Chapter 9: Love Through Art

Main aap ki tasveer banana chahta hun.

In the book, The Architecture of Happiness, author and philosopher Alain de Botton writes, “It is in books, poems, paintings which often give us the confidence to take seriously feelings in ourselves that we might otherwise never have thought to acknowledge.” Akash, Sameer, and Sid also acknowledge their feelings and realize that they are in love through the medium of art.

Akash gets to understand that love exists through the art of opera. He never believed in love. Shalini, therefore, takes him to an opera to convince him that love exists. When he enters the opera theater, he looks at Shalini, dressed in white, and talking to a few other patrons. Charmed by her ethereal beauty, he smiles and sighs to himself. Unable to fathom the emotion he was feeling at that moment, he shakes his head and moves on. Akash has already fallen in love with her; he just does not realize it. The opera begins. It depicts the doomed story of two lovers—Troilus and Cressida. The warrior Troilus has to leave his beloved Cressida to fight a war for his kingdom. Cressida worries that something might happen to him, and she might not see him ever again. Her fears turn out to be true. Troilus dies in the war. He stands at the gates of heaven but does not want to enter it. He is desperately asking for one day from God to let him meet Cressida to tell her that he loves her immensely. To get that one day, he is ready to die a thousand deaths all over again. Shalini asks Akash to close his eyes to see that one person from whom he is willing to die a thousand deaths. In his conscience, Akash finally sees the face of the person with whom he is in love. And, of course, it is the person who is sitting right next to him—Shalini. Love is the glimpse of life after bearing the pain of multiple deaths.

Sameer acknowledges his feelings of love through the art of cinema. Sameer says to Pooja that he loves her, who laughs it off. Later, they go and watch a movie titled Woh Ladki Hai Kahan (Where Is That Girl) in the theater. The movie begins. A black and white sequence starts playing. Sameer sees himself as the hero on the screen. He is confused as he cannot figure out if it is real or it is fantasy. The same happens to Pooja a moment later. She sees herself as the heroine on the screen. They get transposed inside the film. And, soon, they become the hero and heroine traversing the different eras of film songs in Hindi cinema from the 1950s to the 1990s. The song and the film end with the question—Where is the girl whom he loves? And, Sameer finally gets the answer. The girl was right there, sitting next to him. Love is dancing after surrendering to its music.

Sid expresses love for Tara through the art of painting. Being a man of few words, Sid talks about his inability to express love in Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut. He sings, “Kaise kisi ko bataaye, kaise yeh samjhaaye, kya pyaar hai.” How to tell and make someone understand what love is. Tara had asked him earlier about his best artwork. He had said that he had not painted his best yet. “Main aapki tasveer banana chahta hun,” he requests Tara. Sid expresses his love by painting the portrait of the woman he silently loves while she sits next right to him. Love is the palette of colors that fill up the blank canvas of life.

The moment when the three experience love in Dil Chahta Hai. The three women are dressed in white.