As of now this film has already won National Award for Best Film in Hindi Language, the due recognition is achieved but still in my opinion somehow I feel Sharat Katariya’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha is one of the best romantic comedies ever made in India. There could hundreds of reasons why any one will like this film but I am exploring very personal reasons why I find this musical an apt Romantic Saga.
1. 90’s Nostalgia – Well this is a word that only a child that grew up in 90’s can understand with it’s true meaning. For rest of the present generation this was just the time with no mobiles. Well that says quite a lot. A whole generation without mobiles, where people need to connect to each other by literally dialling the numbers, which means you have to remember the number. Today, I don’t even feel a need to remember my mom’s new number because my mobile do that for me. It was the time of patience. People used to wait for each other for hours but now if you are late by 5 minutes, 5 Whatsapp messages and at least 3 missed calls are sure to appear on your mobile screen. Patience is a lost orphan child now. People click on the next video within 30 seconds tagging it as “Boring” on you tube because we have unlimited Wi-Fi etc. That was the time where we used to play the whole side A of the cassette so that we can listen the first song of side B. Woof! Dum Laga Ke Haisha brings me back that beautiful slower yet more sensitive era back to me.
2. The City – These days rarely our stories explores the cities which are not metros – Bollywood seems to be obsessed with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, London and New York. But what about Gwalior, Jhansi, Haridwar? In today’s time Sharat brings the story of a non metro city – Which in my opinion is where the major India lives. Haridwar and Rishikesh! The beauty of these two cities is so mildly captured by cinematographer Manu Anand and hence he won Best Cinematography at Filmfare Awards.
3. The Odd Couple – It may sound offensive but yes we are country obsessed with western standard of beauty. I have been to other countries and rarely saw so much of fairness beauty creams as much as they sell that in India. Why we want to get fair? Why we don’t love the skin color given to us and actually scientifically apt for us? Our films are the reflection of the society and also vice versa. Rarely people in the industry want to cast some one who is not slim or fair. We want to see “Beauty” on the screen. Sharat decided to swim against the flow and kudos to Aditya Chopra to support him for that. A fat intelligent girl getting married to a fail but good looking guy. This is a story that took almost seven years to see the screen as it was written in 2007. You can easily guess why!
4. The Writing – Whether it’s Varun Grover’s beautifully written songs or the characters – Prem, Sandhya, Maa, Babuji and Bua ji. Each part of the writing is so real that it makes the whole story so entertaining yet so relatable. Dustin Lance Black – the writer of “Milk” said it in an interview that – Some shitty studio wants him to write the characters in more relatable way, he say No! Let them be more real, let them be more themselves. That’s what Sharat has done. Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a beautiful example of honest writing. Also the actors who completely forgot themselves and becomes Prem- Sandhya and family.
5. The Real Meaning of Love – Without getting preachy, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, beautifully separates lust from love. Sandhya tries every thing to make Prem fall in love with her after their marriage. They even had sex but that’s not the love. The love appears when they understand each other’s insecurities. They understand they are not perfect person but they could be a perfect couple. The Love story start in the end of the film. When Prem runs with Sandhya in the Dum Laga Ke Haisha competition not for anyone but for themselves. He keeps running even after touching the finish line. What a beauty! They were not running to win the competition, They already won each other! The climax is giving me goose bumps even when i am writing these lines.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha is that old classic wine which will tastes even better after years, just like any Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films. Eagerly waiting for Sharat Katariya’s second film. I hope the same honesty again!