Hello my Lovelies,
If you are an Indian, then you must have probably hashtag-ed or checked-in to have watched Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Airlift’ by now. And well, if I am indeed entertaining some videsi (Hindi word for foreign) fellow readers, then let me give you a brief introduction of the movie. Airlift is based on the real event of evacuation of almost 1.20 lakh Indians from the war-torn country of Kuwait when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. And if you have seen Argo, then imagine Tony Mendez aiding in evacuation of 1.20 lakh instead of 6 Indians. This evacuation has been the largest in the history of the world, and necessarily etching India’s name in the Guinness Book of World Record.
What truly enraptured me in the movie was the fictional character of Ranjit Katyal played by the Indian actor Akshay Kumar. Ranjit Katyal has been introduced as an astute negotiator, a cut-throat businessman subserving his own personal interest, lacking in affinity for his nationality or the nation he resides in. Katyal is an elitist who knows how to make money and love his family. He has been portrayed realistically to fret to hear of the news of the war. The first thought is to have his family in the custody of safety. He is what ANY Indian in his position would have done. However, as his wife in the middle of the narrative calls him, he suffers a “malfunction” and he develops a heart for all the Indian who come to his to seek refuge. He sets up a rescue camp for the Indians and aids in their evacuation as if his life depended on it. And well it did. Quite literally. After setting up the camp, he manages to have a fleet of 500 Indians sent through water, while having the rest travel across 1000 km through Iraq to Jordan single-handedly, with the aid of just one Indian Government karamchari (Hindi for Officer) who at the constant behest of Katyal manages to coax the lax Indian Government, rather to coax multiple Ministries to execute the successful evacuation of Indians in such a magnitude.
The movie will grip you and yes you will shed tears aplenty, by being proud of India and Her many bygone, untold feats. But Katyal takes the cake in this movie. And pardon me, if this post looks more like a movie review, well, it is not. Please go and watch the movie and you are more than welcome to decide for yourself.
What I have to say today is about one man stepping up when the world around his suddenly collapses. We are all humans. We all fail at the tests of life. We pose and pretend that we are strong. But when the world around us crumbles, whether we can withstand that, whether in times of our own personal calamity, whether we can weather a storm for the loved ones around us, is what matters. THIS is what Ranjit Katyal was to me. A fictional hero fabulously stitched into a real event of history. As per my research there were certain influential businessmen who played an instrumental role in the evacuation of the Indians back in 1990 as well. Ergo, he wasn’t that fictional after all. He was the mortal form of Hope. He was the flesh and blood of humanity. He is what I would like to believe the Hope that it only takes one man’s undying faith and effort to change the course of millions.
So pardon me if you think I am wrong, but I would like to believe in the reality of these fictional heroes. I Hope that they exist, I Hope I get to see them some day, I Hope I get to be them some day.
Till the next time. Have a hopeful one. 🙂