Winning the hand of sweetheart is a big project
Two decades back, I was feeling to be in love with a girl (can't say now whether it was actually love or just a childish craving to get that girl in my life). When I proposed to her and allowed my proposal to reach her family, I was damn confident of winning her hand without much of a fuss. The girl was from the same caste, her parents had been knowing me (and liking me too) since our very childhood, I was professionally qualified as well as earning satisfactorily and thus entitled to be called an eligible bachelor, the girl's parents were already looking for a suitable groom for her to get her married and above all, the girl too liked me and this fact was well-known to her parents. So all the odds appeared to be in my favour. But as they say, when everything is going right, something may go wrong. My proposal was turned down and when I approached the girl's home personally with my mother in this regard, not only the visit was unsuccessful but I had to hear such a hurting and utterly humiliating assertion also that I am hesitant to quote in public.
Some years passed. That girl got married first to someone else and then my matrimonial alliance also materialized. 6th November, 1995 was fixed as my engagement day and the ceremony took place at the residence of my would-be in-laws at Jodhpur (Rajasthan). During the day time, my maternal aunt (living at Jodhpur itself) proposed me to watch a movie with my would-be wife during the day as the ceremony was to take place in the evening hours. I asked my in-laws for that and they agreed to send her with me for a movie (albeit her nephew and niece also accompanied us). The tickets were arranged by my would-be brother-in-law and we reached the Nasrani theatre of Jodhpur to watch Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge which was released just the previous month and going great on the box office. It happened exactly 17 years ago from today. I enjoyed the movie with my would-be wife alongwith her nephew and niece and then the engagement ceremony also took place merrily in the evening. And on the 25th day from that, we got married on 01.12.1995 and now are living happily with our two kids.
However while watching the movie for the first time in theatre, when the second half of the movie was in progress, I was wondering that had the movie arrived a few years ago, would I have thrown my weapons so easily in the case of that failed marriage proposal put forth by me ? Later on, I watched this movie again in Maratha Mandir (Mumbai) too in the noon show (whose ticket was priced quite less due to the tax exemption there) and thought a lot about this movie. Finally, I concluded that there's something about this movie which I had not read in any review or article pertaining to this movie. And that is - getting anything in your life you cherish, is a mission, a project which demands planning, efforts, self-belief, patience and perseverance. For a boy, winning the hand of a girl in marriage also falls into this line only. Winning her heart is one thing but after that, winning the will of her family / parents / guardians for the desired marriage is an altogether different and equally (if not more) difficult business.
DDLJ is a love story of Raj (Shah Rukh Khan), an irresponsible motherless youth who happens to be the son of a rich NRI (Anupam Kher) in London and Simran (Kajol) who is the daughter of a London based Indian chemist (Amrish Puri) who despite living away from his motherland, has not compromised with the Indian family values. He expects his family members to follow the same path and Simran too has always complied with whatever she has been taught by him. However she has a vision of her prince-charming in her heart that she expresses in her poems. Against expectations, she gets permission from her father to go on a one month long tour of Europe with her friends and during this tour, she comes across Raj. And thereafter life is not the same either for Raj or for Simran.
However, since Simran is already engaged to a youth in Punjab (India), her father gets furious when coming to know that she has fallen in love with someone. He, with his family, returns back to India and starts arranging for Simran’s marriage with her childhood-fiance, Kuljeet (Parmeet Sethi). Now it’s a great challenge for Raj to win the hand of his sweetheart from her parents. He too comes to their place and gets intermixed in the family, pretending to be from the side of the groom. Winning over Simran’s mother (Farida Jalaal) and younger sister (Pooja Ruparel) proves to be a cakewalk for him but winning the trust and will of Simran’s father is a Herculean Task especially when he had already shown his true colour to him once on his chemist shop in London. How this Dilwala (a man with a heart) is able to carry (Le Jaana) his Dulhaniya (bride) with him forms the post-interval session of the movie.
The title of this movie has been taken from a very old but highly popular song of Kishore Kumar from the movie Chor Machaaye Shor (1974). This is the first directorial venture of Aaditya Chopra which bears a clear stamp of the vision of his legendary father - (Late) Yash Chopra. The first half has been devoted to romance whereas the second one, as said earlier, has been devoted to Raj’s mission of winning the hand of Simran from her father. This film has a lot to like and that’s why the viewer (like me) gets carried away and overlooks the loopholes in the script as well as the over the top things and cinematic liberties freely taken by the narrator.
Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge can be termed as the second most popular movie made in the history of Bollywood, second only to Sholay (1975) and just like Sholay, it is also a masterpiece by default and not by any deliberate effort. The filmmaker has made this movie by keeping his eyes on the box office only and he has not only used all kinds of regular formulae but also spent money like water on this excessively costly venture.
The movie is excessively long (more than three hours duration) but since it is engrossing and lovable, nobody feels its length. Instead the spectator wishes to see a bit more of the story. The second half is Raj’s journey towards the destination of winning the permission of his would-be father-in-law to make Simran his bride. The journey is exceedingly pleasant and we move on with Raj on his path, watching the accomplishment of his mission and the destination also comes quite impressively. The final scene on the station when Simran’s father suddenly releases her wrist caught in his fist and asks her to rush towards the train carrying Raj, is something to cherish for a lifetime.
The first half shows the faith of Simran’s father in his Indian family and social values and his love towards the soil of his motherland despite his living away from it. It also shows the development of romance of Raj and Simran which is heart-warming. Simran’s fear of having lost her virginity while in the state of intoxication and then Raj’s telling him that he knows what the virginity of an Indian girl is worth, wins the heart of the audience. And when these two part with the song – Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko To Pyar Sajna being heard in the background, is unforgettable for any romantic heart.
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