Sunday, February 5

Imtiaz Ali

Note: This is not a profile or a review.

In December 2007, I saw a film called 'Jab We Met'. I was all alone at home, it was around 3.30 am. After about 2 and a half hours, I felt the story was about me. Neither I come from an affluent family like Aditya does nor I'm as talkative as Geet. They are two individuals I've never met, though, I understand them.

The only thing I identify with is the honesty. It takes courage to say 'haan, wo meri maa thi jo kisi aur ke saath bhaag gayi thi'. It takes courage to say, 'shaadi ke baad tum apna pehla affair mere saath kar lena'. There is pain but more than that, there is honesty. Aditya, a character from our world doesn't seem like the rich brat we expect him to be. He has seen life and faced the most difficult situation in life- saw his mother with another man. Shaken from within, his love also leaves him. It's difficult to be yourself amidst such circumstances. To sit in a hotel room with a young and attractive woman and behave the way he did, is dignity. Not every day, you come across such people.

But not every one accidentally meets a Geet. In a society, where a woman is supposed to be within limits, she extends them. She has her fears, but she braves them. She talks and talks and talks, as she doesn't want to restrict herself.  She lives for herself, but doesn't forget others in her life. 'Main apni favourite hun', is a difficult to thing to say. It's not the arrogance with which people speak. It's just the belief in her that is untouched. She gives everything her all. Even if it means being in pain. It takes a lot of Grace to thank someone whom she doesn't need to thank.

Their pain connects them, but their honesty brings them together.

This honesty is nothing but a reflection of a man who doesn't know how to lie. With all the fun he has, the one thing that refuses to leave his hand is his honesty  It's his dignified self that Aditya represents while Geet is his Gracious side. In a world full of hypocrites, he is untouched. Neither he is manipulative nor he is sitting on a pedestal. His characters are rooted, just like him. Be it Love Aaj Kal or Rockstar, what doesn't change is the fact that his characters are nothing but different sides of Imtiaz Ali. No male protagonist is undignified with women and no female protagonist is chained by the society. They are as free as he his. The 'away' in the Rumi couplet is nothing but his own world. Pure, untouched and uncompromised.

What he creates is beyond art, which is why what he leaves us with are more than just stories. 

Thank you Sir, for such honest stories.

P.S- I'm on a 'revisiting spree'!