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A millennial watches Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak: Celebrating Aamir Khan’s birthday the best way a fan can

For Aamir Khan’s 53rd birthday, we watched one of his first films ever. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak released in 1988, four years before our millennial was even born. Here’s what she thought about it.

bollywood Updated: Mar 13, 2018 19:55 IST
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak,Aamir Khan,Aamir Khan Birthday
Qamayat Se Qayamat Tak was Aamir Khan’s second film as an adult.

How well do films age? In this series, we will be taking superhits, blockbusters and cult classics and putting them through trial by a millennial. Can a 90s action drama or a 60s musical still feel fresh to a Netflix-binging, avocado-eating, Starbucks-sipping 20-something?

We are said to have ruined marriages, friendships and even marmalade but the one thing millennials are never held responsible for is killing love. At the risk of sounding like an old white man sitting on his wooden porch with a rifle in hand and ‘Texas’ etched on his hat, we indeed seem to have changed the definition of love to suit our busy, slightly narcissistic lives. For this very reason, love stories about a man ready to kill for his woman or a woman willing to die for her man seem to be relics of a fading past with little resonance in our reality. When did that happen? When did we swipe left on all-consuming passion?

I have always felt these thoughts float somewhere deep in my head but they rose to the surface earlier this week. I watched 1988’s Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak for the first time as my own little way of celebrating Aamir Khan’s 53rd birthday. The film, his second ever, is one of the many retellings of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that Hindi cinema has rewarded us with. A boy and a girl fall irrevocably in love but their feuding families decide their hatred for one another is more precious than their own children. The lovers persist, rebelling against the world despite the odds stacked against them.

There is hope in their hearts and a love so strong that even spending the rest of their days in the ruins of an isolated temple on a hill seems like an invitation to heaven itself. You don’t have a bed or even a roof over your head, but that’s a-okay because you are using his arm as a pillow. You aren’t feasting on your favourite food but nothing could make you smile more than the bread she just burned. When was the last time you or I felt so completely devoted to someone that we left all the comforts of our world behind? What must it feel like to be so sure? Not a figment of doubt in your mind? Must be magical.

When Qayamat... wasn’t making me feel bad about the emptiness in my life, it was making me realise the value of simplicity in storytelling. Not a single scene is without purpose and not a single dialogue without effect. From threats fired at enemies to declarations of love made at sunset, everything serves to move the plot forward. The film was made at the end of a decade that was still struggling to let go of the past, and at the beginning of one with a mood of its own.

The boy wants to rebel against his father but still cries bitterly in his arms like a hurt child, the girl is scared to death of her father but still does everything she must to live her own life. She lies about her whereabouts, relentlessly pursues a man she has fallen for and ultimately, runs from her own wedding. All against the wishes of her strict parents. This was from a time when kids were still learning to rebel against their parents, unlike us who look forward to moving out as soon as we turn 20. The sternness of their resolve wrapped in the gentleness of their demeanour bears testament to a changing time.

While watching the film, I could not help but take note of Aamir’s stellar work in his second film or Juhi Chawla’s heartwarming, unappreciated performance. Now, however, after letting it soak into my brain for a few days, these are the things that remain. The beautiful songs still ring in my ear with her laughter and his sobs.

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak is a beautiful thing to behold. Thank you, Aamir Khan, for being born. How else would I have watched this movie on your 53rd birthday?

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First Published: Mar 13, 2018 19:49 IST