City of thoughts, are you shining just for me?

Introspection.

What does it give you? What does it take from you in return? And why does life depend oh-so-deeply on it?

As I sat, sitting on my little bed, semi-settled in a faraway city that I could have never imagined myself to be in even a year ago, I wonder how life changed, or as they say, life happened…

When I think of it, I don’t ​find myself in a situation today that I had envisioned for myself back then. In fact, I’m, more or less, surrounded in the exact​ opposite circumstances. However, I can’t seem to mind it all that much, because despite it all, I know it’ll all make sense in the end. That’s one belief that has lasted throughout all these years.

Another thing that hasn’t changed has been the fact that I do look back, and pretty often at that. And with looking back comes nostalgia, and with nostalgia comes introspection.

Coming to my blog, I had pictured it to be all about hindi movies. But this post looks far from it. Yes, it’s not about a hindi film. The only redeeming quality, however, is the fact that it’s about a film nonetheless. The climax of a film, actually.

La la land.

How apt can a name be? We all live in our own comfortable, happy la la land. We all wish for a happy ending, we all want a life full of success and love. We all want this, we all want that, and so much more.

But then, life happens. And we lose several things that are dear to us at one point to reach out to a milestone of our life. We lose, and keep losing. So much so, that often when we look back, even if it looks that we have eventually won the race of dreams, what we lost in the process always seems to leave a bittersweet aftertaste.

The climax of La la land portrays exactly that. It is one ending that moved me. Shook me. An ending that’ll probably forever stay with the movie lover as well as the realist in me.

When I close my eyes, I can literally picture Sebastian walking past Mia’s billboard — somewhat depicting that he has moved on — and walking into Seb’s, his dream jazz bar. A dream that evolved with Mia. A dream that was even named by Mia. He had, back then, rejected the name (and logo) that Mia had created very lovingly, but now, it’s for real. He kept their memories alive through his dream, which suggests that she would forever be at the back of his mind as something so complete, yet incomplete.

Mia is now a successful actress, has a good life, and a family. But it’s not with Sebastian, the man who helped her set her initial steps towards the big dream of making it to Hollywood. 

When they meet, realisation happens. Glances are exchanged. The two, now strangers for the world, go back to the years when they were together, and how things would have been different if things worked out. How Mia would have had Sebastian on her side and how Sebastian would have had Mia on his.

All this, bound in the force of music, something that brought them together in the first place. And something that still connected them in levels that no one would know, or understand anymore.

As the music breaks, so does their introspection. And then, life looks ahead at them, in their now completely different worlds. It’s not that they aren’t satisfied today, it’s just that they had imagined it all with each other.

Their La la land, now real, has become more of their individual lands where the la la’s faded away somewhere in the shadows of their ambitions. They have made way for their dreams at the cost of their love.

As Mia walks away, back to her normal life with her husband, she turns around to find Sebastian looking at her. They smile. Both are happy for each other. Both still perhaps love each other, but have moved on and are in a happy space today. 

The smile is that of memories that they shall forever cherish, the things that were, the ones that weren’t and everything that could have been. It’s bittersweet, but honest. It’s still love, but unrequited. It’s incomplete, but still complete.

Sigh.

And that’s how life is too. Which is exactly why introspections are this important. They make us value our present and preserve our good ol’ la la land as a fond memory of the things that have gone by. 

They give us a perspective about ourselves, of how we were and how we are. Of how much things changed and how much remained the same. Of what we lost and what we found. Of how complete we are, in our incomplete ground…

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