Jab we Met

Unabashedly I am a confirmed movie buff. Since school times, till the lockdown there was not a week gone by, when I did not see a movie. And that too in the theaters. During school time I stole money from home, lied to my parents, did whatever had to be done to indulge my addiction. Post lockdown I have switched to OTT platforms and do binge watching. Just yesterday, I was up till 3 am to complete a series as I just could not leave it half way.

Though I plead guilty to this movie mania, no movie has made me more mad than Jab we Met. I have watched this movie 68 times, 40 odd times in part, as it was on when I switched on the TV, & then I had to watch till it ended. But 25 plus times I have watched it beginning to end, waiting for ad breaks to get water or make water. I believe, therefore, I am well qualified, 68 times over, to write why I like Jab we Met *ing Shahid & Kareena. So here goes.

A simple plot of a distraught, rich kid, ditched by his beloved, getting on a train and having a ride of his life. Aditya meets Geet, a chatterbox, who forcibly befriends him and changes him totally. Till interval. And post interval, the roles reverse: Geet is in depression, & using the same things Geet has taught him, Aditya brings her out of depression and helps her face life. Simple story, stitched together with some amazingly beautiful songs, and mind shattering learnings in the shape of pithy dialogues that rock. Which is the subject of this blog.

Early in the film, in a run down Hotel Decent in Ratlam, Geet helps Aditya deal with his royal ditch. She asks Aditya to burn a photo of his erstwhile beloved & flush it down the drain. ” जला दो साली को…. and just flush her out of your life” What great advice to solve hurts and pain & rejection!! First Aditya objects to this बचपना. And after doing this Geet asks him अच्छा लग रहा है? And Aditya realizes that the childish action has indeed helped him overcome his pain. Imagine, how often we “lovingly” hold on to our pain, put-me-downs, and rejections!! is it not better to just flush it all out of our lives??

A little later Geet and Aditya are sitting on a bridge overlooking a lake, and Geet suggests that they jump in the water. Aditya refuses, but Geet persists with the clincher argument, ” बचपना किया, अच्छा लगा ना ? अब पागलपन करके देखो” They both jump, frolic in the water and come out giggling and happy. Their relationship takes a new turn here. To me what this episode teaches is the importance of Letting Go. Jump. Do things you have never done. Experience, Try out. Transcend your boundaries. You have nothing to loose but your limitations, as Aditya learnt.

Later when Geet is running away from home to meet her paramour Anshuman, as a friend Aditya, is worried & is trying to hold her back. He tells her what Geet is doing is wrong & will hurt others. Geet not only holds firm to her running away plan, she actually encourages Aditya to run away with her, & counsels him,” देखना जो होगा वो अच्छा ही होगा. इसीलिए मैं वही करती हूँ जो मुझे सही लगता है” How many of us follow our heart? actually that is the way to happiness and to the Right Thing. But we let our head overrule our heart. We intellectualize, we think, we analyze, we prevaricate….and we lose the courage to do what our heart believes, what is right. And after the event we invariably curse ourselves and feel if only I had followed my heart, if only…And come the next dilemma we again suppress our heart!! Follow Geet: do what your heart tells you. You cannot go wrong!!

Doing what your heart tells you is actually priming the pump for success and joy. As Geet tells elsewhere in the movie,” जो कुछ इंसान असल में चाहता है ना.. real में ..वो उसे मिल ही जाता है” What a lovely crystallization of the Power of Attraction…of Positive Thinking…of Affirmations…of Visualizations. The only question is do you trust yourself enough? is your desire really that strong? Is your hunger that sharp? Can you focus on your heart’s desire to the sheer exclusion of all else? If you can, success has to be yours!!

Challenges will be there. Adversities must be faced. But keep the confidence alive that this too shall pass, seasons will change, things will happen in my favor. Geet is running off from her home, she knows her family will be upset, she does not know what future has in store for her; but in the midst of this agony, she regales Aditya,” ये जो बुरा वक़्त है ना ? देखना, हम इसके बारे में सोचेंगे और हसेंगे” Be Positive. Look ahead with confidence. Things will turn for the better. I just need to keep my faith & look ahead towards the sun. If is not by chance that this dialogue/situation is picturized in the night, and Geet is telling Aditya to be strong till the next dawn.

Where does Geet garner all this confidence despite all misfortunes and difficult circumstances? Geet answers that early in the movie when she tells Aditya, “मैं अपने आप की favorite हूँ”.

How many of us can say that? we are rather constantly berating ourselves. We focus on our faults and short comings. And the game goes to the one who focusing on strengths & leveraging their own confidence to add sharpness to their innate capabilities. We need to re-think all the negativity and turn it on it’s head. Modern management is also stressing on understanding and leveraging our strengths rather than trying to overcome weaknesses. Weaknesses take much more effort to over come. Rather, if you are good at backhand tennis, try to take all shots on your back hand, if you are a hook player in cricket, go FW and take your hook shots. You are more likely to succeed this way. Be your own favorite, Enjoy yourself.

So you see, Jab we Met is no mere movie. Imtiaz Ali, the Director, has crafted sheer poetry on film. And in the process left us with some very great learnings. I will end with the last one: when at the end of the movie Geet has to decide between Anshuman and Aditya, she tells him one of Aditya’s own earlier dialogue,” मैं सिर्फ अपने दिल की सुनने वाली हूँ. फिर सब ठीक हो जायेगा” Truly if we gather the courage to follow our heart, we will always be on the right path. Faith in yourself, Trusting the process. Openness in facing life. Accepting what comes your way. Understanding that whatever happens, happens for the best. Relax. Don’t agonize. Go with the Flow. The river knows its way…just float!

I end with words from a song from the movie, looks like it has been written by me, for Jab we Met

छोड़े न छूटे कभी तोड़े न टूटे कभी
जो धागा जुड़ गया वफ़ा का
रास्ते मिल जाते है मंज़िलें मिल जाती है तुम से ही, तुम से ही

Thanking Imtiaz & the powers that be for Jab we Met : vikas the incurable romantic

P.S. Many thanks to my niece Minouti for encouraging me to pen this one