Chapter 25: The Reunion
“Just turn around.”
Early in the film, Shalini imagines Akash smiling back at her through the glass walls of a café. A similar scene is recreated in the film’s beautiful ending moments where Akash sees his past self smiling back at him. The scene begins with a shot of the traffic signal. A few cars are seen from a three-leafed clover-shaped panel (a nice touch which can be likened to the three friends). Akash is stuck in traffic. He glances at a group of friends hanging out in college. He then suddenly sees his old self from college, having a fun chat with Sid and Sameer. His past self stares and smiles right back at his present self. The noise of the car horns breaks Akash’s reverie of the cars, and he starts driving again. Akash probably realizes that he is sacrificing his present and future moments of creating lifelong memories with his dear friends because of past grudges. He, therefore, calls Sameer to apologize to Sid. He tells him that he was sorry. Sid says that he should also apologize to him. He asks Akash when they can meet. Akash replies that they can meet at that moment. “Aaj, abhi, isi waqt. Just turn around.” Akash was standing right behind all this while. Their long-awaited reunion finally happens, and they hug each other. The reunion scene is profoundly moving. It is a reminder to own our mistakes and apologize for them to mend broken relationships. We get hung up on our egos and, in the process, end up hurting ourselves. Life is an arduous journey with numerous obstacles on the way, but navigating it with a few people who genuinely care for you, can make it a memorable ride.
Recently, there has been some chatter about making a sequel to Dil Chahta Hai. I do not think it is a good idea as I feel the story ended on the right note. Salman Rushdie wrote an essay on stories in The New York Times where he writes,”I believe that the books and stories we fall in love with make us who we are, or, not to claim too much, the beloved tale becomes a part of the way in which we understand things and make judgments and choices in our daily lives.” Dil Chahta Hai is that film for me and I will always be thankful to Farhan Akhtar for making it. When we grow up, we slowly start falling out of love with what we adored in childhood. Times change, people change, values change. It has been twenty years, Dil Chahta Hai has endured the test of time for me. The heart still wants it. I hope in the coming time as well, the love for the film stays and the heart continues to want it. Dil Chahta Hai forever.