I watched Neerja in a crowded Bangalore theatre; I perhaps had a sense that the movie would upset me, but not that it would bring me to uncontrollable tears, long after the movie was over.
I ruminated Neerja’s short, but beautiful life. What makes a marriage work. And perhaps, what doesn’t. The Bombay of the 80s. The women of Bombays 80s, the air hostess of Bombays 80s, I ruminated not being afraid to die. And, Neerja’s beautiful family, her pioneering father, beautiful mother. My family. My Bombay. My dreams. And what it would be to die.
In the two hours, that documented PAN AM Air Hostess Neerja Bhanot’s life, I remembered what it is to live. In her death, I was reminded of life’s often difficult choices. And after the movie, I voraciously read up whatever was available about her- mostly her father’s letter in the newspaper two months after her death. “Neerja, please keep coming,” it read.
It made me think of my father, how he always backed me up. My mother who was around everytime I fell and needed a hand. My sister who always stayed. And their love that just keeps coming.
The world needs many Neerjas. And, the world needs many Neerjas mothers and fathers, and their fine balance.