Wednesday, November 14, 2012

'Jab Tak Hai Jaan': 10 important life lessons from the film


You probably know by now that 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' is a heavy duty romance triangle between Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma played out over a period of 10 years. If unrequited love isn't your thing, this is a film to skip. But JTHJ is also a great example of how cinema can teach you not to be stupid in life or take it completely for granted.

There are spoilers ahead so if you haven't seen the film, please feel free to come back later. This was director Yash Chopra's swansong and his hand is evident in every scene of the film, some beckoning you to postcard-perfect, snow-covered London and some to the rugged terrains of Ladakh.

We pick the 10 most ludicrous aspects of the film that make 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' boringly mortal and teach us valuable life lessons in what not to do if you ever find yourself in any of the following situations.

Lightening does strike the same point twice:
Irony is a b****. To be struck by a car while on a motorcycle is one thing. But to be struck by a car twice is plain foolishness. Major Samar Anand is a poster boy for road safety. First, he gets hit by a car while showing off his biking skills to his new girlfriend. The second time he gets hit again by a car while waiting for Discovery Channel reporter Akira (Anushka Sharma). Look while you are crossing the road.

Rapidex English just goes out of business:
Everything is possible in cinema. If you set your mind to learning perfect English, you can learn it despite thousands of distractions in the form of a very pretty Katrina Kaif. Shah Rukh, who goes by using Pidgin English in London, morphs into a suave, smooth-talking gentleman with a bit of a nudge from the woman he loves. She in return aces a difficult Punjabi song with guitar chords and all, taught by Shah Rukh.

Who needs a bomb suit?:
There are bombs waiting to defused, literally everywhere and every day. Major Samar Anand, an officer with the army's bomb disposal unit, takes on one IED after another with his bare hands. Armed with just a clipper, Anand refuses a bomb suit every time his services are called for. Is it practical? Of course not. But that's what you do when you flirt with death - basically be stupid - without a care for your loved ones.

There are easier and less expensive ways to die, you know?
After being rejected by his lady love because of a promise she made to god, Samar Anand dives headfirst into a life of danger. He joins the Indian army's bomb disposal unit and defuses live ammunition for a living as a counter-vow to Katrina to risk his life every day. It does seem a very roundabout way to die, no? Jumping off a building or an overdose of pills would have been quicker. But who are we to get in the way of a death drawn out over several years?

Keep your chatty friends away when you are defusing bombs:
Anushka Sharma is a chatty, aspiring reporter for the Discovery channel with a penchant for finding trouble. Trussed to a rope and hanging under a bridge to film Shah Rukh Khan at work, she happily chats away without the slightest worry that she might be actually distracting him from what is clearly a highly dangerous job.

The army's only purpose is to play football with its guests:
Our jawans are in fact so bored of their monotonous lives that they are willing to wait on hand and foot for the world's most ditzy reporter. They cook for her and dance with her and hurl beer bottles around while she twists them around her little finger.

Come again, a promise made to...whom?
So Meera, who is a habitual trader with God, promises to give up Samar if Jesus would spare his life and keep him alive. It's the silliest thing we have heard in a long time. Who gives up a man she loves because she thinks that her being with him will be a danger to his life? What happened to fighting for someone if you love them?

Retrograde amnesia:
If you must have an affliction, go for retrograde amnesia. It is the most convenient illness known to Indian doctors to get the hero out of a sticky spot. He can't remember a thing from the past and finds it difficult to adjust to the present. But the condition is temporary and he will make a full recovery over time (read: after the plot twists are sorted).

British police...dude, don't let a stranger saunter into a cordoned-off area!
The British police allows a stranger who looks disoriented and can actually be the one to plant it, tackle live ammunition because 'he looks like he knows what he's talking about!' Are you kidding me?

You are still single because you read other people's diaries
Never, ever read someone's personal diary - children are taught this at age 5. Either Akira Rai's parents left that bit of education out or she defied her upbringing anyway. It's rude not only to read someone's diary but to quiz him on that afterwards, which she does. If she wonders why she's still single, it's because she does not respect people's private spaces.

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Faraz Salat

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Admirer of all things that make up a global human society.