Mumbai Memoir 36- ‘Inside Out’ of a Mumbai’kar!
Like many Mumbai’kar’s (citizens of Mumbai) do at the weekend, I love to unwind with a good meaningful film. Since several weeks I wanted to catch up with a good film, but due to my hectic Mumbai life I just couldn’t spare time. Work, homefront and traffic blues consume most of the waking hours of every average Mumbai’kar’s week. Over the weekend many Bollywood and few Hollywood movies transport the film buffs into a fantasy world. I yearn for films that have strong content and also have good entertainment value. After getting a favourable review of the Disney-Pixar film ‘Inside Out’ from my 6 year old niece, Ishita Sankulkar (who lives in United States) and also from a student (Shreyas Kulkarni) of mine who lives here in Mumbai, I made it a point to see the film. Though I had loads of pending work, I somehow pushed everything aside and went to see the film’s matinee show a couple of weeks back. At the ticket counter I was surprised to know that I had got the last ticket available, as people had pre-booked their seats even on a rainy Sunday morning!! I felt lucky and entered the cinema hall. As I watched the film through 3D glasses I could feel the magic of animation being cast on me.
Being a practicing Psychologist and also a lecturer of Psychology by profession, I was overjoyed to see how Disney-Pixar productions has creatively presented as to what goes on into our brains! I am so impressed by the way the filmmakers have managed to convey extremely abstract and complex concepts from domains of Cognitive Psychology, in a simplistic story-telling format! The fact that my 6 year old niece understood the concepts and enjoyed it too, shows the gravity of the film. It was great to see the emotions of joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust taking centre stage and managing the life of the 11 year old protagonist of the film, Riley Anderson.
Riley parents decide to move from Minnesota to San Francisco for good. She is then shown missing her friends and everything she loved doing back in her earlier city. When Riley struggles to manage her ‘Outside World’ (San Francisco) we are simultaneously shown what’s going on in her ‘Inside World’ (brain)! Riley’s personified emotions talk among themselves and are shown helping her cope with the changes that life throws at her. I am glad that the film-makers have given equal importance to every emotion and depicted how they are complimentary to each other’s existence.
Riley’s brain’s ‘internal personality islands’ shown in the films represent her ‘outside environment’. Family, Friendship, Goofball, Honesty and Hockey Islands forms the internal architecture of her personality. Every time a ‘core memory’ is formed, the respective islands are shown either flourishing or getting disturbed, depending upon the ‘core memory’ being positive or negative. It’s a movie that highlights ‘growing up’! All in all the film is a funny, entertaining and an intellectual treat for cinema lovers! The message of the film, if well received, has the potential to educate the masses to increase their Emotional Quotient and how to manage their mental well-being throughout life!! The film is a ‘MUST SEE’ for animation lovers and all who really want to set an ‘emotionally healthy’ life for themselves. Here’s the trailer of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seMwpP0yeu4
As I exited the cinema hall that noon, I could realize the impact of the film on my mind in the week that followed. The film acted as ‘Cinema Therapy’ for me. Since then the film reminds me to smoothly manage my ‘internal personality islands’ by organizing my external environment smartly. Off late, health and migration issues on my ‘family island’ had created turbulence in my life. Recent fire at my workplace too had distressed me and my colleagues and the usual Mumbai blues had squeezed the life out of me. Taking references from film I decided to fix the smooth running of my personal ‘personality islands’ to enjoy life to the fullest. I realized that it only could be possible by consciously and positively arranging (as per my control) my external world. I figured out that my family, teaching (being with students), helping clients live a quality life, writing articles, car driving, vibing with close friends and colleagues, travelling, enjoying the rains, appreciating nature’s beauty and watching cinema defines my personality. After watching ‘Inside Out’, I made it a point to manage all my ‘islands’ that manage my emotions.
Thus I enjoyed my birthday (22nd July) like never before, with all people who wanted to enjoy with me that day. Had a great week with students explaining them how to manage their minds and over the last weekend went for a monsoon picnic at Karjat with work colleagues, friends and ex-students. Hectic life in a metropolis like Mumbai can distort one’s lifestyle, but one can’t blame the ‘Outside city’ (Mumbai) for not organizing the ‘Inside city’ (our brain)! After all, ‘life is what you positively make beyond your adversities’!
Photo Credits: Surabhi Pandit, Mukul Chandorkar, Shraddha Sankulkar and Free Internet Source (Disney-Pixar)