This past week I felt inspired to re-watch a movie that is one of my all-time favorite Bollywood romantic comedy/drama movies- Jab We Met (When We Met). Since I am a hopeless romantic, I have seen it about a half dozen times. ? Jab We Met is the perfect movie when you just want to unwind and not ‘think’ at all for a while. Have you ever felt that way? When you just need to curl up with a good book or watch a movie that transports you to a space where you can simply be.
As a physician, coach and mother, I need to consciously make time to care and nurture myself. So, this past week, I decided to give myself some Seema time. ? After treating myself to a manicure and pedicure, a nice warm bath and a nice home-cooked meal, I sat down to watch the movie.
Imtiaz Ali, a director from India, wrote and directed Jab We Met – which was released in 2007. Ali often shares films where the protagonists need to travel the world only to realize that the love they seek has been right in front of them – all the time.
The quintessential odd couple
Jab We Met is the story of Geet and Aditya- who meet quite by chance on a train headed from Mumbai to Delhi. Geet is a bubbly, vivacious, and strong-willed young woman just completing college and heading home to her family. Aditya, a young businessman, is silent, withdrawn, and spiraling into a deep depression. He faces financial losses in his family business and was recently dumped by his fiancé who has just married another man. Geet is a risk-taker, loves adventure and lives life fully in the moment. For Aditya, life is not a game. One must be serious, focused, and responsible- making all decisions carefully and thoughtfully.
Geet is determined to live life on her own terms- and has a clear vision of what that life will be. She has a secret college boyfriend, Anshuman, who is of a different religious faith. She knows that her family will not approve of their marriage so she plans to elope. Aditya, on the other hand, gave up his passion for music to follow in his father’s footsteps. He does not feel one can truly create one’s own life. Now, having abandoned his family business and losing his fiancé, he is like a ship without a rudder with no clear direction in mind.
This movie beautifully illustrates how the life we are meant to live is often not the life we plan. In fact, the life that we are meant to live often finds us when we least expect it. Aditya and Geet both end up embarking on an adventure – that they did not plan- where they become friends and mighty companions to each other. They find they can honestly share their pain, their joy, their dreams, and their fears and all so in the context of a lot of laughter.
Like any good Bollywood movie, Jab We Met is filled with melodious songs, many of which are picturized in beautiful locations throughout India- including Shimla, Manali, Rajasthan and the Punjab.
Here is a link to one of my favorites songs from the movie. The theme is that falling in love (with Life) is what happens when we find the journey is lovelier than the destination.
If you are in the mood for a more upbeat song which depicts bhangra- a traditional folk Punjabi dance, then listen to the Nagada song (Beat the drum).
Here is a link to a brief trailer which shows the opening scene (with English subtitles) when Geet first boards the train where she will meet Aditya.
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