Chandigarh based Vijendra Trighatia is a film buff and writes extensively on cinema.
Disclaimer: This ain’t no review 🙂
There is hardly a time in one’s life where one is not required to make choices and willy nilly the course of life is set on that decision. I think almost all of us sit back sometimes and reflect on what happened and what could have been. Rational decisions may bring material success but do not guarantee happiness. Alternately decisions dictated by heart may not bring success as the world perceives but brings contentment which makes life worth the accompanying hassles. It’s also a fact that the rationalists in this field far outnumber “heart” specialists. No wonder when someone breaks the mould, instant awe becomes a natural reaction. Everyone dreams romance but is scared of wetting their feet. Fall in love with someone but marry mama’s choice! Desperately want to be a cook or a painter or an actor but join the safety net of a white collar job, earning big bucks with commensurate misery! There are endless such horror stories. And what happens when you have to choose between love and what you desperately want to do? The movie- Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani– addresses exactly this issue.
It has a terrific narrative albeit a tad longish. A group of school mates take a trip to Manali (shot in Gulmarg actually, the non credit of which has caused much heartburn to Omar Abdullah) the end of which crystallizes different emotions in each of them. While one is looking for love another is busy in spreading it around. The heroine is desperate to jump the dreariness of monotony and finds promise in who but the roguish hero. Yes, clichéd so far but the spontaneity of youth and the merry follies more than make up for the initial lack of novelty. The trip culminates but not the fire of love and the four friends separate in search of their destinies. Eight years later they reunite! In India and if I can safely hazard a guess rest of the world too, the best time and place to reunite and reconnect is a marriage. So when the other lady in the gang of four decides to get hitched everyone gets back together.
A substantial part of the movie revolves around the marriage and the development of the relationship between the lead pair who need to reassess what they mean to each other. Now this I found interesting. The heroine is a doctor and settled in her profession. The lover boy is a free lance photographer on the brink of a dream assignment. How the twain shall meet? The lady, after shedding a few tears, suggests that he drop everything going for him in his lovely life and come to her arms. Lover boy, who is by now used to exotic places and willing blondes, pulls a long face and heads off to the airport. Will he, won’t he? The answer is academic really!
To my mind the greater issue is just how much togetherness means to individuals? How important is your ambition vis-a-vis your family? In this era of week end marriages and rising divorces how much of our aspirations are we willing to sacrifice to spend a life together. A few decades ago I was faced with a similar dilemma. Chammak Challo had just got into her Government job, which is still hard to come by. At the same time I qualified for a premier civil services placement which I had been preparing for quite some time but joining that would have meant leaving Chammak Challo and our two year old daughter or else she would have to quit her job. There are no prizes for guessing what I did and it has paid enormous dividends in terms of emotional security and domestic bliss.
However I would be dishonest if I do not admit that many a times I have reflected on what would have been if I had joined the Civil Service. Many of my friends feel that I was enormously stupid in my decision to decline. In hind sight I too sometimes feel that with a bit of an effort something could have been worked out to strike a balance between ambition and family. I could have been in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy instead of wallowing in the middle management of the bank. I do not regret my decision but it is a fact that it took me a long time to come to terms with it. In the isolation of my mind for many years I drifted in uncertain mediocrity, self doubt and almost succumbed to alcoholism till I found my passions. I haven’t arrived, so to speak, in my miserable attempts in photography and writing but hey, I am getting there. It gives me something to look forward to in the journey of self actualization. But it has almost been a life time and could I have avoided all this by that one decision? Academic again but I would give a penny for your thoughts. Happiness really is what you want it to be and the Jawani Diwani pair knew exactly what they wanted.