A quick note about life, food and films. What else could you ask for?
Woke up at 7:30 types. Slept like a log. Woke up during the night to get some water. Was so tired that I did not even have that. I do have faint recollections of some dream where I am on a trek or something but I can’t remember the details. Good that I am dreaming. Probably I needed the sleep. Had a very long week with a lot of work. I think the past few days have been the hardest for me in terms of work. As I move forward, I plan to get really sure of what I want to work on – after all, a lot of my time will be spent on sleep and working out (I hope so, so far, it’s wishful thinking).
So yesterday. Among other things, assaulted my stomach with a million things. I had (and not exaggerating), Maggi, Upma, Egg Roll, Veg Puff, Egg Fried Rice, 4 Scoops of Ice Cream. All of these were ordered from various places on Swiggy and Zomato. I am literally killing myself one bite at a time. Oh, and just ordered some dosa and idli and all that. I think Zomato and Swiggy are weapons of mass destruction. They are making our generation fat by promoting unhealthy food. I mean the choice is obviously of the ones that order but the bombardment with marketing messages is what nudges people to order in!
Anyhow. So yesterday, I had an interesting exchange on Twitter. Someone posted about how they can’t seem to not work or detach themselves from it. I resonated so much with it. When I started thinking more about it, I realized that I want to literally die while working. I posted this. And then I realized that all seems to be ok in life – I have some work, I have some side projects going, I continue to dream big (despite my age and repeated failures), I have M to go chill with once in a while (at least till she grows up and moves on with her life) and then some more things. What I don’t have is the luxury of modern life (you know, a car, a house, a stable bank balance that allows me to take more risks than I can). And I don’t have a stable emotional life. You know, that significant other that you may find solace in. So that. I love Twitter for the fact that it gives me so much food for thought that no other platform, individual, or anything else seems to give me. I just need to curate it better.
I wanted to unwind and I saw Malik. And uff! What a film! The fandom for Fahadh has gone up by a notch. Apart from SRK (not the actor :D), Farhan Akhtar, Ranveer Singh, I officially have a favorite actor. And the kind of films he features in. Must write about Anto Joseph to supporting such projects. At some point when I want to be that as well – you know, support ambitious projects that probably won’t see the light of the day otherwise.
Staying on the theme, Toofan has failed to impressed anyone. I wanted it to do well. Simply because it was written by Anjum Sir. And featured Farhan Akhtar. Damn!
Guess this is it. Have quite a few things to be done during the day. I plan to be at the Starbucks at the airport. I know there’s no internet there. But I hope it’s open so that I can sit and work. I can do all the writing for sure if nothing else. Let’s see how it pans out. Wish me luck 😀
Today’s post is about this restlessness in my head and heart for no apparent reason. May sound like a rant. Read at peril.
Woke up about 15 minutes ago. Must have slept for 8 or so hours. Yesterday I was probably at the lowest points in my life. I don’t know why. I don’t know what was causing it. I literally slept through the day. It could be the house but I think I have made it bearable now. I even went for a walk and forced myself to do 10K steps. That did not help either. Oh, by the time I ended, I was so tired and breathless that I couldn’t even walk. Had to take a rick to come back. Since I needed a distraction, I saw this Malayalam film, Joji, and live-tweeted it. Here are the tweets in case. Interesting film. Good narrative. It’s one time watch for sure. I do feel that the story could’ve been better! But then my opinions may not make a lot of sense. Who am I after all? Unless I write a few things myself that are good enough for the world to take note of!
So that. On to #book2
Ankit was the dark horse of the family. Once he wanted something he wanted. By hook or crook. Or by Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed. He could very well be the Duryodhana from Mahabharata. Often angry for no reason, often irritable for no fault of others, often at high pedestal that was accorded to him purely by his lineage, often rude when not required. When he was a child, even though his father knew where this was going, he did not believe in interfering with fate. Things that were written in the stars had to happen. Even if you used all your might, you’d not be able to stop those from happening.
So when Siddh, the Bhishma, had the opportunity to stop the young Ankit in his tracks, he chose not to. Rather he focused his energies on preparing for the hell Ankit was going to rain down on their tiny hamlet. A large part of the plan rested in finding the Krishna that would eventually goad the Pandavas into stopping Ankit. And that was becoming a problem. Each passing day he was getting older. Ankit was getting more and more belligerent. There was nothing that the old man, the father could do. Except wait. And keep others around him placated. His only hope was that he would find the savior soon. The other saving grace was that there was no sign of Indraprastha or Drauapadi. Yet. He knew it was a matter of time before Ankit would get fixated on something, someone that he would start showing his true colors.
Of course Siddh count confide this into anyone. His only companion was long gone. All he had were his books. Even if he tried to talk to others, they would probably dismiss. Being religious is one thing but being able to see the future is another altogether. People in Goa may be simpletons but they were not fools. Siddh, thus kept to himself.
So this is probably the first time I have expressed that I want Book2 to be an ode to Mahabharata and more importantly, Anjum Rajabali Sir.
What else do I want to talk about? Lemme think and write disjointed notes…
a, The lockdown for the next two days. I don’t even know how would I survive. I will try and walk around and see how it goes. Let’s see how it goes. I am supposed to go out on Sunday morning, going by the prep the cops had made yesterday, I am not sure if I’d be able to. Let’s see.
b, The mouse I ordered yesterday is here. Wireless is magic. The computer can now be perched at a distance and I and sit back and work. Well done, Mr. Garg. Why did I not think of this earlier? 😀
c, The quarterly letter that I send to mentors (archive here) needs to go this weekend. It was supposed to go last week but I could not edit it. This weekend, the letter is my task number 1. Everything else may wait. Lemme know if you want a copy!
d, Song of the day is an old favorite – So Gaya Ye Jahan. Here.
I guess that’s about it. I feel I have a lot more to say but I am unable to find the words. May be during the day? May be these morning pages / meditations are becoming a drag, a routine, and I have stopped deriving values from these? I mean I talk about how I spent the day. I talk about what I plan to do the next day. I share some of my thoughts that I don’t talk to the world about. I dump whatever is clouding my head. I almost never go back to what I have written. Except for those few days when I want to see where I was on a certain date in the past. I am not sure why I ought to continue with this. I mean, for that matter, I can question the meaning of life and all that. After all anything and everything we do while we are here is meaningless, pointless. Most of us would be forgotten within 50 years of dying. The impact we make would not last more than 100 years. We’d be lucky if things we create (companies, books, etc) live for more than 200 years after we are gone.
Reminds me of Camus and the Sisyphus. Despite not having meaning in anything that I do (including writing this post every day), the notion in my head that it keeps me going is what keeps me going!
Oh, here’s the thing. I have not read Camus. I merely know his name and what he talked about when he walked about Sisyphus. All I did was see this video to understand what he said. And here I am. Using his name like I am a scholar, deeply interested in his life. Lol. You see the problem there?
Anyhow. Enough for the day. Loads of rocks need to be rolled up some very high mountains. Oh, streaks? Here…
Morning Pages / Meditations – 118 (yesterday was 119 but today I checked and I am at 118. I made a mistake somewhere!)
#aPicADay – 99 (again, I checked. Today’s post will be 100th.)
Update on what’s on the top of my mind. Guess what?
6:35. Thane. Ashi and Parry’s place.
I am in Thane. At Ashima and Parry’s place. I had a meeting this side of the world and I decided to stay back. Ashima is by far the best cook chef I know and if I want to eat good food, I make the trek to Thane to get fed. That’s as far as my indulgence with food takes me. Oh, yesterday I decided that I would fast for 48 hours and reset my gut. I had forgotten that I am going to Ashi’s place. I can’t eat when am with her. Plus the weekend typically is a time when I get to meet friends and that means that I am forced to have something or the other. So it’s impossible to not eat on the weekends. I will try the gut-reset, 48-hour fast from Sunday evening onward. So that.
This is the shot from her window.
In other news, my father got the COVID vaccine. To be honest I did not want them to take the vaccine. For multiple reasons. A, the vaccine is still in the clinical trial and no one knows the long-term effect of the same. B, the shoddiness around the way it is managed in India (the announcements, production, etc) was disheartening. But when I spoke to Kunal and Ashima (the two ports of call for everything medical), both of them affirmed that we must take it. And that’s when I consented. No, my parents don’t really need my consent. They are far more intelligent and aware than I. Plus they know a lot more people and their advisors are even more learned. So that.
This is around the same time that pandemic hit us last year. I remember the biggest thing that came out of the pandemic to me was that I could attend Anjum Sir‘s session on writing. Even though it was on Zoom, I really learned a lot about the process of screenwriting. This piece on Hero’s Journey came as a result of that and the piece made me make friends with so many people!
He’s doing those again but I am unable to attend those this time as I have a lot happening and films need to take the backseat.
Which is ok. I need to consolidate how things are going. I know that all the work I am getting is a knee-jerk response to all the pent-up demand in the businesses. I just need to capitalize and deliver a great output so that these could translate into long-term gigs. I just hate that there’s just 24 hours in the day.
I am also gonna change the way I live and work. I don’t want to talk a lot about work but lately, it’s on the top of my mind these days. So here it goes. Since I am working literally all the time now, I will have to get even more particular with how I spend my time. There’s not a single minute to waste. I have to figure an office space (my productivity goes 100X when I am not working from home and Starbucks tend to get noisy for all the calls that I am supposed to be on). The thing is, a large part of my work is now attending calls (because no in-person meetings) and I often speak and make presentations. Most days I do good with those. That’s not a challenge at all.
The problem is that if there’s some background noise when I speak, it becomes tough to get the point across. There’s anyway a lag imposed by the internet. On top, there’s the speed at which I talk. So I need to find a quiet place where I can talk from.
If I could predict these meetings and other things, I could get into the Maker and Manager (by Paul Graham) zones but most of these are ad-hoc and thus it’s impossible to plan time. This is against the very principle with which I have lived my life. I want nothing more than the independence of time. The gigs that I am on, there’s some flexibility but I’d want more. Lol. When I did not have work, I wanted work. Now that I have work, I want flexibility. 😀
So that. Let’s see what I decide. Maybe I’ll just get a fancy house (now that I can afford it) and turn one of the bedrooms into a co-working space! Or get some bungalow in Aram Nagar and convert it into a cafe. Lol. Wishful thinking ka raaja! I really have hazaron khwahishen. And that, ladies and gents, is the track of the day. Here!
Track of the day?
So, as I end this post, in terms of streaks, I did all but the walking one. I had a busy day and hence I could not walk a lot. Here’s the list.
Morning Pages – 91
#aPicADay – XX (will count at some later date)
10K steps a day – 0
OMAD – 2
#noCoffee – 4
#noCoke – 4
10 mins of meditation – 0 (adding this from today on)
#book2 – 0 (I REALLY need to start on this!)
That’s about it. Over and out. See you guys tomorrow.
Wore pants and shirt yesterday. Here’s a report card. And of course, chats about other things.
8:26. Andheri. So, I wore pants yesterday. Which was as terrible as it sounds. It sucked like mad. Worse was that I wore a shirt to go with it. And that shirt did not fit me. I could not breathe in it. And that’s the shirt that was like a baggy fit for me. You know, loose. The kinds where I could stuff one more person in and still stay sane. I am that unfit. To a point that even Instagram is showing me ads of fitness clubs and gyms and all that. Kya hoga mera?
Anyhow. Morning Pages.
Yesterday was fun. I recorded my second ever video conversation ever (the first was I think with Mihir (Karkare) that we never released; thank God for that). This one was with Sheba Maini. She is brilliant. She made me talk about things that I never thought I was capable of saying out loud on the Internet. And she made me agree to come on a video. Wow.
If you guys need someone to coach you and give you direction, Sheba is it! Her Linkedin profile is here. When I first spoke to her, in the 3rd minute of our chat, she could point out what afflicted me and what I need to do to get out of that. I was dumbfounded by how well she could read my mind. Over a Zoom call. In less than 5 minutes. You must consider her.
PS: Sheba is a client at Podium and a mentor so I may be biased. PPS: If you are curious what is my problem, read this one and specifically, point #5.
Next. I met this young kid (JS) that I know from TRS days. We met for dinner (see streaks below). He is now onto his own business and set up and he seems to be on this amazing path that excites, inspires, and scares me. At 21, he’s sure where he wants to. And he’s acting on it. At 21, I did not know how to tie my shoelaces. The future is bright. Reminded me that I need to hang out with more such people. I think I am at my happiest when I see that I am making a difference in other people’s lives, especially when it comes to their work. I am a nincompoop if the conversations are around relationships and all that. I often can’t relate to what they are talking about and how to help with things. I even zone about when people talk about their lives and relationships. But when they talk work, ooh, la, la! I need to find a way to accelerate this and do this for more people.
In other news, Anjum Rajabali Sir’s next film, Toofan was just announced yesterday. This is one film that I cant wait to watch. For multiple reasons. For starters, it’s Anjum Sir’s film. Then this is about sports. Then its mass-market entertainer. Plus it has Farhan Akhtar, a guy that I look up to for his work (and nothing else). What else could you ask for? And this is EXACTLY the kind of films I want to make! Let’s see when that happens.
PSA: he’s taking sessions for aspiring screenwriters these days. See if you can attend.
So that’s the large updates from me on yesterday.
On streaks (that I started to track publicly since yesterday)…
Morning Pages – 89! Wow! I am surprised at myself!
#aPicADay – XX (will count at some later date)
10K steps a day – 2
OMAD – 0. Had dinner yesterday with JS. Was not hungry per se but then I gave in to the temptation. Restarting the counter.
#noCoffee – 2
#noCoke – 2
#book2 – 0 (I REALLY need to start on this!)
I also have a sheet where I track my actions on day to day basis. Have been lapsing on it. Will get back to it. #note2self
I think this is about it. Not a lot to share. Lot of work though. Chalo, over and out. See you guys tomorrow.
Prof. Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth model (The Hero’s Journey), as seen from the lens of Amitabh Bachchan’s character in the Salim-Javed film, Deewaar.
Show me a person that does not know this dialogue. And I will show you someone who has NOT lived! Not at least in India.
This is among the scores of iconic dialogue from the film, Deewaar. Released in 1975, directed by Yash Chopra and written by the legendary Salim – Javed, Deewaar is what you expect a film to be – a roller-coaster journey through the lives of characters next door. From the degradation of a righteous man who chose to take a stand for the poor (and failed at it), to the ecstasy of the new-earned wealth of a young man (who has lived in abject poverty as a kid), the dismay of a mother who’ll be made to choose between her sons, the film not just entertains you, but also makes you question your own decisions, morality, and at least in my case, life!
So, as an aspiring filmmaker, I HAD to reverse engineer the brilliance of Deewaar, learn the tenets of what went in while they made the narrative, and then, hopefully, use those when I write my scripts.
One of the things that I realised, after I attended online sessions with Anjum Rajabali was that most great stories tend to follow a simple narrative structure of The Hero’s Journey. Discovered by Prof. Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey (also known as the Monomyth) postulates that in most myths and folklores and religious texts (and thus popular culture and books and films), the protagonist typically faces a challenge. To sort it, he has to leave his current world (and often, the ordinary and comfortable one), spend time in the other (and often the challenging world) where he would fight a demon, and then come back to his ordinary world. In this journey, there are 17 distinct stages, and at each stage, he grows as an individual. A pictorial representation looks like…
So, The Hero’s journey for Deewaar is the second in the series of explorations that I am doing, this time, with Hemant Joshi (who I met at one of the SWA sessions).
Here we go!
The Plot of Deewaar
Deewaar starts as the story of one Anand Verma and his family (wife Sumitra Devi and two young sons, Vijay and Ravi). Anand works at a local factory and is an honest, hardworking, and righteous worker. And naturally, the leader of the union of workers.
These workers are at loggerheads with the factory owner, who in turn is, well, like any other factory owner – a conniving, scheming bastard! The workers go on a strike and mandate Anand Verma to negotiate on their behalf.
The factory owner abducts Verma’s family and asks him to pick the family or the worker’s rights. Verma, like a typical Indian, chooses his family. The workers are disappointed and thrash him, leaving him in a hospital. Verma is unable to handle the emotional turmoil and runs away, leaving behind the mess that he’s created. While Verma is drifting, his family continues to be ridiculed whenever they step out. One of these days, the elder son, Vijay is manhandled by goons in the market and they tattoo “Mera Baap Chor Hai” on his forearm.
Sumitra Devi moves herself and the sons to Mumbai where they are forced to live on the footpath and sleep under a bridge. Sumitra picks up odd jobs and is unable to meet the expenses. This is when Vijay steps up (not even a teenager at this point) and decides to support his mother with Ravi’s education and upbringing. He starts as a boot-polisher.
On one of his regular days, after he’s cleaned the shoes, one of his customers flings a coin at him. Vijay is angered and says since he’s worked hard on shining the shoes and he deserves respect. Dawar, a local goon, is accompanying the customer spots the talent in Vijay.
We take a leap in time and Vijay is now working as a coolie at the docks. Vijay strikes against the local goons (controlled by Samant) collecting hafta from all the laborers. Furthermore, he goes into their den and thrashes them.
This is noticed by Dawar (who’s another adversary of Samant) and he invites Vijay to join him in his business. His first job is to ensure that Dawar’s smuggled gold is safely brought into Mumbai. Vijay hatches a smart plan that involves duping Samant and is able to execute flawlessly. Samant pledges revenge!
Vijay’s life starts turning around – he buys his mother a better house, gets himself a better car, his clothes get better. Everything in life starts seeming better.
On the other side, the younger brother, Ravi completes his education and goes away to train for being a police officer. When he returns, his first case is to rein in Dawar’s businesses. Ravi realizes that he would have to catch his brother to solve the case. He refuses initially. In fact, he goes and asks his brother to surrender. Vijay refuses. The brothers have a dispute over this. Their mother takes the side of the righteous one, Ravi, leaving Vijay all alone in his giant mansion.
A few days later, Ravi decides to take the case again and starts catching Dawar’s men one after the other. Dawar realizes that Ravi must be stopped somehow. One of his gang’s members suggest that Ravi be killed, but Vijay stops them. Vijay tries to convince Ravi to back away from Dawar’s men, but Ravi holds his ground.
Their mother falls sick but Vijay cannot visit her – the cops are staking around the hospital. Vijay is distressed. Around the same time, Samant, who had pledged revenge, kills Vijay’s girlfriend. Anguished, Vijay goes to the hotel where Samant is staying and kills him. In the process, he exposes himself to Ravi and the cops. Left with no choice, Ravi fires at Vijay. Vijay manages to drive away, only to hold long enough to come to his mother praying at the temple she frequents. He eventually dies in her lap.
And the story ends.
The Hero’s Journey for Deewaar
In our opinion, the Hero of this film is Amitabh Bachchan’s character. And we would use this vantage point to explore the Hero’s Journey.
As always, before we get in, here are a few disclaimers.
This is our interpretation of The Hero’s Journey for Vijay’s character. And like all interpretations and opinions, we may be wrong.
If you disagree please do point out. We are always open for inputs 🙂
Here we go…
Film starts with a bravery medal being given to Ravi Verma. He talks about Sumitra Devi (his mother) being the reason that he got the medal. Makes the mom accept the medal.
This serves as a hook into the world of two brothers – Vijay and Ravi.
We see a bunch of laborers on a strike with Anand Verma leading it. He is demanding that the laborers get a better deal.
On the other side, his sons are all praises for the father. The wife mentions that kids look up to him. Anand mentions that he loves kids more than anything else.
The ordinary world
This scene establishes the milieu. The ordinary world. And the fact that there is this huge divide between the rich and the poor.
Plus we get to know the family dynamics.
The workers continue the protest at the factory owner’s bungalow. The owner calls Anand inside and offers a deal. Along with that he blackmails Anand and asks him to choose between his family and the workers.
Anand chooses his family and goes back to his workers and admits defeat. The workers thrash Anand and leave him bedridden.
The flaw in the character of Anand is showcased. We also establish a conflict in Anand’s life. This sets up for a larger conflict in the life of the hero – one that would eventually grow into the inciting incident for the Hero.
The wife and two children discover that Anand has abandoned the family.
Some drunkards round-up Vijay, the elder son, and tattoo “mera baap chor hai” on his forearm.
The mother decides to move to Mumbai. She has no money and is forced to take up odd jobs and sleep under a bridge.
Challenge from the outer world
The hero’s life, as we know it, is about to change.
The younger brother, Ravi, wants to study.
Vijay, not even a teenager, decides to man-up and tells his mother that he would work as well so that Ravi could get a good education.
Vijay becomes a boot polisher.
Call to adventure
The hero accepts the challenge and decides to do whatever he could do to get his younger brother education.
Dawar buys a racebook and gets his shoes to polish. Jaichand (Dawar’s associate) throws money at Vijay, who refuses, saying he is not a beggar.
Dawar asks Jaichand to pick the money and hand it to Vijay. Also, he predicts that Vijay will go on to be a winner in his life!
We see a juxtaposition to Ravi who’s topping the school.
The seed of separation between the two brothers is sowed.
This also shows us the character of Vijay where he has taken a stand without worrying about consequences; unlike his father!
The mother is now working at a construction site. She has to face an abusive manager. Vijay sees it and hits the manager and runs away.
The mother compares the two brothers. She tells Vijay that Ravi is kind and sorted.
Vijay is angered and flashes his tattoo, demanding an answer.
We realize that the hero will stand up against anyone that does not respect him or his family. He seeks respect.
The suffering of the hero is also showcased. The wound becomes visible.
The mother takes two kids to a temple. Vijay takes a stand for himself yet again, stating he will not enter the temple.
Time moves on and sons grow up. Ravi asks what does mom seek from God. She says “tere liye sukh and Vijay ke liye Shaanti“.
The two brothers go their separate ways
Crossing the first threshold
This parting of ways is both symbolic and thematic.
Plus, by refusing to go into the temple, Vijay is protesting against the injustice in his life.
Vijay now works at the docks as a coolie. He gets a badge with the number 786 engraved. Rahim Chacha tells Vijay that 786 is a lucky number to have and asks him to keep the badge on him all the time. They also talk about the hafta the coolies have to pay to the local goons, controlled by Samant.
A coolie, Gangu gets killed when he refuses to pay the goons. Something stirs in Vijay. He says, “agle hafte ek aur coolie paisa dene se inkaar karne wala hai“
The road of trials
Vijay is challenged again.
“Gareebi ka jurmana” is a trigger for him to fight the norm. He wants to change things.
The badge with the number 786 could be the Supernatural Aid.
Ravi on the other hand is struggling to find work despite his numerous attempts.
At the docks, Vijay refuses to pay the goons. Fights and comes out on top.
The road of trials
Again the same characteristic is showcased – when someone challenges his respect, he will revolt.
The path for Vijay is full of such “trials”.
When he comes home, the mother scolds Vijay.
In response he says, “Tum chahti ho main bhi mu chupake bhaag jaata“
Again, the pain is showcased.
Ravi continues to struggle to get employment. We see that he gives up an opportunity for someone who’s struggling more than him. We see a comparison with the idealist father.
The father is spotted drifting in a train.
The two worlds of two brothers are now completely different.
Dawar gets Vijay to work with him.
The iconic dialogue, “Main aaj bhi faike hue paise nahi uthata” is played out.
Meeting with the mentor
Dawar acts as the mentor who helps Vijay into this new world.
Ravi meets his girlfriend’s father (who’s a cop) and he recommends that Ravi join the police force
Again, the contrasting paths.
The elder brother is being mentored by a goon; the younger by a cop!
Vijay gets his first assignment of getting a gold consignment to Mumbai. He schemes Samant in helping him do so.
We hear, “Suna hai lift ki deewar ke kaan nahi hote“.
Road of trials
Establishes Vijay as a formidable personality. And in the process he makes allies and enemies.
Vijay shows a giant house to his mother. She gets suspicious of Vijay’s work.
Ravi comes running and shares he got a job as a cop and goes away for his training.
Vijay starts to see success. He is getting deeper into this new world.
At the poolside of a swanky hotel, Vijay suggests to Dawar that they plant someone in Samant’s gang. They plot a scheme to get Darpan recruited in Samant’s gang.
Darpan goes to Samant and gives out information that Vijay would be at Sona bar and they can kill him. Samant and gang plans for that.
He continues to make friends and enemies.
He is getting sucked even deeper into the new world.
Vijay meets his future love interest, Anita at the bar. She and the lucky badge (786) save him from the Samant’s sharpshooter.
This is a case of setup and payoff – the lucky badge does two things – makes him meet Anita, his love; and saves his life!
Dawar says he wants to take a backseat and installs Vijay on the throne.
However, Jaichand had eyed this for a long time.
Belly of the whale
At this point, Vijay is deep into the new world.
He has conquered the new world – or at least he thinks so.
Ravi comes back home as a police officer. Vijay realizes that at some point the paths of the two brothers will cross.
He laments with Anita that Ravi and he are different.
This is the point of no return for the hero. The final battle for the hero has been seeded.
Ravi finds out that as a cop, his top two targets are Dawar and his own brother, Vijay.
Ravi is shocked. He is initially in denial. However, an incident with a young boy inspires him to take up the case.
Vijay buys the building where his mother worked when he was young.
Classic case of “high” before the low! – Second false victory for Vijay
Ravi and Vijay have a face-off in front of their mother. Ravi asks him to surrender by signing on the confession. He famously asks, “bhai tum sign karoge ya nahi“
The word Deewaar is introduced for the first time.
Mother decides to leave Vijay alone and moves out.
Vijay back to Anita. She mentions that she wants to settle down and get married.
The mother on the other hand tells Ravi that she loved Vijay more than she loved Ravi.
Ravi continues his crusade against Dawar and Vijay. To a point that the gang starts thinking about eliminating Ravi.
Vijay opposes the ideas and admits that Ravi is his brother.
The two brothers meet at the bridge where they grew up. Vijay asks Ravi to back out from the case – arguing that because of his dirty work, Ravi could get educated!
The iconic, “mere pass maa hai” is showcased.
Refusal to return
Vijay has yet another chance to surrender, but he refuses to give away everything he’s earned in the new world.
He is refusing to go to his original world.
Anand is found dead on a train. Ravi realizes it is their father when he is filing the report. He finds a picture of the family being held as hostages.
Ravi stops his mother from putting sindoor.
Such amazing symbolism!
Ravi lights the fire to his father’s dead body, as Vijay watches from a distance – he is still wanted by the cops!
On a call recording, Ravi finds about a meeting where Jaichand is present and leaves right away! Ravi arrests Jaichand and makes him confess about Dawar and Vijay.
Ravi arrests Dawar. However, Vijay manages to run away and goes into hiding.
On the other hand, Samant vows to avenge the loss in business by killing Vijay before the cops could arrest him.
Vijay gets to know that his mother is unwell and wants to meet her. He however can not as the place is swarming with cops.
Vijay is lost and doesn’t know what to do.
He goes to the one place which he never would have – the temple his mother frequented. We hear “aaj khush toh bohot hoge tum…”
Maa miraculously gets better. She visits the temple, where the priest tells a shocked mother that Vijay was there!
Vijay realizes that he has dragged himself too deep into this new world and escaping is impossible now.
But he does want his mother to get better. This entering the temple is his atonement!
In Prof. Campbell’s journey, atonement happens before the refusal to return. We see the sequence slightly altered, but the concept holds.
Vijay gets to know that his mother is now home.
Anita announces that she’s pregnant.
Vijay decides to get married to Anita and surrender. He also tells his mother to wait for him at the temple.
Crossing of the return threshold
Because of Anita, he has a reason to give up everything and go back to the original world.
We find this a tad weak compared to all the imploration by his mother.
Anita however is kidnapped by Samant.
Unknown to Vijay, who in a separate meeting is being told of a plan to escape. He tells his gang that he would not go along with them.
When Vijay comes back to Anita, he finds her dying. She in fact dies in his arms. He discovers that it was Samant that had hurt Anita.
Vijay storms into Samant’s hideout. He kills Samant’s flunkies but Samant is not there.
Ravi gets to know that Vijay is on his way to Samant’s other hideout.
He and other cops surround the building. However, Vijay is still able to kill Samant by throwing him off the top of the building.
Despite all the cops, Vijay manages to escape, with Ravi chasing him.
While running, his lucky badge falls off. As Vijay tries to retrieve it, Ravi comes in close and shoots at him, injuring him.
He however gets in a car and drives the car into the temple. He eventually dies in his mother’s arms!
Master of the two worlds
At this point, Vijay has conquered the two worlds – he has realized that his path of getting the respect that he craved, actually took away from his family.
Even though short-lived (since he died right after), he is briefly able to earn his mother’s respect too.
The symbolism of the lucky badge is reinforced for at least the third time!
We go back to the opening scene where Ravi is getting an award. The film ends with a thundering applause.
Even though NOT all stages of the Hero’s Journey are evident in Deewaar (they weren’t evident in Munna Bhai MBBS either), the story clearly follows the structure. Enough to warrant an investigation and research!
That’s it from our side. Please do give us feedback on our interpretation.
Also, should you want the open files and notes that we made that we have not published, please email us and we’d be touch. We have Deewaar’s script broken into a beat-sheet (our interpretation and may not be right), and various stages of the Hero’s Journey, as adapted for Deewaar. Happy to share those!
Oh, a disclaimer for the millionth time – these are our interpretations and could be incorrect. This is merely an academic exercise to learn more about Hero’s Journey! Do help us.
That’s all folks!
So, that’s about it from us! Let us know what you think.
Hemant + Saurabh
Oh, one more thing. Please do let us know what next film we do this deep dive on.