Walk: Sundance Kabuki Cinema Club (The Lunchbox), Dosa Restaurant
Distance: 2 miles
10:00 a.m. - which is when my cinema club meets - is a strange time to see a movie. Certain themes can be too raw at that tender hour, and other movies can be too subtle to be appreciated when you aren't quite into the day. Today's selection was just right - at any hour I'd say.
The Lunchbox. An Indian movie but not Bollywood. No fully saturated, popping colors; no dancing or happy, happy music; no darling plot developments or resolutions. Subtle, muted and very real cinematography; excellent acting; deep, broad, unpredictable plot. Not sure when it will be released in the States, but I say see it when it does.
After the movie - a large part of which revolves around food - it was only natural to go to the Indian restaurant near the theater for lunch. Actually, with a light breakfast and hours looking at and talking about Indian food in the discussion afterward, Ciwt could not get there fast enough. Many diners were Indian so the food is authentic - and generous and complex, and hot. Stimulating if you will; there's a concentration necessary to eat it.
The movie and the food, reminded Ciwt - as Indian encounters usually do - that she thinks it would be very difficult for her to even visit India. She can get into sensory overload even on a walk around San Francisco or a meal with a friend. Given the extreme crowding, and extreme nakedness if you will of life teeming on India's (Mumbai's) streets, added to that the spicy food and sheer stimulation of color, commotion, life conditions, disorganization, and more, Ciwt fears she would be overwhelmed at best.
There is a memorable scene in Jewel in the Crown (or was it Passage to India?) where an English woman new to India is taken to some ancient spiritual caves. It is a long journey in great humid heat and devastatingly spectacular, uniquely Indian scenery. When her small entourage reaches them, the caves are an arduous climb. The mounting foreignness with no place in her mind to process it finally overtakes her being and she faints.
Ciwt can relate to this. The constant, constant cacophony of sound. The steamy, sweltering heat, the swirl of movement and incomprehensible mixture of people from beggars, wandering infants, wealthy in gold trimmed silks and jewels. All these - usually in Ciwt's life organized into traffic lanes, separated into neighborhoods, regulated somehow - all these at once would be overwhelming.
For now, India from a theater seat is the India for Ciwt. And The Lunchbox is a small jewel.