Bachna Ae Haseeno: Experiments with Relationships

First Take By Samuel Thambusamy

Bachna Ae Haseeno is a film about Raj (played by Ranbir Kapoor) repenting about life’s decisions concerning love. The theme is not entirely new. Indian cinema, (both hindi and regional cinema) have dealt with this theme before.

  • Raj has a (failed? or flimsy?!) love relationship with Mahi (played by Minissha Lamba)
  • a live-in relationship with Radhika (played by Bipasha Basu) later
  • and later chases Gayatri (played by Deepika) in Sydney.

Raj’s story perfectly is in sync with Noah and the whale’s song: 5 years time…

Oh, Five years time
I might not know you,
In Five Years Time
We might not speak at all and
In Five Years Time
We might not get along
In Five Years Time
You might just prove me wrong.

Oh there’ll be,
Love Love Love
Where ever you go, There’ll be
Love Love Love

As humans, we desire for love and relationships (one among the real, excellent and the delightful things that we all gravitate to). “BAH” is about the desire for love and relationships, and how we all miss true love or mess up our lives with wrong choices and values concerning love.

Choices have consequences. Raj leaves Mahi. Why? The love does not bind these two together. There’s intimacy and passion but not committment. Raj dumps Radhika too. All because he wants a better life in Australia. She becomes a burden for his dreams. All the passion in the live-in relationship is unable to bind them together. There’s no intimacy and committment. When Raj proposes to Gayatri, does he have commitment? Did Gayatri see through the lack of committment? Is the Raj’s remorse real? Or was he getting back to Mahi and Radhika to get over his hurt?

Why do we find love and lose it? Why do we find love but can’t keep it? Why do we so easily fall out of love? Do we know what love is all about? Love is much more than a feeling. Love is much more than the stuff dreams are made of. Love is much more than the flow of hormonal urge. Psychologist Robert Sternberg has developed The triangular theory of love which helps us to understand love in the context of interpersonal relationships.

He contends the “amount” of love one experiences depends on the strength of Intimacy, Passion and Committment. Committment within relationship is a deliberate act of the will. We decide to stay committed. That is what marriage ceremony is all about. It is a public declaration of a commitment towards each other. Closeness, connectedness and bondednesss must not be confused as committment. Committment is the decision to remain with the other. It is about living life with the other person.

Will Raj ever experience (true) love? He can… and he will if he adds the element of committment to his passion and intimacy. Robert Sternberg reminds us that a relationship based on a single component is less likely to survive than one based on two or all three.

The goodnews is that each of us can (re)start life no matter how much we have messed up life. Of course, we need to face the consequences but it’s a small price to pay for all the happiness in store for us. We need to find true love and keep it. Committment helps us to keep it… and keep our lives going…


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