We saw Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna today,The movie is a good exploration(by the standards of a typical commercial hindi film) of extra marital relationships. The elaborate sets, the foreign locales, the Jazzzy star cast, the lovely songs, the elaborate song and Dance sequences, the engaging dialogues , the wirtty repartee etc. Some would rate it as Karan Johar’s best movie till date and it would be surprising if it does not turn out to be a super duper hit.
However, one cannot help but wonder about certain things. In his earlier movie, “Kabhi khushi Kabhi gum”, the way the brothers were seperated and united, we were wondering why they were seperated in the first place. In this movie, Abhishek Bachchan(Rishi) is married to Rani Mukherjee(Maya) and Shahrukh Khan(Dev) to Preity Zinta(Rhea). One cannot show too many things in three hours but there did not seem to have any great incompatibility problems that lead to the affair between Rani Mukherjee and Shahrukh Khan. My wife whispered to me,” Why doesn’t she like Abhishek Bachchan.She is mad or what”. They have tried to show their incompatability but it is not something that could not be resolved. Actually, it seemed that Abhishek and Priety Zinta had far better chemistry and they should have had an affair, if any.
The movie tries to show that where there is marriage without love, there would be love without marriage. Its more like Abhishek telling Rani,” You won’t have a chance with me if you don’t dance( in the party and in bed i.e.show passion)
I could figure out that on watching Abhishek, meri wife ko “Kuch Kuch hota hai“. I had to be on my guard about my own marriage. Kya pata, “Kal ho na ho ? As it is after ten years of marriage, the evergreen charm of bachelorhood and courtship can hardly be expected. Married life becomes Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum.
Jokes apart, that’s exactly what I felt about Preity Zinta. Who would drop pretty babe Zinta for Rani Mukherjee. “Jab Preity jaisi Rani(wife) ho, tau Rani Mukherjee ko koi bhi muhkar jai. Dev ko Maya ya kisi aur Devi ki maya rakne ki kya zaroorat thi jabki koi Rishi ka bhi jiya hila deti Rhea.” Dev, yeh kaisi maya hai miya? Tum to experienced ho, Devdas jo reh chuke ho” . As it is I am of the view that Priety Zinta ke saamne kisi ka chance nahin hai banta. Though the movie was good overall, I felt that Salaam Namaste which also dealt somewhat with the issue of compatibility between life partners was a lot cuter and was far more natural without any overdose of melodrama. The only common factor between the two movies is again the naturally cute Preity babe which only corroborates what I have said in the early part of the paragraph. This movie was more like “Dilwaale dusro ki dulhaniya aur dulhe le jayenge“.
This movie is similar to “Silsila” that came twenty years ago which featured Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan.He had an affair with Rekha in the movie( only?) but could not get her and had to return to his wife. In this movie,as a naughty old man he seems to be making up for lost time and crosses the Lakshman Rekha and flirts with a bevy of lovely firang ladies. Needless to mention, he carries it off with aplomb along with the serious scenes and die hard fans like me would want to tell the Superstar Emeritus to keep raising bar, to keep crossing even more rekhas where acting skills are concerned. In the movie, he dies in the end but I would like to say- “Please keep acting, Mr Bachchan– Kabhi alvida na Kehna. This holds true for the father-son duo; their chemistry is fantastic and they really rock together.
Though everybody has acted very well, the movie is over melodramatic in certain phases like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum. They have shown the couples parting in what can be deemed a bold end but unnecessarily prolonged the end by making Mukherjee and Shahrukh remaining separated for another three years for no rhyme or reason and the railway station scenes in the end were too long and artifically hindi-movie like. For a movie that has a title ,”Kabhi alvida na kehna”, this is a lot of unnecessary and artificial procrastination. It was an endless silsila that they could have done without.
On a more serious note,here are the views of the great revolutionary mystic, Osho Rajhneesh(taken from http://www.barnet.sk/software/sos/osho/osho-talks/seltops.htm) on the subject of marriage per se which are quite relevant in the context of both this movie and that wonderful movie, “Salaam Namaste”What is expressed by Osho seem live solutions and have been expressed in Bold:-
“People go on living in misery thinking that, “Next life I will find another woman — or another husband — but this life nothing can be done. It is better to accept.” So people remain somehow satisfied, whatsoever the situation is, and they call it contentment — it is only consolation. And they have rationalized all these ugly things in many ways.”
Solution no 1- Pre-marital relationships as a gauge of compatibility- This was shown very well in the movie “Salaam Namaste”:-
“Now this is so illogical. Unless a man or a woman has lived in many pre-marital relationships there is no possibility of choosing a right partner. This is such a simple phenomenan! Unless you have experienced many women and men in your life, how can you choose who is going to be the right person to live with? But they don’t allow any pre-marital relationships, so people start falling in love at first sight — which is nonsense. Then, of course, the same people say love is blind. First they throw acid in your eyes and then they say love is blind! You see the strategy? Don’t allow boys and girls to meet and mingle with each other so that they can experience many people before they decide — don’t allow them. Suffocate their sexual energy!
Pre-marital relationship is a very scientific phenomenon. It has to be allowed, it has to become part of human rights. It should be one of the basic rights of every human being to have love relationships before one decides for some intimacy, to live with somebody for a longer period. I will not say for your whole life, because who knows, life is a big thing, but for a longer period. Tomorrow you may find a far more beautiful woman, a far more beautiful man, then your intelligence will say that it is better to choose. Then why go on being tortured by your past? Remain free for the future, open to the future. So I say only for a longer period, when you decide.
When you have enjoyed many relationships you will be able to choose, you will be able to judge what kind of woman or man suits you, what kind of woman or man is a nourishment.
I am all for pre-marital relationships. Without them man will remain insane.”
Soltuion no 2- Extra marital relationships
“And he says he is also against extra-marital relationships. That is a little more complicated, but it has to be understood. That too is one of the latest psychological findings, that extra-marital relationships help marriage, they don’t destroy it. It is always good to have a little change, just at the weekend. It does not harm at all. That idea — that if a man starts having a little love affair with some woman other than his wife it will destroy the marriage — is absolutely wrong. It will help, it will renew the relationship, because one gets tired. Man is, after all, human. Don’t ask impossible things! One gets tired — the same woman, the same man. One loses all taste.
If you have to eat the same food every day, like I do, you will get fed up.
Unless you are enlightened you, extra-marital relationships are good. So please have as many as you can have before you become enlightened, because once you are enlightened I cannot help! Then you are finished.
Once in a while just a little taste of a new woman, a new man revives your interest in the old woman and the old man. You start thinking, “After all, she is not so bad.” A little change is always good.
I am not against extra-marital relationships. The people who are against them are really teaching you possessiveness in an indirect way.
When I say I am not against extra-marital relationships I am teaching you non-possessiveness.
Just see the point: if I talk about non-possessiveness people think, “That’s spiritual, that’s religious — that’s great!” But if I talk about extramarital relationships, the spiritual and the religious are immediately offended.
But I am saying the same thing. Talking about non-possessiveness is abstract, talking about extra-marital relationship is concrete. And you cannot live with abstractions, you have to live with concrete life. And what wrong can it do? If a man is tired of the same woman — the same contours, the same geography, the same topography — once in a while a little bit different geography, a little bit different landscape…and he comes home again interested in exploring the old map. It gives a break — a coffee break. And after each coffee break you can again get involved in the same work, the same files, and you open them and you start working…. The coffee break helps you.
I don’t want people to be interested in impossible ideals. I am not an idealist at all. I am down-to-earth, a pragmatist, a realist.
If people want to live together in a deep intimacy, they should not be possessive. They should allow freedom. And that’s what extra-marital relationship is: freedom. But people are very strange.”
Salaam Namaste was all about pre-martial exploration and Kabhi alvida na Kehna is about extra marital exploration. Osho or for that matter his great contemporary Krishnamurthy were men too ahead of their times and many of their teachings went unimplemented during their lifetimes..
On fhe face of it, what he says does have substance but there is a slip between the cup and the slip and one wonders how practically feasible it is to implement such ideas. One school of thought is that “Expecting perfect compatibility in marriage is like expecting a Utopia and people who keep changing jobs and marriages exchange one type of problems for another do not realize that the problem lies with themselves and not with the external circumstances”. This too is relevant in some other cases and one should contemplate a change only if there is drastic incompatibility. In my view, teaching practical psychology(management of people) in schools to gauge incompatibilty in advance to the extent possible( the only foolproof way is to live together as shown in Salaam namaste)and also cope better in case of maladustment. This is as important as sex education.
I can sense some naughty opportunisim in the young people who have read Osho’s views but hard facts are that like some of the books which get banned, this is too radical a change for Indian society to accept en-masse. Osho in his life was revered for some of the fantastic things he said till he started talking about subjects like sex and what is mentioned above. Variety cannot always be the spice of life.
Our society is simply not ready for such explorations. So let me introduce to another exploration.. This has to do with the other major decision of one’s life- the right occupation once again by Osho, President Abdul Kalam and Shahrukh khan among others “Kabhi alvida na kehna – Hamesha ke liye alvida kehnaa” – http://mypyp.wordpress.com/2006/08/11/kabhi-alvida-na-kehna-humesha-ke-liye-alvida-kehna/