Love, Desire and Obsession : Main Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga

Realeased merely a week ago, the latest song from the upcoming movie Half Girlfriend has already become the love anthem of 2017. Garnering more than 10 million views in a short span, it is on the way to hit 20 and even more. The comments section is billowing with praise for Arijit Singh and Mithoon, and for the song itself, which is the voice of thousands of people who have fallen in love, some time, somewhere. 

So what is it that makes Main Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga such an emotional roller coaster? 

The title translates into Ill still love you. This phrase is the core message of love; it’s the voice of everyone who’s loved, despite the consequences. It fits as well in the case of requited love as that of unrequited love. This is the message that reiterates in every love story, across all the borders and all the time.

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The story of Half Girlfriend  (novel) revolves around a Bihari guy, Madhav, who’s obsessed (yeah, we are good at obsessing, I can vouch for that) with Riya Somani, who doesn’t want a boyfriend, due to her own insecurities. But she doesn’t want to lose Madhav either, as he’s the only living being she feels safe with. So she offers Madhav a strange compromise – she agrees to be her half girlfriend. Half girlfriend, as both the novel and the trailer describe, is a term difficult to define but easy to understand. It’s somewhat more than friendship, but MINUS SEX. It’s really excruciating to survive in this cruel compromise, and yet Madhav agrees, and that’s when the major conflict starts. 

The song begins with 

Tum mere ho…is pal mere ho..

Kal shayad ye aalam na rahe…

Kuch aisa ho tum tum na raho…

Kuch aisa ho hum hum na rahe…

Ye raste alag ho jayen…

Chalte chalte hum kho jayen…

Main phir bhi tumko chahunga… (4)

Is chahat me mar jaunga…

(You’re mine…in this moment you’re mine…

Maybe tomorrow won’t be the same…

Maybe you won’t be you anymore…

Maybe I won’t be me anymore…

Maybe our paths will fork away…

Maybe we’ll get lost walking…

I’ll still love you.. (4)

I’ll die loving you… )

The insecurity in the song, the fear of an unpleasant tomorrow echoes throughout the novel. The moments are fragile, the happiness is short lived, and the separation is imminent. The seperation is always there, no matter how close they are. There’s this invisible boundary, marked with Riya’s insecurities and lack of trust, and Madhav’s every attempt to get closer only tosses him miles back, from where he has to find Riya all over again. This happens at four major points in the novel. 

One, when they make the deal. His proposal is accepted in bits, and madhav finds himself in a maze, from where he doesn’t understand Riya anymore. 

Then, two, when he rudely asks her to fuck him or fuck off. Hormones! Riya leaves him and he is devastated. Here’s another moment of separation, the tomorrow the first stanza of the song is talking about, about the time when they won’t be the same persons to each other. 

Three, when Riya leaves him that heartwrenching letter, thus turning him into a wrecked heap again. Everything was so great, and all of a sudden, it’s the end of everything. Just like that, Madhav is tossed back to square zero!

Four, when he finds out that Riya is alive, and she is somewhere on this planet. And he runs out to find her, not knowing whether it’s worth it.  

All these points culminate into this heartbreaking uncertainty, where the only thing tangible and alive is the present. There’s seperation, there’s the havoc of time, there’s this fear that they might grow apart, turn into personalities they weren’t. There’s a sea of unfortunate mishappenings, but no matter what happens, Madhav will still love Riya. 

The obsession, though it doesn’t work well in real life, carries an important message. 

Do not stop hoping. 

The composition is brilliant, the lyrics are beautiful, and the voice is soothing and moving. Arijit has made the song a perfect melody for all the romantics. 

Check it out. 

Watching Lootera with my Father

It’s difficult to watch a movie with someone who doesn’t share the same taste. 😡

I was watching Lootera a few days ago. Based on O. Henry’s The Last Leaf, it’s one of the best love stories ever made in Bollywood. It is flawless and melodious, like a sweet love song where every chord is strung at right note. The only glitch was my father’s undying curiosity. Slouched beside me, he kept asking silly questions every four seconds.

Who is she? Who is he? What is he doing? Is he an architect? Why is he speaking Bengali? Are they going to stare at each other for the whole movie? Why is Kejriwal so pissed off at Modi?

The thing about belonging to a civilized society is that you can’t ask your father to shut the fuck up, and so I patiently heard all his grumblings. Actually, it was his turn to watch debate on News 18 and I had wrongly appropriated the tv remote, so I guess he was just slightly annoyed. 

The movie starts with a Bengali Dance performance, and an elegant Pakhi Roy convulsing into an asthma attack. From there, it moves at a gentle pace, like a sweet old melody. My father isn’t exactly fond of sweet old melodies, his definition of music is more inclined towards crass politicians hollering in full rage on national television. 

But once Dalhousie comes into the picture, the movie becomes a masterpiece. A heartbroken, forlorn, dying Pakhi lives alone, watching the withering tree outside her window. The tree is nearing its end with each passing day, and Pakhi, suffering from tuberculosis, believes she’ll die the day the last leaf falls from the tree. That’s when the disease of her life, Varun, a swindler who rejected her love and robbed her father, enters the scene. He is running from cops and seeks shelter at her house. Pakhi is furious, but she decides to protect him. She tells him about the last leaf through a letter. Varun still loves her more than anything else, but all he has now is remorse and an impending death. So, to keep her alive, Varun paints a leaf every day, and ties it to the tree so that she finds a reason to live. The head cop finds out about him soon, and tells Pakhi that he’ll kill him the next day. Varun knows it’s the end, as the cops are guarding the place from outside, thus blocking all his channels of escape. He wakes up in the morning, kisses a sleeping Pakhi on the forehead, and goes out with the painted leaf. He ties the last leaf, and goes out, where he’s shot dead by the cops.

Pakhi wakes up in the morning and finds Varun missing. She realizes he’s gone forever. With blank eyes, she looks at the tree, where the last leaf, despite struggling against the blizzard, continues to live. She walks upto the tree and sees the painted leaf. In a flashback, Varun is talking about his dream to paint a masterpiece which everyone would admire one day. This leaf was his masterpiece.

I looked at my father. He was speechless. In that precious moment, my mother entered the room.

“What are you watching? Who is she? Why is she laughing? Is she mad? Why is she dressed in rug? What’s up with the tree? Why the hell is nobody replying? “

Christmas Day

Another set of ordeals 😠

Indians are gung ho about Christmas. No matter which religion they belong to, they always forward that Happy Christmas message to everybody in their whatsapp contact, even if they don’t give a monkey’s fart about the well being or happiness of the person. Today, my inbox crashed with such messages. I was irked. I mean yeah it’s good to see communal harmony and all, but nobody sends me a Happy Ganesh Chathurti or Happy Eid or Happy Kinky Copenhagen. People are so flashy these days, they care only about dazzling, boombazzling festivals. People like the blinking lights, and so Christmas is the gala day for them. 

Maybe I am being a moaning minnie, but I don’t like people who send me these festive texts. There’s no point to it. 

Anyway, I replied all of them and switched off the data connection. Last year, we had gone – full family – to watch Bajirao Mastani, and I’d blogged about the couple who broke up in the cinema theatre. This time, it’s Dangal; I don’t like Amir Khan that much. Last year, we went to the Pearl too, where we had an expensive VAT infested dinner, which I’m sure my father still remembers with a pinch of regret. This year, I stayed home. 

Well. Except for when Sumit barged in and we went to Atif’s. He bought cigarette with my money once again. This guy is going to feature in Sponge and Mukesh ads soon, of course as a dead body. And this wasn’t even the worse thing about today. The worst ordeal was watching Fan. 

Maybe I really have weird tastes, or maybe filmmakers have gone wacky these days, there are so many stupid movies flowing in that it feels like a national tragedy. And why the hell SRK gives a nod to such offers is beyond the little scope of my brain. What’s more baffling is that Doctor absolutely adores that guy. She goes all dewy-eyed when we talk about SRK. 

Fan had so many logical loopholes that you could have left your brain at home before watching it. 

Anyway, it got better at night. As the world slept, I woke up listening to Tulsi Kumar. The lyrics were dedicated to her love, and she was asking him to come back. Bullshit. But beautiful.