I am really unwell today. The twitch in my left eye is much worse than before and some nerve is feeling stretched. There's a tremendous bodyache and my right tooth is paining badly. My throat is sore, my nose is stuffy and small knots of pain seem to lodged around my eyebrows and the base of my neck. There is a general expression of gloom. The recent blasts and then anger at Mumbai, the city and what it stands for, its steady into decline because its part of Maharashtra, the intolerance in the world at general, etc. - all that is doesn't sit easily with me either. All in all, everything is feeling heavy and sodden.
To perk myself up, I thought I would make a list of movie scenes that really meant something to me over the years. (I will post a scene as and when I get the energy. Right now, I feel like I won't stay alive long enough to finish the post.)
From Qayamat se Qayamat Tak:
The last scene. Just before Aamir dies, he softly kisses Juhi on the lips (she's already dead) and slumps down next to her. In the background, the sun sets over some sparse, sandy landscape and the song, "Papa Kehte Hai..." plays sadly. The contrast of the words, "Papa kehte hain badaa naam karega, beta hamara aisa kaam karega..." and Aamir dying for love...the irony is very touching. I remember thinking that if you find the love you can give up your life for, what can be a bigger accomplishment than that? Maybe his father never saw it that way. But life finds you in ways your parents or you never expect.
Why I go back to the film time and time again, especially that scene, is because I grew up in Bandra. Aamir and Salman were practically boys of the neighborhood. When 'Maine Pyar Kiya' released and Salman owned the public, my school (it was a girl's school) became sharply divided into two groups. There were some of us who listened to QSQT songs on repeat and there were those who wore the famed 'Friends' cap or carried notebooks with the Salman-Bhagyashree duo in a heart-shaped cutout.
At the time, I was for Aamir Khan. He had died for love. Not like this other stylish dude who enlisted services of pigeons, etc. to get the work done. Also, Aamir's home at the time was closer to my house than Salman's. Then Shah Rukh Khan came into the movies and over time, moved into the neighborhood as well. After each of their earlier films, I had seen Aamir in a smallish car driving to Khar gym for tennis. I had seen Salman Khan in an open jeep at Turner Road to get kulfis. But Shah Rukh - him I had spotted in a fiery red Pajero zooming off at Carter Road. One of my pals swooned and had said, "Wow! This guy's gonna be around for a long time!" I had snorted and said, "We'll see."
Over time, I started disliking Aamir. I thought the guy just can't get over anything. It's like you make a comment about him in 1995, then he will pass a barb at you in 2010. Too calculating for my taste. I dislike that so much that I don't even like watching any of the films he produces, let alone acts in. (And frankly I was not blown over with Taare Zameen Par. It was good but that's it.)
But whenever I see that scene in QSQT, I remember something. There's a saying in Oriya that translates to mean that if a plant is tulsi, it will start giving off the fragrance even when it has only two leaves.
Aamir's debut was with 'Qayamat se...', Salman's was with 'Maine Pyaar Kiya', and Shah Rukh's was with 'Deewana'. Qayamat is so much more subtle, soft, sad and lingering than his peers' more colorful, bombastic films. I think this preference of these 3 gentlemen carries forward until this date - to the movies they produce or act in. Shah Rukh will do a Don and Salman will produce a Dabanng but Aamir will make a Dhobhi Ghaat.
It sometimes looks as if Aamir sealed his fate with cinema with that tender kiss in his debut film's last scene. He was to be the harbinger of the quiet lingering moments. Let the others make the noise.
(For the record, though, I don't like him still.)