I know how it feels to be not loved in return. I also know how it feels to not expect to be loved in return. Every time I saw Shah Rukh Khan being loved on screen, I felt jealous of him. In Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge, in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, in Dil To Pagal Hai and other such films where he makes women woo with his smile. I never related to him in these films.
But Every time he was rejected, I felt very close. In Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, in Dil Se and to a large extent in Darr.
I could see the angst in Amar in Dil Se when he does not get any reaction from this stranger at the station. She does not answer him when he asks for the matchbox. He later realizes, he had made a silly mistake. Asking a girl for a matchbox? But what attracts Amar towards this stranger is her silence. That silent silence. That silence which will never ever turn into a voice. Never.
Happened with me quite a number of time in school when I would wait for her to arrive at the school gate. I would stand at the cycle stand and stare at her. Not knowing what to do. On being asked by friends why I had not left for home yet, I would answer them by pointing my finger at the stationary store, meaning that I am about to get some stuff from there.
It would not stop. This staring and this waiting. What stopped was wanting. Unlike Amar in Dil Se and like Sunil in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa.
I have wanted many girls before in my life and all of them have been so different from each other. Some like that stranger at the station in Dil Se and some like Aana in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. Some were so far from the reach that even their dreams were a distant possibility and some were so close that thinking about having them would give them a hint about it.
I have felt like Amar so many times and like Sunil the other times. Being a hopeless romantic is not easy. I would not have been as daring as Amarkant Verma in Dil Se. That to go and follow a girl till her home. I tried that in the 9th standard but failed. My heart almost failed when I saw the rickshaw stopping on the road. The brakes of my cycle would fail automatically and the feet would be required to stop it. Then, I would realize that her books had fallen from the rickshaw and she would step down to get them, eventually watching me staring at her.
I would not want to be in her bad books. She would not give me any reaction. Like that stranger at the platform in Dil Se. Her blank face suggested that she did not know me. But I was in the other section. I could not tell her that I had topped in History in the unit Test and she was clapping when I was being given the honours in the class meeting. I could not even tell her who I was, unlike, Amar, who said, “Amarkant Verma, All India Radio.”
I always chose heart failures before heart breaks. You could live with them. That her rickshaw stopped on the road. You could never live with the fact that she saw you from the rickshaw and did not recognize you.
Like Sunil, I always believed that I was meant for small happiness in life. Like playing music or in my case, writing. Life would be amazing if I had someone like Aana. But then I think would it have been better if I left the want to have her in my life?
Sunil did realize it in the end. Amar could not. He wanted to even die for her. A different Sunil, the one in Darr, could even kill her, if she did not become a part of her life. Love is scary, you feel often.
Rejection, however, most often makes us stronger. It makes us a lot relateable too. Whenever you are rejected, you are a great story. And when you are accepted, you are a winner.
I always imagine what if Simran did not run to catch the train. But we love happy endings, however far they are from reality. Because we have had enough of the bad endings in our real life.
May be this is why we remember Rajs and Rahuls but nobody cares for the Amarkants and Sunils.