Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Memorable Scene 1—Kal Ho Naa Ho

I am starting a new series Memorable Scene where I will write on my favorite scenes from films. I remember films more by their scenes than any other thing.
Kal Ho Naa Ho completed seventeen years of its release recently. Not only is it my favorite Shah Rukh Khan film, but also, one of my favorite films ever. It is also a film that was instrumental in developing my love for films. I was in Class Eleventh when it had released. At that point in life, when the shock of science studies hits, that too in a new school with no friends, this movie brought comfort and joy. I found friends in films. I am always moved whenever I watch this film.
There are many scenes that are my favorite from this film. The sight of Aman (Shah Rukh Khan) in the hospital and the melancholic score playing in the background is one of the best scenes ever in Hindi films. Other scenes, such as the one with the diary at the station, and the one at the mehendi where Naina (Preity Zinta) and Aman go into a bubble of their own, are just beautiful. But I also love the one where the truth about Gia (Jhanak Shukla) is revealed to Dadi (Sushma Seth) by Aman. It is a moving scene reiterating the importance of love and kindness. Sushma Seth and Jaya Bachchan are spectacular in the scene. 
The scene begins when Dadi questions Jenny (Jaya Bachchan) about the need to tell Rohit (Saif Ali Khan) and his parents the real reason for the death of Naina's father. Jenny believes that new relationships cannot be built on the basis of a lie. Naye rishtey jhooth ki buniyaad par nahi bante. Dadi taunts her that she could not save her existing relationships and now talks about building new ones. Then, the conversation segues to Gia where Dadi refuses to accept that she is her grandchild. Dadi calls her a burden that Jenny brought on their family which led to her son taking his life. Meanwhile, an emotional Gia runs to Aman to apprise him of the events at her house. Aman comes to the house and interferes in the conversation between Dadi and Jenny. He reveals to Dadi that Gia was borne out of her son's infidelity and Jenny took it upon herself to raise her as her own daughter. Her son could have understood Jenny's hate and anger but he could not take the magnanimity and the kindness with which she accepted Gia. It was this guilt that led to his death by suicide.
Earlier in the scene, Dadi recounts the mistakes her son made in his life. She says that her son made a mistake when he married Jenny, and then another one when he adopted Gia. Later, Naina reads a letter from Gia's birth mother where she brings the topic of mistakes and writes that when someone makes a mistake, they also possess the ability to pay the price of it. But Jenny had to pay the price of a mistake that she did not even commit in the first place. All her life, she took the blame for someone else's faults. After realizing her own mistake, Dadi reaches out to Jenny who cries her heart out to her and says that her husband was not a bad man; he just made a mistake. It is only fitting then that the reconciliation between Dadi and Jenny happens in a church, a place to ask and receive forgiveness for mistakes.
In Masoom, Indu (Shabana Azmi) learns that her husband DK (Naseeruddin Shah) had a child Rahul (Jugal Hansraj) from an affair in the past. After Rahul's mother Bhavana (Supriya Pathak) dies, he is sent to live with DK. Indu cannot stand living under the same roof as Rahul as he reminds her of her husband's infidelity but she gradually comes around to accepting Rahul. In Kal Ho Naa Ho, Gia's birth mother is alive but is unable to take care of her daughter. She leaves it to her partner's wife to take care of her. Jenny would have, perhaps, gone through the same trauma as Indu but the film does not show this aspect. Jenny chooses not to see her husband's betrayal in Gia. She only sees a child looking for a bit of love. Jenny even hid the truth from her husband's mother and protects Gia at every stage. Jenny is a wonderful human being. In the beginning moments of the film, Gia and her family pray to Jesus Christ to send them an angel to remove all their sorrows. Aman is the angel who comes to their rescue but it was Jenny who was truly the guardian angel of Gia. 
Kal Ho Naa Ho always reminds me of the immense love that people carry in their hearts. Jenny and Aman worked to make the world a better place for the people they love and they did it all alone. All the statistics in the world cannot measure the capacity of the human heart to love.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Kehte hain jab insaan galti karta hai, toh uski saza bhugatne ki taakat bhi usme hoti hai."
—Gia's Mother, Kal Ho Naa Ho