ByÂ Ojaswini Srivastava:
“Love at first sight”
I am sure we all have different reactions to this phrase. Some of us may believe in it while some may not. Personally I abhor this concept. I cannot understand, agree or accept the whole concept of falling in love at the first “sight” itself. Not even meeting, not a discussion, not an interaction but at first “sight”. The concept, I think is not as literal as it has been interpreted by people. And our films are portraying this concept of “love at first sight” quite literally. Here I will talk about them.
Our Hindi Film industry is extensive. It produces the most numbers of films every year. Lately itself we can quote a long list of films that portray love at first sight – R Rajkumar, Ram Leela, Aashiqui 2, Ranjhanaa, Ramaiya Vastaviya, Bullet Raja, etc. (Aashiqui 2 and Ram Leela being one of the highest grossing movies of 2013).
My problem with this depiction of love is the immense amount of promotion of physical beauty, physical attractiveness and physical love. Love I am sure deepens with time. The longer a couple stays together, the deeper grows their understanding, love and trust. That is the beauty of love. That is the reality of love. Love takes time. It does not happen right as you “see” someone.
What as our Hindi films and soaps show mostly is that love happens at the first sight. These heroes go swooning and crooning right after they see the ‘ravishing heroine’. All that makes him fall for her every time in these movies is the sight of their beautiful face, their designer clothes and attractive physical appearance. For example, last year’s blockbuster love story Aashiqui 2 was no exception. It also showed how a guy fell in love with a girl right after he sees her for the first time. For a difference, her song also makes him fall in love with her and this guy’s approaching her to take her to Mumbai and make her a big star makes her fall in love with him too. WOW!! Love is so shallow, I never knew. (There are too many problems with this movie, so I should skip this example)
In Bollywood, love is meant to look very easy and meek. On the contrary, love is complicated and extremely meaningful. It does not happen I am sure at the first sight. It is not followed by flying dupattas, background music and dream sequences. Love takes a lot of time and understanding to happen. At the first place, there is physical attraction I don’t deny it. But that itself is not love, while in films it is. I am ‘not generalizing’ anything. I am only pointing out one major glitch in the film industry. I am a movie buff and I am a die-hard bollywood lover. All I watch is bollywood films and I am myself very defensive of them. But I cannot be biased. For some time now I have been observing the above mentioned issues in our film industry.
Physical attraction, physical beauty and physical love are overrated. Love can happen with the most unattractive person, love can happen to the most naÃ¯ve girl, love can happen to the most ordinary looking man. The Lunchbox is a wonderful example of the kind of love I am talking about (though the idea of love was left ambiguous in this movie).
In fact Love may happen at the first site, but that cannot be so literal. It has to be a more sensible, meaningful and genuine encounter. Our film industry has depicted too much and too many unrealistic love stories. Big time! We need to start demanding a change. Let us try not to take entertainment so much at its face value and figure out some sense in it. Love is sublime. Love is divine. Love is deep. Love is intense. It needs to be understood and respected. High time, we discard the idea of physical attractiveness being the foundation stone of love. The movies definitely leave aÂ deep impact on our minds and when the same idea is being served to us over and over again we are very much prone to be affected by them. Hence, it is necessary to bring a revolution to the structure of these so-called romantic movies Bollywood serves us year after year.