I remember the first time I watched DDLJ, I went crazy. I pranced around the house rolling myself in a towel and irritating the hell out of my mother. That was my first introduction to love. Love simply meant meeting a guy who you hate first, then fall in love and after millions of atrocities committed on you by the society, you marry and have sex with. Actually, the sex part didn’t come till Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Sex meant kissing each other everywhere except for the mouth while fully clothed and wet from an unexpected shower of rain. (The actual lesson came much later, with Brazzers and not a Bollywood movie.)
Real life intruded
So, when I finally got engaged to my husband after meeting him just once, my dreams of love were shattered. Of course, no one forced me to marry a decent man who was responsible and caring, but love isn’t supposed to happen this way! Worse, my now-husband-then-fiancé never understood. He never called me at work so I could prance around holding my mobile so my colleagues would tease me playfully. He never followed me home or got jealous of my male friends; I mean, that is THE definition of love, you have to get jealous and stalk me! Although to be honest, I was scared shitless when I was actually stalked, by a guy who threatened to slash his veins if I didn’t say yes. It hardly matters now, the compass was blunt and he didn’t even know the location of veins in his hand in the first place.
I couldn’t ask him to elope, fearing he’d fear for my sanity, so I was unable to sing Gazab Ka Hai Din. We never fought so I could never sing Ae Ajnabi Tu Bhi Kabhi. Our parents never fought so I could never sing Menda Yaar Mila De Saaiyaan. He never friendzoned me so I could sing Ae Kabira Maan Ja. Neither of us (touch wood!!!!) had an accident so the other person could sing Mujhe Haq Hai. None of my boyfriends (a measly number anyway) were irritated enough to create a scene at my wedding and sing Channa Mereya.
Related reading: Let the fantasy world end as the film ends
Where are the wedding dances?
The wedding ceremony was a disappointment anyway. The monstrosity everyone called my wedding lehnga didn’t have any flare like Alia had in SOTY. My sister got cold feet at the last moment so wouldn’t perform on Nagaade Sang Dhol Baaje. The maang tika wouldn’t stay on my head and bobbed around like a pendulum with a mind of its own. I still can’t bear to watch my wedding video, with my tika going everywhere on my head except the front.
But the worst part is that the movies never explained what to do after the marriage. I mean, I knew what songs to sing for everything that happened BEFORE the marriage, but not AFTER! Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was educational, but I would recognise my husband anyhow, and anyway he can’t dance. And since married people are not supposed to be in love according to the movies, I wasn’t sure how to take the feelings I had slowly begin to develop for my husband.
No song for every scene
Why isn’t there a song for the times when your husband buys you the book set you have been looking at forever? A song for the times when your husband feeds you the dalia he cooked while you are lying in 104-degree fever? Or a song for a teetotaller husband trying to clean his wife’s clothes as she lies in her own puke from a bachelorette party worth of booze?
Maybe because married couples or couples with no drama in their lives are not worthy of attention. Because our love stories, too plain for our ears, are not enough to satisfy our restricted imaginations. We want to delve into a world of flamboyant proposals, slow-mo dashes on foreign beaches and flying hair that never seems to get tangled. And of course, no one sings songs for a man and woman lying in a bed, spent, after having sex for the first time in months due to their busy schedules and yet feeling far happier with the post-coitus talk than the thing before the post-coitus.
But real wins over reel
When love came for me, it didn’t rain, neither did hundreds of skinny girls danced with their dupattas flying in the air, going all Bahara Hua Dil Pehli Baar Ve, and neither did everything around me colour coordinate itself to red (the colour of love according to Karan Johar anyway). It was like the breasts you thought you would never gain and one day, you wake up and realise that A won’t do anymore. You begin to admire what you have, even if it’s slightly lopsided. Because it’s what you have, it’s what you want and no matter what Bollywood says, it’s what you’ve been waiting for.
Do you want to test if your real-life relationship does follow Bollywood rom-com scripts? Take this quiz to find out which!