“Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!” So let me start from the very beginning. I write this piece after listening to a friend speak of his first Bollywood movie screening in the city of Mumbai. Unlike others who believe it is a waste of time, in its truth, Movies are entertaining, opens our mind to a dimension of creativity and the plot speaks of a story, a story for you and me to hear! The choice of cinema we watch conveys to our peers our taste in art and a nonverbal acceptance of opinion from people who believe in the story.
The title, the movie plot, the songs etc. each element brings in curiosity and learning at the end. Plenty can be learnt at the movies. Following are the life lessons that translate to us through a movie. Let’s read along.
One of the first movies I watched was “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” (considering it was released in the same year as I was born). It is the story of a carefree boy who falls in love with a rich girl only to be dumped when she knows he is not as rich. He takes up a challenge to win a cycling competition as his brother is injured by a brat from other school who also took away his rich babe. And he wins the race as well as he gets his childhood babe. “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” seems to be such an apt movie tile for an excellent made movie. So here is my first life lesson taken from the story of the movie. It is okay if you figure your responsibilities a little late. But when you do, remember, few people (co- actors or behind the scene artists in your life) have only you to rely on. So be brave and responsible for them. The path to seek your goals (which will be plenty in life!) will have obstacles but it’s your road and overcoming them by taking your own time and strength is essential. The same year gave us another film “Chamatkar”. This story speaks of a man who gets cheated of all his money by his best friend. As he has no place to live he takes shelter in a cemetery where he meets a ghost who can be seen only by the hero. The hero along with the ghost organises a cricket match in his new place of employment (A school) thereby combating with the bad guys, forgiving them and the movie ends with the ghost ascending into heaven while the hero lives happily ever after! “Chamatkar” means Chamatkar”. This story speaks of a man who gets cheated of all his money by his best friend. As he has no place to live he takes shelter in a cemetery where he meets a ghost who can be seen only by the hero. The hero along with the ghost organises a cricket match in his new place of employment (A school) thereby combating with the bad guys, forgiving them and the movie ends with the ghost ascending into heaven while the hero lives happily ever after! “Chamatkar” means Miracle in Hindi. When you are tired, just lie down and fall asleep (on a Cemetery stone or your bed) believe that a miracle is around. It means to develop the faith to let life take its course. It will not be wrapped in the prettiest paper, but give each element of this gift called life every resource you have been given, the ability of your heart to love, your health and good fortune. And most importantly, honour your life.
Speaking of hearts and love, Dil Chahta Hai is a true cult movie of the 21st Century! It is a story of three friends who view relationships differently which tears them apart but when situations do require them to reunite, they grow stronger than before. So life lesson number three. You are defined by your heart and believe no one who tells you otherwise. Redefine yourself and do it on your own terms. And do not forget where you come from and who you really are. Self-knowledge and Love are needles in a compass which will help you navigate through vicissitudes of life. Gambling our fear in exchange for knowledge and love is necessary which draws me to the next movie “Darna Mana hai”. I’d like to propagate differently from the movie title. Darna zaarori hai. (which incidentally is the sequel to the former) Darr means fear. Being brave all the time means to be scared right till the end of the party. Take a deep breath, embrace your fears and do the funky chicken dance. It will not ease the fear but it will bring a bit of chemical locha in your Dil! to make you smile. Give life its space to take its course. Even the toughest disasters find a way to resolve itself, which leads us to Life’s next lesson. “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna”. Just like the heroine in the movie tells the hero that saying goodbye only kills the possibility of meeting again, many important people will walk in and out of your life. Possibilities of meeting again are plenty and “Ram Jaane” the next time you meet these people will be when you need them the most. Excuse me for I do not dwell in the romantic twists the plot of the movie lends itself to.
I always have a way of opening at the close (inspire by J K Rowling) and I close at “Roja” (which released the same year as Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar). Roja means rose (the past tense of rise) in Tamil. This movie had the most amazing songs and a story plot where a young couple face so many challenges individually in their quest to find each other and in the end they unite once again. This brings us to the last life lesson, do not be cynical about life however hard it gets. Live. Play. Eat. Do it all today. Rise again tomorrow and live as it is a new season which brings endless possibilities.
Quoting one of my favourite movie lines at the end, “Hindi filmon ki tarah life mein bhi, anth mein sab kuch theek ho jaata hai. Aur agar na ho, toh woh anth nahi hai…picture abhi baaki hai mere dost.” Take it as the ultimate truth. Next time you finish a movie, give a few thoughts on what the story, title or song taught you however unbelievable the story is. Remember there is plenty to learn at the movies.
PS: 1) I watched the movies that released in 1992 much later in life on Doordarshan which was our source of motion entertainment.
PS: 2) This piece is truly inspired by Dr. Shahrukh Khan! I am not a Fan but I appreciate the truth he conveys and the person he is.
Vanessa Rodrigues graduated from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai in Psychology & Sociology. She is pursuing a degree in Marketing from Xavier Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai and will begin working as a Management Trainee at Aranca Inc., Mumbai.