Posted in Movies

Sleepless in Seattle

The story of a love that longed for magic!

In the last scene of the movie, when destiny finally got an upper hand over the pragmatism of the individuals and saw them meet, he said, ‘It’s you!’. He had seen her before, at an airport, when he was on the verge of accepting that there was no such thing as a 2nd perfect partner. He had loved a perfect woman he could have found. But now she was gone and it would be a foolish thing to believe that she could ever come back. She was dead. And no one could ever replace her. To think that he could find her again was outright madness. Instead, he convinced himself of finding a less perfect partner, if he had to find one after all. He was not entirely convinced of this argument but he still was trying to convince his son. And as he continued to speak to his son against the idea of a perfect partner who may still need compromises he looks at her in the airport and stops in the middle of his sentence. He does not see the compromised truth of his words last any longer once he lays his eyes on the surreal beautiful woman walking out of the arrivals gate. She carried a mysterious hint of magic in her perfect curve of lips and big olive-green eyes that he could remember from somewhere but had forgotten exactly where. It was the kind of magic he felt with the love of his life. She filled his life with the magic and beauty of love that was beyond his wildest imaginations.

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They had a son who shared her magic and completed their perfect family until fate had its turn. She was gone and had taken all her magic with her. The Christmas was not the same, the house was not same, the city was not the same, he was not the same. He began to wear a pretentious camouflage of a mature and adult physical presence for his son and all the people who came to mourn her untimely departure. But on the inside he was as lost as his 4-year-old son but without any will to be found. He sat in a dark corner of his heart only wishing to have left the world with her. But then he would look at his son and distract himself from his own pain for a while. He would think about the heart-broken child who had lost his mother. If she filled his dad’s life with magic, she was the creator of his life. The child’s loss was much deeper and greater. And it was for him, that the camouflage would be worn everyday. Every day he would remind his fake self to get out of the bed and breathe in and out all day long. He decided to do so until the day would come when he would not have to remind himself anymore. But fate is always on the turn. He soon decided to move to a new city where after a series of interlinked events, he stands at the arrivals gate to be breezed by the magic that had gone missing in his life. Just like he knew the first time of the magic’s presence in a woman as he held her hand to help her out of a car, another trivial and ordinary experience of seeing a beautiful woman walk out the arrivals gate touched him with the same magic again. In a moment, all his prejudices of not being able to find that kind of love and that kind of magic again, were put to question. The cloud of compromise lifted itself and all he could see was her. It was her. It was that magic again. It was her! But he could not believe his eyes nor his mind. The magic had touched his soul but not seeped in deep enough to pull him out of his compromise-clouded brain. But towards the end of the movie, when there is nowhere else to go but to each other, he looks at her and manages an “It’s you!”. He is not just acknowledging the mysteriously acquainted stranger woman from the airport or the woman with whom the only dialogue he ever shared was a ‘hello’ from across the road. He is acknowledging the blowing trumpet horn of the truck that announced her presence on that road, to him, standing on the sidewalk. It was a sign from the universe for him to acknowledge the presence right in front of him, that presence which he was overlooking due to a prejudice of never being able to find magic in his life again. He had agreed to settle for a compromised relationship with the first woman he met after his wife’s untimely death and the successive persuasions of his son and his friends. Even if the woman was only mildly fascinated by the humor instilled in this widowed man from his tragic past or superficially attracted to the humble chivalry of an otherwise decently handsome man. His son was the first to realise this compromise of his father when he repeatedly said the woman laughs like a hyena at his father’s jokes. He says this out loud on a radio channel where he had called earlier to find a suitable partner for his dad.

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The show was called Sleepless in Seattle and ran late in the night. It was here that for the first time, this widowed husband first opens up his heart to a complete stranger, the radio jockey Dr. Marsha, about his wife and his broken heart. It was also through the same radio channel, that his mourning heart reached to his magic woman for the first time. She was engaged to another man, an otherwise decent and well settled one. They had met her family and all was set except for a subtle sign she sees even before she knows about a man who could tell her exactly what went missing. That sign sets her off on a tangential thought that she was probably settling for something less than absolute magic in her life. She was happy with her fiancé, she had chosen him for herself. And they also had everybody’s approval set for a happy future. But in her heart she knew there was something missing. It was the magic, the magic of love that speaks through the daily humdrum of life to remind one that there were miracles waiting to happen to those who believed in them. The magic of love that moved mountains and leaped oceans for the sake of itself. The magic of love that goes beyond life and death and believes in reincarnations and rebirths.

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She finds herself extremely pulled towards the radio show and this mystery man who had by then become the heart-throb of a thousand women who listened to the radio. But this woman was not just attracted to the sad aura of a heartbroken man so she could mend him. She was pulled by how he spoke of magic as he spoke of the love for his gone wife. She did not feel that with the fiancé she was going to marry but she was not ready to accept it yet. So she sneaked around the house at night listening to the radio with an almost guilt. She felt she was cheating on this man she had decided to get married to. She lies to him about it all and feels even worse. But what she does not realise is that the lie of listening to the radio for a mysterious man and traveling to the other side of the continent just to see him from a distance are nothing compared to the lie she had been living till now. She lived and breathed the will to find a magic in her life and the man who was going to become the most important person in her life, had no idea about it. She had comfortably grown a camouflage around her magical dreams and hopes of a larger than life love, with a veil of pragmatism and fear of the unknown. She had settled for whatever life had offered her. She was living a far greater lie that rose out of a compromise she had reached in her life.

And so had he, he had reached a compromise that the love he had found once could not be replaced. The perfection of that woman who died, could never be replaced and that whoever he would find along the way would be the suitable choice. So he settles for a woman who barely knows the depths of his magical heart or the capability of the magic that love could bring in people’s lives. Despite having agreed to the compromises they had chosen, these believers cannot stay away for long. This immense affinity to insane instances and miracles in everyday caused by only one mysterious entity of human relations – love, killed all their compromises. The turn of events were such that at one point of time, the only thing that seemed right was to follow the call of this magic even if that meant breaking apart all the structures in life that seemed like the very foundations holding up their lives in that moment. Only the insane began to make sense and that was when they could not help but accept the plunge in to the flow of magic within and follow wherever it took them. They stopped fighting it and that was then they found it.

Recreating the beautiful end of yet another love story, they meet on the top of the highest building in New York. Even here the game of fate does not end and lays down an almost breath-taking game of almost missing each other. But then, if it would not have happened here, it would definitely happen there. But happen it would. And so far, far away from all the noises of the cars and horns and alarms and clocks, they stood high up in the air, finally listening to their own heart’s voice.

“It’s you!”, he says without any trace of astonishment.

“It’s me!”, she replies releasing all the love she had been containing.

It is said that our heart takes a while to realise what our mind already knows. The characters of this beautiful story had known from the very first time they came in each other’s contact that there was something special about the other person. But it was their heart that took time here and not the brain. Their hearts were stuck in the false understanding of love that demanded a compromise. While the truth is that love, when truest, has no place for a compromise. It comes to those believe in it and are ready to create a capacity to give and take that kind of love. And as the wise radio jockey Dr. Marsha says in the movie, a person who has loved someone deeply is capable of loving someone else again. Both their hearts were trapped trying to love the wrong heart. The best thing in such a situation is to always know that a compromised love is the greatest sin against the heart, for love knows no compromises. The magic of our fantasies and dreams need to translate into our lives especially in our love lives or we end up stuck in never-ending loop of compromises where one leads to another and that to yet another. Give the loop up and break it by asking for more – from yourself and from your lover. Demand every bit of insane magic that you dream of. If they are the ones, they will give them all back to you and even greater things. And if they do not, then know this that there is someone else waiting out there to hold your hand and take you on a roller coaster journey through the land of your own dreams, if you only let them.

2 thoughts on “Sleepless in Seattle

  1. A well written story although I personally think that instantaneous attraction, the so-called magic may not be the only route to love. Long familiarity is equally potent. Because in an instant we are only charmed by the person’s qualities whilst unaware of their flaws. Long familiarity breeds a love with a firmer foundation

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    1. It is true that a book must not be judged by its cover. But then stories like these forces one to think if the cover was not to be judged then why put a cover there at all. Sometimes the cover is designed, it is an art piece labored over by the artist who owns the cover and the book it covers. Sometimes a person develops themselves, both inner and outer facets of their personality according to their deep natures. And I think faced with an equally self realised individual, who can see through the beauty of the cover Art and directly in to what the artist stands for, a love at first sight is not only plausible but very much natural.
      In fact, it was wonder at such a relationship that got me to write about this movie Sleepless in Seattle. To share my understanding of how could that one moment of ‘It’s you!’ have happened with such deeply emotional importance, over and over again to the protagonists!
      @Pritish Dixit – I am glad you picked up on the story and participated. Thank you!

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