A movie that won 10 Filmfare Awards, received the prestigious National Film Award, managed to find a place in the book titled- ‘1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die’ being the only Hindi movie mentioned in the book apart from two others (Deewar, Mother India) and even after 23 years is still screened at Maratha Mandir, an iconic theatre which is also one of the oldest theatres in Mumbai definitely deserves the prefix ‘Classic’ before its name! Both Kaajal and I believe that our Blog series-‘Throwback to Classic Bollywood Films’ would be incomplete without the mention of this timeless and brilliant cinematic creation- ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (DDLJ).
The mere mention of this movie is enough to make me beam with happiness and for me, it serves as the perfect recipe for making any Sunday afternoon all the more special and enjoyable. Kaajal and I were only two years old when this film released in December 1995 and strangely, we never got the chance to watch DDLJ in the theatre. Despite having watched this movie on television on more occasions than I can count, I still feel a pressing need to watch this exquisite film on the silver screen, so that I can cherish every scene, feel every emotion, magnified and intensified (due to the big screen) and fall in love with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge all over again! (Maratha Mandir, here I come!)
Here’s a list of all the reasons why I believe DDLJ lived up to its promise in the form of its tagline- Come…Fall in Love!
1. Life lessons to remember for a lifetime– Apart from being a thoroughly entertaining and lovable movie, DDLJ leaves us with some valuable life lessons.
– Fall in love with the guy before you marry him.
When Simran is informed by her father, Baldev Singh Chaudhary, (played by the phenomenal actor Amrish Puri) that she is betrothed to his friend’s son Kuljeet, she is upset because she believes that marrying a man she has never clapped eyes on, let alone fallen in love with, is unfathomable. This movie gives out a strong message- To marry someone just because your parents have picked them for you, is not a good enough reason to tie the knot. You must marry someone because you love them and want to spend the rest of your life with them and not the other way round- where you marry first and then hope to fall in love later.
–Travel and explore the world…to find yourself.
Travelling to new places with friends is not only super fun but also helps widen our horizons and discover our true self. Travel enriches us with new experiences and gives us priceless memories that have the power to warm our hearts for a life time. And if you happen to be single, who knows, you might just bump into your Raj while you’re at it (:P)
–Running away is never the solution to any problem.
To stop the pretentious and supercilious lout Kuljeet from marrying Simran and simultaneously convince Simran’s ‘bauji’ to give them his blessings, was indeed a task that would send many a Braveheart running in the opposite direction! If you have forgotten, let me remind you of bauji’s thunderous voice, deathly stare and his proclivity to give not one but eight hard slaps in quick succession that echoes like gun shots (in case you’re wondering yes, I counted them :P) when he discovers Raj’s true identity and his motive of entering his house.
Moreover Raj had to win the heart of the same man who had despised him from the beginning, having called him a disgrace to India (ouch!) Simran had begged him to elope with her and Simran’s mother, Lajjo (played by Farida Jalal), too had voiced the same opinion but Raj chose to stay back and convince Baldev Singh about the sincerity of his feelings for Simran and prove that no one can love his daughter as much as him. Raj faces his problems head on instead of running away and that’s how he manages to win over Simran’s family, especially Bauji.
–It’s important to respect your elders even if you don’t see eye to eye with them.
Yes, you might not like every decision they make, yes, they could be difficult to understand and even more difficult to convince, but disrespecting our elders will never lead to happy lives. Ultimately it is Raj’s heartfelt monologue explaining to Simran that parents always have the best intentions in mind for their children and it is his action of respecting Baldev Singh’s decision that finally melts the authoritarian’s heart and resolve.
-Love is the answer to every problem.
Raj could have ranted and raved about the unfairness of the entire situation but instead he chose give love and remain calm and optimistic. He came all the way to India with the single minded notion of winning everyone’s hearts and in the end the ‘Dilwala’ finally gets his Dulhania, all thanks to his fathomless love for Simran and her family. DDLJ shows that with love and patience, anyone can be conquered, even the scary Baldev Singh!
2. Keep dreaming coz Dreams do come true!
“Sapne dekho, zaroor dekho… Bas unke poore hone ki shart mat rakho!” This was Lajjo’s advice for her vivacious daughter, Simran. She knew that her daughter dreamt of meeting and falling in love with her ideal man which was shown in the most delightful and alluring manner in the scene where Simran gives in to her mother’s request and reads aloud her personal diary followed by the song ‘Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye.”
Young girls are constantly told by well-meaning parent’s to be practical when it comes to choosing a life partner, coz they believe that all dreams don’t come true, just like Lajjo, but this movie gives every girl hope that for every Simran there is a Raj! Rumi says this most beautifully- “What you seek is seeking you!” You are bound to find the one who is made for you, the one who makes your heart stop and flutter at the same time. So, keep dreaming about your ideal life partner, coz dreams do come true and like Simran, follow the magic of you heart as opposed to the logic of your brain!
3. The Uber Cool and Adorable Raj!
Everything about the character Raj Malhotra is just sooo lovable. To prove this I’m going to list down all his ‘aww’some qualities-
-He is good looking, charming, dashing and has a greatt sense of humour (remember the piano scene, right before the song ‘Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane’:P well, that was just the tip of the iceberg!). He has a way with words (his every dialogue professing his love to Simran is so enchanting!) and he also plays the mandolin. (I mean, we all know guys who play the guitar, but how many guys do we know who play the mandolin with such panache?!)
Raj, with his inherent bad boy charm, may seem like the quintessential rich-spoilt brat at first glance but when you look beneath this veneer, he is a true gentleman (despite having the chance, he does not spend the night with Simran). In fact he is a complete romantic at heart who loves for a lifetime, is loyal to the core and will do anything for the one he loves.<3
Besides, you know that a guy is for the keeps (and grabs *wink wink*) when he sincerely apologises to a girl coz he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, the way Raj does to Kuljeet’s sister, Preeti (the pretty looking Mandira Bedi).
4. Unforgettable scenes
Oh Boy! I don’t know where to begin from! DDLJ has scores of memorable scenes and unforgettable moments, but the ultimate one is the climactic train sequence where Bauji at the very last minute let go of Simran’s hand (thank god for that!) and happily booms “Jaa Simran jaa! jee le apni zindagi! This scene is forever etched in every Bollywood lover’s heart and mind. With this, the story comes a full circle as Raj once again holds out his hand, catches Simran’s hand and pulls her onto the already moving train (reminiscent of the first time he helped her to board the train in London) and together they ride away into the sunset amidst tears of joy, as Simran’s entire family happily bid them farewell.
Another scene which is way too cute is the one where Raj tries to impress Simran’s bauji by accompanying him to feed the pigeons and imitating his style of calling out to the pigeons saying aao..aao simultaneously trying to make small talk. He is also wearing matching white kurta and pajama like bauji which is so endearing and unforgettable. (Apparently twinning with bauji is Raj’s idea of impressing him lol!)
5. Daddy’s love is the best love everr!
Pops (Raj’s father played by Anupam Kher) is indeed the coolest dad in the entire universe! I can’t think of any father who would be proud of his son for keeping up the tradition of his family by failing in academics. In fact he is jubilant about the fact that his son took this tradition one step forward and failed in a university in London and not India like him and his ancestors. The comical intonations of Pops and the sheer hilarity of this ‘family tradition’ never fails to crack me up. Pops is the one who supports Raj’s love for Simran and also encourages him to go after her to Punjab and bring her back home as his daughter-in-law.
Simran’s Bauji, despite being a strict disciplinarian, is a good father who dotes on both his daughters and wants them to be happy. Even though this may not be evident throughout the film, in the last scene we all know that he deeply loves his daughter because for her happiness he lets Simran go to her Raj and finally blesses the young lovers.
6. DDLJ puts the ‘L’ IN Love AND ‘R’ in Romance
Love and Romance are synonymous with DDLJ. The ‘palat’ scene where Raj waits for Simran to turn around one last time before she boards the train is an absolute gem! The fact that she turns around proves that she too loves him with equal fervour (I’m pretty sure that many of romantic souls, myself included;) follow this rule to judge whether somebody likes us or not :P)
The song ‘Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko Toh Pyaar Sajna’ where both Raj and Simran simultaneously realise that they have fallen totally, utterly and irrevocably in love with each other is simply magical. The fact that the entire song is picturised amidst the stunning locales of London makes it all the more beautiful.
The ultimate romantic song is ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jaana Sanam’ with Raj playing the mandolin and striking the signature pose with both hands outstretched to embrace his Simran as she comes running across the gently swaying gloriously yellow mustard fields. (Sigh!) All thanks to DDLJ every bride would be thrilled at the prospect of having her groom sing ‘Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna’ and also keep the Karva Chauth fast for her, just the way Raj does for Simran.
7. Humour at its best.
The first time when Raj and Simran meet on the Euro star pretty much sets the stage for uproarious comedy. Kajol’s undergarment accidently falls out of her humongous suitcase and somehow finds its way into Raj’s hands (yikes!). After this incident, throughout the trip Raj tries to annoy the hell out of Simran which leads to some pretty hilarious scenarios. For instance, the piano scene right before the song ‘Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane’ is a complete laugh riot and during the entire song he teases her mercilessly and flirts with her incessantly only to drop her on her bottom with a resounding thud when the song ends.
Also when Simran misses the train in Switzerland due to Raj’s antics, what follows is a series of hysterical events where Raj accidentally rips Simran’s dress, they both get sodden drunk and end up dancing and frolicking all around the beauteous locales of Switzerland in the song ‘Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main’ (a personal favourite of mine!)
Despite the high octane drama, melancholia of love almost lost and melodramatic scenes of wistful separations and tearful reunions, DDLJ manages to make us laugh and sigh with giddy pleasure in spades.
For all these reasons and the fact that we are die hard romantics, DDLJ for the kktwins, will always be a #ClassicBollywoodFilm 🙂
If you haven’t read the other posts in this series, then you can read them now!