DDLJ Part 13: The Disappearing Prayer Scene!

I’ve been taking a long break from this, partly because Fan came out and it was time to move on to other things, partly because the streaming version I bought on Amazon didn’t have the next scene included.  But now I am back!  By popular demand, and also because there is another movie with Shahrukh (not a “Shahrukh movie”, but at least he’s in it for a bit) coming out in a few months.

(part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, part 6 here, part 7 here, part 8 here, part 9 here, part 10 here, part 11 here, part 12 here, part 13 here, part 14 here, part 15 here, part 16 here)

So, Kajol and Shahrukh kind of sparked off each other at first sight, then actually started talking and learned to hate each other.  Then Kajol got kind of overly excited and emotional about everything he did, and Shahrukh got kind of unable-to-stop-teasing-her.  And because she was overly emotional and Shahrukh was teasing her, they both ended up missing their train.  After another big fight, they finally learned to somewhat respect each other, Kajol for the innate decency which leads Shahrukh to be willing to take control of the rest of their journey and make sure they both safely rejoin their friends, and Shahrukh for her innate pride and willingness to trust and open up to him a little bit despite all the reasons she shouldn’t.

And now they are visiting a church before getting on their bus for the next leg of their journey.  While Shahrukh goofed around, Kajol started to pray, and he settled in to gaze at her.  siiiiiiigh.  So romantic!

Even when she finally stands and starts to walk out, it is the same kind of thing, she is walking straight and staring off into the distance and smiling, while Shahrukh is following, trying to read her face and get her attention.


I love the way their height difference is used here.  It isn’t a huge difference, but Shahrukh is a good 6 inches taller.  Back in the last section (or the section before last?) I talked about the shot of Kajol waiting for him while he runs over to her from a couple scenes back.  She is dressed in these thin short clothes, with her pigtails and her small figure.  And he is wearing layers and carrying a duffle bag and just looks so much bigger.  And yet he is all absorbed in her.  It’s the same effect here, the way he is kind of leaning forward and over towards her.  She is this tiny little thing, and he is this big thing, but she is clearly the focus of his entire body.

She is a mystery to him here, and he needs to solve it.  More interesting, she is a mystery to the viewer as well.  When they first met, we (the viewer) already knew that Kajol was a devoted daughter and sister, but with secret dreams of romance.  And we knew that Shahrukh came off as a “bad boy” but loved his father and was ready to sacrifice for him.  So while they were a mystery to each other, the audience was always pretty sure we understood where they were coming from.  But in this scene, we aren’t seeing Kajol as the “Simran” we know and understand, we are seeing her as Shahrukh sees her, as this magical fascinating mystery.  Which will continue for the next few scenes, as Kajol continues to look into the distance and make pronouncements while Shahrukh studies and tries to “solve” her.

In this particular case, as he is bouncing after her up the aisle, he is nagging her to reveal what she prayed for.  But Kajol just smiles and says that she prayed for it with a pure heart, so she knows she will get it.  Shahrukh kind of nods, and then throws his duffel to her and tells her to go wait by the bus, he will be there in a second.  He doesn’t bother to explain, and she doesn’t ask for an explanation, which seems odd when I write it out, but it makes total sense while watching it, because they are so comfortable with each other, any interaction would seem normal.

And then my Amazon streaming version skips a scene!  NOOOOOOO!  So I have to do the rest of it from memory of watching my blu-ray last night.

Kajol leaves, and Shahrukh jogs back up the aisle, glancing behind him as he goes to watch her leave.  Because if it is a choice between looking at God and looking at Kajol, he honestly can’t decide.  He gets to the head of the aisle, pauses and sort of shifts around looking at the kneeling stool, then gives an awkward sort of dimple smile and kneels down.  And then looks down, and then up at the altar and gives a little wave and introduces himself “Hi!  I’m Raj.”  Only, he doesn’t say it like he is talking to God, he says it like he is talking to some girl he really wants to impress who he just met at a nightclub.

This whole scene is very much parallel to the Amitabh versus God scene in Deewar.  Both of them are talking to God the way they talk to anyone else in the film.  They don’t put on a “worshipful” kind of voice or attitude, Amitabh yells at God just like he would yell at an enemy he had just fought in the “real” world.  And Shahrukh treats God with all the charm and cockiness he would give anyone he was trying to convince in real life.  It’s a great way of showing the character in the raw, they have nothing to hide and no reason to act, because presumably God already knows everything about them.  So therefore what they say and the way they act is their “real” self.

In Deewar, Amitabh’s scene is fabulous, but it isn’t a huge surprise.  It comes at the very end of the film and just confirms things we knew about him all along.  But this scene confirms something we were pretty sure we knew, but not 100%.  Yes, Shahrukh is “Hindustani”, yes he has never really really hurt Kajol (or anyone else that we know about).  But how does he really feel about her?  It’s still not clear if this is him falling in love, him falling in flirt, or him playing a long con on her.  Or even some combination of them all!

I Hate Luv Storys had many problems (starting with the title), but one thing I loved about it was how it showed a guy who was in love already and just didn’t recognize it, and broke the girl’s heart (and ultimately his own) because of that.  Imraan, in the first half, is basically the same as what we have seen from Shahrukh so far in this.  So if you are thinking “come on Kajol, go for it!”, then remember what happened to poor Sonam there.  It is possible that you are reading signals he doesn’t even know he is giving off yet.  And that could be the case in DDLJ, up to this moment, both for Kajol in the film and the audience watching the film.  Until this one scene, when it is just Shahrukh and God, clinches it.

(He gives her half his chai!  He is obviously in love even if he himself doesn’t believe it!)

It’s structured so nicely (I would do screen shots if amazon were better!).  It starts with Shahrukh apologizing that he doesn’t know how to pray, telling us “awwww, he must have a really really good reason to do it now.”  And then adding that he isn’t praying for himself, he has everything and is very happy.  Telling us “awwww, he isn’t a greedy or selfish person.”  But “that girl Simran is nice, very good heart.”  And when he talks about her, big smile shows up on his face!  Big big smile!  And he is looking in the distance like he can still see her in front of him.  So, he asks, “give her whatever she wants.  please.”  And then he finishes up with “Peace!  Thank you!”  and, in the famously adorable moment, starts to cross himself, realizes he doesn’t know how, and just gives a thumbs up to God instead.  And then jumps up and runs out.  AWWWWWWW!  He loves her so much, he is willing to pray for the first time, he loves her so much he doesn’t even think about asking or wanting anything for himself!  And, all those cocky cool guy poses we were hating on him about, that’s just how he is!  He really isn’t trying to impress anyone, he is comfortable in his own skin and likes giving thumbs up and saying “Peace” instead of good-bye!  And even God approves, the final shot is the bells ringing as the camera reveals the huge Jesus icon over the alter, watching him run out.


(Is this Jesus?  Or some other bearded white guy?  I’m not that up on my European religious iconography)

Phew!  I’m back on amazon and can use screen shots again!  Which means I can get a screenshot of the moment I learned what holding your pinky up means in Indian culture.  Which is also why I am so MAD at Amazon for not having that last scene!  Okay, let me back up.  Kajol is sitting on the bus anxiously looking for Shahrukh.  He runs up and flops into the seat next to her just as the bus starts to pull away.  She asks him, “where were you?”  And….


Her response is “in the CHURCH?!?!?”  And he just kind of nods and grins.  SO GROSS!  SO DISGUSTING!  If I was watching this on Amazon, I would have turned it off right here and never fallen in love with Shahrukh.  Thankfully, I have already seen and memorized the entire thing before watching the Amazon version.  So, in that case, this makes it about the noblest/naughtiest thing he does, saving her from any sense of obligation or awareness of his feelings, and also kind of enjoying shocking her.  And noble/naughty is of course the sweet spot of the Raj character.

Okay, I’m in the groove, I’m back on the DDLJ trail!  I’ll stop here, and pick up tomorrow with the “sitting down by the tracks sharing tea” scene.


26 thoughts on “DDLJ Part 13: The Disappearing Prayer Scene!

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  19. It’s so fun to read your analysis and then rewatch the scenes that you discuss! It’s weird that Amazon deleted the Shahrukh praying scene. I don’t really understand the need to do that. It’s still there on the Google Play version that I’m watching.


    • It didn’t seem like they pulled it on purpose, I wouldn’t be surprised if I keep going and it pops up in the wrong place. They could have just gotten a messed up copy.

      And I’m glad you are liking the analysis!


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    • Thank you! and thank you for commenting! This posts get many fewer views, and comments, than some of my others. But I am very proud of them.

      The next part is going to be a blast, I think I am going to finally get to SRK’s post-interval introduction.


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