Thank You For The Memories, Dear Aamir… But Now Move Over!

If the Chitrahaar Gods were especially propitious, they would showcase the song 'Papa Kahte Hain' and she would croon along to the song and wonder with you... where did her future lie?

Dear Aamir,

The magazines called you the ‘Chocolate Boy’ and a little girl in a small town, who loved chocolates, rare as they were in the eighties, fell in love without even realising it. Not yet introduced to the charm of the brooding hero, she found your delectable rasogulla looks enticing enough, at the tender age of ten, to fall head over heels. You see, she had yet to be indoctrinated into the Tall, Dark, Handsome myth. Of course, if she had been a little bit older, she might have thought it was better to take greater note of your lipstick shade than your chocolate boy looks, for looks as they say, are here today and gone tomorrow.

She would wait impatiently for Wednesday and Friday evenings, counting the days in her heart. Come evening, she would be so excited, the spring in her steps would be hard to miss. She would be scared everyone would know the secret in her heart but still she was the first one to plop in front of the television at 8 o’clock promptly. It was the time for Chitrahaar and her only opportunity to gaze at your beautiful unblemished countenance without drawing attention to herself. You see, she carried her love for you like a firefly in her heart, a glow for difficult times.

She memorized the song lyrics to all the songs of your debut movie, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. If the Chitrahaar Gods were especially propitious, they would showcase the song ‘Papa Kahte Hain’ and she would croon along to the song and wonder with you… where did her future lie?

Learning from your roles…

Other movies came and she kept losing her heart to you over and over again. The irascible Raghu Jaitley in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi, the passionately dedicated Ajay Singh Rathore of Sarfarosh, the happy-go-lucky DJ of Rang De Basanti who could motivate a wall, Ranchoddas Chanchad (where did you all come up with a name like this?) of 3 Idiots who taught us to pursue excellence and success will follow jhak maar ke; They all taught her to live life on her terms, without apologies and always, always with a passion.

Of course there were scandals. And those much talked about kisses. But she was young enough to not have her heart broken. Rather she understood that what is real, impacts us and leaves a mark. The leaning of flowers into each other could never have the same effect.

And when she first fell in love, it was your song from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar she crooned, lying in her bed next to a letter from her real life crush. Pahla Nasha, Pahla Khumar still has the power to transport her to those halcyon days when life was simpler but love was complex, and a simple accidental touching of a classmate’s fingers could make her heart flutter like a butterfly and her test marks resonate in tandem.

She learned so much from you. From the care with which you picked up your reel personas and the meticulousness with which the real you portrayed the reel you. She learned that looks are nothing. That her work would speak volumes on her behalf. That hard work and passion have a class all their own. That she had the freedom to dream like Bhuvan from Lagaan or that it takes courage to follow one’s dreams like Aakash Malhotra from Dil Chahta Hai. That when a situation seems difficult, she only has to put her hands on her heart and tell it ‘Aaalll iiizzz Welll‘… and her heart will acquiesce in this simple deception.

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…but life moves on

Thank you for the blockbuster movies. Thank you for the memorable characters. Thank you for the life lessons which held that little girl in good stead, all through her life.

But now that little girl has reached middle age. She loved you all her life, but love, like most things human, is fickle. She longs for those chocolate looks once more, simply for the joy a beautiful thing can impart. Some might term it mid life crisis but at least she has stuck to loving boys with chocolate looks  and smoldering expressive eyes.

Yes, at long last this one sided love affair is over. Move over dear Aamir. You have been replaced. I crown Timothée Chalamet as my new crush, who reminds me of you. Why? Just because I can.

Image source: a still from the film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak

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