When we watch movies, most of our focus is on the lead characters. Be it, Rahuls or Kabirs or the Prems. But, some stories have beautiful side characters that have given us such fruitful lessons. Dekhlo, yahi list kardiye humne on what these side characters taught us.
Sweetu and Ram Dayal, sorry, Frankie (Kal ho na ho)
Sweetu fell in love with his hair and Frankie thought Sweetu had a sweet name. Kitne araam se they shattered patriarchy and challenged the norms of beauty and fell in love with each other, giving the middle finger to everyone who called her fat and unlovable. Sweetu held her own hand until she had someone to hold it for her. And, in spite of every insult that was thrown at her, she owned her confidence and weight and decided that she was more that just the size of her waist or a man by her side. Because ladke toh aate jaate rehte hai, toh agar ek chorr ke chala gaya toh “Woh dusri shaadi karegi” Aur kya karegi?
And on most days I relate to the bubbly with a dash of jhalli Sweetu than I relate to the sensible and responsible Naina.
The Chotta Sardarji (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)
All of us remember the cute face with the cutest voice going “tussi ja rahe ho, tussi na jao”. Humne yahan potential emotional blackmail ke liye dialogue dekha, par lesson nahi. Lesson mei batati Hun: in all his innocence that boy taught us that silence is bliss, but it is sometimes just as important to speak up, voice our opinions, or cry them into someone’s face, even if they don’t lead to the consequences we hoped for. Because at least this way, you’ll have one less regret when you’re on your death bed thinking of all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘why nots’. Speaking about your feelings does not make you seem weak, it makes you seem heard and sometimes even understood.
Jiggy and Shaleen (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na)
Yahan Bollywood won my heart. They finally proved their own theory of “ek ladka aur ek ladki sirif dost nahi ho sakte” wrong, and I couldn’t be happier. Because that is what we were all expecting- for Jiggy and Shaalu to get together, and that is exactly what they didn’t give us.
They were hella compatible, understood each other, shared personal life details and slow dances with one other but those are all things 2 best friends can do too. Best friends can love you too, because we don’t have just have the romantic kind of love in our hearts. We have all sorts of it, and a whole lot of it. And to put it on screen so beautiful and subtly, I salute you Bollywood. Yahan mein pighal gayi. So don’t think twice before you tell your best friend “I love you” or “Tu chutiya hai”- matlab wohi, wording nayi.
Rotlu and Bombz (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na)
They clearly loved Meow and Ratz. But despite of that, they fell for each other. They taught us that, maybe the books that tell us that loving someone means compromising a little might be right, but it does not mean that you need to shrink your dignity to fit into someone else’s shoes to make them see you, because they still might not.
They taught us that we all have a past, a past lover, a past heartbreak, a past hope of something new. But we also have a future. And dwelling over each other’s or even one another’s past never got us any place happy. They let go and let love take over infatuation.
Aditi (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)
She loved Adi, but she did not let her love for him hold her back from getting her happy ending. She liked trying new things, new hair colours and lengths and just like that she was deciding to give a complete stranger a shot at being someone Adi could never be for her. She saw her love going unrequited, but she did not let it go to waste. She loved Adi enough to let him go. But also cared about him enough to stay his most loyal friend and his fiercest cheerleader.
Rani’s friends (Queen)
They were kind, compassionate men. Who were ‘woke’ enough to understand feminism but also considerate enough to not let her sleep in the hallway. They barely understood each other but made sure they shared their joy and pain, all the same. And isn’t that exactly what friends do? They help you win cooking contests even when they don’t know what heeng is (Haye, golgappe ki yaad aa gayi) but also save you from your shitty exes or at least threaten to punch them in their face.
Radha (Bhool Bhulaiya)
She knew the woman the man of his dreams loved needed help and she did not mind taking the fall for her, she did not shy away from helping someone who might have gotten in the way of her potential matrimonial fate or let that take precedence over what was the right thing to do. She did not mind getting locked up in a room and be deemed crazy by everyone around her to help her family. She put everything she had on stake to help someone she barely knew get better. We need more kind people like her. Oh, don’t get all sad, she found love in a absurd way, in a crazy situation and a crazier psychiatrist when she was least expecting it.
Rajan Damodaran (Taare Zameen Par)
He was smart, but he never put Ishan down. He was the topper of the class but he never let Ishan feel like he was drowning, instead he tried his best to help him swim or at least stay afloat. He was brainy and sensible but he tired his best to help Ishan find the kid in him. He cheered for him the loudest when he built that boat from scratch and he clapped for him the hardest when he won the competition. Mujhe aise dost chahiye. Sorry, mujhe dost chahiye
Ishan’s brother (Taare Zameen Par)
He was the school topper, an A1 tennis player but he still made sure that Ishan knew that he was fascinated by his creative skills because that was something he could never imagine himself doing. He was a bada bhai to the core, he threathed to tell their parents about the “bunk” but never said a word. He knew his brother was struggling and wanted to be there for him in whatever way or form- and buying him a hamper full of colours and paints was him doing his bit. Bhaiyon ka pyaar aisa hi hota hai “actions speak louder than words” types wala.
Circuit (Munna bhai series)
Bhai ne bola karne ka toh karne ka. Woh munna ka chamcha nahi tha/ he wasn’t Munna’s pet. He was why people even knew who munna was. Munna needed a body for dissection, he got it. Munna needed to learn new words for his interview with Vidhya, he brought his a1 hindi vocabulary with him. Circuit taught us that it is important to be by your friends as a pillar of unwavering support. But, it is also just as important to tell them when they’ve lost it. Because if you can’t tell your friends the hard truths, then what are you even doing. But apart from all of those things, circuit taught us that forgiveness is important. Because the person asking for it is more important to us than our egos.
Anshuman (Jab We Met)
Ugh. How we hate him. He was the worst. But kachra characters bhi important hote hai. Because they help us to see the non-kachra people in our lives. Anshuman was a mean, coniving fuckboi who only wanted Geet back when he saw her grow a spine and come to her own and stand up for herself. He was down right toxic, but had Geet not known what it felt to be wanted she would have never known what she truly needed in life. Toh isse Hum ne kya seekha? Isse Hum ne yeh seekha ke life mei ache bure har tarah ke log ayenge. Par jab tak Tum apne aapko apne favourite person ki tarah nahi treat karoge, koi Aur bhi nahi karega.
He loved his desh ki mitti, desh ke kabootar and desh ke sanskaar. He was a man of his words and high morals. And in the 1990s, letting your daughter marry a boy she loves was a huge deal. But he let Simran live the life she wanted to and not the one he had planned for her.
This taught us that parents kitna bhi gussa kar le, hote toh bilkul softy hai. Now go hug your parents. You don’t always need a reason to hug them and tell them ‘l love you’ just like how you don’t need a reason to fight with them.
Your money makes your dreams come true, he made made money out of his dreams. He believed in his dreams so much, he turned them into his reality. He taught us ke is meaningless si life aur duniya mei (I am clearly going through an existential crisis of some sort) bhi if you try hard enough, your dreams will make sense. But until you don’t work for them, until you don’t work towards them, tab tak Woh Sach bhi nahi honge. He was careless, but he preferred carefree. He was a fuck up but he preferred “mess of a gorgeous chaos”.
He taught us ke har story ke 2 sides hote hai. And that whenever you have the choice, choose the comedy over the horror. He taught us ke iss matlabi duniya mei matlab sirif apne doston ke sath milta hai. Harami dost nahi toh kuch nahi. Waise jab sath hote hai tab bhi haath zayada Kuch nahi hota, bas ek tasalli hoti hai ke shayad “yeh mera sapna Sach kar de”