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I’ve always been fascinated with Greece. This stems from my love for mythological stories. The stories of ancient India & ancient Greece run parallel. I love connecting dots between the two.

Recently, I was taken by surprise when a Greek friend of mine sent me a mail, drawing comparisons between modern Greece & contemporary India. Surprised, because Greece is a European country & India is still a struggling nation from the third world. Moreover, it was a refreshing that in today’s divisive times, someone out there is looking for things that unite us. What made this mail such a delight was that his observations were based on ‘The Lunchbox’- the movie.

It was so heart warming that there’s someone across the ocean, in a different continent going through same dilemma. Fascinatingly, the bridge that brought us together is a story, ‘The Lunchbox’, a story that both of us liked for the same reasons.

How lucky is Ritesh Batra, to be the one telling this story! How I envy him!

Anyway, here’s the mail from my Greek friend, which brought so much joy to me:

(He had followed this with a little note suggesting that I watch ‘Mary & Max’. I did & now I recommend the same).

Hi Kirti, How are you? Is it cold in India as well 🙂 ? I treated an Indian friend with my mother’s spanakopita but he was not as fascinated as you 🙂 We will see how you like it 🙂 We were watching the Indian film “The Lunchbox” one month ago with friends- have you seen it?- and I realized once more what we Greeks have in common with Indians: Love of food, strong family traditions, ancient civilization. We may even share the negative side these characteristics offer 🙂 eg when we were watching “The Lunchbox” my wife , who is from Lithuania, found it amusing that Indians are as picky as Greeks are with food. I prefer to look for the common ground in all people and the things that unite us. I try to remember how relative things are. How one thing that is rude in one country is polite in another, how a principle that was taken for granted 100 years ago, is now considered ridiculous Looking forward to hearing from you

Dimitris, Athens

This mail is more relevant now, than last month when I got it. No, not because ‘The Lunchbox’ has won a BAFTA nomination, but because of all that happened last week globally- Firing in France, Boko Haram slaughtering 100 people, in India leaders shelling out hate speech. Such a gloomy scenario, & then this mail comes in like a dash of rosy pink, telling us that it’s not that difficult to love each other, when we know each others’ stories.

All we need to do is to talk to each other to realize that beneath all those superficial differences of region & religion we all are just the same.

I wish there were more people like Dimitris, looking for things that untie us. I wish there were more movies like ‘The Lunchbox’ giving us the platform to initiate that dialogue.

Have you also ever felt this way? Found a link of familiarity in an unlikely quarter?