While YJHD gives me everything I need from a Bollywood movie, re-watching it now taught me some things I didn’t expect it to teach me!
The other day, I was watching the Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin starring movie Yeh Jawaani Hain Deewani YHJD). Since its release in 2013, I have watched it innumerable times.
The movie gives me everything I need – tons of friendship, a dollop of love, the importance of having dreams and following them. It also gives me things I have grown to dislike in ‘conventional’ Bollywood. Such as the guy stalking the girl, subtle patriarchy and patriarchal values, not taking no for an answer, among others.
For all those who don’t know, YJHD is the story of four friends Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor), Aditi (Kalki Koechlin), Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Naina (Deepika Padukone). The story follows their lives from the carefree days of college to that of the real world after college.
Bunny is the carefree one who lives by his dreams to travel and have different experiences. He is someone who metaphorically cannot have dal chawal all his life. One of his most famous dialogues in the movie is ‘Main udna chahta hoon, daudna chahta hu, girna bhi chahta hu, bas rukna nai chahta.’ (I want to fly, to run, and even fall, I just don’t want to stop.)
Aditi is the super independent cool girl who also makes sandwiches for the guy she not-so-secretly is in love with (Avi). She is wild and free. And someone who won’t ‘pile on’ to the guy she loves. She moves on in life with her leather jacket, beer in hand phase and her pink-haired phase with ease.
Avi, meanwhile, is the emotional dude who lives with the expectations that he and his best friend share the same dreams. He believes his dream of owning a restaurant together and chilling at a bachelor pad is what Bunny also dreams of. However, this doesn’t work out too well for him since his dreams aren’t the same as that of his friends.
And then there is Naina. The ‘four-eyed’ geeky medical student who wants to explore life beyond books but doesn’t know how to. That’s when she takes that leap of faith and goes on a trip. Which is where she meets Bunny, Aditi and Avi and it changes her life as she knows it.
The trip, she realises is what she has needed all along while pursuing the life she has been leading. She doesn’t need to travel extensively to find herself and enjoys watching cricket at Wankhede Stadium. There’s a dialogue in the movie that she lives by, ‘Life mein jitna bhi try karo, kuch na kuch toh chootega hi. Isiliye, jahan hain, wahan ka hi mazaa lena hain, na?’ (No matter how hard you try, you will miss out on something in life. So why not enjoy the exact moment you’re in?)
During the trip, 22-year-old Naina falls in love with Bunny probably because he lives the life she was fascinated with. However, Bunny is leaving for the US to pursue his dreams, and Naina chooses to not tell him what she feels.
Fast-forward to eight years later and it’s at Aditi’s wedding, where all the four meet again. By now, Aditi and Naina have become best friends, because that’s what Aditi is, an amazing friend!
Naina meets Bunny again, and falls in love with him… again…
However, she sees her life around her family, working at her clinic, enjoying the watching Harry Potter in her living room. Bunny wants to take up a travel show which takes him around the world and give him the life he always wanted.
But is that how the movie ends? No. It ends with Bunny falling in love with Naina. And committing to her pause for a bit while wanting to live his dreams, but this time, with her. For some reason, she is okay with that!
It took me seven years to realise that this is not how the movie should’ve ended! Twenty-two-year old Naina falling in love with Bunny is understandable. But 30-year-old Naina doing it all over again?
Having lead her life on her own terms till then, how is she okay giving it all up? It just doesn’t add up! Wasn’t Aditi a better match for Bunny? Wouldn’t they have enhanced each other’s lives since they seemed to want similar things?
Opposites might attract initially, but wanting similar things from life would work better for a relationship in the long run.
It took me seven years to reach this conclusion and taught me a life lesson. A lesson that can only be taught through experience, love, relationships and a good dollop of Bollywood movies!
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movies Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
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