So the media has effectively been going insanely crazy over DDLJ completing 1000 weeks at Maratha Mandir. The cast is being interviewed, quotable quotes from the movie being repeated like everywhere.
I remember seeing the movie for the very first time, not in a theater, but on tv. You see, those were the good old days when we were at the mercy of the neighbourhood cablewalla, who sometimes did the evil sin of showing new movies on his own secret channel. The quality of the print used to be so so so bad ('camera print' it was called those days), but there was some magic, some joy in that whole experience, which streaming a new movie online doesn't quite capture.
Anyway, so we caught glimpses of the movie (I think from the train sequence to tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam- with manyyy scenes missing and heads cut). Deciding that the movie might just be worth checking out, we eventually saw the movie in the theater. And the rest as they say is history.
DDLJ was the onset of a very very long ongoing love affair between me and Bollywood. I was all of eight when the movie came out, but it left an indelible impression on me. For me, SRK is the Raj of DDLJ, always. Maybe the Rahul or Kabir Khan. Never the Suri or Om or G.one. But always the Raj. When I say I am an SRK fan (used to be would be more apt in the current scenario) I refer to DDLJ, always. I fell deeply in love with the pairing of SRK and Kajol, to the point that I thought SRK should divorce his wife and marry Kajol and got so upset when Kajol married Ajay Devgan (ya we were super awesome like that)! I even bugged my parents to take me to this Awesome Foursome show where SRK and Kajol were performing, some four hours away from Ottawa in Toronto, when I was 11, and I remember being in total awe that I was in the same physical space as them. I remember travelling to Switzerland some six years after the movie was out, and being obsessed with buying a cowbell and staring at mustard fields.
I loved many movies after that, but this one has always held a special place in my heart. Perhaps because I was so young. Perhaps because it was the first of its kind in many ways. Perhaps because of all the imagery and memories associated with it.
Looking back, DDLJ represents a simpler time, in cinema and life. It represents a pre-Internet, pre-Facebook era, where things were at face value and you didn't have the option of googling everything. It was a time when movie stars were people you guessed about and were in awe of, not people on your Twitter and Instagram accounts. It was a time when people wore outrageous clothes in movies, were fat and probably didn't go to the gym all the time.
Too much mush this post. But far away from this maddening business of 100 crore movies, unending film promotions and super perfect looking movie stars, DDLJ is perhaps one of the few films which always manages to warm my heart. And that's enough.
After all, bade bade deshon mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain.