Roshmila Bhattacharya wonders what could have happened to dilwale Raj and his dulhaniya, Simran, 14 years after they chugged away into the sunset.
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is still playing at Maratha Mandir, making it the longest running film in Bollywood history. The other day, while watching the movie, I started wondering about Raj and Simran.. their shaadi and its side effects. And came up with five worst case scenarios.
Take 1: The mad-for-each-other couple settles down in the Queen’s country. The first few years are a roller coaster ride. Then Raj inherits his daddy’s empire and turns into a fuddy duddy tycoon whose day begins with boardroom meetings and ends with business dinners.
For a while, Simran waits up for him with a hot meal that turns cold.. then snuggles into bed with her bachchas at the stroke of 9 and fills her day with kitty parties and parent-teacher interactions. Snore, bore!
Take 2: Simran turns from a darling wife to a doting mom. Her babies keep her busy. A bored Raj goes looking for excitement and finds himself a phirang chick. His biwi goes bawling home to bauji and beeji who have since relocated to the sarson ka khets of Punjab. No, that doesn’t sound quite right. The spirited Simran would never turn into a weepy wimp. So, how about this? She has an affair too.. with Jason Timberlake and they groove until the end of time. Now that’s a super catch!
Take 3: Raj is the perfect husband.. he never forgets birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. Simran is her friends’ envy and her husband’s pride. Then, one night she elopes with the neighbourhood’s high school dude. Raj is stumped! Blame it on the 20-year itch!
Take 4: Raj jet sets around the globe but, every few weeks, returns home to his Simran. And so life goes on. Then, one day he doesn’t return. His father comes home to tell Simran that Raj has taken off to Hawaii with a male friend. He was always a closet homosexual. And having learnt that he’s HIV positive he wants to die happy. How’s that for a googly!
Take 5: We saw them fall in love.. what we didn’t see is them fall out of love. Blame it on the everyday monotony of married life. Four years down the road, they grow apart and go down different roads.
A decade goes by.. they run into each other again at Heathrow airport in the middle of a snow storm. The chance encounter brings back happy memories. Then, their flights are announced. She is on her way to New York, he is Paris bound. She walks away.
“Palat”, he urges. She does.. and returns. “Someone.. somewhere.. is waiting for you,” he says smiling into her eyes. “Yeah,” she smiles back. “My husband, goodbye.” And so they lived happily ever part.
Sorry, did I shatter your illusions? But then, life is not a rose-tinted dream. But hey, there could be another follow-up to this love story too.
One afternoon, I was talking to Shah Rukh Khan and this is how he had analysed Raj for me. “He flunks his exams, shirks business and goes hunting for beer after midnight yet the girls adore him and so do their families. He is a real dilwale at heart. I can see him and Simran growing old together. Still very much in love.. still having a lot of fun together.” And so they could have lived happily too.