Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, ADHM, ADHM review, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil review, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma

A heartbreak is worth a few films; and who better than Karan Johar understands it.

The director’s latest attempt to address the theme of uncompromising love is refreshing in terms of style, but lags hugely in terms of originality and substance. The initial acts always force us to revisit Imtiaz Ali’s exceptional works – Love Aaj Kal, Tamasha, and Rockstar – while the the post-intermission portions appear to be recycled from Johar’s very own blockbusters from the late 90s and early 2000s.

As a result, what we get in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is a mix-bag of I-Have-Seen-It-Before-Tales. It is watchable but lacks originality.

An awkward hookup attempt between Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) and Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) leads to a narrow-lined friendship. The former is depressed about a routine fight with his girlfriend; the latter, meanwhile, appears to be full-of-life on surface, but hides deep agonies from her recent breakup.

They speak, they talk, and then they converse; and the more they converse, the better understanding they develop about each other – a premise that reminds us of Before Sunrise’s Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, albeit being fragmental. Just in this case, it is only the man who falls in love, while his counterpart consider their relationship as platonic.

Over the next 2 hours and 35 minutes runtime, we see Ayan and Alizeh protecting and attacking each other in the name of friendship and love. And the beauty with which Ranbir and Anushka play them help us believe the torments each is going through. Their performances help you invest in the journey, however cliched it may look from the outset.

There are many instances in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil that simply tugs off your heart. My personal favourite is when Ayan begs Alizeh to stay away from him; that “he can’t take it anymore”. Another one is when he admits his love for her on her wedding night.

And then there is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s poetic Saba, who appears to be the distraction Ayan truly needs, but mostly ends up being a reminder of his true innermost desires for Alizeh. Aishwarya plays her part elegantly, especially during a confrontation scene with Ranbir – simply beautiful.

Johar interweaves the conflicts perfectly and is helped by music director Pritam to raise the bar. In fact, the music works almost in line with the storytelling; it is a beautiful soundtrack, something comparable to AR Rahman’s Rockstar, minus Sufi.

Despite the awkward emotional manipulation it tries to sell, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil comes out as a flossy amalgamation of Rockstar, Kal Ho Na Ho, and 500 Days of Summer. I’m going to give it three and a half for the performances and the music. Take your handkerchiefs with you!

To endure something you didn’t wish for is, life. I never asked to be born, nor did I sign any deal with God for this life. To say the least, I am a product born out of lust, and greed of people who were too worried to let their financial legacy go away to somebody except their own blood.

But I was born anyways, and was brought up in a civil jungle with tender and care. Sometimes, I used to get some beatings as well, for not following laws, or rules. I learned my way as I grew up. I knew when to smile; I knew when not to smile; I restricted my laughs; and I cried alone.


I kept finding myself in the midst of darkness, and I couldn’t escape one bit of it. Until that very day I realised that the very light was inside me. And only I could unleash it from the dungeons people were too afraid to look into.

I unleashed it, and it transformed into, feelings.

The world was a little brighter than before. I started listening to these feelings; did what I actually felt like. But I realised that the more I tried to fulfil my satisfactions, the worse I turned for the environment around me. The environment, still had rules; and it wanted my feelings to return to the very darkness it came from.

I didn’t know who I belonged to exactly: the environment or this voice inside me? Did my feelings hold any value? Was I suppose to only pretend to smile my whole life? Why did the environment, that born and nurtured me, wanted to clip my wings and kept me in its cage?

How was I free, under an open sky? How could I endure something that I didn’t wish for – this life.

Could death be a solution? Or would it be equally daunting as life? Would I meet my feelings in person once I leave the grasp of this environment? Would these feelings embrace me – or my soul?

I now stand in the midst of a reverie. I am escaping the lust I had for darkness, to meet the unknown at the other end of this dimension.

Or would I be born again? Against my own wishes? And will ask the same thing, that I didn’t ask for it? What if I am in a vicious circle I cannot escape?

I need my void so I could slip inside and disappear into it with my light, my feelings, and my love. I need my own environment. That’s my little hope!

Or should I just wake up from this dream?


Posted: October 19, 2016 in Poems about Love
Tags: , , , ,

थोड़ी बातें तेरी,

थोड़ी बातें मेरी,

काश यूँ होती ज़िन्दगी,

थोड़ी दिन तेरे,

थोड़ी राते मेरी,

काश यूँ होती ज़िन्दगी ।

तेरे मेरे रंगो को,

ऐसे हम मिलाते,

कितने रंग बनाते,

संग में,

पर अब अपने रंग ही,

इतने हैं गहरे,

कि अब कोई रंग ना बने,

तो हम बेरंग ही सही ।

थोड़ी बातें तेरी,

थोड़ी बातें मेरी,

काश यूँ होती ज़िन्दगी,

थोड़ी दिन तेरे,

थोड़ी राते मेरी,

काश यूँ होती ज़िन्दगी ।

बाँसी बाँसी यादें,

सपनो में ताज़ी,

राज़ी पर हक़ीक़त,

ही नहीं,

आँखों के पीछे,

दिखती है ख़ुशियाँ,

आँखों के आगे,

तो नहीं,

ये आँखें फिर बंद ही सही ।

थोड़ी बातें तेरी,

थोड़ी बातें मेरी,

काश यूँ होती ज़िन्दगी,

थोड़ी दिन तेरे,

थोड़ी राते मेरी,

काश यूँ होती ज़िन्दगी ।

A scary gateway awaits me,

and I’m going to get through,

I never thought that this goodbye,

will be the hardest thing to do,

let me draw your pretty face,

before time drags me away,

let me make these memories,

coz I’m never gonna see you again….

Kitne kitne lamhe batore,

Gullak bhar ke lamhe ye jode,

Fir bhi hai lagte kyu thode thode,

Ik saans me dekhu sabhi,

Aur zindagi hai ye badi….

Let me make these memories,

coz I’m never gonna see you again…

Before I Met Her

“What’s the purpose of your visit,” asks an unsmiling Caucasian officer from behind the glass.

It has been a long flight, and most of the passengers around me look visibly tired. I, on the other hand, have birds in my stomach. Its a new country out there; its a long-awaited holiday for me; and most important of all, its the first time I am going to meet her. But I also have a liability to look calm, and non-stupid in this new place.

“Meeting my girlfriend,” I reply to the stern officer.

He was not expecting this answer, and I try to keep an innocent face to lower down my frankness. I think to myself if he can actually deport me back to New Delhi for proclaiming my romantic adventure. An Indian immigration officer would have taken offense. ‘Its still better than saying to meet the President of Armenia,’ I think to myself, ‘and I am not even a Khan.’

“Welcome to Hayastan,” the officer says to me, creating a rhyme with my inside-out-conversations – Khan-Hayastan. He ink-punch my passport with his best ability, confirming – that for the next 11 days – I am legally entitled to date her. I should really hug this officer for amplifying my excitement.

I manage to stick to a “Thank you” as I go past that metal door. ‘But what the hell Hayastan is? Have I boarded a wrong bus, airbus? Is this even a right country?’

There is a stream of thoughts that flows inside my mind. Starting from the day I got introduced to her, to the day we became friends, to the day we e-kissed, to the day we fell in love, to the day I decided to save money to visit her, to the day I did save enough, to the day I bought my airline tickets, to the day my Visa got approved, and to this very day when I am just minutes away from seeing her for the first time without needing a computer screen. This stream must freeze the moment I see her. I’m getting prepared.

The luggage finds me easily; arrows guide me like friends; people clear my ways; and all the borders break loose while I step into Armenia. My eyes search through walking silhouettes, looking for her. But they don’t find her. ‘She must be around’, I repeat in my head several times. But she is nowhere to be seen.

“Where are you M?”

And I get a lump in my throat.

To be continued…..

An Abandoned Soul

Posted: March 17, 2016 in Loud Echoes
Tags: , , ,


It all started with nothing, and it all ended with nothing. It was like a circle I was walking in, so contained with the paths, I never understood there were no destinations. I was stuck such happily I forgot to cry. It was the best chaos of my life — this love I had.

It wanted me to escape, but I never planned to come out. There were door opens, but I didn’t wish to leave the darkness behind. Even if I could have stepped outside — into a newer world — I would not have managed to grasp the reality of it, for I believed in the virtuality; for my heart is blindfolded by the sheer peace a void brings. I kept walking in its circles, and I forgot what I didn’t remember.

I had closed my eyes for too long, I couldn’t face the wraths of lights. I kept holding to myself and this feeling – this love I had.

And one day, it forced me out in the wild. I kept crying but it didn’t take me back. I screamed and it didn’t listen. I hurt myself and it didn’t care. It wanted me to disappear, like I never mattered enough.

I waited for the doors to open, but it never happened. My love had abandoned me, but I couldn’t. I started moving in the same circles again, just this time outside the wall.

Now I am tired, but love doesn’t let me in. I am going to collapse, but it still doesn’t want me.

[The letter appears in a story I have been writing from years]


As I write this letter, I had already spent a long night mourning over your sudden departure from my life. Despite of what happened in recent days, I still long to see you somewhere in my sorry existence. I am being a careless optimist who believes everything will turn out to be all right because you will want me back.

But the more I try to believe this far-stretched fantasy, the better I understand its impracticality. A stable fragment of my mind and soul tells me that you will never knock the doors of my life. This is the reality I will have to wake up to – sooner or later. I still cannot stop looking over my shoulders; and I cannot look ahead to a life that doesn’t have you – a person I truly love.

I still am not able to grasp what made you drift away. We had fallouts on occasions but we always found our ways back to each other. We were a wispy couple I agree, but we were also there for each other in both good and bad times.

I still remember the day we started as friends. How I was this overly-sarcastic jerk, and you were an equally delicate snob. We were strange, but we were meant to be with each other. I had this realization from the very start and that was the only reason I first resisted from starting a long distance relationship. But you were persuaded by your utmost romanticism that this relationship will work. It is you who I believed after our minor fallouts. I believed you were right all this time, and vowed never to let you go again. I wanted to love you with all my dedication, and you loved me equally.

I left a stable job to find an unstable one that offered more money, only because I wanted to meet you. And as I did, believe me, it was the most wonderful days of my life. Every love song used to make sense; every tragedy used to make me cry; the stars and moons were looking beautiful; and even eggplants started to taste good.

I turned into this great person with you, who was always happy and joyful. It was only because of you I came out of a life which I used to despise. I was being loved by a wonderful and great human being, what else could I want from this life. I thanked God every night and prayed for your well being.

Remember those late afternoon meals, those countryside trips, those cheese toasts, butter chicken dinners, those kisses, that Karma restaurant incident, the comfort we felt in each others’ arms, the ma ka shit joke.

But it has all changed right? You gradually reduced speaking to me while I was back home. You gave me some really indigestible reasons for acting strange, but you never told me why you were falling out of love with me. After all these years, I at least deserved a courtesy of being told truth. But you never have any words to explain why you left me all of a sudden. In fact, you never even cared to pick my calls all this time. It’s like you were forcing me into breaking up with you to avoid carrying the blame of destroying this relationship.

How am I suppose to move on while carrying some half-baked theories? How will I know what exactly destroyed our love? How could you leave me all alone to deal with this depression? How could you be so cold and heartless to a person who hugged you to sleep, wiped your tears and changed his life upside down every time just to meet you? Why am I asking so many questions?

Perhaps, I am just being very mean while loading all the blames on your shoulders. Perhaps, there were circumstances you couldn’t ignore, which ultimately parted our ways. But I wish you could have told me these circumstances. I wish you could tell me the truth, even if it has to do with meeting another man. What could I do but to understand you, and still love you whole-heartedly? Like I don’t understand you now, but still love you more than my life.

Perhaps like you, I am also a victim of my own circumstances. And it seems we both won’t be able to come out of it. I just have one request though – whatever happens, just don’t forget the times we had together as a crazy couple. I will not be able to forget any one of them. These memories will always stay around me for the rest of my life.

Thanks for making me a part of your life. I lived with you, and I hope to die while thinking of the beautiful moments we had.


No One