After a long day of work yesterday, today was meant to be quiet. But of course, it wasn’t. A friend came over, and once he left, I settled in to a night of movie-watching.
Thanks to Valentine’s Day, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge came up as a suggestion on Amazon Prime. Of course, I am now past the point where thoughts of love bring up heartache, so I pressed play.
The strains of music started up almost immediately, and I was transported back in time.
When the movie came out, I was all of 11. I was caught on a tidal wave of romance created by the songs, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, and luscious shots of Europe. I had a massive crush on a boy at the time, and I kept imagining him and I in the protagonists places.
A few months later, my school organised a trip to Europe, and my parents thought it would be good for me to go. I was the only one from my class to sign up, but the boy who I had a crush on did too. We were not on speaking terms, him being blissfully unaware of my existence, so I didn’t find out this little titbit till we were at Dubai airport.
When I clapped eyes on him, and he was a gorgeous chap, I think birds and hearts must have flown around my head in a celestial dance. My crush and I were going to Europe for a trip together. Without our parents. JUST LIKE THE MOVIE! OMG OMG OMG.
I nearly fainted with the thrill of it all. I don’t remember much about the travelling part, but I do remember each time we checked into a hotel. After a lot of misses, it was in Paris that we were assigned adjacent rooms.
Paris. The city of love. On New Year’s Eve. My head exploded.
Of course, there was sightseeing. I spent a lot of time fantasising about him and me, even though I hadn’t the faintest idea how to get past the crucial step of actually speaking to him. I had no idea about his personality. I didn’t even know what his voice sounded like.
Somewhere in the middle of all of this, one of our chaperones cottoned onto my crush. And proceeded to tease me, publicly, throughout the rest of the trip. It was all in good fun, and although I was horribly embarrassed, I did sort of enjoy the attention. At least he was now aware of my existence.
We had a party that night, and we were paired off to dance in the new year. I sadly didn’t get partnered up with him, but I must admit that it was the most movie-like experience of my life.
Every time I watch DDLJ or hear strains of its music, I feel like that ecstatic 11 year old, starry-eyed, and with an unshakeable belief in romance and love.