On turning 30!

No I’m not turning 30! I just turned 27 in December! Though I’m sure I would be close to having a similar crisis when I’m about to turn 30!

I watched this movie called ‘Turning 30’ – it’s a Hindi movie about a woman (Gul Panag) who is (obviously) turning 30. Her perfect life suddenly gets messed up 2 weeks before her birthday – her long term boyfriend breaks up with her to marry someone else and she’s at the verge of losing a job she loves and does well! The movie chronicles her journey – dealing with heartbreak and loneliness, the pressure to get married, dealing with office politics and favoritism, and most importantly, accepting that life is not going to turn out the way she had expected.  Here are my thoughts after watching the movie…

She works in an advertising agency – she works really hard, loves her job and is really good at it! However, she doesn’t get credit for her work on multiple projects. I really liked how she doesn’t give up on her hard work and doesn’t ‘let go’ – she fights to get due credit for her work at the ad agency. What I didn’t understand was – why does she give up on the job when it’s offered to her in the end? I agree that she is doing something else she’s happy with in the short term, but wasn’t that advertising job her long term dream/ goal?

When she’s crying over her lost relationship and dealing with all the loneliness and pain, I could totally relate to the frustration and helplessness. However, I feel that sometimes, loneliness is the price we pay to achieve our dreams of becoming professionally successful and living an independent life and making it big. It reminds me of this cartoon. I’m not trying to say here that a happy personal life or a successful career for a woman should be mutually exclusive, but it does end up being true sometimes! I wish women were also treated as ‘human beings’ who have the right to be ambitious and yet have a happy personal life! One of these should not come at the cost of another – anyway, that’s a different post for another day!

pamper-cartoon.jpg?w=600Another aspect that struck a chord with me was how she realizes over time that the solution to heartbreak is not another man! You need to cry and face grief and loneliness to get over a relationship, and you can’t be ready for another one before you are over your ex. And I liked that she doesn’t commit to Jai until she’s ready in spite of pressure from friends and family!

And oh the pressure to get married because you’re turning 30! Even the household help who cleans and cooks for her says ‘Ab doosre vale bhaiya se shaadi kar lena’ (translated to ‘Now, you should marry this second guy’). Apart from all this external pressure, I wonder if there is also some internal pressure, the desire to get married and settle down! But what if life doesn’t work out according to plan!

I think what annoyed me about the movie was the pressure on women to look good according to the societal standards. So she’s this good-looking, thin, well-dressed, confident urban woman. Yet, suddenly, there’s talk about sagging breasts because she’s turning 30. And how she will need to get a boob job after a few years to keep her husband happy! Really?

And yes, I was surprised at the insane amount of alcohol and cigarettes she smokes! Oh well!

Finally, Jai (Purab Kohli) was so cute and irresistible! He is my fantasy come true  – a photographer, really good looking and totally in love with her! And they have both a history and some awesome chemistry! But I still felt that she rushes into the idea of marrying him! Granted that he’s an old flame, but they are barely together after a break of four years.. It’s a different story to date and be in a relationship, but can you really decide to get married so soon?!! Well, maybe I have become commitment-phobic!

The end was happy and inspiring, she finally grows up and learns to deal with life and accept that she’s over 30 now! It was nice to see her not giving up on what she believes in and stand strongly by her choices and decisions! All in an all, it was a decent movie.. The movie could have been made better, but I liked it for what it was.. I’m not a harsh critic and usually tend to focus on the plot and the people and their emotions!

The take home message for me was that we all need to realize and accept that sometimes, life can be hard and hurt like hell. There are horrible days that suck the life out of you, but there are also days that are good and bring lots of smiles and happiness, and we just need to learn to accept both and deal with them!

Song on my mind – Kabira from Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani

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8 Responses to On turning 30!

  1. I don’t understand why there is the assumption that after 30, life is downhill. Not just in India…not sure if you watched FRIENDS but there’s an episode on how them turning 30 and how badly each one of them handles it!

    As for the stuff you’ve said about the movie, well, I do agree that there is first an external pressure to get married (particularly for women) and somehow over time, we begin to put the pressure on to ourselves. I realised mid last year that I had inadvertently been putting pressure on myself to find someone because my three closest friends were in different stages of relationships and I was the only single one. I think once I realised that, I focused on just expanding my social group and well, went on a few dates and experienced life I suppose. I am still quite happy with being 30 and single and not thinking of it at the end of the world or that I need to find someone. If someone comes along, great. But if not, I have a pretty damn good life filled with its ups and downs. 🙂

    • kinmin says:

      I used to watch Friends, and I remember the episode you’re talking about.. In my mind, the assumption is not that life will go downhill post 30, but that when I turn 30, I would have crossed half of my ‘productive years’ of life (considering I retire around 60) and would like to have something to show for it.. in the sense that this is what I wanted to do with my life, and this is what I accomplished by the time I turned 30! Saying it out loud does sound crazy! Oh well!

      Regarding the whole getting married scenario, maybe one of the reasons is that when most of your friends are getting married/ having kids, you don’t have much in common with them and start to feel left out.. or that it’s harder to find single guys as you grow older..
      I saw this ted talk sometime last year.. http://www.ted.com/talks/meg_jay_why_30_is_not_the_new_20.html
      and I read this article (http://english.globalrencai.com/do-not-marry-before-age-30/) – the link is not working right now, and I couldn’t find another version of this!
      Another interesting article I found today – http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/women-in-their-20s-shouldnt-feel-bad-about-wanting-a-boyfriend/273737/

      I agree with your point about exploring your personality and growing as a person, rather than focusing on finding someone! Will definitely try to implement it in my life! 🙂

  2. agrotay says:

    I saw this movie long ago … dont remember it so fresh … but yeah somethings
    Your observation about career and happy life being exclusive … applies to men also to a certain extent … I have been working now for almost 12 years … and observing friends etc … mostly people do get to a certain life … but after that choices need to be made .. look at Investment Bankers … they might be flush with money … but they dont have a fulfilling family life
    And 30 is just a number … I will be 35 by end of this year … so what? As long as a person is happy in their life … thats what matters in the end…the society would never stop putting pressure … get married … have kids … its never ending .. its the individual … i decide at what point i draw a line and decide to live my life my way … doing things that give me happiness 🙂

    • kinmin says:

      Hi Agrotay, welcome to my blog! 🙂
      I meant career and happy life being mutually exclusive for a woman in the sense that women are expected either to have a successful career or be stay-at-home or have low pressure jobs and have a happy family life.. because a lot of men find successful and ambitious women intimidating and it would be nice for women to have the opportunity to have both!
      I agree with you about deciding to draw a line and choose to do what makes you happy! 🙂

  3. Laura Sgroi says:

    I saw that movie couple months before turning 30 and I loved it! Great inspiration for my upcoming book!

  4. kinmin says:

    Hi Laura! I wish the answer was yes, but I’m not writing at this point! For now, I’m just trying to blog regularly and attempting to write flash fiction stories! Hopefully, someday, I will write a book! 🙂 Hugs to you too!
    We should definitely keep in touch! My email is kinminsworld@gmail.com, please feel free to write to me!

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