I suppose Dil Chaahta Hai (The Heart Desires) will always remain the quintessential Indian film on friendship, at least for us millenials who grew up with its music ringing in our ears. Every time I get together with friends, the title song makes a quiet run at the back of my mind –
“Dil chaahta hai, hum na rahein kabhi yaaron ke bin”
“The heart desires that we should never be without friends”
S asked me once which my favourite sunrise was till date. I remember trying to imagine a picturesque scene by a beach or on a mountain top, watching the sun come up on the horizon, and failing to come up with an answer. I’ve never been a morning person, and could hardly recollect a pristine sunrise caught in the film of my mind.
If he asked me again today, I’d finally have an answer. The dawn of September 19th, 2021. I wasn’t at a beach, or atop a mountain. I sat with my feet dangling from a poolside, feeling the cool water rippling around my ankle. SE sat next to me, and SM diagonally across. We could hear birdsong in the background, as the sky lightened subtly. It had been a wild night – lying under the stars with our tongues let loose by too much alcohol and rambling on for hours about work, relationships, happiness, the present, the future and everything in between. I couldn’t remember the last time I had spent a whole night awake. As dawn broke and a rooster crowed, I revelled at how still the world was around me, how calm the world was within me. I belonged here. I was present there with all my heart, enveloped by quiet ripples of happiness.
This was where I wanted to be, always. On a terrace, by a pool, at the beach, on a mountain top, in a car… the place doesn’t matter, as long as my people are around me, every time I pass through darkness into the light.