It’s that time of the year again when the shop shelves are filled with all things red and the air is filled with all things romantic. For a girl like me, who has always been a little filmi, Valentine’s Day was depicted in all it’s perfect glory in Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) with the notion that “someone, somewhere is made for you”. The movie, which I hold close to my heart even today, gives even the most pessimistic soul a hope for love and the feeling that the universe is working to bring you together with your soulmate. However, as I’ve gotten older and as times have changed, I’ve found that there is no right or wrong way to feel about 14 February. Whether you are one half of a couple or whether you’re a singleton, Valentine’s Day is – to put it bluntly – just another day in the calendar… or is it?
To prevent myself from over-thinking it all, I posed some unique questions to some well-known names and some rising stars on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.
Read on for their ♥EXCLUSIVE♥ answers…
♥ Jamilla Khanum, BBC Radio Producer, gives me her thoughts about her favourite Bollywood jodi:
My all time favourite Bollywood jodi has to be, without a shadow of a doubt, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. For me, these two are the epitome of romance.
There was something about the magic between them way back in the good old days of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which seamlessly transcended decades to bring us equally memorable performances together in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and more recently in My Name Is Khan. They look like they were made to share screen space and will always remain my favourite on screen pairing. The Shahid Kapoors and Priyanka Chopras of today have got nothing on these two Bollywood icons, and nor will they ever have the power to stir raw emotion in the way Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol have done for so long, and will no doubt continue to do. Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol I salute you!
Let’s face it, there are thousands of songs out there that are basically saying ‘I Love You’ all in their own way and I think the best songs are the ones that say it really simply in a way never heard before. For example, ‘You Are So Beautiful’ by Joe Cocker, ‘Always & Forever’ by Heatwave, ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars all have simple words sung from the heart and they are the most effective love songs in my opinion. That is exactly what I wanted to capture in ‘Tere Liye’ and indeed in my new love song ‘Aaja’. On the Asian side, I think ‘Tujh Mein Rab Diktha Hai’ from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, ‘Tere Mere Sapne’ from Guide and ‘Tera Chehra’ by Adnan Sami are really beautiful love songs. The key about impressing your Valentine is to not try too hard… show that you’ve made a real effort, but make it seem effortless.
Navin Kundra’s latest single Aaja, releases on 14 February.
One of my favourite true life love stories from Indian cinema world, is the one between Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao. Theirs is a superb match, in terms of intellectuality and creativity. As a couple, they see forward together, while holding onto their own individuality, and they are known as a power couple because of the strength they draw from each other. There is no ego in their coupling, from my interactions with them both and I see a beautiful mutual respect, a level of communication and trust and even with their busy schedules, they make time for each other and to support the work of one another. They barely met on the set of Lagaan, where Kiran was an assistant director, but their love blossomed as time passed, culminating in the recent creation of a poignant film like Dhobi Ghat, which Aamir produced, for his wife and even took direction from her, something unheard of, in Indian cinema, to my knowledge. This, in my opinion, is a beautiful romance, which has seen trying times, as well as the pinnacle of glory. May their love continue to bloom and renew itself every passing day.
♥ Armaan Kirmani, Actor (debuted in recent release Patiala House), revealed which of Indian cinema’s loverboy characters he would most liked to have played and why:
It would have to be Surinder Sahni from Rab Ne Bana De Jodi. His is one of the most honest, simple and yet memorable characters ever written in Hindi cinema. He had the truest form of love for his wife and the purity in his soul is something that would be spiritually rewarding at the same time as professionally fulfilling for any actor.
One song that describes everything I would want to say to my Valentine is Cater To You by Destiny’s Child. The lyrics of this song blew me away when I heard them, they are so romantic and intense! It’s the perfect way of telling your Valentine just how much you appreciate them, and how you want to SHOW them what they mean to you. Every man likes to be praised and feel appreciated, so I’m sure this song would work it’s magic.
A Hindi song I would sing to keep the mood romantic on Valentine’s would probably be Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai from the movie Jism. The lyrics are very suggestive yet beautiful at the same time, but most of all I like the soft and soothing tone of this song. There’s something very sensual about this composition.
♥ Suraj Unalkat, Model & Entrepreneur (2nd runner-up in Mr England 2010), told me what he would do in a certain scenario:
There is a scene in the movie Fashion (2008) that I wish was true. It’s when Meghna (Priyanka Chopra) is in the car with Anisha (Kitu Gidwani). Anisha breaks the news to Meghna that she wants to put her in the next big fashion show.
I remember Anisha’s dialogue to Meghna where she says “It’s about the right time, at the right place.” – something I am a big believer of.
Meghna is such so passionate and so determined to make her dreams come true. For me to pursue my dream of becoming a successful TV presenter makes me wish someone like Anisha came into my life too!
♥ Shai Hussain, Scriptwriter – Do you think Valentine’s day has more or less importance today in comparison with what it did decades ago?
Yes and no. Because of the rise of social media, it is definitely a lot more difficult to escape the spirit of valentines day – go online at anytime during the days leading up to the day, and you’re faced with an onslaught of gift and outing suggestions. Valentine’s Day weekend leads couples to have an expectation of something special and singles with the desperation to pull.
On the other hand, the consumerism nature of the occasion had created a huge air of cynicism over it, with many now believing it to be a trap to lead consumers to spend through the nose to meet ‘traditional’ expectations. With divorces continually on the rise, and people swapping partners like playing cards, some look towards the day as a necessary reminder of the importance of love. However with the current recession, most prefer to celebrate either a couple of days before or after the event to escape the high prices and overcrowding, but to still celebrate their relationship.
Valentine’s day, unlike Easter and Christmas, isn’t religiously tied. Worldwide, as countries continue to become globalised/commercialised/Americanised, the importance of the day has definitely increased, but in terms of the West, I feel there’s exactly the same divide for and against Valentine’s day than there always was.
For those whose loved ones are far away, definitely technology has changed the dynamics. With web chat, Facebook and Skype it’s so much easier to keep in touch but i think the old romantics and those who believe in Valentine’s Day still prefer the traditional ways (cards, flowers and chocolates have to be given face to face). E-cards are a big no no!
♥ DesiCowboy (www.desitara.com/desicowboy), gives an insight into his ideal Valentine’s day: