Chapter 8: Life Is Like A Ship

Hum dost they, hain, rahenge.

At one point in Dil Chahta Hai, the three friends, Akash, Sameer, and Sid, enjoy the magnificent view of the sea from the ramparts of the Chapora Fort during their trip in Goa. This scene became so iconic that the fort came to be called Dil Chahta Hai fort, and any trip to Goa is considered incomplete without a picture taken at this spot. Then, the three friends see a ship sailing through the sea, and Sid remarks that they all are like that ship. Sooner or later, they will also start sailing to their respective destinations, and it is possible that those destinations might not be the same. It might happen in the future that they won’t have time to meet each other even once in ten years. Akash and Sameer are a bit taken aback by his statement. Akash tells Sid that they will be friends for life. Hum dost they, hain, rahenge. The ship seems to have a particular significance as it appears to be deliberately added in this sequence, and its shot looks pretty different from the usual view from the fort.

Life is like a ship.

Sid is the most mature of the three friends, and this scene yet again shows his ability to understand reality better than Akash and Sameer. At this stage, their friendship is strong, but it has not faced any dire and testing times. The three of them have recently graduated and are still trying to find their aim in life. Many of us would have had the same discussion with friends when we were in school or college, whether or not we will remain friends for the rest of our lives. There is a feeling of doubt and uncertainty about keeping in touch with friends. More often than not, it happens that we lose touch. The lack of time or the tyranny of distance—emotional and physical—usually crops up in friendship, and it falls apart. It is this feeling that the scene portrays. We do not know what lies ahead in the future for us; all we can do is enjoy this present time with our friends. Immediately after this scene, the song’s magical lyrics in the voice of Shankar Mahadevan reiterate the same feeling. Kaisa ajab yeh safar hai, socho toh har ik hi bekhabar hai, usko jaana kidhar hai, jo waqt aaye, jaane kya dikhaaye. How strange is this journey. Each of us is so unsure of where he is destined to go. Who knows what the future has in store for us? We then see the three friends sailing together in a ship after this fort scene.

Akash had told Sid that they should all come to Goa once a year. Therefore, the Chapora fort again makes a comeback in the final moments of the film. The three of them sit on the same spot admiring the same view. It is worth observing the distance between them in this scene and comparing it with the scene before. Earlier, the three of them were sitting somewhat farther away from each other. However, here, when they reunite, the distance between the three of them has reduced. They are sitting much closer to each other. The reduction in the physical space among the three in the two scenes is related to their emotional closeness. Their friendship went through a difficult time, but it has come out stronger and deeper. During the last scene, Akash remarks, “Woh dekh tera jahaaz. Do saal pehle itna chhota tha, ab kitna bada ho gaya,” again, harking back to the earlier scene. The ship has grown in size; likewise, the three have also matured and grown up. It is the coming of age of the ship; it is also the coming of age of their friendship.

They sit closer to each other.