The love song
Love stories tend to be boring because they tend to end in rather predictable ways. And yet, from Radha-Krishna and Laila-Majnu to Romeo-Juliet and, because we aren’t unaffected by Bollywood, Amitabh-Rekha, our imaginations are captured by love stories.
Yes, that last sentence is a derivative of something from Midnight’s Children. Salman Rushdie, of course, drew inspiration from the famous Bollywood romance for his infamous Satanic Verses filmstar-gone-crazy who was haunted by his jilted lover Rekha Merchant. Then there is the Shashi Tharoor novel about the rise and fall and apotheosis of the matinee idol A
mitabhshok Ba chchanjara, with a many pages on his off screen romance.
It’s fitting then that the last movie to star Bollywood’s most famous couple is a tale of socially ostracised love, which also happens to have one of the best love songs to come out of Bombay. The Bachchan monologue — I often wonder with my solitude what if you were here — tells us that it’s a sad song. But it’s the multiple possibilities and nuances of the female perspective — rendered sublimely by Lata Mungeshkar — that makes the song what it is.
Given his penchant for starring in movies named after old songs, one wonders why there isn’t a Shah Rukh Khan movie named YKAGH, though there is a serial of that name it seems. And as for Mr Khan, well he has his own tearjerker based on unorthodox love — about that some other time.