Glossy, sumptuous but formulaic — My review of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

The sheer number of gorgeous people and locations in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil got me in a quandary as I kept zoning out from the story, slipping into reveries — it’s hard to retain one’s equanimity when one gets to eyeball such  perpetually beautiful actors. Beauty can be really meddlesome at times!

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil revolves around Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) and Alizeh (Anushka Sharma). Their relationship changes from friendship to one-sided-love to that of a friend-zone. Ayan, who dreams of becoming the next Mohammad Rafi, is not a quintessential Hindi cinema hero — he’s timid, self-conscious about dancing in front of people, a tad juvenile at times and as Alizeh puts it – a baby without a pram!
But that doesn’t make you complain, because when was the last time we saw a mainstream male protagonist writhing about on the road, crying?
But soon, Ayan mutates into a serious man—still retaining a tinge of boyishness—as he develops profound love for Alizeh, who sadly doesn’t reciprocate.
Alizeh’s only Achilles’ heel—despite coming across as tough and pragmatic—is her love for Ali (Fawad Khan), which abruptly resurrects—much to Ayan’s consternation. Fawad Khan once again charms the audience – also with some dance moves this time.


The beauty quotient goes into the stratosphere with Saba’s (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) entry. Saba, in addition to being a comely, intoxicating, drop-dead gorgeous woman, is also a Shayara –which makes the whole watching-experience headier.
You feel instantly smitten by her persona, which is only heightened by the enamouring Urdu Shayaris.
The second-half of the movie is a bit fast paced. It makes you ask the who-ends-up-with-whom question. It essentially deals with Ayan’s predicament—his dalliance with Saba, but hidden love for Alizeh, who is now married to Ali.
In some places, you fail to connect with the emotions portrayed by these actors as you’re carried away by their beguiling looks. The way it all pans out is specious albeit the emotions are unfeigned.
It takes considerable effort to look beyond the reposeful and dreamy visuals and invest in the story unfolding on the screen.
Though the pre-climax and the climax of the film are unanticipated, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil smacks of predictability. The dialogues are witty and lyrical but also corny and trite.
The music—lilting and catchy— is surely a plus-point. Especially the breakup song is here to stay.

Watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil for its exciting cameos and special appearances. Watch it for the satisfying and appealing looks and locations. Watch it for the peppy songs. Watch it for Karan Johar’s new, matured take on relationships.

I’m going with 3 out of 5 stars.


My Weight – My Nemesis

Happy-endings never make sense to me. A host of questions like “would the story have ever been told if the ending wasn’t happy?” collide in my head when I encounter an and-they-lived-happily-ever-after. The story that I’m about to share doesn’t end with a lived-happily-ever-after, because it is still in progress, even as I write and even as you read.

One of the earliest memories of my childhood include the salespersons in the kids wear section ruefully telling my parents “sorry sir, apka beta thoda chubby hai” or “sorry ma’am your child is a bit too healthy”. I always thought I was being complimented but much later in life did I realise that “chubby” and “healthy” were actually euphemisms for ‘hopelessly-fat’ and ‘miserably-overweight’.

Half of my school life was spent in fabricating excuses to eschew the P.T periods. My stomach is hurting. I have a fever. I feel dizzy.
Come Physical Education class and I would shamble along the corridors of the school or simply lock myself in the classroom and read.
“What a frigging nerd he is” they’d say, “what a frigging loser I am”- I’d think.
The very thought of jumping and running in front of the entire class, with that tummy jiggling up and down would leave me palpitating and perspiring. And hence, playing any sport was out of the question!
Till date, my knowledge of sports remains zilch. Here’s an example of how my conversations involving sports turn out:
Cricket enthusiast: “Who do you think will win the IPL?”
Me: “duh…India.”
Cricket enthusiast: “Isn’t Virat Kohli awesome?”
Me: “The one Anushka Sharma dated?”
Enthusiast of some sport: “Ronaldo or Messi?”
Me: “Salad. I think I’d rather have a green salad.”

And if you’re wondering, NO, this isn’t hyperbole – not one iota.

Fairly enough, my responses elicit whole gamut of reactions – from pity to exasperation.  Some genuinely concerned people do tell me to start playing sport – it’s never too late they say. But I still baulk at the idea. I just don’t think I have the stomach for playing sports (pun intended.)

As anyone who has ever been or is overweight will agree, shopping for clothes is a herculean task for us. As soon as you enter the showroom, the outfits (that never fit) start seducing you. The labels read: ‘Skinny’-fit or ‘slim’-fit jeans. But you’re neither skinny nor slim.
You soliloquize in the changing room and promise yourself to lose some weight (yeah, right!). The changing-room mirrors will vouch for that.

I think the whole concept of window-shopping began when a fat dude just spent his time wandering in the mall, admiring the clothes he can never wear.
And then you have these posters of ripped dudes stuck all over the place, just in case you were not feeling bad enough already.
After what feels like an eternity, you finally choose the clothes that you think would grow on you but in no time you outgrow them!
Hence, of late, I’ve found solace in online shopping, because at least you don’t have to go through the whole rigmarole of shopping!

Four years ago, after I finished my tenth grade I joined IIT-JEE Coaching Classes (if I ever have to list three major mistakes of my life, this would be the ONLY one), like most others. After languishing in those classes for two years, I lost considerable amount of weight.

Finally some respite, I remember telling myself.
THAT could have been the happy-ending of my story, my happily-lived-ever-after point. But that joy was short-lived, much like my motivation.

Because, then college happened. While everyone started losing weight and becoming scraggy (thanks to the grotesque mess ka khana), I started regaining my kilos back. My body has got the whole “Before-After” thing wrong. Mine is more like a “Before-After-Before” situation.
One question that always renders me speechless is this – “What are your hobbies?”
I honestly do not have an answer. There’s no activity (other than gluttony, of course) that has enthused me so much.
There is one thing though, which I do a lot (which I don’t think qualifies as a hobby) – stalking people on social media (level: creep) and wondering how these people manage to get such candid-looking shots.
Does everyone have a hired-photographer? And a catchy-poetic-caption-writer?
I don’t have an axe to grind against these people, but do they even realise how miserable they make the lives of people like me?
Only cherry-picked, glossy pictures make their way to the timeline – a friend tells me.
Chalo, Some relief.
But then, I don’t even have a profile picture, I tell her!


Is my weight the reason why I do not have a profile picture?
 I ask myself, trying to rationalize.
No, you don’t have it because you don’t need people on social media to validate yourself. My heart says.
LOL. Just kidding, Fatso! My mind blurts out.
‘Losing weight’ is always right on top of my to-do list for vacations. Yet another vacation’s coming to an end and that box still remains un-ticked. I’ve religiously read and bookmarked (and sometimes followed) all the articles and blogs on internet about weight loss. How can you battle the urge to click on something which reads: 5/10/15/20 ways to lose weight in 10/15/20 days?
Each article is different from the other and claims to be better than the rest.
And then, there are some people trying desperately to seem real. They have the audacity to ask you to work out to lose weight.
Complete hogwash!
So much technology and still you’ve to work out to lose weight?

In my defence, how can I not binge-eat when I have such tasty food all around vying for my attention? How can you not indulge yourself in an orgy of eating when appetising food is just one phone call away?
I haven’t lost even a minuscule amount of weight but have certainly lost the last modicum of self-respect and the smidgen of hope that was left!

I have hence made my peace with the weight, willy-nilly.
My stomach’s growling – and that’s my cue to leave.




Drowned in the ocean of turmoil,
is a voice feeble and soft;
it has the courage to shake the world,
but itself lies completely shaken.

All it wants is a listening ear
to open all its woes,
for the lips have long been sealed
in fear of ridicule.

It shall break open though
with unfathomable power
because silence not be mistaken as weakness
harbinger of calamity could it as well be.