It’s not often a certain moment changes you, but when it does, you remember it for life. It sounds dramatic but I had one such moment when I watched Dil to Pagal Hai back in 1997.
I was a young 10-year old who was still trying to understand what Bollywood was and why my parents dragged me to the cinema every Friday. Dil to Pagal Hai made me understand that. From the music, to the romance, the Swiss locales to the tears, everything touched my heart. I walked out of that movie, not just a fan of Bollywood, but at the tender age of 10, I understood what love was – thanks to the late Mr. Yash Chopra.
Yash Chopra is one of the greatest filmmakers of Indian cinema. As director he has given us gems like Daag, Silsila, Chandini, Lamhe (my personal favorite), Darr, Dil to Pagal Hai and most recently, Veer-Zaara. His production house Yash Raj Films has given us great directors like Aditya Chopra and hits like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge; not to mention the countless films he has inspired with his lavish style.
And this Diwali, his latest directorial feature releases, Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
I must have listened to this song by Rabbi at least a dozen times by now, but it still touches my soul with every listen; just like Dil to Pagal Hai makes me weep even after watching it for the 100th time.
Yash Chopra passed away on October 21st – just a few weeks before Jab Tak Hai Jaan released in the cinemas. About a year ago, I spotted Yashji outside of Emirates Towers but didn’t get a chance to go speak to him. However, if I had I would have told him the following:
Thank you Yashji for your movies. Your movies not just taught me how to love, they taught my mother, my grandmother, and will probably teach my daughters and grand-daughters how to love. I learnt from you to follow my heart, to fall in love, to not be afraid of heartbreak, and to do all this while wearing a chiffon saree in the Swiss Alps. Thank you Yashji.
For a more complete overview of Yashji’s legacy, check out this timeline on NDTV movies.