I’ve been wanting to watch the movie ‘Children of Heaven’ for almost a year now and finally got around to watching it today.While watching the movie, a little thought struck me and before I get to that, let me rewind a bit on the plot.
Ali and Zahra (siblings) end up sharing a pair of sneakers when Ali loses his sister’s shoes on his way back home from the cobbler’s. As simple as it may seem, sharing is not so easy. It comes in way of their everyday life and poses a new challenge with every passing day. And more importantly, the kids are in no position to let anyone know of this little secret. For two reasons – One the scare of getting beaten up by their dad and two, they do understand that their parents cannot afford to buy them a new pair and don’t want them to end up borrowing money in the process. Ali and Zahra do everything in their power to manage the strange situation they’ve been put in. Be it Zahra racing home after school to meet Ali mid way and giving him the sneakers or Ali helping his dad find a gardening job so his dad would eventually have the money to buy Zahra a new pair of shoes – every little effort is just so beautiful. Ali then finds a solution. He decides to participate in a race, where the person who finishes third wins a pair of sneakers. He promises Zahra to finish third for sure. But eventually when Ali comes first, it was not a victory, but a defeat that makes him feel guilty and tearful.
So is it Ali’s fault that he came first or was it Zahra’s fault that she expected so much from her brother?! Ali ends up with blisters and a torn pair of sneakers and Zahra feels disappointed. It made me wonder why sometimes in life we end up not getting what we want, when we want it.
Ali and Zahra both do end up getting new pairs of shoes. There’s a scene where you see their father walking away from the market with two new pairs of shoes stashed in his cycle. But will the shoes be as special for Ali and Zahra? Do we feel good when we get thing we’ve always wanted in life by chance or luck and not with our own efforts? Do we get the same high?
I guess life is not about winning, but about trying hard and cherishing the memories and experiences we get. Because a win might not really be the win we are looking for, while a defeat might really be victory we’ve waited for 🙂