The king of romance passed away. As much as I hate cliches - I think this is one I'll have to agree with.
Yash Chopra was, to me and countless Bollywood obsessed, fantasy-focused Indians, the creator of chivalrous love, muted passion and chiffon-clad romance.
He redefined love - and he did it so well and artlessly that we forgot it's just the movies and that there's someone to say 'cut' at the end of that heart-melting moment when the guy looks at the girl and says everything in a glance. You forget that he's probably practiced for hours to get that 'you're mine and no one else's' look and you turn around expecting your man to match up to those impossible Mills and Boon standards as well.
In his movies, your love was always reciprocated, the girl was always the centre of the guy's universe, the girls were gorgeous, the men ever charming, love was born amongst snow-capped peaks and expressed through the most poetic ways. Groceries, bills, petty fights and screaming kids had no place in those 35 mm reels.
Mr. Chopra, I wonder if you did a good thing or a bad one? You gave people the respite from humdrum reality with three hours of magic every few years - but you spoiled the days in between for some of us. At least a bit for me...
I grew up on Yash Chopra romances. I believed that love had no barriers. I believed in soul-mates who would eventually find you no matter what. I believed when he did he would tell the whole world how he felt about me. That he would profess undying love to me...in poetic words and phrases that would make me go weak in the knees. I believed in fairy dust.
I forgot I had to grow up.
Some time back I was watching DDLJ - and I was wondering why I never grow tired of this movie. Why, even though I probably know the dialogues and scenes by heart, I can keep watching it. Over and over again. I realized it was because it was my only connection to the hopeful little girl who had fallen in love with this movie - and had fallen in love with love. It perhaps spoiled realistic, day-to-day life for me for a while...but it was my connection to magic, to that intense, all-consuming, unreal, fictitious thing we call 'happily ever after'.
Today I've realized that kind of love only exists in movies, books and the lives of a very lucky few. I've realized I might want to be swept off my feet - but keeping my feet on the ground will serve me better. I might want to be kissed breathless - but having full control over my heart is much safer. I might want to live inside the kind of fairy-tales Yash Chopra's leading ladies inhabited - but I live in the real world where sometimes I laughably end up being the sidekick of my own story.
Yash Chopra passed away - and so did a bit of my rose-tinted, silly, stupid dreams...
But somewhere, sometimes, a fifteen year old me still sits and waits - for her knight-in-shining-armour. Knowing he can never find his way into her world.
And for that, sir, I hold you responsible.
And I think so do the men in my life...