I blame Yash Chopra for all my fights with the hubby.

He and his die-hard romantic ilk irrevocably tarnished my gullible mind with dream-like visions of swaying heroines fawned over by their Prince Charmings. They are responsible for the urban legend of ‘Made-For-Each-Other’ with hard-to-find characteristics of perfect synchronisation, blissful happiness and the irrepressible urge to jump off cliffs together.

I grew up in the lovelorn 90’s, when the angry-not-so-young man’s magic was fading and Bollywood was forced to return to its default formula of romantic tragedy. Love happened at first sight, you made illogical promises (‘I will get you the moon’ was a favourite), your parents hated it, you either travelled across the globe to convince them or died for each other (after the hero rescued you from Shakti Kapoor, but that’s another story).

To tell the truth, I had a love-hate relationship with love stories. I claimed to hate them,  pooh-poohed (that is an actual phrase) helpess heroines who cowered in a corner while the hero was being beaten into pulp and outwardly declared that Hindi films were ‘brainless’ (compared to the highly intellectual Hollywood properties like…uhm… Back to the future and BIG).

In my heart of hearts I was a sucker for romance. My first crush was when I was nine-on Aamir Khan in QSQT. I cried when he and Juhi had to die at the end. Then came MPK, DDLJ, DTPH- the acronyms continued and the escapism went international. And I fell in love-with the idea of being in love. No matter what my Hollywood-wired brain said, my heart believed in that one day a PC (used to stand for Prince Charming) shall come and whisk me off to some faraway land where people smiled all the time and life was one big happy  family singing your praises to the dholki. 

I blame Sooraj Barjatya for all my problems with my family.

How Bollywood has changed. The last Hindi romance I remember seeing was ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and that was in 1999. All the 2000 romances are more like ‘how to get a rocking career and get a hottie – for now’.  In fact, Love Aajkal did a brilliant job of contrasting the love stories across two generations side-by-side. The ‘new’ hero, Saif can not believe that Rishi Kapoor had got himself beaten up for love. ‘Did you get some award for that?’ he exclaims incredulously, summing up his generation’s ‘practical love’ attitude beautifully. Aamir and Juhi died for it- I almost screamed in the hall.

I don’t know if that is such a good thing.

Of course, Bollywood’s journey from escapism to reality is good. The country is at a heady growth stage, there are many more interesting ‘quick buck’ stories to be told rather than Raj and Simran falling in love….again…and again…and again.  

I have a problem with the portrayal of ‘kaamchalau’ love. Of the message being sent  repeatedly to impressionable minds that love is the last priority- make gold while the sun shines.  Movies have become so practical that love has gone from ‘hero’ importance to ‘zero’ screen presence.

Mind you even in Hollywood, despite all the Quentin Tarantino and American Beauties, ‘love and family’ is a recurring backdrop. Despite the 50% or so failure rate of marriages in the west, Hollywood’s message is clear. Love makes the world go around.A message ironically, inspired from the east. And by the way, its true. At the end, ‘Love and Family’ is all that matters-everything else is the theory of preoccupation. Take it from a (gasp) 32-year-old!

If we go on glossing over love, what message are we giving our children? Dont give up anything for love. Dont compromise.  If it doesnt make sense, walk away-money cures love.

We maybe the first generation of common divorces, but there is still an effort to work it out and an intent to stick together, however illogical it may seem. And every relationship is atleast 40% illogical.  

Our Bollywood rose-tainted subconscious mind must have some part to play in this.  

Whereas Generation Y and Z (what will we call the next generation after Z?- Z1, Z2 in the manner of pentium processors?) have grown up on the diet of Love, Sex aur Dhoka, ‘Bijiness’ and potty humour. Slice of life, it maybe, but its the death of a dream.

Even the last Yashraj production was fitingly titled ‘Love ka the end’.

Looks like the incurably romantic has finally been cured.

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