I was ambling through the lanes of my residential complex. The cool breeze was ruffling through the stray strands of my unkempt hair. After long, I was in the therapeutic company of my solitude. I was at peace. A rare moment indeed for a parent of a toddler! While the boisterous tiny tot was engrossed in entertaining her grandparents at our abode, I was trying to savour every bit of my treasured ‘me-time’.
I knew that every single moment in that teeny-weeny period of time was rightfully mine and only mine, and I didn’t want to share it with anyone else – not my family, not my work, not my friends. I didn’t even realize when I started humming a song and to my surprise, it was one which I hadn’t even heard since a decade. And then, just when I was about to check the name of the movie it belonged to on Google to refresh my memory, I heard a faint, distant sound which caught me off guard.
‘Aa bhi ja, Ab jaane ja. Deewana dil Deewana…’
I inched closer to the direction from where I could hear the music. Aah, this was definitely music to my ears. Kabhi Haan, Kabhi Na – A movie that I must have watched about twenty-odd times during my growing years. But, it had been almost fifteen years since I had last devoured it. All of a sudden, I felt a strange sensation within. I felt I was no more in that moment. I was transported to a different era in a split second. My heart was fluttering and I had butterflies in my stomach. Like the way one feels when in love – the jitters and the exhilaration of first love. But, why was I, a 35-year-old woman, feeling like the teenager that I was eons back when this movie had released? A teenager that I thought I could not identify with anymore seemed to have come out from the confines of my heart where she had been long buried. I couldn’t fathom what was happening but it felt good, it felt positive.
I was jostled out of my reverie by a phone call from home. It was time to go back to my beautiful little world. But, the teenager refused to leave. She was there all along – when I fooled around with my daughter, when I rushed to complete the kitchen duties, when I sorted out the piling laundry clothes, when I furiously typed away the answers to some interview questions. She was there, smiling at me, maybe trying to remind me of something. When it was time to retire for the day, after my daughter was in deep slumber, my hands instinctively went towards my laptop. And no, this time not to send an email or to write an article, but to purchase the movie ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ on Youtube.
Many of my friends today know me to be a hopelessly unromantic person, which, evidently, I was not earlier. Over the years, my understanding of love and idea of romance transformed. You know how it is – life happens, responsibilities quadruple, priorities shift, we evolve and somewhere, love becomes everything else but love in its pure, unadulterated form. May be this is not true for everyone but this is what happened with me. When my friends discuss their crushes with me, they get a lacklustre reaction due to which I am labelled as a ‘boring’ person jocularly by them. I good-humouredly retort with the statement, ‘I am sensible and mature now’. With time, I discovered that I was no more interested in reading or watching love stories. I would get repelled by the mush and it actually seemed like frittering away of precious little time to me. And yet, there I was curled up inside my thin blanket, watching ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ with earphones tucked into my ears. I was joyfully sacrificing my valuable sleep for something I had done several times already in the past.
As each scene unfolded, I couldn’t help but wonder that the king of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan, has a plethora of movies to his credit with many of them being blockbusters, yet this one remains one of his best works till date. His realistic and endearing portrayal of a character who is flawed and commits deleterious mistakes, but has his heart in the right place, makes this movie special. I was captivated and could experience every emotion of the various characters in the movie along with them; maybe even more than what I have ever experienced before and probably also in a different light now. The depiction of the innocence and freshness of honest, untainted love charmed me again for the nth time. I was lost in the protagonists’ world in ‘Ae Kaash ki hum…’, I caught myself shedding tears as ‘Woh to hai Albela…’ played out and I was grooving to the tunes of ‘Sachi yeh kahani hai...’ I found myself believing in the magic of love all over again. I found myself melting into the moments which I would have otherwise termed as ‘cheesy’.
I don’t know if anyone can understand how a movie or a song can have such a strong and compelling impact on someone. But, for me some movies are not merely classics. They are emotions, they are my childhood and youth, and they are a part of me which is not discernible anymore but their fragments are there deep, ingrained in my core. As the movie ended, time appeared to have come to a standstill. And just like that, I fell in love with love again. The teenager flashed a telling grin at me, and after a long time we slept together in bliss.