Okay, I’m gonna do it, 84 reasons! But they’re gonna have to be mostly songs, because otherwise I can’t possibly come up with 84! And I’m gonna split it into multiple posts
1. 1. I love you because you survived your family being separated through Partition as a teenager and never used it as a hard luck story or a reason to be pitied.
2. I love you because you obeyed the command of your brother BR Chopra, who was also your only family in Bombay, and went off on your own to find another director willing to hire you before asking him for a job.
3. I love you because you worked away in BR’s production house for years and years, happy to contribute to the success as a whole without getting any credit for yourself.
4. I love you because you proved your ability to follow BR’s house style first, before striking out on your own, making Dhool Ka Phool and Dharmapurtra before Waqt and Daag.
5. I love you because you reacted to surviving Partition by making a series of movies about different interfaith relationships.
6. I love you because you waited until you were 38 to get married, to a 32 year old woman who you heard singing at a wedding party.
7. I love you because you introduced Shashi Kapoor in his very first movie, starting a creative collaboration that would last for years, and a friendship that would last until he came to your funeral 51 years later.
8. I love you because you went off on your own at age 39, a year after marriage, and started your own studio rather than continue to live in your brother’s shadow.
9. I love you because you had your first child the same year as your first studio, Aditya and Yash Raj Films growing up together.
10. I love you because you know what you wanted to do from the very beginning, your first Yash Raj Studios picture was remarkably similar to your last.
11. I love you because your first movie included this glorious ode to anti-communalism. Also, cute baby!
12. I love you because your first movie also had this lovely love song, with all the sensitive heroine close-ups and running through beautiful scenery that would become your trademark.
13. I love you because, look at the clever curtain work you were already doing, in your very second movie! About 2 and a half minutes in.
14. I love you because, Shashi Kapoor!
15. And then there’s Waqt! The movie where the Yash Chopra brand really took off. Multi-starrer, multi-generation, lots of color and fashion and songs and spectacle and tears.
16. And you even included a song for an older couple, married for years and still in love, so good that Aditya used it again in DDLJ over three decades later.
17. You also had the classic Yash Chopra sets. Gorgeous onscreen, and perfectly calculated to help give background to the characters. In this case, a vivacious modern and international girl, free and open and easy.
18. And the whole gorgeous location setting and vacation romance! Just a hill station in India, it would take a few more years before you got to Switzerland.
19. And a party song.
20. And of course there was a love triangle!
21. And finally, the idyllic love song in the garden.
22. I love you because you followed up Daag with Joshila, a thriller, and something completely different for your new studio.
23. And then Deewar. Your first collaboration with Amitabh Bachchan, your first collaboration with Salim Javed, and the start of relationships that would literally last until your death.
24. Deewar was also the first time you showed one of your biggest talents, finding the true star identity hiding within an actor. Really, for the first time, revealing the true cut of the jewel that is Amitabh Bachchan.
25. Deewar is a movie so much greater than the sum of its parts. But your next film with Amitabh, that’s where the true genius comes through, as you took the Amitabh star image and combined it with Shashi, Rishi, Neetu, Raakhee, and Waheeda into some kind of amazing collage.
26. So long as where talking about Kabhi Kabhi, let’s take a look at those songs! I love this one, Neetu and Rishi being so cute together!
27. And they are even cute in the requisite little love triangle.
28. And the requisite young couple in love in the snow song.
29. And the same movie had a completely different love song in the snow!
30. Really, a completely different love story altogether! Where Rishi and Neetu just exude joy and youth and promise, Amitabh and Raakhee are something else. Which is probably why their romance is over before it even starts, before the movie itself even starts.
31. I also love picturing Amitabh basing this scene on the many thousands of times he must have seen his father perform his poems live. And come to think of it, now Amitabh does!
32. And in the middle of all this joy and young love and poetry and tragedy, there is still time for a simple story of a mother who loves her daughter.