First up - just the fact that Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Mohabbatein released ONLY five years apart is just disturbing for me. Almost like time passed slowly when I was a kid and now I blink and a whole week passes by.
Anyway, what was Mohabbatein even?
In 2000, when Mohabbatein released, did you watch it on repeat every now and then on a three-disc CD set or were you normal? I guess it was the whole idea of those ornate sets and Manish Malhotra clothing that I was enamoured by as a kid.
A part of me, not gonna lie, wanted to be like Ishika (Shamita Shetty). I mean, you can basically remember Ms Shetty for either this role in Mohabbatein or the song Sharara Sharara (which btw was more popular than the movie I can't even recall the name of). Uske baad kya hua, kya pata?
Gurukul: A Boarding School or College? Who Can Tell?
To this day, I want one of the makers to help me understand what Gurukul really was? The crème de la crème of the country went to study there. Okay. So I am assuming it was a college.
But why were these people (full-fledged adults who chose to act like a bunch of reckless fifteen-year-olds) treated like they were in a school? I don't recall a college where students have to wake up early to attend a prayer meeting? And why were they wearing uniforms?
SO. DAMN. CONFUSING.
I Spent 7 Years of My Life Not Knowing What Surya Namaskar Really Was...
Mr Shankar's definition of "Surya Namaskar" was staring the sun while it rises. God knows I spent years thinking this was the legit "Surya Namaskar" until I attended a free Yoga class when I was 15 and learned that Mr Shankar was bluffing.
There's Love at First Sight and Then There's Love at First Glimpse
The man sees a girl across the platform and in a second a train whizzes past him and the man falls in love. I can't. Wow, Jimmy...
Who Doesn't Remember What Their Childhood Friend Looks Like?
Oh Kim (Sharma, who plays, Sanjana in the film) you were so lost in bangles and the math you had do for one and half rupee and two and half rupee that you couldn't recognise a childhood friend? Tch tch. Poor Jugal.
Did Gurukul Not Have Other Teachers?
Idk about you, but I don't recall seeing any other teacher apart from Mr Aryan and Mr Shankar, the headmaster.
How Does SRK Land a Job at the School/College When Amitabh Likes Nothing About Him is Still a Mystery
Remember AB boasting that if you get kicked out of Gurukul, no one will give you an admission thus barring your job prospects. Well, joke's on you Mr Shankar.
Why Was Music Class the Only Class These People Attended?
Oh yay, someone is playing a violin in the lawn. Oh yay, let's go join. Ofc, because we don't have other classes to attend. Who cares.
SRK is aTeacher Asking Students to Break Rules
One day you're innocently sitting in his first music class ever and boom...you find yourself breaking the chains of the massive college gate. LITERALLY. Wild.
Amitabh Leaves for a Few Hours and SRK Becomes the King of Gurukul?
So much so that he takes the liberty of inviting girls from the neighbouring "girls" school/college for his "birthday" party. Smooth.
Why Rich Gal Ishika Be Stealing Apple?
Come on rich gal, get your papa to buy an orchard for you. Unless you enjoy cheap thrills?
And Then I Watched 'Dead Poets Society'
In 2017, I watched Dead Poets Society and I was like...wait a minute. I mean sure, I did, for a moment wonder about how ridiculous the plot was - a kid dying because he couldn't get into a play. But at least the film had layers to it and some original ideas of conflict. Mohabbatein, on the other hand, made the worst copy of Mr Keating in Mr Aryan.
While Keatings was all like, "I will earn your trust as a teacher," etc etc., Mr Aryan just invited pity. Poor thing didn’t get a classroom so he sat outside the building under a shed and started to play.
Keating sized up the boys' attitudes and problems, trying to disarm them of their hang-ups. Meanwhile, Mr Aryan uses the boys' possible love interests to turn them against the headmaster who kicked him out of the school/college for falling in love with his daughter years ago.
Keating and Aryan are not the same.
This is chess, not checkers.
Dead Poets Society is a classic. A film that won four Oscars - best screenplay, best director, best actor and best picture. But the sad truth of having a Mohabbatein and a Dead Poets Society is that you can never know the two exclusively of each other, if you have seen both.
In 2000, if someone told me that I should skip watching Mohabbatein because years later, I will get a chance to experience a film so beautifully made, I would have gladly done so.
But now, all I can think of is Robin Williams doing the SRK pose and it's a haunting memory.
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