I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Malayalam, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Nepali, Khasi, Dogri, Garo and other languages.

Society has very strict rules about marriage and how it should be conducted. Maybe we should add that that there are different rules for men and women. My culture isiZulu, allows isithembu where a man has more than one wife, but it is doesn’t say anything about a woman having more than one husband. There is a word for a woman who has more than one lover, but we cannot print it because this website is not rated Parental Guidance (PG). It is a family website with no nudity or foul language.

Our present Zulu king has many wives, so do some rich men in South Africa. As for commoners, forget it. You must stick to your wife otherwise you are flirting with divorce. Other cultures also have what is known as co-wives but I don’t know much about that. I once screened a film where Rekha’s character shared her husband (Rajesh Khanna) with another wife. I forget the tile of the film.

Karan Johar’s film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is about forbidden fruit. Only two people know whether it is kiwi or mango. The fruit salad situation hurts other people when they found out. It is not fiction. It is my story and yours but is it worth all the pain? Hollywood calls it a crime of passion.

It is quite simple really. Maya (Rani Mukherjee) marries Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan) out of gratitude because his family took her in when her parents died. Rishi’s father (Amitabh Bachachan) loves her and Rishi has loved her for years, but she feels otherwise. She finally gives in and agrees to marry him.

What is the point of waiting for true love, something that doesn’t exist? Something good or terrible happens on her wedding day. She meets Dev (Shah Rukh Khan), who is ‘the one’, but is already married to Rhea (Preity Zinta). The two strangers sit on a garden bench and discuss love and marriage. Dev convinces Maya to marry Rishi.

Four years down the road, they meet again and despite their efforts to hold on their respective marriages, they admit that they are in love. Dev, Maya, Rishi and Rhea move in the same circles. “Love is like clarified butter, you cannot keep it hidden,” said a character from the film Bhool Bhulaaiya.

Dev starts hating Rishi. He grabs Maya in one scene and tells her he cannot tolerate her husband touching her. She says she doesn’t like the idea of the man she loves spending his nights with another woman, but she tolerates it.

There is no murder committed in the film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, but relationships are broken. Rhea is bitter that her husband Dev was unfaithful and that he admitted loving Maya. Rishi completely loses it because it confirmed what he had known all along that his wife Maya did not love him.

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna also highlights the untold story of the innocent party. Rishi and Rhea love their spouses so much they cannot read the destination, although the bus is clearly written where it is going. We usually see the innocent party as a bitter person who wants a divorce that will cripple the cheating party. The director Karan Johar succeeded in giving us a glimpse of their pain.

But Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is a bad film because it reinforces the myth that love is everything. The reality of the matter is that life is about men and women living together whether they are in love or not. It is about perpetuity. It is about procreation and children being born. It is what Ajay Devgan’s character said in Yuva, that it is all about procreation, and not love.


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