Dil Bechara album: AR Rahman guides us on a warm journey about love, loss and longing
The writer takes a journey with Sushant's Manny and Sanjana's Kizie, accompanied by Dil Bechara songs, one of those uncharacteristically instant earworm albums from AR Rahman
A few years back, the term 'Friendzone' was all the rage. Over the years, we have come to the conclusion that it is a toxic term that puts the onus on one person to express a love that might not be there at all. But when AR Rahman sings "Dil Bechara... Friendzone ka maara" and you remember Sushant Singh Rajput's wide smile, suddenly friendzone isn't that bad a term. That's the magic of music. It makes you question the definitions you had in place.
The title track perfectly sets up Shreya Ghoshal and Mohit Chauhan to sing about ginn-ing taare (counting stars). With Mohit and Shreya whispering sweet nothings in our ears, this song makes us feel everything will once again be alright in the world. It will, right? Don't we have AR Rahman for company, while we try to sail past the happenings in the world, finding beauty in the mundane? The night skies have become lighter. The evening breeze has become more comforting. The stars... the stars are just shining brighter now, aren't they? This realisation comes just in time for Arijit Singh and Shasha Tirupati to remind us that all the uncertainty around us has finally pushed us to khulke jeena ka our lives to the fullest?
We invariably come across someone who teaches us that life isn't meant to be lived in isolation. Happiness is best shared. So is sadness. So too pain, smiles, tears. Aren't we the hero-heroines in our own stories ask Arijit and Shasha. It might make us want to flail our arms around in the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland. It might make us want to meet at Bandstand during the Bombay rains. It might make us think of standing at the Marina beach, waves tickling our toes while our hands are intertwined with our loved one's while AR Rahman decides to accentuate the silence with his beautiful music. Basically, it might make us want to look into each other's eyes and say, "I'll be there for you..." Probably why the next song has Hriday Gattani and Jonita Gandhi saying "Main Tumhara."
Is love always beautiful? What is love without a tinge of sadness? Happily ever after is remembered only if there are not-so-happy things in between. Love is like the oasis in the middle of an unforgiving desert, even if it is a mirage. This comfort is the grounding we so crave for after bouts of madness. This comfort is that last note of a tune that lingers in our heads even after the song ends. Remember that old adage — Relationships end... love doesn't. It might seem painful then, but looking back, we might recall it fondly. We even laugh at the shared pains. Hriday returns alongside Sunidhi Chauhan to remind us of the buffoonery (Maskhari) that love essentially is.
Don't we all remember the random things we used to do with our loved ones? It might seem juvenile to others, but within the confines of our hearts, it acts as a reminder that things were A-okay. The laughs were frequent, even if for the stupidest of reasons. The simplest things made us smile. One strand of hair out of place. Untied shoelaces. Wrongly buttoned-up shirts. A thread spinning out of its place in a kurta. A ketchup stain at the corner of our lips. Individual incidents that seem boring to others. For us, it could have been the start of a conversation that ended in peals of laughter. Our shared smiles might seem bizarre to others, but for us, it was the start of an Afreeda, a creation out of this carefree maskhari. It is now the turn of Sanaa Moussa and Raja Kumari to take the mic.
The mind is a funny thing. Weren't we just thinking about Bandstand, Marina and deserts? Did AR Rahman know we'd be thinking of these things? He effortlessly transports us to the golden grains of the Gulf. The very Middle Eastern tune questions the very creation of life. But it is more a microscopic rather than a macroscopic look. Doesn't love often create a new us? Don't our loved ones push the right buttons to make us do things we never thought we could? Don't we create new avenues to explore just because love gives us the blind courage to do so? Is this a new creation or was it something that was always within us? All this time, we thought this musical journey was our very own. Was this soundtrack created by AR Rahman just for us? Well, deep within us, we know it isn't. This was about Kizie... Sanjana Sanghi, the new kid on the block who might just take Bollywood by storm. This was about Manny... the ever-smiling Sushanth, who... well, the ever-smiling Sushanth. After the Dil Bechara title track, this is the first time we are sucked right back into the world of Kizie and Manny. Aditya Narayan and Poorvi Koutish help us along the way through Mera Naam Kizzie.
Did we need another reason to invest in the life and times of Kizie and Manny? Did we need a song to remind us that the dimples on Kizie and Manny are beautiful? Did we need a lovely little number to tell us that this here is a couple unlike the world has ever seen? Don't we all think our love stories are unique? Don't we all think our relationships are something extraordinary? In our worlds, aren't we all Kizies and Mannys? Wouldn't we also like AR Rahman to use liberal doses of the saxophone as we proclaim our love stories to the world? But every love story has a start... And just as this album began with ARR voicing Sushant's proclamation of being stuck in the friendzone, we now have AR Rahman giving us another version of this same number that doesn't just waltz but manages to bring people with two left feet right on the dance floor and hopefully, out of the Friendzone.
But once this euphoria subsides, once this jubilation is grounded, once this ecstatic feeling finds its feet in the ordinariness of it all, we understand love is all about repetition. Even when longing for each other, our lives move forward. Even when melancholy sets in in a relationship, our lives move forward. This album is not just about us. It is also about Kizie and Manny, and the star-crossed lovers are going down a path, the destination of which is known to all. We know what is in store for them. They know what is in store for them. Does the eventuality ever dampen the path to the end? Can the predictability of the destination ever take away from the pleasure of travelling together? You see, nostalgia is a lovely gift we all have. We turn back the clock and think of the could-haves and would-haves not because we wish things get back to what it was. It is but to feel again what we once felt. Makes a lot of sense that AR Rahman decides to end the beautiful journey we undertook with Kizie and Manny with the number — The Horizon of Saudade.
At the end of it all, there is beauty even in melancholy. The longing for what we once shared with our loved ones never fades away. It is fitting that, in a way, this is us finally saying goodbye to Sushant Singh Rajput. The longing stays. The memories blossom. The melancholy thrives.
Well, the love will always be there.
Thank you, AR Rahman... and well... take care, Sushant.