When Zoya Akhtar changed the way the world envisioned female directors, especially in the Hindi Film Industry, you knew that you were getting yourself into a movie experience you would never want to forget. With a deep philosophical thought in the title, the film opened with something else altogether. The opening scene shows a guy and a girl in a romantic setting with the guy down on one knee, asking for her hand in marriage. Little could anyone have gauged what lay in store. Basically the guy in question, Kabir played by Abhay Deol, was a man with a heart of gold, the kinds that is called a ‘catch’ in real life.
Cut to the part that makes the film what it is. I am assuming that all of you who are reading this post have watched the film atleast once. Cause if you haven’t, then I will find you, and make you watch the film. Mostly ’cause this is one of the closest movies to my heart and became the answer to my loneliness when I used to walk aimlessly on the streets of Colaba uptil Marine Drive, sometimes beyond Chowpatty and back just to find a solution to where I was going in life. That was 2011. I had watched ZNMD 4 times in one week at a theatre that’s very close to my heart as well, the iconic Regal Cinema, all alone, and enjoyed each scene every single time. Since then there have been countless revisits to the movie, surely, but the first few remain unforgettable.
This film also starred Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar in pivotal roles with Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin adding the femininity in this high-on-testosterone drama. At the outset, this is an out-and-out guy film with three friends growing up together, going on to follow their respective passion(s) in life. I say passion and not dreams, because they hold a different meaning for everyone, and in most cases it cannot or is not the same.
So then why do I think that ZNMD is a film that teaches you to be thankful for every breath you take? Read on to find out:
A Competitive Spirit, Against All Odds
If Arjun (Hrithik) not had been driven my money, he wouldn’t have gone on to become equivalent of the wolf of Wall Street. In a candid conversation with a woman he fancies, it is revealed how after his father’s passing, his mother and he had a tough time getting by. Hence the reason behind his workaholism and his attitude towards personal relationships is understandable, and by the by justified.
Farhan Akhtar uncovers a truth about his family that puts him in an existential crisis of kinds. When he tells his friends about it, they are obviously supportive, but it is a truth that Farhan has to face or hide in the deepest corners of his heart. His friends, however, are quite unsure of his ulterior motive of choosing Spain for his road trip. But, as they say, darr ke aage jeet hai.
Dil Ki Betaabiyaan
As Farhan Akhtar recites, “dilon mein tum betaabiyaan leke chal rahe ho, toh zinda ho tum“, he has very articulately expressed a simple funda… if you’re desperate, you are willing to go on till you realize your dreams. Desperation, unfortunately is a misunderstood term in today’s day and age. It has little to do with being a untamed bull (pun intended) and a lot to do with how being laidback and adopting a lackadaisical attitude can cost you your time, which is more precious than the most precious gem. In the words of Fun and their popular song, We Are Young, we can make the most of our time while we are young along with making memories to cherish, we know we can set the world on fire by just burning brighter than the sun. In other words, we need to believe we are all stars in our own right.
Khwabon Ke Parindey
I’ll elaborate this line with a few lines from the song,
Kahe yeh dil ke jaa udhar bhi tu
Jahaan bhi leke jaaye aarzoo
It speaks about following your heart, through and through. We all know of atleast one person who has already done it or has definitely spoken about “leaving their job to travel and explore”, yours truly is one of them. But is that a long term or a short term solution? Is wanting to break free a sign of escapism or does it have anything to do with wanting to let go because monotony has completely seeped in and there is nothing more that you can endure beyond this point? Honestly, that’s a question this blog or I cannot answer for you. Mere dil ki aarzoo is to write to make myself heard, aapki kya hai woh pehchanni zaroori hai…
No Afsos, Seize The Day, Carpe Diem
Because Hrithik Roshan (Arjun) is a workaholic and has no time for love or respecting his partner, because Farhan Akhtar (Imran) writes his secrets in his little black book and is living with a haunting present and Abhay Deol (Kabir) is all-set to get married but doesn’t want to… the course the film and the road trip in Spain changes everything for the three musketeers. For everyone who loved the film and continues to do so, each time is a new learning from it. Then there are some who feel it’s a regular bromance and has nothing much to offer, but we will address this point later. Yes, there are several Hollywood films that speak about following your heart and going after what your true calling is… but I don’t know of many such films that inspired me to say leave everything and go be a hermit or something.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon, kya pata Kal Ho Naa Ho. ❤