Is Akash lying?

Akash is a talented piano player. But the main character in this film has a bigger talent. He understands probabilities and risks. He lives in a rent controlled building in a nice locality. He is able bodied and it would be bad if he is found out. But, what are the odds? Once he meets Sophie, he stops wearing contacts to appear blind. He continues acting blind just wearing sunglasses. It would be bad if he is found out. But, what are the odds? There’s plenty of evidence for this risk taking behavior throughout the story. In one of the scenes he’s shown sitting flipping a coin. He thinks he is smarter than the average Joe, he thinks he can take the average Joe for a ride.

The story of the film actually begins at the end.

It’s a long story, coffee?

This line appears towards the end when Sophie accidentally (for the second time) meets Akash in Poland in 2020. Think of the entire story as Akash convincing Sophie how he’s a blind Pianist in 2020.

Akash thinks he’s smarter than the average Joe. Akash thinks he’s smarter than Sophie. Sophie finds out his secret when he was living in India. He can come clean the second time, but he won’t. Akash will play the odds and thinks he can beat Sophie this time around. From his perspective, he used to be a blind pianist, only Sophie finds out, now he is a blind pianist again, and only Sophie needs to be convinced he’s blind. So he weaves a story off the cuff. When the film ends, Sophie is convinced. Akash wins the skirmish.

Compulsive risk takers hate playing safe. They like flirting with danger and push close to getting caught. Akash’s story is riddled with inconsistencies. Some of the smaller ones appear early in his narration. He has a his and her coffee cup. In the scenes where Simi is visiting him, the coffee cups in his tray keep swapping. There are two wine glasses by his bed when Sophie walks in. His police statement reads 2017. But the narration is happening two years later in 2020. The bigger ones appear towards the end. Most people have noticed the tree frame. The doctor and him drive way past the first time. But, when he recaps the story, Simi overpowers the doctor by the tree.

Also pay attention to how the shot is framed between first and second time. Initially the camera is closer to Akash’s face in the car. The next time it’s positioned such that the doctor is closer to the viewer. He is talking mostly, he is convincing why Akash should go for the deal. Little elements like this make this a fun film. Another example is where Murali is convincing Sakku that stealing both kidneys is wrong. While wearing a t shirt that says wrong spelt wrong. Very early in the film, Pramod sees a comment on YouTube from someone in Denmark. To which Simi makes a Hamlet reference. In the story several characters die. Like Hamlet. It’s even implied that Manohar gets injured/dies from ricocheted bullet in the elevator.

But the standout inconsistency to me is this one. They are supposed to be driving towards Mumbai airport. But the signpost that rabbit sits by… reads Pune. They are driving towards Pune. When Simi takes the wheel and turns around to run Akash over, she is driving towards Mumbai. When was the last time you heard of a Rabbit causing a car to lose control and end up in a fatal crash. That makes no sense, he shouldn’t be leaving those breadcrumbs. May be inspired by The Usual Suspects, he chooses to weave a rabbit in his story. There is correlation between his cane and rabbit saving his life. There is no causal ordering. It could very well be the other way. Sophie should catch these sloppy bits in his narrative. But, what are the odds?

His objective is to convince Sophie. Take a step back, did he actually lose his vision and then either got his vision back from Simi, or Murali, or someone else? Did he lose his vision at all? He is living the life of a blind pianist in a new place, the only person he needs to make his story consistent with is Sophie. He needs to tell her a story explaining how he’s blind again. That’s it. It’s us, the viewers that are extending it to, he actually went blind and somehow regained vision. Occam’s Razor my friends.

Some things are best left unfinished


Growing up in middle class India, I remember people only buying new clothes for an occasion. It’s mostly for the main festivals (5 ish per year?), your birthday and probably to attend weddings of close relatives. With accessibility and technology, shopping for clothes has taken off like never before. Dressing well boosts your confidence, new garments give you a temporary dose of happiness.

The human brain is a wonderful organ, but it comes with its fair share of heuristics/biases. Ever wondered why good looking, well groomed people often get away with a lot of things, or relatively easily persuade people to do things for them? It’s called the Halo Effect and we are all susceptible to it. While it’s hard to improve one’s looks (outside of going under a knife), focusing on presentation goes a long way in influencing other people’s heuristics in your favor.

Here’s what I have thought in the last few years, I do not think I am an authority on men’s fashion. I still want to pen my thoughts for posterity.

Steer clear of Fast Fashion

Your self confidence should not have to ride on under age or under compensated laborers working in poor conditions. Pay attention to the brands you shop at. Fast Fashion brands have business models that are ecologically unsustainable. They constantly make you feel you are behind the latest trend, that’s how they make money. The clothes you throw away end in land fills. Donating your clothes does not absolve you, your fast fashion clothes ultimately end up in landfills down the line.

You may think your fashion sense is all you, but fast fashion brands are in the business of influencing what you think is currently fashionable.

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” – Chuck Palahniuk

You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world. Indeed.

Be cognizant of the number of wears you get out of each item you are purchasing. Most often more expensive items return a higher number of wears (keeping cost per wear same as or below cheaper alternatives). Your mind tricks you into buying the cheaper alternative, but you end up tossing it sooner.

Your body is not advertisement real estate

I avoid items with conspicuous logos or branding. This is another delicate matter. You want people to think you are well dressed, but a lot of people are conditioned to associate certain brands with some notion of well dressed. Nudge your friends and family to get out of the brand name mentality. You should not be paying good money to buy an apparel and also provide free publicity to the brand. It’s tacky. It’s not always possible to avoid brand labels, I am okay wearing those items from brands that are not fast fashion or at least have ecologically sustainable business practices.

Seek to understand

Now you know you are susceptible to cognitive biases. Before you judge someone based on their presentation, seek to understand what their point of view is. Some people just don’t care how they present themselves. Some people may be trying to avoid Ego Depletion and putting on the same grey t shirt each morning. Of course, a grey t shirt is out of place in a formal setting. How a person chooses to dress to work is not the complete story of one’s dressing sense at all. However, if the said person shows up in tracks, athletic sneakers and a hoody to work you are welcome to judge.

But what goes with what

After a certain age, graphic printed t shirts, music band t shirts and sports jerseys don’t go a lot of places. If you are wondering how to pair colors, just google for primary/secondary color chart and you will find plenty of results. It’s not rocket science.

There’s something beyond just apparel

Wrist watch

Wear a good time piece, do not look at your phone or computer to tell the time. Designer wrist watches are not good time pieces. They’re the fast fashion equivalent.


Carry two clean handkerchiefs always. One for you, and one for the lady. Always place the handkerchief back in the same pocket it came from. Always offer the clean handkerchief to others. Never ask for your handkerchief back. It’s mildly satisfying to offer a clean handkerchief to someone in need of one.

And lastly

Wear a smile and keep your wits close at hand.