Love usually begins with attraction. When the would-be beloveds see each other for the first time, an unusual feeling, like a spark goes through the bodies. This attraction slowly takes the form of an infatuation when the beloved refuses to see beyond the loved one. And when the infatuation turns into love, there’s no looking back. At times, the love remains unreciprocated. But seldom the person in love cares about the same. Such deep affection for someone is no short of any reverence. With time, the reverence becomes worship as the beloveds start perceiving the Almighty’s presence in their loved ones. But not everyone’s so lucky. Unrequited love often takes the form of an obsession, which makes the beloved go mad. Desperate for the love, that he yearns so much, he often crosses barriers, both social and physical. Joys of the mortal body, hunger, thirst they all become a distant memory. Sooner or later, everything goes dark as death comes whispering in the ears. At that very moment, the soul trapped in the mortal body gets freed from earthly shackles and engulfs itself, in the love that he so dearly desired for so long.
The seven shades of love.
All from the heart… Dil Se!
To say, that director Mani Ratnam’s ‘Dil Se’ was way, way ahead of its time, is an understatement. ‘Dil Se’ is like a poetry, a heady cocktail of Sufism and mysticism that refuses to come down, even after twenty years of its release. Everyone, who has seen the film and is in awe of this magnum opus, has their own interpretation of the tale, that ‘Dil Se’ chooses to tell. But within every interpretation, somewhere or the other, everyone agrees on the same takeaway i.e. to truly love someone, one has to surrender oneself to God.
When Amar sees Meghna, for the first time, on a rainy night, in a railway station, the attraction is immediate and mutual, even if it’s for a few moments. The minutest love story of the world, as Amar puts it. Destiny keeps playing its part, as Amar and Meghna meet again and again. But Amar doesn’t understand Meghna’s predicament, her intentions. But then, she also fails to realize the whims of her heart, which keeps skipping a beat, every time Amar is around. They are strangers yet they long for each other’s presence in their lives. Eventually, they meet. A Bruised, battered, bloodied Amar stumbles into Meghna’s arms and holds her tight. Meghna, who herself is on the path of death, tries in vain to keep him away from her but fails. As their bodies meet in a tight embrace, they both let go of their inhibitions and immerse in each other. Death engulfs them while setting their souls free.
In the world, where success and failure of a film are measured in terms of numbers, ‘Dil Se’ has stood the test of time and has remained as an eternal classic. One of the finest films of SRK’s illustrious career, it is one of his rare work that showcases his abundance of talent. Manisha Koirala epitomizes beauty and vulnerability together. In a short and sweet debut, Preity Zinta shows her spunk and the flashes of her brilliance. But it’s the sheer beauty of Mani Ratnam’s vision, Santosh Sivan’s cinematography, A.R Rahman’s music and Gulzar Sahab’s words that come together to conjure pure fantasy on screen.
For he, who remains in the shadow of love,
Heaven is bequeathed to his feet…
My love, who’s like a fragrance that engulfs my being…
My love, whose words are like the lines of a poetry…
My evening, my night, the universe around my being…
My love is truly my beloved…
The above, rough translation of Gulzar sahab’s words fail to explain the grandeur of the feelings that the original lyrics bring to the soul. ‘Satrangi Re’ uses the motif of love as an uncontrollable desire that is never satiated. ‘Ae Ajnabi’ is the tale of two strangers, far from each other, yet their hearts somehow skip a beat and they long for the other one. ‘Dil Se’ takes us through the mistakes of the heart as the lyrics say –
The pain is there, because there’s a heart.
Because there’s a heart, it is bound to be pained, be it rain or shine.
A perfect ode to love.
To another hundred years and eternity…