By Rahma A. Hossain
Remembering ZNMD, internalising all of its poetry, music and living like there’s no tomorrow, scratch that, a beautiful tomorrow out of the chase.
Would you get married; Cause it's gonna happen someday? Or just want to get it done for a list you want to accomplish in life? For star-studded dinners, for fancy speeches, gorgeous dresses and parties!! The food or the awkward relatives...maybe for the bachelorette party (cause it’s an escape from mundane or the ‘adventure’ if your life’s a highly funded Bollywood movie).
For the first 8 times, I watched Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD), it was this fun watch you pick on a weekend and be happy with the songs and the scenes. But somehow after 10 years when you watch it, you feel that ‘life’ inside the cinema, you feel something more beneath the pink and yellow, the bright lights. ZNMD said how there’s no guidebook to life, you cannot just check the direction manual for happiness and follow the steps!! We choose the confinement of a guarded life because it feels safe, it’s secure. Looking back at this wonderful cinema with diverse emotions, ZNMD gave us life goals on how adventures can change the way you look at life, situations, relations and you.
From the very first adventure, it was about confronting fears which stick with you like baggage you didn't ask for. Costa Brava’s deep-sea diving, coral reefs, fishes, marine life was peaceful to watch and also shout out to the 710 Km long coastline of Spain. There is this ‘fear of the unknown’ underwater, but somehow the colours, the different shades of blue, green, the light reflecting in the water and the calm take you to a different space where you, along with Arjun, realise the feeling of being alive. The waves and then the realisation that hits like a stream, steady, pulsating, the emotions trickling through the body, the steady breath after the dive that makes you realise that every breath counts every heartbeat matters.
It was this experience that led them, even Arjun, who loved fixed structures till now, to tingle a little with the initial plan. So, from the calm to the upbeat Buñol’s Valencian festival, La Tomatina was not a subtle change but it was just what the heart wanted. The letting go of all the worries to just embrace what life throws at you. La Tomatina happens on the last Wednesday of August for pure entertainment and winning over the gen-z and their unquenchable thirst for ‘wanderlust’ or just lust, who am I to judge?
What’s life without risk right? Sevilla’s Skydiving experience was all about the jump, the fall, the fear of letting go and Farhan’s need for a ‘push’. The safety gears aside, you just jump from 15 thousand feet with your heart pounding and then you fly...the flightless emus that we all are, this is one of the only attainable ways of feeling the escape. Then you land with the feeling of victory and an overwhelming sense of security.
But ZNMD was always about the journey, it is about life and so the ‘fear of death had to be the last on the list. In the city of Pamplona, Navarre's Festival of San Fermin is celebrated with the bulls racing behind you. There's chaos around you and within you but you just have to run, literally for your life. The moment before death just might be like this when you realise the most important thing you want to do or wanted to do all your life. These were the moments when you feel that, do you want to challenge it? Or maybe look into its eyes and say you are alive? How hard do you want to live? How fast are you ready to run?
The movie ends like most romantic comedies of Bollywood, it too is happy and musical. But ZNMD was not about choosing freedom over marriage, not about getting a beautiful partner who’ll teach you to love and live… So maybe if, “40 tak note chapo aur fir retirement!”- is your master plan, pack your bags and run to Spain or Lonavala at least and ask yourself is it worth the chase or you can breathe for a moment. Or maybe this is just a movie so don’t hype up about it a lot… just stay at home there’s a Pandemic!