August 10, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the classic cult Dil Chahta Hai that came out in 2001. The movie was written and directed by Farhan Akhtar (also his directorial debut) and produced by Ritesh Sidhwani. The film stars Aamir Khan (Akash Malhotra), Saif Ali Khan (Sameer Mulchandani), Akshaye Khanna (Siddharth Sinha), Preity Zinta (Shalini), Sonali Kulkarni (Pooja), and Dimple Kapadia (Tara Jaiswal).
Apart from being a movie that is single-handedly responsible for increasing Goa tourism, it also follows a great storyline, one which was a breath of fresh air back when it was released. Nobody back in 2001 would have imagined a charter-based movie that features three friends who are so different yet so similar to each other. The instances from each of their lives were felt to be very relatable across the screen.
The movie gave quite some life lessons, but the one that stayed with most of us for the rest of our lives was: that it’s never too late to go back to an old friend.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of a movie that was a generation-defining film, here are some letters that we hope the boys will be/would have written:
Twenty years later and I still remember what you gave me. I was already friends with Sid and Sameer but it was you who made me understand what real friendship means. I remember how we danced, partied, joked, and made promises, only to eventually break them. But then again, isn’t that how we learn? We break apart and then fall back together. I guess that’s how life is supposed to be, or perhaps how my life has been. It was you who made me realize how I was wrong. It was you who made me find that one person who completes me. I still have her by my side though.
I am in my 50s and midlife crisis is a constant, I still fight with those close to me, I still make mistakes but you have taught me enough to never let a fight ruin relationships. I now know that life is not just about reaching somewhere or achieving something, it’s about the little moments of the journey towards them. Just like our road trip. We still do that sometimes. We still sit together in silence watching the sunset, it’s beautiful and nostalgic. But it’s never like the one you showed us. It’s been ages since we met, I think it’s time that we reconcile too. I hope this letter reaches you in the best of cleanliness and peace.
Until we see you again at the Chapora fort.
Oh hi there Goa. I hope you’re doing fine. I am not sure why am I writing this letter, I guess it is to express gratitude but that’s not something I can really sum up in a letter. So let’s just call this a love letter. I am anyways known to fall in love every second. So here goes the list of thank yous.
Thank You, Goa:
For making me understand that when friends fall apart, you don’t let them be rather try to bind them together.
For making me understand that someone like me who was vulnerable, immature, and gullible can grow up and still be vulnerable, emotional, and at times immature.
For making me realize what it takes to really find love.
For making me stand between two of my friends as their binding force.
For making me come up with some really iconic lines, I mean if it weren’t for you, how would the teens of today write my words as captions?
Well there are a lot more thank yous to deliver but most of all, thank you Goa for the memories with my friends that I can still go back to, not that we didn’t create any new ones, it’s just that you hold a very special place in our hearts.
So until we click another picture by the beach and upload it on social media with the caption, ‘Ya toh yeh dosti gehri hai ya yeh photo 3D hai’
Oh hi Goa, remember the righteous, deep, artistic boy named Siddharth? Well, he’s now a righteous, deep, and artistic man who has understood quite many philosophies of life, some easily, some the harder way. And for this, I cannot miss to thank you. I was always the more sensible of the three of us but that didn’t stop me from making mistakes. So thank you for making me realize that I can be wrong too. But most importantly thank you for teaching me that at the end of the day it’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s simply about forgiving, letting go, and moving on. It took me some years, a loss of a loved one, a breakup with my best friend, and a whole lot of pain to understand this, but I eventually did.
I was always the philosophical one, but thanks to you I got to deliver my most philosophical lines: ‘Dekh raha hoon woh jahaaz, jo zara der badh dikhayi nahi dega, jaante ho hum teeno uss Jahan ki tarah hain, jo aaj nahi toh kal apni manzilon ko dhoondte hue niklenge aur ho sakta hai, humari manzilein alag-alag ho’. I still remember your sunset that made me say the lines. I’ve been on many ships now to understand how true those lines really were. I have seen multiple sunsets since then, but none felt the same way. I think you still hold a piece of me. I’ll come back to pick it up, or perhaps your waves have taken them in.
Until I find it, or perhaps I don’t.