Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Have we all not felt that unbearable heaviness of being ?


There is  currently that delicious nip in the air which I  so love about Delhi weather . Despite the killer smog, Sunday afternoon today was bliss after the totally awesome rajma chawal, which my pug ( adopted from Friendicoes)Tony Iommi ( named after the legendary Black Sabbath guitarist) shared with me.

So great was our satisfaction with life ( read : siesta) that I started having second thoughts about going for “Ae Dil hai Mushkil”. The reviews, even after a 4 star rating by some leading dailies, have been pretty scathing.The movie doesn’t have any of my favorite Bollywood actors. My friends also refused to accompany me– one of them remembered that I had howled my heart out in another Karan Johar film, ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’’, when Shahrukh Khan had died. They didn’t want to repeat the embarrassment, it seems.

I guess it was  the theme of ‘unrequited love’ of the movie which won over the rajma chawal induced somnolence.That feeling of yearning is something each of us possibly can/will relate to. Deep down it  glows like embers…what Gulzar sahab says Ek chhota sa lamha hai jo khatm nahee hota, mai lakh jalata hun, yeh bhasm nahee hota” ( There is a small moment in time, which doesnt end. I try to burn it endlessly, but it dosent turn into ashes).

Great  art, literature, music they say is born when and if the heart is forced to want and weep.From the unrequited love themes in the comic strip “Peanuts’ to  Milan Kundera’s ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, I have been fascinated with the incapacity of the human mind to deal with it and the beauty that comes into existence because of it. It is a beauty which is tender, fragile but surprisingly powerful.Would you not describe Jo & Laurie’s relationship ( Little Women) in precisely these very words ? Or, perhaps, think why does Adele make so much sense to many hard core rocker chicks ( me included) ?

Thus, I thrilled to hear Shahrukh Khan, in a cameo, speak about the exquisiteness of,both, joy and sorrow, that unrequited love brings. That scene perhaps nailed  the movie for me. A brilliantly played out scene which has many complex nuances and bold takes that is usually not seen in mainstream Hindi cinema. We see a middle aged woman with a younger lover–confident in her sexuality  and unapologetic; a wife strong enough to  leave her famous husband for his indiscretion and carve out a niche for herself; a relationship of ex’s which tries to be civil, but hey, we know ‘move on’ is an oxymoron;a young man who is jealous of his lover’s ex but acknowledges his wisdom. I shall refuse to speak about the Hindu-Muslim angle which is being talked about. It is so trite that it  should be insulting to any one’s sensibilities.

The movie definitely cannot be trashed and trolled. Both Ranbir Kapoor  and Anushka Sharma have essayed their roles well. Although, the director fails to bring about the edginess in Alizeh’s character –think Deepika Padukone in “Cocktail” ? And though Saba is poised and mature, I couldn’t help but remember Dimple Kapadia in “ Dil Chahta Hai”.

All in all, go watch the movie, people.

Especially if Ghalib thrills you, like he does me.

aah ko chahiye ek umr asar hone tak,

kaun jiitaa hai teri zulf ke sar hone tak’’ aashiqi sabr talab aur tamanna betaab

dil ka kya rang karoon khoon-e-jigar hone tak

humne maana ke tagaaful na karoge lekin

khaak ho jayenge hum, tumko khabar hone tak

gham-e-hasti ka asad kis se ho juz marg ilaaz

shamma har rang mein jalti hai sahar hone tak’’

 (Translation : Love demands patience and yearning restless

How do I placate my heart till my destruction?

Though I believe you may not ignore me, but

I will turn into ashes by the time you understand my plight

O Asad!, There is no remedy for the anguish of living save death

The candle has to burn till morning no matter what)

Well, the accidental sufi bids you au revoir with a a very favorite song of hers 🙂 


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