Kaira hears Jug speaking at a conference on mental health awareness, and she decides to meet him. At the conference, Dr. Jehangir talks about wearing torn jeans, and says that some people might think his wearing of those jeans to be crazy, but it might also be the case that he needs a good stylist. This also explains why whenever Kaira is dressed in jeans, those are torn (popularly called as boyfriend jeans). It is because she needs a stylist, a metonym for a psychiatrist. Kaira goes for a session with Dr. Jehangir Khan, where he tells her that he is called Jug, and then, he offers her a glass of water from the jug lying on the table. His name Jug is a representation of that jug. Like the jug that gives water, Jug offers advice and counselling to those who come to him.
Jug is like the jug
At some point in the film, Kaira's friend Raunaq quotes William Faulkner, "The past is never dead, in fact, it’s not even the past." It means that our past memories affect our present. Our past experiences are a significant part of how we turn out to be now. So, our past is not really dead. It is very much alive in our thoughts, in our actions, and in our personality. Think about it, this quote is also the premise of Dear Zindagi. Kaira's memories of her childhood have affected the way she is right now. She cannot form long-term relationships with her suitors because she is afraid they will leave her, like her parents left her when she was a six-year old girl. Her abandonment issues affect how she is kind to children, like the time, when she gave her plate of noodles to the street kid. Her past is an important part of her present, hence, the quote by Faulkner rings true.
link). I have another line of thought related to it. Jug had personal issues where he seemed sad by the state of things in his life. He was divorced, and missed his son and was worried that he will not leave happy memories for him. Perhaps, that is why young kids came to him with their problems as they reminded him of his son. I think Jug was also going for some kind of therapy. Or, something else was going on with him, like some medical issue. For instance, he cancelled one of the sessions with Kaira, and he did not tell her where he was. We never get to know where he was. He also seemed a little lost that day. It was that day he said to Kaira that their last session was soon approaching. All this points to some event in his life, and possibly, he too had started liking her, and was trying to avoid her. Eventually, in the end, the chair also creaked. At an earlier point, he told Kaira that the chair only creaked when you liked someone but could not do anything about it. The chair did not creak earlier when he used to sit, but after Kaira leaves, it creaks when he sits on it, almost confirming that he had started liking her. Perhaps, his own therapist advised him to get out of it. I am speculating but the chair creaking was a sign of his liking of Kaira. And after all, he is a jug, not a chair, so he really won't fit with Kaira.
Eye DropsIt is always wonderful to see Alia Bhatt in any film. She has always been a pleasure to watch. She is excellent throughout the film. With no disrespect to hard work, I think some people are truly gifted. When she has a near meltdown in front of her parents, it is quite reminiscent of her breakdown in Highway. When she cries and tells her childhood story, the scene was again quite similar to the one in Highway where she tells Mahabir her story. When she narrates the story of her unread letters, she breaks down, and even the country's biggest superstar is moved. She is a cinematographer, a rare profession for women. I thought about it a lot if her profession has something to do with creating memories. In the beginning, Kaira shoots the scene of a woman who is looking at some other boy, while hugging her boyfriend, inspired from Kaira's own life. She has a lot of pictures, and in fact, Alka refers to her boyfriends using pictures. She remembers her shy doll Shaira, and Kiddo's Tinkle comics. She collects interesting stuff like a cotton candy maker. In her dream as well, she talks about her camera. She struggles to come up with happy memories of her childhood, perhaps, that drove her to her profession.
There is an interesting scene when she is eating vada paav with Fattie, who tells her that Raghu got engaged. She seems to be crying, so, she eats a lot of chillies, and says that her tears are due to chillies. It is later that Jug tells, "Rona, gussa, nafrat kuch bhi khul kar express nahi karne diya. Ab pyaar kaise express karein?" and we get to know how she had struggled to express her emotions during the chilli scene. The film also touches upon Kaira's obsessive compulsive disorder of putting things in the wrong position, like the cushion, the little auto rickshaw in her house, or the refrigerator magnets. She used to always put them in a disorderly way, though it is unclear to me if that was a problem due to her psychological issues or just another quirk. Also, she had a habit of breaking and running into things, while Jug had the habit of fixing things.The film's subject and its star power would help in a little more acceptance of therapy, though taboos will remain. At one point, Alka tells Kaira if a brain doctor can solve our problems, then, everyone should go to a brain doctor for help. Kaira asks Raunaq whether he goes to his dimaag ka doctor so that he can tell everyone that he is gay. He says he goes not to tell others but to tell it to him, "Taaki main khud ko bata sakun ki main gay hun." In an earlier moment, he had said, "Pagal kaun nahi hai," like the Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland, who had said, "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." Kaira has her own 'down the rabbit hole' fall in her dream. At some point earlier, she tells Raghu that she drinks only on two occasions, when she is in love, and when she is not, as if she is in some kind of a fantasy wonderland, where this time paradox could be possible. It should be normal to ask for help if the most important organ in the body that controls everything else is not functioning properly. Interestingly, the film also has a version of Aye Zindagi Gale Laga La from Sadma, which was also based on a mental disorder. The film also touches briefly on parenting, career choices, marriage, and relationships.
No Easy DayWhile watching Dear Zindagi, I mentally started answering the questions Jug asks Kaira. He tells her the study based on the size of the human brain, which actually, is a well-researched theory (link). Kaira names her five closest people, and I loved it that she included Alka. Fattie and Jackie are also such great friends of Kaira. They, really, form her support system. So, I started thinking about my support system. At some other point, Jug asks Kaira about her happiest childhood memory, and I thought about my own childhood memory. And, we all have done the same thing that Kaira does; she writes a text, hesitates to send it, instead sends another text to someone (her ex-boyfriend) instead of the person she wanted to text in the first place.
Wonderful to see the film giving credits to the cast of its deleted scenes
Ki And Ka
Jug reads Ha Ha Therapy and Sigmund Freud
Dialogue of the Day:
"Don't let the past blackmail your present into ruining a beautiful future."
—Dr. Jehangir Khan, Dear Zindagi