It was a cold day of 9th November 2007 that the quintessential Bollywood movie “Om Shanti Om” made its first appearance on the silver screen. 13 years down the line, and “Aankhon mein teri” still doesn’t fail to capture our hearts. This Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer film gained a lot of commercial success. it also received several awards including two Filmfare awards. the movie was directed by Farah Khan. Its album became the highest-selling album of the year, with the soundtrack composed by Vishal – Shekhar, lyrics by Jawed Akhtar and background score by Sandeep Chowta.
This re-incarnation story unwraps as Om Makhija, a junior artist finds his way to make it big in the world of cinema, all the while being head over heels in love with the superstar Shantipriya. As fate has it, they meet but only to be thrown apart. Betrayed in love Shantipriya dies and so does Om, trying to save her. To avenge her death he is reincarnated as the superstar Om Kapoor, a rich spoiled son of a megastar. The saga is filled with everything the Indian Cinema is known for – drama, music, dance, hard-hitting dialogues and a gush of emotions.
The movie also witnessed some moments that created history. The song “Deewangi” reminds us all of the good old Hindi cinema industry. In a world where the entertainment industry is filled with the scandalous buzz of actors trying to bring each other down, the song is a beautiful picturization of the spirit of friendship. The multi starrer song had a glimpse of all the A list stars back in the day.
Apart from being an epic saga, the movie did not fall short of some quirk and humour. All in all, 13 years later the movie finds a comfortable spot in the list of feel-good-movies.
To mark this anniversary, here are a few heartfelt letters addressed to some of the characters:
To Om Prakash Makhija.
Dearest Om Prakash Makhija,
It’s been 13 years and I still find myself repeating, “Kisi cheez ko agar poore dil se chaho to poori kayenat use tumse milaane mein lag jaati hai” (if you desire of something with all your heart, then the universe conspires to bring it to you) every time I hit a low. Perhaps that’s how innocent that philosophy of life is. No one could have ever foreseen that a drunk man assuming the bottle of liquor as an award, standing on a street in the middle of the night would deliver an acceptance speech and his slurry philosophy would instil so much hope in the hearts of those watching.
The way you explored the nuances of love is so pure. For you, Shantipriya was never really a superstar. She was your pole star, distant but still guiding you through, filling in you the hopes that you would one day find your place beside her.
It’s ironic how a man who so ardently wanted to change his surname because it didn’t sound superstar enough, went on to engrave his name in the hall of fame for the greatest lovers of all times. Your love was pristine, innocent and selfless. From a rather “filmy” date to a song that personified the beauty of your love; from the stories of your bravado to your acts of courage; from your cheesy lines to your sweet gestures all worked like a charm.
I was 5 when I first saw you and too naive to understand cinema. But what stuck with me was that fascinating magic globe. I remember crying to my parents to buy me one the moment I saw it in a fair. At times I can still sense the soft music play in my head. The earliest memory I have of you is, you running around repeating the one word of a dialogue you had bagged, over and over again. It was funny then but in hindsight, I can see the pride you held in your little achievement.
You were a junior artist trying to scale up to the silver screens and big billboards but I guess you were always meant to shine among the real stars. You struck a chord with every viewer, all the more reason for those years rolling down our cheeks when your heart broke into a million pieces. It wasn’t just your dream the shattered around like glass, the splinters reached our hearts too.
So, 13 years later when the billboards are all dusted in a storeroom no one has a key for, when the silver screens don’t really have an audience at the moment and when nobody even bothers to take a second look at the magic globe sitting in a corner, even then you continue to live in our hearts.
Girl with a magic globe
Humans are always desperate of companionship, which could come from anywhere, from family, friends, lovers or even stranger. But what bugs everyone is that no companionship is constant, there are always rupture, a difference of opinions, fallouts, and many of us eventually end up feeling alone and with time we learn to accept it, we come to terms with the fact that there will be no one individual who would stick with us forever.
But you’ve proved us all wrong, your friendship with Om is something everyone long for, everyone wishes for that one friend who would stick with them through thicks and thins even if their life is turned upside down. You cheered for your friend when he was down, you always told him that his dreams will come true and that he, a junior artist was good enough for the biggest star of the country. You were Om’s partner in crime, sneaking into the premier with your friend was something we all would love to do! You basically were your friend’s support system.
I think more than anything else it was your friendship that survived the tests of time, I mean you were by your friend’s side not just through one but through two lifetimes, how can anyone ever beat that! And when you were your friend’s wingman even when the situation was bizarre, it didn’t take you a minute to recognise your friend even after through death!
You proved to people that love doesn’t need justifications of logic, blood relationships or of passion, because whenever people think selfless love, they think of mothers but very little know that true love always has to be selfless, and does not come necessarily from blood relations or romantic relationships.
You showed the world that friendship is a relationship entirely based on human affinity, is not just about roaming the streets together, however it is a part of it, it is about sticking with your friend no matter how hard or insane things get, no matter how far you friend is, no matter how much time goes by, no matter how different you are from one another. In fact, I think you define the phrase “brother from another mother”.
There is just one thing I wish, that you’re not only the giving end of your friendship, I really hope Om as eagerly plays your wingman as you play his. I sincerely wish that this time you both get a chance to grow old together and that you always stick together even if the situation involves death and reincarnations.
With lots of love and adoration
15 years have passed but still, your bubbly and totally upbeat character stays with us. Your clumsy-self, falling on your entry and then fainting- all in one bonus package of a trouble-maker is unmatchable.
तेरे साथ-साथ ऐसा, कोई नूर आया है.
चाँद तेरी रोशनी का, हल्कासा एक साया है
This was the song played in the background when OK met you for the first time, right?
When OK saw you he was not the only one mesmerized by your eyes. Within you was the soul of a six-year-old girl wrapped in the body of a woman. Even the moon will come out to see a soul shining so brightly.
तेरी नज़रों ने दिल का किया जो हशर, असर ये हुआ
अब इन में ही डूब के हो जाऊँ पार, यही है दुआ
But now in some part of a world, where kindness still exists and love wins over every time, I wonder Sandy how your love for OK is beyond measure. You were a doppelganger of Shanti, a mere reflection of the love OK felt in his chest for her. Did some part of you in your gloomy days ask you the same? Did you ever think if OK loved you because of your resemblance to Shanti? I still have not searched answers for these. But that is what love is, isn’t it? There are no answers when the questions are around love.
आँखों में तेरी अजबसी, अजबसी अदाएँ हैं
The way you tried to mould yourself into the disposition of Shanti showed how love makes yourself strong and at the same time makes you do things for the other person selflessly. In the end, the way you strongly took Shanti’s role showed the true courage of love. You are the most underrated of the lot. You deserve so much appreciation and so much love. You did it all, you became the spine and you did it without hesitation. You deserve the whole world, Sandy. And I hope wherever you are, you already have it.