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How ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ helped us embrace life and its complexities

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Eight years back, filmmaker Zoya Akhtar created magic as well as history by giving cinephiles one of their most cherished films – ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’. The characters, their dialogues and memories associated with this film are still so fresh in our minds. Yes, films like ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (ZNMD) are meant to be experienced and not just watched.

The film is not just a visual treat, but an encyclopedia of life lessons for everyone out there. This was the first time when we saw a commercial film conveying a heart touching story in such a subtle way that it was impossible to not be impressed by its nuances. Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar’s story and screenplay is the real star of this film. The amalgamation of a perfect ensemble cast coupled with a haunting background score and soul-touching songs were like the icing on the cake.

‘ZNMD’ is one of those buddy Road films which showcased how friendship can either make or break our lives. And to be honest, what is the use of this life if we can’t share it with our families and friends? Will our existence even matter in a life devoid of friends? No, right? Imran Qureshi (Farhan Akhtar), Kabir Dewan (Abhay Deol) and Arjun Saluja’s (Hrithik Roshan) friendship might not be the perfect one, but theirs is definitely a real one.

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You all must have come across a friend like Imran, who despite facing several problems in his personal life, is always cracking jokes and making others laugh. I can bet you even have come across a person like Arjun who thinks money is the only answer to all the problems of life. Whereas Kabir is that friend who is always caught between choosing his happiness over others’.

I don’t know if it is a cliche, but a group of three friends has its own charm. You’ll see two people gang up to make fun of the third one. This is their special way of expressing their love. But when it comes to lending their support or fighting for that friend, they won’t leave any stone unturned. And that’s the power of friendship.

Coming to the film’s take on familial relationships, Imran’s (Farhan’s) confrontation with his father Salman (played by Naseeruddin Shah) will always hold a special place in everyone’s heart. It’s so difficult to even think about keeping yourself in Imran’s shoes. But that scene is handled with so much sensitivity that you actually feel the pain of Imran. Interestingly, that scene also teaches you to look at things from other’s perspective as well.

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Out of all the characters in this film, Laila is my personal favourite. She is the human version of the popular phrase ‘Carpe Diem’. Her dialogue – “Mujhe afsos karna nahi aata” – captures how I aspire to live my life. Imagine not refraining from fulfilling your heart’s desire. Now, isn’t that something we all fail to do? Responsibilities, societal pressure, peer pressure, etc. never lets anyone live an ideal life. But Laila is beyond all these things. She does what pleases her heart. Laila is not just a source of happiness, she is happiness herself. The way she makes Arjun realise how chasing money should be the last thing in order to be happy is the most beautiful moment of the film.

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Receiving paychecks, of course, is important but they never brought tears to anyone’s eyes. One never derives peace from monetary gains. Owning expensive things are not the measure of gauging someone’s success.

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‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ is not all about friendship, it’s about familial ties. Shedding one’s fears, embracing love and understanding that the most beautiful things in life are not materialistic things.

This one dialogue of Farhan is my takeaway from this amazing film.

“Jab jab dard ka baadal chaya, jab gham ka saaya lehraya, jab aasoon palkon tak aya, jab yeh tanha dil ghabraya … humne dil ko yeh samjhaya, dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai … duniya mein yunhi hota hai … yeh joh gehre sannate hai, waqt ne sabko hi baante hai … thoda gham hai sabka qissa, thodi dhoop hai sabka hissa … aankh teri bekaar hi namm hai, har pal ek naya mausam hai … kyun tu aise pal khota hai, dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai?”

What’s your greatest takeaway from this film?

Also Read: Instead of remaking films, why can’t Bollywood filmmakers adapt more novels?

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