are times when she’s unhappy with the way things are, but Aisha’s character inspires us to keep going even when life is a complete mess. She follows her interests and finds happiness in each and everything she does. She fulfills her dream of publishing her book before dying.

The Sky is Pink leaves us with a feeling that is hard to shake: that the most difficult part about life is not that it is sad or pitiful; rather, it is wondrous and joyous – even when all the evidence points to the contrary. Death isn’t the end. Nor is an impending tragedy a trigger for debilitating despair. If you’ve ever been in a dark room for a sufficiently long time, you’d have noticed that darkness provides its own light. Happiness is, after all, inevitable – you can run but you can’t hide.

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