A whiff of a soul is what one needs to awaken true love and compassion. Something that goes beyond human temporality and connects with the universe. But what is a soul? Who are we and why are we? Shonali Bose’s “The Sky Is Pink” treads the path of emotional discovery to answer some potent human life questions.
On the surface, it is the story of a girl named Aisha who is born with an acute immuno-deficiency condition. Her parents Aditi and Niren work extremely hard to offer her every ounce of life. They muster as much money as possible and even try to make a long-distance relationship between London and Delhi work, just to save their daughter’s life and raise their son Ishaan in an undisturbed manner.
However, even after they change their financial situation simply with the aim to provide for the family, all they still try to live for is just their children. It’s almost as if they have found a purpose in life. One may argue that this is what a parent normally identifies with, but in my view, the director tries to capture an overarching essence of life in a simplistic parenting setup.
How? As Aisha calls herself the “villain” of the story, she comes as a constant reminder of one’s blessings. The physical breakdown due to her lack of immunity makes her parents realise the importance of their mechanically strong bodies that comply with their plan of bearing children and when. It is also true that Aisha’s condition is shown to be attributed to the flawed gene of her parents but her personal development is what brings about the change.
Her subtly vivacious way of accepting her blemishes and putting her own bodily troubles to the backseat, just so her mom, dad, and brother can see her longer bring tears to the eyes. And not only that, but she also teaches the audience a lesson in sacrifice for loved ones.
Speaking of dear beings, the quiet emotional deluge that Aditi, Niren (in enclosed settings) and Ishaan (at the tube station) suffer portrays true human emotions in real-life adverse situations.
Moreover, Aisha’s paintings and sketches redefine the understanding of love as something that generates pain and the strength to endure it as well, and that it’s not always hunky-dory. Secondly, the characters of Aditi, Niren and, Ishaan beautifully narrate that the most important purpose of life is to live for each other.
Therefore, Bose’s “The Sky Is Pink” presents befitting answers to how and why. Aisha had to stay alive to bind everyone together and the sky has to stay pink because Aditi does not want to kill little Ishaan’s imagination. For as long as you imagine, you are hopeful. And if there is hope, there is a reason to survive.
Such revelations take shape with powerful acting skills showcased especially by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Farhan Akhtar, and Zaira Wasim, and some casual locales and complex situations. Shonali Bose, on the other hand, surprises the audience yet again with her unique artistic perspective after “Margarita With A Straw” (2014) where she had managed to ‘caricature’ more of the inner self.