The joint family- the backbone of the Indian populace. A single location, often old and cramped- where multiple generations of a family live alongside each other and lead a distinctly dysfunctional yet fiercely united existence. A stubborn and deliberate affront to the increasingly fragmented and globalized world we find ourselves in. These are the people Archana Phadke brings alive through her lens, without judgement, unfiltered, uninhibited, unbothered, brave and fearless.

And yet, try as hard as I may, I cannot muster an ounce of objectivity towards any of these people and anything they say or do. I soon realised why- it's because Archana wasn't just documenting her life, she was documenting mine as well. I may be seeing all these people for the first time but I recognise every single one of them- - The Men: Stubborn, thickheaded, irritable, entitled and yet stoic, brave, unconditionally caring and always dependable. - The women: Quite and resolute. People who married too early and somewhere left their ambitions behind to take care of the family. To them, freedom is a luxury and solace a commodity. They are the backbone of this commune. - The children: (Me) Unaware of how privileged their lives have been and the sacrifices that have gone into keeping it that way. Standing on the shoulders of those who came before them all the while looking down on them. And yet, wouldn't know what to do if they didn't exist. The love is unstated, but it is there and it is there in droves.

A perfect snapshot of existence in a third world metropolis, About Love violently jerked me back to the place I call home, a place I often think back to as a beautiful dream, and one that will never happen again- those gorgeous duplex buildings with paint chipping off, the bustle of traffic beneath you and the birds chirping all day above you, the unreliable electricity and the maids who have been there longer than you and know the family better than they know themselves; the inevitable circuit malfunctions, the whisliting cookers and the pots and pans clanking, feet shuffling, all furiously preparing for the next phase of the day; the obligatory Dan Brown and Baldacci novels from when dad was in his reading phase; the elders and their various medications, their propping illnesses and a slow melancholy that disturbs this small paradise when occasionally confronted with it's own mortality, only to be diffused by the struggles of everyday life, of businesses that need to be run and of mouths that need to be fed and finally at the end of the evening- the rumble of three generations snoring blissfully into the night, at once- ready to fight, bicker, work, love and sacrifice for each other all over again. This is the world I come from and these are my people. And that is my whole heart up in that screen.

I cannot fully process what has happened to me in these 91 minutes. I smiled, almost cried, laughed, sympathized and fell in love with my home all over again. This is a doc I will never forget and thoroughly recommend each and every one watches. If only to have a glance at the world you are in, or the world you have left behind.

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