Discussion Post: What Would Our Favorite Characters be Doing During Quarantine?

I like fanfic and imagination, hopefully you do too, either reading it or writing it. Anyway, I like this thought experiment! What are all our favorite fantasy people doing right now?

Harry from Jab Harry Met Sejal

I picture him back in Frankfurt in the little 2 room plus balcony apartment with Sejal. He starts out just wanting to sit and be with her, but then starts to get a little too bleak and thinky, so she badgers him in to making some food to share with their neighbors in the building, leaving it outside their doors. This quickly expands and his hospitality skills come into play, before long he is coordinating a whole neighborhood response team for all needs, food delivery for shut ins, mask making and donating, even a spontaneous concert in the street just to cheer people up. It distracts both him and Anushka from worrying about their income, and family back in India, plus it helps inspire him to get serious about the book he wants to write. He thought he could write better when he just did nothing all day, but turns out being very active and helping others inspires him more.

Watch: 'Radha' song from Shah Rukh Khan's film 'Jab Harry Met Sejal'

Suri from Rab Ne Bana di Jodi

Suri’s job is essential, so he spends long hours every day on the frontlines, making sure electricity keeps flowing. All the office workers are doubling as lineman, he has to go out in the streets and look at wires that have been cut or electricity illegally stolen. He also is on the team at the company that worked out how to delay payments for customers and figure out a way to keep their power flowing. Anushka sends him off to work every day with lunch and dinner in case he can’t get home, and then spends her day sewing masks and packing lunches that Bobby delivers around the neighborhood. Bobby, of course, has moved in with them during quarantine as his shop has shut down.

Reviewing Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi In 2020

St. Theresas from the Student of the Year movies

The campus is shut down of course and most of the students sent home. The principal held firm that some hostels have to remain open for students who can’t go home, although the board didn’t like it. As the board increasingly becomes hands off, retreating to their mansions or vacation homes, the principal and staff begin to do more for their students without asking permission. They stop charging hostel fees for the kids stuck on campus and begin holding in person mini-classes for them, along with organizing social events and just generally helping their life be as easy as possible. They send materials to the scholarship students (laptops, internet drives) to help them do distance learning. Eventually the principal makes an executive decision to shut down almost all the campus and turn it over as shelter for migrant workers and laborers, keeping only the library and the hostel reserved for skeleton staff and students. He also raids the massive athletics budget to keep paying the maintenance staff, and then to start paying for the kitchens to open and make food packets he delivers to the neighborhood. The board finds out eventually and is furious and about to fire him, but is defeated when a group of St. Theresas graduates work together to break a massive internet story about the good the school is doing and force the board to pretend they knew all along.

Welcome to St. Teresa High School - Student Of The Year - Sidharth  Malhotra, Varun Dhawan - YouTube

Kaali from Dilwale

He is already in a perfect little co-quarantine bubble situation. He and Kajol live in the same house with Varun and Kriti, plus their best friends Shakti and Anwar are right down the street. Even the garage business isn’t much affected, it can be carried out almost entirely No Contact (folks can just leave their cars with the keys to be picked up and dropped off). Shakti and Anwar’s cafe, and Kajol’s restaurant, all have to be shut down, but the garage can keep everyone going, they’ve been through tough times before. Of course they also go out and perform free of charge repairs to anyone who needs them, supported by total price gauging for the expensive custom jobs they are doing for the rich folks.

Dilwale new poster: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan's  new still will make your wait EXCRUCIATING! - Bollywood News & Gossip,  Movie Reviews, Trailers & Videos at Bollywoodlife.com

The Happy New Year Gang

Whole gang! Deepika would organize her Naach hall crew into a food packet kitchen and distribution center, and keep up her dance classes through video online. Boman would fuss and complain, but go around and buy groceries and supplies for all the elderly shut ins at the Parsi home. Sonu Sood would organize his movie crew to go around and do handihelp where it is needed, everything from fixing storm drains to leak roofs, all the construction jobs that folks can’t afford to pay for, or can’t find anyone willing to do. Vivaan would design a simple easy platform for his old school to use so the kids can do virtual classes, and then start offering it for free to other elementary schools all over the world, and spend all day maintaining it. Charlie of course would claim not to care and think only about himself, but inevitably be drawn into helping all his friends with their projects, from driving the truck for Deepika’s food deliveries, to helping Boman track down obscure spices the old ladies want, to being part of Sonu’s crew when he needs an extra hand, and of course secretly buying thousands of laptops to be distributed to the kids using Vivaan’s program.

Happy New Year: Review – NEWZALICIOUS

Okay, who are your characters that you wonder what they would be doing? Or that you think you know what they would be doing and want to share? Or do you disagree with my imaginings?

11 thoughts on “Discussion Post: What Would Our Favorite Characters be Doing During Quarantine?

  1. The easiest characters for me to imagine in quarantine, I think because they already seem so real, are Dhruv and Kavya from Little Things. I picture them in that category of people who were doing a functional long distance thing on the assumption that they could pop over and visit each other when it got too hard. Only now everything is shut down and it’s only distance, calls, and video chats. Dhruv’s university project in…where was it? Norway? is secure but he’s having to try collaborating, mostly with people he doesn’t know well, across cultural boundaries, and now without being able to share the same space or bond over casual meals and drinks. He’s struggling a bit but also feeling guilty because he knows so many people have it worse right now. He’s calling his mom more than ever, trying to convince her not to go out unnecessarily and to take precautions. Kavya, meanwhile, is able to see her parents and have responsible outdoors chats with friends now that she’s back in her home city. But work is really precarious. The company’s business has taken a big hit and there’s talk they might start cutting regional offices like hers. Neither of them can decide if they made the right choice. Both wish they were holed up with the other person, but they also can’t imagine what the other person would be doing where they’re living now (meaning Kavya in Norway or Dhruv in Nagpur) to stay fulfilled and happy.

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    • Oh wow, that’s it exactly! As soon as you said that, I could picture it. And the end result too, they would get more and more sad and lonely apart from each other, Dhruv even though he had his work and Kavya even though she had her parents and friends. And the end of it would be Dhruv catching a flight to Nagpur. Because the reality is that his work can travel, but Kavya’s parents can’t. And also, because that’s what more and more people are doing now (like, for instance, you!), realizing that they are working from home so they can work anywhere, and it’s worth it to go be with the people you love. And maybe the final episode of the season would be Kavya and Dhruv traveling into Bombay for the day to close up their apartment as they acknowledge that they will be staying with Kavya’s parents for the foreseeable future.

      On Sun, Aug 30, 2020 at 11:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. How about Taapsee at the end of Thappad? I think she has taken the divorce settlement and set up her own place with the baby and was starting to think about what she would do with her life, but the quarantine caused her to move back in with her parents. She is helping to keep them safe by taking on the tasks that involve interacting with people outside the household, while her parents help with the baby. At first this gave her a sense of purpose, but after six months she’s starting to feel like she’s just sinking back into comfort and passivity. It makes her sulk and lash out, until one night she argues with her mother over scolding the baby for running away, falling down, and dirtying her clothes. Taapsee realizes she’s afraid she won’t know how to set an example for her daughter of the free and powerful woman she wants her to be. She still can’t really do much about it, everything is shut down, but she makes peace with her mother and starts making plans for herself.

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    • Yes, I love this too! I want more of these from you!

      We just have to throw in Taapsee’s ex as well. I think she wouldn’t be so cruel as to keep him from his daughter during quarantine. So she is balancing meeting with him for supervised baby time with all her other responsibilities. And maybe the end result is partly realizing she can lean on him. He has been offering all along to take the daughter for a few hours each day and she has been resisting, only trusting her parents (with her nearby) or herself with the baby. Part of the reason she blows up at her Mom is because she had to turn down a job offer from nice Dia (not a big job, just a few hours each day helping her with scheduling clients and things) since she didn’t think she could trust anyone else with the baby. But after fighting with her Mom about “control”, she realizes she has to learn to give up control too. And she sets up a schedule of baby care, she will work from her room at her parents’ house while her parents or her ex take care of the baby for 4 hours every afternoon. We end with the parents handling the baby hand off while Taapsee happily sits in the other room talking on the phone and introducing herself as “associate account coordinator” or something. Her life is back on track after all.

      On Sun, Aug 30, 2020 at 11:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. If the only kids stuck on St. Teresa’s campus are the scholarship kids, that’s gotta include Sid then, right? Must be terrible for his mental health.

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    • But so much better than being stuck home with his horrible family!

      I was thinking it would be all the kids whose family doesn’t really love them. So, Sid’s family wouldn’t want to risk infection by bringing him home. Alia’s family might be traveling and forget about her. And so on. All of them would be in a bad mental place, and the principal (Rishi or the other guy) would sincerely feel responsible for their welfare and start bending the rules a lot to make it easier for them, and then start thinking about the people in the wider community. Picture bonding between a young migrant worker sent away from his family so that he can succeed and earn for all of them, bonding with a young St. Teresa’s student who was also sent away from their family in order to find success and pay back their sacrifices.

      Also, if this is in the Rishi version, could quarantine be where he and coach finally get together? Coach’s wife and son would of course be separating from him while he keeps working, meaning Coach and Rishi would be all alone, sharing quarters, things could happen.

      On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 3:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Can’t resist: Naina and Bunny from YJHD. They’re already broken up by the time the pandemic hits. A year after the end of the movie, Bunny cheated on her with his boss while he was on location, and Naina kicked him out. The pandemic brings a new sense of purpose and urgency to Naina’s life. She’s working harder than she ever has before, treating patients at her clinic and trying to be a voice for science in the community to keep people safe. She had been feeling regrets, wishing she had children, but this time is really hard and she starts to believe that everything happened the way it did for a reason. She can devote her full self to her community and hopefully come out the other side free of the voice in her head that second guessed her decisions.

    Bunny’s show is shut down for the foreseeable future. No one is traveling, there is no way to safely film a travel program. He’s stuck in the small apartment in Frankfurt he had rented just as a crash pad. He’s forced to stop and face the loneliness of the life he’s created by sabotaging all his close relationships. Aditi tries to help but she’s kind of sick of him and angry about what he did to Naina (plus she has two kids under age 3 so she has her hands full). The one who ultimately reaches out a hand to help Bunny is Avi. He’s stabilized a bit and quit gambling but he’s still alone and worried the isolation will drive him to relapse into drinking. Bunny comes to Delhi and moves in with Avi. He ends up working a bit in Avi’s new venture, a personal training and wellness business. Bunny gets the finances organized and sets it up on an online platform so Avi can keep it going during the shutdown. The online classes end up providing a place of community for other people stuck in isolation by themselves, and Bunny watches as Avi uses his strengths to support and help others. He realizes how Avi only ever needed Bunny’s friendship and time, not his charity, and how much Bunny has missed out by not being more present and benefiting from Avi’s empathy and hard won wisdom.

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    • Love all of this, only gonna add a few things. First, I want Dips to have a little more work-life balance, or at least the promise of work-life balance. I don’t have a super clear vision of what that would look like, but I’ll give you a few options.

      Dips does work at a migrant worker camp where she sees an old grandma and two little girls. The Grandma gets COVID and has to be isolated, Dips takes in the two little girls at her apartment, Grandma recovers and Dips moves her in with them, the end result is Dips realizing she can have children and family like she wanted, just in a different way.

      Rana, Dips almost-fiance, reappears as a COVID patient. He is recovering at home and self-isolating, but his family is worried about him and calls on Dips as a doctor and an old friend and asks her to check on him. She starts going around once a day to talk and play socially distance games and they slowly become close again.

      Dips and Avi have remained very good friends all these years, she quietly encouraged him without enabling him, or letting his addiction take over her life. Avi reached out to her before he thought of bringing Ranbir home because he felt a loyalty to their friendship and wanted to give her a heads up. She was sincerely impressed with Avi’s kindness and thoughtfulness and proud to be his friend and told him so. This was the start of a new footing for their friendship, suddenly not seeing each other in person, just writing emails or talking on the phone, they were able to go deeper in their talks than ever before, to discover they were both great readers, and enjoyed writing poetry for fun, and thought about the problems of the world, and cared deeply for friends and family, and so on. And Dips was finally able to tell Avi how much she admired him for overcoming his addictions, and Avi told Dips how impressed he was with her clinic work, and so on. Ranbir saw they were falling in love and tried to help which ended up hurting and slowing things down a lot as they both suddenly became self-conscious, but then Dips was very brave and sent him a copy of a book they had discussed and things got back on track. Maybe, at some point in the future when things were normal again, they could meet in person and see how they really felt.

      And second, Ranbir’s boss was way too classy to sleep with him, I think more likely some new production assistant young bright thing type, a break for Dips’ intelligence and seriousness. Ranbir would even put it like that, try to throw the blame back on Dips for being too unfun for any man to put up with, thus Dips reluctance to try any other romance and urge to throw herself into her work.

      Oh, and you may have already meant this, but I want Avi’s lifestyle fitness thing to be a thinly disguised rehab support group program. Not okay to say “I am going to AA”, okay to say “I am trying to live a healthier life”, you know? But Avi has fitness groups that start with people talking about healthy changes they have made in day to day life, and where they are given tasks every day to keep them on track, and tools to live better, and really just rehab.

      On Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 9:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • 1. Definitely Rana! Healthier for Naina to break out of that group, keep them as friends but with new people in the mix.

        2. Doesn’t have to be the boss but Bunny doesn’t seem like the cradle robber type either – the one good thing about his character is he seems to be attracted to smart and age appropriate women. Let’s call her a local contact on one of his locations. She’s fun and different and shows him all kinds of cool, secret spots and they end up going home together from the last bar.

        3. Yes, exactly. Avi isn’t the yuppie, skinny girl type. He attracts as clients all the misfits on their tenth attempt to make a positive change, and ends up tending to their minds and hearts as much as their bodies.

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