September 27, 2014
I remember as a child, in my family, there was one movie that everyone just had to watch all the time and that was, Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge (1995). I was probably around 4 or 5 when I saw this movie at first, all the girls in the family were drooling over Shahrukh Khan and wanting to play Kajol’s role as Simran. DDLJ, is a good movie, but definitely not a film I’d say is the BEST, Yash Raj Film. (Go ahead and freak out that I am not are obsessed with this film).
Because the film didn’t intrigue me when I was 4 or 5 years old, I depict from that day I must have had a different mind-set and outlook on films.
…but this doesn’t mean I do not like Yash Raj movies, in fact my fantasies of being on a film-set all started with dance and Dil To Pagal Hai (1997). As a child, center stage and my dancing feet has always been my favorite limelight. I don’t know if I am an amazing dancer, but the audience I have always performed in-front of from the age of 4 til today, has always enjoyed the Bollywood Entertainment I present on-stage. I remember watching Dil To Pagal Hai as a child, and falling in love with the following:
The Dance of Envy:
I remember watching this and I was purely soaked into this scene as a kid and wanted to be Madhuri Dixit and compete with my fantasy Karishma Kapoor (or vise-versa).
Can I dance in the rain too?
I think after seeing this, I was at someones house, probably about 6 or 7 years old and we were in the driveway, I asked if I could do a dance for everyone. It wasn’t raining, but in my head I believe I was imagining it’d rain and everyone would coincidentally know all the steps and dance behind me while I take the lead. Of course, I imagined Shahrukh Khan would run in on the scene too.
“Kahaan Hai Meri Maya?”
The center stage, being the focus and wearing a classic Yash Raj white Indian suit with a mix of modern music and kathak steps. Its a perfect, Directors Cut!
I may not have summed all of these little details as a child, but it slowly built up from time to time and it all came together. I either was to become a dancer when I grow up or something so creative that I too can come up with a creative story and show people tradition, fictional love, simplicity in women and romance in men and just music you never want to stop listening to no matter how old it is.
Then, in 2004 I saw my first Yash Chopra film in Theater on November 12, Veer Zaara (2004). I will never forget this day and most importantly, how the film opens up with a romantic song in a ” yellow kheth.” The song, ‘Kyun Hawa’ written by Javed Akhtar and composed by the late, Madan Mohan. I know in DDLJ there is the classic scene of Raj and Simran running in a keth together, but for me this was a lot more powerful and romantic. Maybe it’s the meaning behind the song or that I was a bit older to understand the art behind a beautiful romantic scene. Whatever it may be, from that moment on-wards I had decided, that whenever I make a film, I will in at least on of my films have a classic scene like this in it. I am sure, every director may have a similar dream, some have even already relived this Yash Chopra moment, but I’d like to live this one shot in my life.
After is aw Veer Zaara my mindset changed, I no longer wanted to be a dancer for cinema, but a director. I wanted to make these movies and tell the world different stories. I began to watch more and more films, I watched old movies over a hundred times. I saw new movies over a hundred times. I started talking to people about movies and then gave myself a title, “The Queen of Bollywood”. People started calling me this, and I went along. Movies became an addictive thing in my life and it surely hasn’t ended from there.
Many years later, I now express my love for film, I write reviews and you read them. I talk about film on a more professional level and show less of the obsession. I find reason behind every story and support every new or old guy/girl in the industry by simply going on Friday and seeing their new film.
I am carrying on my dream which started small as a child, but the only dream I had made in 2004 which I will never be able to complete now is to meet and maybe even be on the sets of a Yash Chopra film. In 2012, when I found out Yash Chopra passed away, I think I cried as if he was family to me. I remember watching Jab Tak Hai Jaan just a month after he passed away, and I was slightly put-off by the film, but when the title track appeared in the credits along with a small tribute to Yash Ji, I cried again.
Yash Chopra, you will always be missed. I have never met you, but I feel you have lived in a large part of my life.
Happy 82nd Birthday to a Legend!
“Jab Tak Hai Jaan…”