This story originally appeared as a blogpost by Kakul Gautam on www.hyperbolemuch.blogspot.com.
(Back-story: Fellow Shahrukh lover, Shaoli asked me to write this letter to convince her friends who never understood the magic of DDLJ. This may be from her, from me or from all of us who've known and loved this movie.)
I was 9 when I first watched this movie. I knew more about love then, than I do now.
I’ve seen the world since. I've lived in London, waited on platforms, almost risked getting squeezed into a waffle running to catch a train last minute (always, always looking out for a familiar Indian boy giving me a hand up) and constantly wondered what the soundtrack to my life would sound like.
You don’t faze me when you mock this movie.
Calling Shahrukh ugly, Simran too conservative and the movie overrated aren’t arguments that will convince me.
You’re trying to pick physical, superficial flaws in a whole being that I love. Who cares if they have a spot of acne on their forehead, or freckles on their cheek? Have you heard them talk to me on the phone late at night? Plus I can play connect the dots across those freckles.
This was the movie that first showed me what love could look or speak like.
And I’ve never really stopped searching since.
Here’s my irrational, non-chronological list of why DDLJ just is:
- Because every woman in that house was in love with Raj. Simran, Preeti, heck even Preeti’s mom (did you see the kurta wearing non-personality she was married to?), Buaji, Chutki and Fareeda Jalal in her best role ever.
- Because he made suddenly grabbing Simran’s hand while singing antakshari with her family, as rebellious and hot as showing up on a motorcycle.
All the 'Baby Dolls' of the world cannot match the sensuality of Raj trying to kiss Simran behind a frighteningly narrow pillar in the courtyard of her in-laws house.
- Because he’s a brat whose baggy shirts are almost always only half tucked in. He’s abysmal at studies, spoilt rotten by his father, eerily adept at chess and stubbornly believes in signs. After all, he chased a girl across a continent because she left a cowbell for him on her front door.
- Because Buaji couldn't buy a saree without his approval. Legend goes that 35 plus single women in Punjab still look out their window while buying sarees from a vendor, hoping that a messy-haired boy in a sloppy denim shirt will help her pick one. And she’ll feel 19 again.
- Because he really sucks up to baoji. Wake-up-at-6am-wear-a-dhoti-sucks-up to baoji.
- Because every time I watch this movie, I’m 19 again.
- Because we want to be with a Raj while secretly hiding bits of Raj inside us.
- Because I've lived in London and on particularly dark, grey days when the sun set at 3 pm, I could almost come undone at "Ghar aaja pardesi tera desh bulaye re."
- Because there’s a madness and kindness to this love- neither of which needs the crutch of drunken declarations, emoticons and half baked texts, confusion or even fear.
- Because he told her he loved her by just saying “nahin.. main nahin aaonga”.
- Because every time I start a new adventure, make a fresh mistake, fall in love or run into another weekend, I tell myself: Ja Simran, jee le apni zindagi.
- Because mandolins sound better than the harp to me, and much like Simran I will respond to that tune, wherever I hear it.
- Because he apologies to Preeti before he leaves.
- Because my rule of thumb is – agar woh tumse sachcha pyaar karti hai, woh palat ke dekhegi.
- Because this story has more heart, bravado, coolness (have you seen those wicked pigeons) and love than most epics.
- Because Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.
Tumhari aankhein mujhe meri daadimaa ki yaad dilate hain.
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