I was around six or seven, when I got introduced to the enigma of romance that Shah Rukh Khan is, with ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’. I remember dancing merrily on ‘Mere Khwabon Mein’ and having day dreams, all a combined effect of fairy tales and the impeccable chemistry of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. I might have been one of those who fervently wished for them to be a couple, only to be disappointed later on.
Then came Karan Johar’s ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, a few years later. Nevertheless, the magic was still the same. The anticipation of watching SRK and Kajol romance each other, coupled with music and cinematography that just took one’s breath away. I watched it, re-watched it, and came back home even more starry-eyed than before. My eight-year-old self was convinced to the tee that if love existed, it was this.
However, time flew and the definition of romance changed. Soon, technology took over, and the hero who used a ladder to enter the heroine’s bedroom, transitioned to WhatsApp and its emoticons, for expression. Still, in the unbidden corners of my heart, the love and romance of Karan Johar’s debut directorial beat like the first sight of love.
Social media became more and more conspicuous, and in the times of feminism, soon there were stories of how flawed the plots of yesteryear romances were. How could the romance of my dreams be spared? The plot of ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ was torn apart, Rahul was deemed a selfish man for falling in love with the perfect woman, leaving behind his tomboyish best friend, and falling in love with the latter, eight years later, when he is a widower and when she has fit into the module of a perfect woman. To top it all, even Karan Johar came out and said that he was not proud of what he had created then.
I was heartbroken. When the man who created this romance could not believe in what he had given birth to, how could I? But then, I watched Rahul and Anjali fight and make up. I cheered when Rahul the playboy confessed his love for Tina, in her room, as he bowed down to her. Eight years later on the celluloid, my heart soared again when Rahul and Anjali danced in the rain, under the shade of gazebo, to the tunes of piano. I watched two best friends realising that they have always been in love, only too naive to notice the same. How could something so perfect be flawed? As much as I wanted to be the woman of today and take a stance, I could not help being the starry-eyed girl and be in love with the movie.
Yes, Rahul fell in love with Anjali after she had metamorphosised into the typical definition of a woman. But maybe, he could have fallen for her even if she had not changed. Maybe, the love was always there on a deeper level, but it surfaced only in the mature years. Maybe, the person was destined to fall in love twice; once, with the woman who made him feel the pangs of first love, and second with the woman who was always there to laugh and cry with him as a best friend. Her absence drilled an empty hole inside his heart, never to be filled by anyone else, and that was how he realised his love for her, later in life. Destiny plays weird games, doesn’t it?
Yes, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ had its flaws, and maybe it is not as perfect in today’s world of revolutions, but it was magic, just like love, and it flowed just as perfectly. Maybe this time, I won’t agree with Karan Johar. This time, I will root for the story that he deems silly and delusional. This was the story that defined love for me, and always will.
Rahul, Anjali and Tina may not have been perfect, but they gave my generation the ultimate definition of love; “Pyaar, Dosti Hai,” and we, the hopelessly romantic, will agree to it, every single time.